The Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales and the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local government areas. It is the hub of the Greater Newcastle area which includes most parts of the local government areas of City of Newcastle, City of Lake Macquarie, City of Cessnock, City of Maitland and Port Stephens Council. Major drivers of the Newcastle economy are coal, copper, soap and steel. It is just a 2.5hr drive north from Sydney, and it boasts some pretty stunning beaches and nature reserves.
From hip bars and restaurants to huge shopping centres, it offers the convenience of city living without the hectic crowds and stressful traffic you’ll find in Sydney. This regional city is perfect for those who love city life with a little more peace and quiet and a more relaxed lifestyle The weather in Newcastle is pretty pleasant and mostly clear all year round. You can expect warm and humid summers, with a maximum temperature of 26°C. Winters are short and cool, and temperatures rarely drop below 7°C.
The city's main provider of tertiary education is the University of Newcastle. It was established in 1951 as a satellite campus of the University of New South Wales and obtained autonomy in 1965. The University now offers over 150 undergraduate and graduate courses to a student population of more than 38,000, including 7,000 international students from more than 113 countries. The main campus is in the suburb of Callaghan about 12 km (7 mi) from the CBD.