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  1. Free to good home - a rescued pup 18 months old - pugalier (pug x Cavalier), very friendly, well behaved toilet trained and in need of a good home, free delivery to anywhere in Victoria to loving home. He has had an op on his eye but will get better soon. Leave a message for me if you like the idea on private messages. Ta Olly
  2. Please find below our report of leaving, flying and the first few weeks on arrival. Its a little lengthy, but i tried to include as much as possible so those yet to venture on this great adventure will know what may happen. Arrival report We had 4 removal companies to quote and one we did some negotiations with and managed to get 40 kgs of airfreight thrown in and 4 weeks storage in Australia should we need it. The company we chose said we were 120 cubic feet over the 20 foot container so we did some serious downsizing, car boots and trips to the recycle centre, oh and the typical free loading friends who knew we had to get rid of things, so “we will take it off your hands for free” gang. The week before the move the company asked if they could come to make a start. We had not had any chance yet to take apart any furniture, or set aside our things we were to carry by hand, but they explained that we will be fine. The guys arrived while I was a work and told the wife, we had plenty of room now we had downsized, he walked to rooms and said she shouldn’t take apart any furniture as we were well under. I returned home to find out they had packed all the dining room chairs and shelf units without them being taken apart. Then I noticed all the candles and glass ornaments had been packed, which normally should be ok, but I had an old bullet I had found cleaning out my old military kit and hadn’t had time to hand it to the police. They had packed it…..OMG, I am sure the Aussies wouldn’t appreciate finding that, so ended up unpacking 4 boxes before we found it. They had left some my sons model paints saying they couldn’t be packed as they were oil based. Erm, you have packed the oil based paints and left the water ones out…… I finished work, giving us the weekend and 2 more to finish. We didn’t seem to have any time to sit, but I guess, we all go through it. I ignored some of the advice of the removal men and did take apart some of the furniture just in case. The morning soon arrived, we were up ready to go when the removal guys arrived (2 of them) who then complained there was so much to do, and that the other teams should have done a lot more. I was adamant I wasn’t going to pack myself due to the companies insistence they we (all of us who emigrate) cannot pack ourself to save money (they claimed it was only £100 to pack a 3 bed house). We were staying at home that night so things were still around for us to use. The same two guys arrived the next morning, we were told that the container was going to be finished by 14:00, so we had arranged with our landlady that we can hand her the keys back at 18:00. The kids were still at school, it was their last day Thursday 7th July with the schools official summer holiday/end of term/Founders day. Our son was 16 and he wanted to be there for his last day at school, we guessed it was going to be emotional. We had granny and granddad coming down for this day also, we had arranged a hotel that night close by. Anyway, the removal guys finished packing the beds etc, and other items left from the day before. They told me that they have 2 hours to pack the container, any longer then they get fined by the container company, so things get put in as quick as possible and they never get time to arrange it so everything should fit. We had walked the house to double check everything, and informed them that should we be at risk of not fitting everything in, then showed them what was to stay (mattresses, old kids books etc) We left them to it when the container arrived as we were cleaning the rooms as they emptied. I noticed everything we said should stay behind had gone in so made the assumption everything was going to fit, I kept checking with them and they told me not to worry. I packed my car with all the suitcases and other stuff we needed to take to grannies (we were staying with her until we flew) so this car was stuffed to the brim. About 13:50 they then said it looked like not everything was going to fit. I asked where were the items I said to leave until last, erm, we packed them first, its too late. So basically tough, they didn’t have the time to take it back out, its not their problem. They had even packed a computer chair, still set up, arms etc. I then asked about some of the boxes still in the house, oh, they are kitchen, might not fit. WHAT??? So it came to the end, we had to leave behind, 2 units, 2 mountain bikes, my fibre optic Christmas tree (gutted) and most annoying, my granddads unit I had since he passed away. Now remember, we were moving out that evening, and my car was full already. We ended up giving the removal men our two bikes (they got a quote from the company, I was going to cost £500 to ship the two bikes!!) then we noticed that the dishwasher was still in place, then frustratingly, we discovered my granddads unit was still full of the familes stationary, stuff gathered over years and years. All had to be left behind, thankfully the land lady was understanding and said she would dispose of if, or leave it for the next tenant if they wanted it. The next day at school was very emotional, even I had some tears, seeing my two kids so upset leaving their mates behind (what had I don’t to them?). The drive up to grannies was very quiet and sombre. The week we had at grannies, involved seeing family, saying goodbye to friends, and clock watching waiting for D Day. The one thing I was adamant was I felt a need to visit the HM Forces national arboretum thankfully I got to go to say goodbye to some friends and a couple of family members who had their names on various monuments. D Day arrived, it was a glorious day, sun shining, nice temperature etc. We finally plucked up the courage to say our goodbyes. Tears flowed from granny, kids and the wife. I just kept quiet, bit my lip and left them alone for ten minutes before we had to leave. I ushered everyone into the car knowing it was getting worse with each minutes, thankfully it went as smooth as it could. We got to Heathrow with no problems, as we were flying first class with Virgin Atlantic we were able to drive right up to their special checkin where I then left the family and returned the hirecar. We checking in through the 1st Class security then relaxed in the lounge. Lovely, really nice, we had a massage, hate lunch and chilled out. The flight to Shanghai was uneventful and comfortable in our Virgin PJs, bed and loads of in flight food, drink and entertainment, landing in China with no problems. We were staying in the Crown Plaza which was very nice, we walked around that evening, going up the Pearl Tower before our body clocks told us enough was enough. We had a lazy day the next day, in the swimming pool, chilled about and grabbed some lunch (we had a late checkout). We got the magnetic train back to the airport, wow, what a train. Very fast and smooth. We were now flying (unfortunately, my saving couldn’t stretch to move comfort, so we were back to where we belong, in the back of the plane) With Eastern China to Singapore. On checking in I was selected for extra screening to all of our suit cases were searched, they confiscated two lighters, and more importantly my birthday gift, a St Georges flag Zippo lighter (which was not fuelled up as it was packed in the main luggage). Also as we were on a different flight the next day we were told we couldn’t have our luggage transferred to the next flight thus will have to collect it, through immigration then check in again to get to the hotel. Again this flight was uneventful, but I cannot explain what the in flight meal was, erm we didn’t dare eat it except the onion cookie, with the in flight movie being just as bad (but we were expecting it). We had booked the transit hotel in Singapore, but due to building and other bookings we were arriving in T3, staying in T2 then leaving that night from T1. So we collected our luggage and went to T2 to find the hotel. We discovered we had to check in for our flight before we could access the hotel. So back on the shuttle to T1 to then discover we had a 4 hour wait before we could check in. (OMG its now 06:00 and we had to wait until 10:00) we spent a long 4 hours before finally being let through. We found the hotel in T2 and all collapsed on the beds (4 of us so had booked 2 rooms). After 6 hours sleep we showered, and ate. If you have not been to Singapore airport, then do, its fantastic, so clean, so plush and a very nice place to wait for a plane. Even the smoking area was clean and very nicely presented. Why can Heathrow or Gatwick be like this, but I guess, to have nice things, you have to respect it, that’s where things go wrong in the UK, respect for others property went a long time ago. We found our flight and after another overnight we landed in Adelaide 07:00, it took us about 45 minutes to get through immigration and customs, and was met by the owner of the temporary property we had let for 3 months. We were driven south to Christies beach to a nice 3 bed, furnished bungalow, I was shocked by the amount of graffiti, but I had been warned. We had a hire car for two weeks, so we didn’t need to rush on anything. We had opened a NAB account so two days after we arrived, we were due to meet with the bank to check our ID (well silly me had the wrong date so had to ring to apologise for not turning up), they were great and understood we needed our bank so the lady set up another appointment the very next day. The ID check was simple, with our EFPOS cards ready to go. The visa debit cards came a week later. Next was medicare, that was easy, then a driving licence. Initially I was told I couldn’t transfer me bike across, but after a little discussion and me questioning their rules they double checked and realised she was wrong. No luck with my HGV though. Next was a mobile phone, now this was difficult. We had checked before to find out we will need, a passport, visa and a bank statement to prove our address. We went into one shop to be told our bank statement wasn’t acceptable has it must have 10 transactions on it. So over next couple of day we used our card to buy everything. Once we had 10 we printed out a statement off the internet (we were told this would be ok) but on arrival in the shop, nope, it has to be one printed from the bank, with their stamp and signature. We managed to catch the bank still open so did as was requested and returned to the shop. This time it was so bad it was funny. The guy serving us, told me my 176 visa wasn’t suitable as It didn’t have an end date. He said I could leave the country without finishing the term of the contract. I explained what a 176 visa was, he replied it wasn’t suitable; I must have a temporary visa, as these had end dates. I again explaining “Despite what visa type we had we could still leave the country tomorrow, just like I will be leaving this shop and talking my business elsewhere.” We walked over to Crazy Johns, 10 minutes later we walked out with two phones. I had an interview arranged with ASC (a defence company) who I did have a pre interview with them in the UK weeks earlier. I had seen on PIO a number of times that UK defence clearance’s cannot be transferred, I had received emails stating showing this was incorrect, emails from the Australian Vetting Agency Director, so I had to believe her. The interview with ASC didn’t go too well, it turned out they didn’t want an Engineering Project Manager, but more of an accountant or someone geared totally to finance. This was not me. I applied for several more defence positions but had no luck. It appeared that the HR staff in some of these companies didn’t know their own rules and policies on security clearance. So to clear up any queries in this. There is an agreement between Aus, NZ, UK, USA and Canada where each person from these countries with in date clearance can transfer them across once work had been found. After a number of brick walls with HR staff and managers I went to a recruitment agency who double checked with the vetting agency again, agreeing with what I already knew. They bypassed the HR in two companies, I had an interview with both. One I felt very confident and answered all their questions with ease and thought I stood a really good chance, but 4 weeks later they have said that they still have not made up their mind. The other I left a 2.5 hour interview not very confident and really mind blown so didn’t hold much hope. We enrolled on the SA interlink program, to get migrants into work, thinking I would need help, so would take it were I could. On the third day I we were riding the Metro back to Christies from the CBD when the recruitment agency called to tell me the second interview went well, they liked me, liked my answers and have since checked with the security agency and now knowing UK clearance’s can be transferred they wanted to offer me a position. I was really pleased, it was the one I didn’t feel very confident in, but it didn’t end there. They were so impressed and didn’t want to loose me to another company they were upping the original salary agreement by another $20,000 AUD. WHAT????? The recruitment agency asked if I was willing to accept. ARE YOU KIDDING, of course. So seven weeks in, we have a car, have a very well paid job, we are all very happy, the kids are in school (Cardijn College) and our dog has joined us. We walk on the beach every day, either in the morning or evening. We have met some great people. And to those who don’t know, most Australians (well everyone we have met) are friendly, are sincere, and when they wish you good day, they mean it. When they invite you to their homes, they mean it. It’s hard to get used to everyone being nice, I still am not, but we are getting there. The wife is happy, her only regret is we should have done it sooner (but I was in the military and stuck in the pension trap, but having a monthly pension helps with the increase in cost of living) We used PET AIR UK and Sydney quarantine for our dog and were very impressed with it all. She arrived healthy, happy, slim, clean and full of beans, just like when we had left her. I would recommend both to anyone. So the next step is to find a new home. We have planned to rent for 2 years, to fulfil our State Sponsorship commitment and to confirm ourselves this is where we want to be. And so far, the answer is YES, defiantly. We miss family, but not to the point of being unhappy. We don’t miss the UK, especially when we watched the riots (or just the idiots out for an excuse to steal). The whole way of life here is different, just why we moved.
  3. Hello Everyone, Well we have been here for just over 6 weeks and overall are loving it here in Sunny Sydney. Here is my arrival report, sorry its long winded! After a frantic last 48 hours in the UK which was nothing like we planned (due to my partner breaking her foot!), we finally got the ok for Claire to fly and left heathrow with Singapore airlines. The airline were fantastic with seating, special assistance etc, and the A380 was really comfortable, it made the whole experience go much quicker I thought (may have been due to multiple singapore slings mind you!). We chose to fly with a short stopover only and it was by far the best flight I have had to Oz. Sydney weather was pretty grey when we arrived, I then had to start work with an induction in Melbourne the next day - and was delayed due to fog in melbourne and storms coming back to Sydney...not what I was hoping for but at least the Sun came out eventually and has been amazing an sunny if a little cool for the last few weeks. For reference we stayed in the Travelodge in Wentworth - not a bad hotel and location for the price. We then had a months rental in Bondi, which was nice but not really worth the money....even though the location was wonderful. Rentals are available here but tend to be a bit pricey so realestate.com.au is a must, we were pretty prepared with employers letter and bank statements etc, but be warned if you have no rental history (we own in the UK), this does seem to make a difference. Also we planned for a month in the short term let but 3/4 weeks would be enough if you know the area you want to live in. In the end we stumped for Dee Why and are loving our nearly new apartment, its almost on top of coles and really close to loads of express routes to the city (taking around 35-40 mins), and about 10 mins walk to the beach :biggrin: We have bought most furniture here which was expensive, but used the sales (freedom furniture for sofas, 2nds world for fridge and washing machine), so its not been as bad as we thought. One word of advice for Ikea, if you arrange a delivery as we found they will not enter inside a building of more than 25 metres, what this meant for us is they dumped everything inside the apartment complex ground floor but would not use the lift to the apartment - made worse by the fact they were 4 hours late and claire had to hobble with a broken foot and move things inside (I had to go back to work), luckily some nice chaps helped otherwise we would have been stuck. I did live in Australia a few years ago so cost wise it does seem more expensive (but all places have price rises), I know its said multiple times elsewhere but if you shop around, try and spend in dollars rather than pounds (hard I know if your waiting on salary for the 1st month). Some things are cheaper e.g Steak, Cauliflower (hugh one for 99 cents), and petrol, some electrical stuff etc... We also shipped a lot of kitchen stuff, clothes etc via seven seas, its due to us in about 2 weeks - I would advise if you are coming over its worth shipping at least some things due to the prices and the exchange rate - seven seas were very efficient (hoping our stuff will arrive soon and I am still saying that):wink: Work wise I am in the city and my partner started her new job today after a week of temping, there are plenty of jobs but in my opinion you need to really chase up the agencies when you get here as they can be bad at keeping in touch. In the UK we were big fans of Groupon, well here they have loads of similar sites, Stardeals, Scoopon, Spreetz etc - great deals on eating out, hair cuts, holidays etc, we have had some lovely meals, whale watching and other deals so far - be warned this can be very addictive! So much more to say but I will leave it there, if anyone needs any advice I will try and assist where I can. Have a great week Tracy x
  4. Well we've now been here two months so I thought I'd give a little bit of an update..... So, we've now settled into our rental, and after several trips to Ikea (including one manic 5 hour shopping session involving 4 trolleys and a lost car - don't ask!) we have now filled it full of furniture. Found prices at Ikea to be cheaper/comparable to the UK so we were pretty happy with that - only thing was we couldn't get a king size bed as the biggest size they do here is queen. Our 14 boxes of personal belongings from the UK arrived safely and hadn't even been opened (I presume our declaration of 3 pairs of shoes with wooden heels and x-rays were sufficient for customs) and apart from 3 broken martini glasses and one broken wine glass (all our cheap ones, not our 'special occasion' ones) everything was intact - we packed everything ourselves so we expected some things might not survive the journey so just a few broken glasses was a resounding success. House definitely feels more like home now – especially as I have all my cooking utensils back, it’s surprising how the lack of even basic things like spatulas and a garlic press can drive you nuts (well, it drove me nuts, not entirely sure the OH noticed lol). Also got broadband now – 23Mb! Literally, 10 x faster than we could get in the UK – for $60 per month including phone package. Found the coverage for mobiles is infinitely better than the UK too – had 3G signal everywhere we’ve been so far (we’re both on $29 per month PAYG tariffs and so far that more than covers our usage). Enjoying living in Greensborough, we have Safeway and Coles within 5 and 10 mins walking distance and there is the Plaza with 3 levels of shops, including a fresh meat/veg/deli area. There is a strip of restaurants and bars which we’ve been to a few times and had meals/drinks at. It’s nice and quiet round our house of an evening (apart from the odd hoon doing a burn off), and we’ve had some quiet walks round the parks and along the river (I say quiet – if you ignore the cockatoos, lorikeets, rosellas, crows, mynahs and magpies making an absolute racket lol). It is a smidgeon too far out the city at 40 mins on the dreaded ‘stopping all stations’ train (35 mins on the express) but that is the only factor which would make us move closer to the city. Food-wise we’ve found that meat is cheaper than the UK, and if you go to a market then veg is also cheaper – found fruit a bit pricier (knock on effect of the floods). We don’t really eat bread in our household, but that does appear to be more expensive. Not bought any fish/seafood yet, so can’t comment on prices (I do love fish but I’ve eaten it out a few times so not felt the urge to cook it at home). Spices, oils and herbs are way cheaper than in the UK thanks to the abundant Asian supermarkets – even Coles has fresh kaffir lime leaves and holy basil, winner! Jars of prepared sauces are more expensive, so we just stock up when they are on offer. Overall food-wise I think we are better off over here – especially as the produce is of much better quality, reminds me of the produce you get in France, bigger, less uniform and with more flavour. When I’ve not felt like cooking, we’ve eaten out – anyone who says you can’t get a decent curry in Melbourne is lying, we found a curry house the other weekend which does AMAZING curry (OH loves spicy food) and is at least the equal of our two favourite curry houses in the UK. Two courses, two beers, two naan, one large rice and BYO wine - $60. Had kangaroo for the first time last week as well – absolutely lush, similar to venison or a really good steak, yum! OH also thoroughly enjoyed the buffalo sausages that he had at Hurstbridge farmers’ market. Still think the transport system is good ($155 for a monthly Zone 1 + 2 pass) – only experienced one delayed train (which admittedly was annoying as it was half ten at night on a school night and we just wanted to get home) and I haven’t had to stand up at all (v important when wearing stilettos). OH finally has a job (hurrah!) and is starting tomorrow – he’s been incredibly bored at home by himself so hoping he will enjoy it and turns out to be the right job for him. My job isn’t going brilliantly at the moment, bit manic and was doing 12 hour days last week (not part of ‘The Plan’), but hopefully it will quieten down and I’ll get into the rhythm of things rather than fire fighting like I am at the moment. Looking forward to having two incomes again, next things on the purchasing list are a car and some mountain bikes – can’t wait to explore the bike trails round here (and further afield). Feeling a lot more secure in a financial sense as we both now have jobs, and hopefully that sense of security will help settle us down emotionally as well. We have been very lucky in some respects with our move, but we’ve still experienced highs and lows, it has not all been smiles and laughs and fluffy pink clouds of happiness, there have definitely been some little clouds of gloom. Having broadband again and being able to Skype friends and family this week has really made a difference, and for my OH knowing he’s going to get out the house and talk to someone other than me has also massively improved his mood (as much as we love each other – only having one person to really talk to for 2 months can be a little wearing). I have no doubt that we will make friends eventually, but I am sincerely glad that my OH is my best friend and not just my husband because otherwise I might have gone slightly mad. So.... in summary, so far, so good (touch wood). I still get teary moments from being so damn happy to be here – and the happy feelings definitely outweigh the gloomy moments of missing friends and family; definitely miss the people and not the UK itself. I don’t think there is a single thing that we enjoyed doing/having in the UK that we haven’t found the equivalent or better of in Melbourne: Beer/wine – same; Curry – same; Eating in – better; Eating out – better; Things to do/see – better; Transport – infinitely better; Weather – exponentially better (even if you do have to take an umbrella and sunglasses everywhere you go, lol). OH new works have already invited him to join the 5-a-side soccer team even. About the only things that get on my nerves are not being able to use any ATM (can I find a b1oody nab machine when I want one? Can I hell!) and driving in the city (way too many speed cameras, intersections and v boring straight roads) – there may be other things but if there are they escape me at this moment in time (and I’ve sat racking my brains for the last 10 minutes).
  5. Well, its been a while since we last posted! We've now been in oz for 6months and we're all loving it. I came out 2weeks ahead of my wife (Claire) and son (Jack 12yrs) at the end of sept 2010 while they finalised our UK house sale. It was tough being away from them but i was offered a good job (I'm a psychiatric nurse), in the area we had decided to settle, on a good wage and didnt want to miss out. So I landed in Melbourne and headed down the Peninsula, initially i stayed with Claire's cousin until the Mrs and boy came over. After landing i had 5days to get over jetlag and find my bearings before starting work. We had lost so much money with our house sale that i didnt really have a choice in the matter but to work soon after arriving. Yes we could of stayed in the UK waiting for the exchange rate to improve or even waiting for the housing market to improve but we had waited 2yrs already and just wanted to crack on and get to Oz. Personally i couldn't say goodbye to friends and family, i had to say "see ya", that was just the hardest thing i've ever done. :cry: As i sat in the departure lounge by myself i was serious contemplating calling the wife and asking her to come get me thinking i just couldnt do this by myself even tho i knew claire and jack would be following on soon. :err:We all flew on the A380 with singapore which was good, no complaints with them. Work was a bit of a shock :wacko: to the system as the Oz way of treating mental health is so different to that in the UK. I'm 20yrs qualified but felt so out of my comfort zone and still do really. On the day of collecting claire and jack at the airport I was so happy, i even made a 'Welcome to OZ' banner :jiggy:By the time the family had arrived i was earing good money, had managed to secure a yr lease on a 3bed house with outside spa, big garden in a quiet cul de sac 10mins from the beach and bought a car. We were working to a very tight budget. By the time we had paid for our flights, costs of bringing 2 dogs over and send wot little of our belongings over we only about £12k left. We only had a third of a container n didnt bring that much with us. With that money left we paid our house bond plus rent upfront. We bought things like a washer, fridge freezer, tv's, sofa plus other bits for kitchen, we bought 2 cars both old but fair condition and reliable (in the uk we could only afford 1 car even with 2 of us working) AND we have a boat!!:biggrin: Again old, but it floats which is always a bonus and has a decent engine so we can go fishing and out on the donut. The dogs seemed to cope very well with the flights n their time in qaurrentine- we visitted them twice weekly. I work hard, sometimes unsocial hours with overtime but i expected to work hard and actually recently i was offered a decent job with better hrs..................however thats a whole other story that i wont bore you with now! Claire is still looking for work. Since arriving we've tried to really enjoy ourselfs, we've been surfing (i lost my wedding ring!!), horse trekking on Gunamatta beach, seen U2, been out on the boat fishing and playing on the donut and we regularly go to the beach. Jack has settled great into school life and is so busy always out n about, always doing something with his friends and he's recently joined the local football team. Myself especially, and claire to a degree are probably still a little short of friends and not too much of an active social life but we are aware that we need to sort this. Of course we miss family and friends but skype is good at keeping in contact. Christmas was hard for all of us being the first yr away from our family/ friends but hey, this was our choice to move so we've got 2 choices.................!! Personally i dont think you need 10's of thousands of pounds to make the move, yes it'd be great to have that sort of money but we weren't loaded in the UK. Now, our house is bigger, we've bought some nice furniture and it feels like home. We've proved that you can do this on a budget, we've got a good standard of living and are enjoying life:biggrin: We've got family visiting in Oct, some friends coming over next April and other family planning their visit. Claire is job hunting and once thats sorted that's probably the missing piece for us You might say...........WE'RE LIVING THE DREAM and its all good!!!
  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. 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:
  8. Luella2

    3 months in and loving it!

    Well been here 3 months now and keep having to pinch myself at how good life is here. Said to my husband omg can you believe how good our life is? as we're sat on the decking having another bbq. I think you take it for granted after a while, the gorgeous scenery and lifestyle. Spent this afternoon ( like last Saturday) at the beach by the lake near where we live. My son went off to play with some little aussie kids, in the water loving it. They were all with their dads who were like no problem we'll watch your kid while me and hubby sat and chatted. We watched our son of course but they were genuinely good blokes and looked after him and made him feel welcome. Had a good chat with them and another bloke rocked up and offered us all free beers! The aussies are so friendly and love to chat and take the p***! Having moved here from Manchester we are loving the slower pace of life. When we first arrived we stayed in Monbulk, back home we were like Where is that??? but it turned out to be the best place with friendly people and we have moved just up the road from there. Would actually love to live back in Monbulk but with limited rental properties available and no station for OH's commute to CBD it's not an option - yet! We have both got good jobs out here I am a teacher and got a post shortly after arriving, OH works in IT and he found work after a couple of months. We arrived with our savings and a determined attitude to make it work. Don't get me wrong the first couple of months are hard at times, it took 3 months for our container to arrive and it was hard living without our stuff. The first time I went to the supermarket I panicked that I could not find my way home - no sat nav with me or phone either and there are weird fish out of water moments. But it's worth it! Aussies say to me your accents strong where are you from? Well I am a proud yorkshire lass and don't plan to lose my accent yet! A part of me will always miss yorkshire, but life here is so good. I would say to anyone wanting to come out to give it a go - you don't know till you try it. Just make sure you save those pounds up and stock up on clothes and cosmetics before you get here - or you'll be like me going without and saying I'm not paying that!! Good luck all:jiggy:
  9. PommyPaul

    loving the heat?

    been way up in the 30s here recently and must say i'm quite enjoying the dry heat of inland australia tis fun watching some of my pommy workmates who have only been here a few months get used to it haha!!! their in nothing but shorts and sweating like criminals and here i am in jeans, shirts etc and not dripping a drop even after 10 vbs and a session on the dance floor haha :biglaugh:
  10. shaunkaren

    One year on and still LOVING it!!!

    OMG! I can't believe how fast the last year has gone - we have done so much, met so many wonderful people, the children have had the best year at school, both of us are in jobs we (mostly) enjoy and our only complaints have been about the weather (worst and wettest winter for years!) and too much socialising (we can't keep up with the pace!!!). To anyone looking to come out, it isn't easy and the first few months are pretty damn hard but work at it enough, get yourself out with new people and hopefully after a while you will feel settled like we are. We feel like we have known our new mates forever, not just 12 short months. We are hoping to buy a place out here in Berwick in the next few years but have not been able to sell property in the UK so will have to put that on hold, the plus side of that being the rent is cheaper than any mortgage we would get for a comparable property. One down side has been that my Dad had a minor stroke two weeks before him and Mum were due to visit (they would have landed today), but again the plus side is they have insurance and he is recovering and they will visit as soon as he is well enough. We have also planned a roadtrip to Sydney to make up for the disappointment and will hopefully be meeting up with another POM mate who emigrated 6 months ago along the way. Having done the big move I can only say to others try and find a positive out of every negative and you will lead a happy life - things get you down but you can't change everything, just the way you think about it!! Good luck to anyone coming over soon and if you are going to be anywhere near Berwick I know a great bunch of people who will look after you, just be prepared to PARTY hard!!!:biggrin: Karen
  11. tracy123

    I'm here and loving it!

    OK where am I up to? I travelled with Singapore airlines, great trip I had 16 hours in Singapore, you can store your bags for 24 hours for only $6 Singapore dollars, I also booked the 6 hour hotel room. Really impressed with the room, it was a king size bed had a flat screen TV plus your own bathroom all for $64 SPD. I left the airport and took a train ride into Singapore, it was only $3.90 SPD and you get a dollar back on return of your ticket. If you fly Singapore airlines you can get on the tour bus for $6. (Or you can get a free 2 hour tour direct from the airport). I just had a wonder around really, Singapore is clean and I felt safe, I went to the long bar and had a Singapore sling…. $30 SPD!!!!! Anyway it had to be done. Went back to the airport had a swim and spa, bloody fantastic!!!! Had a sleep and caught the plane home. Caught the 23:45 plane and it was empty so I had 4 seats to myself, fantastic. I arrived on the 1st and headed up to Phillip Island for a few days as I couldn’t do anything, anyway. On the 4th I went house hunting and a general look around, I also rang up and cancelled my job interview as I was to busy and was unsure how long things were going to take. The first thing I did was go to the bank to sort out my account, I must say the things they promised they hadn’t delivered on, but after a few minutes it was all back on track. I didn’t have any cards waiting so I had to withdraw money (no real bother) just a few tips, you can withdraw $1,000 per day from the ATM, and up to $10,000 over the counter, if you want more just give them 1 days notice, they will give more on the day if they have it. (So the woman said!) I rang up a few real estate agents and got viewings sorted for the same day, I told them I wanted a house ASAP and couldn’t wait for viewing days! The thing is if you don’t ask or express your needs no one knows what you want; remember it’s their job to get that house rented!!!! I didn’t find a house I wanted, so rang up a few more and made appointments the following day. I found the house I wanted, put in an application (15.30) and by 19:00 I had a call to say I got it. Remember I’ve been away for 6 years so I have no credit history, no Australian references and no job!!! The only thing I had was an Aussie licence and money! I offered 3 months up front and the owners were happy enough with that. I guess I’m lucky that I’m here for the sales; I’ve read on PIO that Australia doesn’t have huge discounts and you can only get those types of things in Europe. I’ve seen plenty of stores offering 70% off their goods so they are out there. You can buy toasters and kettles for $9 in K-Mart (not on sale) fair enough they look cheap but if it gets you by does it really matter? They come with a 12 month guarantee so if there is anything wrong, take the thing back, you can also get kitchen start up sets for $99 that gives you the basics to get going. You can buy 42 inch TV’s for $500, DVD players for $40. Things aren’t as dear as some would make out. Furniture is as dear as you want it to be. Getting a Mobile phone has been a pain as I wanted a skype phone and the only place I could get 1 was in the CBD, but once again once there things were easy sorted. So what’s next? A job!!!! I should have something sorted by tomorrow, then it’s a simple case (I hope) of getting services connected and the kids in school, waiting for Tracy and the kids to arrive then life begins!!!! As more things happen I’ll keep posting , any questions just fire away
  12. 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:
  13. rachuk1

    4 Days in and Loving it!

    I moved to Melbourne 4 Days ago with my Husband and 3 kids, Josh 15, Louis 13 and Kyle 10. We are sting in a temporary 3 bed apartment in Brighton East. Within the last couple of days we have found a great house to rent in Waterways (5 mins from Mordialloc) arranged bank accounts, credit cards, schools and even managed to finance a car :biggrin: Although we have only been here since Wednesday, we are already loving the Aussie way of life. I start work tomorrow and so i have the opportunity to meet new people. My husband will start to look for work as soon as the kids are settled in school. If there are any other people from the UK located located in Mordialloc, Waterways or the surrounding areas that would like to meet up, Please get in touch
  14. Guest

    Reason For Loving Australia

    Will try not to bore you, I SAID TRY by the way. Most of you know that I love Australia, I have had a long relationship with the country and its people for many, many years. BUT, I can also acknowledge that it has its fair share of negatives, and realise that it is not for everybody, so this a very personal thread. Went to Southend today, :arghh:, it was youngests birthday midweek and as a treat we decided to take her there as she loves the rides, rock, candy floss , etc. Well, we reached Southend in under an hour, just took a further 45 minutes to find somewhere to park, and then be charged £5 for the privilege. Had a great day, the kids loved it, we had fish and chips on the beach, went on some rides, played crazy golf, and all in all it was a memorable day, BUT. As much as I truly love this country and most of the people there was something missing. Couldn't figure out what it was for ages. The sun was out, the people looked happy, and for all intents and purposes I should have felt as happy as the proverbial Larry, but no matter how nice the day, there as something missing. Been trying to figure it out since I got back, and at last I have come to this conclusion, I never really felt as if I 'belonged'. As I said, I love this country and will always remain truly thankful for what it has given me and my family, it is to this day one of the greatest countries on the earth, but nonetheless I still felt a little uneasy. I have always viewed Australia with realism and objectivity, at times I could scream at the stupidity and many a negative that I find unappealing, but on the whole it has been a country that has given me so much more than it has ever taken. No matter what the future holds I know that since arriving in Australia it has felt like home and a place that I 'Belong' to. To put it into words is very difficult, but today really did hammer home to me that Australia will always be the country that I owe an awful lot to. As I said, to put into words how I feel and indeed felt is nearly impossible, but today even though we had a wonderful day I still felt as though I could not in all honesty say I was truly happy here. To say I have been truly happy in Australia would also be an exaggeration, but when all things taken into consideration I would have to say that Australia still makes me feel a little more complete. Stupid maybe, I don't know. After all the sun was out today, people had smiles on their faces, the kids had a great day, but to me I could not help but think that this day would have been 'different', 'better' more enjoyable had it been in Australia. As I said, we had a truly great day, I 'should' have been totally pleased with what happened today, but in some small way there was something missing. Me and my better half sat on the beach eating our fish and chips and we both said in unison, 'It's nice, but it's not Cairns is it'. Don't get me wrong, for the long term future our family are going to have to make our homes in the UK, and that is no great hardship. The UK has been very good to us all when looked at with realism. And to think that we have to spend the next few years here does NOT fill us with dread. But no matter what I/we will always look toward Australia as our long term home, and to say I don't really fit in to the UK at the moment is not exaggerating a point. My mind and body may be in the UK, but my heart truly remains in Australia. Thanks for listening to the whining, but have had a few beers and was feeling as if I had to get this off my chest. Cheers Tony:wubclub:
  15. Hi Everyone, I have not posted for a while as things have been pretty hectic!! We landed in Melbourne on 29th December after an emotional christmas and a great flight with Etihad. (even though we were 21kgs overweight allowance! oops). I would highly recommend Etihad they were fantastic, nice food and lots of entertainment. So we arrived and we were collected at the airport by my sister, she was out here for xmas, along with my folks and grandma. We pulled up into my Uncles drive (he lives here) who we are staying with and we were straight into a Hen and Bucks night!!!!! zzzzzzzzz So once we recovered from the jet lag and partying we had a pretty chilled day on the 30th, then the 31st was the day of my Uncles wedding. It was beautiful in his back yard by the pool. What a new years eve!! We were in the spa til about 4.30!! So up until last week there have been 14 people in the house, so it felt very much like a holiday!! During the last couple of weeks we have sorted out our phones and got mobile broadband, which is fantastic. It is from Crazy Johns, $199 for 12GB and you can top it up when you need to like your mobile, you just plug in a USB into our laptop and off you go.( would recommend for new arrivals!) In all the mayhem my hubby went for an interview with a University and we should hear back from them tomorrow. My job starts 1st of Feb in a School. We bought a car on Saturday morning and we now understand how road worthy and Rego works!! It is a Hyundai Excel, 90,000 KM year 2000 and it was $5000. A bit more expensive than back in the UK but for the mileage and how well kept it is i think it is a cracker. Very happy with it. With regards to cost of living we have found that some things are cheaper and some things are more expensive, swings and roundabouts really, but i will be earning about 10 grand more here so that helps. We have looked at a couple of rentals but we are in no rush yet we can stay with my uncle for a couple of months. I think that is about all, it has cooled off today but we have enjoyed all weathers we like it when the sun shines but we also like to do indoor things when it rains no big deal. We certainly will get more sun than we would get in the grim northwest of the UK. I would type more but the Oz open tennis is on and i can hear my hubby clapping so it must be good, gonna go and watch some, we are going live on Thursday so that should be fun, we are trying to chill and enjoy ourselves before starting work without getting into holiday mode. Hope my posts helps and if you have any questions i'd be happy to help :jiggy:
  16. Guest

    two weeks in and loving it!!

    Hey all, We've been here two weeks already but loving every minute of it!! We spent new year in Sydney which was fantastic and then traveled to Werribee for 5 days which is where we will be living from the 23rd. At the moment we are traveling the east coast for 2 weeks. We flew into Melbourne airport and picked up the hire car it was a pretty straight forward drive to werribee and took about 40 mins from the airport. We arrived into Werribee on Saturday 2nd January and stayed at the Werribee South Caravan Park for 5 nights. It's about 15 minutes outside of Werribee but really nice. We spent the saturday afternoon visiting the tourist info centre, looking round the town centre and having a drive around. Werribe town centre is really good, they have a medicare centre, library with good internet access, good fish and chip shop, butchers, fruit and veg market etc. we also went food shopping at woolworths. On the sunday we went to the werribee plaza which has everything you might need shops wise. On Monday our search for a house to rent started. We went into every real estate and picked up a rental list. we then marked the houses we wanted to look at and checked if there were any inspection times. We drove round and checked out the areas. Basically there is an inspection time at each house which lasts about 15 minutes where you can have a look at the house and pick an application form up. This can then be filled out and handed in to real estate office with your id and proof of earnings. Real estate offices vary a lot with what identification and proof of earnings they want (most want 100 points but what that includes varies)- generally the best way to do this is to hand in a copy of everything you have with a covering letter explaining that you have just moved etc. We handed in copies of our passports, visa's, UK driving lic, medicare temp slip, copy of our bank statement showing we have savings to pay rent, copy of darren's employment contract, 2 personal references. After 4 days searching with some quite negative things said to us by real estate agents about the fact that "because we didn't have 100 points we couldn't be considered at all" We secured a great town house (what we would consider a normal house on 2 floors) which is absolutely fantastic and can't wait to move in on the 23rd when we get back from our travels. We visited point cook and originally that is where i thought we would live. It is a really nice area- very very new and i think that's part of the reason we didn't end up there in the end- as my husband said "it doesn't feel right- it has no soul". I think it's a personal thing at the end of the day- werribee seemed more friendly to us. Either way I think you have to look round both areas and make the decision that is best for you as it will be different for each person. As we have been travelling since we haven't got much else sorted. we bought aussie sim cards- one hint - make sure you get your phones unblocked BEFORE you leave the UK as it's a lot cheaper and easier to get done. Also if you have a european health card (the card that replaced the E111 form) make sure you take that when you go to sign up for a medicare number as they ask to see it. you also need your passport and original copy of your visa grant. Also apply for yout TFN tax file number as soon as possible and this can be done online- you do need an address that they send your number to and this can take up to 28 days. Can't think of anything else at the moment but will keep you updated once we get back to melbourne- anyone has any questions feel free to message me or ask- as soon as I get back on the internet will do my best to answer if i can Holly:rolleyes:
  17. Hi all, It's been one month since we have moved out here on 175 visas (PR) and are loving it! So long UK... anyway as some of you know we are on a shoestring only took out $28,000 two adults one toddler, OH is a sparky. Here's whats happen and some tips... Transport Great flight Etihad Airways cheap deal on we.fly around £530 for all, will defo travel with them again. We stayed in the Holiday Inn at the airport which was lovely, great beds. Cost about £70 pounds but well worth it, we have escaped jet lag, haven't had any. Think we just forced ourselves to get into oz time! Car hire- great booked with Europecar about £200, fine little car price included babyseat and different drop off point. Brought 2nd VW Polo for £3000 its a bit of a banger but good for the money, yes 2nd cars are expensive, if you look you can find a good deal. New cars seem a lot cheaper if you have the money. Petrol soooo cheap where we are its about 70p per litre! We don't have car insurance as its a old banger and third party is included in rego ( tax,third party etc) came with car. Rego about $600 per year for our car. We have Vic driving licences- really easy no tests, straight swapped ( thank god) cost $60 per person for three years. Roads are great wider with less traffic, watch the speed limits. Tip- get a Tom Tom its great especially you aren't good at driving. Cost about $400 for a good one, can get it cheaper in places. We've been caught speeding $146 fine ooppps! Accomdation Brill' rental yes it was real, Kate i'll give you the name now. Defo reccommend Belmont, Geelong great place to be based in, shops, parks and close to beaches and Geelong city. had rental for seven weeks $360 all in three bedrooms, it will be available next July. Got one year lease in Lara for $1018 per month three beds good size backyard within a week! the estate agents were fighting over us and got the rent reduced. Paid bond £1018 and two months upfront. It was the 1st we applied for! tip- take lots of info on your other house if you are landlords bring details. View lots- they do look different on realestate.com. Jobs Tradies are finding hard but not as bad as UK. OHs got a job doing something loosely based in the industry. We are just applying for ARTC. Tip- go down the ARTC not the Vetasses, doesn't mean anything when you get out here. Defo apply for Artc BEFORE YOU COME ove, saves time! They don't really won't to know unless you have your A grade ( but you might be lucky) I've had two interviews, came 2nd in one which was great i work in youth and community seems quite a lot of stuff around and i ve started volunteering which is a good way in! If you want to work with children/ youths you will need to get a working with childs check ( free for volunteers, £70 for employee, you pay and claim back at the end of the year) With jobs it seems to be who you know and they network themselves a lot more. Child and childcare/ medical stuff PR can received means tested child benefit and help towards childcare from centrelink, Centrelink is based in local shopping malls but you can do it over the internet. Remember to bring your redbook as you need proof of your childs up to date imm' record otherwise you can't get assistance for childcare. We have got her a space one day a week at nursery, without CC assistance ( need to get imm record! we are paying 312 per 4 weeks, but will be able to claim some back! Lots of toddler groups, just ask the community centres, they do cheap occasional care $15 per 3 hours. Community centres also have internet access and cheap photocopying and printing. Medical stuff We have Medicare cards, get from Centrelink. We have also brought Ambulance Cover for $120 per family. As i think it starts at $800 per trip if you don't have cover, better save the sorry! It is different in each state. Do try and get a doc that bulk bills as it saves time. Does anyone know about dentist for children? When we both have jobs, we'll get the private health insurance. Tax- One of the 1st things to do is get your TFN number which is your tax number, keep all receipts as you can claim stuff back at the end of the year which is June i think?? Area- Geelong, ocean road Its Beaut mate! al that we could of asked for brill' beaches Ocean Grove,Tourquay Lorne are must sees. Geelong city centre with the harbour is just like all the pictures and has great shopping centres. Great parks for children everywhere. Geelong is very big and has everything you need. My estate agent who we rented the short term rental said stay away from CORIO which isn't the best of places but has a nice shopping centre. There's no litter and everyone we have met so far has been really friendly. Price of stuff I would say give or take it's the same as the UK. Processed food and fish where we are, are really expensive. Veg, fruit steak, lamb are cheap our 1st months food bills are about $400 including cleaning stuff, food, drink, nappies etc ( thats buying basic no frills brands on most stuff). Internet is quite expensive on pre paid ( you can't have a contract for three months) which is why i've not been on here for a while. We brought mobiles at the airport for $89 each. Household items Sent $2000 for everything! In total we have brought everything and i mean everything for the house either 2nd hand at garage sales or from K mart. As well as brand new Samsung TV, DVD, STAND ( Good Guys store) and new nice bedding ( lots of blankets needed) for a grand total of $2000 (£1000) that includes fridge, chairs, sofa, beds and mattresses, kitchen stuff etc. White goods are expensive. We have our stuff in UK haven't shipped yet, apart from OH tools don't really need to. Fanatistic Furniture have really reasonable house packages which are cheap, if you don't want 2nd hand stuff. Car seat- we brought one for $200. In general It's great- best thing we ever did! try and get as much money as you can. We have spent half the money ( although we have brought a puppy ( i know very silly) and have wasted about five weeks worth of rent! so could of saved a bit there. But we have done it really cheaply and are defo living a no frills lifestyle at the mo. Good luck, Jen:chatterbox:
  18. Guest

    Finally here and loving it

    We arrived in Australia nearly 3 months ago and thought I would just post to say that we are loving it and it really is worth waiting for. It took over 2 years to get the visa and there were many times when we felt like giving up but we are so glad we didn't. We haven't been on here much since we came out but we would like to say a big thanks to everyone who give us support and info when we were feeling down Thanks especially to Cal who suggested my sister look at Springfield Lakes when she recently moved from Sydney. She got a place here and we are staying with her. We move into our own house just around the corner in 2 weeks and we can't wait. The weather is fantastic and even though our little boy is at school and we are in an everyday routine, at the moment it stills feels a little unrealy and like a holiday. At the moment the only thing we miss about England is family and have no intention of going back. The first visitors are booked for January adn we can't wait. We are really living the dream - bbq and making the most of family time at the weekends, going to the beach, fishing and just generally enjoying the weather. I'm sure, like everyone there will be bad days but all we can say is if you want it, go for it, you'll only regret it if you don't try. Sarah x:biglaugh:
  19. Guest

    Here at last AND LOVING IT!!

    Well its been a long road and lots of waiting, but I have been here almost 4 weeks. The first 3 weeks have been stressful at times, but think I am getting everything sorted out. I have found a nice apartment, would have preferred a house, but rent is high and market very competative. I started by finding a school that looked good and renting in the catchment. My 12 year old started 4 days ago and seems very happy so far. The sun is shining although it is midwinter and I am so happy I made this huge move. People are SO helpful and friendly. I have a couple more weeks before I start work and am very glad about that. Thanks poms in oz for keeping me sane, hang in everyone waiting because it is SOOOO worth it. :jiggy:
  20. This is the first time using PIO, wanted to say that we are 9 years and counting and still love aus... living in perth.
  21. This is the first time I have used PIO, I have just been onto the page where there are poms thinking about going back to the UK,,,, I actually feel homesick myself now.... reading some of the blogs on here can make you feel worse, We have been in Aus for over 9 years now and take each day as it comes. We have been through the ups and downs, but we were doing that in the UK also, thats why we made the move in the first place, I am not saying that all is rosey, but Aus is a pretty special place to live, you have to give yourself time to settle and make some good friends, it just doesn't happen over night. We have found that in the past 9 years, we have had more opportunities than we ever would have had in the UK, If we were still living there, I would be in no doubt that we would still be living in the same house, going to the same pubs on the same nights, doing the same jobs etc,,, we wanted more..... we do miss all our family that is definately true, but after a while, it seems as if this becomes acceptable and we really look forward to them visiting, we are only 24 hours away and never forget that.
  22. Lancashire Lass

    Need a loving home for our dog.

    Although it's heartbreaking we can't take our dog to Australia with us. Just wondered if any of you knew of anyone who might be looking to give a Jack Russell a home, or can any of you advise us the best way to go about re-homing him. We all love him and want to make sure he ends up with a great family in a good home. I don't just want to take him to a re-homing place and never know his fate. Has anyone been in this position and can give me some advice? :sad: Mandy
  23. Guest

    Loving Perth again...

    Not that I really stopped loving it, but for those who have read any of my posts you may know I was struggling through homesickness for a while. I still miss family but I'm feeling much better and on top of things again. Now that I feel better I am enjoying all that Perth has to offer again. My kids have an infinitely better life here than they did in the UK. As a family we are loads more active and the girls have one social appointment after another! We as a family have NEVER found Perth boring, in fact we think that we would be really bored if we went back to the UK 'cos of being penned in by the weather. My main reason for posting this is to warn people that you will have tough times but you can come through them, and like someone else posted today, it really is worth it! I can't speak for anyone who doesn't have kids, but for families Australia has way more to offer than the UK at the moment. All along I have been wondering if we did the right thing but now every day I feel more strongly that the answer to this is a definite YES!
  24. Guest

    loving the sweet life !

    Hi, everything fine and we are loving perth it is great but really hot ! The only downer is i want to go to school but i can't until we find perm house. we put an aplication in for one in woodvale -107 duffy tce we should here by monday and move in wed so i should start scool soon ! my mum is working full time so dosen't get chance to come on but she says hi . from courtney...x:wubclub:
  25. Guest

    Loving life in OZ

    Hi all! Well we have been here nearly a month now and are loving every bit of it. Life is great and Melbourne is a great place to, There is so much to do and most of it is so close. We live in Berwick and i must say if you dont wont the city life it is a great place but be warned you do need a car or 2 to get about even to the shops lol. We went to a place called Grange national pk in the dandenongs mountains and its about 20 mins away and we fed wild parrots and cockatoos and they just landed on our hands and fed out of them it was amazing and free lol. We have been quite lucky that we have already got to know a few friends and have already done quite abit with them, But if there is anyone here or comming to melbourne and are not in the same position or you would just like to make new friends then please dont hesitate email us. If your just thinking about it at the moment then please dont think just do it make the move you wont be disapointed. And life is to short! Ok enough talking have fun and enjoy life cheers, Jonathan emma anya neve:rolleyes: