Been back a couple of weeks and only just caught up with washing, ironing, paperwork, seeing friends and family. Had such a fantastic time but not at all what I expected. It's so strange that you do so much research on areas, read this forum for hours and hours and the image you have in your mind is nothing like the reality. I thought it would be good to write on this forum as I found it such a help reading other people's experiences but please remember, this is only my personal experience, and I wont even pretend that my views are correct, and I dont want to offend anyone, my views are my views only.
Anyway, here goes ...
Our flight with Singapore Airlines (who were just fantastic) was just fine, not half as bad as I expected and Maisie, our 2 year old was good the majority of the time. Drugging her with Phenagan helped!! (got this advise from this forum so thanks for that, helped so much). Singapore itself was fantastic, didnt get time to do some serious shopping at Orchard Road but went on a bumboat ride, to the Night Safari (good but think we were too tired and jetlagged to really appreciate it) and had a Singapore Sling at The Raffles, well worth £9 for a one off treat. Stayed at the Swissotel The Stamford for 1 night on the 51st floor with fantastic views and the people were so friendly and helpful, and Maisie got so much attention, she loved it.
Arrived Perth at midnight and collected hire car and had sat nav (bought it from Ebay for £65 and it was worth every single penny, saved so much time and getting lost and arguing with Steve!) so straight to our house rental in Kinross no problems. Stayed 8 days but didnt do too much research on jobs or housing as we thought we would settle in Adelaide. We went to Caversham Wildlife Park (fantastic), Freemantle (nice to visit for a day), Hillarys (brilliant for food, relaxing, buying tack and the little beach and playground great for kiddies). Areas we liked the look of to live were Butler, Ocean Reef, Quinns Rock, Mindarie and could very easily live in Kinross, very central and smart. Will list below what we liked and didn't like about Perth from a living there point of view:
The traffic totally stressfree, no speeding, no cutting up, no overtaking. Steve didn't swear once, unheard of in the UK.
Everything you need in one place - banks, post offices, cinema, grocery store, liquer stores, food outlets and no problems parking or having to find change to pay for parking.
Quiet but not 'dead' if you know what I mean
Everyone so kind and friendly
Fantastic parks with playgrounds for the little ones everywhere
Very Stepford Wives - clean, spotless, 'legolike' houses and streets
Very flat, no hills or valleys so would be perfect for my father who is disabled.
Never once got caught up in a rush hour traffic jam - travelled at 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm and never a problem, that takes alot of stress away.
Very Stepford Wives - clean, spotless, 'legolike' houses and streets but quite clinical and no character at all. Personally not a problem but can imagine would be offputting for some people, quite boring in that sense.
Properties are more expensive compared to Adelaide and the area of Melbourne we stayed in.
Adelaide - after Perth I thought that Adelaide would be more 'backwater' with less traffic, cleaner, quieter, houses more spread out and couldn't be more wrong. The traffic was pretty mad, not as back as where I live in UK, but Steve had started swearing again in the car, which he never did in Perth. Houses very different in style and lots of hills and valleys and more graffiti than I expected. Found Adelaide to be so much more like the UK looks wise, which I can understand the appeal for some, but for me (and fortunately my husband and parents) I dont want to move to the other end of the world and it be like the UK, albeit better weather and bigger houses. Spent time with family friends which was wonderful and stayed at the McClaren Vale Motel which was fantastic and had some great meals in the region and fantastic wine. Me and my mum went wine tasting and got quite tipsy, fantastic free day out. Originally booked at the Woodcroft Park and looked so nice on the internet but the reality could not be more different, wont go into detail, but checked out the next day. Also found Woodcroft not too nice an area but did like Seaford, Hallett Cove, Aberfoyle Park, and looked at new builds at Sellicks Beach and so much cheaper compared to Perth. The beaches were nice but more rugged than Perth beaches. No negatives on Adelaide for us but no great positives either. Found out there were lots of jobs for builders and the people again were so nice and friendly. Wish we preferred Adelaide to Perth, but so glad we had a reccie instead of just moving there.
Final trip to Melbourne, stayed with friends in Carrum Downs in a massive new build bungalow with superbig garden. They absolutely loved living there but we found it slightly too industrial for us. Steve worked on site for a couple of days and found it so different to blockwork here in the UK. To make good money brickies apparently have to complete brickwork on a bungalow in 7-9 days. Lots of work though for brickies, joiners etc, new housing estates going up everywhere. Looked at a few display homes and puts the UK to shame, the houses were amazing. Absolutely loved Melbourne centre, just fab. If I was younger and without kiddies I would love to live there. Visited Sorrento and Mornington - if we do move to Melbourne would like to live there, had more of a village feel about it and near a lovely beach.
Anyway, we are waiting for a case officer, already done medicals and police checks and have decided that we are going to emigrate to Australia, probably Perth, and give it a good 2 years. Steve has post holiday blues, he wants to move to Australia yesterday but I missed home during our holiday which is slightly worrying but we have an opportunity that so many people would give their right arm for and I know that if we dont go, we will always wonder and regret it. I did like Australia, dont think it will be perfect to live there, will probably be worse off financially, and will miss my family and friends loads but no denying anywhere in Austalia is better than my part of the UK. I am happy with my day to day life here though, but hate the politics and wonder what it will be like in 5 or 10 years time for Maisie and future children. What I did like about Oz is that everyone without fail - Aussies who have lived there all their lives, English who have lived there 1 year or 30 years - all say what a great place it is to live and bring up a family. I would NEVER say to a visitor come and live in Yorkshire or the UK, a great place to bring up a family. That to me was the best recommendation ever. Wish we had visited Perth last, though, as we found ourselves comparing Adelaide and Melbourne with Perth, wonder which area we would have preferred if we had visited Adelaide first. If I give any advice at all, I would say go for a reccie, if at all possible financially and timewise. I know people go without visiting first and it works out but I am so glad we had a look round a few different areas first. The image I had in my mind was nothing like the reality, quite surprising.
So if I haven't bored you all rigid, if you have any questions or I can help with anything please let me know, I will help as much as I can.
Amanda, Steve and Maisie Jayne xxx:v_SPIN: