Life in Armidale

Life in Armidale is peaceful, enjoyable and affordable. Set in the heart of the New England Tableland region of New South Wales, our primary campus is close to stunning Australian natural parks, waterfalls and wildlife habitats.

See kangaroos hop through the campus and enjoy the contrasting beauty of four distinct seasons.

Armidale is a multicultural town that welcomes students from over 80 nations. Study here if you want to experience a truly Australian lifestyle in one of the nation's most beautiful and tranquil cities.

Note: If you are coming to study at UNE Sydney campus, you can discover all Sydney has to offer on the official Sydney tourism website.

Things to see, eat and do in Armidale

There's a wide variety of food available in Armidale from many different cultures and traditions. In addition to mainstream grocery stores such as Woolworths and Coles, Armidale has international stores such as the Nepalese and Indian grocery shop.

All supermarkets stock a range of Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern and European ingredients, fresh fruit, vegetables and meat.

Our local restaurants and cafés serve food from:

  • China
  • Thailand
  • India
  • The Mediterranean
  • Europe

Armidale has a bustling day and nightlife. There are many other stores and cultural centres in our town, which will keep you entertained and relaxed when you are not studying, including:

  • Our boutique fairy shop, secondhand bookstores and local craft and antique stores
  • Eight museums and art galleries
  • local cafes which specialise in everything from gourmet morning coffees and chai lattes to bubble tea and modern Australian cuisine
  • Armidale Central shopping centre for all your trusted brands and high street favourites
  • Belgrave Cinema
  • The Armidale Sports and Recreation centre with its bowling, skating and indoor playground
  • Monckton Aquatic Centre, Armidale City Bowling Club and Armidale City Gymnastics Club for a healthy lifestyle
  • Dangar Falls in Dorrigo - set amongst local dairy farms
  • Wollomombi Falls - one of the highest falls in Australia!

For further inspiration and detailed information, visit the Armidale Tourism website.

Local business trading hours are generally 9 am - 5 pm on weekdays (Monday-Friday). However, certain stores extend their hours on Thursday for late night shopping (9 am - 9 pm).

On weekends (Saturday and Sunday), you will find many businesses have shorter trading hours. Yet, the town is usually busy with people visiting local cafes and going for walks with their family and friends.

Day trips and visiting further afield

Of course, Armidale is a small place in a big country. You don't have to go far from town to find an Aussie adventure. The train line runs from Central Coast through the Hunter and into the New England region.

Consider a day trip to Tamworth, the home of Australian country music and The Big Golden Guitar. Go horse riding and see a true blue Aussie rodeo. Or, go gem fossicking at Glenn Innes.

While there are plenty of waterfalls and rivers in Armidale and its surrounds, the nearest beach is quite a distance. Luckily, a direct flight will take you to Sydney in just over an hour. See one of Australia's largest cities and visit the popular Manly and Bondi beaches. In just under three hours by plane, you can also be in Australia's capital city, Canberra.

View local bus timetables or train and coach timetables.

Other aspects of life in Armidale

Armidale weather

Armidale has four distinct and delightful seasons. See our guide to seasonal temperatures and rainfall below so that you can pack appropriate clothing and accessories.

Armidale Temperatures 

Average temps (degrees Celsius)MaxMin

Armidale Rainfall

Average RainfallRain (mm)
Employment opportunities

Our local supermarkets, retailers, restaurants, cafés and rural industries provide casual and part-time employment opportunities for UNE students.

Student visas allow you to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during the trimester and full-time during official UNE breaks.

If you are staying here over the holidays, you will have an advantage over others looking for work, as many employers prefer to hire people who can continue to work during these periods.

Family life

Armidale is a fun, family-friendly community. We have plenty of parks, schools and activities on offer to suit family members of all ages.

If you plan to bring your family with you while you study, you need to prove that you can support them financially while they are in Australia. If your spouse would like to work here, they must consult the Department of Home Affairs to ensure they are eligible to work in Australia.

Your partner may also like to take English language training. Please contact the English Language Centre at UNE to find out what services and programs are available.

If you are travelling with your family, you need to consider the extra costs of accommodation, schooling, and childcare. Armidale has a range of quality education and childcare facilities. For further information, please visit the Welcome to Armidale - Education and Training website.


Our high-quality public, private and independent schools include:

Here's what you need to know if you are bringing your school-age children with you.

  • School-age dependents must attend school while in Australia.
  • You need to pay full-fees for your children's enrolment in either a Government or Non-Government School.
  • You must enquire about enrolling your children in school before leaving your home country. You need to pay a semester's fees in advance. Schools issue an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) so that you can get a visa for your children.
  • The Diplomatic Mission in your country can provide more information about getting your child into school in Australia, including costs and conditions.
  • You need to consider the distance you will need to travel from home to university. Also, think about what method of transport you will use to get your children to school. Read more about local transport on the NSW Government website.
Religious services

UNE appoints chaplains via the religious organisation to which they belong. The service offers international students the chance to:

  • Discuss the meaning and purpose in life
  • Find support in times of crisis
  • Pray, study and meditate

We have a mosque on campus which sells Halal food at different times during the week. We also provide prayer facilities for all Muslims, including Friday prayers. For more information, visit the Muslim@UNE web page.

Other religious organisations who have members or services in Armidale include:

  • Anglican
  • Bahá'í Faith
  • Baptist; Buddhist
  • Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints
  • Hindu
  • Lutheran
  • Presbyterian
  • Quakers
  • Roman Catholic
  • Salvation Army
  • Seventh-Day Adventist and Uniting Church.

Find more information on the chaplaincy web page.

Accommodation and living costs

Our lovely regional town offers a range of accommodation options for students, including fully catered lodging, boarding houses, share houses and private rentals. Read more about the cost and availability of accommodation.

We also publish up-to-date living costs, so you know how much you will need to buy a loaf of bread or connect to the internet. You will find that life in Armidale is more affordable than in the major cities of Australia.

Preparing for your move to UNE, Armidale? Check out our online pre-departure guide.