Saturday, March 30, 2013

Good and bad places to live in Sydney, NSW

Been seeing some pretty inaccurate information about Sydney, so decided to put together some info about the different areas to live in Sydney, and their advantages and disadvantages.

Quick note, if you need to transfer money internationally. try these guys.

If you are on your way into Sydney and need some temporary accommodation just use, I found them to be the best of all the millions of sites out there.

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:

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

Hi,  Immigrating to Australia?, why not use our community forum - all about living, working, playing, moving and studying in Australia.

How I got my visa, Life, Lumps and spirit, Hate your new country? Your not alone! A good Furniture Rental company in Sydney,Why do immigrants leave Australia?, Sydney - Scotland island - hidden gem, Malls in Sydney, Living in St Ives, Arriving in Sydney, Driving through Sydney - first day, How expensive is Sydney


  1. Its not just the 'drunken' aborigine population in Redfern its all the houso junkies and rats arses. Oh and snobby Artie farty trendoids that live in nice terrace's . Yes Glebe is nice , close to city has nice cafes, shops, transport but somewhere further up Parramatta rd will be cheaper�� and The Rocks is shit to live in ,TRUST ME��

  2. Is potts points a good suburb to live in? I am looking to rent a studio apartment around 300bux a week. I am a woman so i want to live where it is safe though with not so expensive housing.

  3. Potts point is fine, I have been there a few times. Safe, not too expensive. Commute is not perfect as you need to use a bus or car or scooter. Lots of work there too

  4. Hello, How is the animal/wildlife in Sydney. Are there a lot of snakes and gators roaming around, I understand that the exaggeration of it is probably just that, an exaggeration but I am terrified of those types of creatures so is it a good idea for me to come and study there as an international student?

    1. Hi,
      nooo you don't have to worry at all, there are no WILD animals. Most students are in very urban areas. Myself I have a house next to a forested area, so we get lots of very tame wildlife -- the worst is possums and big lizards - both totally safe and cute. We get lots of parrots and birds wanting feeding though. The spiders are the worst as we are next to a forest so we are careful, nothing much comes in the house though. Walking down steps through bush is scary at night as the spiders spin webs across to hunt so wwe always carry a torch and stick

    2. thank you, you're comment is very helpful. I appreciate it.

  5. yeah we are currently, feeding about six kookaburras, which line up nicely and wait for their raw meat and allow us to place the meat in their beaks.
    We also get about mated pairs of parrots that turn up and expect us to feed them. They are really beautiful and actually call us, hoping from chair to chair until they are deep in our porch up against our windows.
    The worst is the big white cockatoo - it basically pulls wood away from the decking in order to get to seeds that have fallen down cracks in the wood. It has a massive plier like beak and wood is no issue to it. He is cheeky and no amount of scaring him deters him, he just waits until we have moved away. anyway good luck with you move and studies..

  6. Thanks or these insights! Very helpful!

  7. Most helpful information I've found - thanks very much !


Comment here