Balmain versus Seaforth?

Currently living in jam packed Balmain, want more space and better schools for my children - is Seaforth a good alternative? We have only been in Sydney 10 months having moved from the UK, my little girl (who is actually very friendly) is struggling to fit in. Ideally we want good schools, pre schools, friendly people (Balmainers not always that friendly!!!)shops, gym, open space!
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Ben Munro Smith Oct 01, 2015
That's a tough one and I guess you need to figure out what is most important to you and your family, then see which suburb offers this.

There are some great groups around Balmain that might be worth looking into to help you get established into the community. Try a site like meetup.com (there is a Balmain/ Rozelle group which is very active) or even check out the PCYC or Library for some events for the kids. Sometimes it just takes a while to settle into the area.

Seaforth is a great little part of town, but trying to get over the Spit Bridge every day to get to work might get a little frustrating. Compare that with a ferry via Sydney Harbour or a short bus to the city! Ok, that was me being Balmain-biased!

Some of the schools have some great events throughout the year, I'm not sure where your little girl goes to school, but here are some examples - FJT has the Balmain Art & Craft Show, Nicholson Street has the Halloween Fete, Balmain Public has the Balmain Fun Run and Montessori has the school fete (and they are ALL big events!).

Good luck with your decision!
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IanFox Sep 17, 2015
Many years ago as a Student I lived in Balmain and loved it. It was an energetic, arty and socially tolerant Village environment close to the City by Ferry or Bus. It was quite possible to live in Balmain and not need a car in those days.
Seaforth V Balmain in my mind is more a comparison of DINKs V Family. The needs of a growing family are rarely satisfied in the long run by Balmain. Double Income No Kids can happily life their entire lives in Balmain, but start a family and it will close in on you in no time....
It is often written that "Seaforth is the Gateway to the Northern Beaches" and all the Life Style benefits that go with it..
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ChristineK 2yrs+
My girls have attended Balgowlah North Public School (much of North Seaforth is in the catchment for the school and that's where we live) and it's famous for its "country school in the city" friendliness. There is a lot of emphasis on healthy living, outdoor sports and IT, plus teacher quality and ongoing training. There's Seaforth by the water and Seaforth by the bush, in fact much of Seaforth is ringed by water and bush. The Bligh Park pre-school is a KU pre-school and highly recommended. Everyone is pretty well educated and have travelled, there's a good mix of professional, retired, blue collar and small business people, quite a few in the arts. It doesn't have the buzziness of Balmain, but it does have some excellent coffee shops (four brothers being one - no affiliation btw) and good produce and homewares shops. Loads of dog walkers and healthy lifestylers.
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Ian Fox
Ian Fox My children are now past school age but I am aware Seaforth, Balgowlah, North Balgowlah are well served by a number of Infants, Primary and Secondary Schools. I too really like the Two Bros coffee shop. If you are in the Seaforth SC the new Roma & Co. Coffee shop is not bad either - great gelato!
Oct 01, 2015
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Felsy 2yrs+
Seaforth offers quiet, leafy, surburban streets with large detached houses. Most people living here are young professional families attracted to the proximity to the beach. Seaforth has a highly regarded public school and Balgowlah North Public School is an option if you live in the northern part of the suburb. There are also several child care centres. People on the northern beaches are very friendly with a relaxed culture. You are only 10 mins drive to Manly beach which offers great restaurants, pubs, bars and bars. A large number of British expats are attracted to the area. Overall, a fantastic place to live for families.
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Ian Fox
Ian Fox Yes I agree peace I found peaceful surrounds in Seaforth. It is a lovely leafy environment with quiet streets and a growing families. Above all it is safe! I always feel the tension and pressure when I'm in the west and to a much lesser degree in inner west of Sydney (Balmain or Rozelle) but in Seaforth the space seems to defuse the tension and people live in harmony.
Oct 01, 2015
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