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  • Availability is mainly in the vacation periods (December-February and June-July), when students clear their rooms
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Self catering and bed & breakfast accommodation in Sydney's university colleges

Not just for students - anyone can book!

  • Amazing value B&B and self catering accommodation located in both heritage and modern university residences in central Sydney
  • Stylish, modern rooms available
  • A great value alternative to a Sydney hotel or hostel
  • A cheap way to stay close to all of Sydney's top attractions - the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach are both a stone's throw away.

Sydney Visitor information

Sydney is the largest and most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. It is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. The city is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson, commonly known as Sydney Harbour, which is the largest natural harbour in the world. The city’s two most iconic landmarks, the Sydney Opera House, designed by Danish Architect Jørn Utzon, and the Harbour Bridge, are located there. The hinterland of the metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and the coastal regions feature many bays, rivers, inlets and around 70 harbour and ocean beaches, including the famous Bondi Beach. The city is endowed with many natural areas: within the CBD are the Chinese Garden of Friendship, Hyde Park, The Domain and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Sydney has a reputation as an international centre for commerce, arts, fashion, culture, entertainment, music, education and tourism. It has hosted major international sporting events, including the 2000 Summer Olympics.

As the financial and economic hub of Australia, Sydney has grown to become a wealthy and prosperous city and hosts many different festivals and some of Australia's largest social and cultural events, like the Sydney Festival, the Big Day Out, a travelling rock-music festival, the Sydney Film Festival and Sculpture by the Sea, Australia's largest outdoor sculpture exhibit. Sydney's New Year's Eve and Australia Day celebrations are the largest in Australia. The National Institute of Dramatic Art in Kensington, boasts internationally famous alumni such as Mel Gibson and Cate Blanchett. Sydney's role in the film industry has increased since the opening of Fox Studios Australia in 1998. Prominent films which have been filmed in the city include Moulin Rouge!, Mission: Impossible II, Star Wars episodes II and III and The Matrix.

Sydney's most popular nightspots include Kings Cross, Oxford Street, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay and The Rocks, which all contain various bars, nightclubs and restaurants. There are also several popular museums, such as the Australian Museum of natural history and anthropology, the Powerhouse Museum of science, technology and design, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Australian National Maritime Museum. Other places worth visiting include the Luna Park Sydney, Sydney Tower, Sydney Aquarium, Taronga Zoo, and the Sydney Observatory.

Accommodation in Sydney’s residential colleges and halls

The University of Sydney, established in 1850, is Australia's oldest university and the largest in Sydney. Accommodation is provided by residential colleges located on and around the main campus in the city centre. Other universities in Sydney include the University of New South Wales and Macquarie University. It should be understood that these residences and colleges are designed primarily for students and not children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, they do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.

Getting around Sydney

Most Sydney residents travel by car through the system of roads, freeways and tollways (motorways). The most important trunk routes in the urban area are the nine Metroads, which include the Sydney Orbital Network. Trains run as suburban commuter rail services in the outer suburbs, then converge in an underground city loop service in the CBD. Sydney has one privately operated light rail line, Metro Light Rail, running from Central Station to Lilyfield along a former goods train line. The Metro Monorail runs in a loop around the main shopping district and Darling Harbour.

In the city and inner suburbs the state-owned Sydney Buses has a monopoly, but in the outer suburbs, service is contracted to many private bus companies. Sydney Ferries runs numerous commuter and tourist ferry services on Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River. Sydney Airport, in the suburb of Mascot in the south of the city, is Sydney's main airport, and is one of the oldest continually operated airports in the world.

History of Sydney

Carbon dating suggests that the Sydney region has been inhabited by indigenous peoples for at least 30,000 years. The traditional indigenous inhabitants of Sydney Cove are the Cadigal people, whose land once stretched from south of Port Jackson to Petersham. Approximately 4,000–8,000 Aboriginal people lived in the region prior to contact with British settlers.

In 1770, British sea Captain Lieutenant James Cook landed in Botany Bay on the Kurnell Peninsula. It is here that Cook made first contact with an Aboriginal community known as the Gweagal. Under instruction from the British government, a convict settlement was founded by Arthur Phillip, who arrived at Botany Bay with a fleet of 11 ships in 1788. This site was soon determined to be unsuitable for habitation, owing to poor soil and a lack of reliable fresh water and Phillip subsequently founded the colony one inlet further up the coast, at Sydney Cove on Port Jackson. He named it after the British Home Secretary, Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney, in recognition of his role in issuing the charter authorising Phillip to establish a colony.

However, in 1789, shortly after the arrival in Botany Bay of the French expedition led by La Perouse, a catastrophic epidemic disease (smallpox or possibly chicken pox) spread through the indigenous people, with the result that local Aborigines died in their thousands. There was violent resistance to British settlement and conflicts were common in the area surrounding the Hawkesbury River. Macquarie's tenure as Governor of New South Wales was a period when Sydney was improved from its basic beginnings; roads, bridges, wharves and public buildings were constructed by British and Irish convicts, and by 1822 the town had banks, markets and an organised constabulary.

The 1830s and 1840s were periods of urban development and the town grew rapidly when ships began arriving from Britain and Ireland with immigrants looking to start a new life in a new country. In 1842 the town was declared the first city in Australia, with John Hosking the first elected mayor. Rapid suburban development began in the last quarter of the 19th century with the advent of steam powered tramways and railways. The Great Depression hit Sydney badly, but this perios also saw the completion of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932. Sydney overtook Melbourne in population in the early years of the 20th century, and has remained the largest city in Australia since this time.

Reviews for Sydney

Based on 182 reviews

Loved staying here. Pity parking isn't a bit more well organised/available. Lack of air con could get awkward at the height of Summer! Breakfast is amazing. The dining hall is like eating at Hogwarts.

(Review Of St John's College, Camperdown, Sydney) St John's College, Camperdown, Sydney

Mandelbaum House was a very comfortable and quiet place to stay during the summer months. Exceptionally helpful and responsive office staff. Short walk to King Street shops and restaurants. Overall I'd definitely stay here again!

(Review Of Mandelbaum House, Darlington, Sydney) Mandelbaum House, Darlington, Sydney

The best stay in Sydney of my whole Australia trip. It felt like staying in Hogwarts. All people were so friendly. Perfect in the middle of the city I could reach everything by foot. For New Years Eve its a perfect stay because you don't have a minimun stay. Would ever come back again!

(Review Of St Andrew's College, Sydney) St Andrew's College, Sydney

Very comfortable with good facilities and access to CBD. Welcoming environment. Room perfect with everything needed. Extra bedding provided on request and room very clean. Has been well serviced during the stay. Bed and pillow very clean and comfortable. Slightly noisy as close to a main road but outweighed by the positive. Highly recommended.

(Review Of Robert Menzies College, Macquarie Park, Sydney) Robert Menzies College, Macquarie Park, Sydney

Had a great stay, reminded us of our university time, room was basic, but big and clean, shared bathrooms with laundry facilities (washing/drying each $2), safe and lively neighbourhood with heaps of bars and restaurants, train station is a 10 min walk. Perfect for our stay over NYE!

(Review Of St Andrew's College, Sydney) St Andrew's College, Sydney

We were 3 adults staying in St Andrews . It was very near the airport and Newtown was a buzzing area with lots of restaurants and bars . Bus and train service into Sydney CBD was only a few minutes walk from the college. We really enjoyed our stay. The breakfast was excellent the room were clean with high ceilings so it was not to hot and we didn't need a/c.

(Review Of St Andrew's College, Sydney) St Andrew's College, Sydney

The ground floor room had no view because of a very tall hedge, and a footpath immediately outside meant there was no privacy unless the blind was down. A room on an upper floor with views and better privacy would have been preferred. That being said I had a great stay and have recommended it to my colleagues.

(Review Of Sancta Sophia College, Camperdown, Sydney (Off-Peak)) Sancta Sophia College, Camperdown, Sydney (Off-Peak)

Great stay at St Andrew's College. Reception friendly and helpful Room.clean and comfortable, and a good size WiFi fast Location convenient for Newtown and trains to Sydney. Fantastic opportunity to support the university,

(Review Of St Andrew's College, Sydney) St Andrew's College, Sydney

It took multiple goes to get the booking done online, I almost gave up! While the room was nice it wasn't as clean as first thought. Students didn't consider other guests making noise in the corridor after 10pm. But I do understand they are young! I would recommend to friends

(Review Of Sancta Sophia College, Camperdown, Sydney (Off-Peak)) Sancta Sophia College, Camperdown, Sydney (Off-Peak)
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