Sydney’s Babycino Belt: Family Friendly Suburbs That Haven’t Lost Their Cool

So you have kids, or are planning some. They need great schools and safe places to play,  but you want to keep the vitality of places you’ve lived in your younger, freer days. You’re not ready to move to a typical suburban place just yet. You may now feel the urge to share with your childless friends how little sleep you’re getting and still feel solidarity even though their sleeplessness was very much by choice.

Is it possible to have it all? Can kids and parents all be happy in the one place? Of course you can, but how much is it going to cost you? I’ve mined our Microburbs data to find out, and present my top picks:

5. Rushcutters Bay

More than just a place to jog past hundreds of yachts, Rushcutters Bay is our eastside representative of Sydney’s fringe.

This exclusive suburb is 5 minutes walk from uber hip Kings Cross combined with access to Sydney’s east. It’s a halfway mark between gentrifying hipness on the west to the elite lifestyle of Darling Point to its east. A midpoint between star performer private schools SCEGGS and Ascham (both top 1%).

Just be careful with the young ones as mediocre performance in day cares might make a nanny a good option.

Family Score around Rushcutters Bay is shown here,  rising from middling (yellow) to high (green) in the east:

 

4. Bondi Beach

We’ve all been to Bondi and admired the brash culture of the East, where money meets backpackers, but have you considered raising a family there?

With a family score of 8 out of 10, your kids won’t want for surf and public gym equipment. Admittedly, Bondi Beach Public School doesn’t perform that great for its area with top 38% NAPLAN. But if you can afford to buy in Bondi, you may have the spare change to afford an excellent private school like Reddam House. For a mere $565,000 you could see your three children all the way through primary and high school. What price is too high for top 1% NAPLAN?

3. Neutral Bay

Our top performer north of the Bridge is Neutral Bay. For many it’s a drive-through suburb dominated by a single pub, but recent developments of small bars and funky cafes along Grosvenor St make Neutral Bay deserving of a second look.

It will not surprise many that Neutral Bay and St Mary’s public schools perform well. After all it’s an affluent area with parents who value their time so much, they only just live outside the city. But these schools perform really well – Netural Bay, St Mary’s Catholic and North Sydney boys and girls are all top 1%ers. Mind the day care costs though – they typically charge around $160 per day.

Also showing a strong performance are neighbouring Cammeray and Cremorne, which share their ample parks, playgrounds and sporting grounds.

2. Forest Lodge

Tucked away behind its more famous neighbour, Glebe, Forest Lodge is another suburb that resides at the top of our hip score list but still provides a very good lifestyle for families. With Forest Lodge in the top 10% for NAPLAN and St Brendans Catholic School at top 5%. Nearby Sydney Secondary college also performs well (top 8%).

4358974940_64bcb15229_b Unlike the Erskineville, Newtown, Camperdown troika, Forest Lodge stands alone at serving both families and hip people with neighbouring Glebe to its east serving hipsters and more spacious Annandale to its west providing for family.

1. Erskineville / Newtown / Camperdown

These neighbouring suburbs are all hip and serve families so well, we had to put them together for first place. Sydney’s Erskineville has a lively community with ample creative professionals, bountiful cafes and 20 art schools within 2km. Its dining options are also vast, courtesy of neighbouring Newtown. You could eat at a new Thai place every day for a fortnight.

hipsterparents1

Family score typically doesn’t accompany hip score but this sought after suburb is definitely an exception. Erskineville public school gets top 8% in NAPLAN.

It’s not so great in terms of tranquillity though, having 9 times Sydney’s average population density. For a bit of space, look the sprawling Sydney Park at its southern tip, which makes for an excellent respite to densely packed inner city living.

Our Official Top 20

Rank Suburb Family Score Hip Score Median House Price 2016
1 Erskineville 8.2 8.9 $1,315,000
2 Camperdown 8.4 8.7 $1,352,500
3 Bondi 8.6 8.5 $2,555,000
4 Newtown 8.1 8.9 $1,301,000
5 Forest Lodge 8.4 8.6 $1,680,000
6 Centennial Park 8.9 8.1 $2,650,000
7 Wollstonecraft 9.3 7.7 $3,537,500
8 Neutral Bay 9.5 7.5 $1,750,000
9 Queenscliff 9.2 7.7 $1,610,000
10 Cammeray 9.7 7.1 $4,050,500
11 Stanmore 8.7 8.1 $1,570,500
12 Waverton 9.4 7.5 $4,750,000
13 Paddington 8.6 8.2 $1,700,000
14 Fairlight 9.6 7.2 $1,583,500
15 Bondi Beach 8 8.8 $2,990,000
16 Newtown 7.8 9 $1,301,000
17 Cremorne 9.5 7.3 $1,947,000
18 Rushcutters Bay 7.8 9 $2,562,500
19 Bronte 9.1 7.7 $3,010,000
20 North Bondi 8.9 7.9 $2,550,000

 

Microburbs Report – Family Score

The Family Score panel of each microburbs report includes the performance of all classes of local schools, along with catchment boundaries and travel times. For a limited time, we’re offering a comprehensive family scores report for all Australian suburbs, which we can send you instantly:

For press enquiries about this article, please call Microburbs Founder Luke Metcalfe on 0414 183 210.

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Luke Metcalfe
Founder and CEO at Microburbs. Data geek and tech entrepreneur of 15 years. Passionate about driving efficiency in the real estate market by informing buyers with the objective information they need. Best known for NationMaster, an international statistics site, and NetComber, a domain name forensics tool he sold in 2014.

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