Versatile, entertaining and still green, Gymea checks all the boxes for a balanced and enjoyable Shire lifestyle.

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Summary: At its core, Gymea ranks as the most versatile of the Sutherland Shire suburbs, with a solid across-the-board balance of all the benefits we look for in an enjoyable place to live. Its central location relative to the rest of its neighbours combine with its train connectivity and immediate access to main roads to make it highly accessible, while its diversity of housing types make for a place not only the highly wealthy can afford.

Its dining and cafe scene has grown to the point where it’s not only nice, it’s – dare we say – actually trendy, with a very good array of amenities despite some awkward parking in order to access them. This is balanced out further by its solid array of schools, leafy surrounds and actual options for adult entertainment to make for a Shire suburb that feels far less “boring” than many of its peers, while still not yet being overdeveloped. Its lack of parkland and some traffic issues are its only real downsides; this is one of our favourite suburbs in Sydney in terms of balanced places to live.

Suburb Ratings:

Public Transport

Affordability (Rental)

Affordability (Buying)

Things to See/Do


Pet Friendliness

Key stats

Region: Sutherland Shire

Population: 8,000

Postcode: 2227

Ethnic Breakdown: English 27.0%, Australian 25.3%, Irish 10.6%, Scottish 6.6%, Italian 3.6%

Time to CBD (Public Transport): 45 minutes

Time to CBD (Driving): 45 minutes

Nearest Train Station: Gymea

Highlights/attractions: Shark Park

Ideal for: Families, small families, professionals, young professionals

Median property prices: House – $1,200,000, Apartment – $735,000

Median rental prices (per week): House – $670, Apartment – $510

For those looking for a place to live on the southern side of Sydney’s geography, Gymea represents one of the best balanced options in terms of overall liveability.

Outside of direct beach access, it combines individual appealing elements of each of its surrounding suburbs into a single package to provide a “best of many worlds” place to both live and visit.

Gymea suburb review

Some of this is owed simply to the physical position in which Gymea sits.

It’s central to both the coastal and inland portions of Sutherland Shire, meaning that all of the main things that make the region desirable – the shopping of Miranda, the waters of Port Hacking, the beaches of Cronulla, the greenery of Royal National Park – are all about equidistant from Gymea itself.

Gymea Sydney

This adds a lot in terms of convenience, giving you access to these appealing features without paying the premium pricetag of some of the region’s suburbs further east.

Gymea’s position also works in its favour in terms of connectivity.

Being not too “deep” in the Shire means that its train connection through to the city only takes under 40 minutes to Town Hall during peak services in the mornings, while the ability to jump on the (increasingly busy) Princes Highway which runs along its northwestern border provides immediate arterial road access for drivers as well.

Gymea Traffic

As with several other Sutherland Shire suburbs which rely on these major roads for access, Gymea is seeing on-flow effects from rapid development occurring in some of its peers nearby.

The propping up of recent high-density apartment/unit builds in neighbouring Kirrawee and Miranda along with some more newer blocks in Gymea itself has meant a flood of yet more traffic along these increasingly-distressed roads.

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Recent efforts by authorities to widen roads and intersections have been more of a bandaid on the wound than a real fix, which combine with some parking issues to make for Gymea’s only real flaw.

Gymea shops

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The initial main attraction of Gymea for many, that helps separate it from other Shire suburbs, will likely be its buzzing main strip which runs along Gymea Bay Road. As time has passed, this slice of the suburb has continued to grow into what is a very nice little shopping and dining village in the present day.

It’s packed to the brim with a great mix of local restaurants covering a range of cuisines, cafes, bakeries, organic whole foods and numerous other essential services that certainly feels a little “Inner-West-y”, and extends out to some of its branching streets as well.

Gymea supermarket

Its strip-style layout lends itself to streetside dining and a social aspect, as opposed to the more rush-rush atmosphere of enclosed shopping centres, which is pretty damn nice.

Between its Supabarn-branded mini-supermarket, Fruiticious fruit and veg store, and Nourish Organic Marketplace, everyday food and grocery needs are well-covered here despite the lack of one of the bigger “branded” supermarkets as well.

Parking here is a little awkward, with its angled reverse-parking combined with the generally-constant glow of traffic along Gymea Bay Road making it a bit of a chore to get in and out of; it’s often better to park elsewhere and simply walk around if you’re visiting during busy hours.

Gymea Hotel

In addition, unlike other more vanilla suburbs which only offer the basics of daily needs and then immediately become dead as soon as the sun goes down with little else to see or do, Gymea also offers a handful of other options for a drink or some alternative entertainment – in multiple forms.

Its most distinctive daytime attraction is its Hazlehurst Regional Gallery, which is more of a hybrid between art gallery/cafe/pretty gardens than a large “pure” gallery despite the name.

Its gallery itself is not massive yet still charming, home to regularly-changing local exhibitions and a nicely-kept space overall, however its the cafe and its leafy surrounds which help make it special.

Hazlehurst Gymea

The grounds have become a popular local spot for weddings, with immaculate gardens making for a pretty backdrop, while its cafe offers top-notch food and coffee in a relaxed atmosphere. It’s a fairly unique space, but far from Gymea’s only offering.

Elsewhere, for those who like things a little more upbeat, Gymea offers a duo of solid pubs in both smaller and large sizes courtesy of the Gymea Hotel on Gymea Bay Road itself, and its large Tradies Gymea (and attached Bowling/Sports Club) complex along Kingsway.

Gymea Pubs

The former is more of a solid “local” experience with a decent-valued food menu and regular live music at nights (during “normal” times in society), while the latter is a full-blown, huge club with a ton of parking that’s a little more modern with quality seated areas for a meal inside.

They’re both pretty reasonably-priced for their food and drink menus, and provide opportunities for watching sport or having a gamble as well.

Gymea even has its own nightclub of sorts in long-running local the Vinyl Room. While it’s become a bit of a meme as being a little cheesy and frozen in time from 20+ years ago playing the same retro music, the fact that it even exists makes for a plus in itself, ideal for wandering over to afterwards on a night at the pub.

It’s not exactly the full-blown trendy clubbing experiences of Cronulla, but it’s another unique little differentiator for Gymea as a whole.

Gymea community centre

Its Community Centre for various social services and activities, its Coles Express and 7 Elevens attached to its service stations, its large plant nursery, its fish and chips shop and chemist on North West Arm Road – all of these help round out its pretty diverse amenity offerings.

There’s no big-box retail of any kind on hand, however Westfield Miranda being a tiny drive or single train stop away immediately alleviates much of this anyway.

It’s also well-covered in terms of medical, with not only its various chemists dotted throughout, but also family medical practices and the President Private Hospital on President Ave providing very solid healthcare services.

Gymea hospital

Much of the rest of Gymea fans out in either direction from Gymea Bay Road and quickly becomes residential.

This transition starts with a blend of old and new low and mid-rise apartment blocks sitting side-by-side closest to its central area, providing quite a good range of options for smaller-scale living on both the higher and lower ends of the market.

Gymea apartments

These vary from modern, rendered complexes to the older red-brick variety, and while some of them experience noise from proximity to the train line, the suburb’s supply is robust enough that those willing to pay more can simply grab a place that’s a bit further back instead.

Gymea train line apartments

The further out you go, Gymea begins to show a propensity towards older 50s and 60s single-level freestanding homes along with newer double-story and duplex builds on big blocks, with the Shire’s signature overhanging gumtrees a regular presence.

Gymea older homes

These are broken up by fairly regular complexes of both older and newer townhouses as well, with a handful of ultra-modern recently completed mini complexes to choose from.

Gymea new townhouses

Gymea’s “fanciest” slice of living is mostly concentrated within its little “appendix” that runs downhill along North West Arm Road.

Gymea big houses

This hilly portion is home to a range of often-huge homes which sit split on multiple levels sitting on the hill, and is probably the quietest pocket of the suburb outside of its cute/modern Nine Fish fish and chips joint and adjacent chem-mart.

Gymea fish and chips

While Gymea’s overall environment is quite green and leafy, it’s a little lacking in solid, centralised public green spaces outside of Hazlehurst’s garden.

It’s home to a number of untamed reserve-style pockets that are pretty in their own way, but outside of Kareela Oval across the highway (mostly oriented around sports) or its school’s green grounds, the suburb doesn’t really have a flagship main grounds or green space that’s fenced for dogs or kids to play in.

Gymea’s reserves are mainly just plain patches of grass that are basic and rather bare-bones.

This has the on-flow effect for those with kids of not having much in the way of public playground equipment, outside of Karda Place Reserve which is its only real example of a “proper” park – and even then, is very small.

Gymea greenery

You’ll likely have to head over to neighbouring Miranda for something more substantial in this regard.

It’s also easy to head down to the water for some extra scenery or aquatics, and local icon the Gymea Bay Baths in… errm… Gymea Bay nextdoor have been a long-time favoured spot for a swim or a fish. Likewise, the acclaimed beaches of Cronulla are only a few stops away on the train, or a short drive away (although Cronulla’s parking situation again makes public transport often preferable).

One other thing to note about Gymea’s environment overall is it tends to be quite humid. Its location lends it to being fairly damp throughout the year, and can be prone to both mould in homes and misty driving of an evening as a result, or working up quite a sweat when walking along its uphill areas during even merely warm days.

Gymea schools

In terms of schools and education, Gymea fares very well and is one of the better choices in the region. It’s home to multiple childcare options, kindergartens, and schools at each of the Catholic, private, public, primary and high school levels which keeps with the general “Gymea theme” in offering plenty of choice for all tastes and budget levels.

Gymea highschool

In addition, Gymea’s TAFE complex provides a range of additional training and educational courses for mature aged students without having to hike to alternative campuses closer to the city.

Crime-wise, Gymea is quite safe overall, and ranks statistically within the upper-third of safer Sydney suburbs. Its 0.1% crime rate per capita places it among the upper-mid safer ranks of its peers, with mostly only the occasional incident resulting from having places where alcohol is served the main culprits.

Gymea TAFE

As far as cost of living goes, Gymea’s diversity means it can be a very mixed bag depending on the scale you pick.

Its freestanding homes align with about middle-of-the-pack as far as Sutherland Shire prices go; it’s no Engadine in terms of potential bargains, but nor is it Cronulla and some of the eye-watering prices that entails.

Gymea homes

The Shire as a whole has grown in price and popularity fairly rapidly in recent years, and Gymea currently hovers around the average for the region – around the $1.2 million mark as a baseline median for freestanding homes, which can swing a lot in either direction depending on if it’s one of Gymea’s older or newer builds.

Gymea mixed homes

It aligns with at or slightly below the middle figure for Sydney as a whole, and is still a fair price to pay given the Shire’s physical distance from the city itself.

“You wouldn’t even get looked at too funnily these days for calling Gymea a little bit “cool” in the most Shire-y of ways.”

Outside of freestanding homes, the amount of choice on offer in Gymea makes things pretty flexible.

Its healthy supply of apartments, duplexes, townhouses and villas makes for a varied menu of living costs.

Gymea units

Older, dated brick apartments are available for around the $600k mark on the lower end of the scale, while its newer blocks can quickly balloon up to the $900k+ mark depending on how many extra bedrooms you’re looking to add.

Gymea townhouses

Add in the middle-ground territory of its villas and townhouses, as well as even its small pockets of government housing, and there are few people who will be truly “locked out” of Gymea’s housing market as long as they’re willing to compromise on home size to an appropriate degree.

The Verdict

If we were to choose any single suburb within Sutherland Shire to live personally, Gymea would be the go-to choice. Not because it’s the flashiest, nor the most beautiful, or even the most convenient, but because it offers the most balanced overall amount of positive benefits in relation to the price of admission, and a whole varied array of options for types and levels of living here.

Gymea simply doesn’t have any major glaring flaws other than perhaps its lack of major public park space, and the “osmosis” effects of traffic and parking.

It’s got the best food and dining scene in the region outside of perhaps Cronulla, for far cheaper property prices; Westfield Miranda is right next door, yet you don’t have to deal with the noise and crowds it brings; it sits right in the most central and accessible position in the Shire for enjoying all its main benefits at an equal distance in every direction; and its train connectivity offers a reasonable commute into the CBD as well.

It also has the flexibility to accommodate one of the widest cross-sections of demographics within one suburb, and multiple different interests and financial subsets within those demos.

Unlike most other Shire suburbs which are pretty much limited to upper-end, expensive houses on purely residential – and often boring – suburban streets, Gymea’s diversity of housing means that both those happy with downsizing or looking for somewhere high-end and leafy can still call it home and enjoy its main dining strip, pub options, solid schools, leafy backdrop, and easy access to the water.

There’s an overall buzz to Gymea that walks a good balance between activity and quiet without (yet) feeling overdeveloped, and you wouldn’t even get looked at too funnily these days for calling it a little bit “cool” in the most Shire-y of ways.

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