New South Wales (NSW)
Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and is the largest and oldest city in Australia. You can even visit Captain Cook’s landing place at Botany Bay, where the first European settlers arrived.
The city is spread around the famous Sydney Harbour. You can catch one of the ferries that cross the Harbour to enjoy the spectacular views and explore the many interesting places on the water's edge, such as Luna Park, the Rocks and Circular Quay. Be sure to check out Manly, a beach suburb with a relaxed atmosphere, shops, cafés and accomodation.
As you would expect from Australia’s largest and oldest city, Sydney offers plenty of entertainment options. You will find markets to explore, along with museums, galleries, bars, clubs, restaurants, karaoke bars and many other exciting places. Sydney also hosts the world-famous Mardi Gras each year — this is a city that knows how to party! Stop and see the native Australian animals at Taronga Zoo (open every day of the year) or visit the iconic Opera House. The Sydney Harbour Bridge links the two sides of the city. You can walk across it, or, if you're really brave, you can climb it and enjoy the amazing views.
Once you leave Sydney, country New South Wales also has plenty to offer. The Blue Mountains is a popular day trip, offering spectacular mountain views, bushland and native wildlife. You will also find cafés, restaurants, art galleries, craft shops and many other stores, along with a wide range of outdoor activities such as horse riding, golf, bushwalking and fishing.
The Hunter Valley — one of Australia’s major wine producing regions — offers wonderful scenery, gourmet foods and distinctive wines. Close by is Newcastle, which is the state’s second largest city, and, like Sydney, is built around a large harbour. Newcastle is a popular destination for both visitors and students. It is close to Sydney and offers an attractive lifestyle with its large port, beautiful beaches, surfing, fishing and entertainment opportunities.
A short drive south of Sydney is the thriving city of Wollongong, surrounded by lush green valleys and beautiful ocean beaches. Further south is the picturesque Eurobodalla coast and prime dairy country such as the Bega Valley, with lots of opportunities for cheese tasting.
North of Sydney is Coffs Harbour, a sub-tropical beachside paradise and popular holiday spot. Further inland is Armidale, in the New England Tablelands, famous for its cathedrals, homesteads and abundance of natural beauty.
For further information, see the Visit NSW website.
With a huge range of education providers offering courses in just about anything you could think of, Sydney is an excellent option for any student. Of Sydney’s total student population, 25 per cent are international students. Regional campuses in Coffs Harbour, Lismore, Armidale, Wagga Wagga, Wollongong and Newcastle offer students stunning natural surroundings, a relaxed lifestyle and specialised courses that take advantage of the local environment such as rural science and marine biology.
The median weekly rental price in Sydney is AUD$450 for a three-bedroom house and $420 for a one-bedroom unit. In regional New South Wales, the median weekly rental price for a house ranges from $320 to $350 and the median weekly rental price for a unit ranges from $180 to $238.
Sydney’s city and suburbs are connected by a network of buses, trains, ferries and light rail. Public transport in regional cities is usually limited to a local bus service, so access to a car or other form of transport may be required. In New South Wales, full-fee-paying international students are not eligible for a concession fare. For more information about public transport and fares, see the NSW Transport Info website.
New South Wales has warm summers, mild winters and an average maximum temperature of around 26°C in January, which falls to 16°C in July.
Note: Information and figures presented here are intended as a guide only and may change. Source of rental data: rpdata, March 2012.