2/13/2003 04:40 EST
For a good web resource to help work out where to live, try www.domain.com.au. As well as rental and purchase prices, it has a great feature called 'suburb snapshot', where you can find out about a suburb's demograhic profile.
That said, there really aren't any "bad" areas within a 20km radius of the CBD, so your choice will come down to a number of lifestyle factors. If you want to live near the harbour and the CBD, choose somewhere like Neutral Bay (lots of expats, restaurants and apartments), Hunters Hill, Woolwich and others. If you want the beach, have a look at Manly. Families tend to settle on the 'North Shore', and anywhere along the rail line is a pretty good bet (especially if you work north of the harbour). Try Artamon, Chatswood, Roseville, Lindfield, Killara, Pymble, Turramurra, Waitara or Hornsby. There are some nice places south of the harbour too (such as Rose Bay, Double Bay, Bondi, Cronulla and Miranda) and the 'inner west' has become very trendy (Newtown, Leichardt etc). For an online map, go to www.whereis.com.au.
By the way, we live in West Pymble, about 15kms north of the harbour, and we like it a lot.
I hope this helps.
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