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New South Wales

New South Wales, with its bustling cities and stunning coastline, offers students a great lifestyle and countless study options.

In this section, we discuss:

Living in New South Wales

Living in Sydney

Sydney

Sydney is known for its iconic architecture, harbour views and lively inner-city neighbourhoods. After class there is always something happening as the city plays host to an endless list of festivals and events, including the Mardi Gras, Sydney Film Festival and Australian Fashion Week. The nightlife caters for all tastes — from regular opera, symphony and theatre performances in grand venues through to the rowdy nightclub strips of Oxford Street and Kings Cross. Thanks to Sydney’s multicultural population, there are plenty of restaurants serving cheap food from around the globe. Chinatown is particularly popular with those on a budget, and nearby Paddy’s flea market or the Glebe weekend market are great places to browse for bargains. When it comes to spectator sports, rugby league reigns supreme, but AFL, rugby union and cricket all get their share of air time.

On the weekend, many locals take advantage of the city's beautiful beaches and go surfing, swimming or sailing. From the CBD, the golden sands of Bondi or Manly are just a half hour or so away by bus or ferry. New arrivals can join the tourists for a look at Sydney's most popular sights — a visit to the Opera House, a walk (or climb) along the Harbour Bridge, a day trip to Taronga Zoo and a stroll around The Rocks, Sydney's historic old town. For others looking to escape their assignments, the crowds and busy city life, Sydney's surrounds offer short breaks for all tastes. For the active there is hiking in the scenic Blue Mountains, water sports on Lake Macquarie and great skiing on the NSW snowfields. For those looking for more relaxing pursuits, there are beautiful scenic walks and wine tasting in the Hunter Valley and opportunities to explore the coastline in Newcastle and Wollongong.

Housing

The median weekly rental price for a house in Sydney is $500, with the median weekly rental price for a unit sitting at $485. In comparison, the median price of a house in Melbourne is around $375 a week and in Brisbane is around $400.

The student rental market is very competitive. Visit your institution’s housing service for referrals or advice.

Note: Figures presented here are estimates and intended as a guide only. Prices vary between and within suburbs.

Source: Australian Property Monitors, December 2013.

Transport

Sydney is connected by a complex network of buses, trains, ferries and light rail. Services are frequent and concession cards are available to full-time domestic students. Weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly 'MyMulti' tickets are available, which cover travel on all types of public transport. An electronic 'Opal' card has recently been introduced, and can be used on ferry, train and bus services. For more information about public transport in New South Wales, see the New South Wales Government’s TransportInfo website.

Climate

Sydney is temperate, with warm summers, mild winters and an average maximum temperature of around 26°C in January, falling to 16°C in July.

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Living in regional NSW

If the big city isn't for you, the outdoor lifestyle and lower cost of living of regional New South Wales may appeal. A number of the state's university campuses are located along the eastern coastline and others lie to the west, so students can choose from rolling hills and farmland in the inland regions to great surfing and nightlife in the coastal centres.

Regional centres like Newcastle, Lismore and Wollongong offer the best of both worlds — a city feel without the crowds and high costs of Sydney. The country lifestyle of Wagga Wagga or perhaps a sea-change in sunny Coffs Harbour may also appeal. Smaller rural campuses have the advantage of feeling relaxed and friendly, and often have more of a community atmosphere than the city campuses.

Studying in regional New South Wales leaves students with no shortage of places to visit over weekends or semester breaks. The regional city of Wollongong and the South Coast offer pristine national parks, rolling countryside and plenty of coastline to explore.

To the north, the Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s major wine regions, offering beautiful scenery and the chance to indulge in the gourmet foods and wines produced in the area. The region plays host to A Day on the Green, where you can enjoy listening to some of Australia’s biggest names in music while you relax on picnic rugs and enjoy the Hunter’s best spoils.

Not far from the Hunter Valley is Newcastle, the second largest city in New South Wales. Like its metropolitan counterpart, Newcastle is set around a harbour and is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. The city has a large port and is known for its many beaches, eclectic boutiques and relaxed cafés, pubs and bars.

Coffs Harbour, north of Sydney, provides a sub-tropical escape, while the beachside town of Byron Bay on the Queensland border is another tourist hotspot, renowned for its laid-back surf culture and stunning coastline. It also hosts Splendour in the Grass and Bryon Bay Bluesfest.

The biggest student hubs are found in Armadale, near the University of New England, as well as in Newcastle and Wollongong. Student accommodation is plentiful in these areas and finding a place close to uni, or even on campus, is usually not a difficult task.

Housing

The median weekly rental price for a house ranges from $330 on the Mid North Coast of NSW to $370 in the Illawarra region. The median weekly rental price for a unit in these regions is $240 and $310 respectively.

The student rental market is very competitive. Visit your institution’s housing service for referrals or advice.

Note: Figures presented here are estimates and intended as a guide only. Prices vary between and within suburbs. Source: Australian Property Monitors, December 2013.

Transport

Public transport is limited to local bus networks, so access to a car is usually required. Students living close to campus often walk or ride bikes.

Climate

Temperatures vary across the state. Coastal Newcastle’s average summer average maximum is in the mid-twenties, while inland Wagga Wagga hits the low thirties.

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