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Campus crash course

2 March 2017
Where to relax and lunch at Uni

From bars to lawns, there’s plenty of places to kick back on campus. Our travel guide gives you the low-down.  

The University is huge – especially when you first arrive. Main campus alone is practically its own suburb nestled between Camperdown and Darlington, complete with its own postcode (2006, represent). Finding your classes can be tough enough – but where can you go in-between?

1. Manning Bar

Sitting atop Manning House, the famous bar is a haven for students taking a break. You’ll find plenty of pub-fun like trivia, live music and Theatresports. It also boasts a top-tier balcony with prime rooftop views of the Quad glistening in the sunlight.

Most likely to encounter

Home to the USU, Manning Bar attracts plenty of club and society gatherings. Watch out or you might just get recruited. At night you’ll find crowds of music lovers revelling at one of the many gigs held throughout the year.

2. Cadigal Green

Perfectly situated on the walk from Redfern Station, Cadigal Green (aka Maze Green) is a great spot to soak up some sunshine. Though you might have good intentions, the banana lounges will almost always have you drifting off to sleep rather than looking over your notes. Try listening to a podcast instead.

Most likely to encounter

Local ibises rule these parts. The leafy surrounds of Maze Green attract plenty of bird life, so hide your lunch if you intend on a nap. You’ll also find a number of solo students studying quietly, enjoying the tranquil views of the Old School Building.

3. Law Lawns

Right in the heart of main campus, the Law Lawns are the perfect place to perch to people-watch the endless procession of students and staff up and down Eastern Avenue. Between the weekly markets and the FUNCH events hosted by the USU there’s always some entertainment to burn through the time between classes.

Most likely to encounter

Given its central location, you’ll find many clubs, societies and individuals doing their thing. On any given day you can expect bake sales to raise money for state championships, artists showcasing their works or passionate activists out to make change; right here is beating heart of the University.

4. Courtyard Bar and Restaurant

The pride of the Holme Building, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d wandered off campus and found yourself at a Scandinavian-inspired inner west café. Courtyard is bright, airy and colourful making it a perfect contrasting retreat from dark lecture theatres, with a top lunch menu to boot. Try the pizza.

Most likely to encounter

With its long bench tops, Courtyard is a great place to strike up a random conversation. You’ll probably run into a group of students from one of your classes or staff members from the northernmost edge of campus.

5. Victoria Park

The University’s unofficial park, Victoria Park is another tranquil place to take it easy throughout the day and feed some ducks (and eels). If you’ve packed your swimmers you could go for a dip at the outdoor pool, but most will find a spot under one of the many huge shady trees to picnic. If you do feel like getting active though, there’s ample space for kicking a ball or tossing a frisbee.

Most likely to encounter

Lots of locals take their pups on their mid-morning walk. You might also catch some fitspiration from dedicated boot-campers exercising their hearts out. On a lucky day, you might even see crews of Engineering students practising their surveying skills (that’s what those big yellow tripods are for).

6. International Student Lounge

Hidden away on Level 4 of the Wentworth Building, this is a great indoor spot to go if you (or your mum) packed your lunch. There are microwaves to heat up your food and tables, chairs and beanbags aplenty to help get you comfy. It’s a relaxed environment in the lounge with a mixture of students studying and socialising.

Most likely to encounter

You’ll be sure to spot some students huddled around tables sorting out group assignments as the International Student Lounge is regular meeting point. It’s also where you’ll find the campus pool sharks sinking balls between classes.

7. Hermann’s Grass

Perhaps the epicentre of the Darlington side of main campus, Hermann’s is a smaller, more intimate watering hole than Manning. The grass outside the bar is great for a quick picnic, serviced by a plethora of eateries just inside Wentworth’s doors.

Most likely to encounter

It tends to be larger than life on a Thursday afternoon when engineering and business students flock to unwind after class, and clubs and societies gather.

8. Charles Perkins Centre walkways

The pathway that parts the ovals right outside the Charles Perkins Centre is another scenic spot on campus. It’s quiet and relaxing making it a wonderful outdoor spot to get some work done amongst towering, shady gum trees. With Ralph’s Cafe only a stone’s throw away, there’s coffee at your fingertips and if you’re lucky, you might catch some live sport on one of the ovals, home to the Uni’s rugby, soccer, cricket and AFL teams.  

Most likely to encounter 

One of the Uni’s canine celebrities, Sally the Blue Heeler, lives by the old groundskeeper’s cottage along the walkway. She happily greets all passers-by with a wag of the tail, so say hi if you see her. You might also get to see some elite athletes being put through their paces in a training session on the ovals.  

9. Engineering Link Lawn

Nestled between the engineering buildings on the Camperdown side of the University, Link Lawn is the chill out zone for our more ‘left side of the brain’ thinkers. With plenty of sun and BBQ facilities, it’s the perfect spot  for cramming, recharging and socialising. For the more zen-focused students, there’s a rock garden surrounded by palm trees only a few meters away.

Most likely to encounter

Keep an eye out for our resident robots, RIPPA and Ladybird, as they show off their navigational skills on the lawn. You’ll also see engineering and IT students setting up mass battery recharge stations on the communal tables.

10. The Depot (Cumberland Campus) 

The Depot is your one-stop-shop for all your snacks and drinks but the coolest thing they do is supply colourful beanbags. All you need to do is show your student card and you can be relaxing under the trees on the lawns in a large comfy beanbag. And the best part is, it's free. 

Most likely to encounter 

The lawns near The Depot is a central location so you're bound to run into your classmates relaxing and having lunch.  Cumberland Campus is small and friendly, so after a while everyone will be a familiar face.