Forestville is 12 kilometres northeast of the Sydney Central Business District in the local government area of Warringah Council. Forestville is part of the Northern Beaches region and also considered to be part of the Forest District, colloquially known as The Forest. Forestville's location is at a junction between Sydney's North Shore and Northern Beaches and is often considered to be part of both, with Middle Harbour forming the boundary of this distinction. The suburb is bound to the east and west by bushland of the Garigal National Park and to the south by Middle Harbour. Flora and fauna thrive in Garigal National Park and nearby Davidson National Park, with the area, along with Frenchs Forest, Belrose and Terrey Hills, receiving some of the highest rainfall in Sydney.
Forestville Village Shops is a shopping centre located on Darley and Starkey Streets with a Coles supermarket and specialty shops. Forestville is also home to the office and call centre of the NSW Wildlife Information and Rescue Service (WIRES). Cook Street is home to many DIY shops such as a Mitre 10 (also known by its original name "Eatons") and multiple car service centres. Dotted with many parks and reserves and almost completely surrounded by beautiful bushland with lots of native flora and fauna, Forestville is a low density housing area consisting of mostly family homes with medium sized backyards.
Over the past 5–10 years many of the older timber homes which were originally built in the 1950s and early 1960s have gradually been replaced by larger and more modern, stylish two storey brick homes and smaller townhouse villas. It's this sustainable and more environmentally friendly and organic approach to housing development by Warringah Council and the wider Forestville community, that has allowed Forestville and the surrounding neighbourhoods like Killarney Heights and Frenchs Forest to grow and expand yet still maintain their unique bushland identity and local character.
There are three primary schools in Forestville, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Forestville Montessori School and Forestville Public School. The nearest high school is Killarney Heights High School and other high schools nearby are The Forest High School in Frenchs Forest and Davidson High School also in Frenchs Forest. There is also the Aspect Vern Barnett School for children with autism spectrum disorder.
Sporting facilities in Forestville include sporting fields, tennis and netball courts which local teams such as Forest Killarney Soccer Club, Forest Netball Club, Forest Rugby Club and the Forestville Ferrets Junior Rugby League Football Club call home ground. There is a Returned Services League Club nearby called The Forest Club.