Vaucluse, Sydney, Australia

Living in Vaucluse

Iyna Bort Caruso

In Sydney, Australia, the community of Vaucluse offers a slice of the good life: a resort lifestyle in an urban habitat.

Vaucluse is an eastern suburb of Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, and one among a collection of elite coast-hugging enclaves. It is situated on the South Head Peninsula, about five miles northeast of the city’s central business district. To the west is Sydney Harbour. To the east is the Pacific Ocean.

Its location on the peninsula, combined with Vaucluse’s residential character, gives it a cloistered feel. What Vaucluse lacks in nightlife and major attractions--available just a short drive away--it makes up in defense fortification relics, recreational diversions and heritage-listed buildings. The Vaucluse House, a private mansion built in 1803 and now a museum and garden, is one of the city’s oldest estates. Scenic Shark Beach, sheltered picnic areas and the scenic walking trails of Nielsen Park, part of Sydney National Park are popular with families. Across the peninsula at Christison Park, perched on a cliff top, are fields and courts for team sports as well as personal fitness stations. Just north is Macquarie Lighthouse. The navigational station is Australia’s oldest and is still operational.

Vaucluse is a well-established neighborhood with an international mix, especially popular among those with South African, British and Chinese roots. In many cases, homes have been in the same family for generations. This blue-chip address offers classic beach homes, semi-attached residences with rooftop terraces, whole-floor apartments and sprawling mansions. It is routinely ranked among the most expensive suburbs in the country. Residences have million-dollar views and multi-million dollar price tags to go with them. Some properties have fetched record-breaking prices at auction, a common way to sell a home in Australia, especially in large cities like Sydney.