Just five kilometres west of Sydney’s Central Business District is Leichhardt. Previously inhabited by the Eora Aboriginal clan it is now home to over 14,000 residents whose median age is 36 years. Almost 68% of the population were born in Australia and 74% only speak English. 35% of the population do not follow any religion with around 32% being Catholics.
Between 1794 and 1819, Leichhardt was known as Piperstown or Piperston after Captain John Pier a large landowner in the area. In 1849, the area was renamed ‘Leichhardt Township’ by Walter Beames, a prominent Sydney businessman who at that time owned the majority of the Piperston Estate and would later become the municipality’s first town clerk. The new name of Leichhardt was given in honour of Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Leichhardt, a German explorer and scientist who arrived in Australia in 1842 to study the local geology, flora and fauna but vanished without trace in 1848.
Many Italian migrants had settled in Leichhardt and it continues to host the Italian Festa held on Norton Street. Traffic to the area temporarily shuts down during the festivities and transforms the surroundings into a huge European style outdoor café. An International Food Fair, gift stalls, community expos and live entertainment are offered throughout the day.
Leichhardt is also known for its café culture with cafés in abundance. The oldest café in the area is Café Sport, which is located on Norton Street. The downside of this suburb is the heavy traffic and aircrafts that fly over.
Leichhardt has some good-sized slices of public parkland like the Pioneers Memorial Park. It is a huge open space within an easy walk to the cafes. It has plenty of play equipment for the kids and room for dogs to roam. This well-designed park makes for one of Sydney’s best parklands. Lambert Park, also located in this suburb, is a purpose-built stadium. There is also Ashfield Park nearby.
Despite a large percentage of the population having no religious affiliation, this suburb has a fair few churches that include:
- All Souls Anglican Church on the corner of Norton Street and Marion Street
- Leichhardt Baptist Church on the corner of Foster Street and Lords Road
- Leichhardt Congregational Church in Elswick Street
- Leichhardt Uniting Church in the old Methodist Central Hall on Wetherill Street
- St. Columba and The Holy Souls Parish (Catholic) in Elswick Street
- St. Fiacre’s Parish (Catholic) in Catherine Street
- St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Roseby Street
- The Parish of St. Gerasimos Church (Greek Orthodox) in Henry Street
Leichhardt is ideal for small families, with a good selection of local schools mostly in operation since the late 1800s. These include:
- Orange Grove Public School, co-educational public school was established in 1883
- Kegworth Public School, co-educational public school, was established in 1887
- Leichhardt Public School, co-educational public school was established in 1891,
- St. Columba’s Primary School, co-educational public school was established in 1898
- St. Fiacre’s Primary School, co-educational public school was established in 1894
- Sydney Secondary College – Leichhardt Campus, co-educational public school was established in 2002.
Roads and Transport
Parramatta Road, Norton Street, Balmain Road, Marion and Catherine Streets are the main accesses to this suburb. Also, the City West Link Road, a major arterial road, runs along the northern border crossing the ANZAC bridge to the central business district.
The bus service includes: Metrobus 10 that travels from Maroubra Junction through the City to Leichhardt. Buses 480, 483, 461 all travel from the city to Strathfield Station via Parramatta Road and Ashfield. 440 travels from Circular Quay to Rozelle. 436, 438, 439 all travel from Circular Quay via Railway Square, Parramatta Road, to Leichhardt Town Hall.
Between 1887 and 1950, trams serviced this suburb. A light rail now runs from Central Station to Lilyfield, through Leichhardt to Dulwich Hill on a previously disused heavy rail freight line. Its four stations are: Leichhardt North, Hawthorne, Marion and Taverners Hill.
If living close to the central business district with access to reliable public transport appeals to you then Leichhardt is the ideal location. Use a SmartBox to store your effects. The mobile storage unit is convenient and so affordable. Call 1300 880 800 for a no obligation quote.