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More questions about Sydney!(6 Posts)
Hello again, everyone has been very helpful so far and I think I am going to be pestering you with questions until we leave the UK. I'm looking at Sydney suburbs and trying to get a feel for where we might want to live. At the moment I'm wondering about the Eastern Suburbs (Coogee) or North Shore (Mosman). Of course we'll get a holiday rental for the first few weeks and then visit places properly, but I'd like to have a shortlist before we get there otherwise it seems like a mammoth task!
Currently we have some friends living in the Eastern Suburbs. Of course they say it's great but they have younger kids than ours (ours are 6,4 and 2) and from the stuff I've read about that area, it seems very image-conscious and expensive and Coogee probably have been the only area in the Eastern Suburbs I would have considered in any case. I think my friends are far trendier than I am or ever was. Anyone image conscious would definitely look down their noses at me!
I've been more inclined to think about the North Shore - both dp and I like the look of Mosman and he thinks his salary should cover rents there. Although it's not on the train line, is it? I quite like being linked in to the public transport system and I find trains preferable to buses. But it's dp who will have to do the commuting (his company are in the CBD).
Anyway enough blethering from me, I welcome opinions on these or any other suburbs.
The beach strip of the Eastern Suburbs is a great place to live with kids, largely because you are so close to the beach. The traffic's pretty awful at peak hour though, it's a frustrating commute. Lots of great schools in the ES, public and private. Centennial Park is also fabulous. For me, Coogee would be going just a bit too far, but both DH and I loathe commuting and prioritise distance. If you can afford it, Bronte is lovely, it's closer to the CBD and has a beachy feel rather than an ES feel. It's also closer to Bondi Junction, which is great for shopping and services, and to Centennial Park. Bronte Public has a reputation for being a lovely and friendly primary school.
Mosman is lovely, as are many other suburbs along that strip. Again, awful traffic. The main issue with Sydney is that geography makes transport incredibly difficult. You can get to the city from the North Shore by ferry, but I think they're cutting some of the services. Good schools on the NS, the zoo is fab, some lovely harbour beaches and you're better placed for getting up to Manly and the Northern Beaches. Depending on your budget, you might want to look at Balmoral, which is just beyond Mosman but has a really gorgeous harbour beach.
We're in Balmain, which is in the Inner West. Smaller houses/land than the North Shore but plenty of well sized places too. Great community and, best of all for us, incredibly quick and easy commute to the CBD, either by bus or ferry. 5 primary schools on the peninsular as well plus the Cross City Tunnel has made it much quicker and easier to get to the eastern side which is great for the beach on the weekend. Our boys go to school in the ES and DS2 and DD ride in Centennial park, the CCT has made all of that much easier. Lots of families with young children around here. Birchgrove, at the end of the peninsular, is particularly quiet and lovely.
I have only been out here for 5 months, so not an expert yet! We looked at Mosman when we moved here, but were put off by the property prices - you don't get a lot for your rental money. We also didn't fancy having to travel along Military Road (the main route to the city) on a regular basis - it's pretty hideous. Balmoral is a beautiful beach, but the area is also pricey.
We are in Lane Cove, which is a nice, family friendly suburb. It's not near the beaches, which may mean it's a no if that's something you are keen on, but we find that the compromise between having to travel a bit further to get to the water (about 25 minutes to Balmoral, and a bit longer to Manly) is worth it because you get a much bigger house with a garden for your dollars, and my OH's commute into the city only takes 20-30 minutes by bus (depending on traffic, and we are at the end of Lane Cove that's furthest from the city). Other nice areas round here include Willoughby and some of the suburbs a bit closer to the harbour than Lane Cove itself (but as you get closer to the harbour, prices shoot up). One thing about this part of the Lower North Shore is that it's pretty hilly - which can be a bit of a pain with a fully loaded pushchair!
I don't know anything much about the Eastern Suburbs - have yet to do much exploring down there!
I know lots of people rate the suburbs North of here on the train line - places like Pymble and Roseville (although I don't know a lot about them). They have the advantage of being on the train line, but are obviously a longer commute as they are further out.
Thanks again. I won't read all the links right now as I am feeling very tired (partly my fault for staying up late, partly due to having 3 boys in my bed for the second half of the night and then a draining trip to the park with them all today). But I will certainly consider all the places you have mentioned. It's great getting the inside info - it would seem far too daunting otherwise.
Hi again HFD. Haven't got much time to MN today but just wanted to say that it was Mosman schools refusing to enrol kids with parents on a 457 recently - you need a high salary to afford the area so it does attract a lot of high earners only coming for a couple of years. Traffic is brutal for a city commute too (stunning area though). Obviously that's not to say the schools WILL refuse you, but it's the first time I've ever heard of it happening.
If you're not interested in being tres fashionable I would forget the Eastern Suburbs and concentrate on the Lower North Shore - Mosman etc. You'll drive yourself mad otherwise trying to learn about five hundred different suburbs. You sound like you'll love the LNS, so just relax and choose between:
Mosman - v expensive, DH needs a serious salary
Lane Cove - (locals call it Lana Koh-vay, in the same way that londoners jokingly call Streatham 'Saint Reathem)' hardy har har. V nice as Eralc describes
and don't forget to look on a map at:
North Sydney, Neutral Bay (my favourite as it's seconds on a bus and you're in Sydney City! Fab commute!) and Northbridge - if you have a reasonable amount of cash, and
Pymble, Roseville, Hornsby etc - if money's a bit tighter and you want a nice big house with a big garden...
Most importantly, remember the beach is nice but what's really important is having room for a BBQ as you'll be using it constantly for 9 months of the year, and that is what will make you feel you have a good quality of life more than anything else IMHO.
hope this helps too