the west: pyrmont through to balmain
The inner West began as a place of seafaring and industry with warehouses, factories, pubs and narrow laneways of row houses and cottages developed to accommodate local workers. Now, in addition to offering a chic harbourside inner city lifestyle, Ultimo and Pyrmont also have cachet as the best address for television, music, internet, media, graphic design, marketing and advertising firms.
Still characterised by the warehouses and wool stores of the once active industrial waterfront, many of these historic buildings are now offices for the creative information industries clustered in Pyrmont, while others have been converted to loft-style apartments or have inspired the design of new multi-story apartments for empty nesters, young professionals, couples and families wanting an inner City waterfront lifestyle. Pyrmont’s close proximity to the Sydney CBD makes it ideal for city commuters and a convenient alternative base for business. Jones Bay Wharf boasts slick apartments, office spaces and waterfront restaurants, while the bustling Sydney Fish Market and The Good Living Growers’ Market at Pyrmont Bay Park provide locals with an abundance of fresh food options. Positioned alongside Darling Harbour with a convenient walkway to the City, Pyrmont residents are just a stone’s throw away from the Powerhouse Museum, Chinese Garden, Maritime Museum and Star City Casino.
With its close connection to Chinatown and the universities, Ultimo has attracted a large Chinese-Australian population. The growing international student population has added to the youthful multi-layered character of this area. Its proximity to the City, Universities and Darling Harbour is highly prized. Residents of Ultimo enjoy the harbour foreshore walk to the City, nearby Wentworth Park and the mosaic of neighbourhood parks stretching from UTS to the urban greens of Pyrmont Point. With its heritage buildings around historic Union Square, residents adore the village feel that has been retained amid high-rise and high density development.
Glebe retains its village atmosphere and many grand Victorian homes, Federation houses, modest workers’ cottages and old weatherboard houses that line its leafy streets. With the progressive University of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney nearby, the activism, arts and intellectual pursuits of the 1960s and 1970s helped shape Glebe’s identity as an alternative suburb which still pervades the personality of Glebe today. The character of the original brick and stone colonial buildings, ornate Victorian terraces, and simple workers cottages dotted along leafy streets have been preserved, as have the quaint old shop fronts of Glebe Point Road that now house inviting book stores, lively cafes, and specialist organic and health food shops. At the far end of Glebe Point Road is lovely Glebe Park featuring pleasant landscaped walks with views of Blackwattle Bay and Anzac Bridge.
Just a ten-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay, tucked away on its own little peninsula is the artsy, laid-back suburb of Balmain boasting quaint houses, stepped lanes and stunning harbour views. The main shopping hub is in Darling Street, a lively area with cool cafes, chic galleries, stylish shops and fresh produce stores around every corner. Balmain’s fantastic weekend flea market offers an eclectic mix of fashion, food and bric-a-brac and it’s nightlife is a magnet for a cosmopolitan crowd who enjoy partying with DJs and bands at the trendy local pubs. Hip young families are flocking to the once working-class suburb, turning it into Sydney’s version of Brooklyn’s Park Slope.
Newtown affirms that the inner West is all about diversity. The suburb’s left-of-centre aesthetic and its live music venues, performing arts spaces and quirky pubs have attracted many artists, writers and musicians to call Newtown home. The local cuisine reflects the area’s eclectic vibe, with Thai restaurants, Turkish kebab dens, plus African, Japanese and Portuguese eateries lined up along the main strip. The first suburban shopping centre outside the City Centre, King Street is a shopping mecca for lovers of vintage and recycled clothing. Newtown is encircled by a cluster of other idiosyncratic suburbs – Camperdown, Chippendale, Darlington and Erskineville – which provide locals with a wealth of friendly watering holes, art spaces, florists, cafes and neighbourhood delis.
suburb profile guide
Living in the inner city offers a fabulous lifestyle with so much variety. Aside from fantastic shopping, you can eat out at award-winning restaurants, catch a show at one of the many grand theatres, visit an art gallery or enjoy some of the many lush green spaces with leafy avenues, manicured lawns, serene gardens and spectacular views.
The choice is yours – and it’s all on your doorstep.