March 24, 2014

Horse 1641 - Ten Suburbs. No.13 North Epping 2121

Being a commuter, my working knowledge of Sydney is biased towards those suburbs which either lie on a railway line, or a bus route; it also helps if there are major roads running through them. North Epping has neither a railway station; nor even a through road and the only bus route which run through the suburb is the 295 which runs back to Epping.
Surrounded by three sides by creeks and the Lane Cove National Park and on the fourth by the M2 motorway, North Epping is a giant cul-de-sac. The whole suburb is connected to Sydney (including that bus route) via a single artery, Norfolk Road.
Perhaps as a direct result of its isolation, North Epping has decided to have no fast food chains, no major chain petrol stations and no major supermarkets within its borders.

- Stolen from Google Maps

It would be easy to pass off North Epping as a little twee (and maybe it does begin to parody itself) but there's a certain charm about the place. There tends to be more children playing in North Epping's parks than other suburbs and there are more people out walking in the cool of an evening and motorists need to be a little bit more careful and mindful of cyclists.
Of course being physically surrounded by a National Park probably does encourage people to to get out and walk and explore more; which is in stark contrast to a suburb like Blacktown where the biggest participation sport of a Saturday appears to be walking around a shopping mall, buying $9 trinkets and excessive amounts of burgers and chips.

Maybe as a result of this perceived isolation, North Epping families have on average 2.9 children which is more than the national average. This in turn means that you're more likely to see 6 and 7 seven seat cars on the road like the Honda Odyssey, Mistubishi Grandis and Toyota Kluger on the roads. Also, because household income is higher on average, you'll probably find screens in the back of seats more often. I find it a little ironic that kiddiewinks might be watching Dora The Explorer but these sorts of vehicles never do any exploring.
North Epping normally has some of the lowest rates of crime in the entire of Sydney (except for one particularly famous incident) and I would wager that if a measure of Gross National Happiness were adopted in Sydney, as it is in Bhutan, then North Epping would be among the richest in this city of four and a half million.

North Epping through a geographical quirk is a virtually unknown pearl and as obvious on a map as North Adelaide 5006.

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