Secrets to finding a park at Callaghan

Students who regularly drive to Callaghan know the pain of finding a good parking spot on campus, or any spot for that matter. This especially rings true during those first few weeks of semester when it is busiest.

Now, as students get into the groove of their studies and seem to know when the perfect time is to rock up in their automobile, there are still a few secrets you might want to know when looking for that easy park.

To alleviate some of that parking angst, you might consider the following advice. You never know when these tips might come in handy (but, they will).

Get in early, or at the RIGHT time.

If you drive regularly to Callaghan, you might have noticed by now that once the clock hits 9am, you can say goodbye to the sweet feeling of finding a park within a five to 10-minute time frame. Arrive any later, and those precious 10 minutes can quickly turn into a 30-minute wait or more.

So, save yourself the trouble (and petrol!), and set your alarm to an earlier time in the morning. Better yet, if you only have afternoon classes, your chances of finding a park on campus increase significantly. Lucky you.

“But getting up early is easier said than done,” you say.

Well, if you have an aversion for early mornings, here is something you’ll want to know. Often people are leaving between 10 minutes before the hour and 15 minutes after e.g. 11:50 am – 12:15 pm. This 25 minute period is your window of opportunity to find a park; don’t waste it.

To park on campus, make sure you purchase a valid permit from Student Central, or buy a daily parking permit (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5:30pm). Outside of these times, parking is FREE!

And remember, always drive carefully and park legally on campus grounds. For example, don’t be rolling in on those nice-looking grass areas, or park in designated staff parking. It’s never worth the hefty fine, and it compromises the safety of you and other drivers.

Park off-campus.

Parking off-campus seems to be a divisive option for students. Some swear by it, others loathe it.

But the thing is, the amount of time you’d spend looking for a park is often longer than the walk from off-campus.

By parking in one of the many side streets surrounding Callaghan campus, not only do you save yourself some time, you also get a workout AND a free park. What’s not to love?

If you’re not too keen on the walking part, try parking near Stockland Jesmond and getting the bus in. Buses come fairly regularly so you’ll never have too long a wait either!

Switch to overflow mode.

Here’s another trade secret: to ease parking congestion on campus, Oval 5 (behind the Forum) usually operates as a overflow car park for the first few weeks of each semester.

Parking here is free and it means you can worry less about finding a park and more about studying! That’s a win-win, right?

Active-ate your travel.

There are alternatives to driving around in never-ending circles. Why not walk, cycle or catch a bus to uni instead? To reduce your carbon footprint, think about leaving the car at home altogether and explore active travel arrangements. Not only does it provide great health and financial benefits, but helps out the environment too. This is green thumb approved.

We’ve also got you covered if you’re catching the train or cycling to the University. There’s a free Shuttle Bus service on campus that operates regularly to and from Warabrook station, and there are two Bike Hubs (Shortland and Hunter) that offer storage racks, lockers and showers.

And, if you live close by, walking has many great benefits. It’s been proven that students who walk rather than drive to uni achieve a higher cognitive performance. If you’re not a ‘walker’ yet this could also be the way to kick start your fitness.

Get a lift-to-go.

Even better, go a step further (pun intended) and carpool!

It’s way easier than you think. Just get a group of friends together, put on your best playlist and suddenly the painful experience of finding a park is almost enjoyable.

If you don’t know anyone who would be interested in carpooling, the rideshare app for UON students, Liftango, connects passengers and drivers across a secure UON network and offers premium parking spots to those who use it.

Simply download the app and you could soon be doing your bit for the environment and saving yourself from the hassle of finding a convenient park.

No matter how you choose to travel – ride, drive or walk – the road is there for everyone to share. By following some simple rules, you can make travelling on the road and finding a good park less stressful.

For more information about parking at the University, including where to obtain a permit and costs, head here.


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