Newcastle Blues by Katherine Williams in Newcastle, Australia

The thing I love most about living in Newcastle is that I’m always close to a beach. When I turned my hobby into a career, I stopped wanting to take photos for fun. Photography had turned into a bit of a chore, but smartphones and Instagram changed that for me. If I’m walking at the beach I always have my phone on me because there’s always something worth photographing around here.

Name:Katherine Williams

Photographer: portrait, documentary, weddings, real estate and whatever else comes my way!


Salsa dancing, planning trips, and going on adventures.

Tell us about Newcastle:

Newcastle is situated on Australia’s stunning East Coast. Many Australians still think of it as a dirty coal town. While it still has a working port and coal is one of the major industries of the area, Newcastle is one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived. Nowhere within the city is further than a 20 minute drive to the beach, and Newcastle is close enough to Sydney for me to take advantage of all the cool things Sydney has to offer. Having said that, you have to be Australian to think that 180km is a short drive and worth doing for a night out!

A perfect day?

The sun is shining but it’s not too hot. I head out for a late morning beach walk, I see pods of dolphins out in the ocean, depending on the time of year I might also see whales. After my walk I meet a friend at Juicy Beans Cafe for a coffee or two (Newcastle does great coffee), and we just chill out and watch the surfers. Then I grab my swimmers out of the car and go for a quick dip in the Merewether Ocean Baths. If I don’t have an early start the next day, I’ll drive down to Sydney for a night of salsa dancing. The following morning I’ll go for another swim to help my legs and feet recover from all the dancing.

What is the best thing about Newcastle?

I love the 10km walk from Merewether Beach to Nobbys Lighthouse. It is beautiful, any time of day, any season. And the coffee, Newcastle knows coffee!

What is the worst?

It’s a pretty expensive place to live.

What would be surprising about Newcastle to an outsider?

In winter, it sometimes snows in the Barrington Tops which are just an hour’s drive away.

If Newcastle was a person or character who would it be?

I’d have to say Beauty and the Beast. Newcastle has stunning beaches, but on the horizon you can always see coal ships. You can have a great house perfectly located between the city centre and the beach but you’ll always be hosing the coal dust off your balcony. There are some really awesome bars popping up around the city and then there’s the binge drinking culture. It might be pissing down with rain in the morning but then in the afternoon the sun will come out and the temperature will rise by 10 to 15 degrees! In the end, the beast turns into a handsome prince or something, right?!

Who are three of your favorite artists?

I absolutely love “The Julie Project” by Darcy Padilla. This photography project provides endless inspiration to me and reminds me that my work is worthwhile.

Murray Fredericks is an incredible Australian landscape photographer. His work always makes me want to travel and discover the world.

And James Nachtwey, because he’s legendary!


Name:Katherine Williams


Favorite place to eat:

Goldbergs on Darby Street: they do the best caesar salad.

Favorite place to drink:

Suspension Cafe on Beaumont Street: best coffee in town and they let you exhibit your art there for free.

Favorite shop:

Blackbird Corner: supports all the local designers.

Local Tip:

Newcastle has some really cool markets like the Hunt & Gather Markets and The Olive Tree Market that both support local designers and artists.

Must Do:

Go for a sunrise swim at the beach!