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Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

Old Feb 1st 2011, 8:52 am
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Default Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

OK so the best work options for us are either Melbourne or Sydney. Neither place is better than the other in terms of employment, and we have plenty of contacts in both places.

Anyone care to tell me what is good and what is bad about living in Sydney. I am looking for objective comments from people who ACTUALLY LIVE OR HAVE LIVED THERE rather than those who have only visited. Suggestions of areas to avoid, and family friendly areas to live would also be useful, especially those with reasonably affordable rents. We are content with renting for the next few years and have no plans to buy - if it's anything like NZ we can afford to rent a better house (i.e. modern albeit smallish townhouse as opposed to old damp shack) in a nicer area with good schools than we could afford to buy in.
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Old Feb 1st 2011, 9:35 am
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Default Re: Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

I lived in Sydney for 5 years and am going back in a few months.

Good points -

It's natural beauty, I think the best natural setting for any city in the world. When you see that early morning light sparkling on the harbour it lifts your spirits. I think the quality of light in Sydney is something it really has over Melbourne. It is something that is hard to explain, maybe it is the old sandstone coloured buildings that seem to make the place glow even in damp weather. If you know anything about art there is a place in the Cornwall UK called St Ives that is famous for its light quality, I see Sydney as being the same.

Fantastic safe beaches within a very short distance. Balmoral beach is my personal favourite. It is an inner harbour beach and great for families with young children.

Great parks for young children like Centennial Park, so much to do there. Add also a very good zoo with probably the best zoo backdrop in the world, every turn in Toronga Zoo you capture a new view of ther harbour.

Great shopping if you are in to that kind of thing. Every suburb has it's own big shopping mall which offers a great choice and the centre of Sydney itself is very good.

Just going for a wander around the Paddington, Elizabeth Bay / Rushcutters Bay area on a weekend. You can find unexpected shops and views of the harbour. Been happliy lost walking around that area before.

The Blue Mountains are just a short drive away. Great in summer to cool off and great in winter when there can be snowfalls and you find a nice cosy Blue Mountains pub with a real fire and great food. Lots of antique shops up that way also.

Great educational institutions, great fee paying schools for children, top Universities.

Top notch seafood, they say Melbourne had the best food but Sydney wins the competition for seafood easily, which I love.

The bad -

Just too many people, too popular for it's own good in some areas.

The transport infastructure is poor. Cityrail isn't the best, especially during very hot periods. I have roasted on a Sydney train manys the time. I think the transport system in Melbourne will be better.

Commuting times can be long depending on where you can afford to live.

Too many cars, but doesn't every big world city.

Affordibility of housing, some fantastic beachside suburbs and some close to the city suburbs are trendy and great places to live, but out of the price range of many.

Probably doesn't have as much culture on offer as Melbourne. Has a very good NSW Art Gallery and theatre but probably not as much going on as in Melbourne. Some good museums in Sydney however, but it is more about the natural beauty I find.

Sydney does have a cafe culture, but not on Melbourne's scale.


Places I would avoid would be - Redfern, Bankstown, Blacktown, Lakemba, Canterbury, Fairfield, Cabramatta.

Some nice places I like - Pretty much anywhere on the lower or upper North Shore I like Lane Cove, Greenwich, Gordon. When you get up towards the Northern Beaches public transport isn't so good. I personally do not like the Eastern Suburbs, too sandy and not enough green / trees

Last edited by Jon77; Feb 1st 2011 at 9:43 am.
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Old Feb 2nd 2011, 1:52 am
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Default Re: Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

Go to Melbourne, Sydney is over priced and trying so hard to be America, I've lived here for 8 months and really hate the place. Melbourne however has a really european feel and isn't pretentious at all.
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Old Feb 2nd 2011, 1:57 am
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Default Re: Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

Jon77's observations seem about right. Sydney is beautiful around the harbor but it is crowded and expensive too.
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Old Feb 2nd 2011, 4:23 am
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Default Re: Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

Originally Posted by Pine Cone View Post
OK so the best work options for us are either Melbourne or Sydney. Neither place is better than the other in terms of employment, and we have plenty of contacts in both places.

Anyone care to tell me what is good and what is bad about living in Sydney. I am looking for objective comments from people who ACTUALLY LIVE OR HAVE LIVED THERE rather than those who have only visited. Suggestions of areas to avoid, and family friendly areas to live would also be useful, especially those with reasonably affordable rents. We are content with renting for the next few years and have no plans to buy - if it's anything like NZ we can afford to rent a better house (i.e. modern albeit smallish townhouse as opposed to old damp shack) in a nicer area with good schools than we could afford to buy in.
When you say Sydney, how far from the CBD do you consider living ?

There are many variances based on that. I lived in Sydney for a total of 12 years. 1 hour drive to the beaches, but 4 bed houses still under $500k or about $400 pw. Sydney is a big place.
 
Old Feb 2nd 2011, 4:34 am
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Default Re: Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

Originally Posted by cdb View Post
Go to Melbourne, Sydney is over priced and trying so hard to be America, I've lived here for 8 months and really hate the place. Melbourne however has a really european feel and isn't pretentious at all.
Sydney isn't pretentious the reality is that a lot of people there do have lots of money. It's a very wealthy city and you as a migrant are not likely to be in that wealthy side. Melbourne is just as bad if not more prententious. You obviously haven't hanged around the Bay area which is full of Old money from the gold rush and Rich Russians.
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Old Feb 2nd 2011, 4:45 am
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Default Re: Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

Originally Posted by cdb View Post
Go to Melbourne, Sydney is over priced and trying so hard to be America, I've lived here for 8 months and really hate the place. Melbourne however has a really european feel and isn't pretentious at all.
Nothing like a good reasoned argument.
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Old Feb 2nd 2011, 4:52 am
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Default Re: Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

If you can afford to live in Sydney, then why would you live in Melbourne?
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Old Feb 2nd 2011, 6:02 am
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Default Re: Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

Originally Posted by ABCDiamond View Post
When you say Sydney, how far from the CBD do you consider living ?

There are many variances based on that. I lived in Sydney for a total of 12 years. 1 hour drive to the beaches, but 4 bed houses still under $500k or about $400 pw. Sydney is a big place.

Within an hour or so commute from CBD would be ideal. In UK one of us did 2.5 hours each way and the other one did an hour each way, which was perfectly acceptable. We're not bothered about being within walking distance of a beach, but it would be nice to be within 15 minutes drive of a child friendly beach - one where car parking is not horrendous. We'd rather be located near reasonable public transport routes to CBD. Would this be possible?
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Old Feb 2nd 2011, 6:12 am
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Default Re: Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

Originally Posted by Pine Cone View Post
Within an hour or so commute from CBD would be ideal. In UK one of us did 2.5 hours each way and the other one did an hour each way, which was perfectly acceptable. We're not bothered about being within walking distance of a beach, but it would be nice to be within 15 minutes drive of a child friendly beach - one where car parking is not horrendous. We'd rather be located near reasonable public transport routes to CBD. Would this be possible?
Sounds like Brisbane Bayside would be better for you

15 minutes drive of a child friendly beach in Sydney, maybe a tad on the expensive side. That was out of our price range when we lived in Sydney.
 
Old Feb 2nd 2011, 6:13 am
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Default Re: Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

Originally Posted by cdb View Post
Go to Melbourne, Sydney is over priced and trying so hard to be America, I've lived here for 8 months and really hate the place. Melbourne however has a really european feel and isn't pretentious at all.
Coming from Europe I kind of like the difference of the American thing.......
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Old Feb 2nd 2011, 6:25 am
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Default Re: Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

Originally Posted by cdb View Post
Go to Melbourne, Sydney is over priced and trying so hard to be America, I've lived here for 8 months and really hate the place. Melbourne however has a really european feel and isn't pretentious at all.
Most American cities that I have been to have been great places. So if Sydney is 'trying so hard to be America', then it's all good.
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Old Feb 2nd 2011, 6:28 am
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Default Re: Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

Originally Posted by Amazulu View Post
Most American cities that I have been to have been great places. So if Sydney is 'trying so hard to be America', then it's all good.
There are also abundance of American tourists in Sydney. Got to cater for them.
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Old Feb 2nd 2011, 6:33 am
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Default Re: Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

Originally Posted by Weebie View Post
There are also abundance of American tourists in Sydney. Got to cater for them.
Cool. I've always found most Americans to be really nice people so the more the merrier.
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Old Feb 2nd 2011, 6:37 am
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Default Re: Sydney - what's good and what's bad?

Heaps in Melbourne as well. Infact Melbourne comes across as very similar to chicago.
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