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  1. Been reading quite a few comments about Sydney, and some not very good experiences, so thought I would add my thoughts about the different areas to live in Sydney, and their advantages/disadvantages In a nutshell, the eastern and northern suburbs are well off, likewise some of the southern suburbs. The further south west you go, the poorer it gets. The eastern suburbs, so between the CBD and the beach, on the CBD side of the bridge, are the most expensive. Places along the harbour, like Watsons Bay, Vaucluse, Double Bay, Elizabeth Bay, are especially expensive. Veryu nice places to live mind you, if you have the dosh. On the ocean side, Bondi, imho, is a bit overrated for the price, though I have lived there and enjoyed it. Lots of good cafes, a good place to brunch on a Sunday. Bronte, Coogee Beach and Maroubra, the beach suburbs going south of Bondi, are all pretty nice places to live. Something to keep in mind though. The train service terminates at Bondi Junction. So if working in the CBD and wanting to take public transport (the sensible choice, because parking in the city is terrible and expensive), you would get a bus from the beachside suburbs and then the train from Bondi Junction. The northern suburbs, especial betwen the Pacific Highway and the sea, are pretty nice. On the ocean side, Manly has good transport links (ferry, and buses as a back up in case fog closes down the ferry) but going north, through Dee Why and on up to Palm beach, if you have to commute from there, that means driving, and it is a seriously long haul from there, in the rush hour, to get to the CBD. Directly north, suburbs like Turramurra and Warringal are expensive but very bush and country style compared to in closer to the city. On a direct line west from Turramurra, about 15 or 20km west, is Castle Hill. Good quality, big houses. Too far from the city for me, but a nice place to live. Beware Lane Cove. Lovely to look at and visit, especially for picnics down by the Lane Cove River, but if you don't fancy a bush fire right next door, don't go there. Some idiot always seems to set fire to it in the fire season. Going west from the city, the Parramatta Road is a horrible drive if you have to commute to the city each day. If you are living out that way, it's better to catch a train in. Strathfield is very nice, as is Burwood, and close to good schools, private and state. Coming closer into the city, Dulwich Hill/parts of Canterbury, Lakemba tend to be where a lot of middle eastern families live. The main mosque is in Lakemba. Marrickville is quite Chinese/Vietnamese. To the south west of the city you have areas like Campbelltown, Liverpool, Cabramatta, and directly west of the city , far beyond Parramatta, you get to Penrith, and then to Emu Plains which is at the foot of the Blue Mountains. These areas have cheap housing, but this is suburbia with a capital S. In summer these areas are seriously hot, as in 40 degrees C, schooling is very so so, - just dull and boring. And far from the sea. On the south side, Cronulla has a great beach and very good train links into the city. Brighton is nice too. Coming back towards the city, I wouldn't live somewhere like Petersham or Alexandria though - small terrace houses and right underneath the flight path for Sydney airport. Redfern is not such a good area to live. It has a large population of Aborigines and they can get fairly tanked up on the booze. I wouldn't as a lone woman, get off and walk from Redfern station at night. Likewise from central station. Inner city, they may both be, but not such a good walk to and from the city. They remind me of somewhere like Hulme in Manchester or Muirhouse here in Edinburgh. Avoid Kings Cross and Darlinghurst. These are inner city but on the east side, and are the red light districts. If you fancy the inner city on the east side, Paddington is a lovely area to live, though a bit pricey and not really value for money. Just up from Paddington, Woollahra is very nice - lots of good antique shops there. Both have good bus links into the city. On the inner west side, my favourite part of town is Balmain. Brilliant cafes, good transport links (ferry and bus) to town. Though, if you fancy the ferry, my advice is to live down at the point, near the main terminus, and not on the west side near the Thamse street stop. The west side ferries don't always turn up. Going back towards the city, Rozelle is okay, but not as nice as Balmain - poky houses. Pyrmont and Ultimo are quite grainy. In a way they are trendy, but basically they are converted or redeveloped factories. We lived in Ultimo for a time, and I found the flats were solid but didn't have good air flow. No good parks nearby. Not a very nice walk into town. Going away again, along Parramatta Road, Glebe is a nice place to live. Opposite Sydney University, so well situated if you want to study. Good cafes. Right in the city, I always fancied living in The Rocks (the area underneath Sydney Harbour Bridge. Good night life but a bit hairy if walking home alone at night.
  2. COOBER PEDY Coober Pedy, South Australia Coober Pedy is one of the most unusual places in the world. It is a town where (due to the heat) approximately 80% of the population live and work underground. This is a mining town - opal mining to be precise - and following the early discovery of opals here by a teenager there has been a huge influx of miners since 1915. There are tunnels and associated pitfalls everywhere and mining still goes on here today. There are many truly fascinating attractions around Coober Pedy including underground homes to explore. Other subterranean structures operating in the same manner as an above ground equivalent, include a church, shops, pottery, art gallery, hotel, and other assorted offices and businesses. Some of the town’s other must-see attractions include the Big Winch and the Oldtimers Mine, and the most unusual of all must surely be the golf course where not a single blade of grass can be seen. The fairways are bald and the greens are oiled sand! The Underground Catacomb Anglican Church (above) is one of many subterranean wonders at the remarkable opal mining town of Coober Pedy in South Australia. There is even an underground pottery, museum and art gallery, and approximately 80% of the population live underground as the temperature can rise to 60 degrees centigrade in summer. Because of opal mining, the town and surrounding area is riddled with tunnels. A sign (above, top) warns of these perils in its own inimitable way. NARACOORTE CAVES Naracoorte National Park, South Australia Although this complex consists of 26 caves many are not open to the public as they are set aside for important scientific research, or to protect the contents. There is so much to see at Naracoorte Caves that visitors are truly spoilt for choice. Several spectacular chambers showcase some of the most striking underground scenery you are ever likely to see. The Alexandra Cave Tour is one of the many treasures here. This is a beautifully decorated cave with a huge collection of straws. The Victoria Fossil Cave Tour passes through several decorated chambers before arriving at the Fossil Chamber itself. Fox Cave is undeveloped and in its original state. It is an important Bentwing bat wintering location and also has many fossils and a rare invertebrate colony. There is also a dedicated Bat Tour which offers the opportunity of observation platform viewing via infra-red cameras. The Starburst Chamber, Blackberry Cave, Stick-Tomato Cave, and Cathedral Cave are some of the many other attractions in addition to speciality tours. Naracoorte Caves National Park has a host of other activities. Naracoorte Caves (above) in South Australia consists of 26 caves in total, whilst Marakoopa Caves (below) in Tasmania is known as the Handsome Cave - as ‘marakoopa’ is aboriginal for ‘handsome’. This river cave also has the largest amount of glowworms of any show cave in Australia. MARAKOOPA CAVES Mayberry, Mole Creek, Tasmania, Australia Glow-worms are endemic to both Australia and New Zealand, although they are less common in Australia. Marakoopa Caves however has an abundance of them and they can be seen - like a glorious stretch of the night sky - on either of the 2 interesting tours available. Marakoopa has 2 cave rivers, admirable speleothems, and huge caverns including the Great Cathedral which is a quite magnificent cavern. The Gardens is a cave branch that boasts delicate formations in an array of striking colours. Tasmania, which promotes itself as the ‘Natural State’, has a relatively unspoiled natural environment. About 40% of it consists of National Parks, reserves, and World Heritage Sites. WELLINGTON CAVES Wellington, New South Wales, Australia Wellington Caves are actually dry caves and they were formed when Australia was a lot more southerly to the pole and the climate much drier. The river passages here are the only reminder of a previous cave river, and visitors today see only a floor covered with dry earth. The caves were first explored by Europeans from 1823-1831 when fossil bones of a giant kangaroo, and those of a diprotodon dating back to the Pleistocene period were discovered. Phosphate mining (operational here from 1913 to 1971) is remembered with the fully restored Phosphate Mine which is now open to visitors. Declared a natural reserve in 1884, by far the most impressive cave here is the Cathedral Cave. It is famous for a huge stalagmite known as the Altar Rock which is over 15 metres high and has a base circumference of an astonishing 32 metres. The most important discoveries at Wellington Caves have been the River Cave and Water Cave, both of which contain valuable fossils. Read a lot more at this: LINK
  3. olgaedney

    Where to live in Canberra?

    Hello, we'd really appreciate some local advice on where to live in Canberra for a year. My wife and I are moving to Canberra in January. I'm in the British Army and we're coming over for a year while I go to the Defence College in Weston Creek. My wife will be working with her company in central Canberra and probably spending a day or two each week in Sydney. We're really looking forward to it but trying to work out the balance between inheriting our predecessor's life versus rearranging things to suit us. My predecessor lives in a 4-bed house in Jerrabomberra. It would be easy to take over his house but it strikes me that (a) it's on the wrong side of town for Weston Creek, (b) public transport into town is poor, © it's not particularly close to the centre for socialising and (d) there seem to be some administrative hassles with being in NSW and not ACT. Can I ask where people would suggest living? We don't need a 4-bed house, so somewhere smaller and more central would be fine. Key criteria will be making the commute to Weston Creek relatively painless (happy to cycle or run) for me and into the City Centre easy for her. And if there's somewhere nice and green or near a lake that would be awesome! We definitely don't want to be running two cars. I don't know exactly what our rental allowance is but it's currently covering a 4-bed house in Jerrabomberra if that helps. We'd be really grateful for any advice! Thanks, Mark and Beth.
  4. Guest

    Best Places In France

    Hi everyone. i would like to know some information about the best places in France.. There are many places to visit in France but there might be some places that one should not miss them if visited France... can any one suggest on this.. replies are appreciated....
  5. Hi all, We are planning a move from Melbourne to Perth but need to be sure that there is enough to keep the kids entertained and that there are lots of children of a similar age around. Wheres the best suburbs to live with 14 and 16 year olds who play soccer and love being able to walk round to see their friends and close to schools. Thanks Elaine
  6. Guest

    Places to go

    Any poms been traveling over the whole Western Australia? I 'm not from British though, I need to know the best places for those English who had travelled the whole WA. I'll be going to Perth on 19 Oct. However I have not decided yet where to go. Any suggestion for my two weeks tour? Which part of WA gets me better insight, Up North or Down South?
  7. The Pom Queen

    Amazing Places to Rent

    727 Fuselage Home, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Perched on a 50 foot pedestal, this commercial jet-turned-two bedroom apartment is finished in teak panelling, with an adjoining terrace facing the ocean.
  8. MikeW

    Coast - places to stay

    Hi, been here three months now and looking to go to the coast for the first time. Does anyone have any recommendations for good places to stay? We have two kids (9 and 6). Looking for good camp sites\chalets\b & b\hotel near a beach. Thanks, Mike.
  9. richselina

    Schooling and Places to Live in ACT

    We've just had our visas granted for ACT and are planning a visit to Canberra to look at schools and places to live and really would appreciate some guidance to help plan our trip and make the most of the time we'll have. We have a 5 year old daughter who has just started her 2nd year of infant school in the UK and we are looking for good schools for her to attend in Canberra. Also, we're trying to understand when the best time is to transition from the UK and not sure whether it's best for her to start at the start of a new school year or mid way through the school year. We are looking for good areas to live which will be in the catchment areas for the schools for our daughter. We have a budget of about $550 - $600 and are looking for a 4 bedroom house in a good family area. Thanks in advance for any guidance provided Selina & Rich
  10. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/research-fellow-argues-auction-system-would-better-address-skills-gaps/story-fn59niix-1226140356950
  11. Hi peeps we are going into Melbourne and looking for somewhere to eat for my wifes birthday anybody got any good reccomendations for places to eat.Dont want anywhere to upmarket as we will have kids with us but any suggestions most welcome.
  12. family S

    Rural places in Tassie

    We're looking at places to live in Tassie. We love peace and quiet, don't mind to travel half an hour to go to judo, swimming, work or the store. But we don't have a big budget either. Hubby likes to work around Hobart. Thinking about home-schooling the kids. Don't know why, but south of Hobart appeals the most, but it isn't a must. What are nice places to live? :biggrin:
  13. Guest

    places to live

    hi people some advice please. I am moving to melbourne working for bmw In south Yarra. Where would you recommend to live thats reasonably priced and a good area. close to all shops as possible. Thanks very much
  14. Hi - just re-posting this on the education forum: We are looking to finally make the move to Perth next year. My little boy will be 5 and, as I understand it, be of pre-primary school age. I know pre-primary school places are subject to availability so was wondering if anyone else has had experience of trying to get their children into pre-primary? Is it easy, difficult, long waiting times etc? Can you find out which schools have availabilty before deciding upon an area to rent in or do you have to have an address to get into pre-primary? Any help would be greatly appreciated. We are currently unsure whether or not it would be better to wait another year so that Joshua is 6 and, therefore, guaranteed a state school primary place. Alex
  15. Hi We are looking to finally make the move to Perth next year. My little boy will be 5 and, as I understand it, be of pre-primary school age. I know pre-primary school places are subject to availability so was wondering if anyone else has had experience of trying to get their children into pre-primary? Is it easy, difficult, long waiting times etc? Can you find out which schools have availabilty before deciding upon an area to rent in or do you have to have an address to get into pre-primary? Any help would be greatly appreciated. We are currently unsure whether or not it would be better to wait another year so that Joshua is 6 and, therefore, guaranteed a state school primary place. Alex
  16. Hi there, I'm a 28 year old female moving out to Sydney (on my own) to start a new job. I'm on a 457 visa. Can anyone recommend the best places to live for a single young professional? People have told me Eastern Suburbs......looking to get a flat share with others out there. VERY EXCITED.
  17. Breezer

    Places to stay during a visit to ACT

    Hi All, Can anyone recommend suitable good accommodation for a family of 4 to stay in for approx 14-15 days on a visit to ACT?:confused: We are waiting our 176 visa application to be approved (hopefully):unsure:and are planning on visiting ACT in September this year to have a good look around at areas to live, schooling for our kids, meet recruitment agents, sports clubs, etc. We have googled Australia and looked up accommodation so have an idea on some availability of Hotels, houses to rent for the duration, etc. Cheers Breezer
  18. Englishlover

    Nice places in Devon and Cornwall

    Hi, Last time I asked you for the suggestion about the places that I will go with my boyfriend in England in September. Now, we have chosen Devon and Cornwall. We have 12 days to travel. Do you have any ideas about the places that are a must? Which place that is good for the man to propose his girlfriend?:biglaugh: I heard about the town called Torquay, but I am not sure if it is too far from Devon by car. Thank you
  19. thekevjones

    Terrigal - places to 'work'?

    Hi All: I have recently landed in Terrigal with my wife (Angela) and son (Sam, 3yr old) I am lucky in the sense I'll work remotely, from home so no need to commute into the city, well daily at least. Other than working from our house does anyone know of places in Terrigal where I could park myself for a few hours during the day? Somewhere fairly quiet, where you can grab a coffee, maybe with WiFi (although I have a Telstra 3G dongle)...etc I had a similar arrangement in the UK where I'd work some days from the gym, cafe and then do an hour training at lunch for example. Anyway, please let me know if you have any thoughts...? Thanks Kevin
  20. Guest

    Places to Visit

    Hi, Me, OH and two sons 13 & 12 are flying out to validate visa in three weeks for 14 days. We are staying at an apartment in Scarbourgh, Perth. Any ideas for places to visit or eat would be appreciated. Kids both love soccer if anyone knows of a local team where they may get a game. Thanks in advance suz :jiggy:
  21. Hi, have just been informed that my OH is probably going to be based at Manly in Sydney, so I'm now looking at areas to live in commutable distance. OH thinks 30 / 45 mins by road or public transport (I believe it's very good). Would prefer family suburb as we have 2 young children, so not city, near beach would be nice - lol, but would move further away for a more family orientated area, thinking an estate would probably be best. Could anyone please advise on suitable areas and estate agent website, thanks Cal:smile:
  22. Guest

    Places to visit in Brisbane

    Hi, I fly out to Brisbane this Saturday to start my new life there. For the first few months I am on my own as my wife flys out in August. I was wondering if anyone could recommend some fun or interesting places well worth visiting in my first few months there. Thanks for any suggestions. Darren
  23. Don't know how true or likely it will be but hopefully this will be useful to those looking at the employer sponsorship in regional places. They really should make these visas easier for employers and also easily lead onto PR quite quickly. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/wayne-swan-to-boost-skilled-migrants/story-fn59niix-1226052163405
  24. Guest

    places to live in perth

    Hi ALL With our flights booked, we are now trying to narrow down some areas in which we'd like to live. From research our favoured spots are around connolly (obvioulsy our opinions may change when we arrive) - but in case we struggle to find a suitable rental when we do arrive in or around connolly we would love to hear from other peoples opinions on areas. Anyone know much about Woodvale, Quinns Rocks, Mindarie, Clarkson ? Thanks Carl
  25. thewaltons

    places to live

    hi could anyone help i would like to know some good places to live in WA with good schools not to close to perth thanks for your time:unsure: