It was by pure chance my family came to live in Killara. When we were looking for a suburb to call home, and Killara didn’t even rate an area search, admits NSM Sharon Tierney. In fact, I had never heard of it. Now that we’ve been living here for almost a year, I can’t image us anywhere else. These are my 10 best bits of this beautiful Upper North Shore suburb.
1. Bruce Avenue Killara community group
What I love most about living in Killara is the community. In amongst this big city, in apartment-lined streets, I’ve found a beautiful group of people and a community spirit that is thriving. What started as a Halloween ‘trick or treat trail’ to create some fun for the children has turned into an event that is building community in a street of apartment blocks. The neighbourhood gathers at Greengate Park, Bruce Avenue, and meets once a month during winter on a Sunday, and every Friday night during daylight saving. Connect through Facebook page, Bruce Avenue – everyone welcome.
2. Schools and daycare centres
Killara has many privately owned and community based preschools and childcare centres. It has two top ranking public primary schools, Killara Public School and Beaumont Road Public School. Both schools are small in numbers and are situated in quiet locations. The community is also home to Killara High School, the highest performing non-selective government secondary school in the state.
3. Getting around
Killara is a short driving distance from the M1, the M2 and many major arterial roads such as Mona Vale Road and Lane Cove Road with the Pacific Highway running right through the middle of it. Killara Railway Station is located on the North Shore Line and is approximately 15 kilometres from the CBD’s Central Station.
4. Swain Gardens
Mr Arthur Newling Swain, a Sydney bookseller, donated Swain Gardens, also known as The Secret Gardens, to Ku-ring-gai Council in the 1920s. Within the beautiful and exotic gardens is a gazebo area with gas barbecue and toilet facilities. The gazebo area is very popular for weddings and special functions as the beautiful backdrop provides great photographic opportunities. Entry is free and the gardens are open from sunrise to sunset daily. Located behind 77 Stanhope Road, Killara.
5. Harry and Penelope Seidler House
If you’re a fan of 1960s design and architecture, then you’ll love the family home of Harry and Penelope Seidler. Situated on a steep-sloping block, this Modern home, co-designed by the Seidlers, has been lived in, without change, for 47 years. Considered their most important work, the house won the Wilkinson Award in 1967. Harry and Penelope Seidler House is opened annually each November, and Penelope Seidler herself conducts tours. Location: 13 Kalang Avenue, Killara.
6. Greengate Park (Bruce Avenue)
Considered our backyard, Greengate Park is a beautifully designed open space with sheltered picnic areas, a gas barbecue, children’s play equipment and a quite grassy area for yoga or Tai Chi. For pint-sized train enthusiasts, there are double-decker trains whizzing by and a footpath for children to scooter along. Unfortunately, there are no toilets and it is not completely fenced, but if you can overlook these forgotten essentials, your children will have a ball. Located on the corner of Bruce Avenue and Greengate Lane, Killara.
7. Greengate Hotel
You can’t drive down the Pacific Highway without noticing this grand old pub. Although it doesn’t have a play area for children, kids are welcome in the Portico restaurant, in the outdoor seating area and in the alcove of the Highway Bar and Bistro. Popular with the locals, there’s plenty of parking, ornate function rooms and entertainment every night of the week. Located on the corner of Pacific Highway and Greengate Road, Killara.
8. Proximity to everything
Nestled in the heart of the North Shore, Killara is not far from anywhere. It’s a brief drive or train ride to the major shopping centres at Chatswood and Macquarie. You can also be sitting on Manly Beach eating fish and chips in less than half an hour, while remaining close to the working hubs in North Sydney and the CBD.
9. Marian Street Theatre
This not-for-profit theatre helps young people to explore the creative theatre arts, offering acting and singing, puppetry and physical theatre. The after-school, weekend classes, holiday workshops and stage productions are now conducted at various locations including St Martins Church, Lindfield Community Hall and Knox Grammar Auditorium.
10. Killara Golf Club
Not just a golf club, it offers tennis, bowls, squash, bridge and snooker, functions and events, weddings, seminars, and after-funeral gatherings. With the impressive grounds and manicured fairways, you can see why this club has earned the reputation of the best club on the North Shore.
Do you live in Killara? If you know of a great aspect of this beautiful suburb that wasn’t explained above, please share it in the comments section below.
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