7.2 out of 10

Wagga Wagga

Ranked 2nd best suburb in Murrumbidgee
-35.1110888404993 147.357282570625
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Neighbourly Spirit
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Medical Facilities
  • Internet Access
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Public Transport
  • Parking
  • Schools
  • Safe & Sound
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • Country Lovers

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
Jun 09, 2014

"Great Town But Lacking Opportunity"

I've lived in Wagga for only 6 months, but feel like I've gained a pretty good sense of the place in that time. Wagga is a great town with a lovely country vibe, and I am still taken aback by the friendliness of the locals. Customer service in Wagga is terrific most places you go and everyone seems to be up for a genuine chat - there's none of that mundane "Would-you-like-fries-with-that?" scripted verse, but legitimate conversation. It's lovely.
The town itself is easy to navigate around, has great shopping options, gorgeous parks, and of course the Murrumbidgee river running through is beautiful.
I find the downfall of Wagga is it's lack of opportunity. The unemployment rate is high, and job seeking is hugely competitive. The main employment opportunities seem to lie within the health sector (lots of jobs for doctors, nurses and other health professionals) and university professionals. I am fully qualified in a career I've been working in for 11 years, and when the job I moved to Wagga for fell through, I found myself sort of stranded here unable to find more work in my field and having to resort to applying for the likes of supermarket work, and finding even that kind of work INCREDIBLY difficult to obtain. Basically, DON'T move here if you don't already have a secure job lined up beforehand, or an exit-option if it doesn't work out (ie, don't stupidly lock yourself into a 12 month lease on a house in case things don't work out! Ha.)
A bad experience like the one I've had in moving here would normally taint most people's perception of a town, but despite the difficulties I've personally had since being here, I still find Wagga to be a really endearing town. There's nothing quite like going for a run around Lake Albert, watching kids enjoy the animals at the Wagga Zoo (which is free!) and visiting the gorgeous places surrounding, like Junee with it's awesome chocolate & liquorice factory!
There are a few "dodgy" areas, as is the case with any town, however the interesting thing I found in Wagga as opposed to other towns, is how spread out the "slum" areas can be.... in that, the "dodgy" areas are quite often less sectioned to suburbs as they are streets. When I was house hunting I found it notable that one street would be quite upper-class and pristine, then you'd go round the block and there's police tape, burnt out car bodies and graffiti abound (not even making that up!) I was lucky to know some locals before moving here, and was worded up on the "bad" streets and areas - Suburbs worthy of steering clear of if you can help it are Tolland, Ashmont (the locals lovingly refer to as "Trashmont") and some parts of Kooringal. But I encourage anyone to drive around and scope all areas out for yourself - you'll very quickly get a feel for the surroundings, it's pretty black and white here.
All in all though, Wagga is a beautiful place to live if you have a purpose here.
Pros
  • All essential services in Wagga
  • Country Atmosphere
Cons
  • Unemployment is a problem
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 16, 2012

"Middle of the road"

I grew up in Wagga and my husband and I came back (after living in Sydney) when we had our first child. Our two reasons for coming back were the cost of living in Sydney with a reduced income and the fact that we both had family here. Wagga was a great place to grow up but I do feel it has deteriorated since then. It has good and bad points but I think it would be quite a hard place to try to settle in if you had not grown up here. It can be hard to meet people, I actually found people in Sydney friendlier! I think this is because we met lots of people who had moved from somewhere else and were keen to make new friends. Wagga can be a bit cliquey. It is easier to meet people through your children (eg. their school, daycare etc) than in a social setting. There seems to be ongoing problems with the Council, ranging from long delays with development applications to infighting. Even though Wagga is classed as a city these days, there are still quite a lot of people living in the dark ages. The local paper often prints letters from people quoting bible passages supporting their particular prejudice, mainly against gay people. The main benefits of Wagga as opposed to Sydney: it's less expensive of course and It is much easier to get around IF YOU HAVE A CAR. You really can't manage here without one, the public transport is very poor. As far as entertainment etc goes, there's plenty of pubs etc but the main street, where most of the pubs are located, gets rough at night. Assaults are not unusual. There are no night buses and not enough cabs so you have all these people pouring out of the pubs and the nightclub with no way to get home. If you don't live in Central, it's really too far to walk and those who do walk are taking the risk of being assualted. We don't really go out here. Most pubs are full of young people getting smashed and there are plenty of young men who go out looking for a fight. As far as employment goes, I wouldn't say it's really easy to find work but if you want to work, you will probably find something. There is competition for good positions. An issue I have with Wagga is the real estate market. Prices for sales and rentals are way too high in comparison to somewhere like Albury-Wodonga, Renting a property can be a nightmare. There is lots of competion for decent properties and most agents are apathetic, rude or both.

The public hosptial is very outdated and there are frequent horror stories about patients suffering from lack of staff and/or medical mistakes. It's a bit of a lottery.

There are some nice suburbs but all overpriced. Best areas are: parts of Central, parts of Kooringal, parts of Turvey Park and probably around the lake itself in Lake Albert. Tatton is expensive and considered a good area but you won't find any character there, just large spec houses. Bourkelands is similar but not as expensive, with a mix of small and large spec houses. Glenfield has smaller spec houses and some trouble spots because of it's proximity to Ashmont and Tolland. Tolland is not a good area generally nor is Ashmont or Mt Austin, though they all have little pockets that are OK. Personally, I wouldn't live in any of those suburbs (Ashmont, Tolland, Mt Austin). There are good and bad schools and because they are all zoned now (even the private ones) you really need to pick your address to get your kids into a good school. The best public primary schools (from what I've been told) are Wagga Public (in Central) and South Wagga (Central/Turvey Park). I've also heard Kooringal Public is good. Out of the public high schools, Wagga High (Central) probably has the best reputation. With the private schools, I think they are all OK.

There is not alot to do with kids that doesn't involve spending money. There are some nice parks, playgrounds and a little zoo (which is free) but once you've done that, there's not alot left. There's a swimming centre, but of course you have to pay to get in and even through the kids love it most adults I know can't stand it. It's indoor, really noisy and very strong chlorine smell. There is an outdoor pool but the safe pools for kids are inside. The indoor play centre has re-opened but at $9 per child you can't do it all the time. On the positive side, we have a movie theatre, a civic theatre that shows plays etc, and a good art gallery. There's often good exhibitions on either at the art gallery or one of the two museum sites. These are usually free. The public library is also quite good and there are some nice restaurants (and some crappy ones!). Winter is pretty bleak in Wagga. It gets very cold so you need the heater going all the time which is very expensive. I think there are better places to live and I can't see myself staying here forever.
Pros
  • Country Atmosphere
  • Investment Property Returns
  • Good child care (select few)
  • Good doctors (select few)
Cons
  • bad hospital
  • high crime rate
  • Very few good areas to live in
  • Small businesses closing down
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
truthfultracy
truthfultracy Overall, I agree with this summary of Wagga, having lived there from 2005-2011. We lived in Huthwaite street, Mount Austin, backing on to the aged care facility, & the only crime we experienced in 5 years was a car window being smashed and items stolen. I always felt safe there. Also, my daughter attended Turvey Park Public, and I found it to be a great, friendly school, with good facilities. Everything else stated is 100% correct, & very well observed! :)
Jul 16, 2012
janehope
janehope Yes, I agree. Huthwaite Street is nice and quiet. I think because it's not really a thoroughfare, you mainly get locals. I must admit I'm out of the loop with Turvey Park Public (although my husband did go there about a thousand years ago!). It's good to hear it's still a nice school. I'm interested in where you have moved to and what you think of it! We are on the hunt for a new location in the next five years or so.
Jul 17, 2012
truthfultracy
truthfultracy after Wagga we went to Truganina, a new suburb in Melbs western suburbs - hated it! Just couldn't settle. Found it hard to feel like part if the community with every ethnicity & socio-economic background you can think of. Everyone kinda keeps to themselves. Nevermind the appalling traffic with underdeveloped infrastructure. My daughter is in year three & get school had 1200 students, with no adequate parking and number 10 in the state for amount of portable classrooms. Anyway, we've moved to the Albury-Wodonga area, only in the past week, so too early to make a proper assessment. So far, so good, though. Locals are extremely friendly & helpful. I have asked many locals what they think of the area & the only downside I have heard is lack of "things for teenagers to do", but in my experience, that can happen anywhere.
Overall, I like the fact there are great bike tracks, parks, nice towns in the area to visit, proximity to snow fields & lakes, only three hours to Melbourne & adjacent to Albury, so we have access to all facilities.
Jul 18, 2012
janehope
janehope Thanks for your reply. We sometimes go to Albury for the weekend and to us it seems more progressive than Wagga and it has a nice atmosphere. Very different to Wagga for somewhere so close. Maybe it's the Melbourne influence. I've never heard anyone say their area has heaps for teenagers to do so I think you're right about that!
Jul 18, 2012
Add a comment...
3/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 26, 2012

"You need a good, solid job to live here."

Lived on Wagga, in particular, Mt Austin for 5 years and had no criminal trouble in all that time, apart from the car window being smashed one night & things stolen. This is despite adjoining the "dodgy suburb" of Turvey Park & the one with the even worse reputation, Tolland, where there are large swathes of Housing Commission homes (many which have been sold off now, I believe) Public transport is not the best, one bus an hour into town. Most people would find they need a car. People are generally friendly, although judgemental on where you live. The suburb of Ashmont is called “Trashmont” by the locals, which is unfortunate as there are plenty of decent people out there. Having said that, there are plenty of rough people in Wagga in general, too. I think it is more noticable because in Wagga you really have to go to the city to go shopping, other than your groceries, so all walks of life converge into one area. There is no way you can avoid the single mums & yobbos completely – even if you buy a huge block on the outskirts of town or buy in an expensive suburb – these places have little or no shopping facilities so it's in the car & in you go, along with everyone else! I don't think that's a bad thing. I like a mixture of backgrounds & cultures. Many locals do not like the influx of Aficans & blame them for crime rise. True or not, Wagga just has to get used to be more muliti-cultural. My biggest gripe in Wagga is the lack of employment – unless you are skilled you will probably have to work at Cargill, the abbotoir. I also don't like the and lack of free things to do, particularly with kids. Yes, the botanical gardens are great, & the Wollundry Lagoon area is nice, but that's about it. Other parks are not really worth mentioning, which is a shame for a place the size of Wagga. Should be better. There are lots of sporting groups though, & there will be something you will find that you like. Riding your bike in Wagga can be a taking-your-life-into your-own-hands situation. My husband was actually hit, once, & after a couple of near-misses, I refused to ride the bike (car, anyone?). Medically, there seems to be everything the average person would need. The public hospital IS poor. (had a ceasaian birth there) Schools: the public & high school in Mt Austin had a bad reputation for bullying. Generally, all the rest seemed adequate. Overall, it is not a bad place to live, but I wouldn't move there unless you were going there for a specific purpose, like good employment, or to be nearer to family.
Pros
  • All essential services in Wagga
  • Country Atmosphere
Cons
  • bad hospital
  • Very few good areas to live in
5/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Jan 03, 2012

"Wouldnt live anywhere else!"

Lived here my whole life and I understand Wagga is not experiencing its most prosperous era but with national and multi national companies such as RMT opening up at Bomen, the boom times of Wagga will be upon us again. High returns on my rental properties has never varied much besides the usual 3 - 4% increase each year and are rarely empty.
Pros
  • All essential services in Wagga
  • Investment Property Returns
  • Country Atmosphere
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Dec 30, 2011

"Good with the bad....."

I have lived here 20 years, after moving here as a child. As a holiday stop over its ok, but if you are moving here then as my title suggests, you need to take the good with the bad!!
PROS: I found a lovely child care centre that my girls have been in for 5 years. There is a local doctors surgery that usually bulk bills. The rope park and botanic garden are nice when not packed. The shopping centres have all the major options like Coles, Woolworths and Aldi etc. Lake Albert and Forest Hill are the better options for rentals with lower rental prices, smaller supermarkets, pharmacy, newsagent and doctors all within each suburb.....I wouldnt live in any other area but Forest Hill and Lake Albert, if you can afford the rentals of course!!!!

CONS: More and more smaller shops are closing down. Parking is average, get there early or later in the day and you are using fine. Pick the area you move to.... stay away from Ashmont, Tolland, areas in Kooringal, areas in Central and areas in Turvey Park. All the good areas are really expensive to rent. Overall Wagga itself is just crap, unless you stay away from the centre itself unless you need Big W or Kmart. The council and how it runs Wagga is crap. Be prepared for major ongoing car repairs as the roads are shocking!!!! There is also a huge amount of aged drivers who need to retire off the roads as they are the major causes of near misses and actual accidents. I am now moving from Wagga to a smaller town, its just not where I want my kids to grow up!!! As mentioned in another review, the crime has increased at an alarming rate..... we have had murders, shootings, car-jacking, child abductions, increase in break ins and armed break ins and thats just within the last year. 5 years ago you didnt need to lock your house door, now even locked doors dont deter them. Also is the major imigaration spot for African migrants. Real estates are just aweful, with huge amount of applicants for each property. Its common that they put you on a waiting list to view a property and never ring you back. If you do apply it takes ages to get an answer. Majority are rude and shouldnt be in the business at all..... that goes for a lot of the stores too!!! People take what ever job they can get as its very hard to get a job here unless its in fast food chains.
Pros
  • Good doctors (select few)
  • Good child care (select few)
  • Major shopping is good
  • All essential services in Wagga
  • Investment Property Returns
Cons
  • Very few good areas to live in
  • Small businesses closing down
  • bad hospital
  • high crime rate
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
truthfultracy
truthfultracy I have found many Real Estate Agents in Wagga to be rude to the extreme, too.
Mar 26, 2012
BatmanisAwesome
BatmanisAwesome Well, Don't you dare talk about my town in that ill toned voice. I am Disgraced in the way you are talking about my town. People who want to come here are reading your comment and are shying away. So thanks alot for dissing my Town i am very happy you are moving.
Oct 17, 2013
KellyHulme
KellyHulme Well, BatmanisAwesome, I am thinking of moving to Wagga and I need to know the truth about the place. I have one relative who lives just outside of town and they love Wagga but I want to know if I can get a job as easily as they tell me and that I will be able to rent a property and that it is a better place than where I want to leave. Otherwise, I'm going to be wasting an awful lot of time, money and energy. So why do you love it so much?
Jan 03, 2014
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5/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Dec 05, 2011

"Quiet Contry Living & Rental Opportunities"

If you have solid employment within the area and are looking for a relaxed lifestyle that is within an affordable budget than Wagga is the place for you. Also great rental property opportunities exist with Wagga having a large moving population consisting of people from the RAAF base at Forest Hill, the Army base at Kapooka and the Charles Sturt University (CSU). Rental returns far exceed any ratio acheivable on the coast with returns in the realm of 12% pa.
Pros
  • Investment Property Returns
  • Country Atmosphere
  • All essential services in Wagga
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
1/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
Aug 29, 2011

"Don't waste your time moving to wagga wagga find a better town"

3 years ago Wagga was a nice place to live but now it has a very high crime rate with frequent murders, kidnappings, break ins, alcohol and drug violence. The hospital has rated worst in NSW state they have no Permanent doctors, their obstetric care is really bad there is no bulk billing specialists in this town and for large emergencies and most specialists you need to travel 3 hours to Canberra hospital, The hospital and their facilities are very out dated and the government will not be giving them a new hospital any time soon. Only a few good shops here. There are barley any nice parks to take the kids to and there is no play center any more as it closed down. There are NO JOBS in this town. The council does not keep Wagga clean. Stay away from Ashmont (trashmont) is what the locals call it also avoid Tolland as it is full of drug addicts, alcoholics and criminals. I wish some one had have warned us about moving to Wagga before we did or we would not have moved here.
Cons
  • bad hospital
  • high crime rate
  • not good for families with kids
Recommended for
  • Country Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Apr 15, 2010

"Wagga a town of many levels"

Lake Albert 5 Kilometres of gorgeous trail, to bike, walk, run, pedal, push or ride NOW...you can also paddle a canoe, water ski, power boat, fish.
Gorgeous bird life on the lake. The Lake is so beautiful now, it; s a real picture.
Medical facilties are fantastic. Doctors very good. We should have moved to Wagga years ago! SO glad we came here.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
thetruth1
thetruth1 Wagga has the worst rated hospital in NSW it is in the paper every second day for their bad treatment. If you want a doctor and specialist in this town they will not bulk bill you and for some medical treatments they send you 3 hours to canberra the only decient hospital here is private.
Aug 29, 2011
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5/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Mar 04, 2010
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
thetruth1
thetruth1 I would not recommend this town for families with kids as the medical facilities and schools here are bad there is a very high crime rate with kidnappings and alot of murders, breakins,drugs and crime. The play center has now closed down so there is nothing for kids to do here
Aug 29, 2011
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5/5
Aug 18, 2009

"Wagga Wagga - Easy access to the Riverina"

Wagga Wagga is in south western NSW on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. Wagga Wagga is often referred to just as Wagga which means crow. The town is large and has many attractions such as art galleries, museums of several different types and beautiful botanic gardens. There are many walking tracks around the area and 30 kms to the south of the town is Livingstone National Park and State Conservation Area. Wagga also has a choice of wineries to visit and some great shopping areas. There is no shortage of accommodation either with backpackers, B & B’s, caravan parks, motels and hotels to choose from. There are some great entertainment venues and restaurants and cafes all serving great food. For the takeaway lover, Wagga has all the usual fast food outlets.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
Riddle
Riddle I find it amusing how you give Wagga 5 stars when you probably have not even been there once. Wagga Wagga is and never will be a 5-star city. Just 3 stars would be overly generous.
"Recommended for Families with kids"...
No. Definitely not, sorry.
May 30, 2013
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4/5
Aug 13, 2009

"Not your usual country town"

Wagga Wagga turned out to be a bigger town than expected. I was on my way to Mildura and was surprised to find that Wagga Wagga is the final stop before you need to drive for hours just to get to Mildura.

Wagga is not your typical quaint country town. It is a hub and is more like Albury-Wodonga. There are many restaurants, cafes, chain stores, shopping malls, take away outlets, franchise stores and etc around Wagga. The main street is very wide and clean. The houses here are like those in any typical suburb in Sydney. The only difference is, Wagga is much cleaner and neater than Sydney. It is a well plan town that has plenty to do and none of that “sleepy town” feel.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees