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n such a big city, what makes a suburb liveable from person to person will be different. Is it being close to the beach, or a good cafe and restaurant scene? What about access to public transport and schools? The new Domain Liveable Sydney study, the second since 2016, has ranked 569 suburbs on 19 indicators to give us this list of the most liveable suburbs. Some changes to suburb boundaries and the methodology have changed the rankings since 2016.
1. Milsons Point
This lower north shore pocket has climbed from second place in 2016 to top spot. Blessed by a harbourfront location, the suburb earns points for having spectacular views and for access to cafes, thanks to a vibrant foodie scene. Milsons Point is well-serviced by trains and ferries, but with a top walkability rating, you can also get around easily on foot. Other strengths include employment and open space, with access to primary schools one of very few weak spots.
2. Lavender Bay
Lavender Bay may not be reigning champion of liveability any longer, but locals can still claim to live in a top-performing suburb. It has similar advantages to Milsons Point when it comes to culture, cafes, walkability and public transport, and boasts an excellent retail ranking courtesy of the shops along Blues Point Road nearby. But no suburb is perfect, and a lower ranking for crime may help to explain why Lavender Bay no longer wears the crown.
The beating heart of the city, it’s not hard to understand why Sydney ticks so many boxes in this study. The CBD is unsurprisingly a top performer for employment, and with several railway stations in its radius, access to trains is another big plus. Sydney is packed with cafes, restaurants and shops — including those in the iconic Queen Victoria Building — but don’t expect to find much tree cover. The suburb also has a poor score for crime.
The government was onto something when it made Kirribilli House the official Sydney home of the Prime Minister. With killer harbour views, which include ferries that service the suburb, Kirribilli residents have excellent walkability, great access to employment, and a host of eateries such as Cool Mac and BTB. Even though Kirribilli has a good score for secondary education, it scores low on primary education, and could do better on crime.
5. McMahons Point
It’s clear that neighbourhoods like McMahons Point do plenty to keep locals happy. With an impressive walkability score, the suburb performs well for cafes, culture, retail and proximity to job hubs, but you’ll need to walk to North Sydney or Waverton for trains. Residents can soak up spectacular views of the Harbour Bridge from green spaces like Blues Point Reserve.
Another top ranking on the lower north shore: in Wollstonecraft you’ll find the Mater Hospital, a train station, reserves, and spots from which to look over harbour waters. The highly walkable suburb has a better ranking for crime than some nearby suburbs, and offers good access to cultural services, retail and cafes, but has a slightly low congestion score.
7. Darling Point
Flying the flag for Sydney’s east, this small suburb has a large number of liveability benefits. Darling Point is particularly strong on culture and retail, and gets an outstanding score for proximity to jobs. It also does very well on walkability, and is close to Edgecliff train station. But Darling Point is not as strong on congestion, and doesn’t perform well for access to primary or secondary schools.
Balls Head Reserve arguably the best spot to enjoy Waverton’s harbour view. There’s a small shopping village in the northern part of the neighbourhood (try The Grumpy Baker), earning high marks for access to cafes and moderate marks for retail. Waverton is a top performer for access to employment, and the local train station will get you to the CBD in only three stops.
9. North Sydney
Boasting a convenient position on the train line and excellent access to employment, North Sydney has well and truly earned its place in the top 10. With Milsons Point and McMahons Point to its south, the suburb gets a fairly good score for harbour views, and is strong on culture, retail and walkability. North Sydney earns lower scores for proximity to primary schools and crime.
Just a sliver of Rushcutters Bay Park separates this suburb from the waterfront, but with so many liveability strengths, we don’t see much to complain about. Buses and trains frequent Edgecliff station, and locals also enjoy good walkability, with Double Bay and Paddington within strolling distance. It has a perfect score for retail and puts in a strong performance for employment, cafes and cultural services. Access to education is a weaker area for Edgecliff.
11. Neutral Bay
As reflected in its score for cafes, Neutral Bay is home to a budding foodie scene. Other standout features include retail — particularly the shops near Military Road — as well as access to employment and walkability. Neutral Bay is serviced by ferries and buses, although its railway transport score is less impressive than that of North Sydney nearby. A relatively weak performance for open space hints at why Neutral Bay sits outside the top 10.
Leafy, close to the CBD and with plenty of handsome terraces, Woollahra is considered by many to be one of the inner city’s prize pockets. Cool eateries, galleries and boutiques can be found near Queen Street, earning the suburb exemplary scores for culture, retail and cafes. There’s a public transport hub nearby at Bondi Junction, and the suburb has good access to employment, but the level of congestion may be a sticking point for some.
Having placed 132nd in our 2016 liveability study, Jannali’s meteoric rise to 13th is an impressive success story. Its scores for culture and jobs could be a little higher, but Jannali shines when it comes to safety, access to schools, open space and tree cover. Residents also benefit from being on a direct train line to the CBD.
14. Millers Point
Steeped in architectural history, Millers Point is known for its heritage-listed properties. Positioned next to The Rocks and with spectacular Harbour Bridge views, Millers Point has excellent walkability, with shops, cafes, restaurants, museums and train stations within easy reach, and also has a perfect score for employment. It has the poorest possible score for crime, and a relatively poor congestion score, too.
15. Elizabeth Bay
There are some stunning harbour views on offer in Elizabeth Bay. It is home to a selection of cafes, bars and retailers, with more located across the border in Potts Point. Residents enjoy good walkability and can either head to Kings Cross station for trains or catch a bus to the city. Elizabeth Bay has strong scores for employment and walkability, but performs poorly on crime.
Sipping a cappuccino from a cafe in Five Ways, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Paris. Head to Oxford Street and there’s a more New York vibe to the homeware and fashion stores, galleries and sleek bars. Unsurprisingly, Paddington passes the test for culture, retail, cafes and walkability with flying colours. It gets a lower score for congestion, but the suburb does well for access to primary schools and open space.
It’s little wonder why prestige buyers have a soft spot for Mosman. The neighbourhood is home to picturesque pockets like Clifton Gardens and Balmoral, and has enviable harbour views. Shops are concentrated near Military Road, where homeware stores and cafes can be found. The suburb gets big ticks for employment, safety, greenery, culture, and secondary education. Congestion and access to trains are weaker points.
Another triumph for the Shire, Sutherland has rocketed from 98th place in our 2016 rankings. The suburb has a variety of cafes and restaurants — Frank and Blanco and Left Bower to name a few — and while it isn’t a retail mecca, there’s a Coles and an IGA to keep residents’ cupboards stocked. Sutherland has plenty of tree cover, good access to jobs, and a train station with express services to the CBD.
It may not receive as much attention as Mosman nearby, but Cammeray is a suburb with impressive liveability traits. It performs very well for safety, tree cover, walkability and open space, with several reserves and parks within its borders. Cammeray is also close to employment hubs and has a choice of eateries, from The Alchemist Espresso to Wild Sage Cafe.
Multiple train lines run through Chatswood, a suburb that’s only seven stops from the CBD. The neighbourhood is known for its cultural and culinary significance, with restaurants like Mama Mulan and Chum Tang just a few of the must-try venues. Other top-scoring categories include employment and secondary education, with Chatswood High School on Centennial Avenue. Retail is another key strength.
21. Rushcutters Bay
Rushcutters Bay is home to a generous swathe of parkland, with perfect scores for employment and walkability. It has excellent access to cultural services, trains, cafes and shops, with various amenities within reach in Woolloomooloo and Potts Point. Rushcutters Bay has low marks for crime and congestion, but its overall ranking is buoyed by an abundance of open space.
22. Double Bay
If you can overlook the traffic congestion, you’ll find Double Bay to be a harbourside haven with a chic shopping village. The suburb has a top walkability rating, leafy streets, good retail offerings and plenty of cafes. Like some other eastern pockets, however, Double Bay has a less-than-glowing score for crime.
23. St Leonards
Home to the Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards has an impressive score for employment, with similar scores for retail, culture, eateries, rail transport and walkability. There’s a growing selection of cafes to choose from, with highlights in Cavalier 2.0 and The Rice Den (handmade pork buns, anyone?). Residents may need to compromise on access to primary education and open space, but St Leonards remains one of Sydney’s all-stars.
Cammeray’s neighbour is blessed with greenery and waterfront pockets, with a golf club that overlooks Middle Harbour. The suburb performs well for cafes, employment, safety, cultural services and retail, with most shops located near Sailors Bay Road. It also has a relatively good walkability score, but you’ll have to travel to Chatswood or St Leonards for trains.
We can see what led Russell Crowe to purchase a Woolloomooloo pad in the early 2000s. Some truly mouth-watering restaurants can be found along the wharf, including Otto, Manta, and Molo. The suburb earns top marks in the cafe category, and offers residents terrific access to education. Woolloomooloo is close to train stations and employment hubs, but performs poorly on crime and tree cover.
26. Cremorne Point
Jutting out into the harbour, this quiet, safe suburb is known for its grand period homes, with Neutral Bay shops and cafes just a bus trip away. A leafy footpath loops around the area, earning excellent scores for tree cover, walkability and open space. Cremorne Point is less congested than some of its neighbours, but suffers from poor access to schools.
The highest ranking inner west suburb, Balmain has impressive scores for walkability, education, employment and shops. Residents have their pick of waterfront spots, from Elkington Park to Ewenton Park, and some homes have striking harbour views. Cafes, bars and boutiques can be found near Darling Street — The Cottage is a favourite — but Balmain gets moderately low scores for congestion and open space. The suburb is serviced by ferries and buses, but not by trains.
It may place slightly lower than Cremorne Point in the rankings, but Cremorne still has some extremely desirable features. These include the shops near Military Road, which earn the suburb great marks for retail. With a strong walkability score, residents can stroll to key amenities easily, and also enjoy a low crime rate. But Cremorne has its weak spots, including access to primary education and somewhat congested traffic.
Dotted with nature reserves and intersected by Woronora River, this small Shire neighbourhood gets outstanding scores for open space and tree cover. Other strengths include free-flowing traffic, good walkability and excellent access to buses and secondary schools. Weaker areas include retail and access to primary education.
Rich in open space, this inner west suburb includes Birchgrove Oval, Yurulbin Park and Ballast Point Park, the latter of which offers views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are several shops in Birchgrove, with a wider variety of retail, cafe and cultural amenities in neighbouring Balmain. The suburb performs very well for employment and proximity to ferries and buses, but doesn’t have very good access to primary or secondary education.
Separated from Como by the Georges River, you can hop on an express train at Oatley and reach the CBD in about half an hour. There are a handful of shops on Mulga Road — including a supermarket and Sushi, Thai and Chinese-Malaysian restaurants — earning the suburb good scores for retail and cafes. Oatley performs particularly well for safety and access to schools.
There’s a peaceful quality to life in Greenwich, a suburb with a good safety score, a small shopping village, lush tree cover and harbour views, particularly from Manns Point. The neighbourhood has good scores for access to primary schools and retail, as well as for employment and trains, with the nearest railway station in Wollstonecraft. It isn’t as strong on congestion or open space though.
Another lower north shore in the top 40 with Naremburn, which has great scores for leafiness, culture and cafes. It may not have a train station of its own, but the station at St Leonards is just across the border – and with a relatively poor congestion score, that may be your best option for reaching the CBD. Naremburn gets top marks for employment, but doesn’t do very well for access to primary schools.
34. Bilgola Beach
Beautiful Bilgola Beach has impressive ocean views, excellent access to beaches, and ample tree cover. Despite its natural beauty, Bilgola Beach also gets an extremely low score for walkability. With particularly strong marks for safety and congestion, there is a lot to be said for the suburb’s liveability.
This inner-city suburb has come a long way since the days of crime queen Tilly Devine. Now, Darlinghurst is known as a vibrant hub of bars, eateries, galleries and fashion finds, and its cultural significance runs deep. As such, it has impressive scores for retail, cafes, employment, culture and education. The trade-off comes in the form of limited open space and tree cover, and crime remains an issue.
If you haven’t spent much time in Pyrmont, it’s time to pay a visit to Harris Street. This is where you’ll find bars, bakeries, expertly-brewed coffee and as much banh mi as you could want. Pyrmont has outstanding access to job hubs and although it isn’t on a train line, it is only a few light-rail stops from the CBD, with Town Hall railway station within walking distance. But with the lowest possible score for crime, life in this suburb has its downsides.
37. Dawes Point
Directly in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and across from Luna Park, Dawes Point is celebrated as a treasure trove of heritage architecture. Positioned next to The Rocks and Circular Quay, the suburb has great access to museums, cafes and restaurants, trains, ferries and job hubs. On the other hand, Dawes Point performs very poorly for crime, primary education and open space.
38. Bondi Junction
There’s a lot to like about Bondi Junction, a public transport linchpin for Sydney’s east. It’s one of few suburbs to claim full marks for retail, thanks in large part to Westfield Bondi Junction, and also does very well for access to trains and buses, cultural services, job hubs and walkability. The roads are not a cheery place to be driving during peak hour though, and you won’t find much tree cover either.
The beauty of coastal Cronulla is hardly a secret. A hotspot for surfers with a good score for employment, Cronulla has a blossoming foodie scene, with a range of cafes and restaurants near the beach (try the burgers from Pilgrims). Residents can get to the CBD via the local train station. Despite its liveability strengths, Cronulla does poorly for access to secondary education.
40. Potts Point
A true delight for foodies — and for those who enjoy a good cocktail — Potts Point has a fantastic range of bars, cafes, restaurants and retail offerings. The suburb is centrally located and has great walkability, with regular trains to the city from Kings Cross station. Although Potts Point is moving away from its reputation as Sydney’s nightclub capital, it still gets a low score for crime, and is lacking in open space.
41. Surry Hills
Another win for the inner city, Surry Hills just misses out on a top 40 position. The eclectic mix of shops ranges from Gelato Messina to Chin Chin, prestige homeware showrooms to stylish wine bars and cheap eats. With Central Station on its doorstep, locals can travel easily via train, light rail and bus. Surry Hills also scores full marks for employment, but has a zero rating for crime, and there isn’t much tree cover.
A coffee at Forty Beans cafe followed by a walk along North Harbour Reserve? It’s a fine start to the day for Balgowlah residents. The suburb manages to escape the tourist attention lobbed at Manly, but still benefits from being less than four kilometres from that very beach. Buyers can also expect convenient walkability, good access to schools and a decent amount of tree cover, but should be prepared to sit in traffic during peak hour.
43. Middle Cove
If your idea of the perfect suburb is leafy, filled with open space and boasting a waterfront reserve, then Middle Cove may well be on your radar. Although there aren’t many shops in the neighbourhood itself, it still earns a relatively good score in the cafe category. Middle Cove is very safe and scores fairly well for employment, but access to education and traffic are not a strong suits. For trains, locals will need to head to Chatswood, about four kilometres west.
44. Balmain East
A small strip of the harbour separates Balmain East from Millers Point, and some residents have incredible views to show for it. Locals can head to Darling Street for groceries, pizza and cafes, although most shops and cultural services are in neighbouring Balmain. The small suburb does well for tree cover, walkability, primary education and ferries, but can’t claim to have very good scores for open space or secondary education.
45. Bonnet Bay
If you’re not familiar with this riverfront suburb in the Shire, you’re not alone. The lush neighbourhood tends to fly under the radar, performing very well for traffic, tree cover, open space and safety. But life in Bonnet Bay has its challenges, as reflected in the suburb’s weak scores for retail, cafes and cultural services. Those who work in the CBD will need to travel to Jannali, Como or Sutherland for trains to the city.
46. Mona Vale
Those who call Mona Vale home won’t be surprised to learn that it gets top marks for retail and cafes. The once quiet suburb is humming with activity, and has a Woolworths, Aldi and Coles. Outdoorsy types can head to the beach, and might also put in some time at Mona Vale Golf Club. Living so far from the CBD and from the train line isn’t always easy, but the suburb still manages a high score for employment.
For inner-city devotees, Hornsby might seem awfully far away, but the suburb has proven itself to be a liveability champion. With several hospitals, a Westfield and a train station, Hornsby has very good scores for retail, cafes and employment. An escape to the bush is within reach too, with several nature trails nearby. Hornsby excels when it comes to tree cover and open space, but its weaknesses include congestion.
48. Lane Cove
Plenty of tree cover, great walkability and a convenient shopping village have put Lane Cove on the liveability map this year. The suburb can’t claim the same dazzling views as some of the other lower north shore suburbs, but it does have good marks for safety and open space. Limited access to rail transport and mild congestion may cause headaches for some commuters though.
49. The Rocks
It’s hard to get any closer to the action in Sydney than The Rocks, where tourists flock for the Museum of Contemporary Art and views over Circular Quay (and perhaps also for Pancakes On The Rocks). The suburb passes the tests for cultural services, employment and retail with ease, and likewise for walkability. Being the centre of attention isn’t always easy though, with The Rocks scoring particularly low for crime.
If there’s one thing Newport Beach in California has in common with this Sydney suburb, it’s the kind of coastline people will travel to see. Newport is also blessed with Pittwater views and plenty of tree cover throughout. Merivale’s The Newport lures day-trippers and locals alike, and the suburb performs well for cafes overall. But those who use public transport are reliant on buses, with no train station nearby. Congestion is one of Newport’s weaker categories.
One of Sydney’s southern-most suburbs, Engadine just misses out on a top 50 spot. Bordering the Royal National Park, the area performs well for secondary education, with several schools in the area. Engadine is also very safe and has a train station, with express services to the CBD available by changing at Sutherland. There’s a small shopping village with a few supermarkets, but retail isn’t one of Engadine’s strengths.
52. Kurraba Point
Kurraba Point has terrific scores for culture, employment and walkability, and enjoys a premium harbourfront position near Cremorne Point. The lower north shore suburb also has fairly smooth traffic conditions and a healthy amount of tree cover. Kurraba Point isn’t a strong performer when it comes to education or retail, but that doesn’t make the view from Kurraba Reserve any less lovely.
53. North Narrabeen
With good walkability and even better tree cover, this northern neighbourhood benefits from having plenty of open space and from being close to the sandy beaches at Narrabeen and Collaroy. The suburb is particularly strong when it comes to education, with the likes of Narrabeen North Public School and Narrabeen Sports High School. It’s not always a smooth run on the roads though.
54. Killarney Heights
About 17 kilometres north of the CBD, Killarney Heights has a tremendous amount of open space and tree cover, with a sizeable chunk of parkland within its borders. There aren’t many shops in the area, so Killarney Heights doesn’t perform very well for retail, and also does poorly for walkability and congestion. Nonetheless, it is extremely safe, and has an excellent score for access to education.
55. Crows Nest
With outstanding access to employment, shops, eateries, trains and secondary schools, Crows Nest locals can feel proud of their suburb’s liveability traits. There’s a huge range of restaurants on Willoughby Road and surrounding streets, including effortlessly-sleek Annata and the ever-reliable Fratelli Fresh. Crows Nest is only weak in a few key categories, including open space, tree cover and traffic conditions.
Family-friendly Artarmon has impressive marks in a number of categories, including proximity to primary schools, walkability and retail. You’ll find a selection of cafes and restaurants in the suburb too, most of which are on Hampden Road, and commuters are only six stops from the CBD via train. But Artarmon doesn’t have a very good score for congestion, and despite Artarmon Reserve and Thomson Park, it doesn’t do well for open space either.
Gordon joins Hornsby as another upper north shore representative in the top 60. The suburb is only a few stops on the train from Chatswood and has a shopping village that includes a Bunnings, banks, a Woolworths, cafes and restaurants. A good score for safety also works in Gordon’s favour, although the suburb doesn’t do quite as well on access to education. It also has the worst possible rating for congestion.
58. Rose Bay
Rose Bay is known for its trophy homes and sparkling marina, which is perhaps best appreciated over a glass of wine inside the famed Catalina Restaurant. The eastern suburb gets top scores for its retail hub along New South Head Road, which is also where you’ll find a selection of cafes. Rose Bay isn’t an easy suburb to drive through during peak hour, but those harbour views and proximity to schools are definite advantages.
59. Bilgola Plateau
Enjoying many of the benefits of Bilgola Beach, which has a higher ranking, some Bilgola Plateau homes have remarkable views across Pittwater, and with a strong performance for congestion, drivers are generally spared the road rage. Bilgola Plateau is one of Sydney’s lower-scoring suburbs for walkability though, and like much of the northern beaches, it suffers from poor access to trains.
If you’re planning dinner and drinks in the inner-city, Glebe is a fine choice. Glebe Point Road has cuisine options that include Mexican, Sri Lankan, Indian, Italian and many more (and those popcorn refills at The Little Guy are the perfect accompaniment for evening drinks). Partly thanks to Broadway Shopping Centre, the suburb gets top marks for retail, and likewise for employment. The downside? Glebe has the lowest possible score for crime.
A golf and social club and a waterfront setting are some of the star attractions in the Shire suburb of Kareela. Living in this neighbourhood means outstanding tree cover, open space and retail. Access to employment may also pose a challenge for some residents.
Kirrawee is a quiet achiever that offers Shire residents great access to trains and several schools nearby. Close to Hazelhurst Gallery and the Royal National Park, the suburb does fairly well on access to cultural services and tree cover, with strong walkability and plenty of shops. Middle-of-the-range scores include access to employment and open space.
One stop away from Cronulla on the train line, much of Woolooware is taken up by the golf club and, as Shire NRL fans will know, Shark Park. Scraping through with a pass mark for retail, the suburb has a terrific score for open space, as well as for proximity to the beach. Families looking to buy in the area will likely be impressed with its good marks for education and jobs.
If there were a category for delicious Portuguese tarts, Gymea would score off the charts. As it stands, the suburb already does well in the cafe category, due to the shopping strip along Gymea Bay Road. It scores moderately well for cultural services too, and is home to the lovely Hazelhurst Regional Gallery. Gymea gets top marks for access to trains and is very safe, but underperforms on open space.
65. Manly Vale
Beachgoers make a beeline for Manly in summer, but when it comes to putting down roots, they’d do well to consider Manly Vale. The suburb is about four kilometres north-west of that famous beach with a range of shops and facilities near Condamine Street, including a Coles and schools. Manly Vale has plenty of open space, but is near the bottom of the list for congestion.
With a Tafe campus, Meadowbank Park and Memorial Park, there isn’t room for much else in this suburb. It cleans up in the open space and walkability categories, and does moderately well for tree cover and employment. The local train station is another winning feature, which is just as well given Meadowbank’s poor score for congestion. You’ll find a few key shops on Bay Drive and there’s a large shopping centre in Ryde, but access to schools could be better.
67. Dee Why
Dee Why locals might argue that they’d happily put up with congested traffic to live by such a glorious beach. Although there are cafes like The Beach Shed close to the shore, much of the activity is at the centre of the suburb. There’s a handy shopping strip that includes a Coles and a Woolworths, banks, hotels and espresso and wine bars, all within easy walking distance. There are no trains though, and Dee Why’s score for buses is also slightly low.
If you’ve caught the train from the city to the south coast, you’ve probably stared out the window at the Georges River as you’ve passed Como. Residents of Como know there are plenty of vantage points from which to admire that view, including Como Pleasure Grounds. There are few shops in the suburb, although locals can easily catch a train to busier pockets like Sutherland. Como is very safe, but does poorly for employment.
69. Pennant Hills
With ample greenery, Pennant Hills earns two big ticks of approval for open space and tree cover. Although its shopping village is only small, there are enough stores and cafes to keep locals happy. Positioned on the Northern train line, commuters can travel to the CBD in about 40 minutes. Pennant Hills manages to get a reasonably good mark for access to jobs.
From this peninsula suburb, locals can enjoy the lagoon and the ocean, making Narrabeen a magnet for outdoorsy types. Collaroy Beach is also within walking distance, and there are plenty of places to grab a bite or a coffee in the area. There aren’t any trains, but there is a bus service to Warringah Mall and to the city. Narrabeen’s weaker scores include congestion.
A highly walkable suburb, you don’t have to stray far from the beach to find what you need in Coogee, from cafes to shops and sports at Coogee Oval. With no train stations nearby, residents can travel by bus to the city, often braving congested traffic in the process. Coogee does well for access to job hubs, but could do better on tree cover, despite having a number of reserves along the coastline.
72. Queens Park
This park-based suburb was always going to score well for open space. The neighbourhood is mainly residential, but Westfield Bondi Junction is within reasonable walking distance, as are cafes in Waverley. Queens Park is close to Bondi Junction railway station and gets a tick for access to employment, but the area doesn’t do as well on crime.
Willoughby has a shopping strip of its own, but being close to Chatswood and St Leonards certainly comes in handy — the suburb puts in a strong performance for retail, trains, cultural services and employment. Willoughby also has an excellent score for safety, and parents will find good access to schools too. But living here does have downsides, including minimal open space and at times busy traffic.
It may not have a famous beach, but from its position next to Bronte, Waverley residents can probably smell the salt in the air. The suburb has good walkability and even better access to employment, but residents will need to travel to Bondi Junction for trains. Waverley has a small but increasingly trendy shopping village, including two renovated pubs, cafes and fashion boutique Volange Paris. Congestion is one of its weak spots.
75. Frenchs Forest
Frenchs Forest is in the midst of a transformation, with the Northern Beaches Hospital having opened late last year and with work underway on the Warringah Road underpass. There are a number of key amenities at Forestway Shopping Centre, including supermarkets, banks, a pharmacy and cafes. Dee Why beach is only about seven kilometres east, but you’re likely to face congested traffic on the way there.
On a direct train line to the CBD near Chatswood, some think of Lindfield as the sweet spot of the upper north shore. Residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to cafes — top picks include Goodfields Eatery, Cafe Lyon and Moore Avenue Cafe — while ample tree cover lends the suburb a leafy charm. Lindfield is also very safe, but has a poor rating for congestion.
77. Oyster Bay
Sitting beside the Georges River, it’s a quiet life in Oyster Bay. The shopping village is only small, although it’s only a quick drive to Jannali and Sutherland for a wider selection of retail offerings and for trains to the city. The tree-filled suburb is supremely safe, but it does poorly for employment.
This upper north shore pocket is known for its family-friendly vibe, tree-lined streets, low crime rate, and easy access to trains and jobs. Roseville isn’t exactly a retail hotspot, but there is a cluster of shops near the railway station along the highway. Walkability and education are other top-performing categories.
Tamarama’s picturesque beach has put it in the sights of many Sydneysiders, and its position on the Bondi to Bronte walk doesn’t hurt either. Lovingly referred to as “Glamarama”, it has excellent scores for culture and cafes, as well as for open space. Tamarama also does well employment scores, but performs poorly for secondary education and congestion.
Parramatta isn’t Sydney’s second CBD for no reason. The bustling employment hub has outstanding scores for culture, retail, cafes and trains. Families will also find easy access to schools and good walkability, although the crime rate may be a turn-off for some. Parramatta also tends to suffer from congested traffic.
81. Warwick Farm
Positioned between Cabramatta and Liverpool, Warwick Farm gains its liveability chops through top scores in a range of categories. These include cultural services, shops and cafes, public transport and employment. The suburb’s appeal is boosted by a good amount of open space, but those highs don’t come without lows, particularly Warwick Farm’s poor score for crime.
From Parsley Bay Reserve to Vaucluse House, the aesthetic beauty of this suburb puts it on the wish-list for many buyers. And with such safe, leafy streets and stunning harbour views, Vaucluse is certainly very desirable. But the area has a number of weak spots, including retail, congestion and public transport. It doesn’t have a very high score for education either, although Kincoppal and Kambala are just across the border in Rose Bay.
You can easily slip away to Garigal National Park when you live in Forestville, positioned about 16 kilometres north of the CBD. With several nature reserves and sporting ovals, there’s plenty of open space and tree cover, but residents may grow frustrated with the traffic conditions. Forestville manages a pass mark for retail with a supermarket and a handful of other shops, but it isn’t strong on rail transport.
84. Carss Park
Tiny Carss Park is a lesser-known liveability hotspot in south Sydney, with parkland and playground gems. Most cafes and shops are in neighbouring Blakehurst, including yum cha at the Imperial Peking Restaurant. The suburb has a good score for safety, but only has mid-range scores in most other categories. It also does poorly on access to employment.
Thornleigh has impressive marks in a number of categories, with runs on the board for walkability, tree cover, open space, shops and cafes. A low crime rate and a train station also make Thornleigh a safe and convenient place to live. Being in the same catchment as Hornsby Girls High School will be a plus for some families, although there aren’t a large number of schools in the area overall. The challenges facing residents here include congestion.
With Bronte, Clovelly and Coogee beaches within easy reach, the lifestyle appeal of Randwick is obvious. The suburb is home to Prince of Wales Hospital and Sydney Children’s Hospital, and Avoca Street, Belmore Road and Alison Road are lined with shops. Walkability is another big plus, but there isn’t much tree cover, and traffic can be nightmarish during peak hour.
87. Bellevue Hill
Bellevue Hill has an eye-watering house price median, and for good reason. Positioned behind Point Piper, it just misses out on a harbourfront position, but leafy streets and a charming cafe strip help make up for that. Locals have excellent access to employment, but there is hardly any open space, and the traffic can become congested.
It’s easy to understand the desirability of Castlecrag, a suburb that has Fig Tree Cove to the north, Peach Tree Bay to the east, and Sailors Bay to the south. There are a few shops and cafes on the border with Willoughby, while nature reserves can be found throughout. Castlecrag has an outstanding score for safety but is relatively isolated from schools and trains and has a low congestion rating.
89. La Perouse
La Perouse in Sydney’s east is home to the NSW Golf Club and a selection of beaches and lookouts. As lovely as a stroll along the La Perouse coastline is, the suburb suffers when it comes to walkability and access to education. With poor access to public transport, residents are reliant on cars, but usually enjoy smooth traffic conditions.
Home to Paddys Market, Central Station and Chinatown, Haymarket is at the centre of everything in Sydney, with the Powerhouse Museum also nearby. It’s a top performer for culture, shopping, cafes, trains and employment, with great walkability between amenities. At the opposite end of the scale, the suburb has the worst possible score for crime, and doesn’t do well for tree cover either.
Mortdale may not have the same water views as Oatley, but a shopping village around Morts Road and a train station on the South Coast line make for good scores in the retail and train categories. Home to Hurstville Golf Course, the suburb does well for safety, open space and tree cover, but has limited access to education.
Yet another southern suburb makes the top 100 through Illawong, and what it lacks in cafes, it makes up for with an abundance of trees, open space and a low crime rate. Separated from Como by Woronora River, it’s tricky getting to the nearest train station without a car. Low-scoring categories include proximity to employment hubs and access to cultural services.
93. West Pymble
This upper north shore suburb is a winner when it comes to open space, access to buses and safe streets. In particular, Bicentennial Park is perfect for a picnic, and Lofberg Dog Park will suit canine companions nicely. You’ll have to travel further afield to reach retail hubs though, and it’s common for the roads to become congested.
94. Lane Cove West
Nature lovers have a choice of serene spots to enjoy in Lane Cove West, be it Blackman Park near the river, or the Lane Cove Bushwalk. There are a handful of shops near Mars Road, earning decent marks for retail and cafes. The suburb is quiet and very safe, but gets a low score for access to secondary schools.
Located in the heart of the St George region with a train station and St George Hospital, Kogarah is certainly in a convenient position. It puts in a strong performance for employment, and between supermarkets, pharmacies and restaurants, locals have good access to retail and cafes. Kogarah earns top marks for secondary education too, but does poorly on tree cover.
96. Avalon Beach
For such natural beauty, homebuyers are happy to travel so far from Sydney CBD to put down roots in Avalon Beach. Between the ocean and Pittwater, residents are surrounded by stunning scenes, and have a selection of cafes to choose from (Forage Wholefoods and library cafe Bookoccino, among others). Avalon Beach is also extremely safe, but has low scores for trains, buses and congestion.
97. Bondi Beach
Few suburbs can rival this foodie mecca, which is home to a beach of international fame. It’s almost overwhelming to choose which restaurant to visit (one highlight is the Mexican fare at Fonda Bondi, with interiors by Studio Esteta). But being separated from the train line can be a hassle, and the traffic can be maddening during peak hour. Bondi Beach gets a moderately low score for crime, but with such strong marks for retail and employment, it’s a matter of balancing the pluses and minuses.
Considerably cheaper than Cronulla and only a few kilometres from the beach, Caringbah has a convenient shopping village near the Kingsway. Here you’ll find cafes, a supermarket, a train station, and excellent walkability between amenities. Families will also find outstanding access to schools. Only a few scores let Caringbah down, including open space.
99. Whale Beach
Whale Beach shares many of the pros and cons of neighbouring Avalon Beach. Small in size, there isn’t room for a large retail hub, but there are some stylish eateries in the area, including Whale Beach Deli and of course, Jonah’s. The suburb gets a tick for safety but does poorly for public transport.
Sandwiched between Pyrmont and Haymarket, Ultimo boasts the Powerhouse Museum and is within walking distance of the CBD, and is close to Glebe Point Road restaurants and Paddy’s Markets. As such, Ultimo has perfect scores for retail, employment, walkability and culture. But that inner-city location comes at a price, with very low scores for crime, open space and tree cover.
101. Lane Cove North
For some, Lane Cove North is in the perfect spot. It has excellent access to employment and a few cafes, although it doesn’t have the kind of retail score boasted by Lane Cove. The suburb is on Chatswood’s doorstep but is still quiet, safe and leafy, with a number of nature reserves. Depending on where you live in Lane Cove North, getting to the nearest train station can be an inconvenience, as can driving during peak hour.
The liveability strengths of this St George suburb include access to retail, cafes and employment. The nearest train station is a few kilometres north at Kogarah, with Ramsgate Beach to the east. The suburb has a mid-range score for crime, but is lacking when it comes to secondary education.
103. Roseville Chase
It may not be on the train line, but this upper north shore suburb has a lovely position beside Lane Cove River. Residents have terrific access to tree cover and open space, from Roseville Chase Oval to Echo Point Park. Locals will need to travel to neighbouring suburbs for retail hubs though, and the suburb performs poorly for congestion.
With what is arguably one of Sydney’s most underrated beaches, Freshwater is a small suburb near Manly that has plenty of coffee shops and bars to appease the locals. Laid-back and safe, the neighbourhood has great scores for cafes, buses and walkability. But Freshwater doesn’t have much in the way of retail, and there are no train stations nearby. It also gets a low score for congestion.
It takes less than 40 minutes to get from Turramurra station to Town Hall by train, but there are plenty of reasons to stay local. The suburb is leafy, safe, and its cafe scene continues to grow, with a highlight in Kipling’s Garage Bar. Turramurra has passable scores for retail and employment, but gets low marks for congestion and education.
Outdoorsy types are well catered for in Warriewood, which lays claim to not one, but two beaches. There are also nature sanctuaries and wetlands in the suburb, meaning top scores for open space and tree cover. Other strengths include safety and access to employment, but Warriewood has its weaknesses too, which include rail transport and education.
107. Watsons Bay
Whether you take the walking track that loops around the lighthouse or stick close to Marine Parade, you’ll be able to drink in spectacular water views from Watsons Bay. There’s a selection of cafes and restaurants near the ferry, including the famed Watsons Bay Hotel, with another string of offerings on Military Road. Home to Robertson Park, the suburb gets excellent marks for open space and safety, but has poor scores for walkability, retail and education.
From bagels to sushi and organic baked goods, Redfern locals have some enticing lunch and dinner options to choose from. A suburb of immense cultural significance, Redfern is within walking distance of the CBD and also has a train station. It has terrific scores for retail and employment, but a particularly poor score for crime, and doesn’t have much open space either.
Although there are a few cafes in Seaforth, this suburb is better known for its quiet, laid-back lifestyle, and for homes with spectacular water views. It performs very well on open space and tree cover, as well as for safety and access to education. But retail is not one of Seaforth’s strengths, and neither is public transport. The suburb also gets a low score for congestion.
Come for the markets, stay for the cafes, shops and schools. With a cute retail strip, great access to employment hubs and a variety of bars and pubs, Rozelle offers a coveted inner west lifestyle with the added bonus of harbour views. Weak spots include tree cover and traffic conditions, and Rozelle also has a slightly low score for crime.
Clontarf is a suburb blessed by natural beauty, with Clontarf Beach, nature reserves and a marina for residents to enjoy. There’s even a children’s playground and a kiosk (Clonnys), where you can pick up a quinoa bowl or some flathead with chips. It isn’t near any train stations, but Clontarf gets a good rating for access to buses. Low-scoring categories include retail, congestion and walkability.
112. St Ives
With easy access to trails in Garigal National Park, St Ives is an over-achiever when it comes to open space and tree cover. It has a perfect score for safety, with St Ives High School serving as another drawcard. Although the basics can be found at St Ives Shopping Village, the suburb isn’t particularly strong on retail. It also has low scores for congestion and access to primary education.
When it comes to river views, Woolwich is almost showing off. Accessible by ferry, the small suburb is known for its tree-lined streets and handsome houses, earning good scores for tree cover, culture and open space. There are some cafes and restaurants in Woolwich itself, with more in Hunters Hill, but there’s very little in the way of retail. The suburb doesn’t score well for education either.
114. Mount Kuring-Gai
As the name suggests, Mount Kuring-Gai is gloriously green. Given that much of the suburb is taken up by national parkland, it’s a perfect 10 for open space and tree cover. A 10-minute train ride from Hornsby, the suburb does relatively well for retail and is very safe. The downsides include poor proximity to job hubs and education.
Travel about 70 kilometres west of the Sydney CBD to reach Blaxland, a Blue Mountains town with impressive marks for trains, open space, tree cover and traffic conditions. The neighbourhood, which is close to Penrith, also does fairly well for safety, but also has a number of weaker areas worth considering. These include access to jobs, retail and primary education.
Glenbrook comes in just behind its neighbour Blaxland, with many of the same strengths and weaknesses. It benefits from having a train station, with a trip to Central taking more than an hour, and earns an outstanding mark for congestion. There’s a tiny shopping village where you can get your morning coffee and a few groceries, but you’ll need to travel further to find a retail hub.
117. Bardwell Park
Bardwell Park is well-connected when it comes to rail transport, located only a few stops on the train from Central Station. With excellent scores for walkability, open space, primary education and safety, the suburb is home to a small number of shops and is near Bardwell Valley Golf Club. Some of its weaker scores are earned for cafes, employment, secondary education and traffic conditions.
118. Macquarie Park
Plans for a new community business district put Macquarie Park in headlines earlier this year, but the suburb’s high scores for tree cover and open space also deserve a mention. Local landmarks include Macquarie University and Macquarie Shopping Centre, with shops and cafes throughout the suburb. Macquarie Park gets top marks for employment and access to buses, but it doesn’t perform very well on crime or congestion.
Positioned beside the Parramatta River, Rhodes benefits from great walkability and from being on a train line to the CBD. There are an impressive number of shops and cafes packed into the suburb, including Italian restaurant Oliveto Ristorante, which overlooks Brays Bay Reserve. Rhodes receives high marks for employment, but gets a low score for education, and driving in peak hour can be a frustrating experience.
Fairlight locals are spoilt for choice when it comes to their surrounds. Walk east for a few kilometres and you’ll find yourself at Manly Beach. Head south and you’ll reach Fairlight Beach instead. The local shops are modest in size, but there’s a supermarket for grocery runs and a few coffee shops, with a wider selection in Manly. The neighbourhood gets a big tick for safety, employment and walkability, but has the lowest score possible for congestion. Access to education is also a weak spot.
Art deco apartments and a beach with a stunning pool. Throw in a touch of east coast chic and you get Clovelly, a suburb with top scores for cafes (note Clovelly Social House) and ocean views. With a strong walkability rating, locals can meander around in search of coffee, but will need to travel further for retail hubs. Clovelly has good access to employment but could do with greater tree cover, and often suffers from congested traffic.
Perched near Parramatta River with a busy shopping strip along Victoria Road, Gladesville has excellent marks for walkability, retail and access to buses. Bordering Hunters Hill, residents enjoy a low crime rate as well. But the suburb has an achilles heel in its often-heavy traffic.
About six kilometres west of Sydney CBD, Lilyfield is wedged between Leichhardt and Rozelle. Although it doesn’t have a top score for open space, there are some lovely parks and a walking track that follows the river. Compared to its neighbours, Lilyfield is not a retail or cafe hub, but residents have great access to employment and schools. The neighbourhood also ranks well for walkability, but the crime rate is slightly less than desirable.
It may not have a coastal position, but it’s only a few minutes in the car from Brookvale to Curl Curl Beach. That means the suburb does well for proximity to the coast, but that’s not the only feature worth celebrating. Hosting the Northern Beaches campus of Tafe NSW as well as Westfield Warringah Mall, Brookvale has commendable scores for walkability, proximity to employment, retail and cafes. Some of its lower scores include crime, public transport and heavy traffic.
Turn onto Copeland Road and your first impression of Beecroft will be a manicured golf club and a row of family homes. Beecroft also has a train station, with a trip to the city taking about 40 minutes. Blessed with ample tree cover, the suburb is in a convenient position when it comes to schools, and gets a perfect score for safety. Relatively low scores for access to employment and retail also come into play though.
126. Terrey Hills
Terrey Hills is close to St Ives, northern beaches suburbs and both Garigal and Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. Though it doesn’t have a good score for public transport, you can reach the suburb easily via Mona Vale Road. Terrey Hills may not be a retail or education hub, but it is safe, rich in tree cover, and generally boasts smooth traffic conditions.
127. Palm Beach
Picturesque Palm Beach is the end of the line on Sydney’s northern beaches. With no trains, at times congested traffic and a bus trip that can take an hour and a half from Wynyard, getting there can take some willpower. Luckily the voyage is worth it, with plenty of cafes and spectacular views of the beach and of Pittwater. Palm Beach has relatively low marks for walkability and retail.
128. Hurstville Grove
This lesser-known Shire suburb doesn’t have as much exposure to the Georges River as Oatley, but the outlook from Moore Reserve is lovely nonetheless. The neighbourhood is highly walkable and quiet, although access to cafes and cultural services are both notable weak spots. The crime rate is also not as low as you might expect.
Yarrawarrah is partly shielded from view by Loftus as you drive along the Princes Highway. With an IGA, a public school, and ample open space, Yarrawarrah has a stellar ranking for safety. There’s a bus stop on Bridgeview Road and Engadine train station is close by. But if easy access to retail, cafes and employment are your top priorities, this suburb might not make your shortlist.
Asquith is a winner when it comes to open space and tree cover. Being on a train line also comes in handy, although it takes almost an hour to reach the city. There’s a modest shopping village but you’ll find more retail options, cafes and restaurants in Hornsby. Asquith does moderately well for access to employment and education.
131. East Lindfield
Another upper north shore enclave with strong scores for open space, greenery and safety, East Lindfield is a haven for families. Residents have good access to primary schools and job hubs here, and the train station in Lindfield isn’t too far to travel. The neighbourhood ranks slightly lower on culture, cafes and walkability, and performs poorly on congestion.
Positioned between Zetland, Moore Park and Randwick, Kensington is a quiet achiever. Cheaper than Bronte and Coogee further east, the suburb has good scores for access to cultural services, shops, employment and eateries. It also has good walkability and is close to Randwick Hospital. Despite small green patches like Kensington Park and Raleigh Park, the suburb could do with more open space, and its score for congestion is low.
On a direct train line to the CBD south of Kogarah, Carlton has a sporting oval, a small clutch of shops and quiet suburban streets. Residents can access employment hubs with relative ease, enjoying good walkability and a low crime rate as well. The suburb has mid-range performances for retail and cafes, and has low ratings for open space and tree cover.
134. Centennial Park
You can almost claim to have parklands as an extension of your backyard if you live in this suburb. Within walking distance of Paddington’s Oxford Street, Centennial Park earns points for walkability, open space and for being close to employment, culture and cafe hubs. From the north of the suburb, trains at Bondi Junction are within easy reach. Residents may compromise on access to primary schools, smooth traffic and a low crime rate in exchange for living in such a lush locale.
The serene theme continues with Cheltenham, about 22 kilometres north-west of the CBD. The suburb has good scores for safety and secondary education, with the local train station adding another significant plus. Nature trails can be accessed in Lane Cove National Park to the north, but employment can’t always be reached quite as easily. Cheltenham’s other low-scoring categories include retail and cafes.
136. Linley Point
Surrounded by the Lane Cove River and sheltered by thick tree cover, Linley Point is a quiet suburb where the city skyline can be spied from some blocks. Here, locals can expect smooth traffic on the roads and very little crime. Despite a relative lack of shops in the suburb itself, it’s a quick drive to Hunters Hill via Burns Bay Road. Some of Linley Point’s lowest scores include walkability, access to public transport and employment.
Transport and access to education are among Penshurst’s biggest wins, where trains take less than 30 minutes to reach the CBD. The suburb benefits from being close to restaurants and cafes in Hurstville while boasting a far better rating for crime. Penshurst also has reasonably good access to jobs. The neighbourhood would benefit from more tree cover and open space.
138. North Epping
Locals know North Epping for its wide tree-lined streets, houses on generous blocks, and a small shopping village that includes an IGA and a few shops. Living here means limited access to cultural services, retail and cafes, but it also means good access to schools, open space and tree cover. The suburb gets a strong mark for safety too, making it an attractive prospect for families. There’s also a train station nearby in Epping.
139. West Ryde
Convenient shopping hub? Check. Train station? Check. Throw in an excellent safety score and good walkability, and you’ve covered some of the best aspects of living in West Ryde. Close to Ryde Hospital and about half an hour by train to the CBD, the suburb also performs well for access to employment hubs. But West Ryde underperforms in the open space category, and the roads tend to become congested.
Many Northwood locals are happy to go without a bustling shopping village in exchange for quiet streets and a waterfront location on the lower north shore. With ample open space, the suburb is about a 15 minute drive to the city, passing cafe and retail hotspots like Crows Nest and North Sydney en route. But with a lower score for congestion, trips to work for those who commute aren’t always stress-free.
Normanhurst is in a handy position when it comes to education, with schools from Turramurra to Hornsby within reach. That includes top-performers such as Normanhurst Boys High School, Hornsby Girls High School, and Knox Grammar. The suburb also gets a tick for its train station and for tree cover. While there are a few shops in Normanhurst, the closest retail and cafe hub is in Hornsby. The area performs well for access to jobs, but poorly for congestion.
Arguably one of Sydney’s lesser-appreciated waterfronts, Mortlake is a sliver of a suburb that still has good ratings for cafes and retail, courtesy of the shops along Tennyson Road. It has a number of small reserves by the water, although the suburb gets a low score for open space overall. Despite relatively poor access to school hubs, residents enjoy good walkability, access to buses and fairly smooth traffic.
143. North Curl Curl
North Curl Curl is home to a small shopping village, where residents can pick up the paper, grab a coffee, or tuck into some nachos at Muchacha Mexican Kitchen. For a major grocery shop, however, they’ll need to travel to a retail hub like Dee Why. What this neighbourhood lacks in walkability and smooth traffic, it makes up for with a low crime rate, great access to schools, and extraordinary ocean views, with Curl Curl beach close by.
Driving along the Princes Highway in Rockdale, it’s clear that the neighbourhood is teaming with shops, restaurants, cafes and other key amenities. It may not be a leafy suburb, but with great walkability, trains to the CBD, and a good score for employment, Rockdale ticks a number of crucial liveability boxes. Heavy traffic is one of the downsides, and the crime rate could be lower.
Warrawee earns top marks for access to primary education. Add some outstanding scores for leafiness and safety to the mix, and the appeal for families becomes clear. With excellent marks for trains, buses and walkability, it’s easy to move around the suburb too. There aren’t a huge number of shops in Warrawee though, and congestion is a particular sticking point.
146. North Strathfield
Across most liveability categories, North Strathfield is a suburb of some great highs. Sitting beside Homebush and Concord, it performs impressively for access to cultural services, trains, cafes, jobs and retail, with a Woolworths near its eastern border and an Aldi to the south. North Strathfield also has excellent walkability and a low crime rate, but you won’t spot much tree cover or open space, and the traffic is typically fickle.
A hub of activity, Canterbury’s strong performance for retail, public transport and walkability won’t come as a surprise to many. With a fairly low crime rate, several supermarkets, and a number of schools nearby including Canterbury Girls High School and Canterbury Public School, the rest of the suburb is comprised of suburban streets and sporting facilities. Residents can expect moderate access to job hubs, but will have to put up with congestion and a lack of tree cover.
It’s hard to argue against the convenience of Waterloo. Located between Redfern and Green Square train stations and close to the CBD, its scores for walkability and proximity to trains are well deserved. Whether commuting or working locally, residents have excellent access to job hubs and to a wide range of restaurants, cafes and stores spread throughout the neighbourhood. Scores for crime and congestion drag Waterloo’s overall ranking down, as does limited greenery.
There is certainly no shortage of spots to stop for a coffee or a bite to eat along Bondi’s main road, and if you’re lucky enough to live near Hunter Park, you can soak up panoramic views across the Pacific Ocean. Bondi scores very well for access to jobs and for walkability, and from the eastern end, it’s only a short walk to Bondi Junction trains and shops. Weaker scores for crime, congestion and a lack of open space are perhaps the suburb’s most significant pitfalls.
150. Summer Hill
A range of buyers and renters are drawn to Summer Hill for the comparative affordability it represents, but stay for the increasingly cool cafe culture, bars (The Temperance Society deserves a nod) and charming village centre. There’s also an IGA and a train station, earning this pocket all-rounder status. Other positives include access to employment and primary schools as well as walkability. Negatives include limited tree cover and open space, as well as congestion.
There’s plenty happening in this riverfront neighbourhood, where Southgate shopping centre earns it a top score for retail. Sylvania also has a modest selection of cafes and restaurants, although the suburb is lacking in open space. It doesn’t have very good access to public transport either, and drivers can expect moderate traffic conditions.
Heathcote has a small shopping strip, a public school, two supermarkets and a fish and chip shop, but most of the neighbourhood is made up of national parkland, hence a perfect score for tree cover and for open space. It has a near-perfect score for safety too, but access to retail sits at the lower end of the scale, and likewise walkability.
153. Sydney Olympic Park
Home to ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park just misses out on a top 150 spot, recording strong results across a number of categories. About 35 to 40 minutes by train from the CBD, the suburb is serviced by shops and restaurants at its centre, is highly walkable, and is packed with green space. It also gets a tick for employment, but the roads can become congested, the crime rate is moderately high, and there aren’t many schools nearby.
154. Church Point
Church Point is one of the most remote reaches of Sydney, with only a small body of water separating it from Scotland Island and with Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park to the north-west. It has low scores for retail, employment and schools, but also has stunning natural features, including thick tree cover and a great deal of open space. Church Point also has a good score for safety and enough cafes to satisfy any caffeine cravings.
If liveability were solely about beaches and brunch spots, Bronte would be close to first place. Including Three Blue Ducks and Iggys Bread, there are a number of cafes well worth visiting along Macpherson Street, which leads towards the coast to reveal some dazzling ocean views. Like a number of its fellow beach suburbs in Sydney’s east, Bronte performs well for access to jobs, but poorly for congestion. Access to retail also gets a low rating.
156. Woronora Heights
Not a great deal of attention is paid to this suburb beside the Woronora River. With little more than an express IGA store and a sports oval, it certainly isn’t a cafe hotspot or retail destination. But with top scores for open space, tree cover, free-flowing traffic and safety, and a good rating for access to buses, Woronora Heights is due for some praise. Lower scores for employment and education explain why it doesn’t rank higher.
One of Australia’s most famous coastal suburbs was bound to earn excellent marks for ocean views and proximity to the beach. Accessible by ferry or bus from the city, Manly is a cafe, bar and restaurant haven, particularly on and around The Corso. An outstanding score for employment also makes Manly alluring for house-hunters, despite lower scores for safety, proximity to schools and congestion.
158. Connells Point
Cafe culture and retail may only get moderate marks for Connells Point, but the appeal of this waterfront suburb is obvious. The neighbourhood is safe, dotted with treecover, and gets top marks for walkability. There’s no train station, but it’s not far to drive to Oatley or Hurstville. Weak spots include access employment.
159. Hunters Hill
The streets are lined with historic homes in Hunters Hill, with the Lane Cove River to the north and the Parramatta River to the south. There aren’t any trains, but residents can catch the bus to suburbs that do boast railway stations, like St Leonards. There are also ferries from Hunters Hill Wharf. Supremely safe, Hunters Hill has a selection of coffee shops, but puts in weaker scores for retail and traffic.
Health workers living in Waitara only have a short walk to Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital, and for keen shoppers, Westfield Hornsby is within a similar distance. Conveniently, the suburb is positioned on the T1 Northern Line, with a train trip to the CBD taking about 45 minutes. Residents have good access to employment and enjoy good walkability, but there’s room for improvement on open space.
There’s a certain old world charm to Wahroonga, a suburb known for its picturesque village, lush streetscapes and architectural variety. The suburb has a handy position on the train line, two hospitals and a selection of cafes near Redleaf Avenue. It isn’t a top performer for access to education hubs, although it is home to Knox Grammar School. Wahroonga scores poorly for congested roads, but has good walkability and even better rankings for jobs and safety.
162. Castle Cove
If you don’t mind living in a quiet suburb with no retail hub, Castle Cove has plenty to offer. Rich in open space and boasting a low crime rate, the neighbourhood does well for access to jobs, with a modest score for cafes. There are buses accessible in the area, but you’ll have to go to Chatswood for the nearest train. The roads are typically congested and the suburb has a low walkability score, meaning Castle Cove isn’t the easiest place to travel to or from.
Not far behind its neighbour Church Point in the liveability rankings, Bayview claims an impressive slice of waterfront land along Pittwater Road. Retail options are limited, but there are a few coffee shops near the water’s edge and a number of nature reserves. Bayview has a perfect score for safety, but suffers from a lack of public transport and limited access to primary and secondary schools.
Positioned next to Epping, Marsfield benefits from being close to Macquarie University and, in future studies, the metro station. It has plenty of open space, tree cover, and good access to employment too. The neighbourhood also performs well for safety, and for being close to a number of schools. The suburb does occasionally experience congestion.
With a Westfield complex large enough to get lost in, Miranda lands an excellent score for retail. There’s also a train station off Kiora Road to whisk residents to the city. Many of the cafes and restaurants are in that Westfield, with more spread throughout the suburb. Miranda performs well for access to employment and secondary schools, but it does poorly for open space and crime.
166. Point Piper
Between its shaded streets, postcard harbour views and some truly enormous homes, there’s a reason why Sydney’s elite can be reluctant to sell their Point Piper mansions. It lays claim to a small but idyllic beach, but walk around the headland and you’ll reach Bellamy Beach in Rose Bay. Point Piper gets good marks for access to jobs, and does reasonably well for tree cover and access to cafes. Yet there’s also very little open space, congested traffic, and fairly poor walkability.
Mid-way between St Ives and Frenchs Forest, Davidson has a wealth of open space and tree cover courtesy of Garigal National Park. It’s one of the safest suburbs in our rankings, with several schools in the neighbourhood. Residents can take the bus to Chatswood about 12 kilometres south, for trains to the city and for an array of retail options. Low-scoring categories include walkability and employment.
Just north of Davidson is Belrose, which has a perfect score for safety. Belrose is wrapped in greenery, from gullies to creeks and reserves, and while it isn’t a retail hotspot, Glenrose Village has the basics. Public transport gets a low rating, both for buses and trains, and access to schools is not a strength, either.
This former industrial suburb is embracing new horizons as a slew of cool eateries and bars continue to arrive on the scene, including Gasoline Pony, Two Chaps cafe, Titus Jones and some top-notch Vietnamese restaurants. The inner west pocket is about 10 minutes from Central via train and gets good marks for employment, cultural services and retail. Residents enjoy good walkability but the roads move slowly during peak hour. Scores for crime and tree cover are also moderately low.
Being so close to Sydney CBD and having a train station is handy, but with such a diverse spread of shops, you could easily spend the day wandering around Newtown. Between Gigis, Lentil As Anything, the Dendy and Repressed Records, foodies, cinema fans and music lovers are catered for. But despite terrific scores for culture, retail, cafes, employment and walkability, Newtown’s ranking is dragged down by its scores for crime, open space, tree cover and congestion.
Clareville is near the top of the class for ocean views, and you could launch your kayak from its calm waters. It has a perfect score for tree cover, a very low crime rate, and although there aren’t many cafes, there are enough nearby to service your morning coffee run. With no train stations nearby, locals rely on buses and cars, and usually face decent traffic conditions. Weak spots include access to schools and retail.
172. Bexley North
It may not be as large as Bexley, but liveability scores reveal this suburb to be a better all-rounder. It has a train station, a shopping strip that includes a Woolworths and a deli, and is serviced by buses. Bexley North also has a strong safety score, with good walkability between amenities. The suburb earns lower scores for cafes, tree cover and congestion, with mid-range marks for employment and open space.
Large portions of this suburb are taken up by national parkland, so hikers can easily slip away to bushland trails. Hornsby is close by via train, and traffic on the roads is usually smooth. Berowra also does well for safety, but isn’t strong on retail or access to jobs. Proximity to education is one of Berowra’s lowest scores.
Ingleside is one of the northern beaches’ lesser-known areas, although it’s not far from the waterfront at Bayview and Mona Vale. Open space, tree cover, and access to cafes are some of Ingleside’s strengths, but the suburb nonetheless does poorly on trains, buses and education. Traffic conditions could be better too.
Less than half an hour from Wentworth Falls by train, Faulconbridge benefits from free-flowing traffic, open space, greenery and safety. It also has a handful of cafes, while eateries in more well-known Blue Mountains towns are within easy reach. On the other hand, residents don’t have particularly good walkability or access to employment. Retail is another weak point.
Wolli Creek, Tempe and Dulwich Hill may be well-known suburbs, but the pocket next to all three tends to evade attention. Earlwood either performs moderately well or moderately poorly across most categories, with weaker ratings for access to secondary schools, congestion and employment. It is, however, very safe, with good access to trains, shops and cafes.
Just pipped at the post by its neighbour Faulconbridge, Springwood is kicking goals for safety, greenery, traffic conditions and for its position on the train line. There are a few coffee shops along Macquarie Road, but overall, cafe culture is not one of Springwood’s top-scoring categories. It earns low marks for retail and walkability and lower marks for education.
178. Forest Lodge
Residents in Forest Lodge — including the Harold Park precinct — have great access to cafes, bars and restaurants inside the reinvented Tramsheds complex (try Bekya for fresh Middle Eastern dishes). The suburb is highly walkable, but gets low ratings for open space, tree cover and congestion. Home to Forest Lodge Public School, the neighbourhood does well for access to education, and gets outstanding marks for employment.
179. South Hurstville
This suburb will suit those seeking decent access to jobs, a neighbourhood with great walkability, and sound access to cafes and restaurants. There’s no train station but Hurstville isn’t far to walk, with a trip to Central taking about 20 minutes by rail. South Hurstville loses points due to a lack of open space and heavy traffic conditions.
180. North Willoughby
Close to Chatswood shops, North Willoughby shines in multiple categories, including walkability, safety and access to employment. The suburb is fairly strong on retail as well, with Harris Farm Markets nearby and a selection of local eateries. Scores begin to dip when we consider open space and public transport options. The nearest train stations include Chatswood and Artarmon, and the roads are often congested.
From Harmony Point to Cabarita Park, there are plenty of ways to enjoy views of Parramatta River from Cabarita. A highly walkable suburb, it has a low crime rate and good access to eateries, including Angelo’s on the water. Residents can also catch a ferry from Cabarita ferry wharf. Weak points include proximity to trains, congested roads, and the small number of schools nearby.
This inner-city suburb is home to the University of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Camperdown and Victoria parks, as well as traditional terrace houses, Frank’s Pizza Bar and Acre Eatery. Top scores for culture, retail, cafes, walkability and employment are contrasted against low marks for crime and traffic, among others.
It’s not just the fare from Revolver cafe luring people to Annandale, where grand old houses sit beside quaint cottages. The suburb has a selection of cafes and although not on the train line, it has a light rail stop at Rozelle Bay. Annandale gets good marks for retail, schools and cultural services, and does particularly well for employment. Weaker categories include open space, tree cover and congestion.
Life in Eastwood revolves around the centre of town, where there’s a large shopping centre, a park and a train station on the Northern line. Close to Ryde Hospital and about half an hour by train from the CBD, Eastwood earns good marks for employment, retail, cafes and safety, although congestion can be an issue during peak hour.
It doesn’t have as much riverfront exposure as Breakfast Point and Cabarita, but Concord still has several liveability runs on the board. Home to two golf clubs, St Lukes Park and a clutch of shops along Majors Bay Road (including Fratelli & Co), the suburb gets a tick for open space and for access to cafes. Concord also has a good score for employment, but the traffic is often heavy. The nearest railway station is at Concord West.
This quiet suburb near Jannali has a commendable amount of open space, plenty of tree cover, and top marks for safety. Bangor also benefits from good traffic conditions, with residents able to take the Bangor Bypass to busier Shire suburbs. Low scores are earned for cafes, retail, employment and walkability. There isn’t a train station either.
187. Taren Point
It doesn’t get much better for views of the Georges River than homes on the edges of Taren Point. The suburb scores well for retail and cafes, with more offerings in Caringbah. Caringbah is also where you’ll find the nearest train station, but locals are able to catch buses from Taren Point Public School. The neighbourhood has a low score for employment, with weaker marks for open space.
Few suburbs are as quiet as Westleigh. With perfect scores for traffic conditions and tree cover, and an outstanding mark for open space, the suburb is largely made up of bushland and parks. Westleigh Village has two supermarkets and a few other shops, but there aren’t a large number of cafes, and there’s also limited access to public transport. Access to employment and schools are poor-scoring categories.
189. Dulwich Hill
With two light rail stops and a train station, there’s no denying the convenience of this inner west suburb. There are plenty of cafes along the main road, and Dulwich Hill is also one of Sydney’s top-performing suburbs for education. Locals have good access to employment, too, but the suburb does poorly for open space, tree cover and congestion.
Those living near Leichhardt’s Norton Street are never far from a slice of pizza and a spritz, while Leichhardt Marketplace on Flood Street has supermarkets, clothing stores and more. Despite terrific scores for cafes, retail, employment and schools, Leichhardt is not without its downsides, including crime, traffic and a lack of open space and tree cover.
Collaroy’s glorious coastline has long been impressing beach-lovers across Sydney, but the suburb has a host of other liveability strengths to its name. It has very good scores for safety, access to job hubs and cafes, though it doesn’t perform as well on retail. Collaroy’s lower scores include walkability and congested traffic, which can make your bus trip to the city longer than ideal.
Take the North Shore line from Central and in about half an hour, you’ll find yourself in Killara, a suburb that families flock to for its safety, handsome houses and large blocks. The leafy neighbourhood does not have a vast array of cafes or shops, but a few offerings such as Marian Street Cafe keep the locals happy. Killara counts congestion as one of its weakest categories in this study.
Little is revealed about Loftus if you drive past on the Princes Highway, but a closer inspection reveals it to be one of Sydney’s more liveable locales. It has a Tafe campus, is on a train line to the CBD, is within reach of a number of primary schools, and is rich in greenery. Those who prioritise cafe culture, or access to retail and employment may prefer to look elsewhere.
194. Ramsgate Beach
Hidden behind Kogarah, life in this small suburb is largely about the local beach. The roads are free of traffic, there’s good walkability, and there’s a farmers market nearby at Ramsgate Public School every Saturday. There aren’t many secondary schools in the nearby area though, and you’ll need to travel to Kogarah, Carlton or Rockdale for trains.
To the west of Wolli Creek, Turrella scores points for being positioned on the T8 train line, within easy reach of the CBD. It has a great walkability rating, is well-serviced by buses, and retail offerings are close by. There isn’t much open space in the neighbourhood though, with low marks for access to secondary schools, employment and cafes.
With Newtown and Alexandria as neighbours, this inner-city suburb is in a coveted spot, mere minutes from the city centre by train. Featuring Fleetwood Macchiato and The Imperial, a supermarket and a public school, the suburb performs well for culture, retail, cafes, walkability and employment. The drawbacks include a slightly high crime rate and limited open space or tree cover.
About 30 kilometres south-west of the CBD, Panania residents are known to enjoy a spot of fishing on the Georges River, with a selection of parks and reserves to choose from. With its own train station, Panania is on a direct line to the city circle. The suburb also has commendable scores for safety, access to secondary schools, walkability and traffic. Low-scoring areas include retail, employment and tree cover.
Slightly closer to the city than Panania, Padstow’s most liveable qualities include public transport via the railway line and buses, as well as great walkability, with locals typically enjoying a smooth drive to work too. But the suburb has a range of lower-scoring categories as well, particularly retail.
199. Kyle Bay
Kyle Bay doesn’t boast a large selection of eateries, but those who live on the waterfront at Harness Cask Point probably don’t mind. With sweeping water views, smooth traffic conditions and safe streets, Kyle Bay also has excellent access to primary education. Residents do, however, have limited access to cultural services, retail and employment.
Carlingford occupies a large chunk of Sydney’s north-west on the border of Beecroft, Cheltenham and Epping. Locals can (for not much longer) catch the Carlingford line to Clyde for trains to the CBD, with buses also available from the shopping centre at Carlingford Court. The suburb has an excellent score for safety and access to secondary schools, but earns lower marks for cultural services.
201. Canada Bay
A tiny riverfront sliver of Sydney next to Five Dock, Canada Bay’s liveability strengths include being close to secondary schools, retail, cafes and open space, even doing relatively well on congestion. The neighbourhood could do better on tree cover and access to primary education though, and the suburb has an especially low rating for walkability.
Epping is one of north-western Sydney’s transport hubs, with trains providing easy access to the city. At the same time, the suburb has streets with good tree cover and a low crime rate. Epping also has good scores for walkability and retail, with a mid-range score for cafes, although its ratings begin to slip in categories such as open space and education.
A perfect score for safety helps put Cherrybrook on the liveability front, and while it doesn’t have a train station, there is a new metro stop at the suburb’s south-west end, which will improve its ranking in future studies. It has a moderate score for retail, owed in part to the Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre complex, scoring similarly for cafes. Areas with poorer performances include access to employment, primary education and cultural services.
Lane Cove River and Woodford Bay provide a picturesque outlook from Longueville, a north shore suburb with an exemplary safety score and a good deal of tree cover and open space. Residents can catch buses to St Leonards for trains to the CBD, although they are likely to experience congestion on the roads during peak hour. Walkability, retail and cafes also score relatively low, and there aren’t a large number of schools nearby either.
Home to Macdonaldtown station and Carriageworks arts hub, this tiny pocket near Newtown and Redfern is near the top of the list for cultural services, retail, cafes and trains, with excellent scores for walkability and employment as well. When it comes to crime, tree cover and open space, however, it’s a different story. The roads also have a tendency to become congested.
206. Curl Curl
There’s more to the Curl Curl lifestyle than its famous beach, although that’s certainly a very compelling drawcard. Safety, plenty of open space and good access to local schools all add to the appeal. Residents compromise through poor walkability, limited access to retail hubs and no train services.
207. North Turramurra
Much of this lush upper north shore suburb is made up of national parkland, which explains its perfect scores for tree cover and open space. Little room is left for retail, although there are a host of cafes in the nearby area. Unlike Turramurra, there is no train station in this suburb, which also scores poorly for access to buses and walkability. The neighbourhood is extremely safe though.
With trains, buses and a range of shops accessible via Liverpool Road, Ashfield residents can attest to this suburb’s convenience. That’s where you’ll find shops like Coles and Kmart, as well as Ashfield Public School, Ashfield Boys High School, and a slew of restaurants. Access to employment is another bonus, but crime, tree cover and congestion are among Ashfield’s lower scores.
209. Liberty Grove
Neighbour to Rhodes, Concord West and the Parramatta River, Liberty Grove is within walking distance of Ikea and Rhodes Waterside, adding up to a strong retail score. There are train stations to the north and south of the suburb, with residents able to reach the city in slightly more than half an hour. Liberty Grove performs very well for walkability, employment and primary education, but does poorly for secondary education and for traffic.
A construction hotspot near Gladesville and Macquarie Park, Ryde does well for access to retail, with a host of restaurants and clothing stores within the Top Ryde City Shopping Centre. Good access to employment and secondary education have boosted Ryde’s overall position in the rankings, though it struggles from congestion, poor tree cover and relatively low marks for public transport.
In Henley, water views and quiet residential streets add to the ambiance, while good access to secondary schools and light traffic conditions build on the appeal. A low crime rate and ample open space also serve the suburb well. In exchange, locals compromise on proximity to cultural services, retail, cafes and rail transport.
Stanmore itself has a modest cafe scene, and with neighbours like Marrickville, Leichhardt and Enmore, you’re never far from your next cappuccino. It has a top score for employment, and a train station that allows residents to travel to the CBD in less than 10 minutes. Stanmore Public School contributes to a high score for education, too. Slightly lower marks for crime, as well as a zero-out-of-10 rating for open space, prevent Stanmore from achieving a higher spot on the list.
The north-west of Cromer is dominated by nature reserve and a golf club, earning high scores for open space and tree cover, but a low score for retail. Heavy traffic can be a source of frustration for drivers and those travelling by bus, with no trains nearby. Other low scores include access to education, but the suburb has excellent access to the coast.
Many Sydneysiders will know this western suburb for Westmead Hospital, but the neighbourhood also has some serious liveability assets in terms of its train line position, shops along Hawksebury Road, and outstanding access to employment and primary schools. The suburb is strong on walkability too, but there isn’t much open space to be found, and the roads can often become congested.
215. Mount Colah
It doesn’t get much safer or greener than Mount Colah, which stretches through the Ku Ring Gai area out to Apple Tree Bay. While this might seem like the perfect setup for families, the suburb’s extremely low score for access to education needs to be considered. There are a smattering of cafes near the main road, with a train station on the T1 line.
216. Wolli Creek
The new apartment mecca that is Wolli Creek gets impressive scores in all the areas you would expect. As a key stop on several railway lines, there are regular trains to the CBD, taking slightly more than 10 minutes to reach Central. Cafes, restaurants and grocers are concentrated near the station, with good walkability to amenities. Wolli Creek also does well for access to employment, but doesn’t score very well for congestion, education or tree cover.
If you’ve made the drive from the Sutherland Shire to the city, the odds are high that you’ve passed through Blakehurst, and you may have stopped in at the Imperial Peking restaurant on the way. But most of the suburb is made up of quiet streets away from the highway, towards the Georges River and Oyster Bay. Blakehurst performs well on safety and education, but access to employment could be better. It’s not particularly walkable either.
218. Castle Hill
Great access to secondary education and tree cover are two of Castle Hill’s best attributes. The Hills District neighbourhood can also add proximity to shops and cafes, a low crime rate and good walkability to its list of top qualities, although there could be a touch more open space. Lower scores in some crucial categories, including employment and congestion, pull this suburb further down the list.
Just across from Olympic Park, Newington is a mostly residential suburb with a public school and a cluster of commercial buildings, including grocery stores and cafes. It performs well in categories such as retail, proximity to job hubs, bus services and primary education. It’s a short bus trip to Rhodes, where residents can also switch to a train for a quicker journey to the CBD. Crime and tree cover are some of Newington’s weak spots.
Positioned between Newtown and Chippendale, there’s a lot packed into this small inner west suburb, including parts of the University of Sydney campus, rows of terrace houses, a pub and a few eateries. Its position also means excellent access to Redfern train station. Outstanding results for cultural services, cafes and jobs are contrasted against poor results for crime, open space and traffic.
Palm trees, coastal apartment blocks and, from some streets, views down to Manly Beach. Those are some of the ingredients that make Queenscliff attractive to buyers, with good access to employment and a low crime rate also in the mix. There’s a small cafe scene in the area, but there isn’t much retail or tree cover. For getting to the city, there’s a choice of buses or ferries from Manly Wharf. A zero-out-of-10 rating for congestion is among Queenscliff’s worst scores.
Campbelltown is about an hour south-west of the CBD by train, home to a Western Sydney University campus and a Tafe campus. The colossal Macarthur Square shopping complex earns Campbelltown respectable scores for retail and cafes, and the suburb also does well for access to jobs. Crime is a key reason why Campbelltown does not rank higher, as is a limited amount of open space.
Set one suburb back from the beach, Narraweena claims excellent marks for its proximity to the coast. The suburb earns strong scores for primary education, access to jobs and buses, but keen shoppers should note: the area doesn’t have many retail offerings. That northern beaches location also means there aren’t any train stations nearby.
Across the Parramatta River from Mortlake and Concord West, Putney is a mix of waterfront parks, residential streets with family homes, and a few cafes and restaurants, mainly near the border with Ryde (where you’ll also find the local grocery store). There’s no train station, although it’s only a few minutes’ drive to Meadowbank or Rhodes, while buses pass through on their way to the city. Putney’s score for access to employment is moderately low, but the serious congestion on the roads may present a bigger issue.
225. Dover Heights
Dover Heights finds itself in a particularly pretty spot in Sydney’s east, surrounded by the likes of Vaucluse, Rose Bay and Bondi Beach. And while each of those suburbs have fared better in this year’s liveability rankings, Dover Heights residents should not be perturbed — their neighbourhood boasts terrific scores for its ocean views, being close to beaches, having a low crime rate, and for access to buses. You’ll have to head elsewhere for a variety of cafes, shops and primary schools, and judging by that congestion score, the drive isn’t always pleasant.
226. South Turramurra
Bushwalkers, take note: some fine trails and lookout points await in parkland across the border from this suburb. It may not have as many cafes, shops or the train station that Turramurra enjoys, but plenty of residents are content with the serenity that this pocket affords. South Turramurra’s performance for access to jobs is neither great, nor terrible, but the suburb shines when it comes to the low crime rate, an impressive amount of tree cover, and open space.
One of the lucky upper north shore suburbs to be on a direct train line to the city, there are only a few stops between Pymble and Chatswood, while a trip to Wynyard typically only takes about half an hour. Modernist and art deco are among the architectural styles that impress in Pymble, which has a near-perfect rating for safety. The suburb scores low on the list for access to schools and for traffic, but gains a few points back for its leafy scenery.
This inner west suburb near Summer Hill is increasingly capturing the attention of families, who are honing in on its train line location, cute cottages and handy shopping strip, which includes a budding cafe scene. Lewisham offers good access to job hubs and schools and is highly walkable, but the relatively poor crime rate, tricky traffic and scarcity of open space detract from the overall appeal.
229. Berowra Heights
Seated above Berowra Valley National Park and beside Berowra Creek, about 40 kilometres north-west of the CBD, this suburb is closer to the Central Coast than it is to the heart of the city. Aside from its serene location, which is rich in open space and tree cover, Berowra Heights is also near the top of the list for safety and for excellent traffic conditions. There’s a small shopping village with a few cafes and a Coles, but you’ll generally head to Hornsby for more options. Berowra Heights scores poorly for public transport and access to schools.
230. Hurlstone Park
Nestled between Dulwich Hill and Canterbury, Hurlstone Park is well-connected on the T3 railway line. It does well in a number of liveability categories, including walkability, safety and access to both primary and high schools. Hurlstone Park does not fare as well for its natural attributes, including open space and tree cover, and the roads are known for being congested.
231. North Balgowlah
It’s a short drive on Manly Road to reach the lower north shore from North Balgowlah, although the laid-back suburb feels a world away from the city, with its quiet streets, quaint village shops and classic family homes on level blocks. It’s not far to the beach at Manly either, although you’ll likely have to battle through banked-up traffic as you go, with no train stations in sight. The suburb doesn’t do too well on walkability either, but it is extremely safe and there’s some lovely tree cover.
Hop off the train or bus at Hurstville and you’ll find yourself across from a sprawling Westfield complex and near supermarkets, hospitals and apartment buildings. A busy hub for the St George region, Hurstville performs well for the number of retail stores and cafes nearby, as well as for access to employment. A relatively poor crime rate works against Hurstville’s favour, as does minimal open space.
Between The Tiny Giant cafe, handsome period buildings, and a train station delivering easy access to the city, Petersham residents enjoy short commutes to work, a good selection of coffee shops in the area, and a retail hub that is modest in size but reasonably convenient. Buyers may be happy to overlook poor scores for crime and open space in exchange for good access to schools and excellent walkability.
It provided the setting for the 2007 documentary Bra Boys, but these days Maroubra is more likely to make headlines for its coveted property market and an increasingly family-friendly vibe. Naturally, the suburb gets terrific marks for its picturesque beachside location and, if you live in the eastern end, you might even have views of the ocean from your home. There are plenty of shops and cafes near the beach and along Anzac Parade, and Maroubra is also well-positioned near job hubs, but performs poorly across tree cover and traffic.
Jutting out into the Parramatta River, Drummoyne makes up for not being near any train lines through regular buses and ferries. Given the typically congested roads, you may prefer the latter. Between the Birkenhead Point Brand Outlet and the shops along Lyons Road, the suburb puts in a perfectly respectable performance for retail and cafes, with fairly good access to employment and primary schools too. There isn’t much open space, and Drummoyne could do with better tree cover as well.
236. Harris Park
With a name like Harris Park, you might wonder why its scores for greenery aren’t very high. But if you actually know the suburb, you’d associate Harris Park more with modest shopfronts along Wigram Street, and with the towering buildings of Parramatta decorating your view to the west. Ticks for retail, cafes, walkability, trains and proximity to employment can be compared with lower marks for congestion and the worst possible score for crime.
237. North Bondi
North Bondi occupies a coastal stretch that can go toe-to-toe with its more famous neighbours. Far less busy than Bondi Beach, the suburb is made up of art deco apartment blocks, a small grouping of cafes, shops and restaurants — including Porch & Parlour and The Depot — and some stunning views from Ben Buckler Point. There are public buses, but many choose to drive instead, contributing to heavy traffic conditions. Tree cover, access to secondary schools and crime are not strong points.
238. Gymea Bay
This suburb can’t boast a top-100 position like Gymea — and without the train station and buzzing shopping strip it’s evident why that’s the case — but residents should still feel good about scores for buses, safety, proximity to schools and tree cover. Despite low marks for retail and open space, that bay position certainly has its charm.
You can hop on a train at this south-west suburb and be in the inner city in about half an hour, but that’s far from the only plus in Riverwood. Much of the action is concentrated near the railway station, including restaurants, a Woolworths and a medical centre, with parks, houses and apartment blocks fanning further out from there. Scores for access to employment and for safety are relatively good too. The traffic is far from terrible, but it can become congested at times.
240. Valley Heights
This sliver of a suburb only has a small number of businesses, with the level of leafiness you would expect of the Blue Mountains. The nearest grocery store and a choice of eateries are in the next suburb over at Springwood. Thanks to its train line position, Valley Heights residents can get there easily, but the suburb itself doesn’t score well for retail or cafes. It also gets low marks for access to employment and schools, but saves face with its safety and traffic scores.
241. Five Dock
One of the best-known Italian hubs in Sydney, you can expect fine produce and killer spaghetti at Five Dock, which records strong results for culture, cafes, employment and proximity to primary education. What it lacks in tree cover, Five Dock makes up for in walkability, and it also has a fairly low crime rate, although a low score for congestion shaves a few points off again.
Blink and you might miss Eastgardens, which takes up a tiny portion of Sydney’s east near Maroubra. Bordering on Heffron Park and Bonnie Doon Golf Club, you’re not far from your fix of greenery, although there is little open space in Eastgardens itself. There’s a Westfield to service the retail and cafe needs of those living in the area, with buses available from Bunnerong Road. Eastgardens does well on access to employment, but could be a touch better on crime.
243. Balgowlah Heights
Pretty trails through coastal scrub take up a sizeable chunk of Balgowlah Heights, a suburb surrounded by tranquil waters to the east and south. There are hardly any shops or cafes, and very little in the way of public transport, so there’s an element of seclusion that comes with calling Balgowlah Heights home. It has a commendable safety score and there’s plenty of open space, but families should note that there aren’t many schools nearby, and it’s not particularly walkable.
244. Barden Ridge
One of the more hidden suburbs of the Sutherland Shire, Barden Ridge is tucked beside Woronora River about as far west as that region goes. Residents forgo the retail options and cafes that make some Sydney suburbs so popular, in exchange for an outstanding level of tree cover, good flow on the roads, a low crime rate, and easy access to both primary and secondary education. It does poorly in a few crucial categories, like proximity to jobs, public transport and walkability.
Denistone’s main landmarks include a train station, Ryde Hospital and two parks, with residential streets occupying much of the remaining area. It performs admirably for access to employment, walkability, safety and tree cover. Some may find scores for cultural services, cafes and the level of congestion less than ideal.
246. St Ives Chase
This upper north shore pocket is part national park, part suburban enclave, with little more than a pizza shop and a sporting oval on Warrimoo Avenue. Unsurprisingly, it has perfect scores for tree cover, safety and open space, and its bus service also gets a tick of approval. It’s not all positive though: St Ives Chase gets low scores for culture, employment access and cafes, and lower still for retail and proximity to schools.
This bustling, busy suburb about 40 kilometres south-west of the CBD is well-equipped when it comes to retail, trains and buses, restaurants, parks, and employment, home to Liverpool Hospital, Westfield and Tafe among others. Liverpool is held back by a high crime rate and limited tree cover.
248. Collaroy Plateau
Only a small strip of land separates this neighbourhood from the beach, which is just a few minutes’ drive from Collaroy Plateau Park. There’s a supermarket, a post office and a few other shops, but mostly it’s a quiet affair here. Highlights such as minimal crime and good access to schools combine with lowlights such as limited access to retail hubs and public transport.
There are still plenty of businesses operating out of factories in Rosebery, but you’d just as easily find chic apartments born from warehouse conversions these days, and the transformation of foodie destination The Cannery is a bonafide success story. Those who live in Rosebery have moderately good access to employment and retail, but they’ll have to travel to surrounding suburbs for trains. The suburb also gets a zero out of 10 for open space, and likewise for tree cover.
Riverview’s most famous landmark is surely Saint Ignatious’ College, a prestigious school that helps to put the suburb on the map for families. Aside from its Lane Cove River location, Riverview’s strengths include access to jobs, a low crime rate, and lush tree cover. Weaker areas include access to trains, retail and cafes, and, in terms of quantity, proximity to schools.
251. North Parramatta
Leafier and a touch safer than Parramatta but without the convenience of its own train station, North Parramatta boasts impressive marks for its access to employment and for walkability, with similar scores for schools and open space. A quieter pocket than its neighbour, there are some shops and cafes, but more can be found further south. Congestion is one of the area’s poorest performing categories.
Life moves at a slow pace in Peakhurst, a St George suburb protected from the highway that passes through Beverly Hills, but only a short walk to Riverwood train station from the northern end. Families living in Peakhurst have good access to secondary schools, and enjoy a relatively low crime rate, but less-than ideal access to employment may make the area less attractive. Retail offerings are concentrated to the east of the suburb.
253. Beacon Hill
While Dee Why and Frenchs Forest get plenty of attention, the suburb sitting between them has a number of attributes worthy of praise. Those include stellar access to primary school education, excellent tree cover and a good amount of open space. There aren’t too many cafes nearby but there are enough to earn Beacon Hill a decent mark, with a similar score for access to employment. Unfortunately, Beacon Hill scores poorly for crime and walkability.
Seemingly on the border of everything, this ultra-central suburb hosts the White Rabbit Gallery, Spice Alley, some of the shops along Broadway including Central Park Mall, and has easy access to Central Train Station and the University of Technology. Liveability triumphs include retail, cafes, proximity to trains, jobs and walkability. That convenience comes at a price, however, with scores for open space, tree cover, access to primary education and crime at the lower end of the scale.
255. Allambie Heights
Further south than Frenchs Forest and behind North Manly, Allambie Heights benefits from being reasonably close to Northern Beaches Hospital and beaches by car. About half of the suburb is open space, intersected by Manly Creek, with plenty of tree cover. Residents also enjoy good access to employment, although the crime rate is moderately high. With low scores for walkability, trains, buses and congestion, it’s not the easiest suburb to get around either.
One of the eastern suburbs’ lesser-appreciated gems, Malabar offers a coastal lifestyle at a fraction of the price required in Maroubra and Coogee to the north. Thanks in part to Malabar Headland National Park, the suburb has an outstanding rating for open space, as well as a perfect score for proximity to the beach. It does poorly for access to public transport and walkability, and you’ll have to travel elsewhere to access retail hubs, but you won’t battle as much congestion as some of the more well-known eastern pockets.
257. Willoughby East
There’s little more than a cluster of residential blocks in this small north shore suburb, although you can head to Willoughby Park to find a pre-school, a sports oval and a bowling club. The streets are very safe and residents have good access to schools and employment, putting the area in families’ sights. Sub-par scores for proximity to retail, trains and buses, as well as typically congested roads, are some of the downsides.
258. North Manly
Home to Warringah Golf Club and across from Westfield Warringah Mall, the southern tip of this suburb is within easy walking distance of Manly’s shore. That position earns North Manly stellar scores for proximity to the beach, open space and tree cover, with a respectable score for access to retail as well, despite relatively few shops in the suburb itself. Weak points include moderately high crime, limited access to trains and primary schools, and the lowest possible score for congestion.
About 25 kilometres north-west of the CBD, and about five kilometres north-east of Parramatta, Telopea is currently well-connected when it comes to transport, with a train station on the Carlingford line and easy access to buses. There’s a convenient number of primary and secondary schools nearby, and with fairly good marks for safety and leafiness, there’s certainly a case to be made for Telopea’s liveability. Lower marks for access to employment and open space, and lower still for retail and cafes, also need to be considered.
260. Beverley Park
This St George suburb near Kogarah is predominately made up of suburban streets, with Beverley Park Golf Club and St George Leagues Club also in the mix. Rich in open space but without a significant amount of tree cover, the neighbourhood benefits from being near Carlton train station and from being reasonably close to employment hubs. Scores start to slip lower in categories such as retail, schools and congestion.
This planned garden suburb in the inner west has plenty of culinary and aesthetic appeal, including a walking track beside Parramatta River and UTS Haberfield Club, Robson Park, and a hub of Italian eateries along Ramsay Street. In terms of liveability strengths, Haberfield performs well for proximity to cafes, employment, primary schools and cultural services. The lack of open space and tree cover, along with often-challenging traffic conditions, are also worth noting.
This western Sydney suburb has no shortage of shops within its borders, as well as a Tafe campus and Granville train station providing convenient passage to Central in about half an hour. Granville has commendable scores for being close to cultural services, retail and employment, as well as primary and secondary education. Poor performances were recorded for crime, open space and tree cover.
Once one of the inner west’s grungier pockets, Enmore has rapidly been reinvented in recent decades, and while it isn’t completely pruned and polished, the suburb has become increasingly attractive to families and hipsters alike. A thriving scene along Enmore Road puts in a strong performance for cafes, retail, culture and, thanks to stations in Stanmore and Newtown, is within walking distance of train stations. The suburb also has excellent access to job hubs, but underperforms in categories like crime, open space, leafiness, and congestion.
264. Duffys Forest
As the name suggests, Duffys Forest is one of Sydney’s greener enclaves, surrounded by Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. Although it’s considered part of the northern beaches region, the suburb is about 14 kilometres from the coastline, home to several green spaces and a golf club. Top scores for open space, safety, tree cover, and access to jobs are balanced out by a zero-out-of-10 score for retail and education.
Close to the gateway to the Blue Mountains, this western Sydney hub has a number of major retailers and supermarket chains, some of which are housed inside the Westfield off High Street. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and key amenities towards the centre of the suburb, where a train station provides added convenience. Penrith also performs well for access to employment, but poorly for crime, proximity to schools and open space.
For sporting fans, it’s easy to nip over to Sydney Olympic Park to catch an NRL match at the ANZ Stadium. But there are also plenty of reasons to stay put in Homebush, considering the suburb’s scores for retail, cafes (particularly the strip along Rochester Street), employment and trains. But life in Homebush is not without its downsides, including a high crime rate and poor traffic conditions.
While Alexandria remains a hive of industrial activity for a range of businesses, it’s also blossoming into a spot for cool cafes and high-end furniture showrooms, with the Grounds of Alexandria, Mecca Coffee, Sonoma and Bourke Street Bakery representing some of the foodie destinations. Despite impressive marks for retail, culture, cafes, access to jobs, and trains via Green Square station, Alexandria has its flaws. Those include a high crime rate, difficult traffic, and hardly any tree cover.
Only a few stops away on the train line from Wolli Creek, where there are regular direct trains to the CBD, Kingsgrove has a range of key amenities near Kingsgrove Road, earning a good score for retail, but also has some very sleepy residential streets to the south and north of the M5. The area is near the top of the list for access to schools, has mid-range scores for safety and proximity to employment, and lower marks for open space, tree cover and congestion.
269. Alfords Point
This quiet, largely residential suburb is surrounded on either side by National Park, with access to the Georges River and Mills Creek. There are hardly any shops or cafes nearby, with residents either catching the bus or driving to busier pockets in the region. Alfords Point is extremely safe, but has one of the lowest scores on the list for access to employment and has limited walkability.
With such a high concentration of shops along Burwood Road, including supermarkets, pubs, banks, restaurants and a Westfield, it comes as no surprise that Burwood aces the liveability test for retail. There’s also a train station connecting Burwood to the CBD via the Inner West line. Some of its other top-scoring categories include cafes, employment and walkability, with poor marks for open space, tree cover and traffic.
271. North Rocks
A suburb about 6 kilometres from Parramatta and 28 kilometres from the CBD, there’s an Aldi, Coles, Kmart and a selection of other shops in and around North Rocks Shopping Centre, earning a moderately good rating for retail and cafes. North Rocks also does quite well for open space, but has disappointing scores across a number of critical categories, including employment, crime and education.
Those living in Menai can come home to their family property in a quiet cul de sac without being completely isolated from shops and restaurants, with a stores at Menai Central Shopping Plaza and Menai Marketplace. With no train station in the area and a low score for access to buses, most Menai locals are reliant on cars for transport, and are usually able to enjoy free-flowing traffic. Menai gets low rankings for walkability and education, but does well on tree cover and open space.
273. Elanora Heights
Shielded from view if you’re driving along Pittwater Road but close to Narrabeen and Warriewood beaches, Elanora Heights does a good job of flying under the radar. Home to an IGA, a few shops and a country club, the suburb has little in the way of retail, and has low scores for public transport and access to schools. Nonetheless, it has a moderately good score for safety, ample open space and an impressive amount of tree cover.
274. Winston Hills
Perched above Northmead and slightly south of Baulkham Hills, this green slice of Sydney is about 33 kilometres north-west of the CBD. Its greatest strengths are the safety of its streets, access to primary and high schools, and a good level of tree cover. You’ll have to travel to nearby suburbs for trains to the city, however, and the suburb’s scores for employment access and walkability are both fairly low.
275. Denistone West
Denistone might have the train station, but in the liveability rankings, it’s Denistone West that has the upper hand. The tiny suburb is almost entirely residential, with a small park at the southern end. That means it’s not a go-to destination for cafe lovers or shoppers, but with a high safety ranking and good access to secondary education, there are clearly pluses to being a local. Conversely, the suburb scores poorly for walkability and employment.
Sitting in Westmead and Parramatta’s shadow, Wentworthville is close to the action in western Sydney while also offering quiet suburban pockets away from the main road. The local shopping village is close to the train station and includes supermarkets, banks, and restaurants. Wentworthville has a good walkability score and access to primary schools, but does poorly for culture and open space, and only puts in mid-range scores for access to jobs and safety.
277. North Ryde
A large suburb that stretches from Denistone East to Chatswood West, this neighbourhood is about 15 kilometres north-west of the CBD, with North Ryde Golf Club and Macquarie Hospital as its two most significant landmarks. While it may not have a bustling retail hub, there are enough cafes nearby to keep locals humming along. Although there are train lines to the east and west of the suburb, you’ll have to drive to reach them. Strengths such as access to employment and open space should be weighed up against poor scores for crime and traffic.
About equidistant from Strathfield and Bankstown, Berala has done well to earn a spot in the top half of the liveability rankings. It is only relatively small in size, but thanks in part to a train station, convenient walkability and a good amount of open space, it has a number of factors working in its favour, including decent access to job hubs. It doesn’t have a busy cafe scene, nor top access to schools or cultural services.
279. Concord West
Between its train line position and its proximity to Concord’s shopping village, this inner west neighbourhood is in a good spot. It offers access to a key employer in the Concord Hospital, and has a stellar score for access to employment. There are also a handful of shops along the main road, although there are more cafes in neighbouring suburbs. Concord West earns a low score for access to secondary schools, and traffic tends to become congested during peak hour.
A major hub in Sydney’s west with a multicultural population, Bankstown has good marks for retail and cultural services, with a range of stores inside the Bankstown Central complex and plenty more along surrounding streets. A Tafe campus, a train station and access to primary and secondary schools earn liveability ticks for the suburb, although the lack of trees and open space drag down its overall ranking. Arguably of greater concern is the poor score for crime.
281. Kogarah Bay
With the Princes Highway forming one border and the bay forming another, the pace of life in this suburb depends on which corner you call home. While congestion is not a major concern for Kogarah Bay, the traffic along the highway can become heavy. Kogarah Bay does moderately well for walkability and open space, but access to cafes and employment could be better, and the scores for tree cover and proximity to retail are extremely low.
Less glamorous than suburbs closer to the coast, but with easy access to the city and airport, Kingsford is an underdog of the east. There are restaurants, supermarkets and furniture stores — including antique and vintage store The Design Ark — near Anzac Parade, although the suburb only earns a mid-range score for retail, performing better in the cafes category. Kingsford scores low for access to trains, and top scores for proximity to schools and employment must be contrasted against moderately weak scores for crime, open space and tree cover.
283. Mount Druitt
Mount Druitt has the lowest possible score for safety, but despite this, there are a number of liveability strengths here. Buses regularly service the suburb, and you can hop on a train to the city, although the trip will usually take about 50 minutes. The area also scores well for traffic conditions, open space and walkability. Proximity to employment earns a mid-range score.
It’s one of only a few Sydney suburbs to earn a zero-out-of-10 score for open space, and there isn’t much tree cover either, but Allawah hits its stride in categories such as safety, walkability and access to employment. Allawah is also on a direct train line to Central Station, although travelling back to Hurstville will allow locals to catch a very handy express service. That’s just as well, given that Allawah is a small suburb with relatively limited retail and cafe offerings of its own.
285. Beverly Hills
Not too far behind its neighbour Kingsgrove, Beverly Hills is another suburb blessed by train line convenience, and which also gets a fairly good score for buses, safety and access to secondary education. The St George suburb also offers its residents reasonably good access to employment hubs, but is not as strong on retail as nearby Hurstville, and often suffers from congested traffic. Worse still is the suburb’s score for tree cover.
286. South Coogee
Even from the western edge of South Coogee, it’s only a short walk to the cliff’s edge for ocean views, or to Coogee Beach for a dip in the sea. Despite lack of trains, heavy traffic and only a small amount of tree cover, many South Coogee locals would swear it’s worth it for the location, particularly given the suburb’s good ratings for access to employment and buses. There aren’t a huge number of cafes in the area — although The Lion and Buffalo serves up a good brew — and there’s less retail, with the nearest hub at Bondi Junction about 6.5 kilometres north.
287. Wheeler Heights
If you didn’t know better, you might think from walking around Wheeler Heights that you weren’t in Sydney at all. There’s a tiny shopping village towards the south end, and a lovely walking track that snakes past South Creek, but the suburb is otherwise a sleepy residential affair. While residents will have to go without many retail options or good walkability, and access to buses could be better, Wheeler Heights puts in top performances for being near the beach (at Collaroy), for safety and for being near schools.
288. East Killara
Poised near the base of Garigal National Park, East Killara can proudly boast 10-out-of-10 scores for open space and safety, with a similar rating for tree cover. It doesn’t have claim to a train station, but depending on where you live in the suburb, Killara station is an easy walk. Coffee devotees may be less enthusiastic about the lack of cafes nearby, and poor scores for traffic conditions, retail and proximity to primary schools are also likely to be a sticking point for some.
289. Peakhurst Heights
With Hurstville Golf Course and Gannon Park on either side, Peakhurst Heights residents have easy access to plenty of green, open space, with the suburb also performing well for the amount of tree cover. Residents can get to Hurstville shopping hub and Mortdale train station by bus or car, usually with a smooth run on the roads. Peakhurst Heights also scores moderately well for safety, but those marks start to slip for retail and access to employment. Walkability is one of the area’s lowest scores.
290. Chatswood West
Chatswood is one of Sydney’s commercial hotspots, yet Chatswood West is anything but. Parks, a golf club and national parkland form key parts of the surrounds, and the suburb performs impressively on tree cover and open space, as well as for access to public buses. With no train station or retail area of its own, that proximity to Chatswood certainly comes in handy. Significant weak spots include a poor score for crime and heavy traffic.
291. Little Bay
This suburb south of Malabar and Maroubra has a wealth of open space, with access to multiple golf clubs and swathes of coastal scrub near the picturesque beach. There’s a small selection of cafes and restaurants, mainly on either side of Pine Avenue, where there is a FoodWorks for grocery runs. There is hardly any retail in the suburb though, and similarly, residents don’t have great access to trains or buses. The neighbourhood’s safety score is slightly on the lower end of the scale.
292. Phillip Bay
Next door, Phillip Bay reflects similar highs and lows to Little Bay. Access to public transport is, for instance, one of the major difficulties of calling Phillip Bay home, but being home to Yarra Bay Beach earns a big tick. There is ample tree cover and a modest selection of cafes between Phillip Bay and La Perouse, but the suburb does very poorly on retail, and has a similar score for access to cultural services.
Next to Westmead Hospital, Northmead just misses out on the convenience of its own train station, with the nearest at Wentworthville over its southern border. With a number of primary and secondary schools in the area, the neighbourhood puts in an excellent performance for access to education. It also does well for cafes, access to employment and, thanks to several local reserves, open space and tree cover. Less impressive scores are in the congestion, crime and culture categories.
Forming the link between Kensington and Waterloo, this inner-city pocket has Green Square train station just beyond its border and, in terms of its liveability scores, is somewhat a suburb of extremes. Outstanding marks for access to cultural services, retail, employment, transport and walkability only go so far to counteract very poor marks for crime, access to education, open space and tree cover. The roads are usually highly congested during peak hour too.
There are certain perks of living near the entrance to the Blue Mountains in a suburb like Winmalee. You’ll have to accept somewhat limited access to cultural services, retail and cafe hubs, even if that just means travelling to Penrith to the south-east. But the location also means you’re free from the congestion woes facing much of Sydney’s inner city, with an abundance of open space on your doorstep, and a very low crime rate.
It may not have Canada Bay’s riverfront position, or the array of celebrated Italian restaurants in Haberfield, but Croydon boasts an edge that neither of these neighbours have. Through its train line position, commuters can travel directly to the CBD in about 20 minutes. There are plenty of schools nearby, decent access to cafes and retail, and Croydon also performs well for safety. But the suburb is not without its downsides, which include less-than-stellar access to cultural services, a small amount of open space, and even less tree cover. A high degree of congestion is also worth considering.
Much of leafy Lugarno is surrounded by Georges River, and it’s a peaceful life for those who have homes facing the water. Families looking to buy in a quiet, middle ring Sydney suburb may be drawn here for the excellent access to primary schools, open space, lack of congestion and generally safe streets. Despite the local IGA and a few restaurants, there are few shops or eateries. Other low-scoring areas include proximity to secondary education, walkability and access to job hubs.
In terms of access to the CBD, and to Ikea in Tempe for that matter, Sydenham gets a firm nod of approval. No matter where you live in this small suburb, it’s a reasonable walk to the train station, where you can travel on a direct line to Central in about 10 minutes, a recipe for great access to jobs. Buses also service Sydenham, which is close to a wide range of cool bars, restaurants and cafes in Marrickville. Unfortunately, with one of the worst scores in the city for airport noise, those planes might feel awfully low to the ground if you live in the neighbourhood. Extremely congested traffic is another hurdle, as is crime.
A drive through the back streets of Bexley will reveal pockets lined with family homes, away from the ever-busy Forest Road that cuts through the suburb. That area is where you’ll find a few shops, including Bexley RSL, chain restaurants and the local public school. The nearest train stations are at Bexley North, Kogarah and Rockdale, depending on which part of Bexley you live in. You can expect safe streets and moderate access to retail and jobs, but limited access to primary schools and tree cover.
Not quite as far from the CBD as Richmond but on the same train line, Windsor scores very well for walkability, and for being near employment, cultural services, retail options and cafes. Windsor also boasts impressive marks for its free-flowing traffic, although the same cannot be said for the crime rate, or for open space, despite being so far from the centre of the city.
301. East Hills
Seven stops from Campbelltown and about half an hour by train from Central, East Hills has the Georges River on its western border and parkland to its north, along with several green patches in the actual suburb. That makes for a relatively good score for open space, with a low crime rate and plenty of schools providing other key strengths. Unfortunately even with good access to rail transport, East Hills does very poorly for access to employment. In this pocket-sized suburb, there’s little retail and few cafes.
There’s plenty of convenient aspects to life in Tempe, although being situated next to the airport also means familiarising yourself with airplane noise. Despite its maze-like quality, Ikea is a major draw for many Sydneysiders on the hunt for affordable Swedish furnishings, and its presence no doubt contributes towards Tempe’s terrific score for retail. Being on the train line is another benefit, but the suburb’s high crime rate, lack of tree cover and heavy traffic are concerns.
Close to Bankstown and about 16 kilometres south-west of the CBD, Lakemba’s overall liveability score is boosted by being on the Liverpool train line, as well as for access to public buses, and a shopping strip along Haldon Street that has the essentials. There aren’t as many cafes in Lakemba as some may like, but with fairly good marks for employment and safety, the neighbourhood has its benefits. There is, however, a distinct lack of open space and virtually no tree cover.
A unique slice of southern Sydney near the humming streets and shore of Cronulla, there’s more parkland in Kurnell than there is residential space. The suburb stretches into Botany Bay and looks out onto the water to its north, east and south, laying claim to Kamay Botany Bay National Park, Towra Point, and Boat Harbour Park. Aside from Kurnell Village Store and a few cafes, it’s a quiet lifestyle in Kurnell, with low scores for retail, jobs and schools. But locals can enjoy relatively safe streets.
305. Pendle Hill
A quick drive or train trip from Parramatta or Westmead, Pendle Hill residents benefit from excellent rail and bus access, as well as a retail hub on either side of Wentworth Avenue that has the essentials. While the scores for education and jobs are only mid-range, Pendle Hill is in a better position when it comes to walkability and traffic conditions, although it performs poorly for open space and tree cover.
Life in Auburn revolves around the shopping village near Queen and Rawson streets, including a train station that forms part of the Leppington and Western lines. That makes it possible to get to the CBD in about half an hour or Parramatta in about 10 minutes, with the suburb also boasting good access to buses, retail (including several supermarkets) and employment. Auburn is highly walkable, but gets less-than-stellar scores for crime, secondary education, open space and tree cover.
Between furniture warehouses, electrical stores and smash repairs, there’s an industrial heart to Silverwater, with a wide variety of businesses operating on either side of Silverwater Road. There are also some quieter residential streets, along with a few cafes and Silverwater correctional complex. Silverwater’s top-scoring categories include retail, buses and access to employment, but its performance starts to slip when we consider the crime rate, limited access to schools and a small amount of open space.
308. Melrose Park
Across from the Parramatta River near Ryde, this north-western suburb is a mixed bag when it comes to liveability traits. There’s no bustling cafe scene to speak of, highly congested roads and poor walkability, although residents fare slightly better on access to employment and retail. The small suburb does best in categories such as safety and being close to primary education, with Melrose Park Public School positioned near the water.
If liveability hinged on water views alone, Burraneer would be riding high on this list, with Port Hacking on one side and Burraneer Bay on the other and plenty of tree cover throughout. Residents have decent access to employment, with a train station nearby in Cronulla, which is also where you’ll find most cafes in the area. Burraneer could have a better crime rate, but its weakest scores are for access to schools and walkability.
Just a few stops on the train line from Bankstown to the west and Marrickville to the east, Campsie ticks a number of important liveability boxes, including good walkability and excellent access to public transport, primary schooling, employment and retail. There’s a busy shopping strip near Beamish Street that includes supermarkets, some cafes, restaurants, banks and Campsie RSL. Some of its lower scores are for proximity to cultural services, secondary schooling, and in particular, open space and tree cover.
311. Macquarie Fields
About halfway between Liverpool and Campbelltown and with train access to each, Macquarie Fields is packed with sports ovals, parks and reserves, resulting in great marks of open space and tree cover. It also has a commendable score for the lack of congestion, access to education and buses. But an extremely poor result for crime, and a similar ranking for access to cultural services, are also part of the Macquarie Fields’ ranking.
With a handy position on the T8 train line about six stops from Wolli Creek, Narwee is one of Sydney’s best-ranking suburbs for access to primary education, and also has a respectable score for secondary education. It’s easy to walk to and from key amenities, most of which are near the station along Broadarrow Road, and include a moderate selection of cafes. Narwee is also fairly safe, but poor scores for tree cover, congestion and open space help to explain why it doesn’t rank higher.
Home to Fairfield Hospital, Fairfield Golf Course and Fairfield Showground, as well as a major hub in Stockland Wetherill Park Shopping Centre, Prairiewood does well across retail, cafes and open space. It also has an excellent score for secondary education, although there aren’t many primary schools nearby. Prairiewood is a safe suburb with generally smooth traffic conditions, but it is not without flaws, which include spotty tree cover and poor access to public transport.
If there’s one thing that’s true of Fairfield, it’s that there’s plenty going on. The heart of the suburb is densely populated with stores, restaurants, some cafes and a range of essentials, with Fairfield Chase Shopping Centre and Neeta City Shopping Centre hosting some of these. The neighbourhood near Cabramatta shines in categories like retail, rail transport, access to job hubs and both primary and secondary schooling. It is less impressive on crime and buses.
315. St Peters
With an inner-south position, a convenient commute by train to the CBD, and neighbours in Erskineville, Marrickville and Enmore, St Peters has plenty of pull — if you don’t mind being directly underneath the flight path. The suburb scores very well for access to cultural services, retail and cafes, including a cool brewery in Willie the Boatman, with a little hub of shops and cafes. About half the suburb is industrial, with a few residential streets also in the mix. Locals also have top access to employment, but the crime rate, lack of open space and trees, and heavy traffic conditions present significant issues.
316. Tennyson Point
This waterfront suburb across the river from Mortlake certainly has a pretty position, although getting to and from Tennyson Point is no picnic. The area has poor scores for access to trains and buses, and the worst possible rating for congestion. While Tennyson Point is supremely safe, has good walkability, and is close to Gladesville’s retail hub, it doesn’t have many primary or secondary schooling options. Despite being close to Morrison Bay Park, there isn’t much open space either.
317. Sans Souci
This St George pocket near the gateway to the Shire has a smattering of cafes near the water, as well as some shops lining the busy stretch along Rocky Point Road. It scores well for primary schools, but poorly for access to secondary education, presenting a mixed bag for families. It also puts in a strong performance for being near the beach in Dolls Point, but is weak on public transport and tree cover.
Dural is known for grand homes on large acreages, bushland scenery and eateries like Wild Pear Cafe, and since the opening of the Metro North West, there are plenty of reasons why Sydneysiders might be lured to the suburb. It is rich in open space and tree cover, but with low marks across categories such as walkability and education, and only a mid-range score for proximity to employment, living in Dural has its hurdles.
319. Kangaroo Point
There are only a handful of quiet residential streets in Kangaroo Point, a Sutherland Shire suburb that extends out into the Georges River. A quiet neighbourhood, it has low scores for access to primary and secondary schooling, open space and for buses and trains. It also gets a low score for access to employment, but in exchange, locals enjoy a good amount of tree cover, free-flowing traffic, and moderately good marks for safety.
A hub known for its fantastic Vietnamese food and diversity, Cabramatta gets a big tick for being on the train line — about five minutes from Liverpool and about 50 minutes from Central Station — and for having excellent access to both employment and secondary education. It also does well on walkability, and has fairly good marks for cafes, traffic conditions and retail. Among Cabramatta’s worst-performing categories are tree cover, open space and crime.
Located on the train line that passes through the Blue Mountains, and about an 8 kilometre drive south-west of Penrith, Lapstone earns outstanding scores for open space and tree cover, with a number of parks within its borders and on the doorstep of mountain trails. It’s also very safe and has very little traffic, but gets low scores for retail, cafes, education and employment.
322. Grays Point
Extremely lush and quiet, this Shire suburb shares a border with the Royal National Park, Gymea Bay and the Port Hacking River. It has lots of tree cover and open space and not much traffic. But living in such a sleepy suburb also means limited access to several key amenities in this case, including cultural services, employment and education. Grays Point has particularly poor scores for walkability and retail.
323. Regents Park
One of the last stops on the Lidcombe train line, it’s a short commute to Central from Regents Park, with a trip typically taking about half an hour. That element of convenience, plus good access to buses and education — particularly secondary schooling — are highlights of this suburb’s overall liveability. It does reasonably well for walkability and access to retail too, but not as well on cafes, employment and crime. Regents Park does particularly poorly on tree cover and open space.
Situated on the river near Parramatta and the University of Western Sydney, Rydalmere has earned seriously good scores for being on the T6 train line and for the retail hub near Victoria Road, with more across the border in Ermington. It also gets impressive marks for cafes and walkability, and does moderately well on tree cover as well. Rydalmere’s weaker points include crime, lack of open space, congestion and secondary education.
325. Hawkesbury Heights
This tiny slice of the Blue Mountains region has a mix of outstanding and very low scores thanks to its isolated location. Its most impressive marks are for safety, open space, tree cover and traffic conditions, with a reasonably good score for access to cafes. But Hawkesbury Heights residents are largely dependent on their cars for travel, given poor scores for proximity to buses and trains. Other issues include poor access to primary and secondary education.
326. Baulkham Hills
This Hills District suburb gets a top rating for lack of crime, as well as tree cover, access to cultural services, and proximity to secondary education, although it scores very poorly for primary education. The neighbourhood also does reasonably well for retail and cafes, with a Stockland shopping centre and a host of other stores located near Windsor Road. Some of the poor performing categories for Baulkham Hills include access to buses and access to employment.
327. Wiley Park
Two stops away from Bankstown, Wiley Park has a handy spot on the T3 train line and also scores very well for access to buses. Further, the suburb gets impressive marks for access to education, particularly primary schools. There aren’t a huge number of retail offerings in Wiley Park, although there are several shops near the station. The area has a relatively low score for cafes, but its weakest marks are for open space, tree cover and congestion.
Forming a core part of the Macarthur region is Camden, a suburb with a mix of agricultural, commercial and residential pockets. There’s a busy retail hub on tree-lined Argyle Street, including a Woolworths, cafes, banks and restaurants. It has good scores for safety, primary education, open space and lack of congestion, but poor scores for public transport and secondary education.
329. Mays Hill
It’s within walking distance of Westfield Parramatta and Parramatta High School, but Mays Hill itself only has a small number of streets dotted with houses and a park at its south-west border. Although you’ll have to travel to bigger suburbs nearby for retail hubs, Mays Hill locals can enjoy good traffic conditions, good access to open space, and reasonable access to primary and secondary education. Scores for crime and cafes, buses and tree cover are, however, on the lower end of the scale.
Located on the South Coast train line, it’s only one stop from Arncliffe to Wolli Creek for express services to the CBD. Despite its position close to the airport, Arncliffe fares far better for airport noise than nearby Tempe, and can also add an excellent walkability score and good access to employment to the list of benefits. Arncliffe’s scores are less than ideal for cafes and crime, but its lowest marks are for congestion, open space and access to secondary schools.
331. Chester Hill
Between Sefton High School, Chester Hill Public School and Chester Hill High School, it’s little wonder this western suburb gets near-perfect scores for access to primary and secondary education. Another strong area for Chester Hill is transport via trains on the Liverpool line, with a station on Chester Hill Road near the local shops. That retail strip earns the neighbourhood a good score for retail, but only a mid-range score for cafes. Chester Hill’s overall ranking is pulled down by access to open space and tree cover, and it could be safer too.
332. South Penrith
Like Chester Hill, one of South Penrith’s biggest strengths is the access to education it offers residents at both primary and secondary levels. It also has an outstanding rating for lack of congestion, and although the nearest train station is in neighbouring Penrith, the suburb is well serviced by buses. A large portion of the neighbourhood is occupied by Jamison Park, translating into a fairly strong score for open space, and there are also plenty of retail offerings at Southlands Shopping Centre South Penrith. More problematic results are in categories such as access to employment and tree cover, with a particularly low score for crime.
This neighbourhood is just south of Liverpool, but there’s plenty of action in Casula itself. Casula Mall hosts a variety of big-name chain stores across homewares, groceries and hospitality, while the Crossroads Homemaker Centre hosts a number of electronic and furniture stores. That helps to explain Casula’s high marks for retail and reasonably good score for cafes, and there’s also a train station on the suburb’s eastern border. The area doesn’t do well on access to jobs or cultural services, and has very low scores for crime and proximity to primary schools.
Often overshadowed by its neighbour Campbelltown, Leumeah has a fairly even distribution of liveability strengths and weaknesses. The roads are generally free from congestion, there’s a train station near Old Leumeah Road, as well as a decent amount of parks and reserves in the area. Leumeah also does reasonably well for buses and education, particular secondary schools, but is weaker on retail, walkability and access to jobs. Its poorest ranking is crime.
Sandringham is a small suburb that includes a strip of waterfront properties overlooking the Georges River and has excellent access to the beach at Dolls Point. The northern stretch of Sandringham includes Cook Park, earning good marks for open space, although the neighbourhood does poorly for tree cover. Other low-scoring categories include access to education, walkability and, to a lesser extent, proximity to jobs. In exchange, Sandringham residents enjoy a neighbourhood that is largely safe, has good access to cafes, and faces very little congestion.
Close to the north-western edge of Sydney, Richmond is far enough from the inner city that it enjoys free flowing traffic, though not close enough to national parkland to claim a strong score for open space. Liveability strengths such as a train station, good access to jobs and a decent selection of cafes near Windsor Street need to be compared with mid-range scores for retail and walkability, plus poor scores for crime and primary education.
337. Werrington County
About six kilometres east of Penrith, Werrington County is mostly residential, although there’s a shopping village on Dunheved Road that includes an IGA and a handful of other shops. It also has a public primary school, although families will need to look in nearby suburbs for secondary schools. The nearest train station is in Werrington, about a 2 kilometre drive south-east. Employment and crime are very weak areas for Werrington County.
338. St Marys
St Marys spans across a large patch of Sydney’s west, with a golf course, a train station, a number of public parks and a bustling stretch along Queen Street that earns good marks for retail and decent marks for cafes. It also does well for access to secondary education. At the other end of the scale, access to primary schools and employment isn’t great, and St Marys also scores very poorly for crime.
There’s only one stop on the train line separating Campbelltown from Minto, a suburb which can boast excellent access to primary and secondary education, as well as a limited amount of congestion on the roads. It also has a fairly good score for retail and cafes, with a shopping hub that includes supermarkets, chain restaurants and a Kmart. Minto’s score for crime is slightly low, with similar marks for walkability and tree cover.
Travel about 5 kilometres west of Liverpool and you’ll hit Miller, a suburb with a public primary school, several supermarkets and shops at Miller Central, and rows of streets lined with houses. Miller puts in good performances for open space, traffic, retail and access to education — particularly secondary schools — but its scores for crime, cultural services and cafes are low.
341. Sylvania Waters
Made up of several artificial islands at the northern edge of the Shire, Sylvania Waters is known for being a haven of deep-waterfront properties. There aren’t many shops in the suburb itself, but Southgate Shopping Centre is within easy reach in Sylvania to the north, ditto Westfield Miranda to the south. It’s usually a relatively smooth run on the roads, which is handy given there’s no train station in Sylvania Waters, and the neighbourhood gets a low score for buses too. Other poor-performing categories include open space, access to primary schools and tree cover.
Aside from the joy of being within walking distance of Black Star Pastry and Gelato Messina in Rosebery, there are a number of attractive aspects to living in Beaconsfield, a suburb that also counts Alexandria as a neighbour. The small neighbourhood has terrific scores for access to retail, cafes and employment, and is close to Green Square train station to the north. It performs very poorly on safety and congestion, however, and there isn’t a great deal of tree cover or open space. Parents will also note the low score for access to education.
343. Breakfast Point
It may have the lowest possible score for tree cover, with access to buses and education not faring much better, but there’s certainly a lure to living by the Parramatta River in Breakfast Point. Most cafes and retail spaces are outside the suburb itself, in Concord, but Breakfast Point still does well in those categories, as well as for the safety of its streets. Residents will have to drive to Concord West for trains, however, often facing fairly congested roads in the process.
344. Greenhills Beach
Dominated by new housing, Greenhills Beach is home to Cronulla High School and lies next to Cronulla State Park, a combination that makes for positive scores in categories such as tree cover, open space, proximity to the beach and access to secondary education. The suburb has a good score for its traffic conditions too, but lags behind on access to buses, primary schools, and on walkability. There is very little retail in Greenhills Beach too, although Cronulla’s village is a short drive away.
345. Cambridge Park
Located near the heart of Western Sydney, Cambridge Park only has a small shopping strip along Oxford Street, where you can catch a bus to the retail hub in nearby Penrith. Parents will find good access to education in this suburb, courtesy of the local primary school and high school, and the roads are usually not congested, but Cambridge Park’s poor performance on crime may serve as a deterrent for some. The neighbourhood’s score for access to employment is also slightly low.
Belmore can count excellent access to education — especially primary schools — as one of its best liveability attributes, along with a train station at the suburb’s centre, meaning residents can get to the CBD in about 25 minutes. Thanks to the string of shops on Burwood Road, Belmore does relatively well on retail, although its score for cafes is only mid-range. Slightly weaker areas include crime and congestion, with open space and tree cover representing two of Belmore’s worst categories.
About a six kilometre drive south-east of Liverpool, Hammondville makes plenty of room for open space, laying claim to nature reserves, ovals and parks. Residential streets and schools help to make up the rest of the neighbourhood, which has strong marks for education and congestion, but is fairly weak across retail and cafes. Lower still are Hammondville’s scores for employment and, in particular, crime. There are no trains in Hammondville, although you can drive to the next suburb south to reach Holsworthy station.
348. North St Marys
Aside from its stellar scores for congestion and access to secondary education, most of North St Marys’ performances across the liveability categories are either moderately good or moderately poor. Some of its better areas include being close to cultural services, retail (particularly in neighbouring St Marys, where there’s also a train station), open space and tree cover, with a nature reserve to the suburb’s east. Weak spots include buses and a very low score for crime.
Between the train station and Westpoint Shopping Centre, Blacktown scores well for retail and rail transport, and also has good access to primary and secondary schools. The western neighbourhood, which is six stops from Parramatta train station, also gets a nod for good walkability. Tree cover and access to jobs are lower-scoring areas, but Blacktown’s worst marks are reserved for the crime rate and the lack of open space.
350. Canley Vale
Cabramatta’s northern neighbour earns impressive marks for its train-line position (about 45 minutes from Central) and for having excellent access to secondary education, although the same cannot be said for its primary education score. Most of Canley Vale’s liveability performances are either mid-range or slightly below, with moderate scores for cafes, buses and walkability, and weaker scores for retail, crime, and cultural services.
351. North Wahroonga
Quite a way below Wahroonga (at number 161) in the liveability rankings, North Wahroonga is an almost entirely residential suburb with large portions taken up by national parkland. Naturally, that makes for top scores in the tree cover and open space categories, but also means the suburb doesn’t score highly for cafes, culture, schools or retail. It also doesn’t benefit from being on the train line, and scores poorly for access to buses and walkability. On the plus side, it’s a very safe area to raise a family.
Slightly north-west of Bankstown, Sefton has one of the top rankings in Sydney for education, with a perfect score for access to secondary schools and a similar result for primary schools. Aside from good walkability, however, Sefton has more low-scoring categories than high-scoring categories. Access to jobs, cafes and open space are less than ideal, and the crime rate could be lower, but Sefton’s marks for tree cover are especially poor.
A similar distance from Bankstown and Strathfield, Birrong is a small suburb with a nature reserve along its western border and a handful of primary and secondary schools nearby, earning a near-perfect score for overall education and good marks for open space (though not for tree cover). It is also positioned on the T3 train line. Residents have reasonably good access to buses as well, but will need to travel further south or north-east for retail, cafe and job hubs.
354. Merrylands West
Merrylands West is about a 6 kilometre drive south-west of Parramatta, which is the nearest hub of cafes, shops and jobs, although there is an IGA and a handful of stores near Merrylands and Sherwood roads. Although it has good results for access to secondary schooling and walkability, it doesn’t have great access to employment or tree cover, and its score for crime is quite poor.
This western Sydney suburb has a large retail area at its centre that includes supermarkets, restaurants, cafes and a train station. It has a solid score for access to primary schools, although its score for secondary school is a weak spot, along with open space. Locals can expect fairly smooth traffic conditions but will have to sacrifice leafy streetscapes, with the suburb performing poorly on tree cover.
356. Bardwell Valley
Bardwell Valley is made up of residential streets and a golf club that flows into Bardwell Park. While not on a train line, stations at Turrella, Arncliffe and Bardwell Park are close by. Despite an outstanding score for safety, the suburb puts in fairly low scores for retail, cafes, education and congestion. Walkability is a notable weak spot.
With a range of shops on either side of Merrylands Road, retail is one of Merrylands’ top-scoring categories, a suburb that is just two stops on the train from Parramatta. With strong marks for public transport and walkability, Merrylands has a reasonably good score for traffic conditions, although access to employment only gets a pass mark. Lower scoring categories include education, open space and culture. It does poorly for tree cover and crime.
358. Yowie Bay
This picturesque enclave in the Sutherland Shire is almost entirely surrounded by the Port Hacking River, and is only a short drive from the beach at Cronulla. Yowie Bay has fairly weak scores for retail and cafes, although Westfield Miranda is only about two kilometres to the north, where you can hop on a train to the city. Despite a strength in primary education, Yowie Bay performs relatively poorly for access to employment and quite poorly for crime, open space and walkability.
359. Dundas Valley
Approximately seven kilometres north-east of Parramatta and north-west of Ryde, Dundas Valley is well-connected by buses and is close to train stations at Carlingford and Telopea. There aren’t many shops in the neighbourhood, but Dundas Valley performs well on primary education, tree cover and safety. If your liveability priorities include being close to cafes and employment, Dundas Valley may not be for you.
Known for its grand old homes, Strathfield scores liveability points for being on a train line, for having plenty of secondary schools in the area, and the busy cafe and restaurant strip near Strathfield Plaza. Slightly weaker areas are cultural services, tree cover and crime, with congestion and limited open space scoring particularly poorly.
Near the end of the Parramatta River, most the the activity in Ermington can be found close to Victoria Road, including a Woolworths and several restaurants, making for a good retail score. The suburb performs well for having primary and secondary schools in the area, and for walkability. Public transport, employment and open space are not as easily accessed, however, and the traffic can be heavy.
This inner west pocket looks out over Parramatta River to the west, north and east, with a small selection of eateries on Great North Road. The suburb doesn’t have a large selection of retail offerings, and gets low marks for access to trains, although it is serviced by buses and ferries. Good ratings for safety and primary schools need to be weighed up against low ratings for access to employment, secondary schools, open space and traffic.
Chifley locals might not live in a beachside suburb, but with Malabar and Little Bay so close, their suburb still scores well for proximity to the coast. With no train station nearby, residents rely on buses and cars for transport, although they often face congested roads en route. A selection of green pockets and schools earn Chifley commendable marks for open space and education, but it has weaker marks for crime, retail, walkability and cafes.
More than 25 kilometres west of Parramatta, Emerton residents have access to a busy retail hub near its western border. There’s no train station, but the suburb does well on access to buses and for walkability. Emerton also has good marks for access to schools, traffic conditions and open space, but its zero-out-of-10 rating for crime is a notable liveability flaw.
Being about 3 kilometres south of Westfield Parramatta and the train station comes in handy for Holroyd residents, occupying a small neighbourhood that benefits from good scores for retail, cultural services and rail transport. Holroyd Garden and Holroyd sportsground take up significant portions of the suburb, so its stellar score for open space is no surprise. Weaker scores for access to job hubs, tree cover and buses combine with a poor rating for safety.
Eastlakes scores points for being close to the beach at South Coogee. A large golf club is the suburb’s main landmark, as well as Eastlakes Shopping Centre, which makes for a good retail score. Like many of its fellow eastern suburbs, Eastlakes does not have a train station, although it performs well for access to buses. Top marks for access to employment is contrasted against mid-range scores for crime and education, and very low scores for congestion and open space.
367. Mount Riverview
Being located in the Lower Blue Mountains area means that Mount Riverview gets a perfect score for its abundance of open space and tree cover, with excellent traffic conditions adding to the serenity. That seclusion also has its downsides, with poor access to cultural services, retail, cafes and jobs. Mount Riverview nevertheless performs fairly well for safety and primary education, though not for secondary education.
This western suburb may not be riding high in the liveability rankings, but with a train station, hospital, a Western Sydney University campus and a Tafe campus, there are convenient elements to living in Kingswood. Its scores for retail and cafes are mid-range, with more offerings across the border in Penrith. Kingswood performs slightly better for walkability, traffic conditions and access to employment and education — especially primary schooling — but scores quite low for crime.
369. Hornsby Heights
Perched high above Hornsby with swathes of greenery courtesy of Berowra Valley National Park, this neighbourhood passes the test for open space and tree cover with flying colours, and also benefits from free-flowing traffic. Despite only being about 5 kilometres from the retail and cafe hub in Hornsby, the neighbourhood doesn’t get a high score in either category, and gets particularly low marks for access to buses, jobs and education. A weak score for walkability also lets the suburb down.
370. Seven Hills
One stop east on the train line from Blacktown, Seven Hills is a busy suburb with a bustling retail strip at its core, including restaurants, cafes and supermarkets. There are a number of schools in the large neighbourhood, which earns a perfect score for access to secondary education. But that convenience only goes so far, with a relatively low score for employment and a poor mark for crime. There’s also the lack of open space and tree cover to consider.
371. Revesby Heights
From its spot beside the Georges River, this suburb feels like it’s a world away, but with a train station across the northern border in Revesby, the city is in relatively easy reach for residents. It performs well for open space and tree cover, with nature reserve at its southern tip, and counts traffic conditions and access to schools as other strengths. Weak spots include crime, retail and cafes, as well as proximity to employment hubs.
With Ashfield to the north and Canterbury to the south, Ashbury residents have reasonably good access to trains on the Inner West and Liverpool lines. That’s also where residents will find most shops and cafes, with very few in the suburb itself. Ashbury does reasonably well for access to employment and for safety, and gets a terrific score for primary and secondary schools, but suffers from a limited amount of open space and even less tree cover. Walkability and congestion are also sticking points.
This small pocket less than 8 kilometres south-west of Penrith benefits from having a train station just on the border with Lapstone, though with an outstanding score for traffic, travelling by car is also a viable option. The leafy suburb on the Nepean River is close to nature trails and earns impressive marks for tree cover and open space. When it comes to education, Leonay presents a mixed bag, performing well for access to primary schools but very poorly for secondary schools. Other weak categories are crime, retail, employment and walkability.
While Botany doesn’t manage to completely escape the noise from Sydney Airport, it still fares far better than suburbs to the west. Its liveability score benefits from being close to the beach at Maroubra, and also has a reasonably busy cafe strip near the main road. Reasonably good marks for safety and employment don’t quite make up for Botany’s low-scoring categories, which include retail, education, walkability and congestion.
Taking up a large slice of Sydney’s west near Sydney Olympic Park, Lidcombe counts public transport as one of its greatest strengths, with a train station at its centre and buses to Olympic Park Station and Bankstown. Cafes and shops line each side of John Street and Joseph Street. It performs well on walkability and employment, but Lidcombe’s marks begin to slip on crime and congestion. Tree cover, open space and education are especially weak areas.
376. East Ryde
This riverside suburb sits near the base of Lane Cove National Park, so open space and tree cover are among its best scores. Aside from a tiny strip of stores that includes a cafe, there are hardly any shops in East Ryde, which also gets moderately low scores for access to employment and crime. It scores worst for proximity to public transport, heavy traffic, education and walkability.
377. Caringbah South
With views over Port Hacking to the west and Burraneer Bay to the east, there’s clearly an aesthetic appeal to this leafy Shire suburb, only about 4 kilometres away from the beach at Cronulla. There isn’t a huge selection of cafes to choose from, with more variety to the north in Caringbah — which also has the closest train station — but residents can still get their morning coffee from shops like The Crnr Espresso and The Laneway. Some of the suburb’s weak scores are retail, employment, education and open space.
378. Wentworth Point
For such a small suburb, Wentworth Point packs a range of cafes and restaurants along its streets. Located on the Parramatta River, residents can cross the Bennelong Bridge for trains from Rhodes station. Although the area performs well for congestion, walkability and employment, and has plenty of open space, it loses points on retail and crime. Wentworth Point also gets extremely poor scores for access to education and tree cover.
379. Padstow Heights
Approximately 30 kilometres south-west of the CBD, Padstow Heights is a green pocket on the Georges River with an outstanding level of open space and tree cover, courtesy of Beauty Point Reserve and Padstow Heights Reserve. It gets low marks across several indicators, including retail, public transport, education and access to employment. It also has a very poor score for walkability, but if you’re travelling by car, you’ll usually get a pretty smooth run on the roads.
380. Homebush West
Home to Sydney Markets and Paddy’s Market Flemington, this suburb earns a good result for retail, and also has a cluster of cafes and restaurants near Henley Road. It’s well connected on the Inner West train line, with a trip to Central taking slightly more than 20 minutes, and has strong scores for access to employment and education. Its rankings for crime, open space and tree cover are, however, at the other end of the scale, and the roads are typically congested during peak hour.
Brighton-le-Sands has several liveability strengths — if you can get past its heavily-congested traffic, that is. Chief among its positive attributes is Brighton-le-Sands Beach, and the busy cluster of shops, restaurants and cafes nearby, most of which are on Bay Street. It also gets a nod for having good access to buses and job hubs, but the crime rate detracts from the suburb’s overall appeal, and there aren’t a huge selection of schools nearby.
Just north of Western Sydney University in Parramatta, the defining feature of Oatlands is arguably its golf club, with a small shopping village on Belmore Street East that includes a supermarket and a pharmacy. While it doesn’t perform very well for retail, cafes or access to employment, Oatlands gains points for being reasonably close to trains from Dundas station, and has sound scores for tree cover and safety.
If Matraville’s poor access to public transport doesn’t bother you, you’ll likely be impressed by its proximity to the beach in neighbouring Malabar, and encouraged by positive scores for employment and retail. While there aren’t a vast array of cafes, residents can choose from a modest selection of shops along Bunnerong Road for lunch or dinner. Matraville has relatively low marks in categories like crime, open space and congestion, and there’s hardly any tree cover.
384. Chipping Norton
With Liverpool Hospital to the west and Bankstown airport to the east, Chipping Norton is a south-west hub with good scores for cafes and retail, and also plays host to a range of industrial businesses. It performs very well for open space, with parks positioned close to the Georges River, and offers residents good access to primary and secondary schools. Scores for employment, crime have plenty of room for improvement.
Just south of Brighton-le-Sands, Monterey benefits from being right on the coast, boasting a strong score for walkability and a reasonably good amount of open space. Monterey isn’t as strong on retail and cafes, and it suffers from congestion, and very limited tree cover. Poor access to education may pose an issue for families.
386. Emu Plains
Across the Nepean River from Penrith, Emu Plains lies at the end of the Western train line and the beginning of the Blue Mountains Line. There are a string of shops near the station and another cluster further south in the suburb at Lennox Village, earning Emu Plains a mid-range score for retail and a moderately good score for cafes. Locals enjoy a good amount of tree cover and have excellent access to secondary schools, but access to primary schools and employment hubs is limited. The crime rate is also problematic.
Even though Bonnie Doon Golf Club takes up the majority of this south-eastern suburb, Pagewood still comes away with a terrific score for retail, with Westfield Eastgardens just over the border. Locals benefit from being close to employment and from living in a neighbourhood with good walkability, but their access to public transport and primary education could be better, as could the crime rate.
388. Huntleys Cove
With little more than a nature reserve, a cafe and a few residential streets, Huntleys Cove near Gladesville is hardly a foodie or shopping destination, but its stellar scores for safety, leafiness and open space help to make up for this. Situated next to Tarban Bay, the area is close to Drummoyne via Victoria Road, but you’ll usually have to face heavy traffic to get there. While Huntleys Cove gets good marks for being near secondary schools, it doesn’t do well for primary schools or employment.
389. Sun Valley
Made up of houses on large blocks and roads lined with thick tree cover, Sun Valley is in the Blue Mountains area about 20 kilometres’ drive east of Hazelbrook. Yes, the sleepy pocket has a wealth of space and greenery and earns a top score for safety, but it only has moderate access to cafes and shops, scoring poorly for schools. Sun Valley also has a zero-out-of-10 walkability rating, but the roads are free from congestion and there’s a train station in neighbouring Valley Heights.
390. Eagle Vale
About 7 kilometres north of Campbelltown, this neighbourhood earns a fairly good score for retail thanks to the shops that make up Eagle Vale Marketplace on Gould Road. You’ll need to drive to Leumeah or Minto to reach the nearest train stations, but with a perfect score for traffic conditions, it’s likely to be a smooth journey, and the suburb is also serviced by buses. Downsides to living in Eagle Vale include poor access to jobs and primary schools. It could do with greater tree cover, too.
Both primary and secondary schools are within easy reach for families living in Glenfield, which is slightly more than 7 kilometres south of Liverpool. Being on the Leppington train line also means residents can travel to the CBD in 40 minutes, with buses available and generally smooth traffic conditions for those travelling by car. Weaker areas include cafes, crime and walkability, but employment and retail are Glenfield’s lowest scores.
392. West Pennant Hills
There’s a modest retail strip near West Pennant Hills’ eastern border, which hosts a Coles and a small handful of cafes and restaurants. Its outstanding scores for safety, tree cover and open space must be compared with very poor scores for employment and both primary and secondary education.
Though Daceyville doesn’t have the retail or cafe credibility of Kingsford to the north, it earns liveability points by providing excellent access to primary schools and to employment, with reasonably good walkability. Weak spots include proximity to secondary schools, crime and tree cover.
Having one of the worst scores for cafes in Sydney is enough to make any caffeine-lover wary, but there are liveability benefits to residing in Airds, less than 5 kilometres south-east of Campbelltown. These include being close to primary and secondary schools, light traffic, a selection of parks, and an enviable amount of tree cover. Unfortunately Airds underperforms in a number of critical areas, including employment, retail, crime, and walkability.
395. Mount Annan
Home to the Australian Botanic Garden and close to Macarthur Square and the nearby Western Sydney University campus, this suburb claims excellent scores for primary and secondary education and traffic conditions, and also does well for tree cover and cafes. An area with a large number of newly-built homes, some of Mount Annan’s weakest categories include access to jobs and open space, with fairly limited access to retail and public transport as well.
Only one train stop from Cabramatta and three stops from Liverpool, Carramar’s most liveable qualities include plentiful open space, reasonably good access to schools, and a decent amount of tree cover. There isn’t much in the way of retail and only a smattering of cafes in the area, and traffic can become busy, but crime is what really lets the suburb down in these rankings.
Richmond’s neighbour to the south, Hobartville is mainly residential, with a primary school and a small shopping village with a supermarket. Unsurprisingly, retail is not a strong suit, but the suburb fares well for access to jobs and both primary and secondary schools. It also does very well for traffic conditions, but very poorly for crime, and there isn’t a great degree of open space.
A few kilometres west of Blacktown, Doonside has a number of liveability strengths, including a train station on the T1 Western line, good access to secondary schools, smooth traffic and a fairly good amount of tree cover, with a strip of Western Sydney Parklands along its western edge. Doonside earns a mid-range score for retail thanks to the small shopping strip on Hill End Road, but does very poorly for crime and employment.
399. Georges Hall
Equidistant from Cabramatta and Bankstown, Georges Hall puts in relatively good performances for safety, tree cover and education, but its abundance of open space is where the suburb shines. There are a few shops on Birdwood Road, though it can hardly be described as a retail hub. Public transport, employment and walkability are some of Georges Hall’s lower-scoring categories.
It might be located directly south of Bankstown Airport, but you won’t have to worry about air traffic noise in Milperra, a suburb with two golf clubs within its borders, as well as Western Sydney University’s Bankstown campus. What might worry you instead are its poor performances for crime, walkability, employment and secondary education. Scores for open space and tree cover work in its favour though.
401. Englorie Park
If you quickly scanned a map of Sydney, you might miss Englorie Park, which takes up just a handful of streets near Campbelltown. The residential suburb has a nature reserve at the centre, but still gets low scores for open space and tree cover. Being within walking distance of Macarthur Square gives Englorie Park a respectable score for retail, and the Macarthur train station isn’t far either. It does well for access to employment, schools and traffic conditions, but its score for crime is very poor.
If you’ve caught the train from Sydney to the Blue Mountains, you’ll have passed Warrimoo, a suburb with a wealth of tree cover and open space where locals can enjoy the bliss of roads free from congestion. Warrimoo also has a reasonably low crime rate, but living in such a quiet area also means low scores for retail, cafes, jobs and schools.
403. Picnic Point
Boat-lovers who live in Picnic Point know there are few places more serene than floating on the Georges River, surrounded by parkland. That greenery explains why Picnic Point does so well in the tree cover and open space categories. There’s a primary school, a high school and a smattering of local businesses that include The Shop Picnic Point and a Chinese restaurant. The sleepy nature of this suburb translates into low scores for cafes, retail and cultural services. It also does poorly for access to employment and buses.
Covering a sizeable stretch of Sydney’s south-west, Ingleburn — about 10 kilometres’ drive north of Campbelltown and a similar distance south of Liverpool — has a train station that lies on the T8 South line. Nearby, you’ll find a retail area with a modest number of shops, cafes and restaurants. Ingleburn does very well for congestion, but is otherwise a mid-range performer across various categories, such as open space and walkability. Weaker areas include access to jobs, primary schools and crime.
A vast selection of stores are housed in Roselands shopping complex, earning this suburb a near-perfect score for retail. While the neighbourhood isn’t directly on a train line, several stations are nearby, including Lakemba and Wiley Park to the north, as well as Narwee and Beverly Hills to the south. Roselands’ scores for crime and employment are neither high, nor low. Some of its weakest categories include education, open space, tree cover and traffic.
Drive west from Cabramatta for about six kilometres and you’ll reach Bonnyrigg, which has top scores for primary and secondary education as well as retail, courtesy of Bonnyrigg Plaza at its northern tip. The neighbourhood also performs fairly well for safety and walkability, and traffic on the roads is usually not too heavy. With no train station, Bonnyrigg residents using public transport rely on buses to get to busier hubs like Fairfield and Cabramatta. Bonnyrigg does poorly for access to cultural services, open space and tree cover, and is particularly poor on employment.
About 4 kilometres north-east of Parramatta and currently on the T6 Carlingford line, Dundas is well serviced by trains and buses, with reasonably good scores for primary education and safety. It also boasts a decent amount of tree cover, but doesn’t have many cafes or shops, and walkability is limited. Other weaker scores include access to employment and open space, with especially low marks for congestion and secondary education.
408. Rooty Hill
Rooty Hill can’t boast a high score for retail like its neighbour Mount Druitt, but there is a small shopping village along the main road that has a supermarket and an Asian Fresh Food Market. This stretch is also where residents can find the local train station, where a trip to Central takes close to 45 minutes. Rooty Hill scores well for bus services too, along with secondary education and traffic conditions, but its scores for employment, primary education, tree cover and walkability are less impressive. Crime and open space are two of Rooty Hill’s weakest categories.
North of Mount Druitt and St Marys, this neighbourhood has claim over a nature reserve, earning outstanding marks for open space. With a selection of primary and secondary schools nearby — including Tregear Public School — it also performs well for education, buses, and congestion. Tregear has the worst possible score for crime, with moderately poor marks across walkability, cafes and employment.
For anyone who has attempted to drive through Banksia along the Princes Highway during peak hour, the suburb’s poor rating for congestion will come as no surprise. But with a busy retail hub along that stretch, and a train station on the T4 railway line, Banksia has a few liveability strengths. It’s also not far from the coast, with Brighton-le-Sands Beach about three kilometres’ drive to the south-east, although its location means you’ll have to put up with some degree of air traffic noise. Banksia does poorly on open space, crime, access to employment and education.
411. Sandy Point
If your idea of perfection is living close to vibrant retail and cafe havens, you likely won’t have Sandy Point on your radar. The unassuming suburb near Picnic Point only has a few streets lined with houses, some of which have views of the Georges River or are close to national parkland. Sandy Point has an extremely low score for employment. There aren’t many schools nearby either, but the suburb does get top marks for safety and traffic.
Partly surrounded by the Parramatta River with Abbotsford to the west and Drummoyne to the east, you can catch a ferry from Chiswick Wharf and be in Circular Quay in about 30 minutes. The suburb performs reasonably well for buses, safety and open space, with a few parks near the water, but only has a small shopping village with few cafes. Access to primary education, trains and jobs are also weak spots, as well as congestion.
413. Old Toongabbie
Old Toongabbie in Sydney’s west may not have a train station of its own, but with Wentworthville and Pendle Hill only a few kilometres away, trains to the city are still within reasonable reach. The small suburb doesn’t have a shopping hub, so its score for retail is among its lower ones, along with cafes, culture, open space, jobs and education. Old Toongabbie can nevertheless claim to have great scores for traffic conditions and buses.
Maroubra’s lesser-known neighbour still benefits from being close to the beach, and between Southpoint Shopping Centre on Bunnerong Road and Westfield Eastgardens nearby, retail is one of its biggest strengths. It also has good walkability and access to primary education. With low scores for trains and buses, residents are likely to rely on cars for transport, often facing congested traffic conditions. There isn’t much tree cover in the area either.
415. Voyager Point
Voyager Point has many of the liveability triumphs and shortcomings that you would expect of a secluded riverside suburb with a park at its centre. Near Holsworthy’s military facilities, it has terrific ratings for tree cover, open space, safety and flowing traffic, and while it isn’t on a train line, stations at Holsworthy and East Hills are just outside the border. At the other end of the scale, Voyager Point gets the worst possible scores for retail and walkability, with employment and education services not far behind.
416. Quakers Hill
It’s only a short 10 kilometre drive north from Blacktown to reach Quakers Hill, a suburb that earns points for having a train station and good access to secondary schools. About 20 minutes by train to Parramatta, and closer to 50 minutes to Central, Quakers Hill does fairly well for safety and congestion, and although there isn’t a big retail hub, you can find basic amenities in the area. It records lower scores for cafes and open space and notably poor scores for employment, primary education and culture.
417. Carnes Hill
Less than 10 kilometres west of Liverpool, this suburb is home to Carnes Hill Markeplace, which makes for a very strong retail score. That’s also where a selection of cafes can be found, with good walkability between amenities. There usually isn’t much traffic in Carnes Hill, which is handy given those low scores for public transport. Other weak spots include tree cover and access to employment.
In the heart of western Sydney about 5 kilometres’ drive south of Parramatta, Guildford benefits from being on the T2 train line to the city, as well as the T5 line to Richmond. There’s a retail hub on Guildford Road with supermarkets, an Aldi on Woodville Road, and there are primary and secondary schools in the area. Guildford does reasonably well on congestion, but isn’t strong on walkability or tree cover, with poor marks for jobs and crime.
Intersected by the Hume Highway and positioned on the Lidcombe train line next to Bankstown, Yagoona has excellent marks for public transport. It gets a pass mark for crime and walkability, but has moderately low scores across a variety of liveability categories, including employment, retail, cafes, and traffic. Lower still are its ratings for open space and tree cover.
Much of Rosehill is used for industrial purposes, from concrete companies to storage facilities and more. Closer to James Ruse Drive, however, you’ll find a selection of shops, including a Woolworths for grocery runs and a few spots for lunch. Currently boasting its own train station, with another just across the northern border in Camellia, adds to the convenience of Rosehill, which is also strong on walkability and access to employment. But low-scoring indicators also need to be considered, such as crime, congestion, education and open space.
421. Rouse Hill
This enormous suburb is more than 45 kilometres’ drive north-west of the CBD, so it’s a good thing there’s a retail hub near Windsor Road, with several supermarkets, restaurants, clothing stores and cafes. It does well for safety and leafiness, but doesn’t offer residents very good access to employment or to primary and secondary schools. Rouse Hill’s marks for congestion and walkability are passable, but could be better.
422. Croydon Park
Croydon Park has a smattering of eateries and little retail, although residents need only travel to neighbouring Ashfield or Campsie for a range of shops and for the nearest train stations. The area has a fairly low crime rate and excellent access to buses and primary schools, but secondary schools are a different matter. Croydon Park is also short on open space and tree cover, and traffic is typically heavy.
Toongabbie is few kilometres north-west of Parramatta and Westmead, and while its score for retail is only moderate, the suburb gets a big tick for being on a direct train line to the city. It does relatively well for congestion, walkability, and being close to secondary schools, but residents have fairly poor access to employment, primary education and open space.
Near Bankstown, Punchbowl has a moderately good rating for retail thanks to the busy strip near the train station, and just manages to earn pass marks for cafes, employment and crime, although there’s room for improvement in all three categories. Education is also a notable strong-suit, but Punchbowl suffers from limited open space and tree cover, and the roads become congested at times.
Penrith’s neighbour to the south-west, Jamisontown is positioned beside the Nepean River near the M4 Western Motorway forming one of its borders. With a good score for traffic and retail, the area has a mix of businesses, including Lebanese restaurant Al Aseel. Jamison does fairly well for walkability and employment, but has very low scores for education and crime.
426. Pleasure Point
In a competition to find the sleepiest suburb in Sydney, Pleasure Point would have a good shot at taking out the title. There are no cafes, shops or schools, and only a few residential streets to speak of. It earns a perfect score for safety and gets excellent marks for tree cover and traffic, but does poorly for employment.
427. Bella Vista
Of equal distance north-west of Baulkham Hills and north-east of Blacktown, Bella Vista is an impressive performer when it comes to retail, with a bustling shopping strip near Old Windsor Road that also has includes a selection of eateries. Bella Vista also has a low crime rate in its favour, but isn’t very strong on open space or access to jobs, and scores very low for tree cover and education.
428. Emu Heights
With outstanding scores for open space, tree cover and congestion, Emu Heights is filled with greenery. It’s near the beginning of the Lower Blue Mountains, and while the suburb doesn’t have a train station like Emu Plains, it does boast a primary school, a few shops and a scattering of parks and reserves. Despite this, Emu Heights scores poorly for cafes, walkability, retail and crime.
Located near Camden and about 60 kilometres south-west of the CBD, this suburb has a vast shopping hub that sprawls across both sides of Camden Valley Way, making it a top performer on retail. Light traffic conditions, good access to primary schools and a selection of cafes are also positive attributes, but Narellan also has weaknesses: poor access to jobs and secondary schools, plus a lack of tree cover and open space.
430. Cambridge Gardens
Formerly considered part of Cambridge Park, this small suburb has a primary school and a shopping village. The nearest major hub for retail and cafes is Penrith, less than 4 kilometres’ drive south-west. Cambridge Gardens has low scores for employment, crime and secondary education, and it doesn’t have a large amount of open space either. Nonetheless, it has a fairly good rating for walkability, and isn’t burdened by heavy traffic.
This western suburb ticks the boxes for safety, open space and flowing traffic. There are regular buses servicing Wakeley, including those to Fairfield, about 5 kilometres east. The area also does well for retail, courtesy of Wakeley Shopping Centre on Bulls Road, but there could be more cafes, and there aren’t many schools nearby either. Access to trains, jobs and tree cover are some of Wakeley’s weakest categories.
Sitting on the border of Western Sydney Parklands, much of Pemulwuy is industrial, although there is a cluster of residential streets on the suburb’s eastern side. This is also where you’ll find Driftway Reserve, which helps the suburb to perform well on open space. It also has a good score for retail (thanks to Pemulwuy Marketplace) and traffic, but gets low marks for employment, schools and walkability.
433. Fairfield West
Fairfield West is close to several primary and secondary schools, making education one of its top liveability attributes. Not quite as well-known as Fairfield to the east or Cabramatta to the south, this suburb gets reasonably good grades for buses, open space, traffic conditions and retail, with a shopping hub at Fairfield West Market Plaza on Hamilton Road. Some of the weaker areas include cafes, employment and crime, with a particularly low score for tree cover.
Werrington’s local landmarks include a Western Sydney University campus, golfing green, a primary school and a nature reserve. Blessed with a train station, the suburb is two stops east of Penrith on the Western line. It has plenty of open space and good traffic conditions, along with a small string of shops. Werrington is held back in the liveability rankings by its poor crime rate and limited walkability.
435. South Granville
Several schools are packed into this small western Sydney suburb, earning South Granville a good score for primary education. The area is serviced by buses, which usually face good traffic conditions on the roads, but to travel by train you’ll need to drive to neighbouring Auburn. South Granville’s scores for retail, cafes, open space and tree cover are passable, but not high. Poor-scoring categories include access to jobs, secondary schools and walkability.
Less than 6 kilometres south-west of Westmead, Greystanes has fairly good marks for retail, education, traffic conditions and open space, with several parks within its borders. This is balanced out by relatively low scores for cafes, crime and tree cover. Its weakest categories are walkability and access to employment.
It might be only a few kilometres’ south of retail hubs at Burwood and Strathfield, but Enfield itself is a comparatively quiet neighbourhood, with much of the suburb taken up by Henley Park. It still manages to perform well for cafes, and Enfield Public School earns the area a good grade for primary education, although it scores poorly for secondary education. There isn’t a great deal of public transport on offer, with drivers often met with heavy traffic on the roads.
438. Yellow Rock
A particularly secluded suburb in the Blue Mountains area, you wouldn’t head to Yellow Rock for a coffee run or for your weekly grocery shop. There are only a few homes here, with visitors typically coming to enjoy views over Yellow Rock Lookout, which take in the Nepean River. That translates into low scores for retail, cafes, public transport and education, with especially poor ratings for employment and walkability. On the upside, residents can happily claim to live in a supremely safe neighbourhood with a wonderful wealth of open space and leafiness, and excellent traffic conditions.
439. Kings Langley
About 36 kilometres north-west of Sydney CBD between Blacktown and Bella Vista is Kings Langley, a suburb that ranks poorly for access to employment and for crime. It also has relatively low marks across culture, cafes, education, open space and walkability. Although Kings Langley has no train station, it performs well for access to buses, with roads that are usually free of congestion. Retail is another relative strength, with Kings Langley Shopping Centre hosting stores that include a Coles and a Woolworths.
440. Denistone East
Although Denistone East is close to shopping hubs at West Ryde and Eastwood, it doesn’t perform particularly well for retail or cafes. Poorer scores are in the walkability, open space and congestion categories, and although families can expect fairly good access to primary education, access to secondary education is very limited. Having a good score for crime does, however, work in Denistone East’s favour.
Aside from a small shopping village with an IGA, there isn’t much of a retail presence in Ruse. Instead the suburb is largely residential, with a vast array of shops — as well as a train station — located at Campbelltown, less than 5 kilometres’ drive to the west. Ruse also earns low scores for cafes, buses, proximity to jobs and, in particular, for and crime. At the other end of the scale, it has an excellent amount of tree cover and open space, with typically light traffic.
Cartwright is a small suburb approximately 5 kilometres west of Liverpool. It has excellent access to secondary schools, and gets outstanding scores for open space and lack of congestion. Cartwright also has a good amount of tree cover, but there aren’t many cafes or shops in the neighbourhood. The suburb is also low-scoring on public transport.
443. South Wentworthville
It’s a reasonably short walk north from this suburb to reach the train station at Wentworthville, which in turn is only two stops from Parramatta. South Wentworthville itself is strong on access to buses and primary education, with a small string of shops and more retail options in busier surrounding suburbs. It has lower performances across employment, crime and tree cover, but is weaker in categories such as cultural services, secondary education and open space.
444. Port Hacking
Some truly spectacular views over Port Hacking River are on show from certain vantage points in this Shire neighbourhood, although in the liveability rankings, there are more than a few low-scoring categories. The secluded suburb ranks close to the bottom of the list for access to cultural services, secondary schools, retail and cafes, and has a zero-out-of-10 rating for open space. Rail transport and employment aren’t strengths either, but the suburb has a great abundance of tree cover and hardly any traffic.
This large suburb stretches from Bankstown to Strathfield, and has several primary schools within its borders. It performs very well for retail with a shopping village on Waterloo Road with a selection of grocery stores and restaurants. Greenacre also gets reasonably good marks for walkability and proximity to public transport, but has the lowest possible score for open space, and similar marks for tree cover and secondary education. Crime and congestion are also weak spots.
446. Beaumont Hills
High in the Hills District, this suburb earns liveability points for offering residents excellent access to primary education and buses, with strong scores for retail and safety as well. Secondary education and cultural services are two of this suburb’s lower-scoring indicators. Beaumont Hills does especially poorly for access to employment.
447. Dolans Bay
Anyone who has visited Dolans Bay, a Shire pocket near Port Hacking, won’t be surprised by its liveability strengths and weaknesses. The riverfront suburb has an excellent amount of tree cover, water views and generally smooth traffic conditions. It gets a pass mark for safety, but you won’t find a retail hub or cafe strip. Dolans Bay has the worst possible score for open space and walkability, and is also weak on employment and education.
448. St Clair
St Clair is about 7 kilometres south of Mount Druitt and St Marys, and boasts outstanding grades across both primary and secondary education. With a similarly strong score for congestion, the suburb does relatively well for open space and safety, with a retail hub at St Clair Shopping Centre on Bennett Road. But living in St Clair also has drawbacks, from limited access to jobs and public transport, to a lack of tree cover and cultural services.
449. Rodd Point
It might be lower on the liveability list than neighbouring Five Dock, but Rodd Point still claims the upper hand when it comes to its riverside location. It has excellent access to buses, a low crime rate, and earns positive scores for primary education and cafes (many of which are in nearby suburbs). But Rodd Point gets weaker scores across categories such as open space, traffic and secondary education, with even lower scores for tree cover and walkability.
450. Canley Heights
Canley Heights is only a few kilometres north-west of foodie destination Cabramatta. The suburb, which has a small shopping strip on Canley Vale Road, earns a mid-range score for being near cafes. Canley Heights doesn’t have a train station, although it isn’t too far to travel to the railway stop at Canley Vale. It gets low marks for access employment and open space, and does poorly for crime.
Girraween is an unassuming suburb less than 5 kilometres from Westmead. It gets a perfect score for access to secondary education and is strong on primary education too. There’s a train station just across the eastern border in Pendle Hill, where a trip to Central takes close to half an hour. Girraween also does relatively well for congestion, but doesn’t have great access to employment and the crime rate is slightly high. Girraween performs poorly for open space, tree cover and walkability.
452. Lilli Pilli
Leafy and lush, Lilli Pilli is just as idyllic as its name suggests, wrapped almost entirely by the Port Hacking River. The streets are protected by a thick layer of tree cover, and there’s a public school on Lilli Pilli Point Road that earns the suburb top marks for access to primary education. Good traffic conditions are another strength, but with no cafe or retail hub or secondary schools, Lilli Pilli isn’t perfect. It has low scores for employment, walkability, and cultural services.
About a third of Whalan — a suburb next to Mount Druitt to the north-west — is occupied by a nature reserve, so a terrific score for open space is a given. It stacks up poorly though, to varying degrees, for public transport, access to jobs, tree cover, cafes, and retail, with a small string of shops near Bulolo Drive. Whalan nevertheless does well on primary education, walkability and congestion.
454. Clemton Park
This tiny pocket near Kingsgrove consists of a small park, a bowling club and a cluster of residential streets. There’s Clemton Park Public School just over the border in Earlwood, and a shopping area that includes Coles Clemton Park. The suburb scores major liveability points for its outstanding safety rating, but does very poorly on tree cover, congestion and open space. Clemton Park is also slightly weak on jobs and walkability.
455. Scotland Island
A quiet island suburb was bound to rate poorly in some liveability categories. In this case, those include access to buses, cultural services, cafes, retail, education and employment. But aside from the beautiful scenery, Scotland Island residents can also enjoy living in a safe suburb with no traffic and a perfect score for tree cover. Scotland Island is accessible by ferry from Church Point.
Smooth traffic and great access to education are among Claymore’s best liveability traits, with a choice of primary and secondary schools for families in the area. Claymore has a mid-range score for employment, but those marks begin to decline when retail, cafes, bus services and walkability enter the picture. Worse are Claymore’s performances for culture and crime.
This suburb might be positioned near Penrith’s shopping mecca, but there isn’t a huge amount of action happening in Regentville itself, which gets low marks for retail, but a perfect grade for traffic conditions and a solid score for safety. Regentville also performs well for tree cover, but it suffers from very poor walkability. Access to education, buses and jobs are other low-scoring points.
It’s only a 3 kilometre drive to reach Liverpool from Moorebank, which has a retail hub on Stockton Avenue and has strong scores for congestion and primary education. The suburb does fairly well for being close to cafes and for having a decent amount of tree cover. Its scores for crime, public transport, walkability and employment access bring its ranking down.
459. Bass Hill
Cut through the middle by the Hume Highway, Bass Hill is in Sydney’s west, about equal distance between Fairfield and Bankstown. It counts retail as one of its strengths, particularly due to Bass Hill Plaza, which contains a Woolworths, an Aldi and a Kmart among other stores. It also gets great marks for open space and access to secondary education, but has limited access to primary education and employment, as well as a poor rating for crime. Other weaker areas include tree cover and traffic.
Less than 2 kilometres south of Macarthur Square Shopping Centre in Campbelltown, Ambarvale represents a combination of liveability strengths and weaknesses. It benefits from light traffic and good access to education (especially primary schools), but has a poor rating for crime, as well as for buses, cafes and employment. In terms of retail, trains, open space and tree cover, Ambarvale earns mid-range scores that hold room for improvement.
461. Fairfield East
With only a handful of stores in Fairfield East, this suburb’s outstanding retail rating likely comes from its proximity to the bustling shopping hub at Fairfield. It also does well for access to train stations, courtesy again of Fairfield, as well as Villawood and Yennora. Fairfield East also gets a tick for primary education thanks to Villawood North Public School, with others nearby. Low points for the suburb include the crime rate, limited walkability, poor access to secondary schools, and a lack of open space and tree cover.
Located on the bus line between Mount Druitt and Blacktown, some of the top-scoring liveability categories for this suburb include traffic conditions and retail, with a selection of shops at Woodcroft Village shopping mall. The neighbourhood is also home to Woodcroft Joggers Park, and performs reasonably well for open space. Despite a decent score for secondary education, residents have limited access to primary education, and aren’t particularly close to job hubs. The level of tree cover could be better, and there’s also the crime rate to consider.
463. Blair Athol
It may not lie directly on a train line, but with Macarthur and Campbelltown stations only a few kilometres away and a good score for buses, Blair Athol is fairly well connected by public transport. It doesn’t have a large selection of cafes or shops, but there is an Aldi on Blaxland Road, with more shops across the border. The suburb is very strong on traffic conditions and also has good walkability, but there is a distinct lack of tree cover, a high crime rate, and poor access to employment and education.
Glenhaven takes up a large chunk of the Hills District between Dural and Castle Hill, and while it is within driving distance of shopping hubs, it gets a fairly low score for its own retail offerings. Although the suburb is close to stops on the new north-west metro line, it gets weak scores for public transport, and also for employment and education. Glenhaven comes into its own when its outstanding marks for safety, leafiness and congestion are considered, but it is not a very walkable neighbourhood.
With a range of primary and secondary schools scattered throughout Pumpton, it makes perfect sense for the suburb to be a star performer in the education category. Residents can usually expect light traffic on the roads, and are close to key retail amenities via Plumpton Marketplace, where you’ll find a Woolworths, a Big W, banks and more. You’ll have to drive about 5 kilometres south to reach the train station at Mount Druitt. The suburb scores poorly for employment, with other low marks for crime, tree cover and walkability.
466. South Windsor
About 60 kilometres north-west of the CBD, South Windsor does not benefit from having a train station of its own and is ranked accordingly, although the T5 and T1 lines can be accessed by crossing the border into Windsor. From there, residents can get to Richmond in three stops, which is the nearest hub of activity. South Windsor’s liveability strengths include tree cover, proximity to cultural services and traffic, with decent scores for cafes and employment to boot. At the other end of the scale, we find low marks for retail, crime, education and walkability.
Home to Liverpool Golf Club, Tharawal Bay and Floyd Bay on the Georges River, Lansvale has a top amount of open space and a healthy level of tree cover. The Hume Highway forms one of its borders, and the shops along this stretch are mainly industrial, but there is a wide selection of cafes, restaurants and retailers a few kilometres west in Cabramatta. Lansvale does poorly for education, buses and crime, but can still claim to have relatively good traffic conditions.
468. Hoxton Park
Towards the south-western reaches of Sydney, you’ll find Hoxton Park, a suburb slightly more than 8 kilometres west of Liverpool. A quiet suburb consisting of schools, churches, houses and a nature reserve, Hoxton Park gets big ticks for traffic conditions, safety and education, and also performs well on open space. Residents have to travel elsewhere to reach major shopping hubs, however, and they don’t have great access to public transport or employment. Walkability is also a sticking point.
469. Wattle Grove
You’ll find Wattle Grove by travelling a few kilometres south of Liverpool. It’s not a retail or cafe hotspot, but there is a small shopping village that includes a Coles and a few coffee shops. Wattle Grove has fairly good marks for buses, safety, education and congestion, but those scores begin to slip in areas such as open space and walkability. Lower still are the suburb’s scores for employment and tree cover.
470. Russell Lea
This unassuming inner west neighbourhood tends to be overshadowed by its more well-known neighbours, Drummoyne and Five Dock, with fewer eateries and the lack of retail offerings within its borders. Access to public buses is quite good, but there’s no train station, with the nearest stop located at Croydon. It does well for walkability, crime and primary education, but just misses out on a pass-mark for employment. Some of Russell Lea’s lowest scores are for open space, tree cover and congestion.
Kenthurst in Sydney’s Hills District may ace the liveability indicators for safety, traffic conditions and tree cover, but as a large suburb with few amenities, it faces poor scores across a broad range of categories. Chief among those are retail, public transport and education. It also isn’t particularly walkable and there isn’t a broad selection of cafes.
472. Edensor Park
From its position about 8 kilometres west of Cabramatta, Edensor Park is somewhat isolated from the action in Sydney. That is reflected in low marks for cultural services, public transport, employment, walkability and tree cover. Locals nonetheless have good access to key retail amenities, enjoy light traffic conditions, and are close to primary and secondary schools. The suburb also gets a tick for having a low crime rate.
A few kilometres south of Strathfield, this area has a small strip of shops on Burwood Road. It gets a relatively low score for retail, but benefits from being close to the train station at Campsie. Despite the number of parks and reserves in Belfield, it doesn’t perform well for open space, and ditto for walkability and congestion. High scores for safety and secondary education nevertheless work in the suburb’s favour.
474. Constitution Hill
This largely residential suburb next to Westmead is offers its residents good access to secondary schools and public buses, with Wentworthville train station only 3 kilometres to the south. But these liveability strengths are not enough to counteract poor scores across several categories, from cultural services to primary education, open space and walkability. There aren’t too many cafes nearby either, and the suburb gets a weak ranking for employment.
Families looking to buy in Sydney’s south-west near Liverpool will no-doubt be encouraged by Busby’s excellent scores for both primary and secondary education, with roads typically free of traffic and good access to buses. Yet with a crime rate that’s higher than ideal, Busby has its weak spots. These include poor access to cultural services and employment, limited retail options, and a lack of tree cover. The suburb also isn’t on a train line and doesn’t have score well for walkability.
Vineyard is more than 50 kilometres north-west of the CBD, but thanks to its train-line position, you can reach Central Station in about an hour, or get to Richmond in about 15 minutes. On schools, Vineyard presents a mixed report, with a score of zero for secondary education, but top marks for primary education. There are a few cafes and retail offerings to the north of the neighbourhood, which has relatively good marks for walkability, employment and traffic. Vineyard is a poor performer on crime, however, as well as buses and open space.
Although Wareemba has a reasonably good amount of cafes nearby, it can’t claim to have a retail hub, is removed from train lines, and while it doesn’t score terribly for employment, it doesn’t perform well either. The suburb earns a relatively good score for safety, but is lacking when it comes to secondary schools, open space, walkability and tree cover.
Separated from Camden to its west by the Nepean River, Elderslie performs very well across a number of important categories. There’s a good selection of primary and secondary schools nearby, the roads are typically congestion-free, and the crime rate is low, with buses available from Narellan to Campbelltown. Slightly weaker scores are earned through limited access to cultural services, retail, open space, cafes and tree cover, while employment access is more problematic.
479. Lalor Park
Well-connected via buses and not too far from train stations at Blacktown and Seven Hills, Lalor Park’s liveability wins include light traffic, and decent access to secondary schools, although access to primary education is more limited. The area scores fairly low on retail, with only a small selection of shops on Freeman Street, but residents can still do a grocery run at the IGA and local fruit market. Proximity to job hubs and poor walkability are some of the major challenges for living in this neighbourhood.
Approximately 5 kilometres west of Liverpool, Sadleir — like Lalor Park — suffers from low marks across crime and employment. With no train station, locals can use buses for their public transport needs. The residential neighbourhood has few shops, with the nearest supermarkets across the border in Miller, but it does extremely well for primary and secondary education. Sadleir is near the bottom of the list in the cafe category, with poor results for cultural services, tree cover and walkability. The silver lining? Sadleir performs well on congestion and open space.
Hills District neighbourhood Kellyville may have an outstanding rating for its lush level of tree cover, a low crime rate and access to buses, but there’s a reason it doesn’t sit high in the overall rankings. Access to primary and secondary education is one weak spot, even though the suburb plays host to Kellyville Public School on Windsor Road. The scattering of shops is not enough to earn good marks for retail, and the area gets especially low scores for employment and open space.
482. Green Valley
The stress of bumper-to-bumper traffic is not something you need to worry about in Green Valley, a suburb about 50 kilometres west of the CBD and 8 kilometres north-west of Liverpool. But while there’s plenty to be said for roads free from congestion, Green Valley performs poorly for access to jobs, crime, proximity to trains, and walkability, with the worst possible rating for tree cover. Thanks in large part to The Valley Plaza, the suburb gets a fairly good mark for retail, and does well on buses and education.
483. Harrington Park
In the 1990s, Harrington Park was re-imagined as a residential suburb, and today features a shopping centre of modest size, and a selection of parks, and reserves and sporting fields. The neighbourhood, about 7 kilometres’ drive north-east of Camden, has an excellent amount of open space, with decent tree cover and flowing traffic. Mid-range scores for crime and cafes transition to poor scores in categories such as public transport, education and walkability.
484. Glenmore Park
Within easy driving distance of the Lower Blue Mountains and about 6 kilometres south of Penrith, Glenmore Park is a large suburb with several commendable liveability scores. These include a perfect rating for secondary education and an outstanding rating for traffic conditions. But despite having a cluster of shops in and around Glenmore Park Town Centre, retail is not a strong suit. The suburb also doesn’t have very good access to public transport, jobs or primary education.
Home to two train stations, Villawood benefits from a handy position on the T3 line, two stops away from Cabramatta and four stops from Liverpool. It gets a big tick for retail, with shops concentrated near Villawood Station, and also gets a good score for walkability. It has slightly weaker scores for employment, congestion and education, but its worst marks are for tree cover.
486. Mount Lewis
Aside from a few eateries on Wattle Street — including Sea Sweet Patisserie and Gebran Lebanese Cuisine — Mount Lewis mainly consists of houses. The suburb has excellent marks for access to buses and secondary education, isn’t far from train stations at Punchbowl and Bankstown, and gets a pass mark for retail. But despite this, Mount Lewis has poor scores for crime, employment, open space, tree cover and cultural services, and it isn’t very walkable either.
Perched beside Bella Vista in the Hills District more than 8 kilometres north-east of Blacktown, Glenwood’s greatest liveability triumph is a stellar score for safety. With Glenwood High School at the centre, it does fairly well for access to secondary education, but isn’t particularly strong on primary education. Traffic in Glenwood is usually fairly light, but it has poor walkability, hardly any tree cover and could do with more open space.
There’s only a small retail strip to serve the residents of Bradbury, preventing the suburb from attaining a high retail score, although Macarthur Square Shopping Centre is less than 4 kilometres to the north-west, where you’ll find the nearest train station. It’s typically a smooth drive, given Bradbury’s excellent rating for congestion, and the area also gets a tick for education. With several parks and reserves nearby, it does well for open space and tree cover, but has poor marks for cafes, employment and walkability.
489. St Andrews
With the nearest major shopping hub about 7 kilometres south in Campbelltown, St Andrews’ low marks for retail is easy to understand. It has outstanding scores for primary education and traffic conditions, and locals can access trains relatively easily at neighbouring Minto. The area doesn’t have good walkability, however, and access to secondary education, cultural services and employment rank poorly.
This small neighbourhood near Western Sydney University’s Kingswood campus is slightly more than 6 kilometres south-east of Penrith. Save for a church, a cafe and a small park, Caddens is a residential affair, with plenty of open space and virtually no traffic on the roads. It scrapes through with pass marks for employment, tree cover and access to trains, but the suburb has several weak spots in pivotal areas such as education, retail, crime, walkability and access to cultural services.
491. Acacia Gardens
Less than 7 kilometres north of Blacktown near the Hills District border, Acacia Gardens is a quiet neighbourhood with a good rating for safety, a primary school, and roads free from congestion. The drawbacks of living in this pocket include limited access to retail and cafes, and a poor scores for walkability. There also isn’t much open space or tree cover.
492. Kellyville Ridge
This Hills District suburb near Rouse Hill has a public school that earns a great score for primary education, though secondary education is another matter entirely. It also does well for safety and retail, with a few local shops and easy access to The Ponds Shopping Centre. But Kellyville Ridge also gets the worst possible rating for tree cover, with its scores for open space and employment not far behind.
493. Erskine Park
With its own primary school and high school, a retail hub that has an IGA and an Aldi, and a relatively low crime rate, living in Erskine Park certainly has its conveniences. The quiet suburb about 8 kilometres south of Mount Druitt also boasts smooth traffic conditions, but doesn’t score well on walkability or access to cultural services. It also ranks poorly for public transport as well as for employment.
494. Old Guildford
Old Guildford may have a rating of zero for tree cover, but with roads free from congestion, good access to retail and public transport via Guildford to the north, and with primary and secondary schools nearby, it passes the test in more than a few liveability categories. Unfortunately it also has weak scores for crime, open space, walkability, and cultural services.
495. Dolls Point
For those with homes directly opposite the water in Dolls Point, the appeal of living here is obvious. The suburb is serviced by buses, gets a 10-out-of-10 score for its beachfront position, and performs admirably in the congestion and crime categories. There’s no retail hub in Dolls Point, however, and it rates as slightly weak on access to employment. Lower marks appear in categories such as open space, education and walkability. Dolls Point could also do with more trees.
Between Ashcroft Public School and Ashcroft High School, and more schools in surrounding suburbs, this neighbourhood gets a near-perfect rating for education. Regular buses are available to transport residents to Liverpool train station, and for those who prefer to drive, the traffic conditions are usually fairly smooth. With a variety of parks and ovals, Ashcroft performs well for open space, but scores lower for cafes, employment, crime and tree cover. Some of Ashcroft’s greatest liveability weaknesses are retail and walkability.
Four stops from Blacktown on the T5 line, one of Riverstone’s most prized features is having its own train station, which allows locals to reach the CBD in about an hour. That’s also where you’ll find a line of shops on Garfield Road East and a few cafes, although Riverstone isn’t strong on retail overall, nor on education, walkability and open space. It does, however, score well for traffic and tree cover.
498. Mount Pritchard
This patch of Sydney stretches all the way from Cabramatta West to Liverpool at its southern corner, and aside from a handful of businesses on Meadows Road, it is largely residential. The suburb performs reasonably well for access to primary education courtesy of Mount Pritchard Public School, and has relatively favourable traffic conditions, but it isn’t a strong performer on retail or employment. Other weaker areas include secondary education, open space and tree cover.
499. Strathfield South
Much of this suburb is industrial, along with a series of residential streets, leaving little room for the kind of amenities that would earn Strathfield South a better overall ranking. To reach the nearby train station at Strathfield, locals can drive or catch a bus, but will usually face highly congested roads in the process. There are enough shops close by to grant this suburb a pass for cafes and retail, but it performs poorly for open space and tree cover.
500. Fairfield Heights
Only a few kilometres from the shopping mecca and train station at Fairfield, this suburb still hosts a busy retail strip of its own on The Boulevarde, including some cafes, a Woolworths and other amenities. Families can except reasonably good access to secondary education and moderately good traffic conditions, with walkability another positive attribute. But with lower marks for crime and culture and very poor marks for open space and tree cover, life in Fairfield Heights has its drawbacks.
501. Wetherill Park
Much of this suburb in Sydney’s west is industrial. South of The Horsley Drive, there are residential pockets, a shopping village with a supermarket, and a small nature reserve. Retail, cafes, congestion and cultural services are among Wetherill Park’s top-performing categories, but it isn’t very strong on access to job hubs. Locals also have poor access to public transport, open space and education. Crime is another concern.
502. Bossley Park
Near the edge of Western Sydney Parklands about 8 kilometres west of Fairfield, Bossley Park has outstanding ratings for congestion and crime, and offers families good access to primary and secondary schools. The same cannot be said, however, for Bossley Park’s performances across employment, public transport, or tree cover. Bossley Park is also not strong on walkability or cafes.
It may not have an enviable spot in the liveability rankings, but with very good marks for education, open space and congestion, there are still aspects of Colyton that deserve praise. Unlike its neighbours, Saint Marys and Mount Druitt, Colyton is not on a train line, but it helps that those stations are a few kilometres away. Colyton Shopping Centre is quite small, so the suburb doesn’t perform well for retail, or for cafes, walkability, crime and employment.
504. Oxley Park
Sandwiched between Saint Marys and Mount Druitt, this neighbourhood has similar strengths and weaknesses to Colyton, with an even better score for open space thanks to parks in the area. It has no retail hub, cafe hub or train station of its own, although busier suburbs can be reached by bus. Though Oxley Park has strong scores for traffic and education, crime and walkability are two of its worst-performing categories.
There are few shops in Woodbine; more retail offerings can be found in neighbouring Leumeah, which also has the closest train station. Woodbine does relatively well for access to public transport, and is free from congestion, but there are also weak spots to consider. These include cultural services, jobs, primary and secondary education and walkability.
506. McGraths Hill
More than 53 kilometres north-west of the CBD near Richmond, McGraths Hill can brag about terrific scores for secondary education and bus services, and generally enjoys good traffic conditions. Trains don’t service McGraths Hill, but stations are close by at Mulgrave and at Windsor, where you’ll find more shops and cafes. Weaker areas include access to jobs, crime and tree cover, while poor-scoring areas include primary education and open space.
You’d be forgiven for not knowing a whole lot about Kyeemagh. As a suburb directly across from Sydney Airport, it typically flies under the radar, so to speak. Tiny in size, Kyeemagh still manages to snag perfect scores in several categories, with excellent access to buses, primary schools and beaches. It also has a decent mark for open space, but performs relatively poorly for crime, employment, cafes and retail. Especially weak are Kyeemagh’s marks for secondary education, walkability, congestion and tree cover.
508. St Helens Park
One of Sydney’s more secluded neighbourhoods, St Helens Park is approximately 7 kilometres south of Campbelltown. In terms of liveability, it reflects some impressive highs and some significant lows, with terrific scores for open space, tree cover and traffic. But the parks and reserves this suburb has to offer do not outweigh the lack of cafes, schools, retail and public transport options. St Helens Park also performs poorly for employment and walkability.
509. Burwood Heights
Tiny Burwood Heights is only about 2 kilometres west of Ashfield, a busy inner west hub, but it still manages to claim a good score for congestion. Other benefits include being close to Croydon train station and reliable access to bus services. But those perks need to be considered alongside the suburb’s lack of shops, poor walkability and limited access to education and jobs. The crime rate is also slightly high, and there’s hardly any tree cover or open space.
Travel about 5 kilometres north-west of Liverpool to find Heckenberg, a pocket with several parks and a public school. It does well for access to primary and secondary education, is serviced by buses, and has a good amount of open space, with extra points for smooth traffic conditions. Yet living in a suburb with no retail or cafe hub has its challenges, and Heckenberg also performs poorly for tree cover, walkability, crime, employment and cultural services.
This south-western suburb is spared the headache of heavy traffic, is close to primary and secondary schools, and is only about 4 kilometres away from the train station in Liverpool. Yet there are reasons it doesn’t enjoy a better liveability ranking, including a poor score for crime, very minimal tree cover, and limited access to cultural services. While there’s a small cluster of shops in Lurnea, it can’t be described as a retail or cafe hotspot. It also isn’t strong on walkability or employment.
512. Spring Farm
It takes slightly more than five minutes to drive the few kilometres from Camden to Spring Farm, deep in Sydney’s south west. Buses are available to take residents to the nearest train station at Campbelltown, but the suburb doesn’t perform well for public transport. It does especially poorly for walkability, employment and education, but does well on safety and tree cover, and is even better on open space and congestion.
513. Cecil Hills
Close to 10 kilometres west of Cabramatta, Cecil Hills consists of a shopping centre, a couple of schools and a lake that is surrounded by residential streets. It has a reasonably good volume of tree cover, is supremely safe and doesn’t suffer from congested traffic, but life here is not without challenges. Cecil Hill gets a very low score for walkability, and likewise for public transport and employment.
514. Kings Park
With Marayong train station right on the western border of Kings Park, residents can travel along the train line with ease, reaching Parramatta in 20 minutes and the CBD in about 45 minutes. It has excellent traffic conditions too and gets a tick for retail and cafes. Also in the picture, however, are extremely low scores for crime, jobs, walkability and open space. Tree cover and education are also relatively weak areas.
Minchinbury is the next suburb south of Mount Druitt in Sydney’s west, with a perfect score for access to primary education, very little traffic, and good access to retail courtesy of the shopping village on Minchin Drive, with Westfield Mount Druitt close by. Although it gets relatively low marks for access to cultural services, buses and tree cover, Minchinbury’s poorest scores are for access to employment, secondary education and, in particular, crime.
516. Currans Hill
Despite the small clutch of shops off Currans Hill Drive, the residents of this suburb don’t have good access to retail. The nearest major shopping hub and train station are about 7 kilometres south-east in Campbelltown. Currans Hill’s strongest scores are for primary education and congestion, with good access to buses as well. It is slightly weak on culture, cafes and secondary education, and gets very low marks for employment, open space, tree cover and walkability.
Abbotsbury is about 10 kilometres west of Cabramatta, and is partly made up of Western Sydney Parklands. The quiet suburb aces the categories of crime and congestion, and also has an abundance of tree cover. It is, however, weak on public transport and walkability. There’s also limited access to retail, education and jobs hubs. It doesn’t perform very well for cafes or open space either.
With excellent traffic conditions, Raby has good access to buses, primary schools and secondary schools. Located about 8 kilometres north of Campbelltown, the suburb doesn’t have a train station, though one can be accessed in Minto to the east. Raby’s scores are slightly low across crime, cafes and open space, and performs poorly on retail, tree cover and employment. It also has the worst possible score for walkability.
Yennora’s liveability ranking is boosted by its train-line location, only a few stops from Parramatta. It also does well for retail, with a wide range of shops in neighbouring Fairfield. Yennora locals have fairly good access to schools, but the suburb doesn’t have very good walkability and there’s a limited amount of open space. Employment, crime and tree cover are notably low-scoring indicators.
As the home of Sydney Airport, Macot — which is less than 8 kilometres south of the CBD — takes the lowest position on the list for air traffic noise. It also has zero-out-of-10 ratings for congestion, tree cover and open space, with other very low scores for crime and education. But Mascot makes up for this somewhat by performing very well for cafes, jobs and walkability. Other positive scores are for trains, access to cultural services and retail.
521. Greenfield Park
About 8 kilometres west of Fairfield, Greenfield Park ticks the box for safety, with good access to secondary education and minimal traffic on the roads. It earns a mid-range score for retail, with a shopping village that includes a supermarket on Greenfield Road. Public transport isn’t a strength, however. It also has low scores for walkability, tree cover, access to jobs and primary schools.
Smithfield is home to a busy hub of shops near The Horsley Drive and has a stellar score for retail. Less than 3 kilometres north-west of Fairfield, the neighbourhood also has relatively good scores for congestion, primary education and cafes. But Smithfield has several weak spots, which include access to trains, employment and walkability. It also does poorly on crime, secondary education and tree cover.
Approximately 7 kilometres north of Blacktown and 40 kilometres north-west of Sydney CBD, some of Parklea’s best liveability scores are for safety, retail, access to buses and traffic conditions. But there are also weak spots, which include walkability, tree cover, open space, employment and primary education.
524. Claremont Meadows
About equal distance between Mount Druitt and Penrith, Claremont Meadows shines in the categories of open space and traffic conditions. The suburb’s tiny strip of shops is not enough to earn it a good score for retail, it also isn’t very walkable and earns low marks for crime. Claremont Meadows fares better on access to primary education and for tree cover.
525. Stanhope Gardens
Stanhope Gardens in Sydney’s north-west can count safety and retail as two of its most liveable qualities, with Stanhope Village Shopping Centre hosting a range of stores. It puts in mid-range scores for cafes and walkability, but performs poorly in most categories, from open space to public transport, jobs to education. There’s also a lack of tree cover.
526. Macquarie Links
It’s only a few stops on the train to Campbelltown from Macquarie Fields Station, conveniently located on the border of this suburb and earning a strong score for access to railway transport. It’s also a smooth run on the roads, with Macquarie Links earning near-perfect marks for congestion. Access to cultural services is another high-scoring category, but a lack of cafes, shops, schools and open space let Macquarie Links down in the rankings.
527. Werrington Downs
This neighbourhood is about 5 kilometres north-east of Penrith. Mostly residential, it doesn’t perform well for cafes, and isn’t strong on public transport either. Werrington Downs benefits from light traffic conditions, good access to secondary schools and a decent amount of open space, but earns lower marks for primary education, crime and walkability. Access to jobs is one of its weakest categories.
528. Cabramatta West
Despite a small shopping strip, Cabramatta West can’t claim to have top marks for retail or cafes. Residents have moderately good access to buses and primary education though, as well as good walkability. Cabramatta West does fairly well for congestion, but is weak on employment, crime, secondary education and trains. It also does poorly for open space and tree cover.
Marayong train station affords locals the convenience of getting to Parramatta in 20 minutes and Sydney CBD in just over 45 minutes. The suburb near Blacktown also gets fairly good marks for access to buses, and is very strong on traffic conditions, but doesn’t fare as well for cafes, open space or walkability. Marayong’s poorest scores are for access to cultural services, tree cover, secondary education and employment.
Approximately 6 kilometres south of Campbelltown, Rosemeadow has a modest-sized shopping village with a supermarket, a pharmacy and other amenities. It gets an impressive rating for congestion and access to education, but most of its scores lie at the lower end of the scale. These include walkability, cultural services and trains, with especially low marks for buses, jobs and tree cover.
531. Lethbridge Park
Very poor scores for walkability, culture and crime prevent Lethbridge Park from a higher spot on this list, along with low marks for cafes, trains and access to jobs. The suburb isn’t a retail destination either, with the nearest shopping hub about 4 kilometres south-west. But Lethbridge Park also has a number of liveability strengths, including access to schools and buses, smooth traffic and open space.
532. The Ponds
This Hills District suburb may not have a top overall liveability ranking, but it still comes away with a perfect score for safety, and a similar score for access to buses. Between The Ponds Shopping Centre on Riverbank Drive and Rouse Hill Town Centre across the northern border, it gets a pass mark for retail, but doesn’t perform well for cafes, congestion, open space, tree cover or walkability.
533. St Johns Park
Travel 4 kilometres west of Cabramatta to find St Johns Park, a suburb with a bowling club, a park, and streets of houses that boasts an excellent safety score and good traffic conditions. It also has a decent amount of open space, but scores slightly lower on retail, cafes and access to primary and secondary schools. St Johns Park has poor access to public transport and jobs, a lack of tree cover, and isn’t very walkable.
Between smooth traffic and good access to education — particularly secondary schools — there are benefits to Woodpark, but it performs poorly across a range of categories, from retail to public transport, tree cover to employment. About 27 kilometres west of Sydney CBD, it has notably low marks for crime, open space and walkability, and the worst possible rating for tree cover.
535. Condell Park
With a mixture of businesses scattered throughout the suburb, Condell Park has moderately weak scores for retail and cafes, as well as for access to employment hubs. Despite having excellent access to secondary education and hardly any congestion on the roads, Condell Park also does fairly poorly on walkability.
Schofields is a large north-western suburb with a train station, a Western Sydney University campus nearby, and a small number of shops and cafes. It benefits from being on the train line about 25 minutes from Parramatta, and from having good access to buses. Schofields has moderately high scores for traffic and tree cover, but there isn’t much open space. Some of its weakest categories are employment, crime, walkability and education.
537. Windsor Downs
There are benefits to being located 55 kilometres north-west of Sydney CBD, which in Windsor Downs’ case come in the form of free-flowing traffic, abundant tree cover, and plenty of open space. But that distance can also mean a lack of important amenities, with the suburb earning very poor marks for public transport, education, walkability and retail.
To the west of Minto and the north of Campbelltown, Kearns has an excellent score for congestion, a decent safety rating, and offers residents good access to primary education. Though it does have a tiny shopping village, it performs poorly for retail and cafes, and doesn’t have much tree cover either. Kearns suffers from a low walkability rating, a lack of open space and poor access to jobs and secondary schools.
Perched high in Sydney’s north-west about 50 kilometres from Sydney CBD, Shalvey aces the tests for open space, traffic and education, with several schools nearby. It is lacking in cafes and retail offerings, however, and doesn’t have a great deal of tree cover. With limited cultural services in the area, Shalvey does poorly for walkability, employment and on crime.
Cranbrook may only be a few kilometres north of the shopping hub in Penrith, but the suburb itself gets a very low rating for retail. It also has limited access to cultural services, secondary schools and cafes, with lower scores for jobs and walkability. Where Cranbrook does excel, however, is on primary education, congestion and tree cover, with a good amount of open space as well.
541. Dean Park
Dean Park may be low in the liveability rankings, but there are a few indicators on which it performs well. It has an excellent score for access to buses and for congestion, with hardly any traffic on the roads. It gets a tick for access to primary education too, and has a passable rating for safety. Some of Dean Park’s weaker scores are for cafes, open space and tree cover, but its worst marks are for retail, secondary education, walkability and employment.
There are hardly any shops in Colebee, but what the suburb lacks in cafe culture and retail, it makes up for in open space, tree cover and roads free from traffic. Unfortunately it is also lacking on access to public transport, employment and education. Located approximately 10 kilometres north-west of Blacktown, Colebee has a slightly low rating for crime and a lower rating for walkability.
543. Potts Hill
With Birrong train station just across the border, Potts Hill still ranks well for access to rail transport. It also gets a tick for secondary education, although its score for primary education is very low. Other weak spots include access to job hubs, retail, walkability and open space. Potts Hill isn’t strong on congestion or crime either.
544. Horningsea Park
Although Horningsea Peak is not a shopping hub, it still gets a high score for retail, likely courtesy of the shopping centre in neighbouring Carnes Hill. With no train station, the suburb is serviced well by buses. Horningsea Park performs well for traffic conditions, secondary education and safety too, but it gets low scores across employment, tree cover, open space and primary education.
545. Guildford West
Although Guildford West offers residents excellent access to primary and secondary schools, as well as roads with fairly limited congestion, it has low scores in most liveability categories. These range from retail to employment, open space to cultural services, but Guildford West’s worst ratings are for crime, tree cover and walkability. There are train stations a few kilometres away, in Guildford, and Yennora.
546. Eschol Park
Eschol Park may have a good rating for safety, an even better mark for access to secondary education, and a terrific rating for congestion, but it does poorly in most liveability categories. Slightly low are its scores for open space, tree cover, cultural services and trains, with the nearest station about 5 kilometres’ drive east in Minto. Its scores for walkability, access to jobs and primary education are particularly low.
Just over 5 kilometres north of Mount Druitt, Bidwill’s liveability strengths include excellent access to buses and schools, smooth traffic conditions and a decent amount of open space, but with the worst possible score for crime, the suburb is not without drawbacks. With only a handful of shops, it performs poorly for retail, cultural services, trains and walkability, and has moderately low marks for cafes and employment.
Glendenning is a primarily residential suburb in Sydney’s west, close to the shops at Plumpton Marketplace. It has passable scores for retail and cafes, with the nearest station about 6 kilometres’ drive south-west in Mount Druitt. Glendenning’s lowest scores are for access to employment, open space and walkability. It isn’t strong on crime or education either, but does perform very well in the congestion category.
549. Bonnyrigg Heights
Bonnyrigg Heights can count safety, lack of traffic and access to primary schools as some of its most liveable qualities. Yet the suburb, slightly more than 7 kilometres west of Cabramatta, suffers from limited access to employment and from poor walkability. It also doesn’t have a retail hub, is lacking in tree cover and open space, and doesn’t boast very good access to public transport or cafes.
You won’t find many shops in Dharruk, but with a Westfield a few kilometres to the south in Mount Druitt, the suburb gets a pass mark for retail. It claims terrific scores for primary and secondary education as well as for congestion, but there isn’t much open space or tree cover. Dharruk has a moderately low score for access to employment, and very low scores for culture and crime.
Occupying a large slice of Sydney’s south-west, Prestons residents benefit from light traffic conditions and aren’t far from retail hubs at Carnes Hill and Liverpool. Yet the suburb doesn’t have very good walkability and is lacking in tree cover. Prestons also has especially low marks for crime, education and rail transport.
Very low scores for crime, walkability, employment and retail reveal why Willmot sits near the bottom of the liveability rankings. The suburb, just over 50 kilometres north-west of the CBD, also has relatively weak scores for public transport and cafes. But Willmot nonetheless has a number of liveability strengths, from congestion to primary education, open space to tree cover.
553. Ropes Crossing
Despite stellar scores for congestion and tree cover, Ropes Crossing doesn’t fare well on most liveability indicators. Its weak areas include crime, open space, walkability and employment, as well as cafes and education. Although retail is not a strength either, there is a small shopping village near the centre of the suburb, and a larger hub over the border in North St Marys.
554. Camden South
This suburb shares some of the liveability triumphs of Camden, including smooth traffic, a low crime rate and a good amount of tree cover. But it lacks the retail hub that its northern neighbour has, and also doesn’t have good access to cafes. Camden South’s other low scores include access to jobs, public transport, education and cultural services. The suburb isn’t particularly walkable, either.
This neighbourhood is about 6 kilometres north of Mount Druitt and is close to Plumpton shops, but it nonetheless gets a moderately low score for retail and cafes. Although Oakhurst is strong in the congestion, buses and secondary education categories, it loses points for crime, a lack of open space and tree cover, along with poor walkability and poor access to employment.
Blackett is about 50 kilometres north-west of Sydney CBD near Mount Druitt, and while it boasts terrific scores for education and traffic conditions, it has very low marks for walkability, crime and public transport. Home to a small shopping centre, Blackett has minimal tree cover and open space, isn’t close to cafe hubs, and doesn’t boast very good access to employment.
557. Bligh Park
On the edge of Windsor Downs Nature Reserve, Bligh Park is approximately 7 kilometres south-east of Richmond. The primarily residential suburb gets low ratings for retail, cafes and secondary education. It also has the worst possible score for walkability, with a similar rating for access to employment. Bligh Park makes up some points through its excellent traffic conditions, top access to primary schools, and a great score for buses.
558. Narellan Vale
About midway between Campbelltown and Camden, Narellan Vale gets passable scores for cafes and crime, performing much better for access to schools and for congestion. Yet the suburb doesn’t have very good ratings for trains or buses, with only a few retail offerings. Its scores slip lower thanks to employment, walkability and tree cover, with a zero rating for open space.
Hebersham only takes up a small sliver of Sydney’s west, hosting a small shopping centre and a park. It has excellent scores for primary and secondary education and enjoys smooth traffic, but has the lowest possible ranking for crime, with scores for culture, walkability, tree cover and employment not far behind. Hebersham also cannot claim to have very good public transport connections, though the train station at Mount Druitt is a few kilometres south.
560. West Hoxton
West Hoxton, west of Liverpool, manages excellent scores for safety and congestion, with a good level of tree cover, but this is not enough to counteract its poor scores across a range of indicators. At the bottom of the rankings for walkability, residents have limited access to open space, employment and education. Similarly, West Hoxton gets low marks for public transport, cultural services and retail.
Very poor marks for walkability, employment, culture and tree cover reveal why Hinchinbrook ranks so poorly, but the suburb still has liveable qualities. These include a lack of congestion, excellent access to secondary schools, and buses. Located to the west of Liverpool, Hinchinbrook is lacking in retail, isn’t very close to cafe hubs or trains, and doesn’t have very good access to primary schools.
562. Middleton Grange
The M7 forms the eastern border of this suburb, approximately 45 kilometres west of Sydney CBD. Residents have poor access to buses, trains and retail, and there aren’t many cafes nearby. Despite Middleton Grange’s terrific scores for safety and traffic, it performs poorly for employment, walkability, primary education and secondary education.
Only a few residential streets make up Bungarribee, a suburb positioned between Mount Druitt and Blacktown. It has low ratings for crime, employment, cafes, retail and education, and isn’t very walkable. Bungarribee is also lacking in open space, but still manages to perform well on congestion and tree cover. Blacktown station is about 5 kilometres east.
564. Bow Bowing
Aside from a handful of local businesses and a few residential streets, there is little to be found in Bow Bowing. As a result, its scores are low on the list for retail, cafes and education. Access to employment is another weak spot, as is open space, tree cover and walkability. Although the suburb has excellent traffic conditions and is close to Minto train station, its score for crime has room for improvement.
565. Hassall Grove
Very poor scores in critical categories like employment and public transport prevent Hassall Grove from a better liveability ranking, and the suburb also isn’t very strong on crime or retail either. It does, however, have near-perfect scores for congestion and access to primary education, doing well on secondary education too. Nonetheless, the secluded north-west suburb gets a zero rating for tree cover, and a similar rating for walkability.
566. Glen Alpine
Home to Campbelltown Golf Club, Glen Alpine gets a tick for access to trains, being a few kilometres south of Macarthur Square Station. It also has very light traffic conditions, but puts in mostly poor performances in other liveability categories. There’s a lack of cafes, retail offerings and open space in the area, and the suburb gets low marks for education, employment and crime.
South-west of Liverpool, this neighbourhood has a primary school and streets dotted with newly-built homes. You won’t come across a retail or cafe hub here, or a railway station, though trains can be reached by driving a few kilometres to Macquarie Links or Edmondson Park, and traffic is usually not an issue. Bardia’s low scores include access to jobs, crime and secondary education. Bardia is also lacking in open space, and has a weak walkability score.
568. Denham Court
Narrowly escaping the wooden spoon award, Denham Court may have good marks for congestion and tree cover, but it is a poor performer for cafes, employment, cultural services and retail. Largely isolated from buses and trains and with limited walkability, it suffers from weak spots that include crime and education. About equal distance between Campbelltown and Liverpool, Denham Court gets the lowest possible score for open space.
One suburb had to be last. In this case, it’s Blairmount, a sparsely populated suburb with only a few residential streets. About five kilometres’ drive north-west of Campbelltown, it may have a strong traffic score, but does poorly on access to jobs, primary and secondary education and retail. Other weak points include open space and, in particular, walkability.