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Old Jan 6th 2010, 12:28 am   #1
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Default Living in Wollongong?

Hello,

We are moving from NZ to Australia in March and we are investigating places to live. We were looking at either Newcastle or the Central Coast however we have been told that my husband will need to be based within the larger Sydney metropolitan area for work. We would like to be out of the city and near the beach so we're looking at Wollongong with the idea of my husband commuting to the southern most part of Sydney for work.

I've read conflicting things about the commute - how long would it take for him to drive from the northern part of Wollongong to the southern part of Sydney? This would be out of peak times for travel as well as he does shiftwork.

What is Wollongong like as a place to raise a family? Are the temps OK in winter.. we're used to pretty cold weather here in NZ (under 10 degrees) so we are wanting something milder for the winter months.

For suburbs we are looking at Mangerton, Figtree, Keiraville and surrounds - are these nice places to live?

Thanks so much for your help.
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Old Jan 6th 2010, 12:34 am   #2
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Default Re: Living in Wollongong?

When I was working in the Sydney CBD, one of my co-workers lived in Wollongong, and he was happy with the train commute. It allowed him time to do work on the laptop, or read.
He did sometimes drive, but as we mainly did 9-5, the train was easier most of the time.
 
Old Jan 6th 2010, 4:45 am   #3
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Default Re: Living in Wollongong?

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Originally Posted by Jeremybec View Post
Hello,

We are moving from NZ to Australia in March and we are investigating places to live. We were looking at either Newcastle or the Central Coast however we have been told that my husband will need to be based within the larger Sydney metropolitan area for work. We would like to be out of the city and near the beach so we're looking at Wollongong with the idea of my husband commuting to the southern most part of Sydney for work.

I've read conflicting things about the commute - how long would it take for him to drive from the northern part of Wollongong to the southern part of Sydney? This would be out of peak times for travel as well as he does shiftwork.

What is Wollongong like as a place to raise a family? Are the temps OK in winter.. we're used to pretty cold weather here in NZ (under 10 degrees) so we are wanting something milder for the winter months.

For suburbs we are looking at Mangerton, Figtree, Keiraville and surrounds - are these nice places to live?

Thanks so much for your help.
I really liked Wollongong - I lived there for 4 years, and met my husband there. How about looking to the North of Wollongong if your husband will be working in Sydney? That would fit the near the beach criteria better than the suburbs you listed and cut down on his travel time. Austinmer, Woonona, Bulli are all on the trainline and the beach. Would you be working in Wollongong? Is that why you're listing suburbs closer in?

Figtree is a very nice suburb, as is Keiraville. Keiraville has a lot of uni students in it, as that's where the uni is. Mangerton is a big step down.
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Old Jan 6th 2010, 6:55 am   #4
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Default Re: Living in Wollongong?

Guess it depends on what you mean by 'south Sydney'.

Heathcote, Engadine, Sutherland and anywhere in the The Shire would be fine, but if you are talking say over the Captain Cook or Tom Ugly's Bridge, that would get a bit too far by the time you had got through The Shire traffic.

We live in 'south Sydney' so let me know if you can be more sepcific about the exact area.
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Old Jan 6th 2010, 8:34 am   #5
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Default Re: Living in Wollongong?

Hi there and Welcome to the "Gong" !!

We live in Figtree and absolutely love it there.
Figtree is about a 5 min drive from the centre of Wollongong, but does also have its own Westfield shopping centre, which is very modern.

I also work in South Sydney ( Padstow ) and it takes me exactly one hour each way in rush hour.
Its around 75Km each way, free flowing traffic, only time i stop os for traffic lights.

Its a big thumbs up from me


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Old Jan 6th 2010, 8:40 am   #6
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Default Re: Living in Wollongong?

I live an hour south of Wollongong and commute by car into Sydney without issue.
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Old Jan 6th 2010, 7:25 pm   #7
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Default Re: Living in Wollongong?

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I live an hour south of Wollongong and commute by car into Sydney without issue.
I guess you might not be going to Sydney every day (like me I work from home etc), but I wouldn't be recommending 4 hours in a car 5 days a week as a commute. To me that would be an issue....
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Old Jan 6th 2010, 9:04 pm   #8
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I guess you might not be going to Sydney every day (like me I work from home etc), but I wouldn't be recommending 4 hours in a car 5 days a week as a commute. To me that would be an issue....
Initially I was doing exactly that. I work from home three days a week now though. If the train line between Berry and Engadine was a bit better I'd sell my car tommorow.
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Old Jan 6th 2010, 9:35 pm   #9
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Default Re: Living in Wollongong?

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Originally Posted by Jeremybec View Post
Hello,

We are moving from NZ to Australia in March and we are investigating places to live. We were looking at either Newcastle or the Central Coast however we have been told that my husband will need to be based within the larger Sydney metropolitan area for work. We would like to be out of the city and near the beach so we're looking at Wollongong with the idea of my husband commuting to the southern most part of Sydney for work.

I've read conflicting things about the commute - how long would it take for him to drive from the northern part of Wollongong to the southern part of Sydney? This would be out of peak times for travel as well as he does shiftwork.

What is Wollongong like as a place to raise a family? Are the temps OK in winter.. we're used to pretty cold weather here in NZ (under 10 degrees) so we are wanting something milder for the winter months.

For suburbs we are looking at Mangerton, Figtree, Keiraville and surrounds - are these nice places to live?

Thanks so much for your help.
I'm about 30min South of Wollongong and personally I wouldn't fancy the commute to Sydney from here on a daily basis, but it is done by some. As Hutch has already said, he travels in from further South still.
Suburbs North of the Gong tend to be more expensive simply because they are closer to Sydney.
You can still get big houses for not much South of the city. This is just one picked at random.
http://www.realestate.com.au/cgi-bin...&tm=1262817466

The train journey is almost a scenic railway... very pretty, but God awful slow.... and not much use unless your husbands work is near a station at the other end anyway. Travel in by car should be OK out of peak hours unless, as others have said, you need to get closer in to the CBD. Then Sydney has amongst the worst traffic I have seen anywhere.

The suburbs you mentioned all look OK to me but I haven't lived in any of them, just passing through, so perhaps I'm not the best to judge.

Weather in the Illawarra is excellent, particularly down off the escarpment. Up on the escarpment it can get quite nippy in mid-Winter, but nothing on the level of NZ. Down by the coast its much more of a temperate climate. I have been here four years and have yet to see a frost or a day over 40c.

Last edited by iamthecreaturefromuranus; Jan 6th 2010 at 9:39 pm.
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Old Jan 6th 2010, 10:21 pm   #10
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Default Re: Living in Wollongong?

Hi
Thanks for your replies. My husband is a police officer and has to serve a 3 yr tenure within 'metropolitan' Sydney but they said they can give him the southern most station so that the commute is quicker. I'm not sure if Sutherland is counted as Sydney though? He would be doing the trip out of peak hours and probably around 3 - 4 times per week because of shiftwork.

We were looking at Figtree because I like the look of the schools there, and we like leafy suburbs with some trees surrounding the houses. We live in a bush reserve here in NZ and we're used to having trees around the house.

My other question - does anyone know of a website where we can book a longterm apartment on weekly rates? In Qld there seem to be heaps of them but I'm struggling to find anything in Wollongong which will do a reasonable rate for a long term stay (3 + weeks).
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Old Jan 6th 2010, 10:42 pm   #11
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Hi
Thanks for your replies. My husband is a police officer and has to serve a 3 yr tenure within 'metropolitan' Sydney but they said they can give him the southern most station so that the commute is quicker. I'm not sure if Sutherland is counted as Sydney though? He would be doing the trip out of peak hours and probably around 3 - 4 times per week because of shiftwork.

We were looking at Figtree because I like the look of the schools there, and we like leafy suburbs with some trees surrounding the houses. We live in a bush reserve here in NZ and we're used to having trees around the house.

My other question - does anyone know of a website where we can book a longterm apartment on weekly rates? In Qld there seem to be heaps of them but I'm struggling to find anything in Wollongong which will do a reasonable rate for a long term stay (3 + weeks).
By that do you mean, for example, a 6mth rental agreement?. If so, try here.
http://www.realestate.com.au/directo...ng_region.html
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Old Jan 7th 2010, 12:13 am   #12
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Default Re: Living in Wollongong?

Sorry I should have been more clear

My husband isn't going into police college until Sept so the plan is for him to get an inbetween job when we arrive in March until he goes away in Sept. Ideally we would like to go straight into a rental, but we've heard that might be difficult since he won't have a job to prove his income. So we were hoping to find a furnished apartment for about a month after we arrive to allow him to find work and then we would move into a permanent rental after that.

Up until about 2 weeks ago we were all set to go up to Qld but the police there have cancelled their NZ officer intakes. So this is a bit last minute and we're trying to make it work. In Qld we had loads of 2bedroom apartments for about $350 per week to choose from but we are struggling to find anything in Wollongong for less than $120 per night.
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Old Jan 7th 2010, 12:27 am   #13
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Sorry I should have been more clear

My husband isn't going into police college until Sept so the plan is for him to get an inbetween job when we arrive in March until he goes away in Sept. Ideally we would like to go straight into a rental, but we've heard that might be difficult since he won't have a job to prove his income. So we were hoping to find a furnished apartment for about a month after we arrive to allow him to find work and then we would move into a permanent rental after that.

Up until about 2 weeks ago we were all set to go up to Qld but the police there have cancelled their NZ officer intakes. So this is a bit last minute and we're trying to make it work. In Qld we had loads of 2bedroom apartments for about $350 per week to choose from but we are struggling to find anything in Wollongong for less than $120 per night.
Wollongong really doesn't have much that sort of property available. It's not a holiday city, very much a working city and as you've found, furnished accommodation tends to be hotel/motel type places at priced at nightly rates.Your best bet might be to try and get a perm rental straight off by offering several month rent up front.

Other than that all I can suggest is contacting one of the real estate agents in that previous link and give them your requirements and see what/if they come up with. My experience with real estate agents, when I was in your position, was anything but positive... but you might get lucky.
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Old Jan 7th 2010, 12:49 am   #14
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Default Re: Living in Wollongong?

Thanks, I've contacted an agent so we'll see what she says. I've heard that Sutherland is considered part of the police metropolitan district so my husband could potentially be located there. I had a look at the distance and it comes up with about 40 - 45 mins drive so that's not too bad.

In terms of schools - does anyone know anything about Figtree Public School and what is the feeling out there regarding public vs private schooling for primary aged kids in Australia?
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Old Jan 7th 2010, 7:19 pm   #15
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Default Re: Living in Wollongong?

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Thanks, I've contacted an agent so we'll see what she says. I've heard that Sutherland is considered part of the police metropolitan district so my husband could potentially be located there. I had a look at the distance and it comes up with about 40 - 45 mins drive so that's not too bad.

In terms of schools - does anyone know anything about Figtree Public School and what is the feeling out there regarding public vs private schooling for primary aged kids in Australia?
Yeah, Sutho is part of Sydney police..and we have loads of problem NRL Stars to deal with!

If Sutho is the plan, then perhaps Cronulla would be a better option, to be near the beach. 10 - 20 minutes from Cronulla to Sutho depending on traffic and a rail line for visiting the CBD.
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