I havent been on here in ages due to the fun of moving countries, but here is our story so far and I hope it helps, and I hope I remember all of the important things!
Flights- we set off on 15th Octber from Manchester, UK, flying with Singapore Airlines who were great. We had double baggage allowance as it was our first trip and I can honestly say we were well over our allowance and nobody said a word!! (I think it was because most of the extra weight was in our hand luggage). We had an 18 hour stopover in Singapore which we thought would be fun to explore the city, but after 15 hours of no sleep and hitting the humidity it was not fun and we spent at least 6 hours asleep in the airport. I would definitely recommend having the shortest possible stop over or book in to the hotel in the airport.
Day 1 - we booked a short term rental stopping with an Aussie bloke in his spare room with our own bathroom and privacy, plus free internet, cooking facilities and the biggest bonus of having someone to ask about everything you need when you arrive. We booked through airbnb.com and it was a fraction of the price of normal holiday rentals, plus the bonus of making our first aussie friend.
Rental - we secured a short term rental NOR in week 2. I would recommend pulling together a rental pack so that when you find somewhere you like you are ready to fill in thier application form and attach your own rental pack to sell yourselves. I work in Marketing so this was wasy for me. I included a profile of us and our dog, plus pictures of our rentla in the UK and references from our letting agent, landlord and neighbours. We managed to get the first rental we went for, without having any jobs at the time.
Work - I managed to secure a job in the second weeks we arrived even though we came over on my husbands visa (he is a carpenter). I applied on Seek.com one week before we left the UK and had two interviews set up when I arrived, which was lucky (I am a Marketing Manager). My husband did not have as much luck and after a few weeks of intensive searching for work we were beginning to worry, but he managed to get a roofing job two weeks before Christmas so this is a weight off our shoulders!. Although, when you arrive you cant beleive how much building work is going on both NOR and SOR, thr majoirty of the enquiries my husband made they wanted WA experience. I would recommend to other carpenters to get thier ABN number and white card sorted straight away and then just dont give up, drive roud sites, check out Gumtree and you will eventually get a break. My husband has loads of experience and he brought his tools on the flight so that he was ready to work, but it was still difficult. He says it is like starting from scratch again, as the work is so different from the UK, the majority of work is roofing and carpenters tend to specialise rather than being, like my husband, able to do all aspects. There is also a lot less aspects of joinery here, as they dont tend to have skirting and the door frames arent made of wood, which was something we werent aware of.
Shopping - back to the subject I am best at!! Shopping is really funny here as it is like stepping back in time. Sunday trading has only just been introduced and it is VERY expensive. You obviously have Coles and Woolworths for food shopping, but for clothes I would suggest UK websites ie ASOS deliver for free and you just have to wait two weeks for delivery. For BBQs and by stuff check out Bunnings or Masters (lik B&Q), for cheap household items I bought everything from KMart and Target as they had a great selection.
Household items - we came over with very little as we only shipped 10 boxes of sentimental things. If I could do the move again I would have brought EVERYTHING!! Even things I thought were junk as the cost of even second hand goods out here is daft. We have spent a lot on some nice new furniture for the living room and bedroom, but most of our other items are second hand. We bought our dishwasher, washer and fridge/freezer from gumtree, alotuhg thrse are not the type of items I would buy second hand, I think you know as soon as you go to someones house if you want it or not, we met some really nice people this way. Garage sales are a must, there are laods of them every weekend, you just watch uout for a sign on the main roads. We have found that if you check out the really nice estates you get some lovely items. Its great for the things you forgot you would need ie lawnmower, garden items, a heater for the winter, plug adapters, fishing gear etc etc. I am now a huge fan of garage sales and I wouldnt even visit a car boot at home!
Socialising- there isnt the same pub scene up North as we were used to in Manchester, so you have to be willing to get out and about a bit further from home. I find people are really friendly here and offer loads of advice and support.
Dog - Our border collie Flossy, arrived in Perth two weeks after us. We used Petair and the service was great. The quarentine in Byford is a bit more tricky as the visitng times are so restricted and biased towards people who dont work, plus I wasnt a fan of the kennels which look like little prisons. She is 13, so I was worrried about how she would get on but she survived! She is so far loving Perth, particularly the beaches, she has found a new lease of life!
1. Hire a car from day 1 for at least a few weeks. We hired one on the internet for pick up at the airport, and it was a life saver
2. Insect security - shake your clothes before putting them on and particularly your shoes
3. Bring as much as you can carry!
4. Ensure you have air con in your rental. 40 degree heat needs it!
5. Get a SIM card as soon as you arrive. The Vodafone $30 ones in Perth airport are fine as you need an Aus mobile for better job hunting
6. Buying a car - second hand cars are super expensive. So if you dont have a lot of money get on Gumtree and be prepared to buy something with high mileage as it is just normal out here.
7. Working in the city - look at houses near the train line as the traffic is rubbish in to Perth
8. Buy an Esky (cooler) as you will use it most days It will save you money on buying drinks when you are out and about
9. Get your Medicare card as soon as possible as it takes weeks to come through, and you need it for ID, and you need it before you can get your Aus driving license
10. Bring your warm clothes. It does get cold.
That is all I can think of for now! We are so far loving it and have no regrets. The weather has heated up considerably in the last week.
Let me know if you have any questions!
Lisa & Robert