I am just sitting here in my hotel after 2 weeks in Melbourne. We came to validate our 175 visa that we had waited 2 years for. I was smiling ear to ear at border control.
I have read lots of poms in oz about different parts of Australia, costs, life, etc.. over the last few months and to be honest it had begun to freak to me out that it had changed and I couldnt afford something I have wanted to do since I was on a WHV in 2005.
However I am very pleased to report that I still LOVE it.... and I can not wait until we move permanently later this year.
It has been very successful in that we have opened our bank accounts, set up medibank, got applications for medicare and for various things I need for my work.
OH had a lunch meeting and a phone call with two possible work opportunities and they can both definitely offer casual and one may have a full time permanent position coming up the month before we arrive. Happy days!
My first meeting with an agency did not go brilliantly and put me on a real downer, however I spoke to another one later in the week and they were much more positive and helpful.
We explored the suburbs that we could afford....we understand that they are not everybody's cup of tea. However we started on the west as we could afford places like Werribee. And then also went to the east to places like Dandenong, Cranbourne and Frankston. Werribee was a really cute little town, it might have a few pockets with issues but nothing too noticeable on first impressions. The beach in Altona down the road was lovely as well. Dandenong...was a bit of a shock, and I will leave it at that, and so we wondered whether Frankston would be the same, however we were pleasantly surprised with the area and the beach. Perhaps if we could afford to be closer to the city that would be more ideal, but we just dont have that budget.
We met up with lots of people over the Easter weekend. It was really great to talk to people in a similar position or who have already been there. So thank you to those people and hopefully we will meet up again when we move for good.
Our flight is in just a few hours, but I am not sad to be leaving, just excited to get everything sorted at home and get back out here. As for costs of things. We have looked in lots of shops: Woolworths, Coles, Big W, Target, and other high street shops, as well as cars and motorbikes in Trade magazines, papers and websites. I think the main issue i find from when I was here before is the difference in the exchange rate. Things are pricey - groceries, etc. But there are many things that are the same if not less. I obviously cant talk about everyday living costs when I have only been here for 2 weeks, but I am not as concerned as I was before I came out. However the cost of cars seems astronomical, but on the positive they seem to keep their cost well.
I look forward to posting again when we are there for good.