Best suburbs to raise a family in Australia

By Mark Rosanes

Families have varying priorities when it comes to raising their children. Some families place great value at giving their children a good education, while others put premium on providing their kids a peaceful environment to grow. Fortunately, the vast number of suburbs across the country gives families plenty of options.

Rental property website Rent.com.au previously conducted a survey of more than 6,000 of Australia’s suburbs, and ranked these locations based on overall livability. The list below shows some of the top locations when it comes to raising a family based on that survey.

We have also added some supplementary information to put the data into context. The population figures are based on the 2016 census, which is the latest from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Median house and unit prices, meanwhile, are based on CoreLogic’s November 2020 update, which reported property data gathered up to the period ending in August 2020.

New South Wales

Wahroonga

Population: 17,371
Number of families: 4,586
Median house price: $2,025,000
Median unit price: $890,000

Wahroonga is aptly named after an Aboriginal word meaning “our home,” as its tree-lined streets and beautiful parks make the suburb one of the country’s best places to settle. Wahroonga is about a 30-minute or 45-minute train ride from Sydney, but families living there may not even need to travel to the capital city as the suburb already has many shopping centres and commercial establishments. For families with children, the suburb is home to several well-regarded schools, including Knox Grammar, Abbotsleigh School for Girls, St Leo’s Catholic College, Wahroonga Adventist School, Wahroonga Public School, and a number of schools of students with disabilities, including St Lucy’s School and St Edmund’s School. The second-oldest national park in the country, the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, is also situated there.

Katoomba

Population: 7,964
Number of families: 1,901
Median house price: $598,500
Median unit price: $410,000

Located in the heart of the Blue Mountains, Katoomba is considered one of the best places to settle for nature-loving families. The town boasts a rich cultural heritage and scenic views of the Three Sisters Hanging Rock. The suburb is a 90-minute drive from Sydney, and is home to several restaurants, leisure centres, and great schools – including St Canices Primary School, Korowal School, Katoomba Public School, and Katoomba High School.

Bella Vista

Population: 7,837
Number of families: 2,134
Median house price: $1,533,000
Median unit price: $902,000

Bella Vista is considered another great suburb to raise a family with its many parks – including Bella Vista Farm, Hilltop Park, and Fairway Drive Reserve – as well as several K-12 and pre-uni schools. The suburb also has its own business hubs, shopping centres, and health service facilities. Bella Vista is also only 33km from Sydney’s central business district.

Blayney

Population: 7,257
Number of families: 1,926
Median house price: $337,000

Blayney is a good option for families wanting to live a rustic lifestyle. It is located 237km away from Sydney and was recently voted as one Australia’s best small towns. Blayney offers boutique shopping, fresh produce, scenic countryside, and farmers’ markets. It is also a great location for fishing and camping.

Glen Alpine

Population: 4,559
Number of families: 1,323
Median house price: $855,000

One of the prominent features of Glen Alpine is its large houses, many of which are owner-occupied. Families living in the suburb also earn about $1,000 above the national average, indicating financial stability among residents. The suburb began as a golf course estate but has recently seen a rise in real estate developments. Glen Alpine is about 56km away from Sydney’s central business district.

Victoria

Aberfeldie

Population: 3,897
Number of families: 1,034
Median house price: $1,575,000

Aberfeldie is located just 9km outside of Melbourne and is home to several schools, including Aberfeldie Primary School, Our Lady of Nativity Primary School, Resurrection School, and Ave Maria College. The suburb also boasts an efficient public transport system, with several bus routes operating around the area. Another stand-out feature of Aberfeldie is its vibrant sports scene, which promotes football, cricket, tennis, lawn bowls, gymnastics, swimming, and basketball

Clifton Hill

Population: 6,341
Number of families: 1,539
Median house price: $1,375,000
Median unit price: $700,000

Clifton Hill is situated about 4km from Melbourne’s business district and is connected to the CBD via a series of major road arteries and highways. Its proximity to the capital city gives residents easy access to public amenities such as shopping malls, schools, hospitals, and recreational and leisure centres. The suburb is also home to parks and sports facilities, including the Darling Gardens, which features a football oval, cricket field, skatepark, playground, and a hiking trail that runs along Merri Creek.

Balwyn

Population: 13,312
Number of families: 3,571
Median house price: $2,330,000
Median unit price: $989,000

This hilly suburb is located about 10km east of Melbourne and best suited for families looking for private schools. Balwyn is regarded as an affluent area, boasting historic mansions and period homes. The suburb is relatively quiet and its proximity to the capital, along with an efficient tram system, gives residents easy access to public amenities. Balwyn is also home to several shops, cafés, and cinemas.

Canadian

Population: 3,609
Number of families: 894
Median house price: $403,000
Median unit price: $290,000

Canadian is a suburb east of the regional city of Ballarat situated in the rural-urban fringe. It is primarily a residential area, and has a school, a small shopping area, and several parks and reserves, including Sparrow Ground. The suburb is also home to Lake Esmond, which was converted from a quarry and now serves as a recreational spot for rotary clubs and residents.

Mansfield

Population: 4,787
Number of families: 1,188
Median house price: $485,000
Median unit price: $385,000

Mansfield has consistently ranked at the top of VicHealth Indicators Survey list of Victorian towns in terms of health and wellbeing, making it a suitable place to raise a family. The suburb is located 180km northeast of Melbourne. It is home to several schools and recreational facilities and is regarded as a popular location for outdoor activities.

Queensland

Mansfield

Population: 8,695
Number of families: 2,368
Median house price: $720,000
Median unit price: $452,500

Mansfield is a suburb of Brisbane, located 14km from the capital city’s central business district. It boasts several schools and pockets of nature, which make the suburb popular for families. Good infrastructure has also contributed on turning Mansfield into among the most sought-after suburbs in south eastern Brisbane.

Upper Caboolture

Population: 4,214
Number of families: 1,172
Median house price: $422,500

Upper Caboolture is a rural town in the Moreton Bay region. It is a peaceful place with great community involvement, but is also close to public amenities, including a shopping centre, schools, public transport, and sports and recreational parks. The suburb is best suited for families looking for a rustic lifestyle with easy access to modern conveniences.

Bucasia

Population: 4,771
Number of families: 1,265
Median house price: $385,000

The coastal town of Bucasia is one of the largest suburbs in Mackay. The suburb is known for its beautiful beach houses and friendly residents. The main traffic to Shoal Point passes behind the village area. Bucasia is also home to a few shops and schools, including Bucasia Kindergarten and Bucasia State School.

Lammermoor

Population: 2,167
Number of families: 596
Median house price: $472,500

Lammermoor is another coastal locality for well-suited for families wanting to live a beach lifestyle. Situated in the Capricorn Coast, the suburb is a steadily growing community driven by several major land developments in Tarranganba. Lammermoor is home to a Catholic school, the Sacred Heart School Yeppoon.

Avoca

Population: 1,193
Number of families: 311
Median house price: $293,500

Avoca is a primarily a residential area located in Bundaberg. It hosts one of the region's main shopping precincts, the Sugarland Shoppingtown, along with cinemas and other stores. Avoca has a primary school and a girl’s school with special education programs.

Western Australia

Madeley

Population: 6,084
Number of families: 1,673
Median house price: $560,000

Madeley is a suburb located 20km north of Perth’s central business district. It is among the fastest-growing suburbs in the capital city, making it a strong market for property. Residents in Madeley benefit from easy access to public amenities and modern conveniences because of the suburb’s geographical location.

Maida Vale

Population: 4,499
Number of families: 1,295
Median house price: $470,000

Maida Vale boasts areas of natural bushland, which may attract families wanting to live a country lifestyle. The suburb is also just 16km away from Perth’s central business district, giving residents easy access to amenities of city living. Maida Vale is home to a primary school, golf course, and several parks. Its housing market is primed for growth, seeing an expansion in recent years.

Two Rocks

Population: 2,990
Number of families: 788
Median house price: $370,000

Two Rocks is located at the northern edge of Perth, 61km from the capital city’s central business district. The suburb boasts an efficient transport system, which includes bus routes and railway stations. Two Rocks has seen a rise in housing development in the past few years. Its marine parks and other natural attractions can be a major drawcard for families wanting to live close to nature.

Kununurra

Population: 4,341
Number of families: 971
Median house price: $312,500

Kununurra is quiet and laid-back town situated in far northern Western Australia, 45km from the border with Northern Territory. Families may be drawn by its rustic landscape consisting of scenic hills and ranges. Kununurra was primarily an agricultural town, having an abundance of fresh water. The suburb has several schools and medical facilities.

Rossmoyne

Population: 3,321
Number of families: 879
Median house price: $1,150,000

Rossmoyne is considered one of Perth’s premium suburbs, with the median house price coming in at over $1m. It is located just 14km south of Perth, giving residents easy access to amenities of city living. Rossmoyne also hosts various amenities, including a shopping centre that houses a supermarket, café, and restaurants. The suburb’s local sports facilities include tennis courts and a bowling club. Rossmoyne is also home to several schools for students of various ages. Bus services facilitate transportation to and from the capital city.

South Australia

Hectorville

Population: 3,738
Number of families: 1,028
Median house price: $520,000
Median unit price: $321,500

Hectorville is a small suburb in the Adelaide city of Campbelltown. The suburb’s several schools and parks make it good place to raise young children. Hectorville is known for being a quiet and peaceful area with amenities for shopping and dining. Public transport is also not an issue.

Burnside

Population: 2,930
Number of families: 820
Median house price: $850,000

Burnside is located 7.5km east of the Adelaide city centre. The suburb is home to many mature couples and established families and is known for its roomy (three- to five-room) brick estates. Burnside hosts one of Adelaide’s biggest shopping malls the Burnside Village, and several pools, saunas, and tennis courts. The suburb also has several primary and secondary schools.

Hahndorf

Population: 2,670
Number of families: 692
Median house price: $600,000

Hahndorf is a small town in the Adelaide Hills, about 28km away from Adelaide’s central business district. The capital city is accessible from Hahndorf via the South Eastern Freeway. This quaint German heritage town is home to several shops, pubs, restaurants, and wineries. It also hosts several primary and secondary schools, which accommodate students of all ages.

Rostrevor

Population: 7,743
Number of families: 2,171
Median house price: $615,000

Rostrevor is another suburb in the city of Campbelltown that is well-suited for families looking for a place to raise young children. The suburb is just 10km away from Adelaide’s central business district, and is home of several schools, including Norwood Morialta High School, Stradbroke School, Foodland, Rostrevor Baptist Church. The surrounding area, with its parks and recreational facilities, presents a conducive environment for children to grow.

Holden Hill

Population: 3,296
Number of families: 871
Median house price: $392,500

Various local parks, playgrounds, and schools make this suburb 10km away from Adelaide’s city centre a good neighbourhood to raise children. The suburb is also a stone’s throw away from the Tree Tea Plaza and the Valley View Golf Course. Holden Hill hosts a number of roomy brick houses.

Tasmania

Rokeby

Population: 3,375
Number of families: 862
Median house price: $347,000
Median unit price: $346,000

This suburb in the capital city of Hobart has been seeing a rise in homeownership in recent years. Rokeby has a vast expanse of green land, which may attract families looking to live away from the bustling city centre.

Blackmans Bay

Population: 7,145
Number of families: 2,038
Median house price: $607,500
Median unit price: $419,000

This beachside suburb in Hobart boasts several primary schools. It is also home to a local shopping centre with a supermarket, medical facility, and pharmacy. The beaches in Blackmans Bay offer scenic views of the water, and a trail that leads to Flowerpot Point, a popular fishing spot.

Warrane

Population: 2,431
Number of families: 587
Median house price: $383,000
Median unit price: $363,000

Warrane is a largely residential area but families living there have easy access to city amenities as the suburb is just 5km from Hobart’s city centre. Commute from Warrane to the capital city takes less than 10 minutes, thanks to the Tasman Highway. Over the years, the suburb has become increasingly popular for buyers looking for affordable houses.

Legana

Population: 4,029
Number of families: 1,111
Median house price: $460,000
Median unit price: $350,000

Legana is a rural and residential town about 10 minutes from Launceston. The suburb is situated just a short distance from Riverside, putting families in proximity to Riverside Primary School and Riverside High School. Legana also hosts a shopping centre, supermarkets, cafés, and restaurants. Social activities revolve mostly around sports such as cricket and dirt biking. Legana is also a stone’s throw away from the Tamar Valley wineries.

Hobart

Population: 2,296
Number of families: 346
Median house price: $700,000
Median unit price: $655,000

The suburb of Hobart is one of the state’s most desirable locations and for good reason. Located within the city centre, it offers employment opportunities and modern amenities. However, the suburb also has the most expensive houses and units in the state.

Northern Territory

Wagaman

Population: 2,163
Number of families: 523
Median house price: $433,750

Wagaman is an established residential area 14km north of Darwin. Residents in the suburb have access to a primary school, a local park, and a shopping centre. Wagaman is also near a large shopping complex in neighbouring Casuarina.

Humpty Doo

Population: 4,380
Number of families: 1,103
Median house price: $507,500

Humpty Doo is a small suburb about 40km away from Darwin. It boasts a modern bus interchange park-and-ride facility, making public transport from Darwin and Palmerston to rural areas more efficient. Families planning to raise a family in the suburb will also have access to several primary and secondary schools catering to K-12 students.

Rosebery

Population: 4,218
Number of families: 1,103
Median house price: $480,000
Median unit price: $235,000

Rosebery is tipped among the best places in the state to raise a family, given the presence of several educational institutions, including Rosebery Primary School and Palmerston College’s 7-9 campus. The suburb is only 3km away from Palmerston’s central business districts, giving residents easy access to city amenities such as supermarkets, the Palmerston Shopping Centre, and the Palmerston campus of Charles Darwin University.

Rapid Creek

Population: 3,282
Number of families: 754
Median house price: $470,000
Median unit price: $315,000

Rapid Creek is a predominantly residential area located 11km from Darwin’s city centre. Schools, the airport, the Casuarina Square, and supermarkets are roughly just a five-minute drive from the suburb. It also hosts the Rapid Creek Sunday Market, which is the oldest market in Darwin.

Woodroffe

Population: 3,233
Number of families: 817
Median house price: $350,000

Woodroffe’s proximity to Palmerston gives its residents easy access to city amenities such as the Palmerston Shopping Centre and the Palmerston campus of Charles Darwin University. Families who are raising young children also benefit from the several schools, childcare centres, sports facilities, parks, and local library in the area. Palmerston has an efficient public transport system, where Woodroffe and neighbouring suburbs are bound.

Australian Capital Territory

Giralang

Population: 3,316
Number of families: 894
Median house price: $735,000

Giralang is situated in Canberra’s Bellconnen district, around 8km north of the central business district. Apart from access to city-living amenities, among of the biggest drawcards for families planning to buy home and settle in the suburb are house prices that fall below the citywide figure.

Macquarie

Population: 2,700
Number of families: 683
Median house price: $725,000
Median unit price: $430,500

Macquarie is located just 7km from Canberra’s city centre, and around 2km from the Westfield Belconnen Mall and Jamison Shopping Centre. It is linked to neighbouring suburbs via main arteries, including Belconnen Way, Tuggeranong Parkway, and the Gungahlin Drive Extension. Macquarie has an efficient public transport system and hosts several primary and secondary schools. It is also home of several recreational facilities, including the Big Splash Water Park.

Mawson

Population: 3,252
Number of families: 867
Median house price: $770,000
Median unit price: $315,000

This suburb in Canberra’s Woden Valley district is home to the Southlands Centre, which houses a shopping centre, the Southlands Tennis Club, and a branch of the Canberra Raiders Leagues Club. Mawson has two schools – Mawson Primary School and Canberra Christian School – and is home to several churches.

Flynn

Population: 3,360
Number of families: 950
Median house price: $623,000

Flynn provides residents with a great deal of open space to enjoy, with large properties on tree-lined streets, which may attract families who want a green and quiet neighbourhood. It is located 12km northwest of Canberra and is home to many parks and gardens. Flynn alone does not have many amenities but its proximity to Belconnen gives residents access to several options for schooling and sports.

Amaroo

Population: 5,710
Number of families: 1,558
Median house price: $732,500
Median unit price: $545,000

Amaroo is situated in Canberra’s Gungahlin district and is home to Amaroo School, one of the most prestigious schools in the territory. The suburb is also near the Gungahlin Town Centre, a transport hub, which hosts the Calvary Hospital and Canberra Hospital. Amaroo has a thriving housing market.

More Mortgage News