Discover why Newcastle has been ranked as one of Lonely Planet's top 10 cities in the world

Top 10 City

City

A world-class education in a uniquely beautiful location.

Situated on the sunny East Coast of Australia, Newcastle is one of the world's most beautiful coastal cities - it attracts thousands of international students, every year. It has been ranked as the 5th Most Liveable City In The World by the Lonely Planet Guide (2011). Once you've experienced it for yourself, you'll understand why.

Newcastle's international students enjoy the area's bustling culture, without the stress of more expensive Australian cities. You can socialise with friends in the city district, or spend your free time relaxing in the beautiful natural surroundings. It's the perfect balance of study and lifestyle.

Newcastle is also perfect for students wishing to spend their free time travelling to Australia's other must-see destinations. It's around two hours from Sydney, one hour from the Hunter Valley vineyards, and just off the main coastal highway for exploring Australia's many picturesque sea-side towns. 

Best of all, Newcastle offers the perfect climate for anyone looking to experience that famous Australian sunshine. Enjoy moderate winters and long playful summers, with an average summer temperature of around 28 degrees. This makes perfect weather for relaxing or playing - or even studying - on some of Australia's best beaches.

The Newcastle locals are as playful as they are friendly - why the area is a favourite holiday spot for the hundreds of Sydney-siders who every weekend escape the chaos of the big city to unwind and relax in this seaside paradise. Once one of Australia's best kept secrets, Newcastle has become one of its most fashionable and beloved destinations. You'll love it, too.

5 things you must do in Newcastle

1. Nobby's Beach

There are over ten beaches in the main Newcastle area alone, but none are more famous - or beautiful - than Nobby's. Stretching to the tip of Newcastle's peninsula, you'll find over a kilometre of of clean, white Aussie sand - as well as the Southern Hemisphere's busiest working harbour just behind you. And don't forget to stroll along the boardwalk to Nobby's Lighthouse for the very best view of this breathtaking seaside city.

2. Stockton Sand Dunes

One of the truly unique attractions of Newcastle, the Stockton Sand Dunes are the largest in the Southern Hemisphere - over 30 kilometres long, and over 2 kilometres in width. Think of them as a desert by the sea! There are plenty of ways to experience them: racing over the hills on a quad bike, or even trekking the beach on a sunset camel ride. But the student favourite is the sand-boarding tours - it's like skiing.... but on sand! Or stop by the Sygna Shipwreck, rusting on the shore for 40 years. It's an essential adventure set against an incredible natural landscape.

stockton dunes

3. Dolphin Cruise

Around 20 minutes drive from Newcastle, you'll find the summertime paradise that is Nelson Bay. Try some famous Aussie "fish 'n' chips" by the water, shop for authentic Australian art and souvenirs, and then jump on a cruise ship and head out to the islands to meet our friendly dolphin pods (or whale watching in the winter months). They'll come right to the boat and say hello.

4. Honeysuckle Wharf

Most visitors associate Newcastle with its iconic beaches, but Newcastle's harbour is another Australian legend with a rich history. Up to 50 massive commercial ships enter and lave the harbour every day -sailing so close, you could reach out and touch them. And the best place to take in these sights is relaxing at Honeysuckle Wharf. This modern precinct lines the harbour, with dozens of cafes, restaurants and bars to keep you laughing with friends long into the night.

5. Darby Street

A favourite with the local students, Darby St is the cool part of town. Stroll along this busy main street from morning to midnight, and always find something to do. Whether you're looking for the latest fashions; dining in one of over thirty restaurants and bars; seeing the latest exhibition at the Newcastle Regional Art Gallery; or relaxing by the fountain in Civic Park - Darby St is where the buzz is. 

Darby St

Study Newcastle (Lonely Planet 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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