Originally conceived as the ultimate garden suburb, Killara lives up to its promise.

Grand, spacious houses, an abundance of green spaces, and top-ranked schools, all only 25 minutes from Wynyard on the train – Killara is Upper North Shore living at its finest.


Killara was originally the traditional land of Aboriginal people. The name Killara is derived from an Aboriginal word and means ‘always there’.

In the early 1800s the area was used for a convict timber-cutting camp. Convicts dragged the timber to the banks of the Lane Cove River via the flat now known as Redbank (or Fiddens Wharf) Oval, and from there it was sent down the river to Sydney. In the 1930s ‘convict steps’ were built along that original track down to Fiddens Wharf, in memory of the convicts who toiled there.

In 1833 a stone cottage was built on what is now known as the Pacific Highway to house Ye Olde Greengate Inn, and the Greengate Hotel remains on the same site today. The Milsons Point to Hornsby train line opened in 1893 and following agitation from residents, Killara station was added to it in 1899. The suburb was named around this time by schoolteacher and civic leader James George Edwards. JG Edwards became known as the ‘Father of Killara’. He spearheaded the subdivision of the land around the train line, designing Killara as the ideal garden suburb with few shops and no industrial areas. It retains the same character to this day.

The blocks of land were large, as were the houses built on them, and Killara became a popular, blue-chip residential suburb. It is still home today to many fine examples of Federation houses built in the early 1900s and Californian Bungalow style homes built from around 1917 onwards. The interwar period saw the development of more modest houses on smaller blocks. The iconic Harry and Penelope Seidler House in Kalang Avenue was built in the mid-1960s and is now heritage listed. More development took place in the postwar years, with the construction of apartments and units along the Pacific Highway.

What the locals love about Killara

1. State-beating schools

Killara is home to three public schools – two primary schools and one high school – that are regarded as among NSW’s best.

According to Better Education’s 2020 data, Beaumont Road Public School and Killara Public School are both ranked in the top 3 per cent of primary schools in the state. Killara Public School underwent a complete refurbishment in 2008, while Beaumont Road Public School enjoys spacious grounds and prides itself on its inclusive and supportive learning environment.

From 2016 to 2020, Killara High School has been ranked between third and eleventh amongst NSW’s comprehensive high schools in the HSC results. A major upgrade of the school was completed last year, delivering a brand new building with 17 teaching spaces.

2. Gorgeous greenery

When Killara was first subdivided in the late 1800s, land that was deemed ‘unsuitable’ for housing was designated parkland, and today the suburb is filled with countless parks and reserves.

Killara Park, nestled within Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest off Rosebery Road, and Greengate Park on Bruce Avenue are popular with families for their play equipment.
Killara Lawn Tennis Club on Arnold Street is very popular, and Killara Golf Club, established in 1899, is one of Sydney’s premier clubs.

Those seeking untouched wilderness don’t have to go far. Killara is nestled between two national parks – Lane Cove National Park to the west and Garigal National Park to the east. There are plenty of opportunities to get back to nature with bushwalking, birdwatching, canoeing, horse riding, fishing and mountain biking all on offer.

3. Marian Street Theatre

Killara’s Marian Street Theatre has played an important role in the cultural life of the Upper North Shore since its inception in 1965, staging everything from Shakespearean productions to musicals to modern classics. Many locals have fond memories of attending a Marian Street production before it closed in 2001, beset by financial difficulties.

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The Marian Street Theatre for Young People has carried on independently since then, and when the theatre building at 2 Marian Street was closed in 2013 due to safety concerns, it began running its classes and workshops from other community venues across the Upper North Shore.

Excitingly, there are grand plans afoot for a major refurbishment of the theatre at 2 Marian Street. The Upper North Shore will no doubt be enriched by the presence of a live theatre venue when Marian Street Theatre opens up once again.

Sales market update

Many of Killara’s homes are built in the Federation and Californian Bungalow styles, but the suburb offers buyers homes in plenty of other styles too. Houses here are generally large, with around 44 per cent of them boasting four or more bedrooms, and luxury lifestyle inclusions such as tennis courts and pools are not uncommon. Killara features both modern and historic apartments, which are also often generously proportioned.

In June 2021, the median house price in Killara was $3,610,000, significantly up (25.9 per cent) on June 2020’s median of $2,867,500. Killara’s unit prices have also risen over the last year, with June 2021’s median of $950,000 6.1 per cent higher than June 2020’s median of $895,000. Over the past five years, houses in Killara have experienced a compound growth rate of 7.6 per cent, while units have risen 0.6 per cent.

Killara’s top sales

Some of Killara’s top real estate sales have been completed by the team at Chadwick, including:

Rental market update

Around 23 per cent of Killara’s residential dwellings are rented, creating worthwhile opportunities for property investors. Houses in Killara rent for $1,100 per week and units $570. As of June 2021, Killara’s vacancy rate is a tight 1.98 per cent, reflecting the suburb’s popularity. The median annual rental yield for houses in Killara is 1.6 per cent, and 3.1 per cent for units.

If you’re thinking of buying, selling or renting in Killara, contact our friendly and professional team today.

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