Living in Chatswood

Ten kilometers north of Sydney CBD, an administrative centre of the City of Willoughby, Chatswood is one of the north shore's major commercial and retails suburbs. The area is becoming more multicultural and of prosperity because of its indulging living environment and handy-to-everything feature. Living cost in chatswood is over the average of other areas of Sydney due to the comparatively higher rent of this suburb.

Housing

Various housing options are available. On one side of Chatswood train station, a cluster of high level luxury apartments surround Chatswood's main street Victoria Avenue. They are next to shopping centers, minutes walk to transportation, and parks. There are studios or units in these apartments but the rental prices are all very high. Facilities such as gym room, swimming pool are well equipped and private parks are nicely designed.

On the other side of the station is the interstate Pacific Highway. Along this traffic spinal are a patch of lovely apartments which are usually of six or seven levels and do not include recreational facilities.

The rest of accommodation area of Chatswood is covered by houses, most of which are families living in. Only a few of houses provide dometry-like accommodation to overseas students or workers, which are usually far from the commercial district while have only slightly lower rental prices.

Chatswood does not have major hotels or hostels but its neighbor suburb Artarmon has studios and hostels along the Highway.

People

Half Aussies half Asians, Chatswood's population is increasing rapidly. Generally living expense in Chatswood is high. The Fitness First Center is just next to the station with its fees higher than other franchises. Five big banks of Australia have branches as well as operate offices in Chatswood. One of the phone network companies Vodaphone is headquartered in this suburb too.

A number of public schools and Catholic schools are also around central Chatswood. Willoughby Council's library opens to the public in the Mandarin Center. There are quite a number of churches in the Suburb including many different sects of both Christianity and Catholicism. Some of these churches are language specified due to the large populations of Korean and Cantonese Chinese in the area. There are a few cultural centers of these minor ethnic groups which are rarely known to most people.

Pubs, Clubs and Entertainment

In Chatswood the RSL Club next to the station is the most popular by aged people because it has daily lunch special. There are a few pubs in the heart of the commercial district which have good business throughout a week. They are usually filled by white collars work close-by at lunch time and crowded at night.

Willoughby Council holds the Willoughby Spring Festival every year to promote the area and various cultures in Chatswood, although not many residents pay attention to. It's the second largest event in the north shore.

Parks

A number of decent parks surround the train stations where facilities for kids and teens are set. Also there's a small memorial park commemorates the first mayor of the suburb.

Shops, Restaurants and Takeaways

Westfield and Chatswood Chase are the two main shopping malls in Chatswood in which are international brands, supermarkets, cinemas, restaurants and cafes. Besides, Chatswood plaza, Victoria Plaza and Mandarin Centre are the shopping centers occupied mostly by Asian businesses, from retail shops, salons, food courts to Asian supermarkets.

You can find different cuisines in Chatswood such as Japanese sushi train or Ramen restaurants, Vietnamese noodle shops, Mongolian BBQ shops, Cantonese Chinese restaurants, Taiwanese tea bars, Korean BBQs, Italian traditional dining restaurants. It probably can take you half a month to try them all but just mind the price is averagely higher than even Sydney's CBD area.

A coffee in Westfield or Chase is usually 50 cents higher than the rest on Victoria Avenue and one dollar higher than those on the Highway side of Chatswood. However food in food courts is slightly lower than restaurants and fast food shops such as McDonald, KFC and Subway can be found in Westfild food court.

Apart from food, you can find all kinds of other shops available in Chatswood selling from furniture stores to electronic items. Wholesale stock markets are minutes drive from Chatswood which are open seven days a week.

Transportation

Chatswood station has been renovated and expanded and has been designed to be the main interchange station of the North Shore Line, especially when the North Line service becomes available to connect the northwest suburbs. It takes about 20 to 25 minutes from Chatswood to Sydney CBD and train service at any time of the day is very frequent although delays happen from time to time.

About ten bus routes terminate at the station, going between Manly beach, the City, and other suburbs. The bus service is frequent during rush hours but outside of these times they may only run hourly or half hourly. There is no bus service after 10pm, on public holidays, and there is a reduced service on Sundays.

There is a taxi rank outside of the station across the road (on the side towards the Pacific Highway). Taxis are there day and night but on weekend evenings you will have to wait a long time to get a cab. Parking on the street in Chatswood is almost impossible at any time but new parking blocks are in the works to alleviate this problem.

Good Points

  • Comprehensive living facilities
  • Safe and clean living environment
  • Good transport network

Bad Points

  • Becoming crowded
  • Expensive living cost
  • Short of parking space

Areas of Sydney

  • Bondi Beach
    Great for beach lovers but pretty and popular and therefore expensive.
  • Chatswood
    Multicultural area close to the city centre has everything you may need.
  • Coogee
    A lively area with a good beach and lots to do, day and night.
  • Darlinghurst
    Accepting of all types of people and lively at all hours of the night.
  • Glebe
    An artsy, multicultural suburb filled with students and backpackers.
  • Haymarket and Chinatown
    Asian influences abound in this lively area.
  • King's Cross
    Some would say seedy and dodgy but good for a cheap night out.
  • Manly
    Beautiful suburb with beaches, surf and a laid back lifestyle.
  • Newtown
    Crammed with funky clothing stores, cafes and bars playing live music.
  • Randwick
    Nice, relaxed area that is close enough to the beach.
  • Surry Hills
    Close to the centre of Sydney and full of character.

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