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australia-sydney-opera-houseSydney has some of the world’s best beaches and time and time again, they’ve turned out to be a peach of an investment, too. As the city slides into summer, we ask some beach-loving celebrities to nominate their favourites and find that it’d be hard to go wrong buying by the Sydney seaside. “They often show good capital growth or excellent rental returns,” says the head of research at Fairfax-owned Australian Property Monitors, Yvonne Chan.

“They generally outperform other suburbs as demand is high for the kind of lifestyles they offer. They’ve risen by an average of 13 per cent over the 12 months to September, compared with Sydney houses overall, which have gone up by 10 per cent.”

Tom Williams: Freshwater

Television host and pin-up Tom Williams launches his new travel show, High Road, Low Road, on Channel Seven tonight.

The former The Great Outdoors reporter and Dancing with the Stars winner nominates his favourite beach as Freshwater – with a median house price of $1,283,000 – just north of Manly.

A keen surfer, it’s only natural he’s drawn there – after all, it was the place where surfing officially began in Australia in the early 1900s when Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku demonstrated the sport to spectators.

“I’ve been surfing since the age of six and I’m now doing a lot of ocean kayaking, too, paddling around North Head with a group of close mates,” he says. “It’s great fun and living near the ocean has always been a part of my life.

“It’s a whole world away from beaches like Manly or Bondi, too, in that it often feels like the valley that time forgot.”

Serge Dansereau: Balmoral

Multi-award-winning celebrity chef Serge Dansereau can think of no place he’d rather be than at Balmoral beach, the beautiful harbour beach on Sydney’s north shore.

“It’s a very good swimming beach and it feels like a community down here,” says Dansereau, who’s run the popular restaurant The Bathers’ Pavilion there for the past 11 years. “You see the same people all the time, so you always stop for a chat and it’s very friendly.”

With a median price for houses of $2,075,000, everyone agrees it’s a stunning place. “But it also has an old-time 1930s feel with the rotunda … and there’s a real mix of people, from the fishermen who used to be here to the swimmers, kayakers and sailors and then the celebrities,” Dansereau says.

“We used to get Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman down here with their kids and we’ve had Bono … and Kofi Annan. It’s a superb beach.”

Claudia Karvan: Gordons Bay

One of actor, writer and producer Claudia Karvan’s favourite Sydney spots is a secluded waterside refuge away from the crowds: Gordons Bay.

South of Clovelly beach – with a median price in Clovelly of $1,852,000 – it’s accessed by a pretty coastal walk.

“I first discovered the bay through scuba-diving, as it’s really popular for the underwater trail,” says Karvan, who stars in the Foxtel TV drama series Spirited, which she co-created and produces.

“It’s very rugged and has a link chain you can go down on and it’s also really wonderful for snorkellers.

“It has really friendly blue gropers you can feed under water.

“I like to go down there with the kids and sit on the grass, chase crabs and scramble over the rocks. As an added bonus, there’s no sand either, which is great!”

Arj Barker: Bondi

Australia’s most frequent-flying visitor, American comic Arj Barker, makes straight for Bondi every time he arrives in Sydney. He’s been dropping by for years and every time he’s awestruck by its beauty.

“I like to go to Bondi and then walk or run to the right, along the coast, to another beach called Bronte. There’s a cemetery right on the coast and not only is it beautiful and quite dramatic, it’s a great reminder that one should take more walks along the coast!”

Barker, who starred in his own Comedy Central special as well as the HBO hit Flight of the Conchords, is performing his new show, Let Me Do the Talking, in Sydney from December 7-11.

He says Bondi, which has a median house price of $1,505,000, is also the best beach for people-watching, which provides great material for his act. “People flock there, sunshine or rain,” he says.

Slava Grigoryan: Bronte

When Australia’s finest classical guitarist, Slava Grigoryan, has time off, he loves to go down to Bronte beach with his children. “They love Bronte, too, as they can play cricket on the grass and it’s wonderful for a picnic,” he says. “And for me, the cafes are great and they serve really good coffee.”

Mo Award- and ARIA-winning Grigoryan, who’s performing tonight at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney with his brother Leonard and Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, also enjoys what he calls the Bronte to Bondi walk. “When I’m in Bronte, I love looking at all the houses,” he says of the properties with a median house price of $1,862,000.

“Each one is so different. And when I’m with the kids, we all love the Bronte train, the miniature railway on the circular track at the southern end of the park. It’s been going now since 1947!”

Todd McKenny: Bayview

For singer, dancer, musical-theatre star and TV personality Todd McKenney, Bayview, just north of Mona Vale on the northern beaches, can’t be beaten.

It’s peaceful and a real locals’ hang,” he says. “It’s a mix between a city beach and a local fishing village with kids playing ball games, families working on their boats, people swimming and it is really, really pretty. I could see myself living in Bayview at some point in my life.”

The Dancing with the Stars judge, who’s about to reprise the role of Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz in Sydney from March 2 for two weeks at the Capitol Theatre, also loves that Bayview, with its $1,468,000 median house price, is a great place to take his newly adopted greyhounds, Joey and Chrissie. “It’s very dog-friendly,” he says.

Lara Bingle: Cronulla

Fashion model and Speedo swimsuits ambassador Lara Bingle grew up in the Sutherland shire and Cronulla and North Cronulla are her favourite beaches. “That’s where my mum still lives, so I have a special bond with the place. Even on the busiest day you can run [on] the beach from North Cronulla past Elouera and Wanda and see almost no one.”

Although she lived for a while at Bondi Beach, she still loves the quiet of Cronulla, with its median house price of $1.25 million. “When you get to the end it is relatively untouched.”

Story by Susan Wellings www.domain.com.au

Tags: marketing, news, property, real estate, research

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