Firstly thank you to everyone on PIO for answering all my questions in the lead up to our big move.
So we flew with Singapore and as everyone had said, they lived up to their fabulous reputation and we had a hassle free flight. We flew with our two children 3 and 4 and they were brilliant, I was very nervous flying with 2 kids as was worried theyd get bored and start getting difficult but I could not have been more wrong, they slept a large portion of the flight between Heathrow and Singapore, then we had about 3 hours at sin airport, then another night flight to Melbourne, they loved the choice to movies etc on the in flight entertainment and the staff were brilliant and frequently came over to ask if we needed anything, could not fault them.
Our first 5 weeks was the hardest, we were staying in serviced apartments provided by my husbands company which was great but I struggled to keep the little ones entertained all day every day and obviously didnt know anyone! But the more I put myself out there the easier it got.
Since we finally found a long term rental in Berwick our feet havent touched the ground, my husband cycles to Hallam every day so I have the car, he is doing really well in his job and is progressing quickly which is great.
I have met a wonderful group of friends who have made me feel so welcome! There is barely a day that goes by where I dont have something planned.
I have found that since I arrived the people here are really laid back and friendly and cannot do enough for you, the food is not as pricey as people say, you just have to be savvy about where you shop, I go to butchers for my meat and buy in bulk, I go to the markets for my fruit and veg, Aldi for some bits, coles for others but generally we find it very affordable.
The roads are very big and confusing here, more so than the quiet little essex village that I was used to anyway! So Sat Nav was the first and best purchase we made when we arrived! It is now my best friend! Although I have been out without it recently so I am getting there!
There is so much to see and do where we live, in Berwick we are 20/35 mins (depending on where you go) from the Dandenong Ranges which are spectactular, Olinda, Sassafras are my favourites, very quiant aussie villages right up in the hills, lots of places to have a cream tea or a famous aussie pie, you can also feed the wild parrots and cockatoos!
25 mins and we have the most beautiful coastline, if you go towards Carrum the sea is lovely and clear and beaches all really clean, most with parks for the kids and the infamous free bbq's! The first time we had a nice hot day we headed to Carrum beach and watching the kids running and splashing about with their little bodyboards made me realise why I moved here.
1 hour away we have Phillip Island where you can visit famous surf beaches, the grand prix circuits, the penquin parade and so on. Also an hour away is the Mornington Penisula which is equally beautiful, lots of lovely beaches, wineries, the famous hot springs, and spectacular scenery.
Apart from the fact that it rains more than I thought in Melbourne lol, the weather is gorgeous and most days are spent outdoors at local parklands, gardens, lakes, hills or beaches. I can honestly say that we have done more here in 3 months than our whole lives in the UK!!The kids hardly watch tv anymore (their choice) and would rather be outside rain or sun!
There are so many things to do here that dont cost anything so as long as you have fuel (which is cheaper here) and a picnic hamper you can go anywhere and do anything.
Our move here has been very stressful but now we have a routine going with us and the kids and have exciting plans most weekends, we could not be happier, you cant sit about waiting for your life to start here, you have to get out and meet people, go places, explore.
Australia is awesome in every way and I could not imagine living anywhere else in the world.
Anyway, hope this has lifted a few spirits and given those that are unsure the encouragement to go for it, you only get one shot at happiness, we have found ours :-)
I will report again in a few months!