Jump to content

Living in the Blue Mountains- pros and cons?


  • Please log in to reply
50 replies to this topic

#1 eleven

Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:34 PM

Hi All,
We are considering moving to the Springwood area in the Blue Mountains. We've found a house we love but before we commit, I'm interested to hear from people who already live in the area- what's the commute really like? I work at Castle Hill and my husband works near Macquarie Uni. Have you found it manageable?
Are insurance premiums higher due to bush fire risks?
Is it a good place to raise a young family?

Pros and cons?

Thanks so much!

#2 mel43

Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:41 PM

Great place to raise a family :)

#3 eleven

Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:45 PM

Thanks ladies :) its exciting but daunting too.
Mel, what makes it great for family life?

#4 Nobody Cool

Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:46 PM

Great place to raise a young family, wonderful sense of caring community. We moved from the western suburbs a couple of years ago and would never go back. DH commutes to Sth-west sydney and it takes an hour on a good day (1.5 on a bad day), not much more than a normal Sydney commute. Groceries are definitely more expensive and you need to go down to Penrith if you need any of the bigger chain stores. There aren't a lot of parks around though, given there is a lot of young families up here. Pretty sure our insurance premiums are no higher than before. We just had a major bushfire up here but the local fire brigade are incredible at what they do and it is just part and parcel of living up here.

#5 bakesgirls

Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:48 PM

I live in the area and its a great place to live. My DH travels to the city each day and he says he doesn't find it too bad. Insurance premiums tend to be higher if you take it out in summer and it near impossible to take out new insurance if there is a current bushfire. We took ours out in winter and our premium is comparable to most other places.

I think it's a lovely place to raise a family.

I also do my grocery shopping at the local Coles or down on Penrith where it's cheaper. PP is correct in that it costs more to shop at the local IGA's.

Edited by bakesgirls, 23 September 2013 - 01:50 PM.


#6 Nobody Cool

Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:50 PM

One of the other great things is that people seem to have more time for each other, and are a lot more friendly to strangers than my experience was in the western suburbs. People will always have a chat to myself and the boys, and literally every time I go out someone will always offer to help me with prams, bags, kid-wrangling etc whereas when I lived in the 'burbs, everyone just kind of ignored each other as they went about their day to day life.

Edited by AryaStar, 23 September 2013 - 01:51 PM.


#7 Juju38

Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:50 PM

Following with interest as we are moving up to the mountains shortly too.  Thanks for starting OP!

#8 N@K

Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:56 PM

Moving to the Springwood area is one of the things on our to do list :smile:

I would be looking at a commute to Seven Hills, and I would classify it as normal I guess for the Sydney area, and not something that concerns me.
DH's trip would be similar - However he used to work in Nth Sydney - and he would actually drive that (hates trains) - it's not great, but it is still comparable to other areas - it's not the worst trip in the world.

I don't know about house insurance, but I know our car insurances would go down considerably.

We spend a lot of time up there - DH grew-up there - either visiting family or just visiting Springwood. We love the atmosphere up there, both the nature and the community / people.

I also think the variety of different school options is quite good.

Good luck OP

Edited by N@K, 23 September 2013 - 01:57 PM.


#9 mel43

Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:59 PM

As PPs have said, great sense of community. When I go for a walk, if I pass someone we'll usually smile and say hello. I wave to all my neighbours if we drive past each other, or if we're out the front at the same time.

It's reasonably safe. A lot of the primary school kids walk to/from school, or ride bikes around the streets together. I've left my car unlocked (unintentionally) for an entire weekend and it wasn't touched. I've also (unintentionally) left the house wide open. I never lock the door while I'm home because I feel safe. I've lived here my entire life and we got broken into once.

I haven't lived anywhere else though, so it might be the same elsewhere :)
ETA, nature yes is beautiful. We back onto bush and get wallabies, possums (can be annoying lol but oh so cute), and about a bazzilion kinds of birds.

Edited by mel43, 23 September 2013 - 02:08 PM.


#10 Nobody Cool

Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:34 PM

PP just reminded me of a huge con of living in this area. There is a big shortage of GPs up here. Lots of doctors have closed books and will not take on any new patients (in addition to having a high proportion of young families with kids, there is also a lot of seniors and retirees up here as well).

There are only two little medical centre type places and TBH, the quality of doctors we have seen there is quite poor and continuity of care can be an issue. We have two small children so we tend to visit them a lot. There are not a lot of after-hours medical services either. Any evening or late night appoinments at short notice usually require a trip into Penrith to a medical centre. Nepean Hospital down the mountain is the only option for medical emergencies also. The hospital in Springwood does not have an ED.

ETA we have only been here a couple of years and have had no luck getting on the books of the more established GPs in the area.

Edited by AryaStar, 23 September 2013 - 02:41 PM.


#11 mel43

Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:42 PM

Our GP is good, but we have to take the good with the bad. I can get an appointment the same day, but because he squeezes people in when needed, it can take up to an hour waiting for the appointment. I can also just call in the morning and pick up a script that afternoon.

No child psychiatrists in the area though, we are travelling down to westmead to see one!

#12 Juju38

Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:50 PM

I have heard that about GPs and medical services.  Such a shame as it took us about 20 to find the one in Sydney we now have.

It is one of the reasons we are moving.  If anyone needs a podiatrist for themselves or their kids, my partner has just started working in Blackheath and will be shortly starting in Springwood.  Happy to PM the details. I hear many of the locals are happy about that due to a shortage of podiatrists in the mountains.

#13 ~*dragonfly*~

Posted 23 September 2013 - 03:07 PM

I live here and love it. We moved up about 8 years ago.

It took me a long time to adjust as I felt very isolated from my family and friends. It was a huge change in pace for me! Everyone knows everyone, went to school together, are related, play sport together etc and it's taken me a while to 'crack' that and get used to that type of community. It's very different to what I had been used to and at times I find it overwhelming.

Now that the kids are in pre-school/school, I feel more that I 'belong'. My husband and I (and kids) are heavily involved in the local soccer club and I feel a little more a part of the furniture. I like to be involved but I also like my space. I think I've finally found a balance.

One positive aspect of living here is there is no pressure to keep up with the Jones'. It's very casual and laid back and accepting. I find it very refreshing!

I love the environment! Waking up looking at the bush is so peaceful. And I also love the quiet and our constant stream of furry visitors. The kids disappear in the backyard for hours on end. I do agree that the parks with playgrounds are very limited and disappointing. This is an area that needs improving.

My husband drives to Kingsgrove daily for work and he is just about over the travel. It wears him out and takes a very big chunk out of his day and time with our family - something to consider. On the plus side, his boss is very supportive and he is able to work from home often.

I love that the shopping and take-away options are limited.

We were recently evacuated during the bush fires and everyone involved were amazing. The way we came together as a neighbourhood was a testament to our community.

At the end of the day, we feel it's the perfect place to raise our family. We wouldn't live anywhere else!

As per pp in regard to locking doors. I've never locked my car door in the time I've lived here :ninja:.

#14 ~*dragonfly*~

Posted 23 September 2013 - 03:17 PM

Ditto regarding GP's. We got lucky when we first moved up here and were able to get in straight away. They closed their books not long after. I am very happy with the care we receive. Though have always had to travel to Westmead for the children's specialist appointments (nothing ongoing - thankfully!). We have had to do the dash to Penrith for after hours care as there is nothing up here.

My daughter was airlifted to Westmead Children's hospital after a fall and all her follow up appointments (4 different specialists) could only have been done at Westmead. That was a pain. Although, on second thought, due to the nature of her accident and injuries, she required specific care and that level of Specialist would be few and far between anyway. We had no options available to us at Nepean.

#15 Nobody Cool

Posted 23 September 2013 - 03:22 PM

Another good point that dragonfly has made. Everyone up here is incredibly friendly, but it can be hard to break into social groups because most people have long-established friendships with others in the area and have all grown up together. I still haven't really found a friendship group as such, just chipping away at the edges still but I'm sure that once my eldest starts school that will help.

#16 eleven

Posted 23 September 2013 - 07:31 PM

Thanks everyone! You're certainly shedding a very positive light on mountain life :)

#17 eleven

Posted 24 September 2013 - 01:21 PM

Thanks for your replies everyone. Now... any recommendations for pest and building inspections in the Mountains?

#18 Lilura

Posted 24 September 2013 - 01:27 PM

We moved to Lithgow middle of last year, and whilst not "in the mountains" we do love it here and the BM's community spirit.

AryaStar, where are you located? If you are upper mountains you can always have a coffee with me sometime :p

#19 Bigfatbum

Posted 24 September 2013 - 01:29 PM

As a teenager that grew up there, con have to go to penrith etc for "excitement" pro lots of look outs etc to make our own excitement.


It was a lovely place to grow up almost everyone I grew up with are still there ( winmalee).

#20 FearsomeFeralFreak

Posted 24 September 2013 - 02:29 PM

I just lost a huge post so this will be much shorter!
I lived there for a few years, loved it for the reasons everyone has already listed but left because of the following reasons:

1) the commute.  I worked In the city or North Sydney and in winter I just never got to see the sun! Very very depressing. Plus traveling that much was exhausting. 4 hours a day on a train and 8 - 9 hours at work....very dull life! It was pointless being somewhere so lovely when I only experienced it on weekends!
2) the commute part 2 - I hardly ever got a seat so the whole trip going  down and half going up was spent standing. This means you couldn't really do anything meaningful like study
3) the doctor problem. All the doctors had their books closed and if one would deign to see you it would be in a week. Not really helpful when you need medicine or a certificate for time you need to take off work! Its a long drive to Penrith when you have a temperature of 40 degrees..
4) It was very cliquey. I didn't have kids then so maybe having kids would have made it easier. All my friends up there were ex-Sydney people as we all found mountain people were already settled in their groups.

#21 GroundedButterfly

Posted 04 October 2013 - 02:46 PM

I agree with Challice's comment. The Mountains is a beautiful place to live, fresh air, beautiful nature, safe and friendly neighbourhood and quiet. Nice place to live.

We moved up here two years ago from the suburbs but there a few cons:

1. The mountains has excellent facilities for the elderly and a fantastic place to live if you're retired. If you're young, there isn't much to do around here, limited restaurants and shopping is expensive.

We have not been able to see any doctor near us that bulk bills. The closest one that does is at Emu Plains and they are so heavily booked that you usually wait 30 mins each time you make an appointment.

There is limited work in the mountains; great if you're a tradie or someone with your business but if you're a professional like my husband and I were, you need to travel to the big smoke. I was travelling to Milsons Point and my husband to homebush. It is very long and tiring and trains are unreliable. My husband has since found a job closer to home but has had to take a drastic pay cut.

As Challice said, the people are very cliquey and although the people are friendly, they have a certain thing about newcomers (I have found). I also find that things are a little too relaxed sometimes like sloppy customer service etc and the people are very sheltered and different from the suburbs.

I also have a mild physical disability and need to travel frequently for treatment as the closest specialists are at kingswood and westmead and it's very tiring.

#22 Nobody Cool

Posted 04 October 2013 - 03:01 PM

Oooh Lilura, I've only just come back to this thread. I'm Lower Mountains unfortunately, otherwise I would have taken you up on that offer!

#23 Superman+4sisters

Posted 04 October 2013 - 09:48 PM

I grew up in that area :)

The commute was the main downside, but as a pp has pointed out, you can easily commute a similar time across Sydney.

I really missed the feeling of community when I moved to Sydney. Even the local newspaper had a different flavour. I can imagine it would feel a little cliquey if you moved into the area as a new person, but children are a good 'in'.

Good luck with your decision making

#24 Madnesscraves

Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:04 PM

I'm from Faulconbridge area and it's lovely and slower pace going. Already looking to move further up!

Though I am really shocked to hear PPs say coles is cheaper in penrith bc I am finding the exact opposite. They've expanded Coles at winmalee and the prices Are the same or cheaper. I get the meat and vegs from the butcher and green grocer next to the Coles which are cheaper and longer lasting than Coles.

Plus it's a quiter shop compared to the hectic Penrith Coles!

Otherwise parks are great springwood is lovely and food is good. :)

ETA: I live within a 5 mins drive to 5 different parks between Faulconbridge and springwood. Definitely no shortages of parks!

Transport is easy. I used to travel to mac uni, I just got used to it. Good reading/catch up on news time. It really isn't as long as you think it maybe.
I'd suggest to take a trip to and from mac uni to get a feel for it. Act like as if you were doing the trip, take whatever you need to be occupied.

Lastly, I'm pretty sure GPs aren't a issue anymore. There's a new super clinic in spring with like 5 or 6 new GPs and array of other specialists. I've been as to book an appointment for the same day and better, online! :)

Edited by Madnesscraves, 04 October 2013 - 10:14 PM.


#25 1975ladybug

Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:16 PM

I moved back to the mountains after separating, having grown up here moved away and then moved back, I would agree with the previous posters comments about being cliquey, apparently have traveled, experienced life on the other side of the river or another state puts you out on a limb.

I travel to Windsor each day for work, ds is at day care in richmond, whilst the commute is fine if you are a nervous driver and are planning on traveling hawkesbury road way for work the trucks, tight corners,learner drivers, wildlife and always driving into the sun make it interesting.

Insurance is much the same depending on when your house was built, given the Australia Standard for brushfire construction was only introduced about 12 years ago.

I bought last year, in a particular area after renting for 12 months, I know it's the right decision but some times those itchy feet surface for me and I start to remember why it took me 10 years to move back.

I used a pest and inspection company out of the rea, and found them great as they had someone based n emu plains, can pm the details if you wish.

Health care we are on the books at a newish clinic n springwood, (10 years way your no longer on your previous doctors books) trial and error I have found someone I like.

My hairdresser is in springwood, but loath to use the beauty practitioners, dentist is in Leura, and I try to use other local services,

If you do move into the area let me know, happy to catch up for coffee.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

How an inquest into one stillbirth is saving lives

A ground-breaking court case that has focused solely on one stillborn baby has already helped to save the lives of other babies.

Get them into reading early with a Nouk book subscription

There's no bonding activity quite like reading to your baby or toddler, and all the signs point to it being important for social and literacy development as well.

I don't want my husband to go on a buck's trip

My husband's best friend is getting married and has planned a men's bachelor party.

The celeb parents who needed a mediator to stop fighting over baby names

Deciding on a baby name can be a fraught experience for many parents.

May Gibbs' 'Gumnut Babies' turns 100 with a special edition, coins, stamps and more

It's time to celebrate the centenary of May Gibbs' very first book release, Gumnut Babies.

African baby names

We have some absolutely gorgeous selections of African baby names for you to consider for your baby.

The mum who retrained to became a plumber

One company refused to give her an apprenticeship because they believed she would be too much of a distraction to the males. 

Meningococcal meningitis: signs, treatment and prevention

What is meningococcal meningitis, why does it occur in seasons, and why does it strike fear into the hearts of so many?

I was scared of the dentist ... and my son paid the price

It was a moment where I could certainly learn from his behaviour, and not him from mine.

Family of toddler killed by alligator at Disney honours his third birthday

The family told supporters that they wanted to celebrate the boy's "first birthday in heaven".

For the festival lover in all of us

Pre-book & Save 50%. Get your tickets now for Kidtopia Festival. 7-9 October 2016 Parramatta Park, Sydney.

7 tips to help you prepare your home for parenthood

Prep your home to make becoming a new parent as stress-free as possible.

Fatherhood to the beat of Daniel's drum

Daniel Gibney knew fatherhood would change him, but he didn't realise it would lead to a global business venture for his family.

A case of gastro and the mummy mean girls

I don't blame any first-time mother who is terrified of her or her baby catching gastro, but it will find you eventually.

Zooey Deschanel's cake smash fail for daughter Elsie

"I kept seeing on the Internet, 'You gotta make a smash cake for your one-year-old,' so I'm like, 'I'm making this cake just so she can smash it.'"

Five things mums should never do

Although I preach the "each to their own" method of parenting, it's unavoidable to have those moments of panic.

Mum allegedly 'groped' while holding toddler in Sydney pool

A mum has told of her horror after she was allegedly sexually assaulted while at a swimming centre with her two young children.

'It whacked me': Michelle Bridges on sleep deprivation and returning to exercise

Michelle Bridges knows a lot about health and fitness, but when she became a mum she had to learn a few lessons the hard way.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win a Hawaii beachfront resort holiday for two!

Enter now for your chance to win 1 of 4 trips for two to Hawaii, staying at Outrigger resorts in Waikiki.

For the festival lover in all of us

Pre-book & Save 50%. Get your tickets now for Kidtopia Festival. 7-9 October 2016 Parramatta Park, Sydney.

 

Vintage Toys

The toys of your childhood

Take a trip down memory lane with these vinage and retro toys that you may have had in your childhood or your parent's childhood.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.