10 Best Suburbs in Sydney Where British Expats Live
Wondering what are the best suburbs in Sydney where British expats live? Whilst there are so many Sydney suburbs to choose from, choosing the right place to live is so important when you first move to Australia.
There’s no denying it’s rare to walk down the street in Sydney without hearing a fellow British accent. If you’re wondering where British expats live in Sydney, we’ve compiled this awesome post featuring our favourite British bloggers who all live right here in the city.
Surely we’ve all had same thoughts about moving to Australia obviously means living next to the beach, right? Well, I’m afraid to say that living by the beach in the heart of Sydney isn’t cheap at all.
Although a lot of people move to the iconic suburbs of Manly and Bondi when they first arrive, because, well, who wouldn’t? Unfortunately competition is high so expect to fork out a lot to get a decent apartment. Bondi Junction however is incredibly popular with Irish expats and is a bit more affordable rather than living right on Bondi Beach.
In this post, we’ll show you where the best suburbs in Sydney according to 10 British expats, and their thoughts on moving to some of the safest suburbs in Sydney. Hopefully it might help you choose the right suburb when you move over too.
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Table of Contents
Best Surburbs In Sydney Where British Expats Live
Here’s a map of where the best suburbs in Sydney where the following expats live in Sydney.
1. Sally from The Fit Foodie
Elizabeth Bay, Eastern Suburbs
I’ve moved my life from Yorkshire to the beautiful Elizabeth Bay, a quiet suburb sandwiched between two parks in the Eastern Suburbs.
Rushcutters Park is a beautiful, large park with a marina and views of the harbour bridge (which I walk to every night, and is a popular running route). On the other side is the much smaller Beare Park – home to a beautiful cafe that sits over the water, and more dog walkers than you can count. I often sit there after work with a bowl of food and watch the sunset. It’s like my back yard.
I love how leafy it is here, but just one train ride away from the bustling city centre to the west, and one stop in the other direction to Bondi Junction for all your other shopping needs!
It’s laid back, friendly, packed with boutique gyms and health food stores (totally my vibe) and LOTS of sunshine. Think Blackheath, but leafier, happier and with a few less Costa Coffees!
Not knowing how to cook before she moved to Australia, Sally has now become one of the most respected food bloggers in the country at The Fit Foodie.
2. Jayne from Girl Tweets World
We lived in Sydney for 3 years on the borders of Alexandria and Waterloo in the inner-western suburbs, one of the best suburbs in Sydney (in our opinion!).
We chose this location because it was an easy Uber ride from the airport (specifically as I’m a travel blogger) and 3 stops on the train into the city.
As a former industrial area with lots of high-rise residential blocks, it looks kind of boring to an outsider but hidden inside some of the former factories are gems like the Grounds of Alexandria – a roastery, café, restaurant and garden in one.
We lived in a super modern apartment with floor to ceiling windows and a pool and one of the things I liked best about the area was that it’s like nowhere I can think of in England.
Make sure you check out Jayne’s award winning luxury affordable travel blog and her thoughts on recently moving back to UK and becoming a first time mum at Girl Tweets World.
3. Joe from Walk my World
McMahans Point, Lower North Shore
Moving from Wimbledon in Southwest London to Australia was a joint goal of ours from the day we met. After six years saving, we were able to make the dream a reality in 2013. It was the culmination of a year long trip in Asia and after some initial reverse culture shock we soon fell in love with life in Australia. We settled for five years in McMahons Point on Sydney’s North Shore (best suburbs in Sydney), after initially expecting to stay for a max of two!
It couldn’t be more different from our life in Wimbledon, we fell asleep not to the sound of road noise but to water lapping against the rocks outside our window.
We were surrounded by nature every day and we were within a two hour drive of three national parks. That gave a feel of being in a rural part of England but with all the amenities of city living. Our commute went from a crush on the tube to a ferry on the harbour! It’s a lifestyle we can’t imagine being replicated anywhere else in the world.
Make sure you check out Joe & Cat’s beautiful blog about their Sydney adventures and their current incredible trip around the world at Walk My World.
4. Fran from Explore with Fran
Mosman, Lower North Shore
I’m thankful for my curious nature that told me to look for somewhere to live in a place I hadn’t been to before. Thankful to my courageous nature for taking up the challenge. And thankful for a promising online company called Airbnb that connected me with a house share on Sydney’s North Shore, one best suburbs in Sydney and safest too!
Seven years later I still call Mosman home, and I feel that I really got lucky, in the lucky country. Whilst Sydney’s beauty lies in its glorious beaches, and probably one of the most picturesque harbours in the world, its vibrancy lies in the suburbs, or villages as I would have called them back home in England.
Mosman is the epitome of a community, from the weekend sausage sizzles at the local cricket oval, to the regular author events held at the village library.
A large, welcoming pub (called hotels here in Aus) serves all the classic such as chicken schnitzel and fish & chips. When the long, lazy summer days roll around, a short 10 minute stroll has me relaxing at Balmoral Beach which for me is one of the best beaches in Sydney.
Make sure you check out Fran’s awesome blog as he documents his travels around Australia at Explore With Fran.
My hubby and I live in North Sydney which is a suburb in its own right; it’s not like ‘North London.’ It’s a business district and reminds me of Canary Wharf with high rise modern buildings and an underground shopping precinct, Greenwood Plaza. It’s incredibly convenient, with excellent train and bus connections; I can get to the office in 20 minutes and to the gate of an international flight in an hour.
The quality of apartments is high; we’ve traded in our 1 bed in Brixton for a 2.5 bed with a parking space, gym, infinity swimming pool and concierge service.
It’s quiet and peaceful on a weekend, and as we’re not living next to a beach, we’ve explored much further than many of our friends who live in Manly or Bondi who rarely leave!
We have excellent food options nearby; in 10 minutes we can walk to either nearby Crow’s Nest, Kirribilli, Milson’s Point or McMahon’s Point, grab a coffee and enjoy unbeatable harbour views. If we’re feeling lazy, we love to drop in at Humm, a café using the coveted Modbar ABR coffee machine, right next door.
Make sure you check out Jessica’s new expat blog, documenting her experiences in Sydney and book reviews at Jessica Pascoe.
Surry Hills & Balmain, CityI was brought up in Colchester in Essex but moved to Australia permanently in 2004.
After living in Surry Hills for about 11 years with my Aussie wife Christina, we recently moved to Balmain East, the tip of a peninsula in the harbour. We didn’t think we’d find anywhere we’d like more than Surry Hills, but Balmain is awesome.
It has all the bucolic trappings of a well-to-do country town, but with views of the Harbour Bridge and a 15-minute ferry commute to the city.
Narrow lanes off the main street lead to more little old pubs than any other suburb in Sydney, and the food scene here is excellent.
Having said that, if you’re looking for somewhere with great nightlife, Balmain’s not for you. Things get pretty quiet after 10.30pm most nights. But it’s a fab place to live if you’re a couple in your 30’s or a family looking for a suburb with the feel of a British high street vibe.
Make sure you check out Jim & Christina’s awesome travel blog which documents their travels around the world at Mr & Mrs Romance.
I’m originally from Islington, London and moved to Sydney, Australia over 12 years ago. Admittedly I didn’t envision staying here but one husband and two kids later and here we are.
I live in Randwick in the Eastern Suburbs having moved from Marrickville. I am close to the beaches: Clovelly, Coogee, Bronte and Bondi which is great for my kids to experience beach life.I love living in the area, I have made lots of English friends because obviously this is where we swarm to.
Marrickville had a great sense of community with lots of great restaurants but it’s very inner city and felt a bit like a suburb in the UK. I wanted to experience the Australian lifestyle because that is why I’m here, so I moved to Randwick.
Even though I love living here and it’s a great place for my kids to grow up, I do miss London. My kids have access to the kind of lifestyle I could only dream about in the UK. It’s very outdoorsy, the standard of living is much better and it’s a lot safer.
As a model, TV presenter, MC and personal stylist, follow Deauvanné’s blog to get some great fashion advice whilst living in Sydney at Mama Stylista.
8. Seana from Hello Sydney Kids
French’s Forest, North ShoreOriginally from Edinburgh, we’ve spent the last 10 years living in the very bushy end of Frenchs Forest with our four kids. Life in a cul-de-sac might sound familiar but here in Australia ours backs onto the bush which is ideal for family living.
The kids can play in the street, the flat backyard has a pool and space to play footy. They also play in the bush, and, conversely, wallabies, snakes, spiders and possums would wander into our garden, in a non threatening way.
It’s a suburban paradise with terrific sporting clubs and family-friendly cafes, restaurants and pubs a’plenty.
Even the beach is just a 20 minute drive away, and when you need to escape suburbia, a trip to Manly feels like the bright lights.
Make sure you check out Seana’s Hello Sydney Kids blog for more family friendly articles for your life living in Sydney.
This time fifteen years ago I was busily packing up our house just outside Edinburgh to move to Perth in Western Australia for twelve months for my husband’s job.
Yes, we were only coming to Australia for a year. That was the deal with my Mum, who actually wasn’t handling it very well (she thought moving from London to Scotland was bad enough!).
Before we knew it after four years in Perth, my husband’s job led us to Sydney. We’ve now been in Sydney for eleven years and we love it. We’ve settled into the Sydney lifestyle, our children are in great schools, we have some fabulous friends, plus a puppy golden Labrador named Buddy.
We go home every year, usually at Christmas, to see our parents, family and my Grandma, plus we still have our house rented out near Edinburgh.
It’s still very expensive living in Sydney especially as we’re living right in the middle of Pyrmont. That one year we came for might be a long time ago, but I really can’t imagine living anywhere else now.
Abbey has a love for fashion and documents all of her favourite high street and designer splurges at Meeru Style.
We’re originally from Walthamstow, East London and now we call Crows Nest home. It’s on the “other” side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and we’ve lived here since we first moved down under in 2008. Living here was more luck than judgement because it was one of the only suburbs we knew in Sydney as we had friends who lived close by.
We love it because it is relatively close to the city, affordable and has great transport links with both trains (close by in St Leonards,) buses and the metro is coming!
Crows Nest is lovely and green, quiet but friendly and there are so many ex-pats here that sometimes it feels like it’s a little piece of the UK in Australia.
If I was comparing it to a London suburb, I think it would be like Finchley as it’s leafy, close to the city, with excellent amenities, lots of cafes and restaurants and a good sense of community.
Sam is a cancer survivor who shares a quirky mixture of baking, running and looking on the bright side of life in her popular blog at Annoyed Thyroid.
And so we end the post with our own thoughts on where British expats live in Sydney. It seems many people gravitate towards North Sydney (as noted in this post) and it’s no surprise we did too.
When we first moved to Sydney we stayed with family in the south near Cronulla. As soon as we got ourselves up on our feet, we decided on living in Kirribilli. It had always been a dream to live on Sydney Harbour, but what most people don’t realise is that it’s actually not as expensive as you’d think it would be once you’ve crossed over the bridge.
We looked at a lot of places in Coogee and Bondi areas but from what we saw, you really don’t get a lot for your money over that way because it’s just so popular. Once we started looking over the other side of the bridge, we couldn’t believe how much better quality the housing is and we were sold.
Although Kirribilli is known as the most populated suburb in Sydney, bare in mind that you won’t find huge apartments unless you’re splashing out the $. For a couple, it’s a great suburb as you’re so close to everything.
We loved waking up early in the morning to run along the harbour and over the bridge, and to have the luxury of getting the ferry across the harbour for work.
I don’t think there’s a better commute in the entire world than this one and it sure beats those awful tube rides in London. It’s these types of experiences you’ll never take for granted.
Kirribilli also has a great food scene and it’s legendary weekend markets are not to be missed. It also reminded me a little bit of Belsize Park which is where I lived in London (minus the big park on Hampstead Heath) but it’s got a village feel in the middle of the city which I loved.