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mistermoose

Sydney suburbs: something near green and water, something villagey, something near CBD

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mistermoose

The endless question gets asked again. So let's dive right in B)

Found Camden on a list of 'best kept Sydney secrets'. Love the villagey atmosphere, churches, and access to dams/rivers and loads of greenery. Reminds me of one of my favourite cities in the UK: Canterbury. Unfortunately not exactly close to CBD. http://www.homely.com.au/camden-camden-sydney-greater-new-south-wales

According to Homely, Melrose Park is the #1 suburb in Greater Sydney. A tall order, and obviously taken with liberal sprinklings of salt, but at least closer to the CBD (at least according to the map) and home to all the villagey/water/birdlife/greenery/historical architecture I'd love. So: http://www.homely.com.au/melrose-park-parramatta-sydney-greater-new-south-wales.

Concord is high up on the list and apparently the closest to what I'm looking for across all criteria, according to Homely once again. http://www.homely.com.au/concord-canada-bay-sydney-greater-new-south-wales

What are your thoughts on these three, guys? Camden looks like it's way too far out, but are there any gems closer to the CBD that tick the nature/architecture/village setting? Also, any standouts on this list: http://www.domain.com.au/advice/leafy-suburbs-around-sydney/?

About us: just the two of us and two dogs, so schools don't matter but some garden space does. Rental budget is around 800pw.

Edited by mistermoose

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mistermoose

So after more searching and chatting to others online, I've come to realise that the links above are highly subjective and reviews should be taken with tablespoons of salt.

I've found something that ticks all the boxes, but it's pricey: Woollahra. Beautiful, trees, big streets, quaint surroundings, Cooper Park, near CBD.

Is there something a little more affordable that looks and feels the same, still within reach of the CBD?

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Sunnyskies

Mistermoose, look up French's Forest way, it is not that close to the CBD but has a good bus service that many of my friends have used. I love the fact that it is close to the forests (some friends have lived on the edge of the forest and had visiting wallabies in their yard) and you can get down to Dee Why beach fairly easily. It isn't quaint, and it is very family oriented, but it is a peaceful place to live.

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rozellem

Mistermoose, look up French's Forest way, it is not that close to the CBD but has a good bus service that many of my friends have used. I love the fact that it is close to the forests (some friends have lived on the edge of the forest and had visiting wallabies in their yard) and you can get down to Dee Why beach fairly easily. It isn't quaint, and it is very family oriented, but it is a peaceful place to live.

Ja, wasn't going to say it. Next thing Mr M and I have that awkward thing of bumping into each other in every aile in Woolies. Check out Forestville, Killarney Hights, Roseville, Davidson too.

PS. Is your mum going to work here? I have a client, she is a 65 year old mum from RSA living in Roseville. Her sons brought her out 3 years ago. She is a dog walker/sitter here. Tell me if you want the two ladies to email and chat.

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AFreshStart

$800 a week, near the city, and space for two dogs? Um, in Woollahra $800 MIGHT get to a 2-bedroom apartment from the 70's, but not sure where you'd put the dogs?

Would they be happy being house dogs? How big/what breed are they? You've also got to realize that not all properties are going to be 'pet friendly'.

Concord is considered the Inner West, which as a borough is lovely, but also not sure you are going to get anything with a garden out that way for much under $1000, and it would be something that with be older and might need, um, work. But lots of smaller parks and buses into the City.

On the list you posted, I think you'd be hard pressed to find Sydneysider would wouldn't have Balmain at the top of the list, but again, WAY out of your price range.

Queens Park is probably my best pick of the lot, you can find older, un-renovated 3-bedroom terraces for $900-$1000 and puts you right near Queens and Centennial Parks, a short 15-20 minute drive to Bondi Beach or some of the Woollahra beaches like Red Leaf and close(ish) to the City so kind of an all rounder in that sense.

What are your needs though, for moving to Sydney? Where do you live in Cape Town and what do you like about Cape Town, that culturally you might miss? Do you love dinning our and being close to markets and foodie hotspots? Are you a beach person? Parks, do you prefer smaller ones, or large ones like Kirstenbosch, somewhere where you can hike/power walk as well? Do you cycle? Because then Centennial would be best with dedicated cycle paths.

It helps to have more input if you want further suggestions.

Cheers

Matt

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monsta

@Mistermoose. You have listed some seriously expensive suburbs. You would get a nice apartment in concord for $800 per week. But as AfreshStart said, probably not a house with room for dogs.

But, I would write off Concord due to the traffic problems in the area. Its some of Sydney's worst traffic. There is only one main road, it runs between the M4 motor way and Macquarie Business park.

For a dog lover, French's Forest is a good choice; but it is very much "suburbia". But you still could commute to the city (1hr + door to door).

Camden is great. Its a lovely area out there near Campbelltown. I was at Oran park the other day and really loved it. The problem is, I work in the city so the commute would kill me. (2hrs door to door)

I say to people all the time, think about your job. If you work in banking, finance, IT, etc.. then you will need to be near the city. That's where the jobs are. But if you do something else, e.g. school teacher or accountant, then avoid the CBD like the plague. There are plenty of warehouses, trucking companies, etc.. that are out west and who need accountants.

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mistermoose

Mistermoose, look up French's Forest way, it is not that close to the CBD but has a good bus service that many of my friends have used. I love the fact that it is close to the forests (some friends have lived on the edge of the forest and had visiting wallabies in their yard) and you can get down to Dee Why beach fairly easily. It isn't quaint, and it is very family oriented, but it is a peaceful place to live.

Nice one, thanks for the suggestion! It looks a little far on the map, but it's come up before, so I'm definitely going to have a closer look.

Ja, wasn't going to say it. Next thing Mr M and I have that awkward thing of bumping into each other in every aile in Woolies. Check out Forestville, Killarney Hights, Roseville, Davidson too.

PS. Is your mum going to work here? I have a client, she is a 65 year old mum from RSA living in Roseville. Her sons brought her out 3 years ago. She is a dog walker/sitter here. Tell me if you want the two ladies to email and chat.

Hahaha. There are surely worse things than bumping into each other for a trolley chat! Thanks for the extra areas :)

Yeah, mom is definitely able to work (though with no opportunities in SA for last three years so fully dependent on me), so something to keep her interested, feeling useful, and busy would be amazing. Thanks so much for the kind offer. I'd love to mail the lady who's taken up dog walking/sitting, to get her perspective on life this side and that side before and after.

$800 a week, near the city, and space for two dogs? Um, in Woollahra $800 MIGHT get to a 2-bedroom apartment from the 70's, but not sure where you'd put the dogs?

Would they be happy being house dogs? How big/what breed are they? You've also got to realize that not all properties are going to be 'pet friendly'.

Concord is considered the Inner West, which as a borough is lovely, but also not sure you are going to get anything with a garden out that way for much under $1000, and it would be something that with be older and might need, um, work. But lots of smaller parks and buses into the City.

On the list you posted, I think you'd be hard pressed to find Sydneysider would wouldn't have Balmain at the top of the list, but again, WAY out of your price range.

Queens Park is probably my best pick of the lot, you can find older, un-renovated 3-bedroom terraces for $900-$1000 and puts you right near Queens and Centennial Parks, a short 15-20 minute drive to Bondi Beach or some of the Woollahra beaches like Red Leaf and close(ish) to the City so kind of an all rounder in that sense.

What are your needs though, for moving to Sydney? Where do you live in Cape Town and what do you like about Cape Town, that culturally you might miss? Do you love dinning our and being close to markets and foodie hotspots? Are you a beach person? Parks, do you prefer smaller ones, or large ones like Kirstenbosch, somewhere where you can hike/power walk as well? Do you cycle? Because then Centennial would be best with dedicated cycle paths.

It helps to have more input if you want further suggestions.

Cheers

Matt

We'd be bringing our golden retriever and something-cross rescue. Both are extreme house dogs (sleep on and in the beds) but really do love the garden space to lie in the sun, run after the ball, chase each other around for a bit. So I'd like to have some grass for them if possible. And yeah, I know that it's going to be tougher finding somewhere with pets than without, but so be it.

What do you make of Greenwich? Seems close enough to the CBD, quaint atmosphere, very leafy. And this would be more than enough for us: http://www.domain.com.au/for-rent/10-carlotta-street-greenwich-nsw-2065-10038826?sp=1.

Will check out Queens Park, thanks for the suggestion.

We're out Table View way, but when we first moved to CT when I was 14, we lived in Sea Point for around 8 years and I loved how central everything was - the smell of the sea every morning, the waterfront down the road, delis on the corner. But of course this came with taxis everywhere, horrible traffic (relative) but because you didn't have to drive very far to work in town or the waterfront, the traffic didn't take long to get through. Then again, driving to Hout Bay was a mission because of the Camps Bay/Clifton route. We live out this way now because we have a 3 bed house, garden and pool for half of what a flat would cost in Sea Point, which is a quarter of what it would cost in Camps Bay.

We're not beach people at all, unless you count mom picking up shells or admiring the view. It IS nice to be near the water though - or to see it, at least. But in the priority of things, places like parks to explore with birdlife or national parks nearby are more important. But so is being central, I've learnt since being this side of the Atlantic Seaboard (1 hour drive to work and another hour back in the evening). Public transport is now an option but is packed to the hilt, and once in town it makes leaving the office for a meeting impossible because I have no transport ready to go. So I end up parking in Bo-kaap and walking down to work in the CBD.

Markets? YES. Theatre? YES. Events? YES. Kirstenbosch, funnily enough, is where we spent most of this morning :) So big, leafy, explorable parks, YES. Not worried about hiking or cycling, more about lots to see and discover. Richmond Park / Kew Gardens type of thing.

Thanks for all the help!

@Mistermoose. You have listed some seriously expensive suburbs. You would get a nice apartment in concord for $800 per week. But as AfreshStart said, probably not a house with room for dogs.

But, I would write off Concord due to the traffic problems in the area. Its some of Sydney's worst traffic. There is only one main road, it runs between the M4 motor way and Macquarie Business park.

For a dog lover, French's Forest is a good choice; but it is very much "suburbia". But you still could commute to the city (1hr + door to door).

Camden is great. Its a lovely area out there near Campbelltown. I was at Oran park the other day and really loved it. The problem is, I work in the city so the commute would kill me. (2hrs door to door)

I say to people all the time, think about your job. If you work in banking, finance, IT, etc.. then you will need to be near the city. That's where the jobs are. But if you do something else, e.g. school teacher or accountant, then avoid the CBD like the plague. There are plenty of warehouses, trucking companies, etc.. that are out west and who need accountants.

You said the T-word! :) Would really like to avoid traffic, either through not taking my car and using public transport instead, or by being close enough not to need one.

Thanks for clarifying Concord and Camden. Both seem to be areas I need to cross off the list now.

Every job I've applied for and been looking at has been located in the CBD, mostly internet companies, media houses and agencies (I'm in digital content/marketing). So even more reason for me to look closer to where I need to be, just with a little more space than an apartment allows.

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AFreshStart
Markets? YES. Theatre? YES. Events? YES. Kirstenbosch, funnily enough, is where we spent most of this morning :) So big, leafy, explorable parks, YES. Not worried about hiking or cycling, more about lots to see and discover. Richmond Park / Kew Gardens type of thing.

Well if there is one thing I know about it's Richmond Park, my Father lived outside of both the Kingston Gate and Sheen Gate for most of my adolescent life and spent our holidays there every 18-months. Centennial isn't as rolling and there aren't deer, but there are loads of lakes, ponds, greenery and walks. I've picked up cycling since arriving and it's where I enjoy cycling with my young daughter and may head out there with my son on his own bike now in the holidays.

Another favourite is Sydney Park, probably one of the best dog parks and has beautiful Wetlands.

Markets, Theatre and (Musical) Events are often localized around the City, not to take anything away from the Hills or further North RE weekend fairs, fetes and markets, but of course the The Opera House is here, The Sydney Theatre Company, Capitol Theatre in Haymarket, The Domain and the Eveleigh Farmers Markets to name a few.

Look I'm biased to City living, I walked into the center of town today and from my door to Town Square took 26 minutes and a bus journey is 8-10 minutes during the week. We live and breath the City, it's not for everyone, but our lives revolve around it, both work and play and it's filled with parks, tree lined streets etc.

The problem is that property this close to the city is expensive, especially for your needs. That said our apartment complex is pet friendly and one of our neighbours has what looks to be a greyhound dalmatian cross and another a pair of staffie mixes. We all have balconies and dogs are happy lying in the sun and we have communal grass areas where they walk them and have two small parks on our door steps and bigger parks within 5-minutes walk.

I shared in another post that we regularly run into the mayor of Sydney and my son and I ran into here and her husband walking their dogs in Wimbo Park about a week ago.

In areas closer to the city you'll get an apartment for around $800, but not a terrace, which would be $1,000 at least, if not more, but it all depends on what your day to day and evening life will look like, but we save on transport, have a better quality of family life as my wife is close to the office, so can spend more time with us etc.

I like all the things you do, so love being able to catch the bus in and see a band at the Opera House, or cycle my bike and have my lunch in Hyde Park, I'm an avid user of the Sydney Libraries and have taken out over 60 items in 10-months - books, CD's, DVD's, magazines etc and love being close to them, we bought an apartment next to to one, Ha Ha.

Since my wife works in the City,and our lives revolve around the City we are rarely over in the North, I can count on 2 hands how many times I've needed to cross the bridge, nothing against the North, but there is no need, unless we are going to Manly or using it to head up the Hunter Valley for the odd long weekend.

But again, it's going to come down to what you can afford vs your needs.

Agree with Monsta though, I'm over in the Inner West a fare bit ad traffic is manic, particularly around the M4-Parramatta interchange. Also bare in mind it's not really feasible to take a car into the City, parking is $10 an hour and company parking bay can cost you $800 - $1000 a month, so most people walk, cycle or use public transport.

Cheers

Matt

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mistermoose

What are you still doing up so late, Matt? :)

Would've loved to have such regular and easy access to Richmond. You must've had a blast and known the place backwards. Have you ever visited Knole in Sevenoaks? Loads of deer and rolling hills too. Really awesome.

I'm definitely keeping your city lifestyle in mind as I continue to search. Even if the other benefits weren't there, the financial savings must be substantial too. No need for two cars, no need for crazy petrol, no need for 2 x car insurance, no need to limit your home search to properties with 2 parkings. The list goes on.

When you guys DO venture out further the city, do you have a car that you take out on trips or do you rely on public transport only?

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mistermoose

So I managed to find a few decent places in my budget. Would be interested to know what you think of the specific locations in each of the suburbs - they might be on top of the train line?

Annandale: http://www.domain.com.au/for-rent/297-young-street-annandale-nsw-2038-10024633?sp=16

Annandale: http://www.domain.com.au/for-rent/112-trafalgar-st-annandale-nsw-2038-9996617?sp=10

Surry Hills: http://www.domain.com.au/for-rent/55-arthur-street-surry-hills-nsw-2010-9972865?sp=13

How are other areas nearby like Glebe, Darlinghurst and Paddington?

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mistermoose

By the way, Centennial is probably the best find I've seen in the last few months while researching the move. Super impressed, thanks for sharing Matt :)

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AFreshStart

So I managed to find a few decent places in my budget. Would be interested to know what you think of the specific locations in each of the suburbs - they might be on top of the train line?

Annandale: http://www.domain.com.au/for-rent/297-young-street-annandale-nsw-2038-10024633?sp=16

Annandale: http://www.domain.com.au/for-rent/112-trafalgar-st-annandale-nsw-2038-9996617?sp=10

Surry Hills: http://www.domain.com.au/for-rent/55-arthur-street-surry-hills-nsw-2010-9972865?sp=13

How are other areas nearby like Glebe, Darlinghurst and Paddington?

My pick is Surry Hills, in fact that property is only 6 homes down from the one we rented when we first arrived and I still run the community vegetable garden right outside the front door. Surry Hills is where we would loved to have bought, but the homes there are $1.2million +

Bourke St is treelined and Wimbo Park & Ward Park are walking distance for dog walking, it's also a stones throw from one of the best Libraries in Sydney.

That rental is SUPER cheap for the area as well, most are $1000+ for a terrace, which is what we were paying and why we had to move, it was just too much for us and we needed somewhere cheaper and ended up buyin 2 suburbs over in Waterloo, though much of our lives are still in Surry, son's school, our Church, friends etc.

Super close to the city to, my wife used to walk in and out in 20+ minutes and right next to Central Station.

RE a car, yes, we own a single small town car, a Honda Jazz. We only do 400kms a month, largely used on the weekends to explore further a field, we've been to the Hunter Valley a couple times, down South to the Royal National Park and Kiama etc.

Cheers

Matt

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AFreshStart

Just a note on all of the above, I don't want to strike fear into you, but not sure if you realize just how competitive the rental market is here right now.

As property prices soar it reduces many to renter status, and anywhere close to the City is going to be in high demand. I suspect those properties, esp. the Surry Hills one will not be on there long... when we got out of our place it was let in the week and on inspection day we had 6-8 couples come through.

They just had an open inspection in one of the apartments in our building and there were 40 people passing through and it was let within the hour.

The more expensiveness properties tend to sit longer, but even then, much of Surry Hills now is owned/let by what older locals call DINKS - Dual Income, No Kids, so it's easier for them to pick these prime spots, and it suits there lifestyle.

Crown Street has EVERY conceivable restaurant and cuisine, you could eat out once a week at each of them and it would take you a better part of a year to get round to each one, plus close transport links buses, heck, there are 4 different bus lines that pass through Surry that all go into the CBD, 2 of which go all the way up to Circular Quay. Parks, monthly markets, award winning library, art galleries etc. So you can see why it's popular with the arts lovers, and is filled with creatives.

It's probably the most accessible of the ones listed above, but I love Annandale, Glebe, Darlinghurt etc and have friends in each of those suburbs, Surry is just smack bang in the middle, you can walk into the City, walk to Central Station, walk to Centennial Park, ANZ Stadium etc.

Out of interest, why the recent posts about Sydney & Melbourne? My understanding is that you have received an SS190 for South Australia? Unless you can prove that you can't find work there you are bound to the obligation to be there for 2-years no?

Cheers

Matt

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monsta

@Mistermoose and others who are looking at Sydney. Another consideration is the Sydney Rapid Transit. I know its at least 5 years away... But that train line will have trains running to the CBD every 2 minutes. Trains normally run every 15 minutes and go 40 km/hr.

Also look at the Wesconnex and Northconnex projects. Those are two projects to connect up freeways via (tolled) tunnels. They open up new possibilities. For example, after Northconnex is in place, you could live in Gosford and drive down to Macquarie Business Park for work relatively easily. Properties are almost affordable in Gosford.

And if you are looking for something in place sooner, look at the Norwest rail link. You could live in Rouse Hill and catch a train to Macquarie Businesses park. But I expect that line will be overflowing with people if you want to go to the CBD. They are eventually converting it to the SRT for good reason.

Then there is even a light rail improvement project in and near the CBD.

http://mysydney.nsw.gov.au

Edited by monsta
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rozellem

Sadly, the dogs will dictate alot in your move. Its almost like being a smoker, you are immediately lower down on the pecking order. Unless you have superior luck, apartments and town houses will be out for you. If you find a house IN the city, and can afford it, it will be very rare. Then you have to compete with tons of people, most of who will not have a dog. Your chances are not looking great.

There are so many dog parks, water, national parks, etc. around us. Lots of people I know own a second/third/fourth hand scooter to drive to a station to catch a train into the cbd. They spend about a thousand $ on the bike, as it will just be parked at the station. Not being a car, you dont have the parking issues either. The work/live thing is a bit catch 22 as there are a few business hubs you might end up at. Who knows.

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monsta

@Rozellem well said. Sydney does have serious problems with transport and housing affordability.

Migrants need to accept that before they move here.

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mistermoose

Thanks everyone for all the extra info and support, from Surrey Hills to French's Forest :)

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Mara

Mistermoose, I am also intrigued by your in depth questions regarding Sydney and Melbourne if you have South Australia sponsorship, as Matt has indicated? Or is he wrong in his assumption?

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mistermoose
Out of interest, why the recent posts about Sydney & Melbourne? My understanding is that you have received an SS190 for South Australia? Unless you can prove that you can't find work there you are bound to the obligation to be there for 2-years no?

Mistermoose, I am also intrigued by your in depth questions regarding Sydney and Melbourne if you have South Australia sponsorship, as Matt has indicated? Or is he wrong in his assumption?

Yes, I did receive sponsorship from SA. However, in the last month, the jobs in my industry posted on Seek have been as follows:

Sydney: 336

Melbourne: 138

Adelaide: 1

And even the 1 job is a general marketing role, not digital.

I'm continuing to keep an eye out on LinkedIn and Indeed as well, and have applied to one or two non-specific roles in Adelaide that have popped up there, but with 1 or 2 jobs per month being advertised (never mind me being right for the role, or being contacted, or being interviewed), I need to be realistic and plan for a future somewhere in Australia where I can find a job in my industry that I'll be able to apply for and fill successfully. Realistically, this is either Melbourne or Sydney, and the numbers above (and the climate question discussed), Sydney is the most likely candidate.

As others have discussed on this forum on others, I will simply need to keep the authorities updated on my location and movements in Aus when I arrive, and notify them of the reasons for me being where I am when I finally land.

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Mara

Mistermoose, thanks for enlightening us, and I do agree with all you have said. The only part I worry about is that if you do not at least land yourself in South Australia initially, that it may be difficult to prove that you could not find employment there... I worry that Immigration will not view the job vacancies on Seek, as proof.

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mistermoose

I had similar concerns upfront when searching for potential jobs and seeing the low volume. After chatting to one of the agents recommended on this forum, he provided me with written advice to continue as above. So I'm happy to go ahead and keep the authorities informed along the way. That doesn't mean that I won't be applying for jobs in Adelaide as the process goes on. I'm not trying NOT to choose that spot, but if theren't any jobs, there aren't any jobs. Hence the Sydney planning in full force, because I've been able to apply to 93 jobs so far already.

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Mara

Well done, you are a man with a plan, that is a good thing... good luck with the job hunting, I do hope that you find something soon.

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monsta

Another thing I have noticed (and I may be wrong). If you are the only xxx company in your area. Your staff will stick it out for many years. But, they often stick around too long, if you know what I mean.

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Mel-B

Which suburbs would you recommend for a home with a garden? We have 2 outdoorsy kids. Apartment living is not for us. Understood the commute will kill you... :(

Can't find anything suitable in Sydney. Looking for family friendly suburb, about 1 hour from CBD max, with decent rentals and good schools. The closest I have found is Castle hill, but unsure what the commute time is from there. Budget is 700 dollars a week as I have it on my current planned budget.

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AFreshStart

Mel-B,

If it's any consolation both our kids are VERY outdoorsy, the thing is that they don't have to use our backyard for security when we can walk to MASSIVE parks nearby. We are a short drive to the beach (took me 18 minutes to get to Bondi this am for swim) or 7-minute drive to the rolling hills of Sydney Park and wetlands/waterways etc.

I think it's very South African mindset to stay 'locked In' to your own yard, largely because of security. I don't think it makes us any less outdoorsy, in fact we are probably MORE outdoorsy now than we ever were in Cape Town and have visited the Beach more in 1-year than in the past 10 in CPT. We all own bikes (hadn't since I was a teenager in South Africa), the kids scooter everywhere and we go camping etc, there is a freedom here that isn't easy to explain, it has to be experienced.

Getting a house for $800 a week with a garden and I assume a minimum of 2-rooms anywhere close to the City is going to be near impossible, if you do, it will probably be an OLD unrenovated terrace with the bathroom out the back or off the kitchen.

Castle Hill, Frenchs Forest, Baulkham Hills are nice, but they are an hour away by public transport, and an hour and half from Castle Hill, with NO traffic :cry: Then there is South, the Shire, Cronulla etc, but they fit into your $800 a week budget.

Try look at a topological map of the area and you'll see that the "City" is actually VERY green, as shared there is Moore Park, Centennial Park, Queens Park & Sydney Park, MASSIVE parks, not to mention hundreds of children's parks and reserves, all in the City suburbs.

I wish you all the best in making the right decision for you and your family, it came seem overwhelming when you don't have a point of reference.

Cheers

Matt

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