UNE and the Armidale Lifestyle
One of the greatest benefits of studying at UNE is the relaxed lifestyle of the campus and Armidale in general. This friendly, vibrant community is complemented by a surrounding landscape of rolling hills and masses of eucalyptus trees that lead to dramatic gorges and waterfalls within easy distance of the city itself. Armidale is ideally placed, roughly halfway between the metropolitan capitals of Sydney and Brisbane. With an easygoing lifestyle, it is the ideal place for students to live while studying. Students find that Armidale has most of the facilities and benefits of a metropolitan centre with the advantages of a secure and clean environment.
The city boasts music venues, theatres, restaurants, cafés, hotels, entertainment and sporting facilities, and a full range of shops to cater for all tastes and budgets. It is a centrally located city in the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales. Armidale’s fine buildings, tree-lined streets and numerous parklands make it a beautiful city. Many buildings have heritage significance, including civic, commercial and institutional buildings, private dwellings, and cathedrals.
Climatically, Armidale is one of the relatively few areas in Australia that enjoys four distinct seasons, with cold, dry winters, glorious summers and a beautiful springtime. Consistent with the New England region’s name, there are many exotic trees that turn Armidale into a burst of colour in autumn.
Armidale’s population of 26,000 makes it easier to join clubs and organisations, to get to know people and become part of the community. The city’s sporting facilities include a superb golf course, tennis clubs, outdoor and indoor (heated) swimming pools, gymnasiums, and sailing, bushwalking, orienteering and canoeing clubs; there are also lots of local sporting teams to participate in (or watch from the sideline!). Football (also called ‘soccer’ in Australia), cricket, hockey, rugby, golf, swimming and athletics among numerous other sports are always happening around the city.
Undoubtedly Armidale’s greatest natural asset is its proximity to some of the State’s most magnificent National Parks, including Warrabah, Cathedral Rock, Guy Fawkes River, Oxley Wild Rivers and New England. Many students find a weekend getaway to one of these nearby national parks an ideal escape from the pressures of study. Armidale is only a two-hour drive from the coastal city of Coffs Harbour and the beaches of the north coast of NSW.
Known as the cultural and educational centre of the north, Armidale is proud of The New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM), which houses two major art collections of over 1,200 works, including paintings by famous Australian artists Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton. Theatre also plays an active part in Armidale life and local theatre companies also offer plays on a regular basis. The Armidale Orchestra, Jazz Band, Armidale City Band and the Youth Orchestra hold regular concerts and a variety of local and imported rock and dance bands regularly perform at venues across the city. Armidale has many clubs and hotels where people of all ages and nat ional i t ies congregate to socialise and listen to music, dance the night away or kick back and relax – which is especially good outdoors on a warm summer night!
Transport links to Armidale are excellent, with daily flights operating to and from Sydney (serviced by QantasLink). The rail line provides fast train connections to Sydney; and several major bus companies operate regular services from Armidale to Sydney and Brisbane. The New England Highway is an excellent roadway providing a good link for motorists between Brisbane and Sydney. Other highways connect the region to the coast and the major centres in the State’s north-west. In Armidale itself, there is a regular bus service between major points within the city, including regular trips between the city centre and the university, as well as surrounding towns.