Life in Wollongong

With its diverse student population from around the world, Wollongong is more than just a place to study. It blends essential student amenities with unique local experiences. If you're considering Wollongong, here's what makes it an ideal student city.

Experience the Wollongong lifestyle

Wollongong showcases 17 beautiful beaches and a stunning escarpment, with a blend of natural wonder and city life. The bustling city centre is a hub for diverse restaurants and entertainment zones, offering something for everyone. Whether in Wollongong or the greater Illawarra region, you'll find endless opportunities for exploration and enjoyment.

Places to visit

Discover Wollongong's beautiful coastline, home to stunning beaches and serene rock pools. North Wollongong Beach is a favourite for its vibrant atmosphere, perfect for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. Perfect for a sunny day, visit Port Kembla Beach, known for its clean sand and clear waters. The Austinmer Rock Pool, nestled between cliffs, offers a picturesque swimming spot. Lastly, Stanwell Park Beach captivates visitors with its scenic beauty and relaxed vibe.

Start your day with a visit to the Wollongong Botanic Garden, a place where vibrant colours and a peaceful atmosphere are ideal for relaxation or a study break. For a blend of scenic beauty and engineering, the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge is a must-see. It offers breathtaking ocean views and a stunning coastal route, perfect for a drive or a leisurely walk. Bald Hill Lookout is next on the list, a popular spot for hang gliders and those who love the great outdoors. For an adrenaline rush, don't miss out on skydiving at Wollongong, an exhilarating way to take in the coastal views. And if you're keen on wildlife, Symbio Wildlife Park offers an up-close experience with koalas, showcasing the essence of Wollongong's diverse animal life.


Wollongong, a home away from home for students from across the world, is vibrant with arts and culture. At the Wollongong Art Gallery, you'll find a world of artistic expression that mirrors the city's diverse community. The HARS Aviation Museum offers an intriguing exploration into the history of aviation, captivating those interested in the marvels of flight. The Nan Tien Temple and the Sri Venkateswara Temple provide peaceful retreats, showcasing stunning architecture and rich cultural traditions. The Illawarra Performing Arts Centre (IPAC) is a hub for the performing arts, offering a variety of shows that bring the stage to life. In Wollongong, arts and culture enrich the student experience, offering endless opportunities for exploration and inspiration.

Offering a variety of activities that cater to every level of skill, Wollongong is the perfect place to start adventuring. For mountain biking aficionados, the Cringila Hills Mountain Bike Park provides thrilling trails set against stunning landscapes. Equestrian fans will enjoy the Darkes Forest Riding Ranch, offering horse riding experiences that blend adventure with the beauty of nature. Experience high-flying fun at Treetops Adventure Nowra, perfect for those seeking an exhilarating day out amidst the treetops. For cycling enthusiasts, Cycle Tours NSW provides guided tours that let you explore Wollongong's scenic routes on two wheels.

In Wollongong, it's all about finding your perfect spot to grab a bite or hang out after classes. The city's got a cool mix of restaurants, cafes, bars, and pubs that totally get the student vibe. Check out Eat Street Wollongong at Crown St. Markets for some awesome food choices. If you're up for something different, why not hit up places like Breakout Bar and Escape Rooms where you can solve puzzles and chill with friends? No matter what you're into, whether it's a laid-back meal or a fun night out, Wollongong's got you covered. For more, visit Destination Wollongong.

Wollongong's markets are where the student life gets real – and really fun. Check out the Georgia Rose Boutique Market for those unique items that scream 'you'. The Boutique Market Day at The Wentworth is your go-to for a chill day out with friends, browsing cool stuff. If you're a foodie, the First Friday Foodies Market is like hitting the jackpot – think awesome eats and local vibes. For a slice of community life, swing by the Albion Park Community Hub Market and the Bulli Village Market. In Wollongong, markets are the casual hangouts where you can shop, snack, and soak in the local scene – all in a day's adventure.

People and culture

Wollongong, set on Australia's scenic east coast, is renowned for its diversity and welcoming atmosphere, making it a perfect place for students. The city brims with a blend of languages, cuisines, religions, and customs, fostering a dynamic and inclusive environment.

Cultural events and festivals

Wollongong's cultural calendar is a vibrant showcase of global communities. Music festivals, cultural fairs, and art exhibitions throughout the year offer students the chance to immerse themselves in diverse cultural experiences and celebrate global traditions. You can also check out more about Art and Culture in Wollongong here.

Volunteer opportunities and community service 

For international students, volunteering is an excellent way to engage with the local community. Wollongong offers a range of volunteering options in areas like environmental conservation and community development, enabling students to make meaningful contributions and forge lasting connections. Discover volunteering opportunities at Wollongong City Council's volunteering page. 


Navigating Wollongong is straightforward, affordable, and secure. For journeys to the university campus or around the city, you have a variety of public transport options, including buses and trains that are part of the Opal network. Additionally, a FREE shuttle bus runs seven days a week, circulating through the city centre and outskirts, including the UOW campus.

Cycling is another popular mode of transport in Wollongong, supported by an extensive network of bike paths.

Driving in Wollongong is typically quick and hassle-free, especially compared to the more congested roads of Sydney and other major cities.

For more detailed information on transportation options, visit the UOW Transport page.

During university sessions, expect traffic and parking to be quite busy. Consider alternative travel methods such as buses, trains, cycling, or walking. UOW buses are specially scheduled for quick campus access during peak times. If driving is your only option, try carpooling to access free parking, or aim to arrive early to find a spot. Don't forget the free shuttle bus that runs daily, circling the city centre and campus perimeter.

For further details on transport and parking options, please visit the UOW Travel page.

Wollongong offers more than meets the eye

As Australia's 10th largest city, it's surrounded by various suburbs that provide excellent living options for students at the University of Wollongong. Whether you're from Australia or abroad, you'll find a community that fits your lifestyle and study needs.

Meet Antra

"Transitioning to life in Wollongong as an international student brought new experiences every day. At UOW College and UOW, I discovered a welcoming community, where making friends and learning about different cultures was part of daily life. My time in Wollongong has been filled with a sense of belonging that goes beyond just academics."

Read Antra's Story