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About Betsey

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  1. Betsey

    Aussie weather

    it was very dry when I went to a wedding at the winery there at the end of April. It was the same in June and is much the same now I believe - see redacted photo.
  2. Betsey

    Tell me about Canberra

    As a young family, I think you will find it very nice place to live. It is "modern" (read planned) compared to Sydney and Melbourne and has really only grown substantially in the last 30 years. It was established in 1913 so not an old city or one with much history but it is in a beautiful bush setting. It is not unusual to see cockatoos and other native birds in the city centre and the odd kangaroo in the suburbs. There are always dead ones on the freeways – they are a bit of a hazard when driving at night or in the early morning. You'll probably hear some negatives about it being boring, cold and full of public servants and politicians. Not all true and rather exaggerated. It is more family-oriented and really doesn’t have a big city vibe - the population is only about 400,00, so you are not going to get the variety or number of cafes, bars, attractions, shows etc that the other bigger cities have. There is a big coffee and cycling culture here however plus lots of bush walking and outdoor activities. No beach but nice spots near the rivers to swim at and Bateman’s Bay and the NSW south coast are only 1 ½ hours away. Canberra does get cold – it was minus 6.3 degrees the other morning but the upside is we do get four seasons. Autumn and spring are spectacular with the changing leaves and cherry blossoms. Summer can and does get hot, usually peaking in February, but it is a dry heat – a bonus if you don’t like humidity! It is made up of 6 satellite “towns” so the city centre is just another hub. Public transport is bus only so a car is pretty essential because the place is so spread out. A tram system is being built but only from the northern hub of Gungahlin to the city at present. Renting is expensive – the median cost for a house rental is about $550 per week but like anywhere it depends on where you live. Inner south and inner north properties are very desirable and really pricey – these suburbs include Lyneham, Campbell, Ainslie, Turner, O’Connor, Forrest, Deakin and Kingston . Competition for vacant homes is fierce in January/February when university students are arriving to start the new academic year and military personnel are usually posting in. Some rentals do allow pets. Most suburbs are generally good. There are no areas that are really bad but there are pockets that are less desirable on both the north and south sides. Many people commute to work from one side to another. It is a bit of a joke here that any place is “no more than 20 minutes away”. Public schools are generally good but many people here do opt for private schools, usually catholic ones as the fees are much cheaper than the anglican grammar schools. It’s not for everybody. It is not endless heat, beaches and excitement but it’s a pleasant and easy place to work and live.