Upmarket, leafy suburb is charming and safe, although prices may prove too much of a barrier for some.

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Summary: A neat and tidy pocket of upmarket Sutherland Shire living, Woolooware is a pretty, village-type suburb traditionally home to larger and impressive homes that’s gradually seeing more pockets of dense development crop up. With plenty of greenery, easy access to beaches nearby, and a wide range of public facilities and spaces oriented specifically at families and sports, it’s also an area in which property is typically tightly-held long-term by residents with no real desire to leave.

This is a largely peaceful suburb with adequate (if fairly minimal) amenities that still provides the benefit of train connectivity through to the Sydney CBD – a boon for a suburb of its size. It’s starting to see some “spillover” effects from higher density developments both within and from neighbouring suburbs via some increased congestion, but otherwise its combination of nature, schools, safety and proximity to appealing spots nearby make it highly desirable for families in particular – who can afford it.

Suburb Ratings:

Public Transport

Affordability (Rental)

Affordability (Buying)

Things to See/Do


Pet Friendliness

Key stats

Region: Sutherland Shire

Population: 4,000

Postcode: 2230

Ethnic Breakdown: English 29.9%, Australian 27.3%, Irish 9.8%, Scottish 7.6%, Italian 3.0%

Time to CBD (Public Transport): 50 minutes

Time to CBD (Driving): 50 minutes

Nearest Train Station: Woolooware

Highlights/attractions: Shark Park

Ideal for: Families, retirees

Median property prices: House – $1,700,000, Apartment – $750,000

Median rental prices (per week): House – $900, Apartment – $540

In many ways, Woolooware feels like someone took a chunk out of Sydney’s Upper North Shore and transplanted it directly into the eastern portion of Sutherland Shire.

There are many similarities between Woolooware and these other affluent, upmarket and largely leafy suburban areas that extends not only from its streetscape, but to its relative proportion of amenities and overall atmosphere as well.

Woolooware also garners many of the same benefits – large housing block sizes, lower crime rates, solid schools and more – while also adding in an extra proximity to beautiful coastal areas that these other suburbs otherwise can’t offer.

Combine it all together, and you’ve got quite an appealing package, but one that’s certainly not cheap to enjoy fully.

Woolooware Sydney

One of the key selling points of Woolooware has always been its train station. While Woolooware physically sits a fair way to the south of Sydney city, it differentiates itself from many other “sleepy” upmarket suburbs by also having heavy rail connectivity that can have you in the CBD in under an hour.

As the second-to-last stop on the Cronulla line, it’s not the quickest rail journey in the world, but a 50-ish minute trip through to Town Hall is still nothing to sneeze at by Sydney public transport commute standards. It also guarantees you’ll have a seat in the morning, if nothing else.

Woolooware Traffic

Opting to drive instead can be a mixed bag, and has continued to deteriorate over the years. While in non-peak times travelling by car from Woolooware through to the city can theoretically be as quick as just over half an hour in a best-case scenario, realistically things don’t play out this way during weekday commutes.

Increasing quantities of higher-density apartment buildings in nearby suburbs such as Kirrawee, Miranda, Cronulla and even within Woolooware itself continue to create additional congestion on key arterial roads like Captain Cook Drive, Taren Point Road and Kingsway to the point where it’s now hard to escape terrible traffic from almost anywhere in the Shire – a development that looks set only to get worse in coming years as new road projects struggle to keep up with this growth.

Woolooware greenery

Woolooware itself does not receive too much through traffic outside of these main strips, and still remains much quieter than neighbours like Cronulla as a result. Elements of “Cronulla-ism” have started to slowly creep in to Woolooware in recent years, however.

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Traditionally in terms of streetscape, much of Woolooware has been larger freestanding homes built amongst pockets of pretty, overhanging gumtrees and other elements of Aussie bush, and that still largely remains intact today.

Woolooware modern houses

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Charming, well-maintained older fibro houses which have been done up and renovated with name-plates attached, and big double-story, more modern builds on large lots are a dime a dozen here, and certainly lend the suburb a premium feel.

It’s a very well-maintained and kept suburb overall, with the majority of lawns pristine and freshly-cut, numerous front flower gardens and manicured hedges.

Increasing numbers of large, designer duplexes and small-scale townhouse complexes continue to pop up to add variation to Woolooware’s housing profile, however it’s the large apartment block developments in the suburb’s northern slice near the water which have brought about the most drastic change.

Woolooware modern houses

The recent addition of the Woolooware Bay Town Centre complex has served as the first step towards what aims to be a full-blown dining and entertainment precinct, which coincides with the refurbishment/rebuild of the neighbouring Shark Park (a.k.a Pointsbet Stadium) rugby league field – typical home of local favourites the Cronulla Sharks footy team.

Woolooware Shark Park

The venue has traditionally offered the chance at a great atmosphere for rugby league fans despite its old-school design, and will be revived new-and-improved in the coming years.

The rest of the complex offers a host of new higher-density living options which a previously-sleepy suburb like Woolooware has otherwise lacked; the current offering provides a chance at a range of apartment sizes, in a spot that backs directly onto the mangroves before offering views that stretch back across the Georges River.

Woolooware bay complex

Many, many more retailers, dining and even full-blown supermarkets are set to eventuate as part of the project as well – it’s a lot of concentrated “progress” similar to what nearby Kirrawee has seen that will make the suburb busier, sure, but is probably needed given Woolooware’s current minimal amenity offerings.

Woolooware bay

Even the neighbouring Toyota complex will be getting in on the action, with the aim to be repurposed into a more diverse mixed-function business and education park in future.

Woolooware Toyota

Woolooware’s current main “strip” of shopping and dining is a small yet fairly charming cluster of retail and services along Wills Road.

It’s a relatively tiny pocket, but decent enough in its offerings with fruit and veg, a mixed local goods store, hairdressers, a couple of little cafes/takeout joints, and whole foods store, which are all quite nice despite the size.

There’s minimal parking on offer, but the side streets are an okay alternative.

Woolooware Shops

Elsewhere, its corner-store-esque shops on the intersection of Gannons Road and Kingsway includes another “supermarket” (basically a convenience store), chemist and others including the highly popular Shearers Cook Bakery – renowned for their top-tier pies at and low prices. There’s often a lineup here; a testament to the quality.

Woolooware corner stores

Woolooware is otherwise lacking in shopping amenities, or anything larger-scale outside of Metro Woolies or 7-Elevens appended to its gas stations; while this will be addressed by the new complex, alternatives in the centre of nearby Caringbah and Westfield Miranda are an easy drive (or train journey) away.

Outside of sports and the outdoors, Woolooware doesn’t have much in the way of entertainment. If you’re not watching footy, or playing some kind of sport, then there’s not much else to do other than walk the dog or go for a bike ride, for example.

Woolooware sports park

In terms of other public spaces, Woolooware is good if not spectacular. It’s home to a disproportionately large amount of sports-centric public facilities for a suburb of its size, with multiple ovals and fields offering plenty of room for activity that are more “functional” rather than “pretty”.

Hockey fields, cricket pitches, football fields, baseball/softball diamonds – many of which support local kids and other rec sports teams – can be found all over the shop here.

Woolooware hockey fields

Woolooware Oval caters mostly to soccer and cricket pitches, and is home to a canteen open on the weekends; the large Captain Cook Playing Fields are oriented around softball and their relevant pitches; Solander Fields down by the water has a bunch of multi-purpose fields all in the one spot; and the Jenola Hockey Fields are a well-mowed spot for… well, you can likely guess.

Woolooware oval

All of these exist alongside the large Woolooware Golf Club, which despite taking up a large chunk of the suburb, can be a little hard to miss due to its tucked-away entrance.

It’s a well-looked-after public course for an enjoyable round of holes that also caters to special occasions such as weddings, while also serving as a spot for a quality bite to eat and offers regular dinner specials as well.

Woolooware golf club

One of the consistent themes of these public spaces in Woolooware and that affects the suburb in general is an overall lack of parking. Particularly if there is any kind of sporting event on, it can be a nightmare to find a parking spot nearby as most of them have tiny carparks relative to their size.

This only seems to be set to grow worse with the addition of all the new development in the suburb as well; getting in the habit of cycling around is thus probably an advisable option for those living here.

Woolooware sports club

This is mostly viable in Woolooware due to its array of well-surfaced bike tracks which run parallel along many of the main thoroughfares around the suburb. Much of Woolooware is flat as well, with only some parts of the suburb on a semi-steep incline; it’s otherwise quite walkable (and bikeable) as a whole.

For families, Woolooware is solid due to its mix of social sports clubs for kids, an adequate selection of schools for a small-ish suburb, and its general overall level of safety.

It’s home to both public and Catholic school options as well as a public high school, with multiple childcare and choices of early learning centres available for younger children as well.

Woolooware schools

It’s a little lacking in playground amenities for kids; Hagger Park near the station has some basic equipment, but most of its other green spaces are geared more towards activities instead.

Woolooware is largely safe, outside of the occasional incident; its 0.12% crime rate per capita is slightly higher than you might expect for a peaceful suburb, but it still ranks on the safer side of the Sydney suburb scale as most of its incidents are centered around traffic.

Woolooware Hagger Park

As with much of the rest of Sutherland Shire, Woolooware is also far from the most multicultural place in the world.

Its demographics are largely as they have been for decades, with a mostly Anglo background which has mostly remained unchanged, and is also reflected in its lack of restaurants and cuisines unless you consider a meat pie “exotic”.

Woolooware older houses

In terms of streetscape, Woolooware is overall highly pleasant. It boasts solid levels of greenery, with many of its streets originally built “among the bush” and home to overhanging gumtrees to go along with its wide nature strips and large lawns. There’s a near-constant atmosphere of home improvement here;

Its housing profile is decently diverse, although skews towards the upmarket and higher-end of town.

Many of its residential streets contain plenty of big, double-story modern builds or single-level homes on big lots as well as an increasing array of large, designer duplexes as older blocks continue to be subdivided.

Woolooware big house

There’s also a fairly even mix between older, red brick single-story builds and more modern, rendered single story homes, with some truly high-end streets as more the norm than the outlier.

Occasional clusters of lower-end red brick lowrise unit blocks along sections such as Trickett Road provide cheaper options, while modern rows of townhouses are something of a happy medium.

Woolooware brick apartments

Woolooware also trends slightly older demographic-wise with a median of 39 years, although it’s still just barely over and otherwise reasonably balanced in this regard, with a highly family-oriented bent.

One other statistical quirk, specific to Woolooware is that it’s the most “tightly-held” suburb in all of Sydney, with residents holding onto their homes for a record average of just under 19 years for freestanding homes.

“One statistical quirk specific to Woolooware is that it’s the most “tightly-held” suburb in all of Sydney.”

This lack of available supply and its other positive traits combined should make for no surprise that Woolooware is one of the more expensive places to live in Sutherland Shire.

While it’s not quite a place for the eye-watering prices of the beachfront areas of neighbour Cronulla, Woolooware still clocks in at generally well above the Sydney average.

It does make for a good slightly cheaper alternative to Cronulla for those wanting to save a bit of cash while still being able to access the beach in short order, however.

Woolooware charming house

Median property prices at time of writing in Woolooware sit around the $1.7 million mark, with its general propensity towards bigger blocks and large homes coupling with its supply issues as a major reason why.

Its general lack of units and higher-density options is likely to be addressed even moreso with its ongoing Bay developments continuing to expand.

Woolooware townhouses

Median apartment rent prices currently sit around $540 per week, but all of these new builds are likely to skew this further in the near future depending on how quickly they fill up.

The Verdict

At its core, Woolooware provides a slightly cheaper and more family-oriented environment as opposed to the trendier and more lively Cronulla next door, while still granting easy access to its appealing natural offerings. It’s still pricey, just relatively less so, although its price tag does bring along with it plenty of room to move, a largely safe environment, plenty of sporting grounds for weekends and team sports and exercise.

Woolooware is leafy enough to rank well above average in terms of nature itself, with many individual streets particularly charming and high-end – and houses of appropriate size and price to suit. Its train connectivity will be a bonus, and even a necessity, for some, and while distance from the city may be a factor the ability to simply grab a seat and “zone out” during a commute is a worthy compromise.

It’s quieter, safer, and more “boring” than its seaside neighbour, although with its upcoming developments and continual elements of Cronulla seeping in, its dynamic looks to change substantially in the near future. While more amenities and variety in housing will no doubt be welcome, the effect that this has on its already strained parking and fairly narrow and highly-used roads – particularly along already-busy areas like Captain Cook Drive and its roundabout – remains to be seen.

Woolooware’s overall upmarket leanings and family-centric sporting grounds will no doubt be appealing for families with a bit of cash to throw around in particular, while those content with apartment living and wanting access to the beach and trendy restaurants nearby will soon have many more options as well.

It’s thus overall a very solid all-round slice of Shire living, and while it doesn’t shine too strongly in any one area, it checks more than enough boxes to see why many residents haven’t left in a long time.

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