Living in Sydney

Sydney Coogee BeachSydney is the capital of New South Wales and is Australia’s largest city. It has a population of around 4.76 million and is located on the coast of Australia’s south east. It is Australia’s most internationally recognised city, so much so that many people believe it is Australia’s capital. It isn’t. But it is Australia’s financial centre.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2014 Liveability Survey, Sydney is the seventh most liveable city in the world. It is easy to see why.

Sitting on the Parramatta River, the city boasts a stunning harbour complete with Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, two of the main tourist attractions in the area. The harbour itself offers ferries that run like buses. It’s a great way to explore the place.

About 5 km from the city centre, on the east side, is Bondi Beach, one of Australia’s most famous beaches. A little further away, Sydney also has Coogee Beach, another favourite with the locals. Both are beautiful, I can’t tell much difference between the two.

Another favourite beach, this one on the north side of Sydney which can be easily accessed with a short ferry ride, is Manly. So, three great beaches and we haven’t left the city. For those who want to jump in the car for an hour, there are even more options. Palm Beach where golden sand meets lush evergreen bushland and The Entrance where the magnificent Tuggerah Lake meets the Pacific Ocean. Both are to the north of Sydney.

Sydney also offers galleries and arts, cafes and restaurants, festivals and theatre as well as some great national parks and, to the west, The Blue Mountains with its Eucalyptus trees and breathtaking gorges.

What’s the weather like?

sydney_annual_weatherSydney has, on average, between six and seven hours of sunshine each day. Summers can get very hot and dry and winters are mild.

Occasionally, the temperature can swing wildly. One day it could be over 30°C but the next as low as 16°C.

Possible severe weather around the Sydney area could include thunderstorms, large hailstones, gale force winds and apparently, rarely, the odd tornado. Bushfires have been known in the area.

Sydney, for me anyway, is a “love it or loathe it” kind of place. I have to be honest, it isn’t where I would want to live. Just a bit too busy and crowded, two of the reasons I left England. Sydney is also the most expensive place in Australia for housing.

But that’s just me. Many people absolutely love Sydney; they love the crowds, the action and the bustle of the business centre. There is always something happening in Sydney.

The Districts of Sydney:

sydneySydney can be broken down into five main areas:

  • Inner Sydney – including City and Inner West
  • North Sydney – including Northern Suburbs, North Shore, Northern Beaches, Hills District and Forest District
  • South Sydney – including St George, Sutherlandshire District and Macarthur
  • East Sydney – including Eastern Suburbs and South-Eastern Sydney
  • West Sydney – including Cantebury-Bankstown, Greater Western Sydney and South Western Sydney

Questions about Sydney?

If you have any question about living in Sydney, please please feel free to ask them in the comments below. Or if you know this city well, why not tell us what you think of it or maybe even help out by answering some of the questions people have about the area. I’m sure anybody thinking of moving here would be very grateful for any help you can give them.

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{ 588 comments… add one }
  • Sharon May 28, 2016, 7:36 am |

    Hi Bob, compliments on your website! My family is going to move back to Sydney after 7 years spent in milan Italy, we have a 6 years old son. I’m originally Chinese and my husband is Italian, our son speaks English and Italian, but his chinese is not good at all. As a migrant who lived in sydney for many years before going to Italy, I know ok about the suburbs of sydney, but that is when i was single. Now we are a family and our son is going to be in primary school we are looking for a surburb within our rental budget aroung 650 a week, where has good public transports so my husband can get to the city centre where he works within 30-35′, and the most importantly, where has a great public school where he can learn Chinese….I’m thinking Chatswood and Eastwood since there are great schools and many chinese of course…could you suggest some other suburbs that are similar please? I was also looking in inner west like haberfield where has a great italian feel, but unforturnately the Westconnex programm is destroing the community and of course the school in haberfield wouldn’t be the same am i right?

    • BobinOz May 30, 2016, 3:05 pm |

      Well, I leave advice about suburbs in Sydney to the locals Sharon, simply because I don’t know the area well enough. You will find a lot of talk already in these comments about the various suburbs which you may find helpful, other than that someone will hopefully help you out with your specific question here soon.

    • Paul May 30, 2016, 5:10 pm |
  • Sophie May 26, 2016, 8:23 pm |

    Hi There

    I am moving to Sydney with my husband and young daughter (age 5). My husband will be working in the CBD on Bligh Street. We have no idea where to start in terms of finding the right area to live. My daughter will be in primary school so we are looking for an area with a good primary school, in very easy access to the CBD (trainline and bus routes) in a good area for families but also good for socialising and in an area where we would be looking to buy in approx 3 years. can you suggest the best suburbs close to the CBD with good schools but not insane rent?! Good for kids but also fun? ideally we would want a 3 bed but our budget MAX is 700$ per week so we would settle with a nice 2 bed. My biggest concern is schooling and my husbands is proximity and ease to CBD. HELP!!

    • Mike May 27, 2016, 7:49 am |

      Hi Sophie

      Depending on where on Bligh street, The station your husband would be looking at getting off is part of the Illawarra and south coast line (if you wanted direct train access to the CBD). The further from the CBD you go the cheaper rents will be, in the traditional suburbs around the CBD your $700 for a 2 bed apartment might not go such a long way. Your husband might have to think about how long he is willing to spend travelling, and that will help narrow down suburbs. If he wants to only travel 10 minutes to the office choices will be limited however if he said 40minutes was fine then you can get more for your money but that would have to be weighed up again travel costs.

    • Paul May 27, 2016, 7:56 am |

      Hi Sophie,

      Surry Hills is very close to the CBD and you can rent houses for $700 per week, eg:

      Most of Sydney has access to great government or private schooling.

    • Julie Clark May 27, 2016, 4:46 pm |

      Hi Sophie,
      I’m in the same boat, moving to Sydney with my husband and 9 year old son later this year. I’ve been researching suburbs for a couple of months and have found very useful, it provides useful profiles on each suburb plus average rent prices etc. It will give you a rough idea of whether the majority population in each suburb is made up of families, students, elderly etc. Rent prices are very high, but I have found so far that south of the river is looking slightly cheaper than the north if you want to live close to the CBD. If you want to live closer to the beach it’s higher, inland is a bit cheaper. Depends what your priorities are and what lifestyle you want.
      I also found a great suburb map on which I have printed off and started to colour code (sad I know!) based on avg rent, distance from the office, etc. It’s really helping me see the wood from the trees.
      Once you’ve narrowed down your search you can use to look for schools in the suburbs you are interested in, and find out the NAPLAN scores (like SATs in the UK). Watch Bob’s video on navigating this website, it’s very useful:
      Hope that helps. PM me if you want to share findings!

      • Sophie May 29, 2016, 5:28 pm |

        Hi Mike/ Paul and Sophie

        Thanks very much for all of your advice. The plan is that my husband leaves in August/ September and we dont move until December/ January. We need to sell our house in the UK etc first.

        Sophie – I have been looking at Erskenville, Annandale, Leichhardt, Marrickville and Petersham. They all look like good areas but this is solely based on some internet research. These are in the Inner west of the city. Transport links look good – we are really needing train and bus routes. Have you looked here? Any advice appreciated.

        Another thing – are all of the rented accommodation unfurnished? Is it expected that you take all of your furniture from the UK? Will this cost a lot more than buying in sydney? We have all of our furniture from our house we own at the moment but they are pretty old and wouldnt fit well with a new apartment. Would it be easier/ cheaper to just buy over in sydney?

        So many questions…..thank you!!! Sophie

        • Paul May 30, 2016, 5:17 pm |

          Hi Sophie,
          The areas you’ve nominated are good areas for access to the CBD, but are very congested. If you live in inner London, you will know what I’m talking about. There is a lot of traffic. If that doesn’t bother you, go for it. On the furniture, I don’t think there is much difference in what you’d pay for furniture in the UK to Australia, and if you are prepared to put in the effort you can get great deals/discounts on end-of-line stock, or surplus at the regular sales the stores have. Probably best to buy here I’d say.

      • Sophie June 1, 2016, 4:58 am |

        Hi Julie can I get your Private Mail??

        • BobinOz June 1, 2016, 11:15 pm |

          Julie, I wouldn’t suggest posting your email online here, but I’m happy to send Sophie your email address if you just add a quick line here giving me permission to do that. Your last comment seems to suggest you are happy to do that? Cheers, Bob

        • Julie Clark June 1, 2016, 11:22 pm |

          Hi Sophie (and thanks Bob). Do you want to send me a private message via Facebook? We can probably help each other out from the sounds of it!

          • Julie Clark June 2, 2016, 3:21 am |

            Just realised my comment doesn’t link to my FB profile so yes please Bob, I’m happy for you to give Sophie my email address. Many thanks!

            • BobinOz June 2, 2016, 8:23 pm |

              Okay, I’ve just done it, I’ve sent you both an email so you can each see each other’s addresses.

              • Sophie June 2, 2016, 8:29 pm |

                Thanks Bob! You have been a massive help. Julie i will give you an email later on today 🙂

  • Kanchan May 25, 2016, 3:33 pm |


    I am from India. My husband, myself and our 2 year old daughter will be relocating to Sydney this year August 2016. Have a couple of queries –

    1) With a single earning member to start with how are we placed with a monthly take home of AUD 7000. As in with this amount will we be able to have a good living or just manage things after paying rent and managing monthly expenses. ( We plan to stay in Parammata or Harris Park kind of places)

    2) Since we have a 2 year old kid with us is it mandatory for us to take a 2BHK as in US or we can take 1 BHK on rent.

    3) If we plan to get our recently bought TV from India to Sydney will it work?

    4) How much should we forecast in AUD to start living in there in terms of buying basic things to start living like – 1 bed, mattress, TV, internet connection, gas etc..Just want an idea of how much would be our expense in first month when we land there.

    5) My hubby’s office is in Walker Street. Need help in deciding suburbs which have good and reasonable places on rent where we can stay. We would prefer suburbs which have Indian communities to start with.

    6) Lastly i myself hold an MBA degree and have worked in Finance dept for MNC’s in India for past 7 years in home loan and in roles of finance analyst. I saw couple of opening for credit in Sydney for both beginners and experienced. Just wanted to know how easy it is to get these jobs since i want to come and settle my kid there first and then start looking for a job.

  • Sophie May 23, 2016, 11:13 pm |

    Hi There

    I am moving to Sydney with my husband and young daughter (age 5). My husband will be working in the CBD on Bligh Street. We have no idea where to start in terms of finding the right area to live. My daughter will be in primary school so we are looking for an area with a good primary school, in very easy access to the CBD (trainline and bus routes) in a good area for families but also good for socialising and in an area where we would be looking to buy in approx 3 years. can you suggest the best suburbs close to the CBD with good schools but not insane rent?! Good for kids but also fun? ideally we would want a 3 bed but our budget MAX is 700$ per week so we would settle with a nice 2 bed. My biggest concern is schooling and my husbands is proximity and ease to CBD. HELP!!

  • Sanjeev Uppal May 19, 2016, 12:43 am |

    Hi Bob / Sydneysiders. How you going?

    Congratulations on this fantastically well done job with this site. It really is a comprehensive one with just about everything one needs to know about making the big move, before and after it.

    My request is for information from someone local or someone who’s recently moved in.

    We’ve secured a 190 PR from NSW and are planning to arrive by Mid August from New Delhi, India. Its me, my wife and our two daughters aged 7 & 13. So far, a Sydney suburb seems the most likely option for us to look at. Just that there are so many of those, it makes it a bit difficult to zero in.

    Typically, we’d be looking for a family oriented place perhaps within a 10 – 20 kms radius from the main city / CBD with train connectivity and some reasonable recreational activities (somewhere the whole place doesn’t shut down at 5 in the evening!! ? Of course, the lower the crime / violence, the better. We could probably afford a $ 400 – 500 Weekly rental for a two bedroom accommodation. So far, I could see places like Parramata, Campsie, Canterburry, Ashfield, Dulwich Hill, Cammeray Village, Petersham, Neutral Bay etc. But couldn’t really make out much except for indicative rentals. I’m certain there must be quite a few others matching our requirement (Or is it an impractical wishlist!!!)

    Just one last thing. Besides the rentals, how much more would it cost a month to cover basic utilities.

    Shall be much obliged if someone could help us understand this and other important things we may need to know to make an informed decision about the place to chose.


    • Paul May 19, 2016, 8:39 am |

      Hi Sanjeev
      Suburbs like Petersham, Dulwich Hill, Marrickville, Summer Hill, Leichhardt, Haberfield and Ashfield are well serviced by trains and light rail, however are in some of Sydneys most congested (traffic) suburbs. I would also look at northern suburbs like Marsfield, Ryde, North Ryde, Epping, Pennant Hills and Carlingford, which are also well serviced by trains and have great schools and facilities.

      Electricity will be your biggest utility cost at around $250 per month for a 4 person family. Gas and water about half that or less.

      I hope that helps

      • Sanjeev Uppal May 23, 2016, 6:51 pm |

        Hi Paul,

        It has, indeed, been a great help. Much appreciate!

        Is there a local policy / restriction around the size of the house (No. of bedrooms) one can hire basis the number of family members? We have two children aged 7 & 13. Do we necessarily have to look at 3 bedroom units or can opt for 2 bedroom ones as well.

        Thanks for the most appropriate suggestions at just the right time for us.


        • Mike May 27, 2016, 7:55 am |

          Australia doesn’t typically have the regulation that you must have a certain number of bedrooms per person. However a council area might limit an unusually high number..however husband and wife (1 bedroom) and 2 children (2nd bedroom) would not be considered unreasonable.

  • Eve May 17, 2016, 6:54 pm |

    I might be relocating to Sidney is all goes well. I’m a single young professional. I would need a 1 bed-roomed apartment or cottage in a clean, safe (not too pricey) neighborhood not too far from CBD or an area with reliable public transport. Which areas would you recommend?

    • Paul May 19, 2016, 8:41 am |

      Hi Eve,
      I would need a bit more detail about your price range and where you are likely to be working to be able to help you.


  • Ml April 30, 2016, 11:33 am |

    Hi Bob,
    We are moving to Sydney and not sure which location suits best for our requirements.
    To start with we are a family with two children(total4) and looking for an accomodation which is near to mall, hospital, gym, eat outs, park, childcare, good public transport connectivity etc and should have 3 spacious bedroom.
    My husband’s office is in walker street, so proximity with office should be good.
    Our budget is 2400-3000$.
    Please suggest which suburb should we rent the accomodation.

    • Paul April 30, 2016, 2:58 pm |

      Hi MI
      I assume you mean Walker St, North Sydney which is on the Lower North Shore near the harbour bridge. You will struggle to find 3 bedroom accomodation any where near there for $3000 per month, as it is prime harbourside real estate. Nearby suburbs you could look at include Narremburn, Cammeray, Northbridge, Cremorne, Crows Nest, Lane Cove, Wolsterncraft and Chatswood. The North shore train line provides good access to North Sydney, all the way to Hornsby (30 min train ride). All the suburbs mentioned have the conveniences that you mentioned, but are some of Sydneys priciest realestate. Good Luck ?

  • Jo April 28, 2016, 6:54 am |

    Hi. I have a job offer in Parramatta and would like advice on where to live. Somewhere within 30 to 40 minutes maximum by train. Ideally safe, clean and with good schools. Someone has said to live in Inner West and another has suggested North Shores and another Manly. We like Many; but surely the ferry and train would be more than an hour to Parramatta…Ive also been told Parramatta and nearby neighbourhoods are not nice places to live at all….please let me know your thoughts as were running out of time to make a decision….?


    • Paul April 28, 2016, 9:02 am |

      Hi Jo,
      The biggest question is how much you are willing to spend on rent. Parramatta is getting better but still has a pretty dodgy reputation in the near surrounding suburbs to the South and West. Parramatta is well serviced by trains, buses and Rivercat ferries. The ferries give you great access if you wish to live in the inner west, with multiple ferry stops in fairly desirable (read expensive) suburbs, closest being Meadowbank, then Putney, Cabarita, Abbotsford, Chiswick, Drummoyne, Woolwich, Greenwich, Birchgrove and then finally to Circular Quay in the CBD. The T6 train line is a minor line with services running every 30 minutes or so and terminating at Carlingford (which is quite nice and has great schools). Or you can use the T1 line where Burwood and Strathfield would be the pick of the suburbs for a family.

      Once again, it comes down to your budget. Parramatta has many suburbs to the west which are cheaper, and accessible by train, but probably less desirable.

      Travelling from Manly would be a nightmare and would normally take far more than 40 mintues, as it takes around 25 minutes for the ferry to get to Circular Quay, and then at least another 45 mins to get to Parramatta on two more trains. Same with the North Shore, with the possible exception of Hunters Hill / Woolwich (very pricey).

      Hope that helps

  • Aurora April 11, 2016, 2:41 pm |

    Hello! I’m hoping I could get some advice on a neighborhood. My husband and I are moving with our now 8 month old daughter to Sydney in June. We would love to find a neighborhood within the CBD or just outside that is family friendly but still quite busy, where walking out of our door we could see cafes and shops and walk to a park. Idealy this picturesque neighborhood would be walking distance or a very quick ride to my husband’s office which is near darling harbor I believe. Our price range is flexible but we would like to stay around $7,000 month or less. Is there such a neighborhood that exists so close/within the business district? Thank you so much for your thoughts

    • BobinOz April 11, 2016, 11:13 pm |

      I don’t live in Sydney, so I’m really not the right person to ask….. but I did stay in a place in North Shore a while back and I think this would be a perfect place for you to live. Your husband could get a five minute ferry into Darling Harbour, a fun way to go to work.

      A stroll through scenic pathways to get to the ferry point, and enjoyable boat road into the harbour, then a short walk to the office. No driving, no traffic jams, no red lights.

      See my post…

      As I say though, I don’t live in Sydney, so hopefully somebody else with more local knowledge will chime in with some more suggestions.

      • Aurora April 15, 2016, 3:02 am |

        Thank you so much Bob, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply

        • Jodie April 25, 2016, 6:37 pm |

          Hi Aurora,

          Are you still looking for a property? I work for LJ Hooker in Coogee and we currently have a really nice family home that may suit that becomes available at the end of May.

          Have a look and if you would like to make a time to view let me know and I will organiser his for you.

          Kind regards,


          • Paul April 26, 2016, 7:37 am |

            Less than $7000 per month??

            • Mike April 27, 2016, 8:37 am |

              Maybe Real estate months are only 19 days long

      • Paul April 15, 2016, 12:29 pm |

        I would look at Pyrmont, Rozelle, Lilyfield or Balmain if you want to live just outside the CBD and have good access to Darling Harbour and plenty of cafe culture. You will be very lucky to find a detached house for that sort of money. Most likely you will be in an apartment or terrace, not a detached house. Alternatively you could look at other places with direct ferry links to Darling Harbour, such as the lower north shore around Kirribilli, Neutral Bay, Lavender Bay and Milson’s point.

        If it was me, I would live near Manly, where you can rent a house with a yard, direct ferry to Darling Harbour (about 20 mins), and walk to the beach. Manly is full of cafe’s restaurants and beach culture, is probably more family friendly, but is not near the city. I hope that helps.

        • Aurora April 22, 2016, 1:23 pm |

          Thank you so much Paul! That was very helpful!!! I’m going to look into each of your suggestions, it’s so hard to gauge a real idea of a neighborhood online, but luckily we’ll be in a corporate rental for a month to look around first. Thanks again

    • Anti May 3, 2016, 10:03 am |

      Hi I live in Sydney and if you want an inner city suburb like you are saying, I think you should look at Surry Hills and also Paddington. Very green and leafy. You can walk to work from Surry Hills and the areas have terrace houses, short walk to the Hyde Park in the city too. If you want to be a bit further away (around a 20min bus-ride) then look at Eastern Suburbs like Coogee. It’s very popular with families, you’ll be right by the beach and its perfect when you have a baby, lots of mums walking with prams along the beach every morning. The area also has lots of parks, close to Centennial park, Westfield shopping centres, hospitals, cafes, restaurants and schools.

  • Nour April 1, 2016, 2:36 am |

    Hi. I just got engaged few days ago to a guy that lives in Sydney. I live in Perth with my family. He lives alone in sydney and works as a HR truck driver delivering stuff for companies. We are looking for the best city to live in from Sydney and Perth. I don’t mind where as I don’t work but he is concerned about me if I live in Sydney it would be hard for me as I don’t know how to drive yet. He lives a little further away from Sydney city and pays $300 a week. Can you help is by telling us what is the best city to live in that have HR truck driver jobs for my fience.

  • Caroline March 29, 2016, 12:29 am |

    Hi Bob

    We plan to move to Australia from India on PR.
    My question is which suburb in Sydney and Melbourne are the best to rent in? Keeping in mind that we would like to live close to the city…We have 2 kids ages 7 and good catholic schools nearby, parks, public transport, shopping malls and supermarkets etc… And a short drive to the city
    I’ve been reading up on suburbs but can’t seem to figure out which will be the best ones for us.

    Would appreciate any info you can give me.


    • Mike March 29, 2016, 8:52 am |

      Hi Caroline

      It would depend entirely on how much money you have to spend on rent, how big a house or apartment you need. I would look at sites or to get an idea of rents. When you find a suburb that has rents you can afford make a list of them and then start looking for good Schools, parks, shopping malls and the like.

      I would however advise rethinking driving to the city. Sydney in particular is getting to the price where you need to have a second job just to pay for parking. Parking in Sydney (CBD) during peak times (Times you are working) is around $7 an hour. Roughly meaning for 1 day of parking you are looking at about $50-60. Adds up if you are in the city 5 days a week. Other areas around the cbd are a little cheaper but public transport is the cheapest option and would leave you with more money each week to spend on fun family activities

      • Caroline March 29, 2016, 1:24 pm |

        Thanks Mike…
        Didn’t realise parking would be so expensive..will look into options of taking public transport to work.
        We have about 3000 a month to spare on rent..will that be enough for a nice apartment close to the city?
        Also…I am a voice over artist and lend my voice to television commercials radio ads and film…is the scope for a job in that field good? Bearing in mind my accent isn’t Australian but more American. ..or might it be time for a career change?

        Thank you!

      • Paul March 29, 2016, 1:25 pm |

        Yes, good advice from Mike. The money you can afford to spend on rent vs transportation vs parking vs commuting time etc are the key considerations. Sydney is a very large city, and living “close” to the CBD is normally a very expensive option. There are Catholic schools, shopping malls, supermarkets and parklands that are accessible almost everywhere in Sydney, so that wouldn’t be my primary driver.

        Rental pricing is normally a factor of distance from the city, number of bedrooms in the house/apartment, desirability of the suburb, distance from the water/top schools etc.

        • BobinOz March 29, 2016, 7:17 pm |

          Hi Caroline

          Good advice from Paul and Mike, I just wanted to add something about your voice-over work. I’m not sure whether you could or couldn’t continue in that field here, but I’m thinking you would have a better chance of achieving that in Melbourne than Sydney.

          Whilst Sydney is Australia’s financial centre, Melbourne appears to be the centre for creativity and probably has the edge for TV show production work. If I were you, I’d look into it more thoroughly, my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship might help you with that.

          • Caroline March 29, 2016, 7:51 pm |

            Hi Bob

            Thanks! Melbourne is definitely our first choice, Sydney coming in at a close 2nd. Right now we are unsure where my husband will find a job (he is in the Marine field…A ships Captain )
            But will keep what you said in mind.


            • Paul March 30, 2016, 12:58 pm |

              The big shipping ports in Australia are:
              Port Botany (Sydney)
              Port Melbourne (Melbourne)
              Fremantle (WA)
              Brisbane (QLD)

              If he is working in either of the first two, you will need to look carefully at where you live, because both are right in the busiest parts of both cities ie: if you choose the wrong suburb to live in, he could be faced with nightmarish traffic when trying to get to or from the port. If he is coming and going outside of peak hour traffic, it might be different.

  • Paul March 25, 2016, 3:13 pm |

    Im not sure where to live in new south wales want best bowling club and love shopping and going coffee shops and love playing golf and love motorsport v8 supercars and afl. Love murray and camping would love travel around australia play golf and bowls and shopping. Would love apartment or villa or unit or townhouse 2-5 bed and 2+ bath 2+ car $400k to $3 million+

    • BobinOz March 28, 2016, 10:06 pm |

      That’s a pretty broad budget you have there to buy a house, I’m sure you could live wherever you wanted in Sydney. But I will leave it to the locals to guide you, they will know more about that area than I do and hopefully can help you out with your preferences.

      Anybody know the ideal place for Paul?

    • Mike March 29, 2016, 9:06 am |

      Good Morning Paul

      Your budget is pretty broad so that can sort itself out.

      Bathurst is where the major V8 races are in NSW, Eastern Creek (Now called Sydney Motorsport Park) is the other area for the V8 Supercars in NSW. However the Murray is a long way from both of those so you can camp when you have time away from the motorsport. Most of the best golf courses are along the cost line. Sadly a few hours away from the supercars. New South Wales Golf club (Australian ranking is something like 6 or 7 and world ranking around 30 or so) is in Kurnell in the Sutherland shire..but that is about 1.5 hours from the Motorpark. However it is close to a large shopping mall that has just been refurbished Miranda Westfields. There are numerous bowls clubs in the area so that shouldn’t be a probelm. House or apartment close to the beach there will set you back around the 1.7 million to all of your budget.The further you get from the water the cheaper things will get.

  • Daniel March 24, 2016, 7:12 am |

    Hi bob! We are obsessed with your website – it’s soo informative and usefull!
    I have a job offer over in Botany Bay, it’s been suggested I will earn 1,400 aus $ pw (after tax) and this also offers “superannuation”. Could you explain what this is or how it works?
    Is it realistic to take my wife and 2 yo son over and support them on my wage alone? We would like to rent a 2bed in a family friendly area? Any local suggestions would be amazing? Can’t wait to hear back!

  • Neha March 9, 2016, 4:23 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    This is Neha from India.My husband is working in Weaith Management and I am in Media.We are planning to move (taking PR) to Sydney by end of the year with my 7 yr old son.
    We have never visited Australia so had few questions in mind.It will helpful if you can give us some clarity if possible?
    a) Decent possible place to stay in Sydney which has some Indian community around.
    b) What should be our way forward when we visit Sydney in terms of schooling for the child,Job options in Media as well as in Banks for Wealth management.
    c)Any suggestions which we should keep in mind being Indians.

    Thanks a ton!let me know if you can help us in answering some of our questions which r in our mind.


    • BobinOz March 10, 2016, 5:14 pm |

      Hi Neha

      May I suggest you visit my page Which Suburb? and in particular check out the link towards the bottom of that page about where various migrants head to when they arrive from other countries. You will be able to easily see which suburbs in Sydney have the most Indians.

      My pages Which school? and Getting a Job or a Sponsorship will help you with your second questions.

      And finally, as you asked, as Indians it would be a good idea if you thoroughly integrate yourself into Australian culture rather than seek to be with other Indians to the exclusion of the many other cultures who live in this country.

      Good luck, Bob

  • KUNAL February 2, 2016, 3:25 am |

    Hi, I am a Chartered Accountant (CA) from India currently working with a Bank. I am thinking of pursuing CPA Australia and to migrate to Australia with family but pretty not sure about the place to settle. I am confused especially between Melbourne and Brisbane. Looking at my qualification and my field i.e. Accountancy can you suggest me which place would be most suitable for me and why. Also can you please tell me about the residential / housing areas of Melbourne and Brisbane.

    • BobinOz February 2, 2016, 8:19 pm |

      I’m a little curious as to why you’ve posted this question on my page about Sydney? May I suggest you have a look at all the comments on my pages about Melbourne and Brisbane as I think you will learn a lot about both of those cities. Good luck, Bob

  • brenda chalcraft January 18, 2016, 5:21 am |

    im trying to send someone an email which keeps coming back they live in new south wales i have the email address but at the end of the email address there are two figures its so small i cant read it something like avor au can you help

    • BobinOz January 18, 2016, 8:57 pm |

      Try that might do it.

  • Lyn January 7, 2016, 6:41 pm |


    My husband and I are looking at relocating for a job in North Ryde (from NZ) with two children 3 and 5. Can you advise suitable suburbs within reasonable commuting distance to North Ryde which would be suitable for a family? Many thanks.

    • BobinOz January 11, 2016, 4:37 pm |

      This is something I will have to leave to the locals Lyn, although you can get some additional help if you visit my page called Which Suburb?

      Good luck, Bob

  • Saeed Ali January 7, 2016, 5:23 pm |

    I am saeed from pakistan. My qualification is MBA-IT and having experienced more than 27 Years in PTCL.Would you like to guide me for the work and education visa in Australia.
    Thanks & Regards

  • Jai Malik January 6, 2016, 8:10 pm |

    We are moving to Sydney towards the end of the year and we are planning to take a trip to sydney to check out the places and get a feel of the city. We are looking to rent an apartment for a month, probably via Airbnb and wanted to know which area are safe and preferable to look for an apartment. We come from Dubai so we are looking for a place which is hopefully not dead and dull even at night.

    Could you please recommend a few localities which would have decent and safe accomodation for a couple ?

    • BobinOz January 6, 2016, 11:45 pm |

      Well you haven’t specifically said what you are looking for from a suburb, other than safety. Sydney and all of Australia is considered safe, so I shouldn’t worry about that too much.

      There may be a few duff suburbs, but if it’s too cheap to rent, that’s a big clue. If you have a read of the many comments on this page, you’ll find a lot of useful information about the various suburbs to live in, I’m sure you’ll find it very helpful.

  • Rohan December 17, 2015, 1:58 am |

    I am originally from mumbai, India and then have been settled in northwest of england for the last 10 years and we would consider ourselves British now. we are a family of 3 with a 6 year old . The gloomy weather and an equally gloomy situation with the NHS is the reason for the possible move. I work as a GP and consider myself fortunate that there is some work available in most of the capital cities although i have to work in DWS areas and expect a bit of commute.
    After being fixed on Brisbane ( thanks to you Bob!) for a while , i looked towards Adelaide (loved the small town description but put off by a lot of recent negativity and the climate). In my searches I got quite excited about Central Coast (Avoca Beach area, with work possibility at Gosford) . Although still not sure about having big city more than 90 mins away.. i have been put off by a few racist comments about Central Coast. There seems to some talk about ‘white fight’ etc .. terms that i have not even come across. Although that area looks stunning and could have imagined growing up a young family .. i am put off by the talk about being ‘stared at’ on the beach! and sticking out . It would seem the Central Coast being predominantly white area could be a problem!?
    Is this an exaggeration about those parts… I really liked the prospect of Central Coast but certainly dont want any trouble in this direction. Brisbane does seem a lot more inclusive and may have to consider this back again, however the only negavtive about brisbane was the drive to the beach as really would like to be within a 20 min distance to the beach but still have shops, cafes close by and be part of a multicultural inclusive society. Do you know about the central coast area bob? or if anyone from those parts shed some light, it would be greatly appreciated

    • BobinOz December 17, 2015, 8:14 pm |

      In a nutshell, no, I don’t know enough about the Central Coast, certainly not enough to answer this question. I have visited the Central Coast, inasmuch as I’ve driven through it and stopped off here and there, and it is a beautiful part of the country. But driving through doesn’t qualify me to answer this question.

      So I will have to pass this one over to the locals, does anybody have an opinion on this? You may also like to check out my post about Racism in Australia.

      • Mike December 27, 2015, 2:59 pm |

        I don’t know that it is worse there than anywhere wife is from the Philippines and had no problem on the central coast…we now live in Grafton much higher proportion of anglo folks..and we have had no problems if anything my wife has been welcomed with open arms it may come down however to attitudes from both sides…I get stared at all the time in the following countries where i have spent signifcant periods of time…philippines (manila i was looked at as a potential money target, Davao more as a curiosity, out in the more isolated communities as a friendly novelty), in the middle east it was also with a mix of anger (from anti westerners) and welcome from those that took each person as a new experience…in india men tried groping my sister on public transport…in turkey men tried groping my female work colleagues there are terrible elements everywhere don’t let a few people put you off however if you are worried about it you may well spend you time looking for a problem and ruin your otherwise great experiene so maybe choose the easier option of Brisbane as you get to know Australia you can always move later…

  • ammar December 12, 2015, 5:29 am |

    sir, kindly help me regarding to part time jobs I am applying for la trobe uni and Griffith uni tell me please which campus is better for part time jobs I select Sydney campus is it ok or I change it

    • BobinOz December 14, 2015, 6:56 pm |

      This isn’t something I can help you with, but good luck anyway.

  • Jane November 23, 2015, 6:07 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I hope you are getting better and close to recovery by now. Anyway, me and my family will be moving to Sydney on July 2016. And as of this time, i am busy reading all information about where to stay in NSW. I dont mind having a different nationalities in my neighborhood as long as it is safe and close to school. My problem is most of the information I read the realestate agent wont allow me to rent out the propety unless i will make a personal inspection to it. Do you think if i will ask my friend to do the inspection for me, they will allow me to rent it out? i dont want to spend money in hotel or apartment for a couple of weeks just to look for a permanent place to stay. That will be my last option. Please help..

    • Sam November 26, 2015, 6:18 pm |

      Sydney isnt very nice unless you live near the beaches or have money Over priced busy you will soon expeirence this

      • BobinOz November 30, 2015, 8:30 pm |

        Hi Jane

        For some estate agents it is an actual rule, they simply won’t rent to you unless you have physically inspected the property. I think the reasoning is if you haven’t seen it for yourself, then when you actually turn up if you don’t like it you can say they have grossly misrepresented it.

        And if they can prove that, then they can get out of the contract. They may not even be estate agents rules, they could be state regulations. If it is a regulation in NSW, then sending a friend probably won’t cut it, but I’m sure if you were to get the assistance of a professional relocator they must know of a way round it.

        Good luck, Bob

  • Zahid Arfan November 22, 2015, 3:03 am |

    Hi, i want to study in sydney
    I’m from pakistan .
    Where are most pakistani, indian or punjabi in sydney….?

  • nastaran October 14, 2015, 9:04 pm |

    hi thanks for your great information , my husband and i are going to go to Sydney with 2 children 3 and 6 years old from Iran , im worry about every thing i don’t know how will be out life there! im so excited and worry about the job finding the house finding the school for children im so confused about every thing especially i will be glad if i can find a good family there with children to help and support me in that issue

    • BobinOz October 14, 2015, 11:27 pm |

      I suspect everybody who moves to a new country has worries, I hope you and your family settle in quickly and find some friends to help you with your new life here.

    • Paul November 15, 2015, 5:00 pm |

      Hi Nastaran / Bob
      I live in Sydney and can potentially answer some questions for you. Sydney is one of the safest cities in the world, however some areas are better than others of course. Sydney is also one of the most expensive cities in the world which is why many migrants don’t want to live here. If money is no object, there are wonderful places to live, however in reality those on a limited budget are going to end up out in the “burbs”. If you are coming from Iran I would be looking to move to an area that has plenty of other Iranian/Arabic speaking people and services. Look at anywhere south of the Parramatta River and west of Homebush. Auburn has a large mosque and many Arabic people, as does Lakemba, and those areas are cheaper to live in than most.

    • Mostafa November 18, 2015, 2:15 pm |

      I was in sydney a couple of weeks ago.
      Most irainian are accomodated in Hornsby.

  • LESH September 27, 2015, 4:02 pm |

    Which is the safest suburb to leave in for migrants?

    • BobinOz September 28, 2015, 5:44 pm |

      Just Google Sydney’s safest suburb, they know the answer.

  • nazi September 20, 2015, 5:48 am |

    which city best for me. i want to study in australia,and part time job. can u please tel me in which city i got best part time job.

  • Annett September 10, 2015, 9:57 pm |

    Hi, my husband is in negotiations for a position in Newcastle (NSW) with the offer to live in Sydney if we wanted (one day a week commute to Newcastle). Now we are really torn whether to go to Newcastle or Sydney. Pros for Newcastle are: cheaper housing, close to work, quieter; Con: less work opportunity for me, small town, etc. Pros for Sydney: more work, more for kids to do and us, close to international airport. Big con: expenses. We have not been to any of the cities but would have to make a decision. What would you consider as good salary for a family of 4 to live comfortable in and around Sydney? Thanks.

    • BobinOz September 13, 2015, 5:49 pm |

      I’ve got a page about Newcastle, if it helps…

      But that’s all I know about the place. It’s impossible to say how much you’d need to live comfortably you and your family, so much depends on where you choose to live in Sydney. As you know house prices are high and in some areas, extraordinarily high.

      All I can suggest is reading through some of the comments already made, there’s been much talk of the costs of living in Sydney. I’m in Brisbane, so I can’t help much, maybe somebody local will chime in and help you out.

      Good luck, what have you decide, Bob

      • Annett September 13, 2015, 6:34 pm |

        Thanks for getting back on this. Really appreciated.

    • Scott October 11, 2015, 6:05 pm |

      I’d go for Newcastle. Sydney is great (I was born there and only recently moved to Melbourne) but it is ridiculously expensive, particularly if you are trying to start a new life there.
      Newcastle on the other hand is far more affordable has plenty of stuff to do and pretty much has everything Sydney has but just one of them (if you get what I mean).
      As for work for you – It’s not as small a town as you think. in fact there are more people in Newcastle than Canberra. You’ll find work without a problem.

      My advice would be to start off in Newcastle and save hard so that when the kids hit High School age you can move to Sydney if you need to.

    • Sam November 26, 2015, 6:21 pm |

      A good Salary with 4 kids in Sydney at least over $150k

  • noumi August 13, 2015, 2:43 pm |

    hi i want to study in Sydney. where can i find best school with cheapest price? and how can i apply for visa?

  • Julien June 23, 2015, 9:34 am |

    We arrived in Sydney about 1 month ago and wanted to share our experience.
    First thanks to Bob for his website. we found heaps (!!) of information and good tips.

    Within 10 after we arrived we had secured a car (with finance) and a rental property, which I think is quite a feat in Sydney. The car was pretty straightforward in itself, but dealing with the bank was another matter altogether. We decided to open an account remotely from the UK but the agent based in London never sent us the code for internet banking, which means that everything was blocked when we arrived. combine that with the local guy who forgot to order our card, we ended up for about 2 weeks without any easy access to cash. Thankfully, we also organise a prepaid card before leaving with Thomas Cook (others are surely offering the same). You can withdraw and pay in shops with the card, but I couldn’t use it to pay for the bond for the car rental. No problem when I extended it though. We barely had any cash in hand. Top tip here: don’t put all your eggs in the same basket!!!

    Regarding the property. Our experience was quite different to most of the posts you read about Sydney. My wife is not working which means she did all the search organised the timetable of viewings and I just add to show up. It is a very different way to the UK. First, they are photoshop geniuses!! I’m glad that in the end we decided against sorting out the rental from the UK. Most pictures are very deceptive. Second, they will give you 15min to view a property and everybody comes at the same time. That was disturbing. Make sure you are flexible with work if you work at the same time. We had viewings scheduled in the middle of the day. The good thing is that you will have less competition than on a Saturday. Real estate website recommend to come with the application form filled in. We didn’t do that, simply because most of the agencies we dealt with were handing in hardcopies on the spot. We made sure we were pro-active though and filled everything in quickly.
    We arrived on a Friday, spent the first week end driving around to have a feel of the areas and confirm what we read and/or saw on Google Earth. The second week end, we managed to see 11 properties (we missed one of those we booked, but ended up in an unscheduled one by mistake 🙂 ).
    We have been offered every property we applied for!! We refused to entertain the price hike that some are recommending, however, we decided to sacrifice our savings to offer 3 months up front, at least for the ones we really wanted to have a good chance. They seemed to love it. For the one we ended up taking we also compromised on the duration of the lease. we wanted 6 months they wanted 12…
    Disclaimer: because I work in Campbelltown, we were not looking at properties close to the CBD. I suspect it may well change many things.

    Next up, bills and internet. I found them rather slow compared to the UK where you call and you’re connected. Here, especially for the electricity, we had to switch everything off on a specific day from 7am while they were connecting us ??!!! All in, 2 weeks after we moved in gas and electricity is not fully set up. Obviously, we have both, but they still need to come for a gas meter reading before everything is sorted.
    Regarding internet. I remember a post from Bob in which he was saying that an argument with Telstra is part of the induction process. We had none of this!! We went for the cheap branch of Telstra and everything went smoothly and even more impressive, quickly!!

    We didn’t have the luxury to decide when to arrive, but if you can I would say that May if a good pick. First, coming from the UK at least it’s not much of a shock with the weather, but more importantly, June is the period of the end of financial year sale. We managed to snap some good bargains. It’s only a shame we don’t have our furnitures yet, to have a better idea of what we need to finish furnishing the house as we have a much bigger house than in the UK.

    Finally, the furnitures. Our stuff is scheduled to be delivered next Tuesday, which will be exactly 10 weeks door to door. We will see in which state the fragile items arrive, but customs clear it all without any penalty! We played it safe and didn’t take any suspicious item with us (e.g. wicker). We did import a lot of wooden furnitures, tons of outdoor gear and my toolbox including the saw. We made sure everything was thoroughly clean. Any wood that looked untreated received a coat of wax and we declare everything they asked for in the customs form. Surprisingly, they didn’t ask any specific question about sport equipment. They seemed more bothered with untreated leather and wood. All in all, we feel that we could have pushed our luck more and try few contentious items, but it is an expensive game.
    Apologies for the long post, I think that’s it for now.
    So far, so very good 😀

    • BobinOz June 23, 2015, 5:27 pm |

      Hi Julien

      Don’t apologise, you’ve made a very helpful post, thanks for taking the time.

      I can confirm that the estate agents here are indeed very good at photoshop, we did buy our house before we got here, and I can tell you that none of the photos they sent us showed any of the 18 sets of pink curtains, or any of the fluorescent lights that were in every single room and the smoked glass mirrors that was stuck to the walls were also absent from all photographs.

      Boy did we have a surprise when we arrived 🙂

      Not as surprised though as when I heard that everything went smoothly for you with Telstra, crikey, that must be a first in this country 🙂

      Cheers, Bob

  • ALI June 22, 2015, 12:53 pm |


    I am moving to Sydney with my family from WA. I got a job in there. My company is in north area(Gordon). I was just wondering where is best area to find small furnished apartment close to my work with reasonable price with good public primary school.


    • BobinOz June 23, 2015, 5:28 pm |

      I will have to leave this to the locals Ali, anybody know this area well?

  • Hetal Sheth May 13, 2015, 12:28 am |

    I am permanent resident, want to move n settle in Sydney. I dont know which suburb to shift. Looking to share a flat since i m single. Kindly direct me acessible suburb as most of time i will be using a public transport.

  • Hasan April 28, 2015, 2:08 pm |

    What is the scope of Architecture in sydney? I’m looking forward to do M. Arch from there alongwith a part/full time job in any local Architecture Firm.

    • BobinOz April 28, 2015, 11:23 pm |

      I assume you are asking if there are many opportunities to work as an architect in Sydney? That’s generally a moving target, but if you go to my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship, you will find some links that will help you research it.

      • Hasan April 29, 2015, 3:12 pm |

        ok thanks Bob!

  • Julien April 23, 2015, 8:04 am |

    Hi all,
    after few months of organisation we said goodbye to our furnitures today and are hoping to be in Sydney in just a few weeks now (visa pending) as I am due to start work on the 18th of May.
    I understand that the rental market is quite fierce in Sydney and we won’t be able to organise a more permanent house from the UK. Can someone recommend options for temporary accommodations in Sydney that are not super expensive? Everything I found is at least $1200 per week ($160 per night) for a serviced apartment…
    I would also be keen to have some tips on how to open a bank account remotely and the best options to transfer funds. Bob, please let me know if you need me to move that to another thread of your superb website.

    • UKAussi April 23, 2015, 10:53 am |

      We moved a year ago to Sydney and can probably see comments earlier in this thread about it.
      Serviced apartments are a good bit more expensive as they are serviced and have furniture, TV etc. We used Furnished Properties Pty Ltd‏ and they were fine and very helpful when we had unrelated issues.
      Rentals are easier to find in the newer areas where there is new construction like where we are (NW Sydney) and rent has not increased even though house prices have as so many being built and rented out.
      Money – do not use your bank as the fees they charge are VERY poor and exchange rate is abysmal.
      Could not open an account remotely but just walked into a bank when I arrived with passport and US drivers license along with a rental agreement with address. Be sure to change your address online at bank as soon as you have a new address so no mail sent to other rental

      • BobinOz April 23, 2015, 7:55 pm |

        Hi Julien

        Congratulations, very exciting, I hope the move goes well for you. Finding temporary accommodation at a reasonable price is something I haven’t really been able to solve yet, and I have tried. There isn’t a simple solution, but as UKAussi has recommended, you’ll get a cheaper permanent rental in a developing area, but obviously the problem is organising that quickly after your arrival.

        Whilst I can’t help you with that, I have done a lot of research into opening a bank and currency exchange.

        It’s very easy to open a bank account before you get here and I explain how on my page called Banking.

        As for currency exchange, I’ve been recommending the same company for three years or so now and I’ve been very impressed with their rates and their service. Even my friends have used them and been very pleased at the rates they’ve got and they are top rated with Dunn and Bradstreet. They keep their overheads down by working out of modest offices, you can read about it on my page called Currency Exchange.

        • Julien April 27, 2015, 3:09 am |

          Thanks both for the replies. Extremely helpful.
          I don’t think anyone commented on my question re more permanent properties organised remotely.
          I will be working in Campbelltown, which means NW Sydney is not our preferred area. Also, my wife won’t be working to start and I suspect she will get bored very quickly living in one of these new estates. Having lived in North America (all be it Canada) I assume they would be similar; streets of houses and a mall.

          • BobinOz April 27, 2015, 4:42 pm |

            Hi Julien

            It can sometimes be really difficult to secure a rental property when you are not yet here, some agencies actually insist that you physically inspect the property before they will allow you to rent it.

            A relocation agency may help, but will charge a fee of course. Or you could try and book some kind of temporary accommodation and get stuck into househunting as soon as you get here.

            Some time ago I wrote an article about arriving in Brisbane…


            There are some tips about finding accommodation in it and those same tips can be applied to any city, so it may be worth you having a quick read.

  • scott mackenzie April 10, 2015, 11:06 am |

    Hi Bob,

    We have a new website that I would like to know if I can quote some of your atriles on our blog and backlink, maybe vice versa. We have started this site so there is a voice for individual who rent. Currently early days however traffic has gone from zero to 100 hits per day….getting there. Advertising campaign starting soon

    Thanks for your time


    • BobinOz April 11, 2015, 3:46 am |

      Sure you can link to my articles, and I’d be happy to recommend your site to my readers when your site can genuinely help them with what they need. Many of my readers are finding it hard to secure a rental before they arrive, if you can help them with that, I can send quite a few people your way.

      Good luck with your website, hope it goes well, Bob

  • The Great Gatsby April 3, 2015, 10:51 am |

    how are the prices for basic commodities like food, clothes,fuel etc

  • Lyn March 23, 2015, 10:29 am |

    Hello Juckky,

    It’s true it’s really hard to get in straight away the school where you want to send your kids.

    But if you really like you can start from a public school then look around and put applications everywhere you like to send your kids, if they all response that they had a place for your child, select the best and tell the other schools that you’re alright now and your kids is in already to the school you want to.

    That’s the best way anyway, but we didn’t do that way because we like a catholic school because we are catholic so when we shift we put applications everywhere and that’s it unfortunately we’re in the waiting list. but eventually they have a place sooner or later because people come and go.

    And hope for the best, good luck!!!!

  • UKAussi March 22, 2015, 8:53 pm |

    Sounds very unfortunate. I have 2 daughters as mentioned before and both entered into co-ed last year and doing great. Oldest is in year 9 now and in the top tier of the grade for math and science.
    Co-ed is fine in a good school and the vast majority of normal educated kids have gone to or go to co-ed. Don’t forget, the way kids behave at school is as much to do with parenting as it is the kids around them sometimes and often it is also the kids themselves, but then again I can only go by experience of watching other kids in the 5-6 or so primary and high schools I went to as a kid in England then Victoria, then SA and then back to England.
    Don’t hang your hat on 1 experience but if you must then so be it.
    If you really want to get away from where you are and be where you want to be you will fight for it. I did when I was 30 (left a great job in the UK for USA on my own) and then again just short of 50 with my family.
    You at least have a much higher income than I have so can make a better go of it… I am sure you will figure it out one way or another.
    Good Luck

  • UKAussi March 19, 2015, 9:13 am |

    Year 8 is 13 turning 14 that school year and probably a good age to get started in Oz as yr 9 seems to get more serious and prepping for yr 10 which you have to make a lot of subject choices.

    As mentioned in other threads, I think also earlier in this one, ideally you should try to take a month or 2 to look around and drive around different areas before commiting. We had no issues with girls being out of school that long as it was summer vacation for them anyway.
    Also give you time to look at the various rental properties and maybe have a choice.

    • Juckky March 22, 2015, 8:20 pm |

      We are struggling to find suitable schooling. The selective schools have already replied to me telling me that entry mid year is not possible and the likelihood of getting a place in year 8 is very unlikely as students do not leave so places are not available.

      That leaves us 2 choices. Private or Government.

      Private will provide a mid year entry, but we cannot afford 25k / year, and state have to provide a place, but we cannot send our daughter to a co-ed. She currently attends an all-girls school here in England as a result of watching her older sister go off the rails at one 🙁

      At this rate, the job offer is looking like it will be rejected.

  • Juckky March 19, 2015, 7:43 am |

    I appreciate you both taking the time to reply. Since posting this question, I am now thinking “arghh. Schooling” all the good schools have replied to my emails telling me they won’t take a child mid way through the academic year.

    • UKAussi March 19, 2015, 8:08 am |

      From what I am told you will not find that much difference between the good Public schools in Sydney and the Private one’s.
      It is only if you live on the fringes of rural or in a “poorer” area that you will find differences and that is usually because the kids are bad.
      Suggest you check the Public schools in the areas you are looking at to live as the one’s where I live were fine taking my 2 kids (year 6 & 8)

      • Juckky March 19, 2015, 8:48 am |

        My daughter is 13. I think year 8 is 13 too?

        We are looking at Hornsby Heights area. Ideally, a girls school as my daughter currently attends one in the uk and it works well

  • Juckky March 18, 2015, 6:03 pm |

    Hey Bob,

    Based on your experience of living costs in Aus, would you say that spending 30% of take home pay on rent is too much. I have calculated rent to be 3k / month and I want to be sure that the remainder leaves enough so that you can enjoy Sydney?

    A friend of mine recently left Sydney as he said he could not make ends meet on 180k /year when he factored in rent and childcare for 2 kids. When I hear that I worry that 150k / year will not go far.


    • BobinOz March 18, 2015, 9:42 pm |

      It’s not really a question I can accurately answer, Sydney is like a different country to me, I live here in Brisbane. That said, my understanding is that the main additional costs of living in Sydney revolve around housing, whether rent or mortgage, most other costs I think are reasonably similar.

      So if you have $7000 a month left over after paying rent, I would have thought that’s quite healthy, but hopefully somebody from Sydney will give you a better answer than I can. It might help us if you let us know how many people in your family.

    • UKAussi March 19, 2015, 7:10 am |

      Your friend likely lived in a central area and drove expensive cars, but then again I don’t know anything about childcare except it is expensive even in the USA.
      Per my comments above you can easily get out of control if you MUST have certain LUXURY items and MUST live in the center of Sydney but if you are Mr ave mid-class Joe and your wife doesn’t shop all day long “you’ll be ‘right mate!” 🙂

  • Juckky March 9, 2015, 12:44 am |

    After deliberating for 5 years about using our PR visa, my wife and I have decided not to make the move. Don’t get me wrong, I love Aus, but the cost of living in Sydney and Perth has become ridiculous. I have been offered a job paying 150k in Sydney, but having crunched the numbers and taken out rent I can make it work.


    • UKAussi March 9, 2015, 7:21 am |

      Don’t forget that Perth housing prices are dropping rapidly in many areas as mining shuts down so less desire for housing and likely will have foreclosures.

      “Sydney” is a very generic term when it comes to a place to live as anything in close is just like living in most major capitol cities, expensive. Try living in NTC or LONDON in the centre on $150,000 if you want a house… nope.

      Not sure where in Sydney you are looking and what size house but I have a family of 4 and rent a brand new 4 bed 27sq house in NW Sydney (safe area in the major suburbs, not BFE) for $700 wk which is 40km from Sydney CBD and just catch a bus to work (1 hour if going into Sydney by bus or double-decker train). Very relaxing on the bus and $36/week max (OPAL pass).
      My wife does work part-time but combined earnings are under $100k so it is possible.
      You need to look at where you are now and be realistic about where you want to live. This includes society around you which was a big factor in leaving the US for us as everything was cheaper in the US but country is going downhill fast (IMHO).
      They key in Sydney is to ensure you are in an area where rents are above a certain amount, including the surrounding areas (there is a new dev next to a crap area and they have burgleries constantly) and that way you get a nice place to live that is safer than most.

      • BobinOz March 9, 2015, 4:37 pm |

        Sound advice UKAussi 🙂

      • Juckky March 18, 2015, 6:12 pm |

        Thanks for that. You don’t mention whether you can live comfortably on the remaining amount or whether it’s fish fingers and beans every night for dinner?

        Rail travel here in the uk is extortionate. Based on current exchange rates I am shelling out around 1k Aud / month on train / parking and tube. Sounds like I willsave that considerable expense living in Sydney.

        Ps – ignore my duplicate post. Sometimes I think I’m going senile :-0

        • UKAussi March 19, 2015, 7:04 am |

          Lol, definitely not FF & BB although I do enjoy both.
          We both enjoy wine every week and have not really changed what we eat from when we lived in California, the only difference is we rarely eat out now, mostly because still new to the area and not familiar with places but also because cost is higher due to higher wages at take-out/restaurants.
          Woolies and Coles have a hold on the supermarkets here so key is to buy items when on 40-50% off as most normal prices are stupid. Shop at Aldi also for some stuff.
          We only have 1 car and we bought that new for cash (top of the line Skoda Octavia wagon TDI- $40k) so factor that additional cost into your equation depending on your car taste, just forget BMW & Mercedes etc as they price gouge the Aussies (it isn’t just the luxury car tax)

        • UKAussi March 19, 2015, 7:12 am |

          … forgot to add my 2 kids are primary and high school age so 1 takes bus and wife drops-off and picks up the other but could easily also take the bus.
          Buses free for kids

  • Garg February 7, 2015, 10:13 am |

    Hello Dan ,

    How much rent per week are you willing to pay ? It will be better to live in a suburb on the train line to airport , public transport is very good in Sydney .
    You can browse through properties available for rent and get an idea on the weekly rent also from

    Cheers , Garg

  • Dan February 7, 2015, 10:02 am |

    My famiky could be moving to Sydney for husbands work atbthe airport.
    can anyone recommend an affordable, family suburb within commuting diayance to airport?

  • carl January 3, 2015, 12:36 pm |

    Great peeps. YES-. Just do it. All of you should move to Sydney so you don’t move to where I live (which, though being a born and bred Sydneysider is not Sydney). This is the reason I moved out. Not many of us “sydney locals” left. Frankly, just like London, UK, the city and burbs are predominantly full of migrants. So you will be in same company ie. your work colleagues will be just like you. So, keep on moving there & I will enjoy the peace and quiet of somewhere that is not Sydney.

  • Gargy November 27, 2014, 5:35 pm |

    Dear All,
    I will be migrating to Australia – Sydney in the first week of Jan 2015 . We are family of three including my wife and 3 year old son.
    Our background is as follows; I have lived most of my life in India however since last three and a half years I am living in UK and we love St Albans ( in Hertfordshire county) mainly because of following reasons :

    Good schools
    Good connection into central London ( via direct fast train 30 mins)
    Safe with right mix of peace and hustle bustle of a small city
    Good Public transport
    Great community feeling
    Good pubs and restaurants including Indian, Italian , Mexian , other Takeaways
    Great cricket club
    Parks and swimming place
    Close to some Indian grocery stores
    Decent town centre

    I am confused where to live in Sydney, in starting only one of us would be working and household income shall be 90 k AUD per annum ( before tax).
    I would appreciate if someone can relate St Albans to a suburban town in Sydney where one can commute to North Sydney for work without much of a hassle.
    Also what should be the weekly rental ( 2 bedroom flat ) we should look forward to shell out in starting to be comfortable.


    • BobinOz November 27, 2014, 7:26 pm |

      I will leave this one to the locals, hopefully someone from Sydney can give you some guidance. Do be sure to read all of the above comments already made though, you should pick up some great information about many Sydney suburbs.

      Cheers, Bob

    • carl January 3, 2015, 12:40 pm |

      Lindfield perhaps?
      It is a 20 min train journey to North Sydney on the Pacific Hwy & it is a nice, leafy Upper North Shore suburb. However, need a high income to afford housing.
      Good luck.

  • BobinOz November 24, 2014, 5:27 pm |

    Hi Julien

    I have had to start a new thread, that one has reached the end of its allowed length. Can’t help you with the areas, but as for bringing your furniture and the problem with wood, we brought across loads of wooden furniture without problems. Wardrobes, IKEA shelving, storage boxes, tables and chairs, no problem at all.

    What we did have problems with though is outdoor furniture, especially wooden outdoor furniture. Anything that’s come into contact with the soil is likely to be a problem unless it is very thoroughly cleaned and in some cases, treated.

    That was my experience, but that was seven years ago. I’m not sure what the current regulations are but I’ll see if I can get a removals expert who I know to comment here.

    Cheers, Bob

    • Julien November 24, 2014, 6:00 pm |

      Thanks very much Bob. Still find it a bit of a grey area, so advice from professionals would be superb. Technically, any pair of shoes and most cloths have the potential to be turned down (as you’ve experienced with your trainers)…being an outdoors persons, that scares me a little (loads of expensive climbing gear)!!

      • Hilary November 24, 2014, 10:59 pm |

        Well I’m not a professional Julien but you just need to be scrupulous in washing boots etc and scrubbing the soles so no sign of mud or grass/seed bits. I brought my walking boots, trainers and outdoor shoes and had no problem with customs in Sydney. When you fill in the customs form remember to put (cleaned) in brackets beside each item of footwear. I didn’t bring any outdoor furniture but certainly indoor wooden furniture, as Bob described, got through with no problems. Customs officials are customs officials and sometimes I think it depends which side of the bed they’ve got out of that morning!

        • UKAussi November 25, 2014, 7:12 am |

          We came over 7 months ago from USA and we brought NOTHING from outside, including bikes. Could have cleaned them but they often still charge you a fee to clean them their way so was cheaper to sell them and just buy kids new bikes when the time comes.
          We brough plenty of wood furniture which movers (international experts) said was no issue as none were from UNTREATED wood.
          Shoes, just thoroughly clean them and place in a clear plastic bags. We used very large ziploc bags with 10-15 pairs in each but you may want to put any “climbing” shoes in individual bags so they can inpsect easily if they want.
          They will have issues with artificial plants even if they have never been outside. They wanted to have us pay $500 to have them all treated but we chose $190 to have them destroyed. As part of a dispute with the handling company (agents here in Sydney – Company name removed by Admin) who were ripping us off (different story – don’t use them) we did talk with an agent at the docks and he though that destroying them all was a bit much and I beleive he must of called the DoA agents as they did not destroy much of what they said they were going to (although description was very vague) and all our artificial trees got delivered.
          Hope this helps

  • Hina November 11, 2014, 7:20 pm |

    Hi we r living in London (uk) me my husband and 2 kids , my husband is an Accountant n we want to move in Australia but no idea that which is the the best city to to move in where my husband get good job n my kids have good schools any body tell us or advice us . Thanks

    • BobinOz November 13, 2014, 12:24 am |

      Australia is a big place, you really need to narrow down your search a bit. I suggest you start doing that by reading the information on my page called A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia.

      Once you have a better idea, you can then post questions on the relevant pages for those cities if you have any.

  • Josh November 9, 2014, 10:37 am |


    Myself and partner are looking for an area near the coast maximum 45 mins from Sydney cbd that’s value for money.

    Ideally we would prefer a house as we are expecting although a decent size apartment would do.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • BobinOz November 10, 2014, 2:10 pm |

      Hi Josh

      Again, I’ll need to leave this to those who know Sydney well, although I’m not sure that near the coast and value for money are ever likely to go together in Sydney. Anyone have any ideas on this one?

  • Julien November 8, 2014, 6:45 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Your website is an absolute gem!!
    I know you’re not living in Sydney, but the community is usually keen to help. So here we go…
    I just had a job offer from the University of Western Sydney. I haven’t accepted it yet, but strongly considering it as we are tired of Cardiff and the infamous Welsh weather… I would be based on Campbelltown campus. Being an academic, I would have decent salary for Sydney (circa $120k gross). The University has a service to help newbies with relocation, but I suspect they will ask us where we want to live.
    My wife is an accountant and have the same working rights as me (arranged by UWS).
    My first thoughts are to live close to work as I will probably be the only one working at least to start. I think a safe budget would be around $500 per week. Not much requirement (we have a dog but based on price to take him and apparent difficulties to rent, he may have to go back to our breeder). We are not particularly fussed about night life and would rather a good suburb close to the campus and with decent access to the city for my wife (I assume most of the ‘finance’ job would be there). I’m sure my good lady wouldn’t mind being with easy access of the beach, while I’m definitely more looking towards the Mountain and some good climbing!!! But nothing essential here.
    What do people think about where to live for our budget and position? From what I have checked quickly, there are some nice enough places in Campbelltwon for our budget (2/3 beds bungalow with a nice garden and even a pool for few of them).

    • UKAussi November 9, 2014, 8:34 am |

      1st, before you decide anything, you should ideally come to Sydney for a week or 2 and drive around the area you will be working and some of the potential areas you would like to live. We did this last year and then came over this May (from the US) but was more important to us as we are a family of 4. It is important as you may just not have the feeling that you want to be in that area (we went to Melbourne as our 1st choice as cheaper but just couldn’t see us living there for what we wanted)

      Take this from a newbies standpoint though as only been here 5 months and I am used to living in new houses in newly developed areas (of California).

      If I had a job in Campbelltown I would live there as that is one of the few areas that is affordable, safe and has new housing. We visited there twice while looking at model homes and even Campbelltown varies from the old areas to the new. New areas are the most multicultural as it is where most of us immigrants settle so lots of food choices, new store and less chance of crime.

      Main train line into Campbelltown so easy trip into Sydney CBD if you want and connect to other trains. Public transport is great but roads congested at peak times.
      You can also drive south to Wollongong for leisure to visit the mountains there and it appears to have some beaches to the south when we took a trip there a few weeks back.
      You can also take the motorway north (some tolls) and west out to the Blue mountains.

      Finally, just be aware cost of living higher here (probably not much more for you guys in Wales) but gas, electricity expensive and houses do not have double glazing so when cold expect to pay more for heating and vice versa when hot.

      Hope this helps. Maybe some more established resident can help you more.

      • Hilary November 9, 2014, 11:08 am |

        Yes, I agree with UKAussie, if you can possibly get over to Sydney for a reccie it would help you with choices. Places are so different in real life and when you chat to locals! Bear in mind that Campbelltown is a place that many people are having to live as it is still relatively affordable, in Sydney terms, I’m not sure it would be their first choice. When I was in Sydney looking for somewhere on a tight budget Campbelltown was suggested to me by local people. Also although it’s true that the train line is an advantage (not all suburbs are linked by trains), it takes quite a while to get back into the CBD, certainly 45mins if not an hour. If your partner is working in the CBD she may not be best pleased by two long commutes each day! Some of the western suburbs are definitely best avoided so be careful. However it sounds as though you’ll have a good income, especially if your partner is working, so you might want to look closer to the CBD but on the same train line? Yes, as well as there being no double glazing the walls are thin and not insulated either. It can be really cold indoors during the winter – lots of glass and shiny floors – so be prepared! Everything is about double the cost of the UK but once you’re earning dollars it evens itself out. Hope this is of some help, I only spent 6 months in Sydney so was also a newbie.

        • Julien November 9, 2014, 6:46 pm |

          Thanks Hilary and UKAussie for the tips. It would indeed be ideal to come for a couple of weeks especially because all interviews have been done by Skype/phone and we never visited Oz…However, being an academic I would struggle to take time off during teaching term and my wife being Russian, I assume she would need a visa even for a holiday trip. Something I will definitely consider though (over Xmas?) as I may be able to use part of my relocation package to go at least on my own.
          Do you guys know if rental contracts can be short (ie. 3-6 months) which would allow us to get a better idea of where we want to live? Also, hopefully my wife would have found a job by then and we would have a more definitive budget. I understand that the competition to rent is fierce, so not sure they offer short leases.
          Having lived in Canada, I am used to cardboard houses, but at least we had double glazing…:)

          • BobinOz November 9, 2014, 9:56 pm |

            Hi Julien, I’m glad to hear you like my website and I’m even more pleased to see that a couple of my regular readers, UKAussie and Hilary (thanks UKAussie and Hilary) have helped you out with your question. As you rightly say, I can’t really help, I don’t know Sydney well enough.

            I can tell you though that it is possible to negotiate a six-month contract for rental, although the preference is for 12 months. You may struggle with the dog though, most rentals just don’t allow pets. The advice you have been given is sound, it would be great if you could come here for a recce first and it’s always worth trying to get a six-month rental contract if you can, that way you can have a good look around and decide where you really want to live when you get here.

            Good luck, Bob

            • Hilary November 9, 2014, 10:32 pm |

              Yes, this contract thing is tricky. As far as I know most landlords want a 12 month contract because if you leave after a 6 month contract the landlord has to pay another ‘tenant finding’ fee to the agent. You can ‘break your lease’ before the 12 months but you remain responsible for paying the rent until the agent finds another tenant to take over the remainder of your lease and I think you have to pay some sort of penalty fee to the agent too. Can’t help thinking that the agent may not try too hard to find another tenant as the rent is still being paid and therefore the landlord is still happy. Clearly it can be expensive to move out early. Maybe I’m being unfair and a tad cynical but…. Anyway, the norm is a 12 month lease and in a competitive market like Sydney you may not get very far if you only want 6 months.

              • UKAussi November 10, 2014, 8:46 am |

                There will likely be 6 month contracts around in Campbelltown and surrounding areas (especially to the west of Campbelltown on west side of motorway) as lots of new housing, much of which is “investor” property where land & homes are bought & built by individuals etc purely to rent out. Whereas rental prices may not drop they may compete on contracts.
                You can also go the route of furnished rentals on a month by month basis as we did for 2 months whilst we found the area and the rental we wanted but you will pay a lot more, likely double. For us the cost was worth ensuring we were in the right area and the right rental for 12-24 months that we anticipated whilst we looked at buying land and building ourselves.
                Probably most importantly, it will also give you time to talk with colleagues at your workplace and get their feedback as locals usually have the best insight into where to live, are more importantly, where NOT to live as every city around the world has good and bad places and often they are within a mile of each other.

                Definitely leave the dog with good people back home if you can as it is better for them and you I think

                • BobinOz November 10, 2014, 1:55 pm |

                  One or two month rental of a furnished place is a good idea, if you can get one at a decent price. Good suggestion UKAussi.

                  Hilary, just on your point where you think landlords wouldn’t try too hard if the rental is being covered by the contract breaking tenant, that isn’t the case. Landlords have an obligation to try very hard otherwise, if that contract breaking tenant can question the efforts of the landlord/agency and make a case that they are not trying hard enough, they can be relieved of their financial obligation to cover the rent.

                  That’s my understanding of the law around that one.

                  Cheers, Bob

                  • Julien November 10, 2014, 5:00 pm |

                    Thanks very much for your help.
                    From what I have read here, our stuff wouldn’t show up for another 6-8 weeks at least, so at least a couple of months of renting a furnished home could be a good idea. As to the premium price…yeah well so be it, I guess. You can’t have it all!!!

                    • Julien November 23, 2014, 8:15 pm |

                      Hi all,
                      a quick update. I now have an agreement in principle with the University in Sydney. Few more things to negotiate like the visas. The want me/us to be on a 457, while I argue I need the permanent 186 so that I can apply for grants, but fingers crossed it will all work out…
                      Anyways, they are flying me over for a week (end f next week) to ‘discuss’ and I will have few spare days to have a look around where we could live. Based on other comments here, we have identified the north bank of the George river (Mortdale, Oatley, Hurstville) as a good area as it has the train to the CBD and good access to the M5 for me to head south to Campbelltown (campus). Do you guys have any other areas to recommend that would fit these criteria?
                      I’m hoping to be able to walk into an real estate agent office and ask the same questions if not view properties. Is that realistic? Or should I target somebody else?
                      Also Bob, because I have a good relocation package we would take our furnitures with us. Apparently they are not too keen on wood, which excludes pretty much any furniture for anyone…I’ve read your experience, but what is the rule?
                      So many questions and so little time…
                      thanks for the responses

                  • Hilary November 10, 2014, 11:01 pm |

                    Thanks Bob, that’s reassuring to know that there’s a law to make sure they toe the line. You can tell I’ve spent far too long in the UK where as you know, estate agents aren’t held in the highest esteem!

                    • BobinOz November 11, 2014, 4:50 pm |

                      Ha ha, yes, UK estate agents don’t have the best reputation, do they? I seem to remember they were voted the least (or at least one of) trusted profession in a survey many years ago.

  • Sappho October 24, 2014, 5:56 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Your website has been so useful, so thanks for keeping it up!
    My boyfriend and I are coming to Oz on a working holiday visa. We’re both certified EFL teachers and, ideally, we’d like to find work in language schools. I was wondering if you, or anyone else, could advise on the best cities to find teaching work?
    In the uk, work is seasonal as so many Europeans come to learn English over summer. I know the main bulk of students in Oz come from Asia but haven’t been able to find out if there’s a peak season out there, too.
    Any advise would be much appreciated.

    • BobinOz October 24, 2014, 10:01 pm |

      I can’t really help with this Sappho, it’s a bit too specialised for me, I know nothing about the teaching industry. All I can suggest is you look at my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and use the links to the online employment agencies there to see which cities offer the most opportunities for you both.

      Good luck, Bob

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