After doing the hard yards in Singapore, the Pogonowski family knew there was only one place they'd like to call home when they returned to Australia.
A 16km drive north from Sydney's CBD, leafy Ku-ring-gai was, for them, the heart of the lucky country. It was a hunch that appears to have been right on the money.
The inaugural BankWest quality of life index has found Ku-ring-gai - taking in the garden suburbs from Roseville to Wahroonga on Sydney's upper North Shore - Australia's most livable local government area.
"It's so green and so leafy, you can't help but feel good when you walk around the area," Christina Pogonowski said.
Ms Pogonowski said the quality of education in the area was the driving force behind her and her husband Andrew's decision to settle in the suburb of Wahroonga in October last year after two years in Singapore.
Her daughters, Victoria, 17, and Alexis, 13, are enrolled at the exclusive Sydney girls school Abbotsleigh, while her 11-year-old son Nicholas attends the prestigious Knox Grammar School.
"We knew very little about the area when we moved here," she said. "But we knew that there were good schools and the kids can walk to school each day if it isn't raining."
Mr Pogonowski - who is happy to talk up the local area, given he left a position in a Singapore-based software company to enter the Sydney real estate business - said the trees, parks and village atmosphere were among the perks of living in Ku-ring-gai.
"We're so close to the village, which has two of everything we need; two florists, two butchers, two supermarkets," he said. "And you can just smell the air, it's so clean."
The air may have something to do with the fact that Ku-ring-gai boasts one of the healthiest populations in the country.
According to the BankWest study it also records the highest rate of broadband internet connection.
But a piece of property in Ku-ring-gai doesn't come cheap: the median house price is $1.024million.
Yet the Pogonowski family thinks the price tag is worth it. Alexis, who had adjusted to the bustle of Singapore's CBD, said life in Wahroonga was more "real".
"I like this much better," Alexis said.
"We have a big garden, dogs and chickens.
"It's much more like a real, quintessential home."