My husbands parents are retirees living in Terrigal and we have a house there which we are renting out...Gosford has some awful areas to be honest but East Gosford is very up and coming and has some nice shops, Erina and Terrigal are nice but prices are rising all the time. The in-laws met a few people through their golf club.
My opinion only of course, but living in central Gosford would be the pits. But the areas surrounding it can be nice and even stunningly beautiful. Places like : Pearl Beach, Kincumber, Avoca Beach, Mcmasters Beach, Hardys Bay, Pretty Beach, Killcare Heights and Picketts Valley, to name but a few. And all an easy drive to Sydney or to Sydney from Gosford train station.
If you can afford it, Jilliby in the Dooralong Valley, is a lovely rural area near the Central Coast. Only 103km to Sydney CBD. And 30mins to the beach.
Thanks all for recent replies - it's all going to be helpful when the time comes.
103 visa application lodged February 2013. 143 visa application submitted January 2016. Police checks and form 80 submitted February 29th 2016. Visa granted April 4th 2016.
I see you mention renting first, which in your position I would say is really important. Six months would be ideal, to settle into Australian life, get over the stress of moving out and really explore the areas you have in mind. Your ideas on what you think you want can change once you're living here.
we spent a lot of time exploring north, and south, of Sydney as 2 of our children are there but as we initially came to Noosa (on holiday and before children came out) we are spoilt & found it difficult to find anywhere that suited us as much. But there are some nice places on central coast. As someone else said the prices are representative of how close you get to Sydney.
my daughters in laws live in/around Lake Macquarie & Newcastle which apparently has some nice areas, but a longer drive to Sydney.
Good luck with the hunt. Just keep reminding yourselves how exciting it is!