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Summary: One of the prettiest and most aesthetically pleasing Sydney suburbs you’ll come across outside of the Lower North Shore, Lugarno is an incredibly leafy hillside community in Sydney’s south that’s home to a ton of greenery, peaceful streets, and big, big houses. Its trump card of a pleasant waterfront aspect along the Georges River only adds to the natural beauty on offer, with the ample flower gardens and well-kept lawns of its residents the cherry on top.

It’s family-friendly and incredibly safe – one of the safest suburbs in Sydney – while offering a small yet reasonable array of essential amenities for small-scale shopping and dining that are cute if unspectacular. Its tucked-away nature sacrifices some accessibility issues in return, while its hilly topography makes owning and using a car on a daily basis all but mandatory. Its generally large block sizes make for some amazing houses with high prices, but also a lot of land relative to your money spent by Sydney standards as well.

Suburb Ratings:

Public Transport

Affordability (Rental)

Affordability (Buying)

Things to See/Do


Pet Friendliness

Key stats

Region: Southern Suburbs

Population: 5,750

Postcode: 2210

Ethnic Breakdown: English 22.6%, Australian 21.3%, Irish 8.6%, Greek 7.2%, Scottish 5.4%

Time to CBD (Public Transport): 60 minutes

Time to CBD (Driving): 35 minutes

Nearest Train Station: Mortdale

Highlights/attractions: HV Evatt Park, waterfront views & boardwalk

Ideal for: Families, retirees

Median property prices: House – $1,200,000, Apartment – N/A

Median rental prices (per week): House – $600

In many ways, it’s a pity that so many Sydneysiders are dependent on either public transport or regular access to the Sydney CBD and surrounds for work on a daily basis.

This can end up removing the choice to live in highly liveable suburbs like Lugarno from consideration – which offer such an attractive blend of pretty environment and ample living space – by default, which is a true shame.

Lugarno Sydney

Utterly rich in both manicured greenery and bushland, this secluded village-style suburb to Sydney’s south lies in a peaceful pocket on its very own peninsula that gradually slopes down towards the banks of the Georges River.

With a streetscape that’s almost entirely quiet and in which the echoes of birdlife can frequently be the loudest noise, it feels a world away from the bustle of Sydney despite the city’s skyline still being easily viewable in the distance.

Lugarno NSW

Location-wise, it sits in a position that is fairly central for accessing both the east and west of Sydney via car by jumping on the M5 which sits about 10 minutes’ drive away.

From there, heading onward to the CBD combines for a theoretical 35 minute trip in off-peak hours. As with many other parts of Sydney, this balloons in peak time frequently all the way up to the 55 minute – 1 hour mark.

Lugarno also suffers a little from “One Road In/One Road Out” syndrome. As it has no rail connections, both its bus and car traffic are all funneled along the main artery of Forest Road, which can become quite congested and noisy and sees a surprisingly heavy volume of traffic even outside peak times for a fairly unassuming, mostly-residential suburb.

Lugarno Forest Road

Bus connections in and out aren’t too elegant, either; they’re a little more infrequent than one would like, and require a bit of an awkward bus -> train combo by catching the bus from Lugarno to Penshurst Station, and then hopping onto the T4 line from there.

This is exacerbated by Lugarno’s very hilly and steep layout; many of its streets are at severe angles, which combines with its fairly infrequent bus services to make owning a car pretty much essential.

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Its northern portion is mostly walkable, but this level of walkability declines further the more you head away from the suburb’s central area. It’s fine going down; it’s the heading back up that will a burn in the calves.

Lugarno homes

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Lugarno’s streetscape is nothing if not impressive. It’s a highly clean and well-groomed suburb with a ton of house pride, and everything is kept in tip-top condition.

It’s almost entirely made up of low-density freestanding homes with only the occasional upmarket townhouse and villa complex mixed in.

There’s next to no units or other high density buildings, and this gives it a highly roomy feel, with plenty of sunlight and open airy areas that just makes for a “premium” environment overall.

Lugarno flower gardens

Many gorgeous flower gardens populate the front lawns of the array of large homes which make up Lugarno’s back streets, with its homes trending anywhere from the “big” to “massive” end of the scale – and double (and even triple, in the case of its hillside houses) story homes a frequent sight.

This is a suburb of quiet cul-de-sacs that’s very leafy and quiet outside of Forest Road, and a ton of bird and other animal life to be found pecking and wandering their way along its wide and roomy nature strips.

There’s a consistent activity of home renovation and improvement throughout as well, with many of its homes continually undergoing some kind of ongoing enhancement.

Lugarno cul de sacs

Kookaburras, cockatoos and even the occasional echidna can be frequently spotted in Lugarno’s grasses, bushes and trees, and its couple of high-quality reserves and parks are home to all of this and more.

Chief among these is the gorgeous HV Evatt Park which somehow manages to mix in wetlands with hanging willow trees, great playground equipment for the kids, basketball courts, plenty of seating and picnic facilities, and lorikeets and numerous other birds adding yet more colour to the proceedings.

Lugarno Parks

Lugarno doesn’t have as many parks in terms of sheer quantity as other suburbs of its size outside of a couple of other extra reserves, but most of that is because the greenery and nature is more evenly distributed everywhere else throughout.

Its one weak-ish point nature-wise is probably access to beaches; it’s much more of a bush-and-river environment here, with the closest beach option being driving out to somewhere like Brighton-le-Sands which is a fair car trip away.

Most of Lugarno is encircled by bushland – especially as you head down to its waterfront areas, which is the true standout of Lugarno’s natural offerings.

Lugarno’s elevated position means that many of its hillside homes likewise garner water views as a backdrop, although these properties typically fetch a premium price as a result. It’s an aspect that fully encircles most of the suburb and isn’t merely isolated to one side either, which is an added bonus.

Lugarno water views

Head south down towards Edith Bay, and once reaching the mangroves you’ll be presented with direct, lovely waterfront views.

It’s utterly tranquil here, with only the sounds of birds and boats breaking the silence, and reflective of most of the southern portion of Lugarno as a whole as a truly peaceful bit of natural suburbia.

Lugarno Georges River

This waterfront area can be explored further via the short-but-sweet wooden boardwalk which culminates in its mini-marina and the upper-end seafood dining of the Lugarno Seafood Restaurant which sits right on the water as well.

It’s a popular spot for fishing both on and off the water for locals and visitors alike.

Lugarno Seafood Restaurant

For other shopping and dining, Lugarno’s main slice of this is concentrated in the cute Lugarno Shopping Centre along Forest Road.

It’s more of a small strip/arcade than a true full-blown “shopping centre”, but still offers a decent little selection of local Italian restaurants, a couple of cafes, newsagent, IGA, fresh fruit and veg and the like.

Lugarno shopping

Up the road, there’s a carwash/cafe, service station and auto mechanic to help round out its offerings.

It’s a nice little community/al fresco dining spot for daily needs and a weekend bite, but other than the tiny block of food/retail elsewhere on Lime Kiln Road, that’s about all it offers in terms of things to see and do.

Lugarno amenities

Westfield Hurstville (around a 20 minute drive away) is the closest full-scale complex that offers bigger and higher-end shopping; otherwise, slightly smaller-scale options in both Riverwood and Menai are even closer and more accessible.

Lugarno general image

Other than enjoying its nature or a local bite, there isn’t much else to do in Lugarno itself, particularly at night. It lacks a pub, for example, and is much more of an environment suited to both families and retirees versus younger residents – a fact borne out by its demographic data.

Lugarno’s median age is 44 years, well above the Sydney and even NSW average, and the frequent sight of local retirees grooming their front gardens or retrieving their mail only serves to reinforce this.

Lugarno older homes

It’s easy to see the appeal of retiring here; it may just be one of the best places in the south of Sydney to retire due to its peace and quiet, living space, and natural beauty while still having some cafes and restaurants nearby. Likewise, those who own/can afford a boat can also take advantage of its aquatic leanings.

For families, Lugarno also has plenty of appeal. It’s home to a high-quality public school internally, its newly-constructed Giggle and Learn centre sits right across the street, and there’s plenty of options further up the road in Peakhurst and surrounds, while its green spaces and playgrounds are also solid public spaces for kids to burn off energy in.

Lugarno School

Add in the inherently big backyards many of its large houses have, and there’s more room to play there versus many more cramped Sydney suburbs as well.

Again, there’s not too many other attractions in the way of activity centres or anything more built-up activity-wise for kids; they and their parents will need to mostly make their own entertainment on weekends here. Multiple churches also dot its streetscape, offering congregations for those within this scope of interest or social circle.

It’s also impeccably safe. Lugarno ranks as one of the safest suburbs in Sydney statistically (just outside the Top 10), with a meagre 0.03% crime rate per capita.

Add it all up and you’ve got a highly communal and safe atmosphere for raising kids, or wandering the streets or parks of an evening without fear.

Lugarno Childcare

In terms of property and homes, Lugarno represents an interesting position. Due to many of its houses being so large and upmarket, with generally massive blocks to boot, the price of admission here can be expensive despite it offering a very good size-to-price ratio as a whole.

Lugarno Mansions

That is so say – you’re getting a lot of value and room for the price relative to many other Sydney suburbs, but there isn’t a huge amount of supply for those who would prefer something smaller outside of a home in its couple of new townhouse complexes.

There’s a very high proportion of pool ownership in Lugarno, for example – something which may otherwise unnecessarily jack up the price. Even its townhouses are upper-tier as well, and a lack of apartments means you’ll have to have fairly deep pockets to get your foot in the door.

Lugarno Townhouses

Prices for freestanding homes in Lugarno currently sit at a respectable (for Sydney) median of $1.2 million, but many of its big, multi-story builds far exceed this figure.

Throw in a water view or an extra bedroom, and its prices skyrocket; there’s a helping of homes which could justly be considered “mini-mansions” dotted throughout its streets, and more than the average non-elite Sydney suburb.

There’s typically not much supply in general here for those looking to buy, either.

Lugarno big houses

Its rental market is also fairly non-existent – many of its residents are long-term or multi-generational, with no real reason or desire to leave or rent out their homes.

Combine this with its lack of units and apartments, and finding a place for a lease here can be a real challenge.

“It’s a highly clean and well-groomed suburb with a ton of house pride, and everything is kept in tip-top condition.”

Lugarno’s prices, as with elsewhere in Sydney, continue to increase as people are pushed further and further outside Sydney’s “inner ring” and those slightly further from the city start to make appearances on people’s potentials list.

Its desirable streetscape continues to gain in reputation as well, and its semi-secret status may not remain in place for too much longer.

The Verdict

“Hidden gem” is a bit of a cliche thrown around a lot to describe desirable locations, but Lugarno ticks multiple boxes that would easily have it qualify as such in most people’s criteria.

In terms of natural offerings, outside of everything other than a botanic garden or a beach, Lugarno scores some of the highest marks possible nature-wise in Sydney’s southern portions. Its overall combined level of lovely homes, high-end greenery, pretty water areas and safety make for a highly aspirational spot to live – especially for those who work closer by or don’t need to access the Sydney CBD on a daily basis.

Its peace and quiet makes for a solid night’s sleep, and its location gives it a good balance for accessing everything outside of the best beaches in Sydney nearby.

It’s probably not one for the younger crowd due to its lack of “activities” and is a little lacking in non-nature-based things to see and do, but still offers a decent little shopping and dining hub to get by with on a daily and weekend basis. In other words, it’s a “boring” suburb, just in the best possible way.

Public transport is a bit of a weakness, and driving in and out can get backed up slightly – in an ideal scenario for living here, you’d either be retired, able to work from home semi-regularly, or work anywhere south of the M5.

The lack of housing diversity helps keep its streetscape premium, but also locks a lot of people out of living here by default – you’ve either got the money and are going to commit to living in Lugarno long-term, or you’ll have to look elsewhere instead.

Do that, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more visually pleasant and welcoming place to live in Sydney that you won’t want to leave for the long term than Lugarno.

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