I love where we live. It doesn't feel like you live in Sydney - the hustle-bustle. The houses aren't close together, most people have really big backyard... and it's semi-rural with many people with horses and livestock. In fact, we have a saddlery about 200m from our front door.
The shops are a real community. The IGA, postoffice, butcher (aka Meat Boutique) bakery, newsagency and chemist - pretty much everything I use the people are always friendly and take time to ask how your day is going and compliment how big the girls are etc. The family doctor is although in quite outdated premises, has a little charm to it - Dr George is engaging man and the last time we were there, Laura felt compelled to hug him and tell him that she loved him. He was genuinely chuffed. We have a cute little park and a library and a choice of little cafes or places to eat.. each quite quaint in their own way.
The library is something we haven't used yet but next week we will be using it for the first time. It's tiny and manned by volunteers I think - it's only open in the mornings on Fridays and Saturdays, and a few evenings through the week.
Loads of schools, the local public primary school is about 50 metres from our front door. Down the road is the German School and at the other end of our suburb is the Japanese School and a Christian High School. Spoiled for choice really.
With this semi-rural-ness and wonderful community it's like a tree-change without going too far. We're only 10 minutes from St Ives, 15 minutes from Warringah Mall and 20 minutes to Chatswood and MacQuarie. Also only 15 minutes from Bayview our favourite swimming spot. There's public transport at the door and overall I'm settled here.
The only thing we're really missing up here is a bank. That's annoying sometimes... but a small trade-off from a community that's rare these days.