Australia’s Hippest Universities Ranked By Their Microburbs

So you’ve decided to go to uni but not sure which uni will have a great student life to accompany your degree. You also want to live in an area that is affordable but isn’t boring. On top of all that, you want your uni to have a good academic ranking.
Using the Microburbs ‘Hip’ score, we’ve found the Universities in Australia that have great ethnic diversity, are easy to cycle to, have plenty of young singles and plenty of good cafes, pubs and bars. We’ve put our 5 favourites from the list that will be useful for uni students and investors. The full top 10 is at the bottom. Whilst there are 43 universities in Australia, we’ve focused our list on regional unis as well as some of the ‘group of eight’.

5. Southern Cross University (Lismore Campus):

Hip Score 8 / Rent from $160 per week /Australian Uni Rank 23rd
Lismore is just a 40 minute bus to Australia’s most hyped regional sin city Nimbin and 44 minute bus to the world famous Byron Bay; two of the most ‘go to’ tourist destinations in regional Australia. Lismore itself does boast a surprising amount to do, including access to 30 different restaurants, the regional art gallery and the heritage listed rainforest.

4. Griffith University (Gold Coast Campus)

Hip Score 7 / Rent from $130 per week /Australian Uni Rank 16th
With just a 15 minute drive to both Main Beach and Surfers Paradise, you can explore everything that Australia’s 6th largest city has to offer from the theme parks, nightlife, huge beaches and plenty of young, friendly European tourists to mingle with.
Whilst many students live on campus, the north-eastern side of Parkwood is also popular with a hip score of 7/10.

3. University of Newcastle

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Hip Score 8.5 / Rent from $120 per week / Australian Uni Rank 13th

Located 12km from Newcastle city centre, UoN is a popular second choice for aspiring medicine students from Sydney. Newcastle city itself has a hip score of 8/10 and is well known for Nobby’s beach, the vivid nightlife but also the Newcastle night markets which feature street foods, craft beers and artisan foods. Near the beach and around train stations is most popular for student accommodation which have a hip score touching 8.5/10

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Other popular suburbs for students include Birmingham Gardens, Jesmond and Warratah West which have an average hip score of 7/10.

2. University of Sydney

Hip Score 10 / Rent from $130 a week / Australian Uni Rank 3rd

The oldest university in Australia is conveniently placed in the city’s inner west; a cultural hub of underground music venues, Newtown night markets, good food and wine festival plus the occasional do-it-yourself Cafe.

Some have criticised Sydney’s recent lockout laws for having had a dampening effect on Sydney’s nightlife. However, this hasn’t stopped vast amount of international music acts regularly coming to perform in the venues like the Enmore Theatre, Oxford Art Factory and much more.

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The top suburbs for students include Camperdown, Newtown, Chippendale, Surry Hills & Ultimo which have an average hip score of 10/10.

1. University of Melbourne

Hip Score 10 / Rent from $150 per week /Australian Uni Rank 2nd

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Melbourne just takes the top spot after Sydney with a higher hip score and an even better academic reputation. What Melbourne lacks in harbour bridges and opera houses is made up for in laneways and trams, 24 hour nightlife and no lockout laws which make it a great playground for uni students.

Fitzroy (pictured above) was recently named one of the world’s most hipster suburbs and is located just 5 minutes from the uni.

Microburbs founder and lead analyst Luke Metcalfe says “Melbourne is the clear leader among Australian cities for hip score. Sydney may have a strong cluster of very hip suburbs, but when the city is considered overall, Melbourne scores higher.” Australia’s #2 university in the heart of Australia’s hippest city, all with reasonable rents makes the University of Melbourne our hip uni winner.

The full list of the top 10 is below:

 

Rank University Australian Ranking Hip Score Lowest Rent
10. University of Tasmania 19th 7/10 $160 per week
9. The University of Western Australia 7th 7/10 $190 per week
8. Southern Cross University (Lismore Campus) 23rd 8/10 $160 per week
7. University of New England (Tamworth) 29th 8/10 $175 per week
6. University of New South Wales 4th 8/10 $150 per week
5. University of Newcastle 13th 8.5/10 $120 per week
4. University of Adelaide 8th 9/10 $150 per week
3. University of Sydney/UTS 3rd/9th 10/10 $130 per week
2. RMIT (Melbourne) 14th 10/10 $150 per week
1. University of Melbourne 2nd 10/10 $150 per week

Sources:
http://www.australianuniversities.com.au/rankings/
http://goodeducation.com.au/queensland-regional-universities-are-top-performers/

You can find your uni’s hip score and Microburbs report now, just by searching here.

 
For press enquiries about this article, please call Microburbs Founder Luke Metcalfe on 0414 183 210.

Flight of the Funky – Escaping Sydney to find hip suburbs below the million dollar median

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our analysis of Sydney’s hippest suburbs, it’s that the inner city lifestyle doesn’t come cheap. That’s not the end of the world while you’re renting, but what happens when it’s time to buy? The bad news is that hip suburbs in the Sydney basin simply don’t come in under the city’s near million dollar median. The good news though, is that there are plenty of hip communities around the state if you know where to look. We’ve scoured NSW to find places with high hip scores and low house prices for those who might still need to visit Sydney on occasion. The results are a surprising mix of hip, happening and about-to-happen destinations.

5) Bellingen

Located just south of Coffs Harbour, this small town is ringed by a number of collectives and communes, and is the undoubted cultural hub of the Coffs Harbour region. As reflected in the relatively high house prices for such a remote town, funky people have been drawn from Sydney to Bellingen for over 40 years now. It’s not too late though, with the prices in Bellingen still trailing Byron Bay by a country mile. 

Median House Price: $510,000

Hip Score: 7

Hours Drive from Sydney: 6

4) Merimbula

Coastal Merimbula is a popular tourist destination and a beautiful town, featuring 2 large lagoon lakes and long picturesque beaches. Our analysis shows quite a strong showing of hip amenities like alternative therapies, cafes and restaurants and arts venues. There’s an annual winter jazz festival to show evidence of a local arts scene, but for now, Merimbula’s hipster potential is staying low key. All of our indicators show that this is a hipster powder-keg just waiting for a spark.

Median House Price: $431,000

Hip Score: 7

Hours Drive from Sydney: 6

 

3) Tamworth

Situated about halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, the New England town of Tamworth is a cultural hub of live music venues, art galleries and hand crafts. Combined with the low cost of living, it has all of the ingredients for a hipster’s paradise but for one factor – country music. Tamworth is famously the country music capital of Australia, and if your idea of hipness has to include progressive far-left politics, then Tamworth might not be your bag.

Median House Price: $342,000

Hip Score: 7

Hours Drive from Sydney: 5

 

2) Tighes Hill (Newcastle)

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Tighes Hill, along with neighbouring Islington and Carrington, is an old industrial area with heritage working class housing. Nestled between the CBD and the coast, Tighes Hill has a lot of residents who can cycle or walk to work or uni, and double the rate of creative professionals than the broader Newcastle area. Tighes Hill could be perfect for those who want the convenience and cultural diversity of Sydney’s inner suburbs, but at around half the price.

Median House Price: $565,000

Hip Score: 8

Hours Drive from Sydney: 2

1) Katoomba

This 19th Century resort-town in the Blue Mountains is still a major tourist attraction featuring the 3 Sisters Lookout and the Scenic World railway/skyway attractions. A long term shift from overnight and long stay tours to day trips has left the town rich in heritage buildings, but a little light on for tourists. This has set the scene for a burgeoning bohemian community, best observed at the annual Winter Magic solstice festival.

Median house price: $510,000

Hip Score: 8

Hours Drive from Sydney: 1.5

 
The tricky thing about hipster havens is that there are probably some great spots so underground that even we haven’t heard of them yet. You can use Microburbs to hunt for your own perfect area though. The Hip Score panel on all Microburbs reports breaks down the data behind the score. It also maps hip bars and restaurants in the area, with travel time, directions and ratings.

You can find your suburb’s hip score and Microburbs report now, just by searching here.

 
For press enquiries about this article, please call Microburbs Founder Luke Metcalfe on 0414 183 210.

Sydney’s Babycino Belt: Family Friendly Suburbs That Haven’t Lost Their Cool

So you have kids, or are planning some. They need great schools and safe places to play,  but you want to keep the vitality of places you’ve lived in your younger, freer days. You’re not ready to move to a typical suburban place just yet. You may now feel the urge to share with your childless friends how little sleep you’re getting and still feel solidarity even though their sleeplessness was very much by choice.

Is it possible to have it all? Can kids and parents all be happy in the one place? Of course you can, but how much is it going to cost you? I’ve mined our Microburbs data to find out, and present my top picks:

5. Rushcutters Bay

More than just a place to jog past hundreds of yachts, Rushcutters Bay is our eastside representative of Sydney’s fringe.

This exclusive suburb is 5 minutes walk from uber hip Kings Cross combined with access to Sydney’s east. It’s a halfway mark between gentrifying hipness on the west to the elite lifestyle of Darling Point to its east. A midpoint between star performer private schools SCEGGS and Ascham (both top 1%).

Just be careful with the young ones as mediocre performance in day cares might make a nanny a good option.

Family Score around Rushcutters Bay is shown here,  rising from middling (yellow) to high (green) in the east:

 

4. Bondi Beach

We’ve all been to Bondi and admired the brash culture of the East, where money meets backpackers, but have you considered raising a family there?

With a family score of 8 out of 10, your kids won’t want for surf and public gym equipment. Admittedly, Bondi Beach Public School doesn’t perform that great for its area with top 38% NAPLAN. But if you can afford to buy in Bondi, you may have the spare change to afford an excellent private school like Reddam House. For a mere $565,000 you could see your three children all the way through primary and high school. What price is too high for top 1% NAPLAN?

3. Neutral Bay

Our top performer north of the Bridge is Neutral Bay. For many it’s a drive-through suburb dominated by a single pub, but recent developments of small bars and funky cafes along Grosvenor St make Neutral Bay deserving of a second look.

It will not surprise many that Neutral Bay and St Mary’s public schools perform well. After all it’s an affluent area with parents who value their time so much, they only just live outside the city. But these schools perform really well – Netural Bay, St Mary’s Catholic and North Sydney boys and girls are all top 1%ers. Mind the day care costs though – they typically charge around $160 per day.

Also showing a strong performance are neighbouring Cammeray and Cremorne, which share their ample parks, playgrounds and sporting grounds.

2. Forest Lodge

Tucked away behind its more famous neighbour, Glebe, Forest Lodge is another suburb that resides at the top of our hip score list but still provides a very good lifestyle for families. With Forest Lodge in the top 10% for NAPLAN and St Brendans Catholic School at top 5%. Nearby Sydney Secondary college also performs well (top 8%).

4358974940_64bcb15229_b Unlike the Erskineville, Newtown, Camperdown troika, Forest Lodge stands alone at serving both families and hip people with neighbouring Glebe to its east serving hipsters and more spacious Annandale to its west providing for family.

1. Erskineville / Newtown / Camperdown

These neighbouring suburbs are all hip and serve families so well, we had to put them together for first place. Sydney’s Erskineville has a lively community with ample creative professionals, bountiful cafes and 20 art schools within 2km. Its dining options are also vast, courtesy of neighbouring Newtown. You could eat at a new Thai place every day for a fortnight.

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Family score typically doesn’t accompany hip score but this sought after suburb is definitely an exception. Erskineville public school gets top 8% in NAPLAN.

It’s not so great in terms of tranquillity though, having 9 times Sydney’s average population density. For a bit of space, look the sprawling Sydney Park at its southern tip, which makes for an excellent respite to densely packed inner city living.

Our Official Top 20

Rank Suburb Family Score Hip Score Median House Price 2016
1 Erskineville 8.2 8.9 $1,315,000
2 Camperdown 8.4 8.7 $1,352,500
3 Bondi 8.6 8.5 $2,555,000
4 Newtown 8.1 8.9 $1,301,000
5 Forest Lodge 8.4 8.6 $1,680,000
6 Centennial Park 8.9 8.1 $2,650,000
7 Wollstonecraft 9.3 7.7 $3,537,500
8 Neutral Bay 9.5 7.5 $1,750,000
9 Queenscliff 9.2 7.7 $1,610,000
10 Cammeray 9.7 7.1 $4,050,500
11 Stanmore 8.7 8.1 $1,570,500
12 Waverton 9.4 7.5 $4,750,000
13 Paddington 8.6 8.2 $1,700,000
14 Fairlight 9.6 7.2 $1,583,500
15 Bondi Beach 8 8.8 $2,990,000
16 Newtown 7.8 9 $1,301,000
17 Cremorne 9.5 7.3 $1,947,000
18 Rushcutters Bay 7.8 9 $2,562,500
19 Bronte 9.1 7.7 $3,010,000
20 North Bondi 8.9 7.9 $2,550,000

 

Microburbs Report – Family Score

The Family Score panel of each microburbs report includes the performance of all classes of local schools, along with catchment boundaries and travel times. For a limited time, we’re offering a comprehensive family scores report for all Australian suburbs, which we can send you instantly:

For press enquiries about this article, please call Microburbs Founder Luke Metcalfe on 0414 183 210.