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  1. Contributor

    Bondi - Sydney Suburbs

    Bondi From its amazing surf breaks, to its bohemian population, Sydney’s most iconic beachside suburb is one of the most fabulous locales in the country. Situated 7km from Sydney’s CBD, Bondi is the heart of the Eastern suburbs. With a population of only just over 20,000 residents, the suburb is home to celebrities, surfers, families, travellers, artists and everything in-between. To locals, Bondi has many monikers. “The bubble”, “the valley” and “2026” are three that spring to mind readily. Here you’ll find some of Sydney’s most prime and prestigious homes alongside a raft of backpacker accommodation and family homes. The lay of the Land Bondi’s architecture is a melting pot of shiny newly built dwellings, federation homes, 70’s apartment blocks and a touch of old art deco buildings. Over 70% of the dwellings are apartments adding to the sense of community here. Bondi opens onto the truly beautiful Bondi Beach. It is defined by the bustling Campbell Pde that runs adjacent to the beach and a series of residential streets running down towards the water. Locals understand the suburb in terms of South Bondi and North Bondi, with Hall Street as the demarcation point. From the south to the north, Bondi is crammed with bars, restaurants, hotels, fashion boutiques and everything that the hipster generation requires for survival. It has been said that Bondi possibly possesses that highest rate per capita of yoga studios and gyms of anywhere in the country. Fuel for the Hipster Generation The suburb pulses with coffee addicts and fitness enthusiasts side by side. There is a focus here on healthy eating and the enjoyment of fine food. Cafes abound throughout Bondi, as do organic food establishments. Organic Food: Orchard St Bondi Wholefoods Sadhana Vegan Pokebowl Fishbowl Alongside this, Bondi has experienced an explosion of burger joints: BL Burgers at the Beach Rd hotel Tony’s Burgers Milky Lane Macelleria Oli’s Chicken Burgers Paradise Road At the higher end of the scale, Bondi is home to some truly amazing fine dining establishments. Perched at the top of the famous Bondi Icebergs ocean pool is Bondi Icebergs Dining Room. A hangout for celebrities, it has an intimate bar and dining room overlooking the crashing waves and a vista from the south end of Bondi to the north. At the opposite end of the beach, the simply named North Bondi Fish is a high end seafood restaurant boasting a very cool balcony overlooking the south side. In between, Sean’s Panaroma on Campbell Parade is a years long fine dining establishment in an intimate space. Newly opened Fonda with its South of the Border cuisine leads the pack for casual dining with a bar like atmosphere. It’s rivalled by Rocker at the North Bondi interchange featuring twists on local produce and ethically sourced ingredients. Cafes Bondi is the pinnacle of café culture in Sydney. Locals are passionate about their coffee choices and the surroundings it is served in. The craftily named “Coffee” on Curlewis St is Bondi’s only local roaster. But don’t go there for your standard latte. There is no dairy or sugar at all on premises. Each coffee is a handcrafted work of art, made with their own nut milk. Gertrude and Alice on Hall Street is a bookstore first and café second. Sip on your coffee in the comfort of a velvet armchair whilst you delve into a great vintage read. Head to CaliPress on Hall St if you’re curious about what a $10 coffee tastes like. Go for their “BulletProof” a concoction of coconut oil, cayenne pepper and maybe just a hint of actual coffee. There are far too many cafes to mention – each with its own edge. Pubs, Bars, Clubs There is a thriving bar and pub scene in Bondi. It’s best understood by breaking down the ways you can enjoy a tipple locally. Nightclubs as such don’t exist in Bondi due to stringent local licencing laws. Bars do. Of these there are many. Here are a handful of must-visits: The Bucket List – festooned with fairy lights and featuring fresh stripes just about everywhere, this indoor/outdoor bar is right on the drive along the beach. Great food, cocktails and spotting position. Bondi Hardware – was actually once the local hardware store. Now, however it is a dimly lit, intimate cocktail bar and restaurant positioned amongst all the normal suburban amenities on Hall Street. Mamasan – directly opposite the local’s local – The Beach Road Hotel, Mamasan is a pumping cocktail bar with an Asian inspired vibe. Now that we’re talking pubs – Bondi is home to surprisingly few. Of these, The Bondi Hotel on Campbell parade is the most frequented by tourists. The Beach Road hotel, with its rooftop bar, beer garden, awesome burger bar and ever evolving line-up of DJs and bands is the local’s choice. The Beach is top and tailed with two Clubs of considerable notoriety. At the south end is the world famous icebergs club. Featuring the stunning ocean pool, fitness centre and high end Icebergs Dining Room, it is one of the best clubs to take in the entire Bondi vista. At the south end is North Bondi RSL, a fabulous local institution, well known for its live entertainment and truly spiritual view. Local Events Bondi is host to several community events during the year. Flickerfest – short film festival in January Bowl-a-Rama – international skating competition at the Bondi Skate Bowl on the beach Festival of the Winds – International Kite Festival on the beach in August The Winter Festival – featuring an Ice Skating Rink open air by the beach Sculpture by the Sea – Sculptures all along the coastal walk from Bondi to Bronte Living in Bondi Bondi is a safe, chilled suburb. The police station is right in the centre of the suburb and the crime rate is relatively low. Walking the streets late at night is a safe pursuit. The suburb hums with life all day and night. It’s a harmonious suburb comprised of residents who are largely respectful and community based. 50% of the population is Australian born, with 22% of the residents identifying as having an English background. The median age within the community is 33% and over one third of the population list themselves as having no religious beliefs. A very high percentage of the population rent their homes, particularly apartments. The average rent per week is $640 according to the 2016 census. But in 2017, that would be considered nothing short of a bargain. The median house price in Bondi is currently $2.7million for a house and $1.6 million for an apartment. Education Public, private and religious school are all within Bondi. There are no notoriously bad schools. Public schools provide free education and the private schools range in price based on the facilities they provide. Bondi Beach Public School – Campbell Pde Bondi Public School – Wellington Street Montessori School – Wellington Street Galilee Catholic Primary School – Blair Street All the above are co-educational. Many other schools exist on the boundaries and surrounding suburbs. There are two high schools within Bondi itself. But within the Eastern Suburbs are some of the most prestigious and expensive private schools in the country. Locally, the Public High School – Rose Bay High is co-educational. It is a large campus and also houses a selective (high achieving) stream of students. Reddam House is located on Blair Street and is a co-educational private school. It is one of Sydney’s most expensive high schools and is ranked within the top 10 of schools in the state. Services in the Suburb Medical – There are many local medical clinics and doctor’s surgeries in Bondi. Some will and others will not bulk bill. Bondi Doctors on Hall Street Bulk Bills for children but not adults. The closest public hospital is St Vincents in Darlinghurst or The Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick or Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick. The Childrens Hospital is also in Randwick. Randwick is 5km from Bondi. Here is a list of local practitioners: Bondi Doctors – Hall Street 9365 2833 Bondi Physio – Curlewis St 02) 9130 6914 Bondi Dentist – Curlewis St (02) 9365 7187 Transport Bondi is well serviced for public transport via our bus system. Grabbing a bus from Bondi to Bondi Junction is about a 10 – 15 minute exercise. The 380, 386,387, 333, 389 all work these routes. From Bondi Junction Train Station, you can access the State Rail Network. You can also access the ferries by taking a bus from Bondi to Rose Bay ferry stop. Bondi also has just seen the introduction of a new public bicycle companies, ofo. Push bikes are scattered throughout Sydney (particularly Bondi). You access them via an app and can hop on, ride around and leave them wherever you like for the next client to pick up.
  2. Anyone from overseas with at least a passing interest in Australia probably at some point has watched the Australian beach-side soap opera 'Home and Away'. For those of you that haven’t it is set in the small,fictional town of Summer Bay which has an unusually high proportion of good looking people, a disproportionate amount of drama for its relatively small population and a woefully inept local police force according to my wife. The show is a huge hit overseas as it gives a glimpse of an idyllic Australian beachside existence that many in the UK and across the world can only dream of. Which begs the question...how real is it? I mean, obviously it’s a fictional series, but there is always a degree of fact that gets stretched by even the best TV writers. So is it real or not? Well, like anything of this nature, the answer is yes and no. Yes, this beautiful beach-side existence is real and it is still out there for you to find and enjoy. There are still so many small, relatively untouched, beautiful beach-side towns dotted right around the Australian coastline in a country where 90% of its population lives within 90 minutes of the beach. Yes they are disproportionately full of good looking, fit people who spend as much time as they can either surfing or walking along the beach nonchalantly throwing sticks as they go. Yes there are plenty of surf clubs like the legendary Summer Bay Surf club which are in many ways the social backbone of these communities, bringing with them their self-styled beachside culture enforcers such as the Home and Away stalwart Alf Stewart. Some of these real places are almost impossibly beautiful and laid back. Even as I write this, I can almost hear the sounds of thousands of people simultaneously packing their houses up and filling out their visa applications to head to Australia, possibly permanently. But before you pack that last set of beach towels and lock the door for the last time, keep in mind that there are a few downsides. First of all, you aren’t the first people to work this out. Australians worked it out a long time ago and have beaten you to the best spots. In fact, Palm Beach, the outer northern Sydney beachside suburb where Home and Away is filmed, is more full of ferrari-driving multi-millionaires than people living in a caravan park. According to realestate.com.au Palm Beach’s average house price sits at A$2.7 million or about 1.5 million pounds sterling. Not exactly shabby. Beachside suburbs in Sydney are ridiculously expensive, relegating most foreigners who visit or live there to units. Popular suburbs in Australia for ex-pats include Bondi, Coogee, Clovelly, Manly and Cronulla in Sydney, The Entrance on the NSW Central Coast, Byron Bay in northern NSW, St Kilda in Melbourne, Glenelg in Adelaide, Fremantle in Perth and the aptly named Surfers Paradise in Queensland. Not only are they full of tourists, they are full of hopeful migrants, Australians who haven’t grown up there and a smattering of smug locals who bought when prices were still remotely affordable and have watch their property values skyrocket. In fact, beach-side suburbs in Sydney’s prime Eastern Suburbs were once quite affordable, thanks to the Japanese navy which had actually shelled these areas with midget subs during World War 2. The rebound impact of this was that it actually made them so affordable that many European migrants moved there in the 1950s and made an absolute killing when they became prime real estate towards the end of the 20th Century and beyond. For the average Sydneysider though, these beach-side suburbs are only visited a handful of times each year and it is not uncommon for busloads of ethnic Sydney kids to visit them on school excursions complete with a genuine excitement of seeing the beach for the first time, despite only leaving within 60-90 minutes from it. Life in these suburbs is quite expensive, even for the most basic things. It even inspired the mockumentary Avalon Now where locals routinely queue up to pay $100 for a soy latte and a bunch of kale as their car gets towed away because it is double parked amid the hordes of beach-side tourists competing for parking spots. So once you do manage to sell everything to get to this beach-side paradise, don’t expect the locals to exactly throw out the welcome mat until you have either been there for three generations or become involved in the local surf club. Despite all of this, it is still worth the effort to live or stay in one of these areas, even for a short time. Then go back home and work out a desperate plan to get enough money to live there full time. In a beautiful beach-side unit next to the local cafe and surf club. I know that’s what I’m doing...
  3. Being a 30 year old male, who has been living in Australia for the last 1/3rd of his life, I can safely say I love the country and prefer it over India – my birthplace and my homeland. I finished my Bachelors in Engineering back in India and was looking for options for places to pursue further studies and that offered future opportunities to develop a career. A good friend of mine suggested Australia as a fair land that offered multiple options and opportunities. I started researching about Australia on the internet, came across a lot of websites offering tons of information on Australia and what to expect once here. I distinctly remember a website www.pomsinoz.com that was super detailed and answered most of my questions to a great extent. The entire process of applying to universities and for a student visa was very simple and that’s when www.pomsinoz.com came in very handy. The best things I love about the country are fairness, multiple and varied opportunities, the welcoming attitude of people you meet, the political system, the influence and actions of police, the judicial system, the abundance of nature beauty the country offers and thousands of kilometres of the coastline. Ever since I have been here, the university I went, the part-time jobs I have had over time, whether it be working in hospitality or working the graveyard shift at a petrol station or working in a cleaning role, I have never had a bad racial experience, being a brown-skinned guy in a foreign country. I have always felt welcome and never had any negative experiences. In my current white collar job as an Operations Analyst, I feel very welcome, respected and listened to. I always get a fair say in the office and my opinions and ideas are considered with the importance that they deserve. In India, you are only respected if you have a Government job or if you are a doctor. Other professions are not given the importance and respect that they deserve. In contrast, Australia regards all professions equally and provides everyone a fair chance to earn money and provide for their family I love the sense of security that Australia offers via enforcement of the laws and rules and a fair judicial system. Unlike India, when I see a police officer around in Australia I feel safe and secure. I love the fact that the police are honest and not prone to bribery which is a huge issue back in India. I love how the people here are very obedient of the laws. For e.g. I have seen people stopping at a red light at 2am even when there is absolutely no one else on the roads. The Judicial system here is fair and super quick at arriving at a decision whereby in India, cases drag on for tens of years and most of the time never get resolved. I absolutely love the 5-day work week culture here as compared to the 6-day or sometimes 7-day work week back in India. The shorter work week gives everyone a chance to relax, rejuvenate and mingle with friends and family. This encourages better performance at work and thus a better output and results compared to someone working every single day without a break. I love the fact that the Aussies know how to relax whether it be gathering at a barbeque or going out for a couple of drinks or partying hard once in a while. I am proud of having very good Aussie friends who treat me as one of their own and not a migrant. Another thing I love about this place is the social events and gatherings that are organised. There is something available for everyone’s interests. Many events are kid-friendly and really entertaining. A lot of these happen in one of the many parks and gardens. These are very well maintained and a delight to hang out in. I love how Australia has a great sporting culture participating in so many different kinds of sports. All sports get their own importance and fans who follow them religiously. As compared to India where Cricket is only sport they know of. I like how Australians follow sports and encourage kids to participate in sports from a very early age thus promoting health and well-being in kids. And lastly, the best thing I love about Australia is the abundance of natural beauty Australia has to offer. Driving on the Great Ocean Road, camping at Warrnambool or the Grampians, skiing on Mt Buller, climbing up the Sydney Harbour Bridge, trekking in the Blue Mountains, wine tasting in the Barossa Valley, travelling on the Spirit of Tasmania are only some of the activities I have done and have been amazed with the beauty of everything. There’s lots more to do and I cannot wait to experience more different activities.
  4. By P.Garcia Anyone who has ever watched the Australian television soap opera Neighbours has had a glimpse into everyday Australian suburban life, albeit with a bit of extra drama thrown in. But is life on the show’s fictional Ramsay Street (even though it is a real cul-de-sac in Melbourne that you can drive on) a realistic glimpse of Australian life in the suburbs or a throwback to a more cliched view of what life should be like? Well the answer is that it does. Kind of. I mean, throw in the more mundane parts of everyday life like constant trips to the nearby shopping mall, grocery store or Saturday morning kids sports events and it is still pretty close. In fact, the main reason the show is even still being produced after so many years is that it continues to get lapped up by British and overseas audiences dreaming of an idyllic life Down Under. The numbers don’t lie - since World War II more than 7.5 million people have immigrated to Australia and that number is actually quite low because immigration into Australia has been strictly capped for many years and currently stands at 190,000 per year. Australia still remains the most popular country for British people to immigrate to according to The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford. On the flipside, official Australian Government figures show British people traditionally were the highest source of Australian permanent migrants until 2010-11, when China and India took over the mantle. It can be argued that most of the western world is morphing into this suburban, shopping mall-centred utopia,so why would Australia be any different and why would it be worth uprooting everything and moving there? There are plenty of reasons - the opportunities, the weather, the accepting, multi-cultural melting pot, the natural landscape, low crime levels and the top-shelf educational and sporting facilities that are available to all and not just the well-off. But the number one reason is the people themselves - or more clearly the Australian cultural ethos of “a Fair Go”. Ever since the first European settlement in 1788, Australia has become home to people of all kinds of backgrounds from the convicts of yesteryear to the highly-trained professionals migrating to Australia today. But from the outset, there has been the constant common denominator of A Fair Go. While it would be a stretch to argue that it is a classless society, it is certainly much closer to it than most other countries around the world. While the laid-back, laconic bushman of days gone by has gone, they have been replaced by suburbanites with a great sense of humour, a playful disdain of authorities and snobbishness and the idea that Australians are all in it together for the greater good. It’s not uncommon for even the more economically disadvantaged people in cities like Sydney or Melbourne to have good friendships with those better off and experience some of their lifestyle. Go on a party yacht cruise around Sydney Harbour and you will often bump into someone who runs the local convenience store who met the host purely because they liked the same football team. In fact, the way that the property market has gone in places like Sydney, it’s not uncommon for even people on an average wage in the outer suburbs to be sitting in a house valued at more than a million Australian dollars. It all comes back to the culture of inclusiveness that has become ingrained in Australians and is expected to be followed by new migrants. In fact, it is the personification of the Neighbours theme song words of “that’s when good neighbours become good friends”. It’s why you see hordes of Australian people helping rather than looting during natural disasters - the total opposite of countries like the US where disasters are seen by the poor as an opportunity to even the scales of injustice with the rich by looting their possessions. This concept of fairness is ingrained in a fairer average wage system, universal health care, education and better working conditions. While it probably doesn’t go as far as the devout socialism of Scandinavian countries, it is much better than the American system of “every man for himself”. In short, it’s the best of both worlds. Without necessarily meaning to, that’s another thing that Australians have done well - taking the best parts of other countries and blending them into its ever evolving culture that wasn’t set in stone hundreds or thousands of years ago. While watching Neighbours might lead viewers to the impression that Australia is a very Caucasian country, it is actually not the case. Sure, go out to the rural and semi-rural areas and it is still full of white people, but in the cities where the majority of Australians live, it is a multi-cultural mixing pot. Recent Australian government figures show about 28.2 per cent of the population was born overseas, the numbers from cities such as Sydney show that up to 51-55% of people have recent overseas cultural backgrounds. Many of these people are drawn to Australia by its good weather by international standards. Sydney is “cold” (which Australians define as non-shorts weather) for only six weeks of the year and the sub-tropical parts of Northern Australia are never cold. Even places that Australians consider cold in the winter, such as Melbourne or Tasmania are quite mild by overseas standards. Other factors that make Australia worth emigrating to is the great educational and sporting opportunities for its young people that don’t have the high cost- and social-barrier entry problems as similar facilities overseas. If little Johnny or Sun-Li want to become good golfers they can just wander down to their local course and get better at it without having to come from wealthy families to be able to afford to do so. Domestic travel is also a plus - many people born in Australia never or rarely travel overseas because there is so much natural diversity in their own continent and if they do, there is plenty of variety in nearby New Zealand, the Pacific Islands or Southeast Asia. And here’s a secret Australians try to keep under wraps - while they have a lot of wildlife that could probably kill you - it is unlikely that you will ever see it! This is best summed up by the Dropbear, a mythical killer koala that only exists in folklore so locals have an in-joke to playfully scare tourists. So all in all, Australia isn’t a bad place to move to. It’s not exactly Ramsay Street, but you definitely won’t have to worry about the Dropbears!
  5. Contributor

    Varsity Lakes, Gold Coast

    Varsity Lakes, Gold Coast, Queensland. Why you should live in Varsity Lakes Varsity Lakes is one of the booming areas of the Gold Coast with a central CBD, market square, restaurants and fast foods including Sushi shop, Fish and chips, Subway, Indian cuisine and several coffee shops. Also located in the CBD is the IGA grocery store. At the central of Varsity Lakes is the Bendigo bank branch making it easy to access an ATM and face to face customer service centre. In Varsity lakes is also the Varsity Lakes Primary School and Varsity Lakes High school which is a stone throw from each other although separated by a bridge. These schools are among the top public schools on the Gold Coast. However, private schools such as Kings, Hillcrests are accessible to the Varsity Lakes Community because they are 20 minutes’ drive away and located in Robina and Reedy Creek area. Varsity Lakes have an enticing and beautiful scenery because it is surrounded by artificial lakes thus making the location exciting. Apart from the primary and secondary school located in Varsity Lakes, the first private University in Australia, Bond University, is at the central of Varsity Lakes, a 5-minute walk from CBD. Thus, lucrative businesses are attracted to the CBD of the Varsity Lakes. Apart from Varsity Lakes being equipped with all the stores and shops for a day in day out life, the CBD has many offices and company spaces which are being occupied by law firms, banks, tax agents, accountants, pharmacist, physiotherapist, travel company, real estate organisations and general practices. Shops and recreation Varsity Lakes is 10 minutes’ drive from Robina where one of the biggest shopping centres is located. Also, Pacific Fair, the newly upgraded shopping centre with over 1500 shops, is 15 minutes’ drive from Varsity Lakes. Thus, making Varsity Lakes a preferred location for many settlers. Varsity Lakes is 25 minutes’ drive from Surfers Paradise, the tourist town, with all the sky scrapper and attractions. Varsity Lakes is a great area for all types of people especially for families, due to the numerous parks and boardwalks around the lakes which is great for getting the kids and pet out. Though Varsity Lakes is equipped with all these amenities, it is still a very affordable location. Moreover, Varsity Lakes is 10 minutes’ drive to over ten beaches on the Gold Coast. Varsity Lakes is within half an hour of the major theme parks of Dreamworld, Movie world, Wet’n’Wild or SeaWorld. Where are the best streets? All streets in Varsity lakes are awesome and habitable with little or no crime. From Lake Orr drive to University Drive and Yodelay all streets are peaceful and habitable. Streets to avoid: There is no street to avoid in Varsity Lakes, due to the presence of the private university, Varsity Lakes only entice and attract the academics, students and the rich. Thus, the crime rate is from little to zero. Restaurant and Bistro: Hotel CBD and Varsity Lakes Tavern The CBD is endowed with Hotel CBD which is equipped with rooms and restaurants with great food. Also in Varsity Lakes is the Varsity Lakes Tavern which caters for audiences of all ages and features a spacious and modern bistro with a huge menu, daily food specials and a lounge bar with an extensive beer selection and traditional sports bar. Also, the Varsity Lakes Tavern feature TAB, Keno and gaming facilities, live sport broadcast daily, ample parking space, weekly entertainment and with Dan Murphy's bottle shop conveniently located on site. The Varsity lakes tavern is 10 minutes’ walk from the CBD over the artificial lake separated by the Bermuda road. Public Transport in Varsity Lakes: The Gold Coast public bus service which is operated by Surfside bus lines and help with transportation within the Varsity Lakes. On regular working days, the buses come every ten minutes while on Weekends this might change to 30 minutes. Thus, own transport is the best for weekends and holidays. The Surfside bus lines have a direct connection to other suburbs including Robina, Surfers Paradise, and other tourist attraction centres including Dreamworld and the Beaches. On the Surfside bus lines, you can use the rechargeable touch card called the ‘Go-Card’ or pay per trip which is a costly way of travelling. Gold Coast Taxis Taxi services on the Gold Coast are operated by Regent Taxis and Yellow Cabs and help people in Varsity Lakes and surrounding Suburbs with transportation. Regent Taxis and Yellow Cabs drivers are friendly and courteous, and the vehicles are of good standard. In peak periods, or if a timetable is a priority, it will pay to look at a-pre-booked service as waiting times can escalate. However, with the arrival of Uber, taxis transportation has improved. With the help of Uber, you can get to your destination without delay. Is the Suburb for young couples or families or wealthy? The suburb is for everybody, young couples, family, students and the wealthy. The way Varsity Lakes is designed, the closer to the University the more apartment for students. The Far away from the University, the more the young couple apartments and the houses for the rich. Varsity Lakes have new cheap apartments with good rental returns from university students and younger couples. Bond university receives new international students every semester that are eager to find accommodation close to the university. The property prices vary from $30000+ for units to $400000+ for houses/townhouses. Employment opportunities: Getting a job in Varsity Lakes could be very challenging because of the student population. Most jobs are being hunted by students. However, due to easy accessibility and closeness to other Suburbs like Robina, Surfers Paradise and Burleigh, it is easier to get a job in other suburb and live in Varsity Lakes. Demographics Varsity Lakes has the postcode 4227 and a suburb of South Eastern, Gold Coast & Hinterland, Queensland. It is about 79 km from QLD's capital city of Brisbane. Varsity Lakes is surrounded by other suburbs including Robina, Burleigh Heads, Burleigh Waters, Carrara, Merrimac and Reedy Creek. According to 2011 census, the population of Varsity Lakes was 14,366. The population increased to 15,165 in 2016 and represented those living in 6,250 dwellings with an average household size of 2.53. The population comprised of approximately 52.2% females and 47.8% males. The median/average age of the people in Varsity Lakes is 32 years of age. 61.0% of people living in Varsity Lakes are born in Australia while others are born in New Zealand (8.1%), England (4.8%), China (1.8%), Africa (1.7%), Malaysia (1.0%), Korea (0.9%), Philippines (0.9%), Japan (0.8%), Canada (0.7%), United States of America (0.6%), Hong Kong (0.6%), Germany (0.5%), India (0.5%) and Scotland (0.5%). At least 76.8% of the residents of the Varsity Lakes speak English only. Other top languages spoken are Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Afrikaans, Spanish, and Italian. Also, the religious makeup of Varsity Lakes includes those with no religion (24.9%), Catholic (23.6%), Anglican (16.0%), Religious affiliation (9.5%), Uniting Church (4.4%), Christian (4.0%), Presbyterian and Reformed (3.1%), Buddhism (2.3%), Pentecostal (1.8% and Eastern Orthodox (1.7%). G eneral Practice As said earlier, Varsity Lakes have a general practice dedicated to the community, and it is called the Gold Coast Medical Precinct (GCMP). The GCMP has an instore pathology laboratory and a pharmacy 2-minute walking distance from the GP practice. The GCMP allows Bulk billing.
  6. Contributor

    Eagleby, South-East Queensland

    Eagleby: “The River Hills Suburb” Eagleby is a suburb located in the ever-growing South-East Queensland (SEQ) corridor. It covers an area of approximately 13.8km2 and is bounded by the Logan River to the north, the Albert River to the east/south and the Pacific Motorway to the west. Eagleby is situated to the North-east of Beenleigh and in the past, was considered a suburb of Beenleigh. Eagleby is located approximately 30Km from the Brisbane CBD and located approximately 45Km from the Gold Coast. The major theme parks (Dreamworld, Wet ‘N’ Wild and Movie World) are also within 25Km of Eagleby. It is also home to the Eagleby Wetlands which is a natural waterbird habitat. Demographics Eagleby has a population of 14,164 people, with a split of approximately 51% women and 49% men, this was measured at the 2016 Census. The median age of residents living in Eagleby is 35.8 years, which is below the national average of 37.4 years. Statistically, around 70% of Eagleby’s residents were born in Australia, around 9% were born in New Zealand and around 5% were born in the United Kingdom. An important factor in choosing which suburb to live in is based on the proportion of families/couples’ present and in Eagleby around 41% of residents are married, 38% of residents have never married, with the remainder either divorced or separated. The median household income of residents in Eagleby is approximately $877 per week, which is below the national average. There are several main areas of employment which Eagleby residents are employed in, the major industries being Manufacturing (16%), Retail (13%) and Construction (11%). The main occupations of residents are Labourers (18%), Technical and Trade Workers (15%) and Machinery operators (14%). The unemployment rate in Eagleby is approximately 12% (according to the 2016 Census) which is well above the national unemployment rate, being 5.6%. However, there are several large projects either being constructed or planned, this should generate additional employment opportunities and hopefully lower unemployment rates. Education There are two major primary schools servicing Eagleby. Eagleby State School is located in the northern part of Eagleby and caters for Prep to Year 6 students, the catchment area for Eagleby State School is essentially the area north of Herses Road bounded by the Albert and Logan Rivers. Eagleby South State School is located in the southern part of Eagleby and caters for Prep to Year 6 students, the catchment for Eagleby South State School is the area south of Herses Road bounded by the Albert river to the east/south and the Pacific Motorway to the west. The major secondary school servicing the Eagleby area is the Beenleigh State High School, which caters for students in Grade 7-12. The catchment of Beenleigh State High School encompasses the entire Eagleby suburb. There are also several private schools in Beenleigh and the surrounding areas. There are several early education centres established in Eagleby for younger children. Real Estate A major factor when considering the pros and cons of moving to a new suburb is how the property market is placed within that area. The median house price has increased steadily since 2013, from $246,000 in 2013 to $301,000 in 2016, however, the median unit price has decreased steadily since 2013 from $300,500 in 2013 to $230,000 in 2016. The median prices within Eagleby are significantly lower than the state average median house price, which is $470,000. Statistically a large proportion of homes in Eagleby are owned or rented by couples/families aged between 35-64, with the greatest percentage (13.9%) being couples/families aged between 55-64. Interestingly, data indicates there is a relatively small number of elderly couples (aged over 65) and younger couples (aged under 35). The current trend indicates that established couples/families are settling in Eagleby and younger/elderly couples/families are more interested in other areas. There is an equal split between home owners/purchasers and rental tenants. Around 24% of homes in Eagleby are fully owned, 25% are mortgaged and around 47% of homes are being rented. Transport There are a range of public transport options available to the residents of Eagleby. Logan City Bus Service operate bus services on weekdays, with limited services available on the weekend. Train services are also available at the Beenleigh train station and operates extensively throughout the week and weekend. Trains are available travelling towards the Brisbane CBD and the Gold Coast and surrounding areas. Health Services There are a range of medical facilities located within Eagleby or nearby. There is a Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) and Queensland Fire Service (QFS) depot located on Brigade Drive which is situated on the western boundary of Eagleby. There are several bulk billing doctor services available including Eagleby Family Practice, Eagleby Medical centre (including skin cancer clinic) and Main Street Medical and Dental Centre (which is located nearby in Beenleigh). There is also a QML pathology branch situated within the Eagleby Shopping Plaza. Should emergencies arise, the Logan Hospital is located approximately 12Km from Eagleby. Main Street Medical and Dental Centre also offers bulk billing services for Skin Cancer, Physiotherapy and dietician services. Shopping Eagleby Shopping Plaza is the major shopping centre located in Eagleby, there are several tenants including a large supermarket (IGA), a post office, a chemist, a butcher, several takeaway stores, a bottle shop and other specialty stores. Beenleigh Marketplace is also located close to Eagleby and features Woolworths, Big W and other specialty stores. The most prominent shopping centre in the Logan corridor, the Logan Hyperdome, is approximately a 10-minute drive from Eagleby and features Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, Kmart, Big W and other specialty stores Eagleby, for the most part, is a family friendly place to live, with several options available for schooling and childcare. A n area to avoid would be the park adjacent to the Eagle Tavern. Due to the size of the suburb, the majority of services are within walking or cycling distance, so a vehicle is not 100% necessary and there are numerous public transport options available within walking distance. The majority of areas within Eagleby are filled with established families/couples aged between 35-64. Overall, Eagleby is a good choice for established couples and families as well as low income households.
  7. Contributor

    Toowong, Brisbane

    Toowong Toowong is a suburb located 5km away from the CBD located in the inner city of Brisbane. At the centre of the suburb is a shopping centre called Toowong village, it is home to roughly 85 shops and is the meeting place for the locals. Some of these include; Coles, Kmart, barbers, cafés and more. The suburb has a very laid back feeling, there is a great community and there is heaps of public transport. It is a great suburb for families as it is close to schools and there are also other nice families to meet and interact with. Education There are 4 schools in the suburb and roughly 2 more in the surrounding area. The 4 schools in the suburb include; BBC (Brisbane boys college), Toowong state school, St Ignatius and QASMT (Queensland academy of science, mathematics and technology). BBC is an independent private all boys school, roughly 1600 students attend the school and it starts from prep to year 12. They offer boarding and are well known in the GPS schooling system. It is however an expensive school costing roughly $23000 a year. The two primary public schools in the suburb are Toowong state school and St Ignatius. Toowong state school is a half deaf half hearing school meaning that half the kids in attendance are deaf. It is a relatively small school with only roughly 350-400 students in attendance. It is a nice school but might not suit all kids, it is important to be informed before making a decision to send your children there. St Ignatius is located closer to Toowong village, it is a very small school only having roughly 200 students. Majority of the students leave at the end of year 4 to go and attend private schools. It is a nice friendly place and is a tight community within the school. The last school is QASMT. This is a specialist school starting in year 10 and going to year 12. It is a public school but in order to be eligible to attend you must pass multiple exams. The other 2 surrounding schools are Indooroopilly state school and Stuartholme. If you intend to apply for Indooroopilly state school Toowong is out of the catchment so you will have to be on a waiting list. Stuartholme is located on Mount Cootha and is a catholic day and boarding school for girls. It has a good reputation and has roughly 850 students in attendance. Transport There are many options for public transport in the area. There is the Toowong train station located in Toowong village which runs to Ipswich/Springfield and then the other way to the city. There is also a local 470 bus route which goes from Toowong village to Teneriffe going through the city. However, the bus only runs on particular times and can be tedious to catch. There is also bikeways, which will take you straight into the city, it is a popular spots for joggers and cyclists. If you decide to live in Toowong you can live without a car but be prepared to walk or ride to public transport. Real Estate So you might be asking where to live in Toowong? Well, everywhere in Toowong is close to schools, public transport and shops so the real question is where not to live. I would suggest staying away from Broseley road as it begins to become tucked away and more difficult to access transport. Some great streets to live on include; Elizabeth St, Ascog terrace and Maryvale street. Deciding on where to live also depends on whether you are buying or renting. The average house price is $850,000 and is rising quickly, this means that it is unaffordable for a lot of people. Renting prices start at $300 a week and go up to $1200 a week. So in reality it is about what you can afford, if you can afford to purchase a house then do so as prices have been increasing and are set to soar but if you can’t afford to purchase a house then there are lots of renting options. The 2011 census said that the average renting price per week was $380 and the median mortgage repayment was $2167 per week. Demographics Toowong in 2011 according to the census had a population of 11,255 people, in which 50.2% of the population was female and 49.8% were male. The average age of the people living in Toowong was 28 years old. 72.7% of the population only spoke English and 61.1% of the population is Australian. 31.5% of the population were married and 58.3% of the population had never been married. Shopping Toowong village is the hub of the suburb and brings everyone together. It has recently been refurbished and is very modern and sleek. There is however only one supermarket in the centre which is Coles. Coles has a great layout but is struggling with the amount of customers at the time being due to Woolworths being shut down. This means that lines go back for as long as the eye can see and customers are becoming disgruntled and unhappy. Locals are beginning to purchase their groceries online and pick them up from the Indooroopilly store instead. There are many nice cafes in the centre which are a great meeting place such as gerbino’s bakery, zarraffas, stellarossa, Merlo coffee and more. Parking at the centre can also be an issue, there are automatic boom gates which read your number plate and then open letting you enter. If you are at the centre for under 4 hours it is free parking but after that it begins to charge you, so if you are going into the city and want to park there and then catch a train you should go and look for street parking around the centre. In conclusion, Toowong is a great place to live as it provides easy access to transport, shops and schools. It suits both families and couples and is great for children as there are parks and activities for kids near by.
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