Looking at relocating to Newcastle area, advice on what suburbs are family friendly etc ......

Hi I looking at relocating to Newcastle for work in Sandgate. We are heading up this weekend to have a look around and hopefully chat with locals and police about best areas to live. I am looking for some local feedback on family friendly areas and great public and high schools, I will be renting at first, I am a professional with 2 kids and have a American Bulldog. We love most activities (girls are heavily into Basketball, so that's high on their lists), high on my list is family friendly areas with great schooling. We currently live in Wollongong (Shell cove) which they say Wollongong and Newcastle have similarities.

Our relocation is potientially by the end of Jan 18 mid Feb 18. Not too fussed if I need to travel to and from Sandgate (especially if the area we live in has a great neighbourly feel about it). Advice with regards to which way to go would be fantastic. Should we look Maitland and surrounding suburbs, Mayfield and surrounding suburbs or head Medowie, Raymond Terrace, Nelsons Bay way.

Appreciate any comments.
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