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Found 357 results

  1. Its two weeks today when we will be moving to Melbourne so I thought it was about time I introduced myself and said hello :biggrin: We're a family of four from Warrington, Cheshire: myself and hubby Mike, daughter Ellie (10) and son Alex (7). We'll be staying with friends in the Point Cook area (Sanctuary Lakes) initially whilst we look for a rental and wait for the arrival of our container and find a school for the kids etc, so if anyone can offer any advice on securing a rental and schools in Point Cook as well as things you wish you'd brought with you and anything obvious we need to do before leaving it would be gratefully received. Thanks in advance Debbie
  2. I'm sending Mrs Pob to Sydney in two weeks time for two weeks. She has Job interviews lined up and is meeting recruitment agencies as well. She will be a busy lady running around all over Sydney doing this. Thing is she is looking for accomodation for this time and need somewhere to stay. Can anyone reccomend anywhere that is reasonable? Obviously at $100 a day is $1400 at the end of two weeks and this is quite a bit of money. So can anyone who lives in Sydney help us out? She is a lady in her forties (proberbly kill me for saying that) So staying in a hostel would be out. Any reccomendations?
  3. Hi guys, how ya going? I've been living and working in Brisbane for the last 2 years on a working holiday visa and have loved it. However, my visa runs out in 8 weeks and I've not got another one as yet. I have been hoping to get sponsored by a company that my friend works for (and has been sponsored by) although that has now fallen through. My options are: Get sponsored by a company (although this is starting to look a little slim now after looking at all the stuff that needs to be done from both sides, ) Get a student visa- not sure which courses can get a student visa but this is the most likely option for me at the moment. Go to NZ and come back in as a tourist for 6 months, which should, hopefully give me enough time to find sponsorship. I have been with my girlfriend (also pomme) since Dec and she will be able to sponsor me after 12 months once her residency is approved from her job (university of qld). Anyway, there is my life story, I'd really appreciate and help or advice if you can offer it, I really want to stay as it's a great life out here, plenty of work and opportunities :biggrin: Cheers in advance.
  4. Hey all, we are just at the vetassess stage waiting for the assessment to be booked. We are looking to apply for SS 176 visa once the assessment is complete. We are racing against the July 1st changes, and we asked our agent how long ss is taking for SA & WA at the moment which is offering ss for my OH as a welder. Their response was 8 weeks for SA, and 8-10 weeks for WA but WA are saying they expect to get quicker. 8-10 weeks seems a very long time with July fast approaching. Vetassess are already taking a lifetime and I just hope that can be completed within the next 5 weeks to give us 10 weeks for ss, that's if ss runs smoothly. Has anyone else applied to SA or WA recently? Have you been experiencing these timelines? I thought I had read of people getting ss to WA within 6 weeks recently? :arghh: Any information much appreciated!! :unsure: Many thanks, Lucy.
  5. We are Poms who have been living in NZ for last 10 years and moving to OZ in 4 weeks. Starting to stress a wee bit as we havnt actually decided which area we want to live yet! Were just going to go with the flow when we get there:wacko: lol! We have heard alot about Pacific Pines and are quite keen on this area. Just wondering if there are any views on the high school there and the area in general. Otherwise we were looking at North Lakes area in Brisbane. Anyone who know of any rentals in either of these areas that would welcome a very house trainned labrador and 14 year old cat(kids wouldnt let us leave her!!!) any comments will be much appreciated :wink:
  6. clickettuk

    Four weeks in - loving Canberra

    CANBERRA PROGRESS UPDATE Well, we've been in Australia for 4 weeks now (3 weeks in Canberra) on our 176 visa so thought we should post a quick progress update. We started off in a holiday rental which we found on staz.com.au and then spent a couple of weeks looking for longer terms rental on allhomes.com.au. A couple of days ago we moved into our two storey apartment in the city centre which we love. House hunting is "interesting" as they do it using "Open Houses" where there could be 20 other couples fighting for the same property. We put together a little pack containing references from previous landlords, job references, job offer letters, copies of our passports, driving licenses and medicare cards. Whenever we submitted an application for a property we gave the estate agent a copy of our pack. Fyschwick is a great place to shop for household furniture and electric goods. We got all our electricals from a place called "The Good Guys" where the salesman called Glen gave us some great discounts. Be ready to barter. I took out a mobile phone contract with 3 after a recommendation which turned out to be a bad receommendation since the signal can be non-existent in some Canberra suburbs. We'd recommend applying for a Tax File Number online as this is the easiest way with the least paperwork. If you don't have a TFN before you start work, you'll end up paying more tax and will have to wait until submitting your tax return to claim the excess back again. Canberra is a fantastic city. Much more laid back than Sydney and the people are really friendly and helpful. Driving around is easy too (with the help of a Sat Nav). Both myself and Mark start our new jobs on Monday and we can't wait. We were both very lucky to get the jobs we wanted so quickly. Anyway, must get ready now for a Saturday night on the town. Still enjoying exploring for decent bars etc. Good luck all with your visas. Michael and Mark :biggrin::biggrin:
  7. Guest

    Back to Uk in 4 weeks!

    Hi everyone Just a couple of questions for our move back to UK in a month or so. Which pet shipping companies are recommended, not just cost wise but going the extra mile to be kind to your pets. and does anyone know of serviced apartments in and around Dartford for about 4-6 weeks. Thanks in advance for your replies. Mandy
  8. Hi All, After losing my job yesterday in Dublin, I've decided that this country holds no more for me, so I'v decided to bite the bullet and head out to Australia on a holiday visa + hopefully get sponsorship while out there. So, can any one give me any advise for going out? Also - I'm stopping off in Thailand for 2 weeks... Anyone got any suggestions? David
  9. A few questions to you queenslanders! We are really excited...two weeks till my partner and i and three rug rats depart for a reccie to Australia !! We start in surfers and then drive down over a week to sydney. Have a few questions if anyone can help ? We have to do serious stuff and my oh is looking at jobs but was wondering if anyone had ideas on reasonably priced things to do with the kids? They are young, 7,4 and 1 and while we will do the odd theme park would be very interested in suggestions. Any nice outdoor pools,play parks etc. Cannot believe it has come round. We need to make the decision and for us the only way is to go out and see it for ourselves. Thanks , Judy
  10. THORPES

    Nearly 10 weeks here.

    Hi I thought I would give our experience of moving to Aus as I liked reading them in the UK. Some of you may know that we originally came over in Jan 09 but didnt last long as hubby hated it. I liked it but also missed UK. We stayed at Ashmore Palms on the Gold Coast and had nothing but praise for them. In August 09 OH came back and stayed again at Ashmore Palms. He stayed 9 weeks on his own but couldnt get work so he came back to UK. Well we saved like mad and finally all made the move. We flew from Heathrow with Singapore Airlines on 27th November. The flight was great and Singapore Airlines are really good. We arrived in Brisbane and hired car from East Coast car rentals. We bought a car on the 3rd day here. We have a 2001 Holden Commodore with 160k's. It was advertised for $5200 but we paid $4500. We had booked in Ashmore Palms again as we knew were everything was and OH had made some Aussie mates who lived on the site. We were put in the same cabin that hubby stayed in on his own. I met his mates and they were great. We had christmas and new year with them. We stayed at Ashmore Palms for 8 weeks and our opinion of the place changed. The cabin was dreadfull. Full of damp from the rain and it stank. The sofa was smelly, blankets smelly, fridge leaked and had mould on top and 2 ring hob only 1 hob worked and that was if you didnt have the oven on at the same time. The internet booth was really slow and I couldnt load most sites like realestate, career one or centrelink. At $2 for 15 mins it was not worth it. We ended up at the library most days on there internet. Our boys played on the park and had friends on there. One worker there was a complete dragon. She treated the permanant kids terrible, always shouting at them. My youngest was scared of her. We didnt complain becuase the rent was cheap and we were on a very tight budget and also we didnt want to move cabins because we liked our neighbours. When we moved out they argued about giving our bond back because the hob was dirty. Yes it was but it was ground in dirt from before we arrived. We scrubbed it the best we could and got the bond back. When we moved out OH got a call to advise us a letter had come for us. After work he went to Ashmore Palms to collect it and was told they charge $10 per letter to hand it over. A complete joke. Luckily the staff member let him off this time. It was our letter which had been posted from the UK when we were still guests there. We had only moved out 2 days before.:realmad: OH got a job the week before christmas. It is 5 mins from Ashmore. We started looking at houses on Pacific Pines and Benowa. Benowa was too expensive and the locals put us off Pacific Pines (even people who live there) We visited the Sunshine Coast a few times and every time we went we loved it. Such a different feel from the Gold Coast. I loved it before but with people saying lack of jobs it put us off. Well not this time. We decided we had to live were we thought we could be happy and offer the life we want and the Sunny Coast seems to be that. So we have rented a 3 bed, 2 bath, with pool on the waterfront in Mooloolaba. It was a private rent advertised in the local paper. We pay $430 per week and people say we have got a bargain. Our boys have started school. Eldest in year 10 at Mountain Creek high and youngest in year 4 at Mountain Creek state. So far both of them love school and other kids have been really friendly. OH commuted to Gold Coast every day and sets off at 4am and doesnt get back until 5pm. He is tired but he starts a new job 20 mins from us in Kunda Park on Monday. He has also been offered another job in Caloundra but at the moment they can only offer 3 days a week. I have applied for 2 jobs so waiting to hear. We didnt come over with alot of money but we have found the prices to be reasonable. White goods, TV, Sofa, cheap enough, Mattesses are expensive and loads to choose from. Also socks and underwear really expensive and poor quality. Food ok (we shop at BI LO) Fruit and veg expensive but that might be because of floods. So far we think we have made the right decision. We are just taking each day as it comes. Jill
  11. hi we are moving to point cook in may and wanted to know if anyone new of some cheap accomadtion we could stay in for the first few weeks when we arrive?? am coming woith my hubby and two girls who are 7 and 9 !! we have seen a few caravan parks but its sooooo expensive and its off peak too. if someone could help that would be fab . many thanks sharon x
  12. Two weeks in, our thoughts so far....... in short, Melbourne is indeed marvellous ) In long..... the people are so friendly, on several occasions now when we've been obviously looking lost or puzzled people have stopped to ask if they can help, or given us directions. Our Aussie friends we met in France whilst on holiday came and picked us up at the airport even though we didn't get in until nearly midnight. The bar staff at one of bars we stopped at a drink for remembered us even a week later and asked how our house hunting was going and we met some lovely Australian Croatians at Cardinia Reservoir who showed us how to use the public BBQs and shared some sausages with us - its almost disconcerting when even getting our VicRoads licence turned into a 5 minute chat about having the same surname as the lady taking the photos. Weather - it has rained twice that I'm aware of whilst we've been here, in the morning on the day we arrived and the night before Australia Day, but I think there have been very early morning showers which we've simply slept through. It's mostly been between 22 - 29 degrees which is plenty warm enough for me - certainly hot enough that the paving stones in Fed Square were still toasty warm when we sat down to watch Roddick/Wawrinka on the big screen at 9pm at night. Everyone is moaning about what a rubbish summer it is and how cold it is though!? Transport - We've got ourselves myki cards - only $3 to travel anywhere/anytime on Saturdays and Sundays, so we've done most of our exploring at weekends. Trams and trains are very frequent and clean, although we have had some delays but not for more than 10 minutes or so. Hired a car for 3 days and found driving to be fine - city traffic (we're staying at Parkville) is much much quieter than we expected, certainly not half as bad as Manchester on a weekend, even though the tennis is on. OH is already getting bored of the straight roads tho! Lots more European cars than we were expecting, and we have had a giggle at the day-glo c-utes (half car, half ute). Applied for our Victorian licences yesterday so just waiting for them to come through - process only took about 10 minutes. Jobs - Very lucky in that the recruitment agency in the UK that found me my last job in the UK also do global recruitment and so lined up 3 interviews for me within a week of me arriving here and I've already had a job offer. OH has been told the IT industry has slowed down but he should get something soon now the schools are going back and the market picks up. Applied for our tax file numbers online and they arrived within a couple of days. Houses/Suburbs - Totally a matter of personal opinion (imo). Everyone we've spoken to thinks you are mental if you are considering living outside of Zone 1 - the looks we got when we mentioned trekking out to Berwick, you'd have thought we'd said we were considering living in the middle of the desert! Even Eltham got comments like 'There be kangaroos!'. Berwick was way way too far out for us - but then we'll be working in the CBD and want to have nights out in the CBD. Anywhere along the Sandringham line would have been great - except we want a unit/house with a garden and storage space for some bikes, not an apartment. I liked Eltham, but OH reckoned it was a bit too quiet and still too far out of the city. So, we found a house in Greensborough, freshly renovated throughout, 5 mins from shops, train and parks, within our budget and we're moving in next Friday ) Still a smidgeon too far out at 35/40 mins on the train and in Zone 2, but its on the Nightrider bus route and trains run til 2am in any case. Agent was lovely, we explained we'd just arrived from the UK so couldn't give the 3 business references she wanted, and that neither of us had jobs yet but that I had a job offer and OH's job was in demand, but we did have a bank statement showing we had $10,000 and were prepared to pay 3 months rent up front and could move in immediately and she said - well, I only need one good application but I think you are it, and rang us the next day to confirm we'd been approved by the landlord ) Food/Living costs - Can't comment on utilities yet but public transport is a darn sight cheaper. I can't really comment on food yet either as we've just been picking up bits and pieces here and there from Coles and the like. Loved Queen Vic market though and once we're in our rental I'll start shopping at markets and have a better idea. Wine is cheaper than back home but not as cheap as I expected, and beer costs way more! Boo hiss. Again, need to get to some cellar doors to see if I can find cheaper wine deals. Went to the Mornington Peninsula Micro Brewery and had some fab real ale there ) Everything else...... Had a lovely afternooon at Cardinia Reservoir, mad to see kids playing on the swings and kangaroos hopping past. Love Fed Square - its everything that Exchange Square in Manchester should be but isn't. Been out to the Mornington Peninsula - spent the afternoon on Shelley Beach after having beer and pizza in Mornington. Had a fabulous day on Australia Day, picnic in Kings Domain Gardens watching the airforce do their aerial display. Dropped our picnic stuff back at the apartment then got a ground pass for the Melbourne Open for $29 each and watched Murray then part of Nadal/Ferrer match, before heading back to the city to catch the fireworks. Must admit I was just so b1oody happy I had a bit of a cry. If you are thinking of coming over here, don't just think about it DO IT!!!! :biggrin:
  13. Guest

    Just back from 5 weeks in UK

    Hello All, Well I've just got back from spending 5 fantastic weeks in the UK and I now know for sure its where I want to be. The flight was long and difficult alone with 3 young children (2 with motion sickness) but worth it. I could have kissed the ground staff at Edinburgh Airport as we left the plane, it was such a great feeling that we were home. Seeing my family for the first time in 2 years was emotional and watching my children playing with their cousins and grandparents made me wonder why we ever moved to Oz in the first place, if I could turn the clock back I would. Lots of things have changed, but I found most of my friends still working, buying and selling houses and people were so friendly. I could not get over how cheap Tesco was and gobsmacked at how cheap brand new cars were. The scenery was beautiful, especially when it was covered in snow, which the children loved to play in and never complained of being cold once. I even had to visit the local doctors with my daughter and found them so friendly and chatty compared to the experience we have had here with doctors. Unfortunately the 5 weeks ended too soon and we are home already and hating it even more here than before we left. To make things worse British Airways lost one of our bags between Edinburgh and Singapore and has yet to be "located", and I doubt we will ever see it again. Rips my heart out as it was the only suitcase which contained my daughters christmas presents from my family. All in all there was no doom and gloom and would move back to Scotland tomorrow if we could, however have another 18 months of my husbands contract to fulfill. Until that time I can only dream of the life we will have with our family. Julie
  14. Guest

    3 weeks in Canberra, story so far.

    Hi folks, I have eventually moved to Canberra with OH and 2 kids on a State sponsored 176 visa. I often checked the PIO website for info, so thought I give some info back. We are staying in short term accomadation at the moment in Griffith, very expensive. It is tough to get a long term let, even though this is the 'best' time to look for rentals. You will find that a lot of the houses have been rental houses for years, and have just been a revolving door of tenants, you'll be suprised by the state of the kitchens. There is a lot of new houses for let in Gungahlin, they are mostly semi detached, terraced, or single units with very small back or front gardens. Woden Valley and Weston Creek are good, very central, but very sought after. Unless you have plenty of money, forget about the good spots in the areas directly north and south of the city. On the bright side the are plenty of fantastic properties, its a slog, but you will get one eventually. You have to network and make contact with the locals quickly, we joined the Irish club, it helps, a lot of breaks you will get are because you know someone, Canberra is a small town. About 75% of the work force work directly or indirectly for the goverment. The rest work in retail or service industries, (they are crying out for chefs, waiters etc.). You have to hit the ground running, get your tax number, medicare car etc. Its a beautiful city, and cant wait to get settled, and get the six year old in school making friends. Everyone is very friendly and extremely helpful and am looking forward to living here.
  15. Hi, I received the invoiced confirmation from vetasess on the 12th of december, its 6 weeks now & havent heard anything. Does anyone know how long this might take?? My skills are asessed for ''project/programme administrator'', which also looks at your work experience.... Really really need your input as i am getting quite nervous about this as you can understand.:wacko:
  16. Our agent informed us he'd just recieved our ss application confirmation!! He said he rang to ask why they had only sent it now but not sure what the response with as my partner dealt with it!! Ha!! Is this time frame normal??
  17. Guest

    2 weeks in!

    Well, we have been here (North Brisbane) for 2 weeks now so thought I would update. The flight over with Cathay Pacific was excellent, couldn't fault them. When we arrived at Heathrow our luggage was overweight by about 5kg a bag (will never buy luggage scales again) and as we had 4 bags that made us about 20kgs over, but they didn't even mention it, just let us have the extra weight. We were also over weight on the hand luggage, so they just asked us to buy another bag and spread the load, which we did. We stopped over for 1 night in Hong Kong which was fab, really enjoyed it and really glad we did it. I also think it helped with the jet lag, as we didn't really suffer at all once we arrived in Oz. We have been non-stop since we have been here, we bought a car within the first week (a Ford Fairmont), and have secured a 4 bed rental which we get the keys to on Thursday. The kids are almost signed up for school, just have to finalise everything once the holidays are over, but all the uniform is bought ready to go. Hubby hasn't started work yet, but that is mainly down to wanting to settle into the house, get the kids into school etc first, so hoping to start on July 12th. We have both got our Queensland driving licences which were easy to sort out, have got our temporary Medicare cards, have filed for TFN numbers, bought some private medical insurance as well. We have met up with several people that we had 'met' on here and on another expats site, and they have all been great and really friendly, in fact everyone has been really friendly and genuinely interested in us, and how long we have been here, where we are from etc. We bought some furniture yesterday which is due for delivery on Friday, and the sales lady told us that a couple of bits would take a couple of weeks as they weren't in stock, and she said that she would delivery them to us herself as she has a large car to save us paying for two lots of delivery! How nice was that! So far we are all loving it here, and have no moans and groans. I know people moan about the driving here, but we have had no problem at all, and so far find the driving very steady and much slower than the UK, have seen less idiot moves here than UK. I also quite like that fact that when you go into a shop they ask 'how are you doing', so sorry, can't moan about that either! Anyway, as I say, we're only 2 weeks in, but if everything carries on as it is, then we're gonna LOVE it here. Jane :biggrin:
  18. Hi All, Arrived in Brisbane at the end of August having never been to Australia. Mid-life crisis? Searching for a Holy Grail? Jumping ship from a sinking NHS? Grass is greener syndrome? Could be any of these, I don’t know, but here we are. Anyway, we had 3 days in Dubai and Singapore, which broke up the journey nicely. We are a family of 5 with 3 kids under 7. Emirates were good to fly with. Nice to the kids-lots of presents and free photos wearing the cabin crew uniforms etc. We sat in the back of the cabin for each flight. The first 2 legs were full, but the last leg had the back section of the cabin nearly empty so we had 3 rows of seats between us! (Although the front of the plane was full still, so might be worth knowing). Originally we stayed with some friends in Mango Hill, before securing a nice rental on the Redcliffe peninsula. We took our mortgage statements, bank account details, previous jobs info and savings account balance in hand luggage and the mortgage stuff along with the savings balance was what they were interested in. Took about 2 weeks to find a place and then a couple of days for them to consider the application followed by a week or so for the landlord to prepare the property. Generally you need 4 weeks rent as a bond and then 2 weeks rent upfront. Rates is included in the rent, otherwise you have to pay for everything else (inc water if the property is compliant -which means is water efficient). For a 4-5 bedroom house in the Northern suburbs you are probably looking at anywhere between $350-$600 a week for a rental dependent on area and size, although there is no real ceiling if you want a swanky pad. Take photos of every bit of damage (like a chip in a cupboard door or dent in the wall where the door bashes it for example), as the rental agents miss most of the little bits when they do their pre-inspection. Most of the agents offer a connections service via a third party company for the utilities- our experience is to avoid these. They sign you up without really considering your circumstances. For example, they signed us up with Optus who are a main internet supplier (perhaps like Talk Talk or similar), but Optus have a credit scoring system which essentially rules out most migrants if you haven’t started work. This took about 10 days to be declined by them, even when I offered to pay the whole 2 years of the contract in advance! We then tried Telstra (like BT) who were fine about the credit situation, but took over 2 weeks to connect us. Nearly a month waiting for internet is a real pain when you are in the Library everyday trying to do internet banking and facebook! My experience of Australian bureaucracy is thus: they really like rules, and rules must be obeyed to the letter- so no corner cutting or negotiation. Kind of a “computer says no” approach. (This is not a moan, just an observation! – I quite like rules myself!) Banking – opening an account in the UK was straight forward and easy. Just call in the Australian branch when you arrive with your passport and you are away. If you are planning on being up North Lakes direction Westpac have opened a Migrant Banking centre there to help you sort everything out. Driving licence is equally as straight forward- just go the local office with your UK one, fill in a form and pay $75 for a 5 year permit. No test-theory, practical or sight. Medicare- register is easy (online I think we did it) just a form and ID check. Tax file number- online form and they send it you. You need what they call 100 points of id for most things here (like getting a movie rental card or renting a house) so my advice would be to get your drivers permit and a bank card and along with your passport, you will have enough. Buying a car is like the UK more or less apart from the fact the salesman just tossed me the keys and let me take it for a spin without him, by just leaving my (uk) drivers licence behind! You can get a bankers draft to pay for your car (just go to the bank and pay $5 and they give it to you) Enrolling the kids in school is straight forward- just turn up and ask. None of the primaries seem to have catchment areas so you can take your pick without worrying about where your temporary accommodation is. We went for a state primary, and plan to use private secondary. Our “voluntary” contribution for books etc is $150 a year. Uniforms are about $20-30 an item. Uniform shop opens for 1 hour a week in 2 sessions! – like when I was kid! Driving is easy and straightforward, although you’d be best reading the “road rules” to be sure. No-one really speeds and the roads are fairly straight so driving is a fairly sterile affair. Sorry to wee on your fireworks if you are fancying a big V8 when you arrive- there’s no “drivers roads”. Australia and Australians- It’s a privilege to be here, so thanks them for letting me in. People are generally friendly, some are interested in your alien/foreigner status, some not bothered. None are openly hostile (so far!). Same as anywhere in the world really. For comparison, I’d say my experience is that generally it seems more like Yorkshire than London in terms of how engaging the locals are. I mean no offence by this- just my own experience. The way of life is better. No doubt about it. Unvandalised, free, electric powered, public barbeques on every park sums it up. And I’ve not seen a gang of kids since I got here- apart from at school. And kids are in bed at night, not roaming the streets. And the only wino I have seen didn’t aggressively beg all my loose change “for a cup of tea”. Maybe I just haven’t seen the worst bits yet. Costs a bit more to live here though. Some things are cheaper- fuel, meat and wine. Most other things cost more. I’d say if you multiplied your UK salary in £ by around 2.3-2.5 that’s probably the figure you need to earn in $ to have the same standard of living. (i.e. if you earn £30k a year in the UK you need about $69-$75k) Not started work yet, so can’t comment on that. It’s costing fortune transferring savings every few weeks with this exchange rate, so may start sooner than planned (if APHRA ever get their act together). Do we miss the relo’s? Yes of course, but we’ve got facebook, a phone and skype (and we didn’t live next door to them in the UK) so all that helps. Also we have close friends here and met new friends through them, although we are lacking in Ozzie mates at present. Hopefully this will be addressed when we start work. I reckon Brissy has had the worst early spring weather for years as it keeps raining, but we’ve not been put off yet. The biggest test will be if we can afford to live here and if we can miss the family stuff. Hope this helps anyone thinking of coming. You won’t know if you don’t try.
  19. 3 Piccos

    Two Weeks In - Melbourne

    We arrived in Melbourne on 6 December after a good journey, stopping in Dubai and Singapore for two nights at each. We are staying with our daughter in Warrandyte, in the north eastern suburbs. It's a bit crowded but we are managing. I didn't want to pay $750 a week for holiday accommodation. We had a bit of a struggle getting our Medicare card, because we were not able to produce documents to prove we were staying in Australia. We have not sold our property in UK, no shipping document as household goods/furniture not being sent until February. Haven't closed our UK bank account as money from rent from our home is going in to it, so it was a bit tricky. Gave our Australian passports and letter from ex-employer, and statutory declaration done at the police station, which satisfied them eventually. I was really worried before coming over about the cost of living but I am finding it much better than I feared. A friend of my daughter who knows where to shop has been taking us around to the factory outlets and clothes are on a par with UK. Meat is cheaper, with fruit and veg more expensive in the supermarkets but cheaper at the markets. The really expensive thing here though is real estate. Rents are ridiculously high. We are now seriously looking for a rental property, and went to view a house today. When I arrived I thought I was in a queque for the cinema, there were that many people at the open inspection. The queque went up the driveway and down the road! We are going to another two viewings tomorrow, and then I think I will just go to the ones that are by appointment only. I have found the Melbournians to be extremely friendly, and they go out of their way to help. The shop assistants are noticeably friendly, and greet you with a big smile. Even the doctors receptionists smile at you!! We managed to get a lovely doctor who bulk bills so no cost there for us. Just walk in and see him, no appointment system. The shopping centres are fantastic, so well presented with a wonderful array of goods on offer. Much better than the shopping centres where I lived in the UK. The food courts are also great and the food is delicious and much cheaper. The public transport is a fraction of the cost to the UK which was a surprise. I travelled on four buses and two trains today with a ticket that cost the equivalent of 1.40p. I also had a surprise finding out that I am not an aged pensioner in Australia, I have to wait another 2 1/2 years for my pension here. I now have to start looking for a car, and they are a lot more expensive than the UK, as is the road tax. But all in all, I don't think it is as bad as I had read. I think some places in Australia, like Tasmania and Western Australia are a lot more expensive. I wasn't sleeping well before I left the UK, as I was worrying if we were doing the right thing. Well I am pleased to say that I now know we have done the right thing for our particular situation. I am not happy at having to rent property as I have always lived in a house I own, but that's just how it is at the moment. You have to live for the day and get on with it. Look at what you have and not what you haven't got. We came over here for the warmer climate for my husband and waking up in the morning to blue skies, makes us both feel much better. I am happy to say that we both feel at home here, as we did previously. After a while you stop comparing and analyzing things and everything just becomes the norm! I am looking forward to joining a few clubs to make new friends when we have a permanent address, and just getting on with life. I wish all of you who have just arrived in Oz and those who are soon to leave the UK to embark on their new adventure, the very best for your life Down Under. :biggrin:
  20. Rhian1

    6 weeks in Melbourne!

    Hi all, Thought I'd give a little update on our life so far in Melbourne. My husband and I arrived on the 8th of October and were picked up by our friends from the UK who moved out here 2 years ago. Very surreal, couldn't believe we'd done it. Flight was with Quantas on the Spirit of Australia air bus. No worries at all with it, great flight. First could of days were very hectic - met up with our prospective job employers, bank accounts, medicare and generally getting used to it all. Luckily we stayed with our friends so we weren;t paying so that helped. They were welcoming and friendly. Once we'd met with up with our job employers we got an idea when we were starting work. I had to apply for the job they wanted to me for because of an HR issue and my husband and a few links but nothing concrete. We didn;t stress and thought ok, one week, we'll try find somewhere to live. We were VERY lucky with house hunting, found a unit, met the landlord, showed her we could pay rent till we had jobs and she chose us! Don't listen to those who say its impossible - come prepared and you'll be fine. We moved into our unit within 2 weeks of being in Australia. We kitted it out with IKEA furntire (we didn't ship any out as always lived inr ented furnished flats) and our shipping isn't arriving till next week. But we've made it homely with our own personal touches! My husband then got a job a week later at a newspaper as a casual reporter, I had my interview 10 days later and got the job! I have started as an Occupational Therapist at St Vincents Hospital. My husband then got offered a job at one of the biggest news companies in Australia. So things have come together really well, we feel very lucky. BUT, it has been one of the most stressful things we've ever done. Be prepared to be very overwhelmed, be prepared as possible, bring as much savings as possible, keep positive - there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We found it hard to constantly take advice from our friends as we wanted to figure some if it out ourselves which we did in the end. You will be homesick but with skype you'll be ok. People really aren't doing much at home - you are the ones they'll be jealous of. If you don't like it - give it a few months, i didn't know i'd love it here so much after 2 or 3 weeks. Each day gets easier. Life here really is great, just been to Mornington Peninsula for the day as it was hot and it was like being on holiday, once you earn dollars things are very reasonable - we do a lot of eating out! We've been down the great ocean road. We aren't sure if this is forever, we're only young so have lots of time to have fun but we are here to have the best time possible and we'll see where we are in a year or so!! Anyway, hope that helps. xx
  21. Well we've been in Melbourne for 3 weeks now and what a whirlwind!!!! We are staying in holiday accomodation in Frankston for the first 4 weeks whilst we looked for a rental property and wait for our furniture to arrive. We were getting a little frustrated with the way the real estates handle things, they just take there time in getting back to you with information, viewing dates etc... but when your in temp accomodation you haven't got time. I have to say having spent hours and hours on the internet and driving around searching for a 4 bedroomed property in Pakenham and our 3yr old son about ready to kill us out of boredom (our 5 mnt old non the wiser)! we have found a house on the Lakeside estate in Pakenham which was our number one location so all the hard work has paid off and we can't wait to move in. We collect the keys on Wednesday and our worldly belongings will be delivered on Friday. I know everyone keeps saying it's expensive compared to the UK but that's down to the poor exchange rate. When your earning out here it's all relative and remember that your now living in Oz and not the UK. We purchased our new car this week - Holdon Captiva and we really love it, it's diesel which is a bonus as the majority of the vehicles in Oz are still petrol (diesel a little cheaper). As we are new to Australia and in particular the Pakenham area if anyone would like to meet up please let us know, we'd love to hear from you. Rich, Jules, Harry (3yrs) and Max (5 mnts with two front teeth poking through) x
  22. Hey all, This is now our 4th week and we are not getting anywhere fast. Aparently its the worse situation ever in the Illawarra for rented property. Theres nothing anywhere!! We are now having to seriously consider our options as we cannot afford to carry on living in very expensive serviced apartments, esp with our stuff due to arrive early January that we may have to pay storage for! Warning to you all before you head this way!! If anyone can help we are trying to get a 3 bed house with a bit of garden space for a trampoline. Nothing special so long as its not decrepid like the few we have viewed recently (it amazes me the standards that real estate agents will accept)!! For any decent property we have seen, there is aproximately 20 - 30 other applicants going for it too! :arghh: With the situation so dire here, I have even come across a real estate secretary who has refused point blank to accept my applications for numerous ridiculous reasons that amazes me! She has a clear issue with British people! So we are faced with this Christmas in our temporary home which wouldnt be so bad if it had an oven! If anyone can help, knows someone in real estate who can help, or knows of any rental property going, please can you get in touch! We would be eternally grateful to you...:wubclub:
  23. Boesman

    TRA result in under 2 weeks

    Hi, we are in emotional uproar this morning as we just got our SUCCESFUL TRA result in less than two weeks. They told us it would be 30 days, but hey presto, there it was this morning. Now for the next step. We are going for the SA SS now as we don't have the 7 years expperience for WA. Boesman:biggrin:
  24. hi all just to let you know am spongy41 now 42 as i had probs with sign in but my accounts been merged by Rob thank you x:wubclub: well we left heathrow at the right time -1 just before the snow and arrived to rain and a greeting from hubbys new boss and a big suprise my friend and her parents both with care packages so we didnt need to go out but we did spent weekend at a serviced apartment and within 12 hrs of being here(we arrived at 10pm) hubby was able to get a telstra contract phone had a good wander round cbd and chilled and tried to adapt to time difference found waking at 3 am ish and feeling really tired 3pmish to begin with we moved from serviced apartments to friends parents home in kilmore and have been spoilt rotten and met a cannt few locals hubby got approved for finance for a ford falcan within a week as we had an address and he had work contract his works have been great we started on tuesday this week to look for houses had 4 viewings and we were accepted as tennants on the first we applied for on friday we pick up keys on monday we have got connect to arrange all utilities at the mo so gas electric water on on tues bb phone and foxtel requested from 16th with the last 3 hopefully be up and running v soon we have just been out shopping this weekend for house little nicks , amart ,kmart,, big w, manchester and more to name but a few as my hubby has the use of the company ute we dont need to pay delivery either kids have settled down will be sorting schools once we move hopefully be in adelaide for xmas with my hubbys aunt she cant wait as she hasnt had anyone from her side in oz for 25 yrs and my hubbys her fav and only nephew so she is so excited it still feels like a holiday for me as we are at friends house so will report back once we have been in our home but have found folk friendly shop staff friendly oh and pizza hut cheap 2 x 10 inch pizza's $16 mince pies so far a bit a miss but early days lol loving it seen a wild wombat and galahs and cockatoos and 'roos my friends parents have introduced us to a load of people and helped point out places to live and go too oh im waffling xxxx xxxx:biggrin:
  25. HI all, I have been SO busy I haven't had a minute to post an arrival report but cos I use to find these so useful when at home, thought I was duty bound to share my experiences! Where to start?? It seems like an age ago since I posted last on here and was still in UK but just a little over 3 weeks !!! So we left good old Blighty on 8th November - Goodbyes - heart wrenching - truly the most difficult 3 weeks for us all - kids really struggled (as did we) saying farewell to family, but also REALLY good mates - Eeek - don't envy anyone that experience. We arrived on the 10th Nov - I had a Telephone interview with QLD Health early November - and got a post with them as a Child health Nurse - which was great!! - the shocker was that I had to attend induction training for two weeks, full time on the 15th November - OMG 5 days to get set up - NIGHTMARE!! Anyway, not one to be put off - I took the plunge so first three days crazy - sorting medicare, banking, taking docs into new job, buying a car etc - absolute madness - my feet hardly touched the ground. But I was ready for work 5 days from arrival - leaving OH in new found role as House Hub (temporarily I add - don't want him getting daft ideas !!) Job good - really lovely people, so kind and helpful to the new pom in town. Hours really fab for me. Since Training ended have now reverted onto my 5 days a fortnight ( 3 shifts one week, 2 the next) and things are calming down. Flights - flew with Singapore Airlines - FAB in everyway - got Double baggage allowance and believe me, I filled every last kilo of it - :biggrin: We broke the flight up by having an 11 hour stopover in Singapore in the Transit Hotel - awesome - we had a decent sleep, shower and bite to eat and then off for final 8 hours of flight. We felt very much more refreshed on arrival than when we did each connection back to back before! Shipping - went without a hitch - John Mason was the shipping agent - guys who did the packing really quick, efficient and decent blokes - made the experience a whole lot easier. We had a share container and stuff left UK 26th Oct. There is a chance that we will get our stuff before Christmas, even though originally told mid Jan but will have to see - estimate of 22nd Dec - keep you posted. We initiallly moved in family but after all the upheaval for the kids, quickly realised that they need some roots of their own - so not content with working full time, within days of arrival - we started to look for a rental (nothing like pressure!!!). We viewed 3 but mad keen on the 3rd and luckily got it - 12 month lease which suited us! Heard within 24 hours of lodging application and moved in two days later - went without a hitch really so all the posts about difficulties with rental didn't affect us - so we were very lucky. Had got reference from short term lets in UK and gave in excess of 100 points of ID they requested. Had 240 points so my message would be more the better. They did not really seem to rate our UK referees but seemed content with a UK letter from Solicitor confiming sale of our house and that funds had gone in our account. SO YET another mad rush trying to buy essentials until ship arrives (new double beds for kids, fridge/freezer, 4 chairs, 4 items of cutlery,plates etc etc .....) - but we are in and kids now settling much better!! Girls from work so beaut - they all brought in various typical Oz food items i.e Vegemite, Tim Tams, nuts, Milo) and made me a food parcel - its these little things that have made me feel so welcome - Cheers girls!! Only had hassle with mobile phones - we bought handsets with us that weere on Vodaphone network at home a]nd as Vodaphone Au high profile thought we would be able to get them to unlocked phone here and use them - not possible - so if bringing phones, get unlock done in UK or else they are null and void!! Also although we thought it would be nice for kids to have time to settle in prior to starting school, but arriving at beginning of hols has restricted them socially - and when missing friends, could really have done with chance to meet new kids here! Still we have lived and learnt!! Was aiming to do the Brissy PIO meet up on 26th but with moving 2 days before not possible so going to aim for December date - see you there guys!!! There have only been a few days when I have felt glum and lost - although Oz has a lot of parallels to uk (language, driving etc) still has been a big culture shock at times to fit in - overall think we are settling well and hopefully we should see the dream through to reality. So many pluses - lovely friendly people, and country - and I am a realist to not think that it would be plain sailing - so don't worry - although I miss home, not planning an early dart home yet, but realise that we have a fair way to go! I am missing my pals and would kill for a bevvy with them but I think surviving the home sickness waves is a case of embracing the changes and not comparing to home - I have read this before here and think it is really good advice !! So relish the change and not dwell of differences is my current ethos! One difference I could do without now is not to have bucketfuls of Rain - kinda too similar to the UK - :biggrin: so heres to the dry weather arriving (soon - hopefully). Good luck to all of you still to come - hope this has helped!!
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