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Quick facts about Newcastle

📍 State

New South Wales

📆 Established


🌆 Area

261.8 km²

👪 Population


🌥 Climate

Humid Subtropical

👋 Welcome to Newcastle

Newcastle is the second largest city in New South Wales as well as the second oldest city in Australia.

The city has gone through a huge amount of urban renewal in the last few years and boasts all of the things you would expect from a larger city but with significantly more affordable living costs, especially student accommodation.

With only two hours drive from Sydney, glorious beaches and harbour, Newcastle could be a perfect destination for you to study in Australia.

Reasons to study in Newcastle

💵 Affordability

Student accommodation close to the main campus starts from only $90 per week for your own room.

It means that over the duration of a student’s degree, they can save upwards of $30,000 in housing costs alone compared to other cities.

💼 Jobs availability

It’s a common misconception that jobs are hard to get in Newcastle.

With only one university in a city larger than Canberra and the center of Australia’s largest regional economy, the fact is that employers are always keen to hire international students.

📚 Campus Life

Campus life in The University of Newcastle is really amazing as it is set among 2 square kilometres of natural forest, making it one of the most unique campus in Australia.

The main campus is called Callaghan and is the second largest campus in Australia after Murdoch in Perth.

⛱ Best Beaches

Forget Bondi, Newcastle’s Merewether Beach was voted ‘Best City Beach in Australia’ by Tourism Australia.

It also has a bunch of other beaches including Nobby’s Beach, Newcastle Beach and Redhead Beach all of which have the benefits of hardly ever being crowded.

🌎 World class education

The University of Newcastle is ranked 207th in the world by QS World Rankings, meaning that it is ranked higher than over 99% of the world’s universities.

At 8th in the world on the 2019 Shanghai Subject Rankings, it is higher than Harvard, Cambridge and Stanford.

🎓 Graduate Outcomes

As per 2020 Graduate Outcomes Survey by Longitudinal, it was revealed that University of Newcastle has around 91% employment rate for both its undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

It even outperformed some of the other major universities in Australia.

💡 Did you know?

Newcastle is home to Australia’s largest KFC, by size, located on Hunter Street,

Universities and Vocational Education in Newcastle

🏛 University of Newcastle

Originally part of the University of New South Wales, the University of Newcastle has been an independent public university since 1965. It’s ranked in the top 0.8% of the world’s universities by QS World Rankings 2020.

It has two campuses in Newcastle, one on the NSW Central Coast as well as campuses in Sydney and Singapore. University has two campuses in Newcastle as well as one in the central coast.

✍ TAFE and other education providers

TAFE campuses in Newcastle are named Hunter TAFE as Newcastle is the main city of the Hunter region.

There are numerous campuses including in the inner-city suburbs of Newcastle West, Tighes Hill and Hamilton. Students can study Certificates, Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas and even some bachelor degrees.

Located just south of Newcastle in the Lake Macquarie region, Avondale University College was previously known as Avondale College of Higher Education.

The institution offers a number of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees There are few other private education providers providing range of courses to overseas students.

Transport in Newcastle

📌 How to get here?

Newcastle is home to the second busiest airport in NSW.

So you can fly directly from cities like Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, Byron Bay, Albury, Dubbo, Auckland and more with new international links likely to come from 2021. 

You can also reach here by driving on Pacific Highway for couple of hours from Sydney. 

Other way is to hop on a three hour scenic train ride from Sydney Central to Newcastle interchange station. 

🚌 Public Transport

Newcastle uses the NSW tap on/tap off Opal Card system similar to the one used in Sydney.

Newcastle Interchange station runs regular trains to inner city suburbs, Lake Macquarie, the Central Coast, Maitland and Sydney. Newcastle also has a light rail network with a tram stop right outside the university’s CBD campus.

In addition, there is a large network of bus routes, many of which go to the main Callaghan campus. The university provides a free bus for students to get between the CBD and Callaghan campus.

🚖 Other Transport

You can buy or rent bikes to get around Newcastle. You can even rent an electric bike from Bykko.

There are plenty of taxi services available in Newcastle.

Apart from taxis, ridesharing services like Uber and Didi are also available in Newcastle.

University of Newcastle also offer shuttle services for the students on the go in certain areas. The service is free for the students (must have valid student ID).

💡 Did you know?

There’s a saying in Newcastle that ‘everything is 20 minutes away’ due to the lack of traffic jams experienced in other major cities.

Key Events During The Year in Newcastle

🏄 February


Surfest is an annual surfing competition held in Newcastle every year.  It is the biggest surf festival in the southern hemisphere.

🍻 May

Lovedale Long Lunch

Chefs from vineyards across the Hunter Valley put on the most popular dining experience of the year!.

🈲 September

China Week

The University of Newcastle organises China week every year complete with a city parade.

🚘 November

Newcastle 500 Supercars

The final event of the supercars season is in Newcastle in November each year. Part of the city centre is closed off for the event.

🎧 Music Festivals


Various music festivals are held in Newcastle. The most famous artists perform outdoor concerts in the Hunter Valley.

Free things to do in Newcastle

🏢 Newcastle Museum

Learn about the history of Australia’s second oldest city, including pyrotechnical re-enactments of the former steel works of Newcastle.

🌳 Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Your chance to see native animals like kangaroos, koalas, reptiles and
wombats in a natural habitat. Entry is free.

🏗 ANZAC Bridge and Bathers Way

The recently constructed ANZAC bridge offers amazing views of both the city and the Southern Pacific ocean. Bathers Bay has kilometres of pristine beaches attracting swimmers, bathers and surfers.

🏖 Hang-out at the beach

Novocastrians are spoiled for choice when it comes to beaches. The inner city Nobby’s and Newcastle Beaches are popular for beach sports like volleyball while Merewether is popular with surfers and cafe dwellers. Further out from the city centre, Redhead Beach is a beautiful white sand beach without the crowds.

🏫 Newcastle Ocean Baths or Merewether Ocean Baths

Newcastle has two full enclosed natural ocean swimming pools. Merewether Ocean Baths is the largest saltwater baths in the Southern Hemisphere.

🏁 Other places to explore

Apart from the list above, there are many other places to explore and visit in Newcastle. Here are some of them:

Fort Scratchley
Tree top adventure park
Darby Street cafes
Hunter Valley Gardens
Glenrock Lagoon
Nelson Bay
Port Stephens
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