Australia’s largest city is nestled tucked along the sea and is full of life. The harbour is famous for being one of the most beautiful in the world, and the bridge and opera house are stunning, iconic elements of Sydney’s skyline. The 5 million+ people able to call Sydney home enjoy a casual and largely active lifestyle, with fitness and wellbeing playing a large role for many citizens. Its beaches, music and trendy neighbourhoods help to make Sydney a sunny and lively place to live. Moving to Sydney has become more and more popular in recent years, especially for individuals keen to adopt the laid back and healthy Australian approach to life.
Finding accommodation when moving to Sydney
Like the majority of Australia, rental properties may lack many major appliances. It will be rare to find fully furnished and long-term accommodation to rent. Rental housing in the city of Sydney is good quality and there is plenty of it, and properties are normally equipped with air-conditioning. Typical of a city, the rental properties closer to the centre of the city are usually smaller in size with smaller gardens. Parks dotted around the city do provide more outside space for residents to enjoy.
Many Australians are homeowners, which can be surprising when moving to Sydney from the UK, however, house prices in Sydney are typically high so most expatriates moving to Sydney tend to rent their homes. There are many suburbs that are popular among expats with a range of housing types.
- For singles and couples: Living in Sydney with no family, you may be searching for a balance of inner-city offices and shoreside life. The neighbourhoods of Kirribilli, McMahon’s Point, and Neutral Bay on the Lower North Shore are ideal for singles and couples focussing on working and social life.
- Buying for families: Priorities for families may be more focussed good facilities and excellent schools, which Sydney has no shortage of. On the Lower North Shore, Cremorne and Mosman are both great suburban areas for professional families. With large gardens, great local shopping facilities and a short drive from the beach, these large houses can even offer river or city views.
- Renting for families: On the Upper North Shore, accommodation in Killara, Lindfield, Pymble, St. Ives, and Wahroonga consists mainly of small houses with gardens. Local facilities are good for shopping, community and any medical needs, with the city centre just a half-hour drive away. There are also many private schools in this area for an excellent education. Alternatively, Lane Cove in the inner western suburbs offers a range of housing types to suit any family. Private School access is, again, good, as is access to facilities in the area. This neighbourhood is described as a leafier family location.
Transport in and around Sydney
Traffic in cities can be overwhelming, which will be no surprise if you are moving to Sydney from the UK, especially with a large number of lanes across Sydney’s iconic harbour bridge. The local transport system offers efficient and fast transport links, both within and outside the city. The Opal smart card can be topped up and used on buses, trains, ferries and light rail options and will become a staple for expats living in Sydney. Commuter trains and buses are efficient, though busy at rush hour, and run to many of the suburbs outside of the city centre.
Sydney’s airport is a 15-30 minute drive south of downtown Sydney. Some buses can take passengers between the 3 terminals, as well as coaches and buses to transport people from the airport into the city. The AirportLink rail system is also fast and regular, providing another connection from the airport to the centre of the city as well as many of the suburbs. It is also possible to rent cars from many local major car rental companies at the airport terminals.
Working in Sydney
When moving to Sydney for work, it’s important to consider documentation. To live and work permanently in Sydney, you will need to procure a visa. There are around 40 different visa options, and, commonly, your employer will cover the initial costs required to relocate. If you are looking to find employment in Sydney, the job market is reportedly competitive as there are many skilled people and fewer positions available. However, it is possible to find work. For more support when relocating you and your family, visit our guide to international relocation.
Shopping and entertainment when living in Sydney
Department stores are very common around Sydney. A wide variety of clothing and goods items are available to buy both in the central business district (CBD) and in the surrounding suburbs. The main shopping areas of Sydney lie between Hunter, Park, Georgia and Philip Street. Large arcades and shopping malls such as the Queen Victoria Building are full of different and high-end shops. A highlight of Sydney weekends is the outside markets, where you can find a variety of second-hand and craft items.
There is no shortage of things to do when living in Sydney. For aficionados of art and music, there are plenty of events to satisfy their hunger for galleries and showcases. Despite Sydney’s young age, there are also plenty of sites and museums for history enthusiasts. A selection of waterside restaurants and cafes offer a beautiful spot to enjoy delicious food and drink. To find out about the range of cuisines, browse through the best restaurants in Sydney.
Sydney Opera House
For anyone new to the city, the Sydney Opera house should be on top of your “to see” list. The building, designed by architect Jørn Utzon, is a true work of art. Construction on the Sydney Opera house was completed in 1973, and since then, the building has hosted countless performances and visitors from all over the globe.
If you’re planning to move to Sydney as a single person, you’ll want to read our blog, Five Essential tips for Single People Relocating Abroad.
Interested in information on another country? Take a look at our other International Relocation guides.
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