Guest Post: Living In Sydney

This week I am delighted to be joined by a great friend and talented writer, Dionne Lister, to share her homeland with us.

G’day From Across the Pond

Hello to all of Jane’s peeps.  I am here because Jane asked me to write about my little part of the world – thanks for the invite Jane.  I was a bit nervous about writing this post because I can’t hide behind humour, fantasy or suspense – there’s nothing funny or scary where I live, and I certainly haven’t seen any dragons lately, which is probably a good thing.

I live in a suburb, south of Sydney CBD, that sits on a bay and is a couple of kilometers (or miles for those so inclined) from the beach.  Our suburb is in an area affectionately known by the rest of Sydney as “The Shire” or “God’s Country”.  It’s a bit of a joke that those born in this area never leave and so far I’ve conformed to the expectation. 

“The Shire” doesn’t have graceful period architecture, but that is the only negative thing I can say.  Because of our moderate climate the people around here tend to do a lot outdoors.  I grew up surfing at the local beach (Cronulla) and outdoor team sports are very popular.  The suburb of Kurnell, where good, old Captain Cook first set foot on Aussie soil, is also part of The Shire and I’m sad to say that more is known about that one event, than the history of Australia’s first peoples, the Aboriginals, who were obviously here first but are rarely acknowledged.

It is a very leafy area, mainly populated with gum trees, and due to the proximity to the National Park, which is just across the water, we have a lot of wildlife, including prehistoric, screeching cockatoos which wake us up most mornings, possums who raid my kitchen, poo on my deck and eat my fruit, and even deer who help themselves to my friend’s flowers.

It’s a peaceful place to live and I love listening to the wind whistle through the boat stays when it’s stormy and we always have a laugh when a boat breaks off it’s mooring and creates havoc down the bay (ok so we’re not always that nice).  You can take a ferry trip across to Bundeena or have coffee in one of the many uber trendy establishments that have nudged their way into what used to be a grungy, surfy’s hangout. Oh and did I mention the fantabulous food we have from the many different nationalities that call this place home – we have the most awesome Thai, Japanese and Chinese food, yum.

 So if you’re ever down this way, and for most of the world we are way down, look me up and I’d be happy to show you around this friendly haven I call home.

To learn more about Dionne and read samples of her fiction, visit her blog at or follow her on Twitter @DionneLister .

Dionne also co-hosts the popular weekly  ‘TweeptheNation’ podcast at with Amber.

22 thoughts on “Guest Post: Living In Sydney

  1. Wow, and thank you both for the wonderful travelogue. I so want to visit Sydney . . . and The Shire. Sounds idyllic and I’d try to commune with the possums (I love marsupials — but you knew that already) . . . the cuisine does sound terrific.

  2. Nothing dangerous? You forgot to mention the Sydney funnelweb spider! Oh, wait, that wouldn’t make people want to come here would it….

    Also you forgot to mention Far Kurnell, which is really funny if you say it fast. OK, so small things amuse small minds…

  3. Fabulous post Dionne ! Even though it is a gorgeous spring day in London (I’m actually wearing sunglasses at my desk!), this makes me long to return to Australia. Spent 6 weeks there over 2o years ago, mostly in Melbourne (expect you’re hissing now) but some time in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and visiting relatives who had a place on the beach at Callalla Bay which is not that far south of you, is it? I remember my Mum’s cousin asking if we wanted fruit salad for breakfast and being astounded when he went to pick passionfruit and guava off the trees!! What an idyllic life you have, thanks for sharing with us distant citydwellers.

    • Hi Isabel 🙂 It’s ok, I don’t feel the Melbourne rivalry lol. We are a few hours from Callala Bay, however it is still the east coast. I have a passionfruit vine but no guava and the possums ate all my tomatos *sigh*. I sometimes crave the city life but I go in once a week for work so I get the best of both worlds.

  4. Thanks for the wonderful post, Dionne! While I’ve traveled as far away from my neck of the woods as China and Japan, I’ve not yet made it to Australia, and your post made me move it up on my list of places to visit. Hope I’ll be able to see it soon!

    • That’s great Kristin, it really is a beautiful place. If your plane flies in at night you get a spectacular view of the Harbour Bridge and city all lit up – a great welcome to have 🙂 Hope you make it here!

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