The reasons for moving to the island are as varied as the people who decide to make the island their home, short or longterm. The beauty of Pittwater, potential for an active outdoor lifestyle and becoming part of a vibrant and diverse community are some of the reasons why people come and stay.
Moving offshore is both an adventure and a challenge. Beautiful views are to be had from almost every point on the island. Life on the island means being close to nature, which can result in close encounters with rain, mud and all sorts of wildlife. There are no shops or other facilities, such as public toilets. All this means that residents become acutely aware of the weather, tides and how heavy their shopping is.
Before moving here, people have to consider additional living costs associated with island life. Every item that does not fit on a commuter boat, for example, has to be delivered by barge. Employing tradespeople from the mainland may involve added costs such as parking, special permits and water taxi fees. Annual living costs may increase due to additional expenses such as parking permits, boat parking permits and septic tank inspections.
Getting off and on the island is not difficult, even if you don’t have a commuter boat. The Church Point Ferry Service operates during commuter hours on weekdays and hourly on weekends. It connects the main wharves (Bells, Carols, Eastern and Tennis) on the island and the Bays to the mainland. The Pink Water Taxi services the Island and the Bays and many other locations around the Pittwater.
Many people have private vessels and enjoy being out on the water – rain or shine – as an added bonus of island life. There is parking for boats, both at the wharves on the island (Bells, Carols, Eastern, Tennis and Cargo) and the commuter wharf on the mainland. Northern Beaches Council manages all the public wharves parking, except at Tennis (Court) wharf, (see Island Wharves). Council issues parking permits for car and boat but it does not allocate a particular space to the permit holders. Depending on the time of day or week or the season, it can get fairly crowded. Currently, there is a waiting list for boat parking at Commuter Wharf on the mainland, and there are also waiting lists for parking at some of the wharves on the island.
Vehicle transport around the island is limited, due to lack of parking spaces and often difficult road conditions. However, there is a community vehicle that can be booked for passengers and light goods such as shopping bags. Most people get around on foot (see Walking) but some use golf buggies or similar small vehicles. Trolleys, backpacks, suitcases and wheelbarrows are often used for carting shopping from the boat or ferry to home.
For a list of real estate companies who deal in island properties, see below.