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Finding Accommodation while studying at CQUniversity Mackay

Which Accommodation Option is right for you?

Accommodation options include:

  • Shared housing – if you already have friends who are also studying in Australia, sharing a house or apartment may be an option.
  • Private rental – you can rent a house, apartment or studio through a real estate agent or private landlord.
  • Student Accommodation (on-campus and off-campus) – student accommodation is a popular accommodation option because they often offer a social atmosphere through organised social activities for residents. Some student accommodation providers offer meals, others provide kitchen facilities for self-catering.    Communal areas commonly include lounge, bathroom, kitchen and laundry facilities. Utilities such as gas and electricity are often included in the overall cost. * Homestay – homestay accommodation aims to provide students with a family-like environment with utility costs included and the option    of meals at an extra cost. This is often a good option if this is your first time living away from home.

There are also many hotels and motels where you may like to stay temporarily while looking for ongoing accommodation.

Each accommodation option offers different benefits and costs.  Rental prices will vary depending on which suburb you want to live in, the condition of the property and rental option you choose.

Please consider the following questions/suggestions when choosing your accommodation.

Accommodation checklist

  • CQUniversity has two campuses in Mackay, look for accommodation close to your campus.
  • How will you get to campus? If you live off-campus, consider accommodation within walking distance or near bus stops.
  • Will you look for part time work? Think of where you will look for work and how you will get to your workplace.
  • Will you need to connect utilities? If you rent a whole vacant property, you will need to do so.
  • Is the accommodation close to supermarkets or shopping centres?
Type of Accommodation
  • Can you afford to live alone or do you want to share with others?
  • If you are considering shared accommodation, who do you want to live with? (males/females, student/working people, etc.)
  • Are you just looking for accommodation for yourself, or yourself and other students too?  If you are looking for accommodation with a friend, whole vacant properties might suit your needs.
  • What kind of space are you looking for? The layout of the house/flat etc. is important, particularly if you are sharing with others.
  • Do you want to have your own room?
  • Do you need a quiet place for study, strong light for design drawings, access to a computer, an area to practice musical instruments?
  • Are you willing to share bathroom and kitchen facilities? If not, a one bedroom apartment may be your only option. These can prove expensive.
  • Do you want meals provided? If so, do you have any special dietary requirements, such as vegetarian, halal or kosher food?
Legal questions
  • How long do you require accommodation for? If it is for less than six months you will probably have difficulty gaining a lease on a whole vacant property. You may need to look at a room in a family home or share accommodation.
  • Are you willing to sign a lease? If not, your options are limited to full board, rooms in family homes and some share accommodation.
  • If your name is on a utility bill (e.g. electricity, phone, gas) you are legally responsible for its payment. It is advisable to ensure all co-tenants share the responsibility and have their names on all the bills.
  • How much is the bond and rent in advance?
  • How much is the rent?
  • How much does it cost to connect the utilities such as electricity, gas and telephone?
  • Will you need furniture?
Helpful tips when choosing your accommodation
  • Share accommodation is a less expensive alternative. In regards to share accommodation you usually move into an already established house. This often means living with people you don't know, which can be a little strange at first, but it is a great way to make new friends. Connection fees are already    paid and the rest of the house is usually furnished.
  • When inquiring about shared households ask about things such as sharing of food and cooking, smoking, parties and noise, pets, small children, family and friends/partners.
  • In Mackay you can expect to pay between AU$100 – AU$150 per week for a shared room in a house (excluding utilities).
  • If you choose to live off-campus, most students want to live within walking distance of the campus but this is not always possible and is usually determined by availability and cost. When searching for accommodation use Google maps and Mackay Transit Journey Planner to determine how far you will be from the campus and the public transport available.
  • Make sure there is an affordable form of heating for the cold winter months.
  • It is highly recommended that you sign the lease even when you are sharing with your friends. If you run into difficulty with rental accommodation, you have little protection without a lease.
  • Standard leases, condition reports and other tenancy information are available at the Rental Tenancies Authority.
Choosing your roommate

The task of choosing a roommate needs to be taken very seriously. The person or persons with whom you decide to live can affect the quality and productiveness of your international student experience in Australia.

  • Do you and your roommates expect to share the costs of buying toilet paper, washing powder for clothes and dishes, cleaning supplies, etc. which is used by everyone?
  • What does the rental price cover? Does it include utilities, or are they split equally when the accounts are due? Who will pay them and how will you all know they have been paid?
  • A small notebook which is signed by everyone who hands over their share of the costs and signed by the person the money is given to, is a good idea.
  • Do you and your roommates expect to share the costs of buying food and share in the preparation?
  • Do you have specific food needs (allergies, preparation needs)? If your needs are for halal and your roommates are not, can you agree on respecting and upholding each other’s needs?
  • What is the household arrangement?
  • How much privacy do you need? What hours do you and your roommate usually sleep, study or socialise?
  • Do you prefer to have a smoker or non-smoker as a roommate?
  • Clarify your stance on the use of alcohol and/or illicit substances.
  • What about overnight visitors?
  • When conflicts arise, how do you go about resolving them?
  • Please keep in mind that not everyone can be trusted! Follow your instincts and do not room with someone you do not trust.

Where to live?

CQUniversity has two campuses located in Mackay. Mackay City campus is located on Sydney Street, Mackay and Ooralea campus is located on Boundary Road, Ooralea.


If you are studying at the Ooralea campus, you may want to look at accommodation located along Nebo Road, West Mackay.

Mackay City

If you are studying at the Mackay City campus, Mackay Information Centre can provide a selection of accommodation to choose from for both campuses.

Tel: +61 7 4944 5888

Links to Accommodation Options

Student Accommodation in Mackay

Hostel in Mackay

Homestay links for Mackay

Choosing your accommodation is an important step in your transition to studying at CQUniversity Mackay.  After you have accepted your place in your course, you should begin by preparing a budget and identifying what type of accommodation will best suit your needs.  Choosing the right type  of housing can be challenging, and each option is worth investigating fully before signing a lease agreement or paying any money. Take time to explore all options!

Links to Private Rental Properties in Mackay

  • Domain – Domain’s website is part of Fairfax media, and offers up-to-date listings on real estate for sale and rent.
  • Gumtree - is an online classifieds and community website that lists everything from rental properties, to jobs, and much more.

Other Useful Links

The Residential Tenancies Authority aims to inform and educate tenants about their rights. They provide advice and assistance for tenants of private and public residential properties, and residents of rooming houses in Queensland, Australia.