New South Wales: What you need to know
Where is it?
Home of Australia’s capital city, Canberra and its most famous city, Sydney, New South Wales is in the South East of Australia’s mainland. It is surrounded by three other states – Queensland in the north, South Australia in the west and Victoria in the east.
Like Victoria, the climate in New South Wales is temperate and seasonal. You’ll need to be prepared for all weather if you’re going to live in this part of Australia for a whole year.
How do I get there?
Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport is Australia’s main gateway for international flights. You can buy flexible coach tickets here to travel the whole east coast, or to closer destinations such as Byron Bay. A coach ride to Melbourne takes around ten hours and a ride to Brisbane is even longer, but night buses run every night and are popular with backpackers travelling the coast. If you’re travelling to New South Wales from any other states, flying may be the cheapest and quickest option.
Is it a good place to learn English?
As with the rest of Australia, most of the population of New South Wales is based in its main city, and this is the best place to live and learn English. Sydney is a diverse city with an international community, so it is possible to get a job even if your language skills are not perfect.
Though Canberra is officially the capital city of Australia, it is much smaller than Sydney and less diverse in population. In regional areas, learning will be harder, but the local accents are quite easy to understand.
Australia’s government operate an Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) for new residents, which may entitle you to up to 510 hours of free language tuition. Make sure to visit this official site and register soon after you arrive in Australia to ensure you can start learning as soon as possible!
What else is there to do?
New South Wales has several popular tourist areas. Sydney itself is home to one of the most spectacular harbours in the world – find out more about Sydney in our city guide.
The Blue Mountains are part of a national park which received its name because of the blue mist from eucalyptus plants that hovers above them. They are one of Australia’s most memorable destinations, with day trips and longer tours available.
New South Wales is also home to several popular surfing spots, the most famous being Byron Bay. This small town is located in the north east corner of the region, near to the border of Queensland and nearer to Brisbane than Sydney.
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Moving to Sydney: 5 things you need to know
You’re moving to Sydney. You’re about to be living in one of the most exciting cities in the world, a place that is changing every year. The Sydney Harbour is one of the most spectacular scenes in the world, never mind Australia. Though Sydney is not Australia’s official capital city, there can be no doubt that it is the real centre of the country.
Sydney is located in New South Wales, in the south east of Australia. It has a seasonal climate, being extremely hot in the summer (December to February) but it can get cold in the Winter (June to August). If you’re going to live in Sydney, you’ll need to be prepared for all kinds of weather.
The only question is…what next? Moving to a new city can be daunting, so here’s 5 essential steps to get you started.
1.) Where to live
Manly: If you live in Manly and work in the city centre, you’ll be travelling to work every morning on the ferry. If this sounds appealing, Manly is a favourite for people from overseas who want to live by the beach but away from the main tourist areas.
Randwick: Located near the University of New South Wales and Coogee Beach, Randwick is around 6km from the city centre. It is a family-friendly area with bus connections into the city centre.
Bondi: Living in Bondi is the Australian dream for some people – close enough to the beach to go surfing straight after work. However, it’s very busy and full of tourists, so it can be quite loud at night.
Crow’s Nest: Located around 5km north of the centre of Sydney, Crow’s Nest is a popular suburb with a lot of places to shop, eat and drink. The population is generally slightly older than student areas, with a lot of families living here.
Newtown & Glebe: Newtown and Glebe are popular areas with students and young people working in the creative industries, with a lot of bars, shops and cafés to enjoy and a lot of cultural diversity. Accommodation here will still be quite expensive, but not as expensive as other parts of Sydney!
2.) Where to work
Sydney is Australia’s most prosperous city. Many large, international businesses have their Australian office in the centre of Sydney, allowing some people to relocate to Australia with their existing company without having to quit their job.
Because of this, Sydney is also a very expensive place to live, so you could take part time work in one of the city’s many backpacker hostels in order to save expenses whilst looking for full-time employment. There are a lot of jobs in hospitality and retail, particularly around the main tourist areas such as Bondi and Manly.
3.) How to get around
Sydney’s public transport (http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/getting-around/public-transport) is more limited than Brisbane and Melbourne, with road travel and bus networks being the primary way to get around. A free shuttle bus, the 555, runs around the city centre all day, on George and Elizabeth streets. An airport link also operates from 5am until midnight every day, with the journey taking no more than 20 minutes.
Sydney Central Station is Australia’s largest rail station and can be accessed via Elizabeth Street and Haymarket. This is the primary connection to outer suburbs. Train links also run to other major cities, including the North Coast trainlink to Brisbane and the Southern Trainlink to Canberra and Melbourne.
Despite being a large city, Sydney is easy to navigate on foot, as it is divided into a simple grid system, just like New York. The main streets, such as George and Elizabeth, run the entire route from the harbour through to the city centre.
4.) What to see as soon as you arrive
Sydney harbour is the most famous image of Australia and the thing you should see first as soon as you arrive in the country. Take in the view of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can join the tourists and climb the bridge, or just walk across it for free. Walk through the botanical gardens and see healthy Australians out for their daily job in an incredible location. For an adrenaline rush, take a jet boat tour of the harbour bay – just be prepared to get soaking wet!
After you’ve seen the harbour, grab your camera and head down to the legendary surf spot, Bondi Beach. It’s a fairly small beach located just outside the city centre, so it’s extremely busy in the summer. From Bondi you can take a coastal walk of several kilometres, along which you’ll often find art exhibitions and the chance for your first Australian barbecue.
For another great beach, catch the ferry across to Manly to get away from the hectic pace of the city centre.
5.) How to spend your free time
You’ll find a lot of bars downtown in the city centre. The main area for nightlife is King’s Cross, with a lot of bars, music venues and nightclubs that are open late – however, this area has a slightly worse reputation than other parts of town! From Irish bars to restaurants in Chinatown, you’ll find countries from all over the world represented throughout Sydney.
Sydney has a café culture to rival Melbourne’s, with cafés and restaurants by the harbour having the best views combined with the most expensive prices. There are lots of shopping destinations in the city centre, from designer stores to Paddy’s Market in Chinatown, a favourite for bargain hunters.