The Inner West region of Sydney is characterized by rolling hills intersected by narrow valleys.  Four main waterways flow in the area: Iron Cove Creek, Hawthorne Canal, Whites Creek, and Johnstons Creek.

Medium- to high-density housing are predominant in Inner West. No other region in Australia has more diverse cultures and lifestyles than this region. Each suburb is represented by different nationalities. One can find the Italian Australian community in Leichhardt and Haberfield, and the Greek and Vietnamese communities in Earlwood and Marrickville. Petersham has Portuguese Australian residents. Greek, Chinese and South Asian migrants have made homes in Ashfield. There is also a growing Islamic presence in Inner West, consisting of Lebanese, Egyptian and Palestinian Australians.

Inner West has well-established gay and lesbian communities in the suburbs of Newtown and Erskineville, extending into Glebe, Leichhardt, Annandale, Marrickville, Enmore and Dulwich Hill. This community is well-serviced by the Sydney Pride Centre in Sydney, the Twenty 10 support organization for LGBT youths and the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service in Newtown. The Sanctuary is a free health clinic for gay men.