A two-story Federation comfortable family home, Downstairs there is a large kitchen/family room opening onto the back garden and double garage with access from the rear lane. There is also a TV room, large study with fold out bed for guests; the study has a bathroom attached. There is a large lounge room across the front of the house opening onto a wrap around veranda. We use this room mostly for music as it has an old but much loved piano. Upstairs are three bedrooms and a study. One is a children’s sized room with double bunks, one was the original double bedroom and is currently used as an art studio while the third is a newer addition that stretches across the house and has a dressing room and en-suite bathroom. There is also a balcony off that bedroom. There is an additional bathroom upstairs.
Longueville is a waterfront suburb that is 10 km from the city centre. As the suburb is a small peninsular it is a quiet suburb with no through traffic. There is a sailing club and a harbour pool in Woodford Bay, a sports oval, two tennis clubs, riverside picnic areas and reserves that are ideal for relaxing or bushwalking. It is close to Lane Cove shopping centre for all basic shopping needs and a good variety of cafes. As a bit of trivia, actor Nicole Kidman grew up in our street.
Because of the peninsular nature of the suburb it is a friendly defined community within the city. The peninsular is west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Our house has plenty of space if you have extra guests from time to time. The house is about halfway down the peninsula. The facilities, such as tennis courts, ferry, waterfront parks, oval and so on (shown in the photographs on the exchange website) are 10-15 minute walk from the house. A good view of the Harbour Bridge is only three minutes walk away. On New Year’s Eve it is a great vantage point as the bridge is used as a major platform for fireworks. Local shopping, cafes and restaurants at Lane cove are also about a 15 minute walk. The peninsular has no through traffic so it is quiet and peaceful. You can wander down and watch a game of cricket on the oval during summer, or take a picnic basket and walk to one of the waterside parks for a relaxing lunch. There is a nearby golf course (10 minutes walk) and swimming centre at Lane Cove.
There is access to the city by a fast catamaran ferry during peak hours. The trip is a delight as it glides around the bays and waterfront homes before passing under the Harbour Bridge and stopping at Circular Quay near the Opera House. The trip takes 20 minutes. Buses are nearby and regular throughout the day. We are happy to consider car exchange if you require it. Access to the Northern and Eastern Beaches is reasonable by bus and/or ferry if not using a car.
Apart from relaxing in a beautiful harbour-side suburb, the easy access to the city opens up enjoyment of theatres, galleries, restaurants and general city life. A trip to the Blue Mountains west of Sydney is an easy day trip. We never tire of sitting by the harbourside in one of the many cafes and enjoying a cup of coffee while we enjoy the sunny climate.
We both work/ed in the arts for the Department of Education. Terry was an assistant manager in The Arts Unit until the end of 2004 when he retired. Jenny is a choral conductor and manages a state wide choral program as well as regional consultancy. Jen has just returned from a choral festival in Vancouver where she took her took her touring choir to perform uniquely Australian compositions. We were both teachers for many years and are non-smokers.
This will be our second exchange. Our first exchange was to the South of France for three months at the end of 2005. Our neighbours ended up meeting our exchange partners while travelling in France just prior to our exchange and so our exchange partners already had great friends next-door, even before they arrived. We also had a great time together as we arrange to overlap the exchange for a week when we arrived in France. A bit of flexibility and good will, seems in our experience, to make exchanging a great cultural experience and a great way to make new international friends as you get to know your exchange partners.