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About jonathancowen

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  1. jonathancowen

    Do you consider yourself Australian?

    Hi, this is the weird thing, I was never, and am still not, that attached to the UK. But I just can't seem to think of Australia as home. I have been living in Tasmania for 6 years now and it's been so much easier than when we lived on the Sunshine coast, Qld, but it's still not home. For me it is because it is so much alike UK that it is harder to fit in. When I've been in countries where the culture was vastly different from UK, it was easy. But here it's the similarities that make it hard. It's like looking at copies of things you know well and seeing the subtle differences all the time. I'm probably rambling now, so I'll stop. Cheers, J
  2. jonathancowen

    Do you consider yourself Australian?

    Hi, I'm getting my citizenship next month, I'm only doing it because the 'permenant' residency only lasts 5 years and I'm fed up of paying for it and doing the firm's every 5 years. Citizenship to me is a cheaper option, nothing more. I am English, living in Australia temporarily and waiting to go home, always will be I think. I am glad that some people can move here and settle straight in, but for me it's not that easy. But life goes on.
  3. jonathancowen

    Does anyone live in Torquay/Ocean grove

    I haven't lived in Torquay but worked there for 18 or so years, travelling between Lorne and there 5 days a week. Torquay has at least three or four areas: Old Torquay (the original 50's Torquay); Jan Juc just south of Torquay mostly surfers live there, and the new estates around the country club and the new golf course. [/font][/color] There are two distinct types of residents: the surfing fraternity who live the surfing life and work in the surfing industry. This is a very close and somewhat closed group who see themselves as the "local community" (bit exaggerated but you know what I mean). Then there are the rest of the residents of Torquay. There are two primary schools, a government P-9 (which takes students to year 9, they would then move to another school in Belmont or Geelong to complete their final three years of education) and a catholic private school. Both of these schools are situated in Grossmans Road actually opposite each other. I understand that both schools have excellent reputations. The sporting amenities in Torquay are also excellent, as is the shopping and coffee shops etc. Good Community Health Centre and Medical Rooms. But you probably have already sussed that out. Also in the pipe line are plans to build a huge housing estate at Mt Duneed just north of Torquay (Geelong end). for about 50,000 residents. You could also look at another area there "Breamlea" which lies between Barwon Heads and Torquay and has beach front. There is a nice little area of beach in North Geelong called St Helens. Older area quiet, just off the Melbourne Geelong Highway close to Rippleside, Drumcondra and Western Beach (all reasonably expensive areas in Geelong). I nearly bought a house there once. One of the areas of Geelong that has some of the best views- is a place called North Shore. It's in Norlane/North Shore and the views face the city across the bay, so you miss the Shell Refinery vista that you can get from the city. But of course that places it in the Industrial area and not "desirable" for some immigrants All the beach areas in the Geelong, Melbourne, and Point Cook area are bayside beaches. The areas of Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove Torquay, Breamlea, Anglesea, Airey’s Inlet, Lorne etc. are ocean beaches. Differences of course being sailing sports versus surfing sports. If you need further information let me know and I will try and help. Cheers dalhousie Hi there, bit of a blast from the past with your thread but you seem to have a lot of local knowledge so will also hit you up for some help. My wife and I lived on the Sunshine coast and found it a bit crowded and humid, moved to Tasmania and although its been good and a stunning place to visit we think we've moved here 30 years too early. We both really like Torquay and think it would suit our lifestyles perfectly but have concerns re the weather in winter. Wife has never really liked the cold and this winter in Tasmania has been windy, rain/floods, more wind etc and we've had the fire on for 6 weeks straight! Oh, and we have both found waking up and driving to work and then home in the dark a bit of a drag too. Could you let me know what winter etc is really like in Torquay please.I've found info with average rainfall etc but doesn't really let you know what it's like to live in. Many thanks Jonathan
  4. jonathancowen

    living in nambour

    Hi, Nambour doesn't have the best reputation on the sunshine coast so I would recommend having a look at other towns nearby, palmwoods for instance was/is nice. That said I used to work in nambour and when I did sleepovers it was always quiet and had a nice view of the wooded hillside in the mornings. There are a lot of council house and welfare houses there and a lot of disability care homes etc there which reflects the socio economic situation. But you will find a lit of lovely people there too, it was a popular area years ago but the farming industry moved away hence the rundown reputation. J
  5. Hiya, we're doing rather well too! Got here 2 weeks ago on Thursday, have brought a house but waiting for settlement so still camping and have adopted a rescued dog. In short we are loving it :-)
  6. Hello, My wife and I are also moving to Launceston area in Oct/Nov depending how the surf is on our journey South. We have never really been 'club joining' people but once we arrive we're planning on going to some of the meet ups for the many social clubs in town. We have found a couple running clubs and a 'adventure club' (hiking, biking, kayaking etc) we are hoping that these will be a good place to meet like minded people as moving to the Sunshine Coast we found that people in our age bracket (39) are rather reserved when it comes to acepting new people. (That's my polite way of saying that the general man on the street was antisocial) Have you had a look at simular clubs etc for your interests? If so how did you get on? Seeing as the whole country only has 510k people and only a bout 100,000 live in Launceston I am sure we'll bump into you soon. Good luck with the move. Cheers J
  7. jonathancowen

    Moving to Launceston area, finally!

    Hola!! We finally have a date set to move out of our Sunshine Coast house and statr traveling South for our next adventure. Handing over the keys on Sept 26th, having a week camping at fingal with some friends, then up to Noosa for some Outdoor Ed qualifications while my wife runs a half marathon, then regroup and start South. The plan is simple, 1- Arrive in tasmania bright eyed and bushy tailed. 2- Drive to Launceston and find a place to camp whilst we get sorted. 3- Find somewhere nice to live and buy a house. 4- Travel about for a few weeks exploring and surfing. 5- Find jobs. 6- Get on with our lives. Simple-ish!!!!!!! Any advice always welcome. Cheers J
  8. jonathancowen


  9. jonathancowen

    Why Tasmania?

    That's a coincidence, we live in Buderim, used to spend a lot of time in Devon and are moving to Launceston area in the next few months also! Can't wait!!!
  10. jonathancowen

    Is OZ REALLY all that?

    Banned cats!!!! I love how Australia has the most insane laws and rules. No matter what you are doing there's a law here to stop you having too much fun! A recent one was a collegue getting pulled over as she pointed out of the window whilst her son was driving.
  11. jonathancowen

    Is OZ REALLY all that?

    Hi, When we moved over we thought we'd both buy a cheap $1000 car to tide us over until we worked out what we needed. Using English car prices as a guide I assumed we'd be buying a 5-8 year old Mondeo or simular. Well thats not the case, $1000 buys you something that looks like its been parked underwater for 10 years and then set on fire! I ended up spending $10,000 on a 2003 Nissan Navara and only just changes it recently (3 years on) What I am trying (badly) to say is that in our expereince EVERYTHING costs 4 times as much as you would expect. When we moved over we said that we didn't want to gwet here and only associate with other English people, so even tho the English we met were very nice and welcoming we shyed away and expected to be able to join in with the locals. This was also a mistake. The locals, (on average in MY expereince only) are the most closed minded racist and unfriendly people you could meet. Lesson there, acept any and all that offer friendship at the start! 3 years on and I know 2 Australians and 8 other English people that have become friends. As for will it be a better life for you/anyone here, I'd say it could be. I met a guy who was on holiday here visiting his girlfriend and he loved every second of his time here. I however hate it. But he said he comes from a "dirty little town up North and works in a cigarette factory" I lived out in the country and worked as a body guard to anyone with enough money and reason to want a escort. Horses for courses, or, if the only way is up then come here! The weather is a MAJOR factor, I live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, or 'The land that time forgot' and the weather here is fine if you like boiling hot and humid in the summer and really hot and raining, in the winter. I realise that I am in the minority in liking the cooler weather but you do need to consider how you will go living day to day sweating and having less energy and staying indoors as much as possible under the AC. I used to trail run and cycle lots at home but can't do that here as its to hot and so built up and busy that cycling on a main road doesn't really appeal as I used to cycle on country lanes and through forests. As a positive I do a lot more kayaking and have started fishing. I surf most days instead of making the 5 hour drive to Devon its now 3 miles away which is nice. But the waves here are no where near as good as at home, just warmer with a lot more people. Good luck in whatever you decide, and you know what, I reckon its better to regret a mistake than constantly wonder "What would have happened if......" Jonathan
  12. jonathancowen

    Why Tasmania?

    Hi sorry for the delay. It's open to a lot of swell directions and its a realistic option to be on the East coast and say "Nah, not big enough" and then drive to the WEst coast and surf that. Also it's open to the Antarctic swells which if the Arctic swells are anything to go by, pack much more pounch than the stuff that the Sunshine Coast picks up! (Today, 6ft @ 16secs = FLAT!) Another big factor is the crowd, there isn't one! I drove past 20miles of clean shoulder high beach break on our last trip there and saw 4 people out! Of course if you want a crowd I'm sure you can find one.
  13. jonathancowen

    Why Tasmania?

    Exactly the reasons I'm moving there! (And the surf is better with less people and much better fishing!)
  14. jonathancowen

    Any poms in Launceston ??

    Not yet, but am on our way soon!!! :-) We have also started in Qld, on the Sunshine coast as it was near to my wifes parents but after 3 years here suffering from the heat, humidity, crowds and rubbish surf we're pushing south to less sunnier a-climes and can't freaking wait!!!!
  15. jonathancowen

    Tv show looking for poms in oz!

    Hi, a typical Christmas here in my experience involves lots of sweating and Giardia!