Moving your family to Sydney is daunting. It’s the largest city in Australia, boasting some of the most iconic landmarks in the country, and is home to an extremely diverse population – over five million people.
Guest post – Theodora Evans
Aside from its bustling and exciting centre, Sydney has many connecting suburbs, and this is where most families who move to the city choose to settle. Sydney has everything from homes that offer better value for money, better schools in the neighbourhood, to safer streets and great activities for children.
However, Sydney is known as the ‘city of villages’, so choosing where to live, especially if you don’t know the area well, presents an even more challenging task.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right neighbourhood for you and your family, and other points worth considering before you make your big decision.
The word ‘suburbs’ conjures up an image of uniform houses with well-watered front lawns and white fences, identical families with identical cars and a general lack of pizzaz. In Sydney, nothing could be further from the truth. There’s nothing uniform about the ‘burbs here, which makes choosing one difficult, but also exciting and more interesting. You’re sure to find a good fit for the needs of your family.
Sydney is one of Australia’s economic hubs, and a recent survey revealed more than 20% of residents consider proximity to the CBD an important factor in determining where they search for property. Do you want to be close to your workplace? Or does your age and lifestyle lend itself to somewhere with less bustle so you and your family can relax?
Suburban Sydney is a patchwork of communities and different vibes. People from all over the globe have settled across the city, so communities have congregated based on race, religion, nationality and culture, but integration and co-operation are prevalent more often than not. As an added bonus, cultural diversity means culinary diversity, so some areas have a greater choice of dining options (and potential new gastronomic discoveries) than some.
What makes a good suburb for a family?
Have a load of kids and pets in tow? You’ll want to look for a family-friendly suburb in Sydney. Family-friendly suburbs are often closer to big shopping centres and malls, saving the hassle of heading into the city centre for your shopping. They also have a reasonable amount of safe space for your older kids to hang out
Proximity to schools and sports facilities and other activities will help to keep your kids engaged and involved. As family friendly ‘burbs are often further from downtown, rental properties can be more affordable. Bear in mind that Sydney is an expensive city, wherever you choose to settle. Look for good public transport links to the city centre.
Great schools and four parks all with playgrounds make Waverley a promising suburb for families looking to move to Sydney. Not as high-profile as some of its surrounding suburbs, Waverley offers prospective tenants slightly more affordable housing options. Low-key and laid back, the suburb has a great, safe environment to raise your family. Should you decide some beach activity is in order, you’re no more than 10 minutes from the nearest one.
A beautiful area of Sydney with golden, sandy beaches (Manly being the most famous and popular), this area has quiet, wide leafy streets and large detached homes. Dotted with small parks and playgrounds which offer shaded areas for the kids (and barbecue areas for hungry parents), this is a great part of the city to live in – especially if you love the beach. In summer the older kids can swim at patrolled beaches, whilst the nippers can play in the many rock pools. Schools vary in size, but many are available to choose from. Consider suburbs such as Palm Beach, Curl Curl, Dee Why, Collaroy, Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Warriewood.
Another laid-back, family-friendly ‘burb, Coogee is well known for its beautiful beach, large parks with amenities galore, and easy access to nearby Bondi and the rest of the city via nearby and reliable bus links. This area can be relatively expensive compared to other family-friendly suburbs, so that’s worth keeping in mind, especially for first-time renters. But if funds allow, Coogee is a great place to raise kids, with tennis courts, swimming baths and a cricket pitch all nearby, and let’s not forget that gorgeous beach.
Not only is West Hoxton more affordable than Coogee, but it’s also undergoing a fair bit of work, as government funds go into developing a commercial hub. This will not only boost the job market in the area, but it’s also been earmarked to include family-friendly features such as outdoor playgrounds, sports facilities and a childcare centre. Many parks in the West Hoxton area will connect safely to these new facilities.
Craving a quiet life with privacy and seclusion for your family? Neutral Bay could be the spot for you. The suburb boasts a great primary school and private education options in surrounding neighbourhoods are worth considering if you have high school-aged kids. Two large parks (Forsyth and Warringa) are great for playing a sport or just enjoying the sunshine. The Kurraba Reserve has a mix of relaxing greenery and waterside spots where you can watch boats launching and docking. Like Coogee, the Neutral Bay area is on the pricey side but is nonetheless a top choice for families looking for their dream home in suburban Sydney.
With a vast array of suburbs to check out and choose from, finding the right patch to suit your family can initially seem a little daunting. But with each suburb (more than 600 of them at last count) offering a range of attractions and amenities, you’re almost guaranteed to find the ideal spot sooner or later.
Even if you need to be a bit budget-conscious (Australia is an expensive place to live, and Sydney tops that list right now), there are many areas that are fun to explore, safe for the kids to play in and great for your family to grow together in one of the world’s most vibrant cities.