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Thread: Living on the North Shore

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Australia (Torquay, Vic)
    Posts
    27

    Default Living on the North Shore

    Hi, we’re considering North Shore to live. Please could anyone advise on the Shore suburbs? If you live there what’s it like?

    A couple of things are important to us:

    1. Schools – as we are we have three kids (9, 8 and 2.5). So a good small primary school is a must - and we need to think about secondary, so school zoning is an issue.

    2. We love the beach and the holiday atmosphere of a beach suburb with café’s and ice-cream and a supermarket or two (as opposed to rural and isolation). Don’t have to live right on the beach though.

    3. We need a good friendly community, especially for Fiona who is at home managing the kids (where do all the poms live?)

    Any comments or thoughts would be appreciated.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,088

    Default

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    I'm sure some of the many members living in that area will be along to help shortly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    506

    Default

    Hi,
    Welcome to the forum.

    I have two boys aged 9 and 6 and live in Browns bay. Am very very happy with the area. The local schools are fantastic (and I don't use the word lightly) I find it friendly and has everything that we need from community to shops.


    If I can be of any further assistance please feel free to PM me.

    I don't have any experience of other schools or other areas, but to be honest wouldn't want to move. there are HEAPS of beaches within walking distance, all with great play areas for the kids and good swimming beaches. There are a lot of activities for the kids too like swimming, dancing, cubs martial arts sailing, trampolining etc all within the local area.

    Priorities for us were the schools, and I have only positive things to say about the local schools, but I hear that that is the same for all schools on East coast bays.

    hth

    hels

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,691

    Default

    We've recently left the North Shore and relocated to Canterbury as this was our long term plan. However we spent 2 years living in Albany (after a 6 months stint in West Harbour) and there were many advantages to the area.

    Firstly I must point our that Albany is a large suburb and there is some confusion as to where it begins and other areas such as North Cross begins....every map you look at will show you something different. The area we lived has recently been reclassified by the postal service as 'Oteha' and basically the Eastern side of Albany. The park & ride was 10 minutes walk away (2 minutes drive) with very very regular buses into CBD from very early to very late at night....the journey takes between 15 minutes off peak to about 25 during rush hour. We found this to be very convenient and avoided my OH having to get one of the slower suburb buses and we didn't need a second car at all. The Westfield shopping centre and Mega Centre has all of the main shops you would need on a day to day basis as well as a good selection of clothes shops, DIY & electrical shops too and two supermarkets. Brown's Bay was less than 5 minutes drive away and had 2 further supermarkets.

    Schools......my daughter went to Oteha Valley School which we found to be excellent on the whole. All of the schools in the area were very good, but we particularly liked this one as it was a bit smaller than most of the others with smaller class sizes and also pretty new (opened 2004) so has warm modern classrooms and up to date facilities as well as a large area for sports. Most of the area is zoned for Rangitoto College which is highly regarded, and there were also a couple of private schools in the area too....Kristin School and Pinehurst School.

    Beach....our local beach was Brown's Bay....and I really loved the area. It is the only thing I really miss about Auckland (being a country girl at heart). The beach itself has lovely views onto the Haruki Gulf and Rangitoto Island, but is never crowded. I used to love wandering down the beach first thing in the morning.....the sun made the water glisten beautifully. Understandably the area attracts a lot of Brits...which can be a good or bad thing depending upon whether you would rather integrate into Kiwi culture or feel more comfortable with people similar to you around. There are also a ton on South Africans in the area too. This pushes the price up somewhat which is why we lived in Albany rather than Brown's Bay...but we were only a stones throw away. The suburb also has a nice selection of small shops and plenty of coffee shops plus a fab french bakery. On first sight it can look a bit scruffy....but there is a really lovely friendly atmosphere about the place, which grows on you

    There are also a ton of activities for kids over the wider North Shore area...everything from playgroups & music groups for toddlers, sports to music & dance, craft classes, science/language classses as well as the usual brownies/guides/scouts etc. There are plenty of free pre-school activities and several friendly kindies about....some better than others so it pays to visit them and spend some time to make up your mind which you prefer....good way of meeting other mums too.

    You might be wondering why we left if we liked the area so much......
    http://www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=27473
    To sum it up, we didn't come to NZ to live in a city. We agreed 2 years in Auckland as this is where OH landed a job, and then we stuck to our original plan and relocated to our preferred area of Canterbury.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    71

    Default

    We have family who live in North Shore in Torbay. They moved there when their children were 10, 12 and 16. They have had fantastic schooling at Long Bay college and their local primary and intermediate schools. My sister-in-law is a teacher and is a very involved parent. She has been totally happy in the area and is very complimentary about the teaching standard.
    The area is very safe and he kids have always gone down to the beach on their own which ,for ex-South Africans , is a big step! Hope you find a place to suit you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    S'pore-2-AKL again
    Posts
    877

    Default

    Everywhere on the east coast of the NS is more or less a wonderful place to live. The NS is very much the best city to live in if you are moving to Auckland and right now rentals are quickly going fast and getting a little too steep in my opinion. Ouch....

    We live in Devonport on a waterfront suburb called Stanley Point. Pretty much anyone who knows Devonport knows that it is a great suburb and really sought after. Rents here disappear fast and are in short supply. Leafy, with many stunning weatherboard houses, a marina and ferry point, a bustling and complete village for everything you need......

    It has several beaches, 2 mountains (North Head and Mt Victoria) for views of the city and bay area. The suburb is convenient if you work in the city since ferry is just 10 mins as apposed to taking the bridge. A couple of good schools Takapuna Grammar, St Leo's, Belmont Intermediate, Devonport, Stanley Bay & Vauxhall Primary, playcentres & kindys.........and yes annoyingly lots of POMS here.

    I would suggest if you plan on the NS, to start experiencing staying at Devonport first before making your way slowly up the shore right up to Torbay if you want to. That way you can decide which is the suburb you like best and plan everything accordingly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    UK - North Shore, Akld - UK
    Posts
    455

    Default

    You can't really go wrong anywhere on North Shore for good schools and access to great beaches. Secondary schools Takapuna Grammar, Westlake Girls and Rangitoto College have all appeared in the list of Auckland's top schools (within the top 12) in the past.

    We considered Mairangi Bay and then settled in Devonport. It is very pretty and has great amenities but there are drawbacks. Probably too many Brits settle here (and quite a few of them move on or return to the UK so it can feel quite transient). Lake Road - the only road in and out of Devonport - can get very congested. It took me 45 minutes to get to Takapuna yesterday at 11am on a Sat - it should only take 10 to 15 minutes. Also, a lot of the sections have been subdivided so gardens can be very small. This applies to most of the North Shore but if a decent garden isn't on your wish list then it shouldn't be a problem. Having at look at the area on Google Earth would give you a good idea of the housing densities.

    If you're going to be working in the city then the ferry is a nice way to commute. We've managed with one car since we moved here as my OH takes the ferry to work.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Rothesay Bay Auckland
    Posts
    364

    Default

    I live in Rothesay Bay, near to Browns Bay and we love it. Browns Bay has a great beach and park for the kids, also a couple of supermarkets. Browns Bay school is very good, my kids have settled very well there. Please pm me if you would more specific info.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Australia (Torquay, Vic)
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Thanks to everyone for the advice, t's very much appreciated! - I hope you don't mind if I PM some of you for more.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,088

    Default

    Skipjack, you'll find that you need to make five posts on any thread other than in the Lounge before you can send PMs to anyone. If you haven't any particular things you want to say, just do one-word posts on here to bump up your total. When you've come to the magic 5, click on anyone's username, then you'll see a drop-down menu with private messaging as one of the options.

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