Where to live in Sydney?

July 21, 2006

I won’t go into the personal side of this, but I’m tossing up moving back to Sydney in the next couple of months. It’s the town I grew up in, but a town I left at the age of 21. For those of you outside of Australia, Sydney is as close as we get in Australia to New York, it’s a big city, indeed massive in size, it’s area is bigger (so I one heard) than great London, and from other reports its in the biggest cities on the planet, can’t remember whether it’s top 10 of top 20, but I often see it in the top 10. Population is something like 4.5 million people, and if you go out a little further still, add at least 1 million to that..but being an Australian city a lot of it is suburban sprawl, kilometers upon kms of houses as far as the eye can see really, as a now outsider I still find it amazing that Sydneysiders live in places like Camden and Richmond, when I was a kid these were country towns! but having said that I can remember when I worked in the CBD at Bankers Trust (or wankers trust as many employees use to call it) and I can remember being shocked (as were others) that some of my work colleagues commuted from places such as Wollongong and the Central Coast! And some people thought my Shire trip was long!

The interesting thing for me, is that I was raised a Shire boy. Spent 18 of my 21 years growing up in the Sutherland Shire. I can still remember it well, it was a wonderful place to grow up… but do I want to live there again? when I was still in Sydney, I spent a little time staying with friends in places such as Lane Cove, which was cool, and other places on the North Shore, as well as some inner West places. Question is, where to move to if I move back to Sydney? I’m thinking CBD/ Redfern/ Newtown and that sort of area, just so I’m close to everything (and of course so I can finally set up a blog meetup in Sydney!). Any Sydneysiders care to share their thoughts?

18 responses to Where to live in Sydney?

  1. I vote for the lower north shore (Crows Nest, Kirribilli, Neutral Bay, Waverton, Wollstonecraft, Artarmon etc) – I’m a bit biased because North Sydney was home for eight years. Family-friendly, lots of shops, restaurants and parks, close to the city, on the train/ferry line, and strangely affordable when compared to recent WA prices(!)

    Will you come up for one more Perth bloggers meetup before deciding/moving on?

  2. I’ll vote for the Eastern Suburbs 🙂

    It’s actually quite affordable from Bondi Junction to Maroubra. Very multi-culture. Very energetic. Lots of things going on and lots of things to blog about.

  3. What’s the reason for moving Duncan, I thought you were happy where you are?!??!

    We’ll I’m in Sydney and would love a meetup if you venture across this way. But then I’m out west, near the Castle Hill area so it’s no where near the Shire or so forth 🙂

    Let me know if you decide to have a meet up.

  4. i live on the northern beaches which I think is a great area for families but culturally its pretty much a desert, of course. Its not called the insular peninsular for no reason. People live here all there lives. But I live a few streets from a national park and I love that.
    Its handy to my office in Neutral Bay. I grew up in Riverwood, in the Hurstville area, southwest of Sydney. I wouldn’t recommend it if you can afford not to. Though it is the home of the might St George dragons
    I lived on the beach in Cronulla with my family for a few years in a house that can be glimpsed in the closing scene of puberty blues but has long since been demolished for another tower of ugly units (as they are romantically described in this part of the world). I’d avoid the shire at all costs – I find it a bit creepy these days (its even more insular then the northern beaches in my view)
    I lived for a few years in darlinghurst, chippendale and glebe when at uni and the years after and I loved it. Though the burgalaries, rising damp, and the punk rock band next door all got on my nerves in a big way after my first child was born. I could be tempted to live in the inner-city again but in modern accomodation – I’m way over rennovation.
    Its all about the stage of life you’re at. I like being reasonnably close to the city (outside of peak hour its a 30 -40 min drive from here) and I love the quiet and birds etc and the walks in the bush.
    If I had more money I’d live on the lower north shore – though I hate the whole sailing and ladies who lunch vibe in Mosman.
    The eastern suburbs is too pooncy and too crowded for me.

  5. Didn’t you know New York is a suburb of Syndey separated by a few miles???

  6. This next post was obviously made while I was drunk.

  7. Newtown, Darlinghurst, Camperdown & Surry Hills all quite funky and close to the city. Can get a bit grotty though.

    North Shore is always pleasant but doesn’t have the same vibrant feel that the inner city suburbs have.

    Inner east might be a good mix if you want close to the city but a little more comfortable. Rushcutters Bay, Woollahra etc

    Shire and beaches, too far out.

    Personally, I like around McMahons Point on the North Shore. Cafe’s, good restaurants and a ferry to the city.

  8. Grew up in the easterns suburbs – Coogee, Clovelly – have lived in the then posher eastern suburbs, Rose Bay, Edgecliff, also lower north shore, Cremorne, Neutral Bay, then for a lot of years, to my surprise and the astonishment of friends and family I moved to the inner west(love conquers all) and actually came to enjoy living there – Lilyfield and Balmain. I’m out of the Smoke now but if I had to go back it would be Balmain, for people (ok, too many urban tanks and a few too many people north shore blow-ins who want to take over, but still some beaut people around), also and especially convenience and lifestyle. And surprisingly there are actually quiet, peaceful places – but do try and find a place with a garage (you know that in Balmain people park, illegally or not, on the footpath and it’s a bore). Even to rent if the ridiculous house prices are a deterrent. The ferry and bus services are great and you only have to use a car to go to odd places like the Shire. And you can walk to where you can watch the fireworks without getting stomped on.

  9. Hey everyone, and thanks for your comments.
    Jon Y, yes, August meetup absolutely.
    For others, sure, I was happy living here, in my relationship, but I’m afraid all is not well on that front, hence the move to Sydney.
    Hence, If I’ve got to move somewhere, Sydney it is. I tossed up Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, Byron is too expensive and as much as I’m impressed with the Gold Coast, it’s a little to remote for me, hence it’s Sydney.
    I might still toss up the lower North Shore or the Eastern Suburbs, but looking at the listings I can find a nice, furnished flat close to the CBB, the Goldsbourough building (I probably misspelt that) is looking good, $300 a week is about where I’m at. I’d like to be fairly central, hence why the Shire was off limits this time.

    Jamsi, big blog meetup will happen!

  10. Goldsborough is certainly central and you can walk into the city across the Darling Harbour park area. I wouldn’t want to be in one of the apartments right alongside the freeway, but I suppose there are always earplugs 🙂

  11. Well Shit if you don’t get your ass over to my contintent maybe i should get my drunk ass over to yours.

  12. With your budget, probably a lot of North Shore and Eastern suburbs places are out.

    You can probably still find something in Balmain that isn’t too much of a walk from the ferry?

    What about share accomodation? Get yourself a nice terrace in Surry Hills for example.

  13. Surry Hills is a posibility, but I can get closer to the CBD for similar money, and if I’ve got to make the move (which I probably must…won’t go into that here) I will.

  14. No worries. Hope it all goes ok for you!

  15. I might yet do it, I read in the paper (the west) today that Perth in now officially dearer than Melbourne..and where I’m at is dearer again 🙂

  16. so Melbourne has potential 🙂

  17. Hello,
    My husband (Irish), two young children (born in the UK) and I (Australian) are moving from the UK to Sydney in 2009. We are trying to decide what area to move to as we need to start applying for schools for our children. We have some good friends in the eastern suberbs so we are a little familiar with this area and we like Bronte and Clovelly. After doing a little research I’m now interested in the North Shore also.
    Our decision will be made depending on where the best schools are. We are interested in primary Co-ed schools only, preferably selective, private or church schools. Would also love to hear about Government schools if they are at an excellent standard.
    Your advice will be much appreciated.

  18. Hi,
    I am an Irish guy migrating to Sydney in march 2008 with my wife and two kids (aged 6 & 4). I really need to know how people get rented accommodation in Sydney. I have searched http://www.myhome/au and all the houses look dour. There are limited pics of the houses and usually just a pic of the outside of the house which is driving me spare. Also, my impression is that renting in Australia is driven by the Agencies and there is a very formal selection process for renting. My questions are, where is a decent middle class area in sydney might be where there are good schools, decent amenities and decent transport ?????