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After three years of house sitting in Sydney (I will be stopping in a few months!), I’ve experienced life first hand in almost 50 areas of the city! I thought it was about time I put together a list of some of the best suburbs in Sydney to help those of you who are moving here.

I’ve already written a big blog post on where to live in Sydney, which gives an overview of each region, such as the Inner West, Eastern Suburbs etc. So have a read of that one if you want to get a general idea of the city.

Where to Live in Sydney: Regions Overview

This post narrows it down to my top 15 Sydney suburbs. I’ve chosen a broad selection from across the different regions to suit a variation of people, from families to younger or older singles and couples. I’ve also included the median rental costs, distance to the city, ease of parking, local environment and alternative suburbs nearby.

It’s a bit of a long post but hopefully it will give you a great starting point for your big decision! Here goes with my best suburbs in Sydney list!

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Find out the best Sydney suburbs from a house sitter who's lived in 50 suburbs!

1. Rozelle

With a great strip of cafes and restaurants along Darling Street, frequent buses to the city from Victoria Road and nearby waterside parks, Rozelle ticks lots of boxes.

The suburb has a great atmosphere, and I’ve spent the most time around this area. I can also verify that Rozelle Medical Centre has some great GPs!

Sydney skyline viewed from a house in Rozelle, one of the best suburbs in Sydney.
Suburban living with city views in Rozelle

LOCATION: Only 4km west of the city, which takes less than 15 minutes by bus from Victoria Road. (If you’re further down Darling St buses are more limited.) From this part of the Inner West you can easily cross the river to the Lower North Shore and beyond or head south without having to go through the city or over the Harbour Bridge.

ENVIRONMENT: Suburban, but being at the base of a peninsula means you’re not far from the river and some pretty views. You’ve also got Sydney skyline views from some of the two-storey houses on the eastern side.

Along the river there’s King George’s Park and access to the 7km Bay Run circuit around Iron Cove, which is buzzing with runners and cyclists on weekends and after work.

Beautiful King George Park in Rozelle, Sydney.
King George Park and Iron Cove Bridge

PROPERTY: Rozelle has a lot of older townhouses which are kind of stacked together higgledy-piggledy up and down the hills! There are also apartments (units) and larger homes here and there.

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $550

2-bedroom unit: $785

2-bedroom house: $725

3-bedroom house: $880

PARKING: The roads are narrow and houses generally don’t have driveways, so it is a bit cramped on the road. Away from Darling St parking is mostly free with no time limit though, and I always managed to park near the house I was staying at.

NEARBY SUBURBS: Heading east down the peninsula is Balmain, which I actually think is a bit nicer than Rozelle with really quaint old houses, pubs and cafes. Since the buses are more limited (though you can catch ferries from the eastern tip) and parking around Balmain East is the stuff of nightmares, I’ve picked Rozelle as a more practical option.

To the west is Lilyfield, which I know very well. If you’re near Victoria Road you’re practically in Rozelle anyway and can access all the same transport. On the western side you can live near Leichhardt Park by the water and use the lightrail.

BEST FOR: Rozelle is an ideal Sydney suburb for singles or couples of around 30 upwards who want a community feel and atmosphere with great parks and cafes but no rowdy nightlife.


2. Elizabeth Bay

I first stayed in Elizabeth Bay on a holiday to Australia in 2009 as my friend lived there! It seemed like a great area for young professionals, with nice cafes, nearby nightlife in Kings Cross and an easy journey to the city.

I stayed there again in 2018 on a short house sit, and loved the art deco architecture and quiet, waterside parks. I disliked the dogs I looked after as they weren’t toilet trained, but that’s another story!

Beautiful apartment in Elizabeth Bay, Sydney, one of the best suburbs in Sydney.
Harbour views from an Elizabeth Bay apartment

LOCATION: It’s less than 3km east of the city, so easily reached by bus or on foot. You can also walk to Kings Cross station to use the trains to the city or east to Bondi Junction.

ENVIRONMENT: Although Elizabeth Bay is in the Inner City, the waterside apartments and harbour views give it a less urban feel. You can also walk to the Botanic Gardens on the way to the city.

Waterside apartments in Sydney's Elizabeth Bay.
Waterside apartments in Elizabeth Bay

PROPERTY: The suburb mostly has apartments, some modern and some older. There are some lovely Art Deco buildings too.

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $500

2-bedroom unit: $790

2-bedroom house: No stats

3-bedroom house: No stats

PARKING: You’d need a permit as most parking is restricted due to being so close to the city. You may have a car park if you’re in a newer apartment block though.

NEARBY SUBURBS: Potts Point is similar and slightly closer to the city. Kings Cross has the bars and clubs as well as a bit of a reputation, although I’ve heard it’s cleaned up a lot. I had a great time there ten years ago, but I’m not really hitting the clubs anymore so you’ll just have to investigate!

BEST FOR: It’s one of the best suburbs in Sydney for young professionals who want apartment living within easy reach of the city.


3. Newtown

Newtown is known as the quirky, arty, alternative suburb in Sydney. It has a very long strip of cafes, restaurants, bars and independent shops along King Street, where you’ll see all types of people, from hipsters and artists to eccentric grannies!

There’s heaps of street art, an annual festival, lots of rainbow flags and a general attitude of welcoming diversity. Once you head away from busy King Street it’s surprisingly leafy and quiet.

Quirky King Street in Newtown, Sydney. One of the best Sydney suburbs for singles.
Quirky King Street in Newtown

LOCATION: Newtown is only 5km from the city in the Inner West. Best of all, it has a train station! You’ll be close to the airport (which you’ll hear!), and be able to head south easily on the Princes Highway.

ENVIRONMENT: It’s very urban, but with some leafy streets and small parks tucked between houses. Huge Sydney Park isn’t far away either.

Quirky Newtown, one of the most unique and quirky suburbs in Sydney.
Market day in Newtown

PROPERTY: Newtown is known for its old, narrow terraced houses with balconies, although there are some flats too. They’re full of character but can be pretty dark inside as they usually have small sash windows at the front and back only. While they look tiny from the front they can stretch back a good four rooms!

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $450

2-bedroom unit: $620

2-bedroom house: $690

3-bedroom house: $880

PARKING: You’d better be good at parallel parking! The roads are very narrow, and combining the narrow houses squashed together with no driveways means lots of cars vying for spaces. There are some unrestricted roads, but you’ll likely need a permit.

NEARBY SUBURBS: For a similar vibe, try Erskineville and Enmore. Marrickville also has a good long strip of shops and cafes and you can walk to King Street from some parts.

BEST FOR: Urban souls with a desire to avoid the mundane! Youngsters will enjoy the bars and those over 30 will love the restaurants and community feel.


4. Mosman

While Mosman is a very affluent suburb with mansions built into the hills, it also has quite a few apartment buildings that are actually cheaper to rent than in many of the other suburbs on this list.

You’ve got lots of restaurants along Military Road (although it’s a six-lane road so very noisy), gorgeous Balmoral Beach and lots of green, pretty areas.

A summer's day at Balmoral Beach - living in Mosman.
Beautiful Balmoral Beach

LOCATION: Mosman lies to the northeast of Sydney Harbour Bridge, on the Lower North Shore. It’s only 7.5km from the city, which takes 20 minutes by bus. You’ve got easy access to the Northern Beaches peninsula as well as the north west.

ENVIRONMENT: It’s suburban but extremely green, with hills overlooking Middle Harbour as well as natural bushland and walking tracks down at Bradleys Head, Georges Head and Middle Head.

An overcast and atmospheric day at Pearl Bay Reserve in Mosman, one of Sydney's most beautiful and most expensive suburbs.
Pearl Bay Reserve in Mosman

PROPERTY: A mixture of modern mansions and apartments. You won’t see any of the old terraces like down in Newtown.

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $465

2-bedroom unit: $620

2-bedroom house: $730

3-bedroom house: $1,200

PARKING: Pretty good. The roads are wide and the houses tend to have driveways. You shouldn’t have a problem unless you’re right by the shops or beach.

NEARBY SUBURBS: To be closer to the city, try Cremorne or Neutral Bay, which also have shopping areas along Military Road.

BEST FOR: Over 30s who want greenery and a lovely beach as well as not being too far from the city.


5. Randwick

Randwick’s an attractive Sydney suburb with a lot going for it. There’s Coogee Beach to the east, Centennial Park to the north, and some great cafes and restaurants as well as an old cinema.

I thought it felt very beachy even though it’s slightly inland, and it’s a fair bit cheaper than Bondi Beach!

Beautiful heritage houses in Randwick, Sydney.
Beautiful period homes in Randwick

LOCATION: Randwick’s 7.5km southeast of the city (25 minutes by bus), in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. It’s not too far from the airport and also has easy access to all the beaches from Bondi down to Maroubra.

ENVIRONMENT: It’s pretty suburbia with quite a beachy feel and some steep hills!

A typical street in Randwick in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.
A typical street in Randwick

PROPERTY: There are quite a lot of older properties in Randwick – both houses and apartments – and some very pretty ones too!

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $500

2-bedroom unit: $610

2-bedroom house: $760

3-bedroom house: $1,000

PARKING: It was extremely cramped on the road where I stayed, although I was near the Coogee Beach side. Luckily the flats had a carpark, as it would have been difficult to find a spot on the road.

NEARBY SUBURBS: To be right by the beach, you could choose any of the eastern beaches such as Bondi, Coogee, Bronte, Tamarama or Maroubra.

BEST FOR: Pretty much any singles, couples or families who want to be near the beach and live in an attractive area.


6. McMahons Point

This is a gorgeous, waterside suburb in a quiet area of the Lower North Shore. You’ve got amazing views of the city across the harbour from Sawmillers Reserve as well as views across Berrys Bay to Balls Head Reserve.

McMahons Point isn’t for those who want to be in the heart of the action, but it’s so close to the city you can easily cross the bridge and then retire back to somewhere quiet and leafy.

View of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Luna Park from McMahons Point wharf in Sydney.
View of Luna Park and the Sydney Harbour Bridge from McMahons Point Wharf

LOCATION: Only 3.5km from the city, and you can walk to North Sydney Station for the seven-minute train journey to Wynyard. You’re right by the Pacific Highway if you’re escaping north for the weekend, and your nearest main beach would be Balmoral.

ENVIRONMENT: Very leafy and quiet with some unique old buildings and cottages. You’ve got beautiful waterside views as well as nearby parks and natural bushland at Balls Head Reserve.

Beautiful sunset at McMahons Point - waterside living in Sydney.
Stunning view across Berrys Bay towards Balls Head Reserve from the west side of McMahons Point peninsula

PROPERTY: A mixture of apartments and houses, mostly older but varying in style.

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $525

2-bedroom unit: $700

2-bedroom house: No stats

3-bedroom house: No stats

PARKING: You’d need a permit to park on the road as there are time restrictions, but considering how close it is to the city I always saw spaces.

NEARBY SUBURBS: Lavender Bay would be a similar option, and Waverton and Wollestonecraft are also quiet and leafy but have train stations. Note that North Sydney has all the shops etc but also tall office blocks as it’s like another mini CBD. Kirribilli, to the east of the Harbour Bridge is also a great location.

BEST FOR: Those who like to visit the city but head back to somewhere quiet with amazing views.


7. Waterloo

Well I certainly didn’t expect to enjoy living in Waterloo! It’s high-rise central with heavy traffic, and when I told the owner of a house sit I was at in Haberfield that Waterloo was my next stop, she literally recoiled in disgust! However, I was pleasantly surprised by this urban metropolis.

While some patches of older terraces remain, I was in the very new-build area bordering on Zetland. Although the traffic is heavy, the apartment was virtually soundproof. Gadigal Avenue that leads to the shops is lined with palm trees and feels quite tropical. There’s also way more green spaces between buildings than I would have expected, as well as quite a community feel with all the restaurants around East Village.

Restaurants on Bourke Street, Waterloo.
Shops and restaurants on Bourke Street, Waterloo (spot Santa!)

LOCATION: Only 3.5km south of the city, which takes about 20 minutes by bus (which is kind of crazy, but there’s lots of traffic). You can also walk to Green Square Station and get the train to the airport, or catch a bus to Coogee Beach which takes around 40 minutes.

ENVIRONMENT: Very urban but with some nice little parks. You can also walk to huge Centennial Park.

Luxury apartments The Finery on Gadigal Avenue, Waterloo/Zetland.
Looking down Gadigal Avenue towards Zetland

PROPERTY: Areas of modern high-rises, but also pockets of older terraced houses like in Newtown.

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $550

2-bedroom unit: $750

2-bedroom house: $650

3-bedroom house: $795

PARKING: You should have underground parking if you’re in an apartment. You’d probably need a permit for the road if you’re in the older houses as it’s so close to the city.

NEARBY SUBURBS: Zetland is similar, with all the highrises. Rosebery also has a lot of apartments (as well as older housing areas), but the parts I’ve been to felt more industrial than Waterloo. Alexandria has some cool converted warehouses but still quite a lot of industrial-looking buildings.

To the north, Surry Hills is a great area for young professionals, with lots of cafes, restaurants and bars. It has lots of lovely older houses rather than highrises.

BEST FOR: Those who like modern buildings and everything within walking distance. It seemed to be mainly people in their 20s and 30s, but there’s no noisy nightlife and still a few playgrounds for kids.


8. Concord

Another place that surprised me! Concord’s not known as a trendy place like Surry Hills or Newtown, but I couldn’t believe how lovely the strip of cafes and restaurants along Majors Bay Road was. The atmosphere there on a Saturday morning was buzzing.

The streets are also pretty quiet and leafy as long as you’re not too near the Parramatta Road. There’s also all the waterside areas nearby on the river.

Restaurants and cafes on Majors Bay Road, Concord - one of the best Sydney suburbs for families.
Cafes and restaurants on Mayors Bay Road, Concord

LOCATION: Concord is about 12.5km from the city in Sydney’s Inner West, but up near the river. It’s not far from North Strathfield Station, so you could walk or drive there for the 20-minute train journey to the city.

You’d be in a good spot to head west for trips to the Blue Mountains, as well as north as there’s a bridge up in Rhodes. It’s not a good location for beaches though, as you’re so far west. There’s also a really cheap cinema in the big shopping mall in Rhodes, and a big factory outlet mall in Homebush.

ENVIRONMENT: It’s mostly leafy suburbia with some great parks and access to the water.

Pretty residential street in Concord - an affordable Sydney suburb for families.
A pretty, residential street in Concord

PROPERTY: Concord is substantially cheaper than most of the other suburbs I’ve mentioned, so could be a good option for those needing a family home. There are lots of older-style houses, but detached ones rather than the narrow terraces.

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $380

2-bedroom unit: $450

2-bedroom house: $500

3-bedroom house: $690

PARKING: Plentiful as the roads are quite wide and the homes tend to have driveways.

NEARBY SUBURBS: To be nearer the river try Mortlake, Breakfast Point or Cabarita.

BEST FOR: One of the best suburbs in Sydney for families who want a more affordable, spacious property with great cafes and parks nearby.


9. Freshwater

Now we’re heading up into Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Freshwater is just north of Manly but quite a bit cheaper to rent. It’s great if you want to be by the beach but don’t need to be right in the heart of it.

You’ve got some great family homes in Freshwater, as well as nice cafes and a lovely beach.

Beautiful Freshwater Beach, at one of the best suburbs in Sydney.
Freshwater Beach

LOCATION: You’re about 18km from the city up here, at the base of the Northern Beaches peninsula. There’s no trainline unfortunately, so it takes over an hour to the city using buses, or you could drive to Manly to get the ferry for a more scenic journey.

ENVIRONMENT: Nice leafy roads and a lovely beach. Great for nature lovers and water babies.

Manly ferry wharf.
On the Manly ferry, not far from Freshwater

PROPERTY: A mixture of flats and modern, detached houses.

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $480

2-bedroom unit: $620

2-bedroom house: $720

3-bedroom house: $1,200

PARKING: It’s pretty easy to park here, and the roads are quite wide.

NEARBY SUBURBS: For a more buzzing atmosphere and access to bars, try Manly Beach. You’ve also got huge Curl Curl Beach to the north. To get to the city more easily, you could head slightly inland to Manly Vale. It’s only 40 minutes by bus from there.

BEST FOR: Families or those over 30s who want the beach life but away from the bars and tourist areas.


10. Gordon

The Upper North Shore isn’t somewhere you read about much, so I thought I’d put it on the map! I actually house sat in West Pymble, but I think being on the trainline is more useful.

Gordon, and the surrounding area is very forested, with quiet leafy roads and easy access to bush walks in Garigal National Park and Lane Cove National Park. It’s great for those who want a bit more space around them.

A leafy street in Gordon, one of Sydney's northern suburbs.
Leafy street in Gordon

LOCATION: It’s 21km north of the city, but only takes 35 minutes by train. Macquarie Park is nearby, which has a huge mall and ice rink as well as a business park. For weekend getaways you can easily head north to the Central Coast or to the surrounding national parks for hiking. It’s not a good spot for beach lovers though, as it’s in the northwest.

ENVIRONMENT: Very green and quiet with wide, leafy streets.

A gorgeous leafy street up in Sydney's St Ives suburb.
A gorgeous street in nearby St Ives

PROPERTY: You’ve got a mixture of flats and houses here.

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $480

2-bedroom unit: $600

2-bedroom house: No stats

3-bedroom house: $750

PARKING: It shouldn’t be a problem, as there’s quite a lot of space.

NEARBY SUBURBS: To stay on the trainline you could also try Pymble or Turramurra. To be nearer to the city try Killara or Lindfield.

BEST FOR: Mature couples or those who want more space and peace than the city can offer. There are shops and cafes, but it’s not a mega trendy suburb.


11. Vaucluse

Much like Mosman, Vaucluse is one of the most affluent suburbs in Sydney with some mega mansions. It also has apartment blocks though, which aren’t any more expensive than most of the other suburbs on here.

Vaucluse is in the eastern suburbs, but almost at the end of a peninsula, so it has amazing harbour beaches on one side and dramatic clifftop scenery on the other. It’s pretty quiet as there’s nowhere beyond it apart from Watsons Bay.

Beautiful Kutti Beach in Vaucluse, one of Sydney's most expensive suburbs.
Stunning Kutti Beach in Vaucluse

LOCATION: Vaucluse is about 9km east on the city, which takes 45 minutes by bus. It’s quite isolated, as it’s on the peninsula, but you can easily head south to Bondi Beach and the other Eastern Suburb beaches.

ENVIRONMENT: Even though Vaucluse is suburban, it must be one of Sydney’s best suburbs for scenery. You’ve got big Nielson Park and Shark Beach, gorgeous Parsley Bay Beach and the little walk through bushland to get there, hidden Kutti Beach, and then the lighthouse and cliffs on the ocean side in Christison Park.

Kutti Beach, Vaucluse: Sydney’s Hidden Paradise

You’ve also got the Insta-famous cliffs and steps at Diamond Head Reserve nearby, as well as a gorgeous coastal walk to Rose Bay. Oh, and I should mention it’s very hilly!

Cool cafes in Vaucluse, one of Sydney's most scenic and affluent suburbs.
A corner cafe in Vaucluse

PROPERTY: Apartment blocks and some crazy-big mansions. It’s very manicured with pretty front gardens and quiet streets.

PARKING: Not a problem around here.

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $550

2-bedroom unit: $680

2-bedroom house: No stats

3-bedroom house: $1,350

NEARBY SUBURBS: For somewhere with a bit more going on, try Rose Bay. It’s got a long strip of shops and cafes as well as a great beach, plus it’s closer to the city. Double Bay is also really pleasant and much closer to the city. You can walk to Edgecliff Station from there.

BEST FOR: 30-somethings who love nature and want to be in an affluent area. Rose Bay and Double Bay would be great for families.


12. Drummoyne

I’d driven through Drummoyne many times before I house sat there, and always assumed it was a bit scruffy, as I’d only seen the busy Victoria Road. How wrong I was!

The residential roads are actually pretty wide and quiet and there are lots of big houses. Since it’s on a peninsula, it’s surrounded by water, and has some great views and even little beaches! I don’t think the shopping and eating area on Victoria Road is anything special, but there are more restaurants on Lyons Road, and great scenery.

A sunny day at the beach at Queen Victoria Reserve in Drummoyne, one of the best Sydney suburbs in the Inner West.
Queen Victoria Reserve in Drummoyne

LOCATION: Drummoyne is 6km from the city, in the Inner West (just across the water from Rozelle). There are lots of buses from Victoria Road which take under 20 minutes to the city.

It’s a good location to head north or west from, but a pain to get to the beaches in the Eastern Suburbs or Northern Beaches.

ENVIRONMENT: Wide, suburban streets with some great waterside areas and parks. You can also access the Bay Run circuit around Iron Cove for running or cycling.

A dog enjoying the beach at Queens Head Reserve in Drummoyne, Sydney.
It’s a dog’s life in Drummoyne!

PROPERTY: There are lots of detached family homes as well as apartment blocks, some waterside.

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $490

2-bedroom unit: $595

2-bedroom house: $700

3-bedroom house: $850

PARKING: It’s pretty plentiful, even near the water unless you’re right by Birkenhead Outlet Centre.

NEARBY SUBURBS: For other waterside suburbs, try Russell Lea, Abbotsford, Chiswick, Wareemba or Rodd Point. You’re just across the water from Lower North Shore suburbs like Henley and Huntleys Cove too.

BEST FOR: Families or 30-somethings who want waterside scenery and space.


13. Cronulla

Cronulla is a beautiful suburb, but it is very far south. It has a huge beach and amazing coastal scenery around the peninsula. The shops and cafes are very beach-style too.

It’s a fair bit cheaper than some of the Eastern Suburbs beach areas, but a good hour to the city. For those working from home or in the south it would be an amazing option.

Shops and cafes in beachy Sydney suburb Cronulla.
Shops and cafes in Cronulla

LOCATION: It’s 30km south of the city, in the Sutherland Shire. It does have a trainline though, and takes an hour to the city. You’ve also got Caringbah and Miranda nearby for larger shopping areas.

It’s a good location for visiting the Royal National Park (you can even get a ferry across to Bundeena), as well as the beautiful north Wollongong beach areas for day trips or camping.

ENVIRONMENT: Very beachy with great parks, coastal scenery and walks.

Cronulla Beach on a sunny day.
Looking down on beautiful Cronulla Beach

PROPERTY: There are a lot of apartment blocks as well as houses in Cronulla.

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $380

2-bedroom unit: $490

2-bedroom house: $550

3-bedroom house: $820

PARKING: As long as you’re away from the shops and beachfront it shouldn’t be a problem. The streets are quite roomy.

NEARBY SUBURBS: Nearby Kurnell has some lovely scenery but is extremely isolated and small. Try Caringbah or Miranda to be nearer more shopping malls etc. You’ve got other waterside areas at Burraneer and Dolans Bay, although I haven’t visited there.

BEST FOR: All ages who want gorgeous coastal scenery and the beach life, as well as restaurants and a few bars, but don’t mind a longer journey to the city.


14. Brighton-Le-Sands

If you’re hoping to live by the beach, but the Eastern Suburbs and Northern Beaches are out of your price range, the beaches along Botany Bay in South Sydney could be a great option.

A lot of people don’t seem to realise this area exists, but it’s got some great beaches and they’re much quieter than the likes of Bondi. It doesn’t feel as upmarket down here as the Eastern Suburbs, and you’ve got a rather industrial view of the airport and Port Botany across the bay, but it’s still pretty with lovely sand and calm water.

Sunny day at Brighton-Le-Sands Beach in south Sydney.
Big beach at Brighton-Le-Sands

LOCATION: Brighton-Le-Sands is 15km south of the city, and you can head to nearby Kogarah or Rockdale Station for the 20-minute journey to the city. It’s extremely close to the airport, and you can easily head south to Cronulla and beyond, or east to more beaches at Maroubra, Little Bay or La Perouse.

ENVIRONMENT: There’s basically one very long beach that runs from the airport all the way down to Sandringham. You’ve got quite a few nice park areas behind the beach too. To lose the industrial view just drive down to Dolls Point and you’ll look across to Towra Point Reserve instead.

Inland the residential areas look less preened than a lot of other areas in Sydney, but I don’t get the impression it’s rough. There are some nice restaurants in Brighton-Le-Sands with quite a Mediterranean feel.

Beach cafe at Dolls Point near Brighton-le-Sands in Sydney.
Café at George’s River Sailing Club at Dolls Point

PROPERTY: Lots of flats as well as houses. There are a few pockets of fancy houses here and there, but it’s mostly normal, family-sized homes.

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $390

2-bedroom unit: $460

2-bedroom house: $540

3-bedroom house: $690

PARKING: It gets busy right by the beach, but it is at least free! You should be fine further back in the residential areas though.

NEARBY SUBURBS: Brighton-Le-Sands has the main shopping area, but the other beach suburbs like Ramsgate and Monterey are lovely too. To be nearer to the trainline head inland a bit.

BEST FOR: Great for young families who want beachside living without the price tag or crowds.


15. Avalon Beach

Last but not least is Avalon Beach, my favourite Sydney suburb. Like Cronulla, it’s beautiful but far away, this time up in the Northern Beaches. It’s hilly and quite forested, with lots of very tall trees, but also a great strip of cafes and beachy shops.

There’s a big surfing beach, a great community vibe and quite a bohemian feel. It almost reminds me of a mini Byron Bay without the tourists or hardcore hippies.

Beautiful house in Avalon Beach, Sydney and forest behind.
A beautiful forested Avalon street

LOCATION: Avalon Beach is 38km north of the city, near the end of the Northern Beaches peninsula (where Palm Beach is). It takes about an hour to drive to the city or an hour and a half by bus.

You’ve also got easy access to Whale Beach, Palm Beach, Bilgola Beach and Newport, where there’s more shops and quite a well-known pub.

ENVIRONMENT: You’re surrounded by gorgeous scenery there: on the ocean side there’s Avalon Beach, on the Pittwater side there’s pretty Clareville Beach with views across to Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, and in the middle there’s bushwalking in Angophora Reserve.

You’ve got a flat area around the shops, but still very green, and then houses built into the hills out towards Clareville.

A surfer on the beach at Avalon headland in Sydney.
Surf life at Avalon Beach

PROPERTY: There’s a mix of apartments and fairly modern, beach-style houses.

Median weekly rent as at September 2019:

1-bedroom unit: $435

2-bedroom unit: $608

2-bedroom house: $598

3-bedroom house: $895

PARKING: Most of the houses have driveways, so it’s not difficult to park there.

NEARBY SUBURBS: For a bit more going on and a shorter journey to the city, head down to Newport. Clareville is very pretty, as is Bilgola and Whale Beach, but the main shopping strip is in Avalon.

BEST FOR: Nature-loving families and over 30s who don’t need to commute to the city very often. Great for creative people who work from home.


Well that was certainly longer than planned! I know how overwhelming it is trying to work out the best suburbs in Sydney when you’re not familiar with the city, but remember you can always move once you’ve explored properly.

For more information on living in Sydney, have a read of the following blog posts:

Living in Sydney: Lifestyle, Beaches & Property

Sydney Weather Guide: What to Pack

15 Things to Do in Sydney

Good luck with your move!