1 pointFollowing a talk with dad, I'm posting a snapshot of my childhood in Australia. It's not a comparison with anywhere else - I moved here when I was 5 and dont recall much before then. It's just a look back at things I've done while growing up. Hopefully, for any children who read this that may be moving to Australia, it will give them a little insight into what it's like here. For the record, I've just turned 17, am currently in year 11 at school and also doing a school based apprenticeship (day release & weekends). I've lived in Melbourne, Cairns, Townsville and the Lockyer Valley. A Air cadets ALEXANDER THE GREAT: 2000 YEARS OF TREASURES at the Australian Museum in Sydney Aquariums Ammunition Storage at Charters Towers Amathyst - fossicking off the Duncan Rd AFL A-League Arcades Aboriginal Rock art Aviation Museums Astronomy - Brian Cox Live Audience Participation B Barista Traing Course Beaches Birds Body Boarding Bob - @Bobj Bouncing Bungee Jumping Banana Boat BBQ'ing Bowling C Cable Skiing Cable cars Camping Campfires Canoeing Chainsaw - undertook a Chainsaw Training Course with dad, before being unleashed on our land Cinema Citizenship Climbing Climbing (into) trees Circus Camels Cooking with Miguel Maestre Collecting - Rocks, Gems, Minerals, Fossils D Digging the paydirt Dresssing up Dining out DIY Drone Flying E Emergency Response Exploring Endevour River - following in Captain Cook's footsteps Fishing Feeding the Fish Flying over the Whitsundays Feeding the Crocs Ferry across Sydney Harbour Funfair Footy Friends Fossil Prepping Fossil Hunting Fairy Penguins at Phillip Island Fencing - living on acerage with a variety of animals, I've become quite adept at fencing G Gaol (Old Melbourne) Gardening Garnets - Fossicking for Garnets off the Plenty Highway in the NT Ghost Towns Gorges - Katherine & Cobbold Grumpy old man - Dad not too happy after I'd tipped the boat (twice) H Hanging Rock (Picnic at) Herding the Flock Herberton Historic Village HMAS Cairns - Open day at the Naval base Holidays - Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong, USA to name a few Horse Riding I Indoors - I do all the things any other teenager would do, but i won't bore you with photos of me playing consoles, on my phone, reading, watching netflix, studying etc, J Jamie Oliver - A cooking course I did at Ipswich Jobs - Part time job at the Fish Inn in Townsville & now work part time as an apprentice Chef in the Lockyer Valley K Kangaroo Karate Kayaking L Lapidary Learning to Drive M Museums - lots of them (dad's quite a fan) Military Museums Musicals - King Kong, Evil Dead, Miss Saigon, Mama Mia Music Festivals - Adele, Coldplay, Chainsmokers, Ed Sheeran, Mumford & Sons, Bernard Fanning, Vance Joy to name a few Mine Tours N Netflix - like any teenager, no photo required O Observatories - Siding Spring Observatory, Parkes Radio Telescopes, Chillagoe & Charleville On Parade P Paddle Steamers at Exchuca Pets Pools Pool Q Quad Biking R Ravenwood Mining remains Relaxing Red Centre - Alice Springs Rugby League Riding my bike Road Trips S Scouts Segways Ships Snakes Snorkelling Steering boats Sunsets - Mindil Beach Swings School Swimming in Mataranka Therman Springs T Theme Parks Titanic The Exhibition Tiger Cubs Trains Tree Top walks Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs - Melbourne Museum U Uranium mine at Mary Kathleen Underground Hosiptal at Mt Isa V Volcanic Laver Tubes at Undara W Waterfalls WaterParks Weightlifing (rock) Wrecks - outback truck World War II guns - Darwin X X is always a struggle, so an anecdote will have to suffice. On one of our roadtrips, we were stoppping in a Caravan Park in Darwin. There was a zipline in the park. I was struggling to reach it/get it to move, so my older brother Mat said 'step aside, Ill show you how it's done' Which he did - until about half way across when he fell off. One X-Ray later, the diagnosis of broken arm was confirmed. Y Yabby fossils - digging for Z Zoos - Melbourne, Sydney, Australia Zoo, Currumbin, Wildlife Wonderland, Singapore to name a few
1 pointAnyone from overseas with at least a passing interest in Australia probably at some point has watched the Australian beach-side soap opera 'Home and Away'. For those of you that haven’t it is set in the small,fictional town of Summer Bay which has an unusually high proportion of good looking people, a disproportionate amount of drama for its relatively small population and a woefully inept local police force according to my wife. The show is a huge hit overseas as it gives a glimpse of an idyllic Australian beachside existence that many in the UK and across the world can only dream of. Which begs the question...how real is it? I mean, obviously it’s a fictional series, but there is always a degree of fact that gets stretched by even the best TV writers. So is it real or not? Well, like anything of this nature, the answer is yes and no. Yes, this beautiful beach-side existence is real and it is still out there for you to find and enjoy. There are still so many small, relatively untouched, beautiful beach-side towns dotted right around the Australian coastline in a country where 90% of its population lives within 90 minutes of the beach. Yes they are disproportionately full of good looking, fit people who spend as much time as they can either surfing or walking along the beach nonchalantly throwing sticks as they go. Yes there are plenty of surf clubs like the legendary Summer Bay Surf club which are in many ways the social backbone of these communities, bringing with them their self-styled beachside culture enforcers such as the Home and Away stalwart Alf Stewart. Some of these real places are almost impossibly beautiful and laid back. Even as I write this, I can almost hear the sounds of thousands of people simultaneously packing their houses up and filling out their visa applications to head to Australia, possibly permanently. But before you pack that last set of beach towels and lock the door for the last time, keep in mind that there are a few downsides. First of all, you aren’t the first people to work this out. Australians worked it out a long time ago and have beaten you to the best spots. In fact, Palm Beach, the outer northern Sydney beachside suburb where Home and Away is filmed, is more full of ferrari-driving multi-millionaires than people living in a caravan park. According to realestate.com.au Palm Beach’s average house price sits at A$2.7 million or about 1.5 million pounds sterling. Not exactly shabby. Beachside suburbs in Sydney are ridiculously expensive, relegating most foreigners who visit or live there to units. Popular suburbs in Australia for ex-pats include Bondi, Coogee, Clovelly, Manly and Cronulla in Sydney, The Entrance on the NSW Central Coast, Byron Bay in northern NSW, St Kilda in Melbourne, Glenelg in Adelaide, Fremantle in Perth and the aptly named Surfers Paradise in Queensland. Not only are they full of tourists, they are full of hopeful migrants, Australians who haven’t grown up there and a smattering of smug locals who bought when prices were still remotely affordable and have watch their property values skyrocket. In fact, beach-side suburbs in Sydney’s prime Eastern Suburbs were once quite affordable, thanks to the Japanese navy which had actually shelled these areas with midget subs during World War 2. The rebound impact of this was that it actually made them so affordable that many European migrants moved there in the 1950s and made an absolute killing when they became prime real estate towards the end of the 20th Century and beyond. For the average Sydneysider though, these beach-side suburbs are only visited a handful of times each year and it is not uncommon for busloads of ethnic Sydney kids to visit them on school excursions complete with a genuine excitement of seeing the beach for the first time, despite only leaving within 60-90 minutes from it. Life in these suburbs is quite expensive, even for the most basic things. It even inspired the mockumentary Avalon Now where locals routinely queue up to pay $100 for a soy latte and a bunch of kale as their car gets towed away because it is double parked amid the hordes of beach-side tourists competing for parking spots. So once you do manage to sell everything to get to this beach-side paradise, don’t expect the locals to exactly throw out the welcome mat until you have either been there for three generations or become involved in the local surf club. Despite all of this, it is still worth the effort to live or stay in one of these areas, even for a short time. Then go back home and work out a desperate plan to get enough money to live there full time. In a beautiful beach-side unit next to the local cafe and surf club. I know that’s what I’m doing...