Living in Burwood NSW 2134

Chris Wong Avatar

My name is Chris, and for over 30 years, I have called Burwood my home. During this time, I have witnessed first-hand the remarkable transformation of Burwood. It has evolved from being viewed as a less wealthy counterpart to Strathfield to becoming a coveted spot renowned for its offerings in dining, education, leisure, and living.

Read my article if you want to learn more about Living in Burwood.

About Burwood

Burwood is situated in the inner west of Sydney, New South Wales and is a prime example of a suburb that harmoniously blends the comforts of suburban life with the conveniences of urban living. With its excellent schools, diverse dining scene, various housing options, efficient transport network, well-maintained parks and libraries, as well as the bustling retail hubs of Westfield Shopping Mall and Burwood Plaza, Burwood has become an attractive destination for individuals and families seeking a high quality of life.

Schools

Burwood is renowned for its exceptional education facilities. The suburb is home to a variety of public and private schools that cater to a wide range of educational needs. From primary to secondary, Burwood offers both single-sex and co-educational institutions, providing families with options that align with their preferences and values. Schools such as Burwood Girls High School, MLC School, and Burwood Public School have established themselves as institutions of learning excellence.

Other Nearby Schools

The educational landscape surrounding Burwood flourishes with esteemed nearby institutions such as Santa Sabina College, Santa Maria Del Monte Primary School, St. Mary’s Concord Primary School, Rosebank College, and Meriden School. These academic beacons enrich the community with their commitment to excellence. Santa Sabina College offers a holistic education, while Santa Maria Del Monte Primary School is the feeder school for girls to Santa Sabina and for boys to St Patrick’s College Strathfield. St. Mary’s Concord adds to the educational tapestry with its values-based education, Meriden School shines with a rigorous academic program, and Rosebank College excels with a diverse curriculum. All these schools are within minutes of driving or 30 minutes and all rank highly in NSW.

Private Tutoring

Burwood, a hub of educational activity, boasts a plethora of private tutoring colleges that cater to diverse learning needs. These institutes offer specialized coaching, academic support, and exam preparation across a range of subjects. With a vast number of private tutoring colleges dotting the suburb, Burwood has become a destination for students seeking to excel in their studies and achieve their academic goals. These institutions play a pivotal role in supplementing traditional education, providing personalized guidance, and fostering a culture of continuous learning within the community.

Popular tutoring includes: Kumon, Harry’s Education, Dr Du Education, The Brain Education and Dux Tuition.

Eating and Dining

Burwood’s dining scene reflects the suburb’s cultural diversity. The streets are lined with a plethora of eateries that offer cuisines from all corners of the world. From Asian delicacies to Mediterranean delights and modern Australian cuisine, residents and visitors alike can embark on a culinary journey without leaving the suburb. The vibrant Burwood Road and its surrounding areas are especially known for their abundance of restaurants, cafes, and eateries that cater to a variety of tastes and preferences.

Burwood Chinatown

One of the recent gems that has added an extra layer of vibrancy to Burwood’s dining landscape is Burwood Chinatown. This relatively new addition captures the essence of mainland China’s bustling local eateries. Designed to evoke the spirit of traditional Chinese street food markets, Burwood Chinatown transports residents and visitors to the heart of China’s culinary culture.

Burwood Chinatown stands out not just for its exquisite array of dishes, but also for its vibrant atmosphere. Neon lights illuminate the streets, casting a colorful glow reminiscent of the bustling streets of cities like Beijing and Shanghai. The decor and ambience of Burwood Chinatown pay homage to the vibrant night markets found across China, where locals gather to savor authentic flavors under the neon lights.

The eateries within Burwood Chinatown offer a wide variety of Chinese cuisine, from the rich flavors of Sichuan to the delicate dim sum of Cantonese fare. One of the standout features of this culinary haven is its affordability. Authentic flavors need not come with a hefty price tag. Burwood Chinatown is an ideal destination for those seeking an affordable yet truly authentic Chinese dining experience.

Burwood Chinatown is not merely a dining destination; it’s a cultural experience that adds to Burwood’s diverse tapestry. Residents and visitors alike have the opportunity to savor the rich flavours of China without leaving the heart of Sydney. It’s a testament to Burwood’s commitment to offering its community a taste of the world’s diverse cultures.

Housing Costs

Like many areas in Sydney, housing costs in Burwood can vary significantly based on factors such as location, property size, and condition. Renting an apartment in Burwood can range from moderate to relatively high, depending on the property’s proximity to public transport and amenities. On average, a one-bedroom apartment might cost around $400 to $600 per week, while larger apartments can go up from there.

For those interested in buying a house, the prices can be higher due to the desirable location and access to amenities. Prices for houses in Burwood can range from around $1.5 million for smaller properties to several million dollars for larger, more luxurious homes.

Council Rates

Council rates are relatively low and are projected to increase slowly when compared to Strathfield. With higher living density and population in Burwood, Council is able to raise more revenue spread across a larger portion of residents. At present Council rates range from $1,600 for a two bed room apartment to $4,000 for a medium size house.

Strathfield, on the other hand, has less density, larger housing, a smaller population, and therefore their council rates are projected to more than double in five years.

Neighbouring Ashfield, is part of the Inner West Council. Their rates are comparable to those at Burwood.

Buying Property Tips

Burwood Rd running from the station down south to Liverpool Rd is heritage protected. This means the facade of each property must be maintained in its original condition. Whilst property on Burwood Rd is expensive, approximately $3 million and above, heritage status will not allow you to knock down rebuild.

With climate change becoming more pronounced, the 2022 heavy rains saw a lot of rain water run down from higher elevated parts of Burwood down to low lying areas. Some of the low lying areas became flooded. Look for properties that are uphill rather than downhill.

Council has earmarked many roads that are within 8-10 minute walk to the station with parking zones. Some only allow 30 minutes while others extend to 4 hours. Be aware of these zones when you are purchasing property.

Explore the area of Conder St, Norwood St and Stanley St. Low to medium density is planned for this area. It is conveniently located to nearby schools and is located in between the heart of Strathfield and Burwood. This is ideal for disembarking at either Strathfield or Burwood Station yet still be in walking distance.

Transport

Burwood boasts excellent connectivity, making it an ideal place for commuters. The suburb is served by multiple bus routes and has its own train station, making it easy to access both the city centre and other parts of Sydney. Commuting to the CBD takes around 20 minutes by train, making it a preferred choice for professionals who work in the city but prefer to live in a quieter environment.

Burwood Station

Burwood Station has undergone a lot of change in recent years. There are now lifts for each platform providing accessibility for the elderly, disabled, parents with young children and those who have luggage or carrying a bike.

Train tickets from Burwood to the City cost more than Ashfield to the City, because it just passes the threshold of how Sydney City Rail charges ticket pricing. If you need to save on train ticket costs, either cycle to Ashfield to catch the train, move to Ashfield, or cycle to the City.

Train Tips

When returning from the City to Burwood, there isn’t always a train available. To get back quickly, catch the next train to Strathfield, then catch a train to backtrack from Strathfield to Burwood. Alternatively walk from Strathfield to Burwood, which is only a 10 minute walk.

Sydney City Rail can be unreliable at times. Therefore the safest option is always to get out of the City as quickly as possible with the next available train to Strathfield (which is far more frequent than Burwood). In doing so, the risk of being stuck in the City is reduced.

When travelling from Burwood to the City, there are some express trains terminating at Central. These are super fast, but won’t bring you to the door of offices located in the City Circle. Nevertheless, this is great for travellers who would rather spend less time on a train, and more time walking.

Burwood North Metro – A new addition to Burwood Transport

Burwood North Metro, is an upcoming addition to Sydney’s transport network, is poised to revolutionise connectivity for Burwood residents and commuters alike. Situated at the junction of Burwood and Parramatta Rd, this strategic transportation hub will offer convenient access with entrances from north, south and east. Once Burwood North Metro is complete, Burwood will attain a status compared to the likes of Chatswood.

Cycling

Unfortunately there are very limited bicycle lanes in Burwood. This creates a dangerous environment, particularly if you are not confident with cycling. Burwood South does allow cycling on the footpath in between Minna St and Ireland St, however no where else can you ride on the footpath.

Cycle on the side streets if possible. While this might mean more time spent on the bicycle from getting from point A to B, it will be a lot safer.

Bicycle racks can be found at Burwood Library, opposite Burwood Station or next to Burwood Station at the dead end street.

If you want to cycle to the City, be prepared for a 45 to 50 minute ride. The journey will require you to ride on the road up until you reach The Bay Run at Five Dock/Haberfield, after which it becomes relatively safe from there on.

Shopping

Westfield Shopping Mall and Burwood Plaza

For those who love to shop, Burwood offers two prominent retail destinations: Westfield Shopping Mall and Burwood Plaza. Westfield Burwood is a bustling hub that hosts a wide array of shops, from high-end fashion brands to popular retail stores. It’s not just a shopping destination; it’s a social and cultural center where residents can catch the latest movies, enjoy a diverse dining experience, and find all their shopping needs met under one roof.

Burwood Plaza, on the other hand, provides a more intimate and community-oriented shopping experience. It’s a go-to place for daily essentials, boutique finds, and cozy cafes where locals can relax and socialise. However, it may not remain there for long, with a developer’s submission to Burwood Council to transform Burwood Plaza into Burwood Place.

Burwood Plaza Development

Burwood Place, a groundbreaking development proposal, promises to reshape the landscape of Burwood. By replacing Burwood Plaza with at least four high-rise towers from 12 to 42 floors in height, this ambitious project will transform Burwood into a mini-CBD. Burwood Place will run along opposite the railway tracks, and will reach Burwood Library.

In the above picture, building 42 is positioned closest to Burwood Station, while building 12 and 20 is adjacent to Burwood Library.

Weekend Bustle

As the sun sets on the week, Burwood transforms into a vibrant hub of weekend activities. Fridays and Saturdays often bring about a surge of energy, as residents and visitors alike flock to the area’s entertainment and dining hotspots. This popularity, however, can lead to increased traffic congestion, particularly during Friday and Saturday nights. The buzz of activity can make parking a bit of a challenge, but it’s a testament to the suburb’s popularity as a social and recreational destination.

Parking and Traffic Tips

Try and avoid driving down Burwood Rd from south to north on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night. The road becomes horrendously congested, with some drivers mentioning over 20 minutes of travel time. Steer clear of parking at the council car park underneath Burwood Plaza, and park towards Burwood Library or in a block or two away from the main road. It will be faster to park further and walk, rather than to park at the heart of Burwood during peak hour.

Burwood Library

The Burwood Library is relatively new, providing one of the best community places for Burwood and nearby residents. It’s location, accessibility and features far outweighs those in surrounding suburbs of Strathfield, Concord and Ashfield.

It has a welcoming, fresh and clean environment for book lovers, students, elderly and learners of all ages. It offers a wide range of resources, including books, magazines, digital media, and educational programs.

Burwood Park

For those seeking outdoor leisure, Burwood Park is a charming oasis that features lush greenery, open spaces, and recreational facilities. The park is a popular spot for picnics, leisurely strolls, and various community events throughout the year.

Conclusion

Living in Burwood, NSW, provides a unique blend of suburban tranquility, urban convenience, vibrant shopping experiences, and a bustling weekend atmosphere. The suburb’s strong educational institutions, diverse dining options, efficient transport network, inviting public spaces, and active social scene make it an attractive choice for families, professionals, and individuals who appreciate the balance between comfort, accessibility, and the excitement of weekend activities. Whether you’re looking for quality education, a rich culinary experience, a retail therapy session, or a lively weekend scene, Burwood has something to offer for everyone.


FAQ

Should I live in Burwood?

Below are some potential pros and cons of living in Burwood, New South Wales, based on general considerations. Keep in mind that individual experiences may vary, and these points are not exhaustive:

Pros:

  1. Convenience and Amenities: Burwood offers a wide range of amenities, including shopping centers like Westfield and Burwood Plaza, diverse dining options, entertainment venues, and public facilities such as libraries and parks.
  2. Transportation Accessibility: With Burwood Station and planned developments like the Burwood North Metro, the suburb provides convenient access to public transportation, making commuting to various parts of Sydney relatively easy.
  3. Educational Institutions: Burwood is home to reputable schools and educational institutions, offering quality education options for families with children.
  4. Cultural Diversity: The multicultural community adds vibrancy to the suburb, resulting in a diverse culinary scene, cultural events, and opportunities to engage with different cultures.
  5. Employment Opportunities: Proximity to commercial areas and businesses provides potential job opportunities for residents.
  6. Community Services: The presence of medical facilities, community centers, and essential services contributes to a well-rounded lifestyle.

Cons:

  1. Cost of Living: Like many urban areas, the cost of living in Burwood, including housing costs, may be relatively high compared to other suburban areas.
  2. Traffic and Congestion: While public transportation options are available, traffic congestion can be an issue during peak hours, leading to longer commute times.
  3. Limited Green Spaces: Despite the presence of parks, green spaces may be limited compared to more suburban areas.
  4. Noise and Crowds: As a bustling suburb, Burwood can sometimes be noisy and crowded, which may not suit those seeking a quieter environment.
  5. Property Sizes: Housing options, especially apartments, might have limited space compared to more spacious suburban neighborhoods.
  6. Competitive Real Estate Market: The demand for housing in Burwood could lead to a competitive real estate market, potentially making it challenging for some to find suitable accommodation.

Can I get around without a car?

Yes, you can definitely get around without a car if you live in Burwood. The suburb is known for its accessibility and public transportation options, making it feasible to rely on alternative modes of transportation. Here’s how you can get around without a car in Burwood:

  1. Train: Burwood has its own train station, aptly named Burwood Station, which is part of the Sydney Trains network. The station is well-connected and offers frequent services to various parts of Sydney, including the city center.
  2. Bus: The suburb is served by several bus routes that connect Burwood to neighboring areas and key destinations. Buses provide an additional option for getting around locally and reaching nearby suburbs.
  3. Cycling: Burwood is bicycle-friendly, with dedicated bike lanes and paths. Cycling is a sustainable and healthy way to navigate the area, especially for shorter distances.
  4. Walking: Many amenities in Burwood are within walking distance of residential areas. The suburb’s layout is conducive to walking, making it convenient for running errands, accessing public services, and enjoying leisurely strolls.
  5. Future Metro Line: The proposed Burwood North Metro will further enhance transportation options, offering efficient and rapid transit for residents.
  6. Ride-Sharing and Taxis: Ride-sharing services and taxis are readily available and offer on-demand transportation for occasions when public transportation might not be as convenient.

Given the availability of these transportation options, living in Burwood without a car is entirely feasible. Many residents choose to rely on public transportation, walking, or cycling to get around due to the suburb’s excellent connectivity. This can also contribute to reducing your carbon footprint and enjoying a more active lifestyle.


Can I get by in Burwood with speaking Chinese?

Yes, you can certainly get by in Burwood by speaking Chinese. Burwood has a significant Chinese-speaking community, and the suburb is known for its multicultural atmosphere. Here’s how speaking Chinese can be advantageous:

  1. Communication: Many businesses, restaurants, and shops in Burwood have staff who speak Chinese, particularly Mandarin and Cantonese. Being able to communicate in Chinese can enhance your interactions and make everyday tasks easier.
  2. Cultural Connection: Speaking Chinese can help you connect with the local Chinese-speaking community, allowing you to engage in cultural events, gatherings, and activities.
  3. Shopping and Dining: Many grocery stores, markets, and eateries in Burwood cater to Chinese cuisine and products. Being able to communicate in Chinese can be helpful when shopping for specific ingredients or ordering food.
  4. Healthcare and Services: Some healthcare providers and service professionals in Burwood may speak Chinese, making it more convenient to access medical care and other essential services.
  5. Social Interaction: Speaking Chinese can open doors to social interactions and connections with fellow residents who share the language.

While English is widely spoken and understood in Burwood, especially in commercial and public areas, having Chinese language skills can enhance your overall experience and integration into the community. It’s a testament to the diverse and inclusive nature of the suburb.


What are the Burwood (and nearby) High Schools ranked in NSW?

When considering the quality of schools in Burwood and their rankings, it’s important to approach the information from a comprehensive perspective.

In Burwood, you’ll find a variety of schools including Meriden School, MLC School, Santa Sabina College, Burwood Girls High School, and Rosebank College. Per the latest available school rankings:

  • Meriden School is ranked 24
  • MLC School is ranked 31
  • Santa Sabina College is ranked 59
  • Burwood Girls High School is ranked 103, and
  • Rosebank College is ranked 122 among schools in New South Wales.

However, rankings provide only a snapshot of a school’s academic performance and may not capture the full breadth of its offerings, educational philosophy, extracurricular activities, and overall fit for your child’s needs. It’s recommended to delve deeper into each school’s curriculum, values, campus environment, and opportunities to determine the best match for your child’s educational journey.


Where can I recharge my phone or laptop?

There are two locations which allow you to recharge your phone or laptop legally.

You can either go to Westfields Shopping mall in the food court section. Here you will find powerpoints underneath the cushioned seating, or at the tables with stools.

The other option is at Burwood Library. Here you will find power points at the communal study areas.


What is good to eat at Burwood?

This comes down to personal choice, however the most popular dining venues include:

Yum Cha at Royal Treasure at Emerald Square. Fresh dim sum including prawn dumplings, egg tarts, pork buns, chicken feet, fried taro, congee, salt and pepper squid, spinach dumplings and much more.

No 1. Malatang in Chinatown. Choose the ingredients for your own bowl that is then cooked in a hotpot. Apply your own sauces – from the mild to the super super hot that will make you sweat.

Kowloon Cafe in Emerald Square or Hong Kong Bing Sutt near Burwood Station. If you love Hong Kong style cafe food, then this is a must. Both restaurants are excellent. My favourite is the baked pork chop on a bed of rice.

El Jannah Grilled Chicken. El Jannah began in Granville, but now have a branch in Burwood North (approximately a 10 minute walk from Burwood Station). El Jannah is the best lebanese grilled chicken shop. Dipping in the garlic is a must.

Coffee hits – Devu on Burwood Rd (they always give you a little cookie with the coffee), Aurora Cafe in Emerald Square (used to be Rusty Rabbit), Antique Cherry near Burwood Library, or Rain Drops Cafe at the front of Burwood Library. Further north try Corro88.

Bubble Tea – head to Tea Spot. Tea Spot is my go to bubble tea along Burwood Rd, 5 minutes walk heading up hill south from Burwood Station.

Stone Bowl – a fusion of mainland Chinese food? I’m not too sure, but it is great. There is a massive queue for Stone Bowl, so get there early. Located near Westfield Shopping mall.

Lamb Satay (yang rou quan) – Lovin Lamb is by far the most popular. However, you can also find Super Bear (sit in dining) or second level Chinatown for lamb satay.