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May 15, 2008 06:17 AM

Where to live??!


I am due to move out to Sydney in November, and i am struggling on where to rent.

The office i will be working in is in North Ryde. Having never been to Sydney the whole idea of finding some where to live is a little scary! :-/

I'd like some where with great restaurant as well as being able to get hold of local produce. I love being close to the water and like nothing more than a glass of wine and some good food at the end of the day.

Im 29 so still very much enjoy the social side of life, does anyone have any suggestions on areas that will enable me to enjoy my new life in Sydney with out breaking my bank balance (to much!!!)

Many thanks

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  1. If you're working in North Ryde I would suggest living west of the harbour bridge. From there you have two options (which eventually blend into one the further west you get) - North side or South side.

    North side, the north shore is typically more staid, (sometimes referred to as the north snore), although the lower North Shore has plenty of apartments and young residents. Waverton, Wollonstonecraft and Greenwich are harbourside suburbs that will have you heading in the right direction, but these are sleepy suburbs and not a great deal of entertainment (although a walk up the hill to Crows Nest will see lots of choice but a dearth of quality).

    If you head east of the bridge on the north shore you get to Cremorne and Neutral Bay - again harbourside suburbs, but putting you on the wrong side of the traffic to get to work every day. I wouldn't recommend this.

    On the southern side of the harbour is what is referred to as the "inner west". Balmain, Birchgrove and Rozelle are all waterside suburbs, cafe culture is strong and there are some good restaurants as well as organic and conventional grocers, and the Orange Grove Public School plays host to an organic market every Saturday morning (sounds a bit more romantic than it is, but it's ok). These are however popular suburbs and therefore pricey.

    Moving away from the water gets you to Newtown, Erskineville, Camperdown which are neighbouring Sydney Uni so a huge variety of entertainment at differing price points.

    In between these is Glebe - parts of it grungey and parts very up market and somewhere in the middle is some decent rental accommodation. Glebe is a waterside suburb in parts.

    Head further west and the distinction between north and south becomes a bit blurred. Regardless, Drummoyne and Gladesville (on opposite sides of the Parramatta River) are both strong rental apartment areas. There are little eateries in both but not exactly "night life" material I wouldn't have thought. You're still reasonably close to the city though.

    Hunters Hill is also nearby but is very (rich) family oriented and despite having a great pub (The Woolwich Pier) there isn't a great deal going on (unless stalking Cate Blanchett is on your agenda).

    A hop skip and a jump from North Ryde is Rhodes - a relatively new development that has cropped up post Sydney 2000 Olympics (in that vicinity). There is a big shopping centre at Rhodes - the only IKEA in sydney is there, with several restaurants, etc.. it's a waterside suburb, but as yet it's not an area that has been residential for long and so I cannot say how much activity you'll find. Opposite that is Putney - another waterside suburb that has traditionally been sleepy with families.

    If you look at a map you will see there are lots of pockets with waterside suburbs - most of which i have skimmed past as I have tried to stick to the suburbs that have arterial road access on the doorstep.

    I don't know whether you will be driving or relying on public transport - neither are entirely satisfactory in this city, so you really want to consider logistics before moving in to ANYTHING. Don't just rely on seeing a bus stop nearby - check that the time tables are suitable for the direction and times you want to travel as services are sporadic in some areas (

    I suggest also having a look at to get a better idea of these suburbs I have mentioned and more - prices, what you can expect to get for your money, upcoming areas and suburb profiles.

    Having said all that (which I imagine is a lot once I can see what I have written (why are these windows so small)... Sydney (and Melbourne) is going through a shortage of rental property on the market - it's apparently very competitive to secure a place, and rents have been going up.

    I hope this helps. Good Luck, and if you have more specific questions... (it might have helped to know where you are coming from for some points of reference)

    2 Replies
    1. re: kmh

      Thank you for all the above. I am hoping to make the move from London in November. Still in the process of finalising job arrangements.

      Thanks again


      1. re: Danielle310

        No problem Danielle,
        If you have any more questions you can ctc me via my blogspot.
        If this is a work relocation that will affect how you negotiate your package etc. (obviously) so if you have any further q's. please feel free to ctc.

    2. hi danielle,

      khm's reply was pretty comprehensive. I've lived in balmain on & off for nearly twenty years, it's very villagy, has practically everything one would want in a 'hood, but is expensive, space and car parking is at a premium.

      I suppose it depends on what you'd be happy with - sharing a house or flat, or having your own place. the economics vary greatly, and it's a big consideration in a pricey area like the inner west.

      good thing is, from balmain/rozelle, you'd be moving against the traffic to nth ryde and back. and you're ten minutes in a cab or a short ferry trip to the cbd.

      check out the local rag, the village voice (

      good luck with it all.

      1. Hi Danielle,
        We just moved form London about a year ago - We live in the Lower North Sore, Kirribilli is good little village with lots of restaurants and shops - lots of apartments to rent, most of them with water views, think harbour bridge, opera house, lots of boats...

        It takes me about 20-25 minutes to drive to North Ryde from here, and commuting in the morning you would be going against traffic -

        Here is the best part, you can hop a train and be in the city in 5 minutes, or a ferry and be there in 10 minutes, and if you miss your last train home, a taxi is about $15 dollars, whichis pretty cheap for here!

        Be prepared, Sydney is expensive! more expensive than London in almost all respects -

        Like kmh said, anything else, ask away!

        5 Replies
        1. re: sandra in australia

          I adore Kirribilli and if I had a basquillion dollars would live there again some day, but it is an expensive area and you would need a car to get to North Ryde - not to mention the M2 toll.

          Again, it's up to whether your corporate package is going to take care of this sort of thing, or whether it's down to your pocket book expenses.

          Sandra, how did you go with the mexicans?

          1. re: kmh

            I got a bit waylaid, actually... but was planning on trying some this weekend and next week, as OH is out of town...

            Are you game?

            1. re: sandra in australia

              ummmmm, I think I am in a good position to avoid my own kitchen this week owing to my OH's "project" although Saturday is out.
              next week (daytime) is ok too.

              1. re: kmh

                cool, how about tues or weds dinner?

                have you been to Flying Fajita Sisters?

                1. re: sandra in australia

                  no I haven't
                  sounds good
                  wednesday is better for me.
                  contact me via my blog (on my profile) and I can email you back.