Newcastle was ranked as one of Lonely Planet's top 10 cities in 2011 and it doesn’t take long to work out why.

Top 10 City

Lonely Planet

This is Newcastle

Beautiful, natural, safe, clean, peaceful, innovative, multicultural, comfortable, cool...these are just some of the words our students use to describe the city. Newcastle was ranked as one of Lonely Planet's top 10 cities in 2011, and it doesn't take long to work out why.

Set around sun-baked surf beaches, a bustling working harbourfront and native bushland just 150km north of Sydney, Newcastle is forward-looking, creative and vibrant. Yet it has a refreshingly laidback lifestyle and a university that offers one of the most rewarding Australian student experiences on offer.

With a population of around half-a-million in the greater Newcastle area, compared with Sydney's 4.4 million, Newcastle is easy to get around by car, bike, bus and train. The CBD itself is dotted with parks and gardens and has plenty of open beach and a sweeping stretch of harbour. Locals are always ready with a smile and a chat, making this one of Australia's friendliest cities. Newcastle's warmth and genuine sense of community mean it's an easy and enjoyable place to visit, live, work and study.


  • Watch seaplanes skim across the water while you dine at Scratchleys on the Wharf, Nor' East or the Honeysuckle Hotel overlooking the vibrant panorama of Newcastle's working harbour
  • Swim, surf, snorkel or scuba dive in the amazing waters surrounding Newcastle
  • Take a lakeside stroll and check out the outdoor sculptures at the Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery
  • Catch up-and-coming local musicians at Lizotte's or see those who've made it at the Callaghan campus' Bar on the Hill
  • Join Novocastrians cheering on the Newcastle Knights rugby league team during a home game
  • Meet the friendly wine-makers and sip the fruit of the vines in the lush Hunter Valley

Studying in Newcastle

The University of Newcastle is one of Australia's leading academic institutions, and an integral part of the community – in fact, if you were to write a wish-list of the ideal characteristics of a city in which to study, Newcastle would tick every box.

Multicultural Newcastle

With a wide variety of international students and migrants making Newcastle home, there's a growing range of services and facilities to meet their needs.

Study Newcastle mini-guide

Download the free 28-page book, covering Newcastle's attractions, restaurants and multicultural facilities, as well as info on studying at the University of Newcastle.
 Lonely Planet Mini-Guide

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