19 Nov Reasons to live and work in Newcastle, NSW
The epicentre of the Hunter and just two hours outside of Sydney, Newcastle offers coastal living without the congestion of a capital city. We’ve tapped into our local knowledge and collated some compelling reasons to live and work in Newcastle, NSW.
Let’s start with the obvious:
1. Proximity to the beach
Whether you’re based in the centre of Newcastle or choose a slower pace in nearby Maitland or by Lake Macquarie, you’ll be in shooting distance to a beach. Wherever you pitch, expect approximately a 30-minute drive before you’re toe-in-sand. And Newcastle boasts some impressive shores: Nobbys beach, Merewether Beach and Newcastle Beach.
2. Less traffic
With an almost guaranteed 30-minute commute whichever way you travel, peak hour is no longer something to be feared. In open discussions with both clients and candidates, the general consensus is there is remarkably less traffic than in cities like Sydney or Melbourne. It’s also entirely possible to find a park in the city centre (with an approximate day rate around $10).
The City of Newcastle also run a number of local area traffic management projects and pedestrian improvement projects. Both are designed to improve liveability, safety and decrease congestion.
3. Find balance and room for activities
As most travel sites will tell you, Newcastle is perfectly positioned to enjoy the beaches on the coast and the wineries in the Hunter Valley. In addition, you’re less than hour to Port Stephens which boasts Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Anna Bay. If an animal experience is of interest, Blackbutt Nature Reserve and the Hunter Valley Zoo are perfect family-friendly spots for a day out. Stockton Sand Dunes (and a camel ride) are a must, as well as a visit to the Bogey Hole and a coffee-stop on Darby Street.
4. All of the amenities with a community feel
A top reason to live and work in Newcastle, NSW is that it is big enough to have everything you need, but not too large that it loses the community feeling. There’s McDonald Jones Stadium for big sporting events, Fort Scratchley for events and the Civic Theatre for performance. But there’s also a huge push to support local. During the pandemic a number of businesses (including Monica Clare Recruitment) rallied to create HelpHunter, a care collective run by locals for locals.
5. The University of Newcastle, NSW
Newcastle is one of the few locations outside of our capital cities that have a university. For families, it means there are clear local education pathways as your children age. It also provides the opportunity to further your education by starting another degree like a Master of Business Administration. The University of Newcastle ranks in the top 200 universities in the world and is top 8 in Australia for research.
If education isn’t of interest, you will definitely still appreciate the culture and community a university provides. (No, not the uni bar.) They regularly host dynamic speakers across disciplines, debating world issues or presenting on the latest research. Their facilities are top-class and also available to rent.
6. Cost of living
Rent prices are 30 per cent lower than those in Sydney. If you’re looking to buy, the price per square metre for an apartment in the city centre is 47 per cent lower than Sydney. If you decide to buy outside of the city centre, it’s over 50 per cent lower. It’s a no-brainer: it’s cheaper to live in Newcastle.
Need a few more reasons to live and work in Newcastle, NSW? Enjoy lower prices on childcare, fitness passes, taxis, transport and most groceries. In most professions, there will be a marginal pay cut when compared with salaries in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, but you’ll be cutting costs in most other areas of your life too.
Lesser known reasons to live and work in Newcastle, NSW
Did you know, 20 per cent of our office were born outside of Newcastle? That means a significant portion of our office became Novocastrian by choice. We think that says something pretty special about the city.
There’s more to Newcastle than its proximity to the beach:
1. Negotiating power
This is a growing city and certain skills are in high demand. With more clients requesting your services, you’ll be granted greater negotiating power to stipulate the benefits that will mean the most to you. Practiced Accountants and Payroll Officers are particularly in high demand in the region.
2. Work life balance
If flexible working conditions are something important to you, you’re also in luck. Novocastrian businesses are mostly very supportive of WFH arrangements, additional paid parental leave or adjusting work hours to those that are more family friendly.
3. Think global, live local
Newcastle is home to many national companies: ARTC, RAAF, Downer, Glencore, Ausgrid and Arrium. You’ll also find international giants like Toshiba, GHD and Jacobs Engineering Group based in the region. It really goes to show, you don’t have to be based in a capital city to be amongst the action.
4. Join a smart city
In 2017, Newcastle made a commitment to be a smart and sustainable city by 2030. At the core of the commitment is the belief that technology and digitisation can remove barriers and create opportunity, propelling the community forward. As part of this strategy, there’s investment in green economy, infrastructure to connect the city and create environments that add to the lifestyle already provided in Newcastle.
5. Thriving art scene
The final lesser known reason to live and work in Newcastle, NSW? It’s not just forward-thinking in the tech space but has a bustling art scene as well. Newcastle boasts the highest number of artists per capita in any city in Australia. Take a stroll in the city centre, and you won’t be dwarfed by sterile office buildings. Instead, you’ll find a vibrant café culture and rotation of commissioned murals to colour the space. There is the Newcastle Art Gallery as well as creative hubs like The Creator Incubator which feature industrial design, jewellery making, painting, stone masonry and sculpture.