Lifestyle and Community

Video: Student Life

Find out more about your new coastal home, including the best beaches, the closest shopping centres, nightlife and restaurants in NSW.

Newcastle (Callaghan)

Newcastle may only be 1/10th the size of Sydney, but it certainly punches well above its weight. Known for its relaxed coastal lifestyle, diverse nightlife and award-winning dining and arts culture, Newcastle is perfect for residents seeking a city vibe that isn't overwhelming.

The University of Newcastle is 20 minutes by car from both Westfield Kotara and Charlestown Square, the two main shopping centres in Newcastle. At these centres you can find movie theatres, restaurants, beauty and hair services and heaps of retail options.

Browse the stalls and grab a bite to eat at artisanal markets like the Olive Tree Markets or sample some great local produce at the farmers market on Sunday mornings at the Broadmeadow Showground.

Newcastle is home to some of the most stunning beaches in Australia and they're not far from Student Living. Nobby's Beach, Newcastle Beach, Bar Beach and Merewether Beach are all located 20 minutes away from Callaghan by car, but they can also be accessed by bus. Redhead Beach is also 20 minutes away by car, but is closer to Charlestown than Newcastle city centre. Redhead is also accessible via bus.

Newcastle and Merewether Ocean Baths are also a good alternative if you don't feel like facing the waves but you still want to swim in some salt water. The Bogie Hole is an iconic Newcastle attraction that is located near King Edward Park and between Newcastle and Bar beaches.

You must be 18 years old to enter all licenced premises and you will need to provide photo ID at most places to enter or purchase alcohol. Student cards are not accepted as ID in Australian venues but passports, driver's licences or photo identification cards will be accepted.

On-campus, catch up with friends for some live music at the Bar on the Hill. Off-campus, King Street HotelThe ArgyleThe Green Roof and Finnegans Hotel are all popular clubs for students to have a dance!

Lockout is at 1:30am in NSW and this means you cannot enter a venue after this time. Lights are on and venues close at 3am, some venues may close at midnight or 1am due to local liquor licensing restrictions.

Campus Wildlife

Our Callaghan campus is situated in a beautiful bushland environment. That means that there is a lot of natural wildlife around the campus that you should be aware of. At Callaghan, it is possible at times to encounter native wildlife such as snakes, goannas, spiders or other animals such as unaccompanied dogs and foxes.

Do not approach the snake or other wildlife, which may move away by itself if noise is made or it senses human presence. If you encounter wildlife or an animal that you think may pose a risk to others, then you can call Security on (02) 4921 5888.

Mosquitos

You are also likely to encounter mosquitoes during your time at the University. Mosquitoes are most active during the warmer months, particularly during summer and early autumn. You will also notice more mosquitoes at dawn, dusk and after periods of rainfall.

Mosquito bites are generally not painful and usually will cause an itchy, inflamed bite which lasts a few days following a bite. Generally mosquito bites are not harmful, however some mosquitos can carry diseases which are harmful to humans. There are a number of simple precautions you can take to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes, for example, wearing insect repellent which contacts DEET or Picaridin on exposed skin, and wearing loose fitting clothing which cover your arms and legs, especially when outside.

Under the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 and the Smoke-free Environment Regulation 2016, smoking is banned in NSW in all enclosed public places (including shopping centres, cinemas, libraries, trains and buses) and certain outdoor public areas (including commercial outdoor dining areas, public swimming pools and public transport stops and platforms).

These bans protect people from harmful second-hand tobacco smoke. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.

To get to know more about Newcastle and see what's on in the Hunter Region, take a look at these useful links:


Central Coast (Ourimbah)

Like Newcastle, the Central Coast is situated in between spectacular coastline and lush bushlands and is known for its easy-going way of life. Located halfway between Sydney and Newcastle, the Central Coast is home to multiple beaches, scenic nature parks and an array of shopping and food options.

Westfield Tuggerah and Erina Fair shopping centres are located 20 minutes away from Ourimbah by car and offer a wide range of shopping and food outlets. To get to Tuggerah or Erina Fair, you can also take the train or a public bus.

The closest beaches to the Central Coast campus include The Entrance, Avoca Beach and Terrigal Beach. Public transport is available to take you there or you can travel by car.

The Sunken Monkey is located in Erina and is a popular nightclub on the Central Coast. The nightclub runs every Wednesday and Friday night with special Saturday night events every so often. Tall Timbers Hotel is open late every night and offers cheap meals and drinks.

There is also a wide selection of pubs and clubs in nearby Terrigal.

Campus Wildlife

Our Central Coast campus is situated in a beautiful bushland environment. That means that there is a lot of natural wildlife around the campus that you should be aware of. On our bushland campus it is possible at times to encounter native wildlife such as snakes, goannas, spiders or other animals such as unaccompanied dogs and foxes.

Do not approach the snake or other wildlife, which may move away by itself if noise is made or it senses human presence. If you encounter wildlife or an animal that you think may pose a risk to others, then you can call Security on (02) 4348 4222.

Mosquitos

You are also likely to encounter mosquitoes during your time at the University. Mosquitoes are most active during the warmer months, particularly during summer and early autumn. You will also notice more mosquitoes at dawn, dusk and after periods of rainfall.

Mosquito bites are generally not painful and usually will cause an itchy, inflamed bite which lasts a few days following a bite. Generally mosquito bites are not harmful, however some mosquitos can carry diseases which are harmful to humans. There are a number of simple precautions you can take to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes, for example, wearing insect repellent which contacts DEET or Picaridin on exposed skin, and wearing loose fitting clothing which cover your arms and legs, especially when outside.

Under the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 and the Smoke-free Environment Regulation 2016, smoking is banned in NSW in all enclosed public places (including shopping centres, cinemas, libraries, trains and buses) and certain outdoor public areas (including commercial outdoor dining areas, public swimming pools and public transport stops and platforms).

These bans protect people from harmful second-hand tobacco smoke. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.

To find out more about the Central Coast and to see what's on, take a look at these links:


Community

With residents from over 55 countries around the world all with different stories and experiences, Student Living is dedicated to fostering a community where everyone can feel at home.

One of the best things about living on campus is the opportunity to join a supportive and vibrant student community.

As soon as you arrive, our team works alongside you to build this community. With focused events and support for Indigenous, international, LGBTQI+, mature-aged residents and students with disabilities, living on campus means finding a place where you belong. Life on campus truly is what you make it.


Sustainability

Sustainability is a key priority of the Looking Ahead, the University of Newcastle Strategic Plan 2020-2025. Here are a few of the ways we are reducing our impact:

  • Gas boosted solar hot water and LED lighting and motion sensors have been installed across all of our tower accommodation residences
  • All lighting upgrades are replaced with LEDs
  • 2 hour timers are installed on all air conditioners
  • Drought proof native plants are used throughout the precinct to limit watering requirements
  • 5-star energy rated fridges, freezers and AV equipment are supplied
  • All mattresses are recycled at end of life
  • All residents are encouraged and supported to compost and recycle their waste.
  • ResShop - where residents drop off household items still in great condition, so new and current residents can shop sustainably for essentials.

Cultural Connections

We are committed to Indigenous higher education by offering guaranteed accommodation to Indigenous applicants.

We also create opportunities for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents and staff to develop their understanding of and respect for Indigenous culture and history. Initiatives include:

  • Workshops and hands-on activities
  • Cultural Capability training programs
  • Culturally significant ceremonies and events
  • Consultation around culturally safe space design
  • On-going relationship with Wollotuka Institute to educate and engage the whole community

International residents

Studying overseas is a big change, but we want to make it as easy as possible. If you're an international student living at our Callaghan or Ourimbah campuses, keep reading to find out more about life in Australia and the important information you need to know.

International residents also have access to UON Global, the University's dedicated international student team that aims to connect international students with social programs, assist with official documents and University of Newcastle study processes.

To open an Australian bank account you will need 100 points of identification which can include your passport, a copy of your student visa, an Australian phone number and an Australian email address. Please check individual bank websites for further information on identification requirements for international visitors.

Popular Australian banks include:

  • The Commonwealth Bank
  • Westpac
  • ME Bank
  • Greater Bank
  • NAB (National Australian Bank)

In Newcastle there is a growing number of International food grocers, including:

  • Asia Pacific Groceries
  • House of Asia
  • Asia Pacific Groceries
  • Bunson Thai Groceries
  • AKK Asian Groceries
  • Asian Grocery and Fashion
  • Make It Low Groceries
  • Kitami Grocery Store

On the Central Coast, Chan's Asian Supermarket is the largest international grocer. They sell groceries from a range of Asian countries, including:

  • Japan
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Korea
  • Vietnam
  • Thailand
  • India
  • China
  • The Philippines

There is a great selection of Halal restaurants around the Newcastle Area, which include:

  • The Persian Place
  • Sapphire Indian Restaurant
  • Tasteful Creations
  • Raj's Corner
  • Nando's
  • Crust Pizza
  • Pizza Hut
  • Mayfield West Kebabs

On the Central Coast, you can find the following Halal restaurants:

  • Mohr Indian Restaurant (Ourimbah)
  • Arabian Lounge (The Entrance)
  • Bang Rak Thai (The Entrance)
  • Nando's (Westfield Tuggerah)
  • Ali Baba (Tuggerah)

The closest shopping centre to Student Living's Callaghan Campus is Jesmond Central, but Westfield Kotara and Charlestown Square Shopping Centre are only 15 minutes from campus by car and are much larger with more options.

You can also head into Beaumont Street or Darby Street for smaller boutique shops and restaurants.

On the Central Coast, Westfield Tuggerah and Erina Fair Shopping Centre offer a wide range of shopping and food outlets. Both are located 20 minutes away from Ourimbah by car. The closest shopping centre to get groceries, visit the pharmacy and the post office is Lisarow Plaza.

There are multiple options to enjoy the nightlife in Newcastle and on the Central Coast. For more info, click here.

In Australia is it not standard practice to tip at restaurants, if you get great service feel free to tip but don't feel that you have to!

Australia has a range of phone and internet services available, including public phones, fixed (landline) phones, mobile and internet.

Find out more here.

Your health and safety are most important to us because when you're feeling safe and happy your study, learning and life at Univversiity of Newcastle will be much more enjoyable.

Click here to find out more about:

  • Overseas Student Health Cover
  • Doctors and Medical Services
  • Sun and Weather Protection
  • Fire Safety
  • Emergency Services

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.