Newcastle is a great stop over on the way top Ports Stephens, the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club are extremely welcoming to cruisers and racers alike, they always seem to have room in their excellent marina for another transient yacht. The club itself serves a great breakfast on the weekends and dinners most other days, well worth a visit.
Getting in and out of the Hunter river is not an issue even with the traffic associated with the Kooragang Island Coal terminal, supposedly the largest coal loading facility in the world. The bulk carriers, and there are lots of them and if there are no carriers there will be tugs going in and out, stay within the well marked shipping channel and there is plenty of room and depth for us mere mortals to the south of that channel.
G-whizz Elan 340