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Northern Beaches Sydney

Northern Beaches Sydney

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Old Jul 25th 2010, 12:40 pm
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Default Northern Beaches Sydney

Hi everyone.

My family and I are moving to Sydney in January. Its all happening really fast and I am panicking a bit.

He will be working in North Ryde. Like lots of people we want to be close to the beach. It looks on the map like Mona Vale road leads right to North Ryde.

Does anyone have any thoughts on living somewhere around the Mona Vale or other Northern beaches? What would you recommend? We will rent for a while until we feel ready to buy... How long will it take him to get to North Ryde in rush hour?

We will have a 4 and 6 year old. What are the schools like? I'm a Speech Therapist for adults and will have to temp for a while. I understand that it will take me an hour and a half (?) if I work in central Sydney but also know there are other hospitals around and one in Mona Vale?

Many thanks for your advice.
Dijana
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Old Jul 25th 2010, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Northern Beaches Sydney

Hello and welcome to British Expats!
I can't help at all on the kids/schools things as I have no children, but will tell you what I have experienced about travel in the area.
If you were to live in the Mona Vale area then your husband's commute would be quick for the first half of the journey, but then slow down as soon as he gets to the St Ives area. It gets a lot busier from then on with more intersections and traffic lights all the way to Ryde. Google estimates 45 mins drive time so you could probably double that for rush hour if things are moving slowly.
I have moved to St Ives, my partner is a business consultant who works for companies in the city and in Ryde. The drive to Ryde is pretty straightforward from here and to go to the city we drive to Gordon or Pymble station (10 mins) park and take the train. Train from Gordon to Central Sydney takes just under 40 mins. From St Ives we find we have easy access to the beach at the weekends but also to lots of National Parks, motorway to Blue Mountains etc. There are so many places to explore and I feel I haven't seen many of them yet!
Much of your decision will depend on how keen you are to be close to the beach. It sounds like your husband's job is fixed but yours is not. I would have thought living nearer Ryde and/or the train line to the city would give you more options as then he won't spend hours commuting, and you would have a wider choice of hospitals within reach. Not only those in the city, but also Gladesville Macquarie hospital, Ryde Hospital, Royal Rehab Centre and Sydney Adventist. If you stick with Mona Vale you've only got the one hospital there which could be rather limiting. I think you are on the right track looking at the Mona Vale road, but don't forget the train lines. You can see travel times on the train lines by going to www.131500.com.au.
By the way there may be other options than hospitals for your work, I have noticed a Speech & Language clinic at Gordon, don't know anything about the place just happen to have driven past & noticed it. Google it and you will find the one I mean, and where there's one there's bound to be others....
Hope that's some use to you,
Lisa
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Old Jul 25th 2010, 8:24 pm
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Default Re: Northern Beaches Sydney

I used to rent near St Ives for a year or so and know the Northern Beaches reasonably well.

It is a very beautiful area of course and offers fantastic old and new properties, the beaches are some of the best in NSW.

Would I live in the Northern Beaches area -don't think so.

One look at the city rail network map pretty much sums up why I wouldn't live up that way. It is isolated from the city rail network, the roads are prone to bad rush hour jams and the bus services are ok, but can be erratic at best, especially on weekends and holiday periods.

If you can get a job working from home or an office in that area then fine, if you need to work in the centre of Sydney most days then it wouldn't be so good. I worked in the centre of Sydney and I used to get up at 6am every morning to get to work for 8.30am, the Epping Road was a nightmare one long traffic jam, although that has been improved with a tunnel and bus lanes now.


Getting to North Ryde might not be so bad, but there will be some frustrating roads with plenty of rush hour jams. It is not just about work though, for pleasure I prefer to be close to the main city rail network, I like being close to a station so you can jump on a quick train to the centre. Great beaches up that way but rubbish transport.

Last edited by Jon77; Jul 25th 2010 at 8:29 pm.
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Old Jul 25th 2010, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: Northern Beaches Sydney

I don't have an indepth knowledge of the areas as I am new here but I have been looking at houses in all of the places mentioned above in last couple of weeks.

If work is in North Ryde, I would be very tempted to say why not stick to the more immediate neighbourhood rather than brave the traffic, nobody is exagerating when they say it is awful. We looked at a house in Putney (but someone beat us to it) and that seemed quite nice.
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Old Jul 26th 2010, 12:09 am
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Default Re: Northern Beaches Sydney

Originally Posted by Jon77 View Post
I used to rent near St Ives for a year or so and know the Northern Beaches reasonably well.

It is a very beautiful area of course and offers fantastic old and new properties, the beaches are some of the best in NSW.

Would I live in the Northern Beaches area -don't think so.

One look at the city rail network map pretty much sums up why I wouldn't live up that way. It is isolated from the city rail network, the roads are prone to bad rush hour jams and the bus services are ok, but can be erratic at best, especially on weekends and holiday periods.

If you can get a job working from home or an office in that area then fine, if you need to work in the centre of Sydney most days then it wouldn't be so good. I worked in the centre of Sydney and I used to get up at 6am every morning to get to work for 8.30am, the Epping Road was a nightmare one long traffic jam, although that has been improved with a tunnel and bus lanes now.


Getting to North Ryde might not be so bad, but there will be some frustrating roads with plenty of rush hour jams. It is not just about work though, for pleasure I prefer to be close to the main city rail network, I like being close to a station so you can jump on a quick train to the centre. Great beaches up that way but rubbish transport.
Epping Road is NOT Northern Beaches. It is North Shore.
I lived in Manly and now Seaforth and I am at work in Potts Point, door to door, within the hour for both suburbs using public transport.

Having lived on Northern Beaches for 2 1/2 years now, and worked in the CBD and Rydalmere using public transport for that period I think I can give a pretty good opinion of the live/commute issues.
Living on the Northern Beaches is a no brainer, lots of beach/reserve/cafe's/bars for family fun. As a parent of a 5 yr old boy we are in no doubt at all that he is in the right area to develop both physically and mentally. I also feel that as a parent I have improved because the lifestyle here encourages you to get out and about and so spend time with your children. Schools are excellent and Child Care is plentiful, although both are pricey if you are on a 457 Visa (are you?). The geography of the beaches makes for plentiful areas to enjoy but, it also limits some journeying due to lack of rail. However, the Manly ferry, both regular and Jetcat, run very regularly and are a fun way of commuting and actually bloody enjoyable. That is ok if you are in that area, if north of Brookvale then you are relying on the bus to get to the CBD, can be anywhere between 20-40 mins depending on where you get on the bus. They are plentiful and can be quick, but, just like ALL cities in this world, you pick a bad time and every bus, car and van will also be on the roads for school trips! If you work anywhere other than the CBD be prepared for plenty of bus/ferry/train changes and a lot longer. Rydalmere takes me an hour and a half!! On a good day!!
In the OP situation I would seriously look at a different perspective. If the main income earner will be working in North Ryde then I would seriously look at getting a house with a pool, that way the beach isn't quite so necessary and you can get some around Hornsby areas for decent rent. Hornsby is excellent for Rail links to Ryde, CBD, Gosford etc etc. and I would of lived there myself if it wasn't for my OH work being in Seaforth. If you desperately want to be near to the beach, and I can understand that it will make you feel as if you actually IN Australia, then yes Mona Vale would probably be easier for North Ryde, but, in reality any of them would be ok as you can just get on the Warringah Freeway and then join up with the Mona Vale Rd via the Forest Freeway. Look at Dee Why and Collaroy as well, good beaches and decent rental prices and far cheaper than Manly areas.
Finally, and I think this is extremely important, DO NOT make any final decision until you get here. Sydney is a vast place and until you arrive and actually try some journeys out you won't get the true perspective. Take at least 2 weeks to get a grasp of the suburbs and their demographics, the good ones and the bad ones will soon become obvious and your OP's work colleagues will be able to help with commute time examples in his first couple of weeks. This is a big decision for you and believe me, irrespective of the advice we all give on here, it will not prepare you for actually being here yourself. It is great and I love it, but moving here is a giant leap for a lot of families and taking the time to find the right home is very important.
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Old Jul 26th 2010, 4:04 am
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Default Re: Northern Beaches Sydney

Mona Vale to North Ryde is not a commute I'd want to do in rush hour - looking at the nice straight road on a map and driving it in bumper to bumper traffic are two different things! The Beaches area is fantastic, and very family friendy. We rented in St. Ives when we arrived and were looking to buy along the beaches as our kids go to school in that direction and a lot of their friends live between Mona Vale and Avalon, but the combination of high prices for small block sizes and poor transport was too much of a negative in the end. A house with a pool and a big back yard close to the train station met our needs better as OH works in the city; we can still be on Mona Vale beach in 25 minutes. If you want to experience the beaches thing though you could always rent for six months and see if it works for you. Have a look on domain.com.au or realestate.com.au to get an idea about rents and remember they are quoted weekly and unfurnished is the norm.

School wise there are plenty, both public and private, in the area. Your catchment public school has to take your children, you can choose a different school if there are spaces. Your 4 year old will be able to start kindy in January if s/he turns 5 before 31st July 2011, if you miss that cut off you will be looking for a pre-school for a year which you will have to pay for. If you are on a 457 visa you will have to pay $4,500 pa per child for public schooling, if you're coming as a PR you just pay the same few hundred dollars everyone does as a "contribution". If you are considering private schools any decent one will have a waiting list so do your research now. Good luck.
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Old Jul 26th 2010, 10:16 am
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Default Re: Northern Beaches Sydney

My office is in North Ryde and really its is a major business area, wouldn't really matter where you commute from you are going hit traffic. I live 15 minutes away in the Hills area but still takes me about 45 minutes to get to the office in the morning and about 30 minutes to get home.

It about 30-40 minute drive from Mona vale to North Ryde but you could easily add another 20-30 mins once you hit the Pacific Hwy intersection... pretty slow coming down the Lane Cove Rd in the mornings..

N Ryde is awkward enough to get to from anywhere on the Northern Beaches, Really you have only two options a or b (would not recommend The spit/Military Rd/Gorehill Fwy/LC Tunnel an option)

a) Warringah Rd/Roseville/Fullers Rd/DelhiRd
b) Forrest way/Mona vale road/ Lane Cove Rd
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Old Jul 26th 2010, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: Northern Beaches Sydney

Hi everyone
Thanks so much for all your very honest and helpful replies. I really appreciate it!

From your advice, it looks like the best option for us is to look for something on the North Shore. So the area will depend on what schools are good, so thats my next question. I was born in NZ so won't need a visa. We will be looking at public schooling. I'd like to be close to public transport (train would be better). How long are journey times from various places? Are there express trains? It would also be great to be able to walk to school/preschool (my daughter will not go to school until 2012).

My husband will make a couple of trips between now and xmas and I'm going to visit just for a week to check out places. I'm worried about getting somewhere to rent before school breaks up so that I can apply for a school place!
How much will preschool cost?

Thanks so much!
Dijana
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Old Jul 26th 2010, 8:25 pm
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Default Re: Northern Beaches Sydney

i found this website http://www.131500.com.au/ invaluable for finding out commute times.

just put your starting address (home) and his work address - and it'll give you a commute times. even factors in the walk to the bus or train

obviously get your home address off any places you like off domain.com.au for example.


good luck

edit - just seen second replier has it too lol.
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Old Jul 26th 2010, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: Northern Beaches Sydney

Thanks! Thats a good website (so much info a missed it on the earlier post).
Looks like better commute times from places like Turramurra, Hornsby, Gordon, Pymble, North Ryde. What are these places like?
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Old Jul 26th 2010, 9:59 pm
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Default Re: Northern Beaches Sydney

Originally Posted by Dijana01 View Post
Hi everyone

From your advice, it looks like the best option for us is to look for something on the North Shore. So the area will depend on what schools are good, so thats my next question. I was born in NZ so won't need a visa. We will be looking at public schooling. I'd like to be close to public transport (train would be better). How long are journey times from various places? Are there express trains? It would also be great to be able to walk to school/preschool (my daughter will not go to school until 2012).



Thanks so much!
Dijana

What makes you think that you don't need a visa? Everyone needs a visa except Australian citizen's.

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/gener...options-nz.htm even a 444 is a Temporary visa.

Last edited by man_called_Horse; Jul 26th 2010 at 10:23 pm.
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Old Jul 26th 2010, 10:51 pm
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Default Re: Northern Beaches Sydney

Originally Posted by Dijana01 View Post
Thanks! Thats a good website (so much info a missed it on the earlier post).
Looks like better commute times from places like Turramurra, Hornsby, Gordon, Pymble, North Ryde. What are these places like?
All of those are good residential areas apart from North Ryde. All have trains to CBD regularly and all can reach the beaches within 30 mins at the weekend. Schools are plentiful and good quality and shops and cafes are all nearby.
Childcare is about $80 per day per child so does add up. If you have to use public schooling in NSW and you are not a Citizen or Permanent resident then you have to pay $4500 per year per child as well.
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Old Jul 27th 2010, 2:50 am
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Default Re: Northern Beaches Sydney

Originally Posted by Dijana01 View Post
It looks on the map like Mona Vale road leads right to North Ryde.
Indeed it does. What it doesn't show is the traffic. In my experience in the mornings the stop-start traffic starts just about where Mona Vale Road intersects with the Pacific Highway (and becomes Ryde road) and continues all the way up to North Ryde. A drive that would take about 5 minutes in weekend traffic becomes about 45 minutes in the morning peak. And this is a 'normal' morning and is only part of the commute you're considering.

Wanting to live near the beach? Well, it's understandable considering where you're coming from, but if the main wage earner is going to work in North Ryde it's going to involve some hassle. Forgive me, but maybe when you've been in Sydney a while you'll realise that "near a beach" is a slightly naive must-have in terms of where to live, as it limits your options severely.

East Ryde has some nice parts around Cox's Road, but be aware you may be on the flight path for the airport. West Pymble would be very accessible and is a nice area (eg. around Yanko Road), but you'd have to contend with at least some of the Ryde Road traffic. Same with Pymble, Gordon, Turramurra, Wahroonga, Warrawee in terms of nice areas but still the Ryde Road to contend with - though they are relatively close.

Note there are now train stations at Macquarie University and Macquarie Park, both of which would be considered North Ryde, making it accessible from both the Epping and Chatswood directions.

Hope this helps.

Big.
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Old Jul 27th 2010, 3:28 am
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Default Re: Northern Beaches Sydney

Originally Posted by Big Galah View Post
Indeed it does. What it doesn't show is the traffic. In my experience in the mornings the stop-start traffic starts just about where Mona Vale Road intersects with the Pacific Highway (and becomes Ryde road) and continues all the way up to North Ryde. A drive that would take about 5 minutes in weekend traffic becomes about 45 minutes in the morning peak. And this is a 'normal' morning and is only part of the commute you're considering.

Wanting to live near the beach? Well, it's understandable considering where you're coming from, but if the main wage earner is going to work in North Ryde it's going to involve some hassle. Forgive me, but maybe when you've been in Sydney a while you'll realise that "near a beach" is a slightly naive must-have in terms of where to live, as it limits your options severely.

East Ryde has some nice parts around Cox's Road, but be aware you may be on the flight path for the airport. West Pymble would be very accessible and is a nice area (eg. around Yanko Road), but you'd have to contend with at least some of the Ryde Road traffic. Same with Pymble, Gordon, Turramurra, Wahroonga, Warrawee in terms of nice areas but still the Ryde Road to contend with - though they are relatively close.

Note there are now train stations at Macquarie University and Macquarie Park, both of which would be considered North Ryde, making it accessible from both the Epping and Chatswood directions.

Hope this helps.

Big.
I would use the train, good lines there now and plenty of services.
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Old Jul 27th 2010, 7:18 am
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Default Re: Northern Beaches Sydney

Originally Posted by man_called_Horse View Post
What makes you think that you don't need a visa? Everyone needs a visa except Australian citizen's.

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/gener...options-nz.htm even a 444 is a Temporary visa.
Ah!
We didn't use to. This must have happened in the last 10 years. Thanks!
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