Living in Sydney
Sydney 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 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:
Sydney 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.
im moving soon from perth to sydney.
which part of sydney has less commuters in terms of train ride?
To get to where? I wouldn’t know the answer myself, but if you give more details, somebody might be able to help you.
I would say that all of Sydney’s trains are very congested at peak periods if you are travelling to the city. On my commute the other day at 7:30am there were no seats available and very little standing room available either. If you are travelling away from the city in morning peak times, it’s not bad and you can find a seat usually. Same goes for the afternoon peak, when most people are coming out of the CBD.
Hope that helps
This is kind of a strange question, but I’m not sure where to really get advice.
I’m looking into getting a working holiday visa from Canada to Australia. I’ve heard mixed reviews about discrimination towards darker-skinned people and I just wanted to clear the air. I want to be in a place where I feel comfortable and safe. Is moving there (or not) recommended?
Any help would be appreciated! I’m also looking for the best area to live – I’m a city girl but I still love the outdoors. Somewhere close to the beach, restaurants and coffee shops but still affordable.
We have millions of dark skinned people living here, Australia is a very multicultural society. Sure, we have a very small minority of idiots, but the vast majority will welcome you.
I’ve got a post about this, see…
If you’re coming here on a WHV, then it’s best not to live in one area in particular, but to see as much of Australia as you possibly can. I have a couple of additional posts you might like to read, see Working Holiday Visas and Backpacking in Australia.
I am looking to relocate from Melbourne to sydney as I was recently offered a job there. I will be working near north sydney, my office is 3mins away from the station.
I currently pay $350 per week in melbounre for a small one bedroom unit, where should I start looking if I want to pay something similar? (Maybe go up to about $450?)
Would be great if the commute takes less than 45minutes?
Appreciate your help!
Well, this is a question I will best leave to a local, but I did do just a quick search out of interest through the real estate portal I have listed on my page Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia.
30 properties came up in and around North Sydney that were one and two bedroomed with rents of between $350-$450 per week. So it seems to me you could possibly live very close to your office. As I say though, maybe somebody with local knowledge will give you a better answer than I can.
You should have no trouble finding a one bedroom unit within 45 mins commute of North Sydney with that price range. If you like being near the harbour, you will pay more, for a smaller unit, but will be very close to “the action” so to speak. Whatever you do, leave the car at home (if you have one) as traffic in that area is brutal, nearly all the time. Harbourside places would include suburbs like Neutral Bay, Mosman, Crows Nest, Northbridge, Cremorne and Milson’s Point. If you don’t mind being away from the Harbour, then I would opt for a suburb within walking distance of a station that connects to North Sydney, like, St Leonards, Wollstonecraft, Waverton, Artarmon, Chatswood, Lindfield, Killara, Gordon, Turramurra, Warrawee, Waitara, Hornsby, or even North Ryde, Epping, Eastwood, Cheltenham, Beecroft or Pennant Hills. Another alternative might be living across the Harbour from North Sydney and use the ferry to get to work. That would mean suburbs like the beautiful, trendy and quite reasonably priced Balmain, Birchgrove or Pyrmont.
Hope that helps.
Me & my wife have plans to move in Sydney with our to children a boy 6 years & daughter 5 years old. I work as a bus driver and my wife works as a nurse. Can u suggest us in which part of the city it will be best for us? We have a budget about $30.000 to get starting.
I’ll assume that you put the decimal in the wrong position and you meant $300 per week as a rental target. Here is a search for Western Sydney that turned up 77 properties in your price range. Most of them are in the far edges of Sydney, or in the “not-so-nice” areas. You will need to remember that Sydney is a vast city, roughly 80km wide and 120km long. It’s important to try to live near where you work in Sydney, to avoid very long commuting times if you rely on road transport. If you can tell me which hospital your wife will be working at then I can give you more precise advice about where to look. Bus companies always seem to be advertising for more drivers so that is a good sign that you may find work fairly quickly. There are bus companies all over Sydney so you will probably have more geographical flexibility than your wife.
Hope that helps
I actually meant that we have a budget of $ 30.000 ($ thirty thousand) to have a start.That include house rent, food and daily needs.I thought being close to St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney area. Now the questions is. How long can we go with those money in case if we didn’t find a job. And what about job? Is that difficult or easy to find a job? Is there any job office who can help us to find a job?
Have a nice time
I have an job offer from Sydney. Planning to join by April 2017. I am a family of three that includes my kid (4 yrs). I dont know anything about Sydney.
Initially I plan to come alone and explore the place. Could you please help me to know more about Sydney its surrounding suburbs that are near Barangaroo which is my office location? I plan to rent a place probably a two bed room. Please guide me through this.
You will need to give us more information about your rental budget and the things that are important to your choice of location.
I’m 28 and moving to Sydney in a few weeks. I will be working in Parramatta, on George Street. I’m looking for a place to stay preferably a 30 min commute to work. Could you please advise on any possible suburbs.
That narrows it down to about 150 suburbs! Can you give me some more information about your rental budget and things that are important to you about your place of residence.
I’m looking to pay about 300p/w close to a train station (preferably a direct line to George Street). Perhaps a gym close by, but not too fussy for a start.
My first comment is that $300p/w is possible, but will land you in a pretty ordinary suburb with train access to Parrammatta (ie mainly to the West or South of Parra). If it was me, I’d want to live on the Eastern side of the train line in a suburb like Strathfield, Burwood, Croydon, Ashfield, Leichhardt, Haberfield or Summer Hill. Alternatively you could take the Rivercat Ferry from riverside locations with new apartment developments like Meadowbank, Wentworth Point or Rhodes, as well as some lovely scenic suburbs like, Cabarita, Concord, Breakfast Point, Mortlake, Abbotsford, Chiswick, Henley, Huntley’s Point, Gladesville, Drummoyne, Woolwich, Greenwich, Birchgrove and Balmain. I think you will need to up your rental budget though if you want to be in any of the suburbs mentioned. Parramatta itself has a lot of new (and old) apartment blocks and towers being built that are closer to your price range and would be within walking distance of George St. The CBD area there has some great restaurants in Church Street and is getting a state of the art Football Stadium on the site of Parramatta Park, for Football and Rugby League games. However Parramatta as a whole still suffers from an image problem, probably more associated with it’s past than it’s present.
Hope that helps
Hi Bob/Sydney folks,
Thanks for this helpful read.
My family of 3 (husband, 1.5yr old son and me) are moving this March 2017 as PR. Can somebody help me and suggest good suburbs for families ? Near a train station, grocery (so we can carry the heavy bags back home) and parks (for my son). Husband will work in CBD — Near Sussex or Shelley street I think. We’re thinking of maximum 30minutes travel time to his work, and hopefully, by train (people say it’s easier to travel by train since by bus, travel time might vary because of traffic.) No need to be near the beach or the harbour.
Thanks so much!
If you gave me an idea of your rental budget (assuming you are not looking to buy immediately) I can be more specific. However there are many good family friendly suburbs, with good parks and green spaces,within 30 minutes train trip of the CBD. If he is near Shelley St, then Wynyard will be the closest train station. You should also consider the Ferry services if your budget stretches to Harbourside suburbs. A quick grab-bag of suburbs I can think of in this category include, on the North Shore, Chatswood, Roseville, Lindfield, Killara, Gordon (even Turramurra, Wahroonga, Waitara and Hornsby if you don’t mind a few more minutes on the Train); or on the Bankstown Line, Erskineville, Newtown, Enmore, Marrickville, Dulwich Hill, Hurlstone Park; or on the light rail, Glebe, Lilyfield, Leichhardt, Haberfield; or Eastern Suburbs line, Double Bay, Woollahra, Edgecliff, Queenspark or Bondi Junction. Northern Line suburbs are generally leafier, and less congested, while all the other suburbs named are fairly hectic, but the East is also pretty leafy (and expensive!).
Hope that helps.
Sorry, I also should have added Northern Line suburbs such as North Ryde, Ryde, Marsfield and Epping (and Cheltenham, Beecroft and Pennant Hills if you can cop a few more minutes on the train)
I am Joseph from India, 28. I will be moving to Sydney next month along with my wife as she will be doing her studies in Macquarie University (North Ryde). Secondly I will be soon looking for full time job. My budget for a rented studio/1 bedroom apartment is anywhere between 300-500AUD. Can you pls suggest me some good spots to stay?
I work in North Ryde so know the area very well. You should be able to find something around North Ryde, Marsfield, Epping, Eastwood or Ryde, for that sort of money. I would stay close to the Northern Train line as it will give you good access to jobs in North Sydney or the CBD, and also the Central train station if you need to travel elsewhere. Marsfield is quite a walk from the Macquarie Uni train station, but very close to the Uni itself. There are a lot of new high rise apartments being built in North Ryde within walking distance of the Uni, so there should be downwards pressure on prices there soon.
Here is a search I used that turned up a few one bedroom apartments in your price range:
I am living in India and working in place Bangalore. I have an experience in Pharmaceutical sales (9 Years ) and presently working in largest private sector bank in sales (since 10 years). I am very much interested to live and work in Australia, I heard many of people surrounding us living and working in Australia. But for me its a big task how to go about. Few simple reasons are influenced me to work in Australia are Quality of life, Unspoilt Nature, Multicultural Society, Health care system, laid back lifestyle, Great job opportunities.
Size of my family is – myself , wife and two daughters (12 yrs & 9Yrs) are staying along with our parents – Mother & Father (72yrs & 73 yrs ).
Kindly suggest how to proceed right from VISA to getting good job in nice place.
Thanks & Regards,
Hi Shivanand you would need to talk to a Mara agent about visa options, however I think options are limited for the elderly. (your mother and father).
I’m moving to Sydney on a 457 work permit (company sponsored visa). Presently, I will be travelling alone & wifey would join later. My office location would be at Walker street. Could you please guide on some of the good residential areas for me which would be affordable and nearby to workplace. Many thanks in advance!
Hi Samik, Walker street is in North Sydney, quite possibly one of the most expensive areas to live in Sydney..
You would need to work out what type of place you want to live in, how long you are will to travel for to get to work. I lived about an hour from Walker street by train when I was working in that area as I had no wish to spend all of my salary on accomodation.. A one bedroom apartment in the area is likely to set you back 500-650 a week as long as you don’t want to many extras, a studio apartment (1 room) probably closer to the $400 a week. however if you are willing to catch a train just look at suburbs along the direct train to North Sydney station. Chatswood for instance could be signficantly cheaper but is still a good area.
Thats an excellent response. Appreciate it!
Would you be able to suggest some more area’s along with chatswood. Also could you advise on how much would be the living expense for a couple on an average?
Me and My wife are looking for a job right now. I am working as a Software developer and my wife is a French Teacher. We are confused to chose Sydney or Melbourne. Which place will be better in terms of getting a job and finding a good place to live? Please advise.
The inhabitants of both Sydney and Melbourne have been arguing for decades about which city is better, as yet no conclusion has been made. Without doubt though, they are our two most prosperous cities when it comes to opportunities, as well is being the most expensive two cities in Australia for places to live.
What is best for you, I don’t know, but you can research it for yourself on my pages Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia.
Good luck, Bob
I do not want to get in the argument of which city is better. But being in IT, I just wanted to know from your experience as to which city will have more opportunities for me?
I also work in IT and have lived in both Melbourne and Sydney. I’d say that Sydney has 30% to 50% more opportunities because there are more, and larger, IT companies operating in Sydney than in Melbourne. That said, Melbourne is still a good location for IT services jobs. I think both locations will also have good opportunities for your wife as a French teacher. Here’s my opinion on lifestyles having lived in both locations for 15 years plus. Melbourne and Sydney are both good places to live, but for different reasons. Sydney has generally better weather with Melbourne having a longer and colder winter. Sydney has better outdoor options as a result and is blessed with a beautiful harbour and beach culture, with green belts of forest coming right into the city. However it’s traffic is diabolical and real estate and rents are astronomical. Melbourne has a better “indoor” culture revolving around food, music, arts and is more alternative in general. It is also the music and sporting capital of Australia in terms of the population going to events, and has incredible facilities and sports culture (especially AFL). Inner Melbourne also has better public transport networks than Sydney. Other than that, they are remarkably similar in lifestyle and culture.
I hope that’s helpful.
That was the perfect reply anyone could have written. Thanks for taking time and adding up details. It means a lot to me and my wife.. I am now biased towards Melbourne with your precious advice.. good luck to you.. god bless
Yes, I thought so too. It’s a great summary of the two cities from someone who has lived in both AND as an IT guy. Perfect for you, and a much better answer than I could give 🙂
Hi , My husband and I along with two teenage daughters are planning to move to Sydney near Sydney University. Any suggestion on which area to live, thanks. Josephine
If somebody is going to try and help you with this Josephine, you will need to give more information about what you want from a suburb and also what your budget is. I also assume one of you at least will be going to Sydney University, but what about the other one? Will they be working somewhere or will they need to access somewhere on a regular basis?
Hi Josephine…like Bob says it would help knowing a budget.
Ultimo,Newtown, Chippendale are the suburbs that border Sydney University but they are also very expensive places to rent. With rents easily topping the $1000 a week unless you are happy in a 2 bedroom unit and then you are looking nearer the $700 mark.
How far from the university is considered close, how much do you have to spend each week, who is going to the univeristy is it your daughters or are one of you working at the university. If it is working at the university I would suggest that one of you ask the faculty where they live and how they find the commute. Sydney University is not a long walk from Central Station so rapid train links via express train can be found for places that are much further out that are therefore much larger and cheaper.
Hi, we are a young couple looking to move to Sydney.
We have a dog so would not be able to live in an apartment. We need to be close to public transport as one of us does not drive and will be working in the CBD. A place to park a car would also be preferred, as would a shed or carport.
I know that is a lot to ask, so any advice (even the tiniest thing) would be much appreciated! Thanks for your help.
Hopefully somebody who knows Sydney well will help you with this Anna, but I think you will need to at least let people know what your budget is, either in terms of what you are looking to pay to buy a house or your weekly rental limit in AUD. It would also help to know a little more about what you want from the suburb itself.
If you provide this extra information, hopefully someone will help you out.
Hi Anna, probably the first thing you and your partner need to do is sit down and work out a budget..that is critical, next work out how long the person that is traveling to the CBD is willing to spend getting to and from work. For some people they will say ” I love the dog I will travel 5 hours a day if it means I get to keep the dog” while others say “If I have to travel longer than 30mins because of the dog it is gone!!” After that you can work out a list of wants and needs. Sydney is a pretty big place and without those bits of information it is a shot in the dark.
Hi, we are from Melbourne and thinking of moving to Sydney. Our budget is $750,000 to buy. We are looking for somewhere safe because we have a little girl. We also like to be close to public transport to connect into the city where we will be working. Close to very good childcare and schools, doctors and shops will be ideal. Can you please advise which areas of Sydney would best suit us?
Hi Billy. The average price for a house in Sydney is around $1M. That being said, it is an average meaning there are houses below and above that.
I would suggest looking along the rail lines as the bus links in Sydney aren’t great (unless you’re in inner city which is very expensive). However, you may need to look a fair distance from the CBD as most prices within 20kms of the CBD are well over $1M.
Unless you must move to Sydney look at Brisbane or Adelaide. Much more affordable and you’d probably end up with a better quality of life.
If you don’t mind living in a apartment, $750K will get you a reasonable two bedroom within 20 kms of the CBD. Again, look at the rail lines for ideas. North, South, and inner west are probably the best (in my opinion).
I agree with Chris that you will need to look a lot further out to get a house for $750k, and probably more like 40km from the CBD. My question would be “why do you want to move to Sydney?” You can buy a house closer to the CBD in Melbourne for $750k. If you really must move to Sydney, and apartment living is acceptable to you, then you should be able to find something around that price in suburbs like Lindfield, Roseville, Turramurra, Hornsby, Beecroft, Epping, West Ryde, Meadowbank, Marrickville, and Dulwich Hill. All of these have train access to the city, have plenty of good schools and are safe areas. I also agree with Chris that you should stick to area’s with a train station to avoid Sydney’s dreadful traffic during commuting peaks.
I hope that is useful.
Which city would you recommend for a registered nurse (NICU but willing to work on a level 2 or even Mother and Baby Unit) , a guy who works in sales (manager) and a 2 year old? We’ve been living in Canada for the past 10 years and are fed up with the cold here. I have always wanted to come to Australia but never had the gut to make it happen. I am thinking more frequently lately. We make good money here but are unhappy with the weather.
So, I am interested in a good climate (how hot can be in Australia btw?), in a good/safe community and what is the job prospective for our professions? Should we immigrate or just try to come with a work visa? Where should we start looking as a starting point?
Lots of questions there ana and I have lots of pages here with all the answers, you just need to have a good look around. For example, A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia and Getting a Job or a Sponsorship will help you with a couple of those questions.
My most recent post answers another one of your questions…
Have a good look around, it’s all here. Good luck, Bob
I am relocating to aus in Feb-17. I am an engineer and have heard about opportunities in Sydney and Melbourne. please tell me where i cant find more opportunities between these two. Also which one is a better place to live in with family. I ll come with my wife and 2 years old daughter. I’d love to live in quiet neighbourhood, some parks around to walk in with family and have some market for everyday grocery.
Well, they are both quite busy cities, Sydney is bigger than Melbourne and the more expensive of the two for housing. Both are streets ahead of all of our other cities when it comes to work opportunities, but I can tell you which of the two would be best for you.
You can research it though on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship. If I were you, I’d probably be inclined to go to whichever city offers the most opportunities for you. Do check housing prices though, you can do that from my page Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia.
My husband, I and our 2 young children are considering a move to Sydney. The move would be based around working at millers point in the city centre and commuting in by train. Can you recommend any family friendly areas where we could rent ideally a 3 or otherwise 2 bed for @600-700pw and a 45 min max commute?
I am Brisbane based so I can’t help, but hopefully someone who knows the area well will see this and give you an answer. Anybody got any ideas?
We are relocating to sydney , and hence I have been reading lot of your posts. You have captured the details around different questions so well.
So here is my question 🙂
We , a family of 3 ( me, my hsband , and 5 year old daughter) are moving to sydney next month.
My husband will be working at St. leonards. So we are looking for 2 bedroom apts ( aprrox 500$- 570 $). I have Epping, Carlingford, and west ryde in mind.
1) So for our budget where can we get a good size 2 BR apt
2) Where can I have good parks where my daughter can go and make new friends
3) good primary schools nearby
4) safe place to stay.
Please recommend if the other places are fine and if you have any other recommendation.
We would love to be close to indian grocery stores
If your husband is intending to take the train to work in St Leonards (that’s what I would recommend) then the best Suburbs will be ones within walking distance of a train station on either the Northern Line: Artarmon, Chatswood, North Ryde, Marsfield, Epping, North Epping, Carlingford (the areas close to Epping station), Cheltenham, Beecroft, Pennant Hills, Thornleigh, Westleigh, Normanhurst, Hornsby, or;
the North Shore Line: Roseville, Lindfield, Killara, Gordon, Pymble, Turrumurra, Warrawee, Wahroonga, Waitara. You could even go North of Hornsby to places like Asquith, Mt Colah, Mt Ku-ring-gai or Berowra which are still on the train line, but you will find larger places for less money. The trade-off is the distance from the CBD and time in travelling. You could also look at suburbs without train links, meaning you will need to have a car or take the bus, however then you are at the mercy of the traffic, which can be brutal.
Check http://www.realestate.com.au for comparing rental prices. All of the places mentioned above are safe, have access to green spaces and good schools. I’m not familiar with where to find Indian supermarkets however there are plenty of Indian people in Sydney so I expect they will exist somewhere.
Hope that helps.
Chatswood is a particular favourite suburb of mine in that area. These days it has a big Asian community and some of the best Asian restaurants and cafes in Sydney, especially around (and above) the train station. Google says that it also has at least a couple of Indian groceries. It’s a much more interesting place than it was ten or twenty years ago.
Hi preeti,i am neha planning to move to sydney around apr..have 7 yr old son..let me know once u figure out good school amd area in sydney..we can catch up and discuss..my email os email@example.com
hy,I’m sharme from Bangladesh & also a diploma engineer in architecture technology. by profession I’m a teacher. i want to settle in Australia with my 2 years baby & husband. wants to work visa permit. plz,help me & give me advice, how to come Australia. thank you,dear.
It’s not easy getting a visa for Australia, but all the advice I do have is on the pages from my Migration Advice section. Good luck, Bob
I will be moving to Sydney with my 2 young children and husband. I will be working at thr Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Can anyone suggest safe, family-friendly neighbourhoods with reasonable rent prices?
Thank you for your help.
I think everyone’s gone Christmas shopping Mel, and I’m afraid I can’t answer this being up here in Brisbane. Please stay tuned though, I’m sure someone will get back to you at some point. Cheers, Bob
Can you please define “reasonable” in relation to rental prices. If you can give me a range I will be better placed to help you. Also if you can tell me how you are intending to travel to work, that will also help. For example if you intend to use public transport to get to work, that will influence where I would recommend you go. That said, I like the area around North Parramatta, Winston Hills and North Rocks. There are some fairly dodgy area’s around Westmead, mainly to the South and West that I would avoid. I would try to stay North of the Toongabbie Creek and the Parramatta River. Parramatta itself is now a vibrant commercial area with lots of Restaurants and Cafe’s, however still attracts some “undesirable” types from time to time.
I am moving with my husband to sydney this february. I would be travelling to wollongong university for my studies from sydney. Through my research i found south west sydney has the minimum rentals. I am looking for single bedroom units or studios(hopefully in between,$160 -$260 per week rentals including everything and have nearest train transport)close to wollongong(approx 1 hour) as well as sydney cbd(20 min).please suggest a place where we can afford this budget.
Pretty sure you won’t get anything in Sydney with that budget, you might need to reassess your plans. Additionally, Sydney to Wollongong would not be an enjoyable commute.
Me and my family are moving to sydney, kids are in preescolar age and we have 2 small dogs, my husband office is in Matraville.
if you can suggest some areas for renting, i would like to have good Public Transportation to Downtown as i will not have a car the first months, my husband will.
I started to look Matraville, maroubra, coogee, etc. But i dont know about transportation, we also hear that north sydney is quite lovely but driving through sydney might be difficult with the trafic.
You are bang on the money regarding Northern Sydney and traffic issues. If your husband is working in Matraville, you’ll want to be in the Eastern suburbs or Southern suburbs. There are no trains running to anywhere near Matraville, only buses. Maroubra and Coogee would be good choices if you can afford those areas, and also look at Malabar, Pagewood, Little Bay and Randwick. You may find better value as you go further South into the Sutherland Shire, or West towards Hurstville and Kingsgrove . Areas like Sylvania, Cronulla, Gymea Bay, and Yowie Bay are very nice places to live but a bit further to commute. The area around the airport is particularly bad traffic wise and living South or West of there will then mean you have longer and more congested commute times. Some people who work in the Port Botany area commute from as far away as Waterfall, and even Wollongong (or beach villages to the North of Wollongong). Wollongong house prices and rents are roughly half of those in somewhere like Maroubra or Coogee. I hope that’s useful.
Thank you for the Info, very helpfull. What about Alexandria? and refering to north sydney, which area would you recommend?
Thanks again, this Blog is very very good 🙂
Alexandria used to be a commercial area, but areas like it and surrounding suburbs like Zetland are being turned into residential areas. They’re nice enough and they’re close to the city.
The suburbs around North Sydney are very nice and on the expensive side. It’d be hard to find a mediocre one, let alone a bad one. Kirrabilli is a favourite of mine. Crows Nest has a big strip of cafes and restaurants. Cammeray, Northbridge and Waverton are quiet, suburban and often beautiful.
Agree with Dan’s comments about Alexandria/Zetland area, although the further west you go, especially across Southern Cross Drive, the more congested and difficult it will be to get to Matraville. Also agree that it’s hard to find a bad place to live on the North Shore, but very expensive. Lavender Bay, Neutral Bay and Cremorne are also very nice suburbs there.
I’m doing research for a future trip in mind of taking a year or two off to travel, Australia has always been on my list. So for someone who wants to take a year off where are some of the best places to live on a budget?
I’d say anywhere but Sydney and Melbourne, which both have amongst the highest cost of living in the world. Australia is a large continent where a majority of the population live in 3 major city area’s: Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane/Gold Coast, and 83% of the whole population lives within 50km of the coast. 90% of the population live in urban (ie: not rural) areas. It depends what you want to do/see when you get here as to where you should base yourself. The further you go from the 3 major cities, the cheaper the living gets, unless it is a mining community. Some of those can be pricey. Give me more information and I’ll do my best to assist you.
Paul is absolutely right, if you’re looking to do this on a budget, then you should be trying to avoid Sydney and Melbourne. Having said that, and I’m sure Paul will also agree, it would be a very strange one-year visit to Australia that didn’t include some kind of visit to our two biggest cities.
So my advice would need to definitely check out both Sydney and Melbourne, but do it on a budget somehow. A cheap backpackers, maybe camping, pot noodles, bread and cheese. As Paul has also suggested, stick to the eastern coast, it’s where most people live and where most happens.
If it were me, I’d do the east coast run from Sydney through to Brisbane and all the way up to Cairns stopping off at as many of the major cities as possible on the way. Most of all though, have fun!
I’d definitely agree about Sydney to Brisbane. I’d recommend exploring places on the way up like Port Stephens, Myall
Lakes, Hat Head, Urunga, Bellingen and Dorrigo, the Coffs Harbour hinterland, Byron Bay and the Byron Bay hinterland around Nimbin and Uki up to Murwillumbah, the Scenic Rim south of Brisbane, Coolangatta and Rainbow Bay, Stradbroke Island and the Sunshine Coast up until the Great Sandy National Park and Fraser Island.
I’m not familiar with the area north of that except for Cairns, Mossman and Port Douglas, which are all worth a visit.
You can camp a lot of the way up using a resource like findacamp.com.au to find campsites and caravan parks, and there are of course, always youth hostels around.
Hi Paul, I’d like to thank you for Sharing your information. I am attending the university of new south wales (kensington campus) for PhD program this February, what’s your recommendation for a safe and affordable (less than 400 AUD for a furnished 1 bed room unit per week)place to live. My main concern is the price, then access to public transportation (I will buy a car soon), grocery stores and malls are my next priorities. I need your suggestions.
UNSW is in the Eastern Suburbs and I would start your search around Randwick, Coogee and South Coogee, but also look at Maroubra and Pagewood. Public transport is currently fairly poor in the East and consists of buses on very congested (normally) roads. There are no trains to UNSW, and the tramway they are currently building will not be ready for a couple of years. Parking can also be difficult to find if you don’t have an on-site car park with your accommodation. If it was me, I’d look to live fairly close to Anzac Avenue which has plenty of buses and bus lanes to make them flow better, and try to stay east of Southern Cross drive. A lot of students ride scooters, motorcycles or bicycles to cut through the traffic. Look for unit accommodation on realestate.com.au. The good news is that you will be close to some of the best beaches on the planet, and a very vibrant buzzy part of Sydney, with lots of cafes and nightlife nearby. If you like sport, you are also close the SCG and SFS where you can catch Rugby, Football, Rugby League, Australian Rules Football and Cricket games.
Hope that is useful.
Hi again Bob,
My family is looking to rent an apartment or house in Palm Beach, New Wales. Do you happen to know what is the best website or any agents to help look for in accommodations? We’ve found some properties we are interested in but it has been hard to secure a spot.
Thank you so much.
I was in Palm Beach a couple weeks ago, very nice. Check out…
You will find a link to Australia’s biggest house sale and rental website on my page called Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia, but it may be very tricky trying to secure a rental before you get here as most agents prefer that you actually physically inspect the property personally before signing the contract.
The only way around this would be to appoint a relocation expert to act on your behalf, but I don’t know anybody who covers that area; I’m sure Google does though 🙂
I will make sure to check that out, thanks for all your help Bob!
Palm Beach is very beautiful and home to some of the most expensive properties in Australia. In summer it is the playground of the “rich and famous”. Suburbs to the south of there offer much better value for money. Try Avalon, Bayview, Newport, Billgola Plateau, Mona Vale or even Warriewood, which would be the cheapest in the area. The best website for real estate searches is realestate.com.au. Good luck with the search.
My self sourav Samrat from india I am searching a job in Restaurant or pub or in club I can work more than 10 hour and can do overtime.is anyone can sponsor for visa.
hello everyone guys.
my name is Hira citizens of nepalese . I work in a restaurant as a chef especial for indian cusine I am still work in Saudi Arabia I search a job and sponsorship for me .so anybody here can help me?
It is extremely difficult to secure sponsorship before you have arrived in this country or sorted out your visa these days, but you will get advice about this on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship. Good luck, Bob
Hi, we will be moving to Sydney in 2017. We have budgeted ourselves to live in a beach community while still being in the city. Is that just the northern beaches? Which beach communities offer the most peaceful atmosphere (during the work week), cafes, and walking areas? enjoyed the article. Thanks.
Sydney is blessed with some of the best beaches in the world and there are well over 100 different beaches in the Greater Sydney area. Most beaches also have beautiful coastal walking tracks that link many of them together. Generally the further you travel from the CBD, the quieter the beaches become. The Northern Beaches start at Manly and stretch for 30km North until you get to Palm Beach and Broken Bay. They are not close to the CBD though, as it takes at least 30 minutes on the ferry from Circular Quay in the city to Manly, and longer if you are driving. Manly is a very popular tourist destination and gets very busy on the weekend however if you go a little further North the beaches are generally quieter. My favourite beach in Sydney is Freshwater, about 3km North of Manly. You can also look at beaches to the East and South of the CBD. Forget Bondi as it is way too crowded most of the time however if you travel a bit further South to beaches like Coogee, Maroubra and Cronulla, they are much quieter. Most beaches have cafe’s and restaurants very close by, even at the top end of the Northern Beaches area. One caution about the Northern Beaches though, there are no trains. Your only transport options are cars or buses and it can be difficult and frustrating trying to get from the Northern Beaches to any other part of Sydney if you have to work. Manly ferry is probably the best option if you work in the CBD or nearby. I would say the same about the Eastern suburbs too, although there is a new tram line being built from the CBD to Randwick/Coogee which will make travelling there easier.
There are also many beaches on the inside of Sydney Harbour, like Mosman, Balmoral, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Shark Bay and Clontarf, however you will need to be very wealthy to live there as the rents and house prices are some of the most expensive on the planet. They are also the closest to the CBD.
I hope that helps.
The Cronulla-Sutherland Shire is an interesting option. It’s on a rail line and it’s a bit cheaper than the Northern Beaches and the Bondi-Coogee area.
If you don’t mind a bit of travel time then the Northern Beaches is great. Relatively peaceful areas include Bayview, Clontarf, Collaroy Plateau, Elanora Heights, and if you’re really intrepid, Scotland Island and Lovett Bay.
Hi Paul, I’d like to thank you for the amazing work, but I was wondering if I plan on attending the university of Sydney this upcoming February, what’s your best living recommendation for a safe place that’s affordable, kind of a bit quiet, and close to public transparent (given that i have no plans to drive). I’m also not the most social person, so my main concern is the location’s proximity to a grocery store and the general safety of the place.
You will have to give me some idea of your budget for weekly rent for me to give you any recommendations, although anywhere near Sydney Uni will be expensive. I would also say that most of Sydney is pretty safe, by comparison with other global cities, so I would not worry too much about security. Sydney Uni is a 15 minute walk from Central Station, and 10 minute walk from Redfern, which means that you can access the area easily from any of Sydney’s railway lines. If quietness is what you want, the further you travel from the CBD the quieter the neighbourhood will be. The area 5km or so around Sydney Uni is very congested and not what I would call quiet. If you can give me some more parameters like how far you are prepared to travel, and a rental budget, I will makes some suggestions.
We, family of 3 moving to Sydney in May’16. Our daughter is 9 year old. My wife office is in NSW 2113 and apart from initial few month she will be working from home only. Pls guide us where do we look for a permanent accommodation considering close proximity to schools & station.
We were thinking of North Ryde or Paramatta & our budget is 300-400 pw for 1 bedroom property.
I was also planning to book a temp accommodation for 15 days through Airbnb. Does 15 days sufficient or should I take a month accommodation…how much time does it take to finalize a house?
Any inputs will be helpful to plan accordingly.
Your postcode is North Ryde & Macquarie Park. I would take a month to give yourself time to choose the right property and location. 2113 is hard to access by road during morning peak hour, and the same congestion is present on the way home. It can take up to 30 minutes just to leave the precinct. I would look to base myself on the train line which has 3 stations in this postcode. That would mean suburbs such as North Ryde, Marsfield, Eastwood, Epping, Cheltenham, Beecroft, Pennant Hills, Thornleigh, Normanhurst and Hornsby. If you can find accomodation on the city side in your price range, then I’d look at Chatswood, Artarmon, St Leonards, Wollstonecraft, Waverton. You could also look at West Ryde, Denistone, Meadowbank, Rhodes, Concord West and Strathfield. Hope that helps.
Just to add to Paul’s places where to live Id book yourself at least a month if not two …Youd be darn lucky to find and sort a place out in 15 days from arrival.. Not impossible but not probable either…Also depends on renting or buying and how exacting your are going to be e.g. if renting and not to picky you could just about have somewhere within a month…Make sure you have a bank account and get a AU drivers license or some AU ID as soon as you get here..Your wife’s company may allow her to use their address Just ask obviously
Need to know a good locality in sydney to own a house, me and my husband moving from India to sydney and we have 5 year old daughter . I need to know good locality whoch have good school and surrounding with easy excess to local transport
It all depends on what the budget is, and what you are looking for..How many bedrooms, how much land, most places in Sydney have regular buses, however some areas have no access to trains. Some have no direct public transport link to the Sydney CBD and require a change of train/ferry/bus.
My hubby got hob in kings cross and we are trying to find place from where he can travel therand my budget is 350 to 500 aud ..can u suggest something in this criteria
Well, King’s Cross is very central in Sydney, so it would be quite expensive to rent in that area. My suspicion is that with the budget you have you will probably need to look in Western or South-western Sydney but I will leave it to the locals to give you a more accurate answer than I can.
We are possibly moving to Sydney July of 2017. My wife will be working in the CBD and we were thinking of living somewhere in the eastern suburbs as my children will be attending the French School of Sydney.
How is this area for rent prices and transportation downtown and overall quality of life?
Typical rent for a 3 bedroom home in Maroubra ranges from about $650 per week (flat) to $1000 plus (large house). That is pretty cheap by Eastern Suburbs standards.
Maroubra is where the French school is and is also one of Sydney’s best surf beaches. It once had a reputation for some pretty unsavoury characters and gang activity but more recently has become one of the hottest and fastest rising property markets. Once again, your budget will probably dictate where you land, however nearby residential suburbs include Pagewood, Coogee and even Randwick. Lucky for you, the NSW government is building a new tramway from the CBD, with two terminations, one in Randwick and the other near Coogee. Otherwise there are buses that take you from Anzac Parade into the CBD. Traffic can be a killer in the East, as in most other parts of Sydney, but even more so due to the proximity of the Airport at Mascot and sporting events at Moore Park.
Hope that helps
Thank you so much. Very useful info!
I’m a 19 year old girl from Germany and I am doing a gap year right now.
I really liked your article and it already helped me a lot, but there are some questions I have, esacially about the area i should live in. I’ll leave for Sydney in December to do some work and travel and I’m thinking about looking for a shared flat for a month or two. I’d like to get to know some people my age who really live in Sydney, like (international) students, etc.
What area can you recommend ? I don’t necessarily need to be in the most I’d love to have some nice bars, cafés, culture etc. around…
Do you (or anyone?) know where most students live? I think it will be easier for me to get to know people around my age in such an area.
Thank you so much
I’m afraid this question isn’t for me, I’m up here in Brisbane and I’m way too old to know where students hang out 🙂
If you Google ‘uni student rental guide domain’ you will find an article that might help, but I have no idea how accurate it is. Hopefully though someone who knows Sydney well will read your question and give you a more accurate answer.
Good luck though and do enjoy your gap year. Cheers, Bob
It will depend which institution you are studying at. If it is Sydney Uni or UTS then suburbs like Newtown, Annandale, Ultimo and Surry Hills are good. If it’s UNSW then Randwick, Kensington, and even Coogee (beautiful beach suburb) would be best. My advice for socialising would be to join the clubs, eg: sporting, gaming, politics etc, and go to the campus bars. Let me know which Uni you are attending and I’ll give you a better list and more ideas.
I won’t be studying in Sydney (unfortunately), I’ll only work there and want to get to know the city and some people. I just think that living in an area where many students live, will make it easier to get to know people around my age…
Thank you so much for your reply, I will focus on the areas you were recommending! What is your favourite area? If you have any more ideas, I’d be very thankful.
Yes, focus on the areas I’ve mentioned for large student populations. There are other areas where there a lot of young international tourists and backpackers like Bondi and Manly, both of which have stunning surf beaches and a vibrant night life, with lots of cafes and bars. I think my favourite is Surry Hills It’s so central to everything, and second would be Newtown. Both have a great reputation for an alternative feel and food culture.
Agree with Paul. Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Chippendale, Glebe, Camperdown, Newtown, Enmore, Forest Lodge and Annandale all have big student populations.
If I was going to live somewhere there, it’d be Surry Hills / Darlinghurst near Oxford Street or Newtown near King Steet.
I am a 25 year old local in Sydney and have lived in the inner-west since I moved out of home at 18. This area encompasses suburbs mentioned by DanSydney like Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Chippendale, Glebe, Camperdown, Newtown, Enmore, Forest Lodge, Annandale and a fair few others.
I personally live in Chippendale and it’s absolutely amazing for students or young professionals. You can’t walk 50 meters without stumbling into a pub, a cafe or some sort of interesting place. It also contains two of Sydney’s biggest universities so a lot of services are catered to that sort of lifestyle. Even better, you’re either a walk or a few minutes on a bus / train away from the CBD and Darling Harbour (with the Opera House, Harbour Bridge etc.) Beaches are all within easy reach too, though it’s not quite on your door step like it is in some of the Eastern and Northern suburbs – think more like 30 /45 minutes by public transport.
The biggest issue is affordability. Rent ranges from reasonable to extremely expensive depending on what you’re looking for. General cost of living isn’t overly cheap either (though depending on where in Germany you are from it will be fairy similar). I work with a fair few travelers from England who are here on 1-2 year visas and they have all managed to find reasonably priced accommodation. This is also mediated by the fact that there is an abundance of bar jobs and base level sales / customer service jobs that will generally net you anywhere from $20 – 25 + an hour, with tips or commission on top (depending on if it’s sales or bar work). Absolute minimum you will get is around $18 an hour.
Overall, Sydney and Australia are both amazing places to live, and you really can’t go past the inner-west for someone in your situation.
Hope this has helped, and feel free to ask any other questions!
To look to share accommodation I suggest Flatmates.com.au.
Glebe is an area where there are lots of University students living and some backpackers accommodation places like Glebe Village Backpackers, so many people like you. Over 150 nice bars, cafés, culture etc. 30 minute walk into the City Centre or a great bus service 431 to City and route 370 goes to Coogee beach. Glebe is safe, clean, my Wife and I have been here over 30 years. We have Family in Idstein and have had lots of them and Friends stay.
Chippendale, Pyrmont, Ultimo and Kirribilli are good spots.
Enjoy Sydney, you may never leave!
l j and Kaye
My partner and I are moving to Sydney next February and I would love to get some tips from anyone who has lived in this city. First, basic living cost: apartment, utilities, groceries. Second, we work in the film/creative agencies industry, he got sponsorship but I’m still looking for a job. Any clue where can I look up? Also, What are the coolest non expensive areas to live in. Our budget would be around $350/week. Is that too low?
Thank you all for your help! If you wanna know about living in Mexico or Spain, we can give you tips!
Gosh, yes, that it is low if you are talking $350 AUD. I think you will struggle to find anywhere in Sydney to live at that money, nevermind somewhere that’s cool.
As for your questions about costs, please see The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything and for apartments, Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia.
For jobs, check out Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.
Good luck, Bob
Thanks for your response! I am looking through the website and really has very useful information. What about a budget of 450 a week? Would that still be short?
Enrique, check out this website, using the rental view, and the map view to show you where the houses are.
Agree with Bob, $350/week won’t get you a dog kennel in Sydney, unless you are sharing with other people. Most professional jobs are advertised through Linkedin.com these days, and sometimes on Seek.com.au. If you have a profile on Linkedin then you can use it like a resume of your achievements, which will help prospective employers contact you.
Hiii 🙂 I’m moving to Sydney in a few months to pursue my masters and probably get a job after to so I don’t leave broke and Sydney has plentiful jobs in my field. I’ll be 25yo when I make the move and I have zero clue which suburb to choose from. I love the outdoors, walkable is a necessity, love the beach (lived on a beach for 5 years in college) but that’s not a deal breaker. Even though I’ll be drowning in studying for my Masters I’d still love a cool place where I can meet people my age from all different walks of life and partake in some weekend fun. Any insight from people who actually live in Sydney would be amazing. Thank you!
Traffic in Sydney is the killer. If you can find a place close to where you are studying, then that is going to save you a lot of time/frustration. I can’t really help you with recommending somewhere to live unless you give me more information about what institution you need to be near, and what your rental budget will be.
We are planning to move to Australia in 2017 Feb from Sri Lanka. We got our PR Visa and got the state sponsorship from New South Wales. There are so many suburbs and quite not sure which one to select to live. We are a family of 3, My husband, myself and our son. We are looking for suburb that is will take maximum of 45 mins on train to Sydney , not more than that. Our budget to rent a house or apartment can be between 350$ to 450$. We want to be near to public transport and schools. The suburb should be also safe & decent area for a family to live. I am IT prfoessional and would need to find a job as soon as I get there. Please suggest few suburbs that would suite us to narroaw down the searching scope. At the moment we are quite lost to decide where to settle down. Thanks in advance. Inchi
I don’t know Sydney well enough to help you out here, so I will need to leave this to the locals. Hopefully someone will answer you.
That said, I really can’t imagine you will have much choice in your price range. $350-$450 a week for your rental budget will restrict you significantly and I’m pretty sure you won’t get all of things you are hoping to get at that money.
As I have said though, I’ll leave this to the locals. Anyone got any advice for Inchi?
Maybe places like Earlwood, Homebush and Ryde and the suburbs surrounding them.
Sydney rents are higher than other cities. In Sydney you’re paying for pretty beaches, a beautiful harbour and a big city feel, but if you can do without those, you can usually get better value for your money in one of the smaller capital cities.
I read through all your posts on Moving to Australia and based on that me and my family have decided to apply for PR.
We are a family on 3. Me, my wife and my 1.6 year old son.
Need some advise from you guys.
Q. I have been recommended Sydney by my agency as they are ready to sponsor me which gives me 5 points. Is that a good choice?
Q. If not which other state would you recommend based on the jobs available?
Q. If we decide to move to Sydney, which are the good areas to move keeping in mind family, good school, transportation & cosmopolitan population?
Q. I need to apply for jobs (HR), Which are good agencies/sites which will give me good access to job listings and can take the process simultaneously with my PR.
Q. My son needs to start schooling. What is the procedure for enrolment and the time lines for the same.
Looking forward to hear from you guys..
It sounds to me as though Sydney is a good choice because your agency has recommended it to you. I assume by agency you are referring to a MARA registered migration agent? If you think you want to choose a different state, I would talk it through with that agent first to find out if it really is an option.
If you do decide on Sydney, please read the comments on this page, there is plenty of talk about the various suburbs, good and bad.
You can check on the availability of jobs via my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and you can find out everything you need to know about schooling on my page called Which school?
Good luck, Bob
Hi Bob, awesome website and so much great info. I need someone from Sydney to give me some advice about where to live in Sydney. We are arriving from NZ in early Dec 2016 and we have 3 children,4-9 yrs and hubby will be working in Pendle Hill area, driving is not an issue as he has company car to get to work. What is really important is good decent homes and great schools, I would prefer the schools to have a high number of English speaking students rather than foreign speaking students. We like space and enjoy beaches and outdoor activities. would appreciate any info that locals may be able to share with me, thanks.
Parramatta and north Parramatta are decent. The suburbs north of the harbour from Rydalmere to Gladesville are pretty nice. If you don’t mind a drive to work and want to be closer to the beaches then the Forest District and the Northern Beaches are some of the nicest (and most expensive) areas in Sydney.
Thanks for your kind words about my website Tracey and thanks also DanSydney for helping out here, it’s appreciated.
Dear Dan Sydney,
Thank you so much for the reply, it’s indeed of help 🙂
Looking forward to new adventures and stay 🙂
My husband and I would be moving from Dubai to Sydney by June 2017, we would be moving in there as PR holders, wanted to check if June was the right time with regard to job hunt, my husband is a business analyst (IT) * and I am a corporate banker. Also we were thinking paramatta to be a good location for first time settlers. Would like you to help us out with these queries.
Thanks in advance, 🙂
I don’t mean to be out of the blue by any sorts, but I’m a college student out in Chicago, IL going down the same route as your husband and I am seriously considering moving out to Sydney. If your husband may have any information to share about his searches or any recommendations I would be unbelievably grateful for your help, cheers!
I live in westmead it is neighbouring Parramatta.If u plan to settle in west Sydney which is a very bad choice bcoz….nothin is nice here…..northern beaches is the best but very expensive.Parramatta is gud choice but pls don’t go anywhere else than Parramatta,westmead,wentworthville.If u go then u will regret.Please consider this advice.People may suggest that it is not true but if u love urself then don’t go anywhere else.Hills region is alright but be very careful there too.Then again best option is northern beaches .
I’m afraid the jobs situation in Australia isn’t great at the moment either, please check out my post on the subject and be sure to also read the comments…
I’m not sure it matters too much which month you get here, but do your research thoroughly to see what’s available for your husband’s line of work. see Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.
Sally, I think that’s a bit harsh. There are 2.5 million people living in Greater Western Sydney and they are not all bad. All areas have good/bad zones however Sydney is a very safe city by world standards, not just the Northern Beaches and Eastern Suburbs. I live in the Hills/Upper North Shore and there is virtually no crime.
Tinsy, I would recommend that you try to live as close as you can to where you will be working, or close to train lines / ferries to get you to/from work. Traffic is the killer here, and so are the rental prices.
My partner and I are thinking of moving to Sydney! Woo!
Need some ideas of what suburbs would suit our lifestyle.
We have stayed at Meriton Serviced Apartments, Waterloo, twice now, and we love how you can walk 1 – 2 min to Coles down the road, as well as a bottle shop, and nice cafes.
We love the night life (cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs).
We love the old houses, and apartments.
Are there any good 4×4 tracks in NSW?
Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I can’t really help you with the suburbs, I just don’t know Sydney well enough. Hopefully somebody who does will see this and give you some advice. I reckon you’ll be ok with 4x4ing though, it’s almost compulsory out here☺. Hope your move goes well, Bob
Hi Alex. If you like Waterloo then you’d probably like places like Surry Hills, Balmain, Redfern, Glebe, Newtown, Enmore, Eskineville and suburbs surrounding them.
I don’t know about 4×4 trails, but I do a lot of bush camping that has me driving through some wild forgotten parts of Australia. I use resources like findacamp.com.au to find new places.
I was researching areas in Sydney for my family. (Wife and 2 boys aged 9 and 5). I was checking out Blacktown. What are the reviews about the place in terms of
This is one I will need to leave to the locals, although a quick search of ‘Blacktown Sydney crime’ wasn’t hugely complimentary about the place.
Yeah. I did read the posts. Though some of them were a bit dated hence the curiosity what the actual ground reality was. Hope someone has an idea
Don’t go to blacktown….it really stands for its name….everywhere crap….
Sorry about the late response. Blacktown is a rapidly developing suburb that has a vibrant multicultural feel. The shopping centre is really good. It also has a train station.
The downside would be that there is a lot of industry and warehousing in Blacktown, however there is a lot of residential too. The area is low to middle socio economic and that’s what normally dictates the crime rate. Plenty of schools and the public education system here is good by world standards.
Hello Bob thank you for this great site. It really helped me with most of the information needed. But i need some little help. I got a work visa and moving to sydney by this month end. My kids are into primary schooling and i am looking for a rented place for my family. Im from India. Im looking for a place where the primary schools are really walkable distance because my kids are too young. I was searching few sites like realestate, gumtree, domain etc. And couldnt find one which suits my requirements. By chance if i find one, the agents are telling me that i need to do the inspections and cant nominate my frinds to do that. Like wise im worried when/how i can find a place. And also im planning stay in a hotel and continue my search for rentals. Not sure how much expense it would be for a week. I am planning to stay in Parramatta area as one of my frinds said most of the Asians prefer that place. I also heard that referals will workout good to rent a property. Can you please let me know a place or anyway where i can get a rental?
Btw my office is in Hunter St and im ok to travel the distance. All my concern is for my littleones’
It isn’t easy to secure your first rental, and yes, most rental agencies do require that you personally inspect the property before they will allow you to rent it.
I don’t have any contacts that can help you, but I can suggest that initially you search Airbnb for somewhere temporary to stay when you get here. It would be even cheaper for you if you were to come here two or three weeks ahead of the rest of your family, that way you can just rent a single room in somebody’s house at a good price.
It’s also worth Googling hostels in the area, they can be much cheaper than hotels and they are not just for backpackers.
Good luck, Bob
Excellent site, I’ve stumbled upon this when looking for advice on moving from UK to Sydney. I am looking for you and the other users advice on a few areas….
Firstly, I am on various property sites looking for somewhere to rent when I move over in a few months. I am looking at all costs, I expect to be able to afford around $700-$750 per week rent somewhere either not too far from CBD or looking into places such as Bondi and Manly.
What I am looking to understand is a couple of things…
– What are other costs to factor in with bills- I am unsure if there is council tax or equivalent, what are average utility costs and things like broadband etc.. I am looking at 2 bed apartment. Also, for average person what are weekly shopping costs?
secondly, how difficult is securing a property for arrival in Sydney? I appreciate the risks involved is based on the rental being purely based on photos but I’m not overly keen on moving over and staying in hotels for a while.
finally…My new role includes car allowance of $20k p/y, Is it normal for this to be included in salary or taken from leased company- theres probably many different options. The reason I ask, if it is included in Salary then I’m not sure how difficult it will be to get finance/lease when I am new to the country.
help very much appreciated
I think my page The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything will help you out with your additional costs questions, particularly those utilities.
I’m not sure how easy or hard it will be for you to secure a rental in Sydney at the moment, but it is usually very difficult to do so before you actually arrive here. You’re usually required to attend an ‘open house’ viewing personally and then put in an application, to avoid that you might need to get help from a relocation expert.
Other than that, maybe try Airbnb for the short term? As for your car allowance, I’m not sure if that is a common practice or not. Hope that helps, Bob
“Salary Packaging” as it’s called here often involves a car allowance. All this means is that you will be paid $20k that is taxed at a lower rate by your employer. You then need to justify that amount to the Australian Taxation Office when you put in your return, to retain the lower tax rate.
Great advice and support.
I saw your website and its a great work you are doing by helping people. I need a small advice from you.
I am a IT professional re-locating from Singapore to Sydney. My office is located at Berry Street in North Sydney. I’m looking for a room/house 30 mins from Berry Street. My budget is 300 per month for the room and 600 per month for house. I also have a cute lil pup shih tzu which will move with me. Any suggested locations?
Well, I can’t help you with the location, hopefully somebody with local knowledge will do that. I just wanted to check though, you do mean per week rather than per month with your budget, don’t you?
If you can confirm, hopefully someone will help you with your question. Also, please do have a skim through the comments already here, I’m sure you will find some useful tips.
Yup! Made a mistake. Its 300$ per week. I’ll be happy if someone helps me with the appropriate location. I’ll take a look at other comments in here too.
Okay, I was hoping that was the case 🙂
Anyone got any ideas for Ashok?
Hi ashok, i think you need to may be double up your budget mate. 600pm in that area may not be possible but try gumtree.com
Managed to get a room for 300 pw for a en suite room on Lane cove. I guess its a fair deal. Not sure though….
Hi Mr.Ashok…need some information..
I got a job in malabar and would you able to suggest where should I live/ based?
Can you give me some more information? If you tell me whether you are going to rent or buy, and what your budget is, that would be helpful. Are you single/married/kids? Do you intend to drive to work, or would you prefer public transport? What amenities do you wish to have handy etc? The more you can tell me, the better my advice will be.
I am moving from Perth and relocating to Sydney, I am seeking your advice where I can find a place to live. I am single looking for a place to share with (180-200$/week), some place near to CBD, transports, cafe strips,gym, and some places to have a social life after work.
You have a lot to choose from and I would recommend staying close to public transport links and stations. Trying to commute by car or even bus can be frustrating and time consuming in inner Sydney. Trains, Lightrail and Ferries provide great access to the CBD from all points of the compass and are lower stress. I’d recommend having a look at Google Maps to see how the transport is laid out. The budget you’ve mentioned probably means you need to share with two people (ie: 3 to a house/apartment) but you might be lucky and find something in the $400 – $450 per week range. Use realestate.com.au or domain.com.au to search for rental properties and to get a feel from pricing in each location.
Here are some suggestions. North – Willoughby, Wollstonecraft, St Leonards, Artarmon, Crows Nest, Chatswood. South – Surry Hills, Redfern, Erskinville, Waterloo, Zetland, St Peters, Sydenham and Green Square. East – Kings Cross, Edgcliffe, Bondi Junction. West – Newtown, Marrickville, Dulwich Hill, Lewisham, Haberfield, Leichhardt, Balmain.
All of the suburbs mentioned will give you access to the amenities that you’ve listed.
Hope you are well.
Me and my partner are moving to Sydney this year and working area is at Mascot, we are looking for convenience place to stay. which area you suggest for the best. House hunting at the moment.
Well, I couldn’t tell you, I don’t know Sydney well enough. There are lots of people in this thread who do know Sydney very well though, and they may be able to help you. I think you have to give them more information though about the kind of suburb you would like to live in.
What kind are place do you want to live in? An apartment? A big house? Countryside? Near the river? I’m sure you get the idea.
It was great to read thru your suggestions. We are moving to Sydney from New York with 2 kids – 5 year old and 1 yr old. I am looking for a suburb that is well connected to the CBD (~30mins) and with good schools, multi cultural and aid in a decent social life with parks and libraries. Could you please help me with the options? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
What is your rental budget? It is difficult to recommend without some guide to what you want to spend. Also it would be good to know where you are working as transport can be problematic if you are travelling in the peak hours.
Thanks for the quick response. I am fine with a rental of ~650/week for 2 bedroom.
My work location would be in the Rocks. (Sydney CBD)
Thanks for the extra detail. The Rocks is about as central as you can get in Sydney and therefore opens up plenty of transport options. I would not recommend driving into the CBD at peak hour if you are working in the Rocks/CBD. The closest public transport options are Wynyard Station (rail) and Circular Quay (ferries) but there are also alot of bus options as many terminate at Loftus St next to Circular Quay, or at Wynyard. Looking for a 2 Bedroom apartment with a budget of $650 per week I would recommend areas such as: Randwick or Coogee in the East; Willoughby; Neutral Bay, Cremorne or Artarmon to the North; Leichhardt, Harberfield, Summer Hill, Chiswick, Balmain to the West; Kensington, Zetland, Surry Hills to the South. In reality, just about any suburb that is within 15km of the CBD should enable you to be in the Rocks within 30 mins. Most parts of Sydney have great schools and lots of open parkland (or the harbour!) for you to explore. Even areas like Manly / Fairlight / Freshwater with their gorgeous beaches are accessible by Ferry or bus in around 30 mins.
Hope that’s helpful.
We have arrived at Sydney and its been 4 days and Sydney is treating us great so far.
I visited the above areas you mentioned and we felt that the homes (2 BHK – apt/townhouses) are little smaller with respect to space.
With 2 kids ( 5 year old and 1.5 yr old), we are looking for areas with a bit of backyard, moving space while also well connected with public trasports to CBD and good primary schools.
I am ok for a maximum commute time of 1 hr to CBD.
My research gave me the suburbs like Quakers Hill, Castle Hill. I want to run them through you on the other factors like safety etc or if you have any such family oriented suburbs with mixed demographics and spacious homes for (~$550 a week) please let me know.
Welcome to Sydney. Sorry about the cold weather. Don’t worry, it gets better from here on.
If it’s backyard space that you are looking for then yes you will need to go further out. The problem with Sydney’s Northern and Western suburbs is that public transport by train is not generally available. That leaves you with bus travel, or car travel, both of which are then hostage to Sydney’s long road commute times and congestion. Quakers Hills is a long way out of the CBD but will give you the amenity that you are looking for, with the exception of great schools. It is a lower socio-economic area and the schools in the area will reflect the problems that often go along with that. Castle Hill is a “better” area in general, as is Baulkham Hills, North Parramatta, North Rocks, West Pennant Hills, Cherrybrook, Kellyville & Bella Vista. If a one hour commute is not too much then I would also recommend you look at the areas around Normanhurst, Westleigh, Thornleigh, Hornsby, Hornsby Heights, Asquith and Mount Colah. They are all on the Northern train line via Macquarie Park, with the latter 4 locations also having access to the North Shore train lines. They are also very close to the beautiful Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, which offers exceptional recreation options. All area’s I’ve mentioned above have very good schooling options too.
Here are some links to check out:
Thank you so much for the welcome and your valuable suggestions.
The cold weather is not so cold with such warm people around. 🙂
Having moved from New York 😉 if you know what I mean. Haha!
Thanks again for your inputs. I will look into it.
Thanks again for all your info. Our house hunt ended by renting a home in North Ryde suburb. My daughter started kindergarten in north ryde public school.
It’s been 2 days in this suburb and we are loving it. 🙂
I’m so glad that it’s worked out well for you. North Ryde is a great suburb for getting around Sydney (I work there) as there is plenty of transport options.
Well and wish the same from you!
It’s going to be one year for us down under and we are truly loving every bit of it. Cheers!
We are considering of moving out of north Ryde to another suburb along the upper north shore train line where there is more frequency of trains. The suburbs are wahroonga, turramara, warawee.
I would like to discuss with you on the pros and cons which will be of great help to us. As we are unaware of other points of interest like shopping, primary schools, childcares and if it’s of mixed demographics etc. Please assist.
Great to hear you are enjoying Sydney. All the suburbs you named have similar amenity and access to train stations. Those suburbs also have some of the most prestigious private schools in Sydney, but also some of the best public schools (must be the competition!) I think Turramurra is the pick of the bunch, but not by much as they are all very similar suburbs. Wahroonga has a very nice shopping village with great cafes and restaurants. Turramurra is the closest station to the CBD. You’ve chosen well by being near the public transport so far and if you are working in the CBD that is the way to do it.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for the prompt reply once again Paul.
I nailed on those suburbs considering the easy transport to CBD (both of us work in the CBD) and the availability of good schools in the district however until I came across these reviews which I wanted to take your opinion on.
It’s about the demographics and less welcoming to mixed communities. Is it so? What do you reckon.
Thanks again for your response
Are these still nice family areas? Have you got any suggestions for a good area with train and bus access to the cbd but with good schools?? In a year or so we would also be looking to buy a house so it needs to be in an area that has a good re sale value. My husband will be working a lot and my daughter at school. Initially I won’t be working or if I am it will be in a cafe or something until we are settled then I will go into my professional job that I am in at the moment. So I need an area which will have stuff going on during the day for me and also close to parks etc for the weekend with my daughter. Any help again massively appreciated
All of inner Sydney has good schools so don’t worry about that aspect. Generally the closer you are to the cbd, the more cafe lifestyle will be present. The opposite applies to family friendliness so suburbs like Haberfield, Chatswood, Epping, Hornsby and Eastwood are more occupied by family’s as opposed to singles, however there are now good cafes in all areas mentioned
Does that answer your question?
Hi Bob , I am Rohit From India and i am 25 and education is 12th passed and 15 months experienced with logistics company in india . Please help me to get a job in Australia .
See Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.
I think you’ve nailed it with your suggestions. I’d also include Epping, Denistone, West Ryde, Meadowbank, Hurstville, Rhodes, Wolli Creek and even as far North as Hornsby as area’s with high numbers of Chinese speaking people, where you can rent a 2 bedroom house or apartment for that kind of money, and still get to the CBD in 35 mins. I’m not sure about the school language programs, but these areas all have some great schools.
I hope that helps and good luck.
Hello Paul, Thanks for your suggestions! I’ll definately go with one of these suburbs and hopefully will find a good solution:). Thanks again!
I forgot to ask you about the removal of our house from Italy to Sydney, do you recommend transporting the Whole household from Milan to Sydney? or just a part of it? I contacted a few removal companies and their proposals are around 6500euro for transporting the most part of the household and furnitures etc…that’s about 10k aussi dollars..I’m not sure if we should buy new furnitures or transport our owns’…those furnitures I bought in Sydney 9 years ago in Domain store and they are still in good condition…i had them transfered 7 years ago from Sydney to Milan and now back…hahaha
That question is pretty much comprehensively answered on the following page…
$10,000 won’t buy you a great deal of furniture here, and I’m sure what you have at the moment is worth much more than that. I’d be inclined to bring it all, but as I say, it’s worth you reading the full article.
Hope that helps, Bob
Hello Bob, thanks a lot for your suggestions. I think we’ll transport most of our furnitures in the end:). Thanks again!