On the fringes of Sutherland Shire, Loftus combines a small-country-town feel with roomy housing, public transport connectivity & bushland surroundings.

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Summary: Relatively tiny and subdued, and prominently green and bushy, Loftus on the southern end of Sutherland Shire is a fairly bare-bones suburb that’s oriented around offering roomy housing, train connectivity, peace & quiet – and not much else.

It’s almost entirely reliant on its proximity to neighbouring Engadine & Sutherland for services and retail, with only a tiny strip of boutique storefronts and a couple of educational facilities in terms of amenities. In return, you get a highly peaceful and safe streetscape with close proximity to large-scale greenery, and immediate access to a large arterial road.

With a only minimal dining & shopping scene to speak of, its main benefit involves being able to obtain a detached, freestanding home for a more reasonable price by Sydney standards – and enjoying a train-based CBD commute with the guaranteed prospect of always getting a seat in the morning. If peace and price are your two main concerns, Loftus certainly delivers; however in recent times its house prices have climbed along with the rest of Sydney.

Suburb Ratings:

Public Transport

Affordability (Rental)

Affordability (Buying)

Things to See/Do


Pet Friendliness

Key stats

Region: Sutherland Shire

Population: 4,250

Postcode: 2232

Ethnic Breakdown: Australian 31.3%, English 29.4%, Irish 10.9%, Scottish 8.4%, Italian 3.0%

Time to CBD (Public Transport): 40 minutes

Time to CBD (Driving): 60 minutes

Nearest Train Station: Loftus

Highlights/attractions: Sydney Tramway Museum

Ideal for: Families, retirees

If you’re the type who wants the main ‘advantages’ of Sydney’s offerings to be accessible – such as its job market, large-scale shopping, educational facilities, international cuisines and more – but doesn’t require them anywhere within your own suburb, Loftus in Sutherland Shire provides an intriguing option as a place to live.

While geographically it’s only minutes’ drive from more lively and “typical” suburbs of Sydney such as Sutherland sitting right nearby, Loftus somehow manages to feel worlds away from average suburban life.

Loftus suburb review

It’s a compact little suburb that feels more akin to one of the country/regional towns that lie within the foothills of the Blue Mountains; just with more of a “bushy” natural aspect, as opposed to alpine environment.

Quiet and spacious residential streets, a couple of quaint little storefronts, a heritage tram museum, and not much in the way of dining outside of a couple of small cafes – combined with a ‘slower’ pace of life in general – make Loftus feel quite different from the usual rush-rush atmosphere of Sydney life.

Loftus Sydney

It’s a bit of an anomaly in the Shire given that most of its sister suburbs – including those on either side – are far more developed.

These usually come with either their own dedicated shopping centre, busier main shopping and dining strip, a beach/waterfront district, major apartment complex, or some combination thereof.

Loftus older houses

Loftus bucks the trend by feeling a little more frozen in time. Its streetscape could still very well be mistaken for something out of the 1960’s or 70’s before Sydney became more and more overdeveloped.

Smaller, older fibro houses or red brick homes on long and spacious/roomy blocks are only still just starting to be broken up by larger and more modern home builds.

This is in addition to the occasional subdivision hosting swanky new duplexes popping up as well.

Loftus new houses

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The generous block sizes of many of Loftus’ residential lots have also been taken advantage of by those with a bit more coin to throw around, as some of its properties are very large and contain sweeping, long driveways.

Loftus larger houses

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Loftus’ layout is one of a spoke-like structure in which layer upon layer of residential cul-de-sac style streets run off the main thoroughfare of National Ave.

From here, they almost all slope downhill towards the bushland on the suburb’s western side.

Loftus streets

As a result, Loftus is quite a hilly suburb to navigate.

Its steep streets make owning a car here pretty much essential unless you’re lucky enough to live in one of the houses on its eastern edge right next to the train station.

The majority of its streets are wide, highly green and bushy, as the suburb itself has basically been carved out of the vast native bushland nearby.

Loftus streetscape

Overhanging gum trees and the occasional pretty purple Jacaranda provide a nice enough backdrop, however the sheer quantity of rough greenery on its fringes has also been a fire hazard in recent times.

This part of the Shire in general has copped the occasional bushfire warning hit, with Loftus no exception.

Loftus greenery

Despite being small in both size and population, Loftus benefits by having heavy rail train station connectivity as a major drawcard.

It’s a train trip that can get you into Town Hall station in about 40 minutes in the mornings, which is pretty impressive given the physical distance between the suburb and the city CBD.

Loftus station

Its train station also has a fairly substantial amount of commuter parking for a little suburb. This is pretty much a necessity for those who live further back in the suburb’s outer residential streets, seeing you’ll want to drive to the station & park rather than battle uphill walks every day.

For drivers, Loftus also sits immediately alongside the Old Princes Highway, which in turn provides access to the Princes Highway as the main arterial road for driving into the city.

As expected, this is the more painful option, with commute times to the CBD around an hour or more during peak, and prone to blowing out at the slightest delay or road disruption.

Loftus service station

As with many of the other Shire suburbs, Loftus is thus best for drivers who work on the southern side of Sydney, or elsewhere within the Shire itself.

Suburbs like Loftus have also become far more viable ever since the post-pandemic and pro-work-from-home era began. For those who only have to travel into the city 1 or 2 days a week for work, a place like Loftus immediately becomes more attractive and viable as a place to live in general.

Loftus lifestyle

Go do your thing in the city of a day, and return with a not-too-painful commute of an evening to a general atmosphere of peace, quiet and safety. Not a bad deal as far as Sydney life goes.

Of course, Loftus’ general peaceful and safe environment does come at something of a cost. The suburb isn’t exactly a hotspot for excitement or amenities.

Loftus Shopping Centre

Its “Shopping Centre” (hey, that’s what they call it on the sign) equates to basically a tiny little batch of stores including a bottle shop, bakery, cafe, newsagent, small chemist and not much else on Loftus Ave immediately across from the station.

Loftus Stores

Elsewhere in its back streets, only the aptly-named Cafe Loftus – which provides some great little brunch-style food, a cake selection, smoothies and the like – serves as a dining option.

There’s not a single restaurant, or small-scale supermarket to be found; its BP service station serves as the go-to substitute for this, albeit with service-station-tier prices. The Embark at Loftus’ TAFE is the cloest thing for dining on offer.

Cafe Loftus

Fortunately, it’s mostly a moot point due to Coles at Sutherland, or both Coles & Woolies at Engadine, being a few minutes’ drive in either direction down the road.

For larger-scale retail shopping needs, Westfield Miranda is likewise only about a 15 minute car trip down the road, or a few stops on the train or bus for those wanting to take public transport instead.

Westfield Miranda

Loftus’ general streetscape and environment are likewise green and peaceful throughout in terms of public spaces as well.

There’s little through-traffic disrupting the suburb’s tranquility outside of the portions right alongside the highway, and as a result the majority of its houses aren’t exposed to noise of any kind.

Loftus cul de sac

It’s home to a range of smaller-sized parks and reserves that are mostly unassuming and come with a bit of playground equipment for the kids, and one or two other small-scale features.

Loftus Reserve

The closest thing to a “centrepiece” gathering area Loftus has is Loftus Reserve alongside its Community Centre – again, home to a playground, some netball courts, and the Centre itself.

There’s no real central “square” or main congregation/hub area that signifies the “centre” of Loftus as a result of its hill-residing layout.

Loftus Park

Elsewhere, there are a couple of other little corner reserves such as Browallia Crescent Reserve and its small playground, and the tiny Skewes Park, but not much else.

Loftus Playground

All of these are decently-kept and maintained enough to be useful for the kids to play, but there’s nothing here that’s exceptionally beautiful or attractive enough to want to pay a visit.

The closest thing Loftus has to an “attraction” is its little Tramway Museum – home to a cute little collection of vintage trams showcasing some of Sydney’s tram history.

The option also exists to ride on the trams to the national park (available on Wednesdays and Sundays only).

Loftus Tramway Museum

It’s quaint and interesting enough in and of itself if you happen to be in the area – and the kids will probably love it, especially the ride – but not really something you’d travel across Sydney to visit unless you’re a tram or history junkie.

This quaint, oldschool nature is also somewhat reflected in the population of Loftus itself. The suburb trends quite a bit older demographically than many suburbs in Sydney; as of the last census, the median age is 40, which is a few years older than that of NSW as a whole.

Loftus mixed housing

It’s reflected in the streetscape and atmosphere as well. Many of the residents are long-termers who have kept their original modest, single-story fibro houses and done a good job of maintaining them and keeping them in good condition.

This carries over to the environment as a whole; there’s little to no rubbish anywhere, lawns tend to range anywhere from “well-maintained” to “immaculate”, and everything is clean and tidy considering the wild bushland right nearby.

This seems to suit the residents who are after this kind of lifestyle well, but won’t be a drawcard for those after any kind of excitement.

There’s not a single pub or the like to speak of, for example; it’s pretty much a suburb for older people and those raising families who want a bit of an escape.

Loftus College

Its proximity to the greenery of the Heathcote and Royal National Parks make Loftus a suburb suited for those who want to spend time outdoors, and this combines with it being a reasonable drive away from the beaches of Cronulla as well.

Families are fairly well catered for in Loftus, considering the suburb’s small size.

The aforementioned range of parks & playground equipment provide spots for the kids to play; there’s ovals and sports clubs nearby at Sutherland and on the other side of the highway; and there’s a couple of small schools, a TAFE campus, and a campus of the University of Wollongong for those at varying stages of their education life.

Loftus TAFE

Loftus is also an extremely safe suburb overall – statistically, one of the safest suburbs in all of Sydney.

The suburb clocks in at a mere 0.04% crime rate per capita, which puts it just outside the Top 10 safest suburbs in the whole city. Who said there aren’t any benefits about not having much to do?

Loftus university

Housing-wise, Loftus in general doesn’t really do “density”.

It’s pretty much freestanding homes or nothing; there are no mid or high-density apartment blocks, and the densest it gets are its small array of little townhouse complexes along the eastern station-side of the suburb.

Loftus townhouses

Getting a decent-sized house here is typically the goal instead. In the past, this was one of Loftus’ great appeals – people would sacrifice distance from the CBD/liveliness in order to snag a detached house for a reasonable price.

However, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, even suburbs as far away as Loftus got caught up in the “house price boom” environment, with prices jumping up accordingly.

“Suburbs like Loftus have also become far more viable ever since the post-pandemic and pro-work-from-home era began.”

At one point in time, we had Loftus in our list of “10 Best Sydney Suburbs with Under $1 Million House Prices”; realistically in the present day, you’d be hard pressed to find a house here within that price range.

It’s evident in the increasing amount of new home renovations and updates visible in the suburb, as new people have continued being priced further out from the Sydney CBD and ended up here instead.

It’s still pretty “cheap” as far as Sydney goes for a safe and quiet suburb, but no longer the bargain it once was.

The Verdict

By any typical standard, Loftus is a “boring” suburb, but one which people specifically choose because that is the exact lifestyle they’re after.

If a country-style atmosphere of lazy old dogs lying on roomy verandahs, singlet tops and Aussie style full brim hats, and Australian bush environment appeals to you, then you’ll no doubt be at home here. There’s nothing trendy, hipster, exciting or “flash” about Loftus; if anything, it’s the exact opposite of those terms.

What you do get here, is good public transport connectivity, a low crime rate, proximity to more fleshed-out suburbs nearby (as long as you’ve got a car), and fairly reasonable house prices considering the size of the properties available. There’s amenities nearby in neighbouring suburbs to grab your groceries, and a couple of cafes within its own streets to grab a bite or coffee locally.

More and more duplexes are continuing to pop up all the time as well, offering slightly more diversity in home types, while those happy with a townhouse can find pretty good value on offer as well.

Younger residents in their 20’s or early professional career will likely want to stay clear, however for those at the family-or-above life stage who work in the Sydney CBD and don’t require much action in their home suburb, Loftus fills a pretty desirable niche. Besides, you can always travel elsewhere when you need a dose of excitement.

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