It's not on the main menu or list of communities
I present you with the list of communities:
It also used to be on the main menu, but was scraped in favor of being put on this list instead, as well as the Help menu.
Could a pointer to metas be provided in a more obvious place?
I present you with the front page:
is hidden in 'help'
You will have to elaborate why that is "hiding" and not precisely the very "providing in the most obvious place" you're asking for.
Someone looks for help, they immediately find the meta. That is not a definition of "hiding" I am familiar with.
Also, if a newbie doesn't know about metas or what they are, how would they find out except by accident?
But now let me ask you this: why does a newbie need to find out? A newbie comes here to ask a question about English, not about Stack Exchange. They likely never even heard the words "Stack Exchange" or "meta". They are not interested in local politics. They are interested in doubt about word in language english.
Now, should they for some strange reason happen to ask a question about Stack Exchange, or politics, or philosophy, or photography, or gaming, their question will be migrated to the appropriate site. No harm done.
After all, that's what the word "newbie" means.