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Well off, rich areas are in the Eastern and Northern suburbs as are some of the Southern suburbs. The poorer areas are the further south west you go. Although there are some really nice areas.
The eastern suburbs, the coastal areas between the CBD and the beach, and on the CBD side of the bridge, are the most expensive. Anything on the water or near the water. Areas alongside the harbour, like Watsons Bay, Vaucluse, Double Bay, Elizabeth Bay, are especially expensive. These a beautiful places to live, but opnly of you have serious money. Renting 2 bedroom flats will here will get you a 5 bedroom house half an hour inland. Beach side Bondi is a bit over-rated for the price, though I have lived there and enjoyed it.
Lots of eclectic cafes, a good place to brunch on a Sunday.
In addition, areas like Bronte, Coogee Beach, Maroubra and the beach suburbs going south of Bondi, are nice places to live. Something to keep in mind though is that the rail/train service terminates at Bondi Junction. So if working in the CBD and wanting to take public transport (the sensible choice, because parking in the city is terrible and expensive), you would get a bus from the beachside suburbs and then the train from Bondi Junction. Your journey can become quite long for a short distance.
The Northern suburbs, especially between the Pacific Highway and the sea, are really nice. They are still very expensive as everyone wants to live close to the ocean. On the ocean side, Manly(very expensive) has good transport links (ferry, and buses as a back up in case fog closes down the ferry) but going North, through Dee Why and on up to Palm beach, if you have to commute from there, that means driving, and it is a seriously long haul from there, in the rush hour, to get to the CBD. You can take buses though and this will set you back an hours journey each way.
St Ives,is one of the best places to live in Sydney. I lived there for a while. I have often thought that we picked the best suburb in Sydney when we arrived. Read about my experience in St Ives here:
- General tips about schools, trains and shops in St Ives, Sydney (Northern Suburbs)
- Living in St Ives, one of the best suburbs in Sydney for a family
- St Ives wives in Sydney - should one trust them? I think Not! (its a true funny story)
- Leeches in St Ives, Sydney - another true story with videos (did I say it was th best place to live in Australia?)
Straight North, areas like Turramurra and Warringal are expensive but bushy with trees and forest style compared to in closer to the city. On a direct line west from Turramurra, about 15 or 20km west, is Castle Hill which has good quality big houses. There are several areas around there that are really live-able but stay away from the train tracks. Lane Cove is great - picturesque and nice to walk in, especially for picnics down by the Lane Cove River. Well known for its fires though when the summer heat is simmering and the woods are dry as hell.
Going west from the city, the Parramatta Road is a horrible drive if you have to commute to the city each day. If you are living out that way, it's better to catch a train in. Strathfield is very nice, as is Burwood, and close to good schools, private and state.
Coming closer into the city, Dulwich Hill/parts of Canterbury, Lakemba tend to be where a lot of middle eastern families live. There is a large main mosque is in Lakemba. Marrickville is quite Chinese/Vietnamese.
To the south west of the city you have areas like Campbelltown, Liverpool, Cabramatta, and directly west of the city, far beyond Parramatta, you get to Penrith, and then to Emu Plains which is at the foot of the Blue Mountains. These areas have cheap smallish housing, but this is suburbia with a capital S. In summer these areas are seriously hot, as in 40 degrees C, schooling is very so so, - just dull and boring. And far from the sea. There are lots of really poor areas with 2 bedroom flats going for $300 a week. Things are not really great though in the cheaper areas for families.
On the south side, Cronulla has a great beach and very good train links into the city. Brighton is nice too. Coming back towards the city, I wouldn't live somewhere like Petersham or Alexandria though - small terrace houses and right underneath the flight path for Sydney airport.
Redfern is not such a good area to live. It has a large population of Aborigines and they can get fairly tanked up on the booze. I wouldn't as a lone woman, get off and walk from Redfern station at night. Likewise from central station. Inner city, they may both be, but not such a good walk to and from the city. They remind me of somewhere like Hulme in Manchester or Muirhouse here in Edinburgh.
Avoid Kings Cross and Darlinghurst. These are inner city but on the east side, and are the red light districts.
If you fancy the inner city on the east side, Paddington is a lovely area to live, though a bit pricey and not really value for money. Just up from Paddington, Woollahra is very nice - lots of good antique shops there. Both have good bus links into the city.
On the inner west side, good parts of town is Balmain. Great cafes, good transport links (ferry and bus) to town. If you fancy the ferry, my advice is to live down at the point, near the main terminus, and not on the west side near the Thamse street stop. The west side ferries don't always turn up. Going back towards the city, Rozelle is okay, but not as nice as Balmain - small rubbishy houses.
Pyrmont and Ultimo are quite towny and grey, basically converted or redeveloped factories. Ultimo flats were ok but didn't have good air flow an no nice parks nearby. Not a very nice walk into town.
Going away again, along Parramatta Road, Glebe is a nice place to live. Opposite Sydney University, so well situated if you want to study. Good cafes.
Right in the city, I always fancied living in The Rocks (the area underneath Sydney Harbour Bridge. Good night life but a bit hairy if walking home alone at night.
Some info I researched for you peeps. Have a good one
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