From Sutherland Shire to Eleebana

The City’s beaches, lake and warmer weather attracted Stephanie and her family to Lake Macquarie, but since making the move in April, they have discovered there is so much more to love about our City.


Stephanie Terrance can’t help but smile when she gets stuck in ‘traffic’ going about her new life in Lake Macquarie as a lawyer, mum and part-time blogger.

“Traffic here means spending an extra five minutes in the car,” she says.

“Traffic in Sydney meant spending an extra hour or more on the road, so it’s a big difference.

Stephanie, husband James and their two young children moved to the lakeside suburb of Eleebana from Sydney’s Sutherland Shire in April.

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“The commute time was just too much for us, so the work-life balance wasn’t there,” Stephanie says.

“The traffic was ridiculous where we came from. We really wanted to be out of Sydney, out of the rat race there and in a better lifestyle.”

It came down to Canberra or Lake Macquarie, with the latter winning out thanks to the City’s beaches, lake and warmer climate.

Stephanie says her family soon discovered other unexpected benefits of the shift north.

“I think what surprised me most were all the parks and playgrounds,” she says.

“There were so many new ones to choose from and we just didn’t have that where we came from. There wasn’t much investment in them.

Cherry Rd playground, Eleebana

 Enjoying an afternoon at Cherry Road playground at Eleebana

“And with day-care we got in straight away. In Sydney, we were on a wait-list for a year-and-a-half.”

Glenrock State Conservation Area, the Fernleigh Track, Belmont wetlands and the Redhead sand dunes are among the natural playgrounds the Terrances have explored since settling into Lake Mac.

“It seems like Lake Macquarie is really suited to spending a lot of time outdoors, and that’s definitely us,” Stephanie says.

“And everyone is so friendly. Your neighbours come out and greet you here. Before we moved, we didn’t really know any of our neighbours, but now we know lots of them.”