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Ben1979

Been in Canberra for 9 months...the low down!

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I found this forum really useful when me & my wife were coming over on a 457 visa last October so I thought I would share our experiences of Canberra so far for anyone who is coming over & wondering what it's like.

 

Good things:

 

Big open / clean place with fantastic views all around & very well spread out - more of a big country town than a city

 

Very safe place to live, we haven't experienced any crime (touch wood) & you never really see or hear of any bother. No groups of kids hanging around the streets like back home.

 

Good weather. Maybe not the hottest place in Oz to live but summer gone was warm with a great deal of sunshine even though the locals said it was very poor by normal standards. Much better than back home where it rains most of the summer. The last few months have been beautiful for autumn & winter with blue skies nearly every day (even though it is very cold once the sun goes down).

 

Nice housing / area's - we live north side & most of the housing is brand new. We're renting at the moment in Casey & the house we rent is a new build. Nice big rooms & plenty space in nice neighbourhood with great views. Similar suburbs around us look pretty nice - Ford / Amaroo / Harrison

 

Location - 3 hours to Sydney, 2 hours to the beach & 2/3 hours to the snow (all driving)

 

Great place to bring up or start a family. We are in our early 30's & are thinking of starting a family & Canberra seems like a great place to bring up kids. Loads of parks / lakes & open spaces.

 

Not so good things:

Worst drivers ever - not sure if its an Ozzy thing in general or just Canberra, but the drivers here fall into 2 groups, boy racer's revving there done up ute's or sunday afternoon dwindlers who keep 10km under the already lame speed limit. Also, the drivers here have no peripheral vision or courtesy. If your waiting to pull out onto a very slow moving line of traffic, your very lucky if someone lets you out! I noticed when I got here that if you flash someone to let them out, they look at you like "what you flashing me for" & don't move.....seriously the worst driving standards ive ever seen! Rant over :0)

 

Bit of a closed society - Again, not sure if its just Canberra being a government place but people don't seem to interact much. We've been here 9 months & found it hard to meet people in a social context. We're from Newcastle in the uk which is a pretty friendly place & easy to make friends, but that isn't the case in Canberra. The people are friendly at face value, but not much 'crack' beyond that?

 

Lack of insulation in the houses. Like I said, the houses are nice, but they don't have double glazing in many of the properties & once you turn the heating off it goes freezing cold within minutes. I cant understand why they dont push double glazing etc much as Canberra is very cold in the winter, not as cold as Newcastle but at least back home the housing is geared up for it.

 

In all, Canberra is a lovely place to live. Maybe not where we would want to live in our 20's but if your looking for somewhere easy to live in a family environment with a great outdoors then Canberra is perfect. Just be prepared for the road rage :arghh:

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Hi - glad you are settling into Canberra. It is safe and a great place for families. Although Casey was designed as a more affordable housing area (hence minimal insulation and lack of double glazing) is looks like quite a nice area and close to schools and the oval etc for those with kids.

 

In relation to flashing your car headlights - we only do that for two reasons. To warn of danger or to warn a mobile speed camera is up ahead. If people are giving you funny looks it is because you are confusing them. You are saying something is wrong but they can't see what it is. If you want to let someone into traffic just slow down and give them a wave. By the way, flashing your lights to warn about speed cameras is illegal - although most people do it anyway.

 

Hope things continue to go well for you here. :smile:


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Glad to hear you are enjoying it! If you have to live in Australia, you could do much worse I reckon!

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Guest Ptp113
I found this forum really useful when me & my wife were coming over on a 457 visa last October so I thought I would share our experiences of Canberra so far for anyone who is coming over & wondering what it's like.

 

Good things:

 

Big open / clean place with fantastic views all around & very well spread out - more of a big country town than a city

 

Very safe place to live, we haven't experienced any crime (touch wood) & you never really see or hear of any bother. No groups of kids hanging around the streets like back home.

 

Good weather. Maybe not the hottest place in Oz to live but summer gone was warm with a great deal of sunshine even though the locals said it was very poor by normal standards. Much better than back home where it rains most of the summer. The last few months have been beautiful for autumn & winter with blue skies nearly every day (even though it is very cold once the sun goes down).

 

Nice housing / area's - we live north side & most of the housing is brand new. We're renting at the moment in Casey & the house we rent is a new build. Nice big rooms & plenty space in nice neighbourhood with great views. Similar suburbs around us look pretty nice - Ford / Amaroo / Harrison

 

Location - 3 hours to Sydney, 2 hours to the beach & 2/3 hours to the snow (all driving)

 

Great place to bring up or start a family. We are in our early 30's & are thinking of starting a family & Canberra seems like a great place to bring up kids. Loads of parks / lakes & open spaces.

 

Not so good things:

Worst drivers ever - not sure if its an Ozzy thing in general or just Canberra, but the drivers here fall into 2 groups, boy racer's revving there done up ute's or sunday afternoon dwindlers who keep 10km under the already lame speed limit. Also, the drivers here have no peripheral vision or courtesy. If your waiting to pull out onto a very slow moving line of traffic, your very lucky if someone lets you out! I noticed when I got here that if you flash someone to let them out, they look at you like "what you flashing me for" & don't move.....seriously the worst driving standards ive ever seen! Rant over :0)

 

Bit of a closed society - Again, not sure if its just Canberra being a government place but people don't seem to interact much. We've been here 9 months & found it hard to meet people in a social context. We're from Newcastle in the uk which is a pretty friendly place & easy to make friends, but that isn't the case in Canberra. The people are friendly at face value, but not much 'crack' beyond that?

 

Lack of insulation in the houses. Like I said, the houses are nice, but they don't have double glazing in many of the properties & once you turn the heating off it goes freezing cold within minutes. I cant understand why they dont push double glazing etc much as Canberra is very cold in the winter, not as cold as Newcastle but at least back home the housing is geared up for it.

 

In all, Canberra is a lovely place to live. Maybe not where we would want to live in our 20's but if your looking for somewhere easy to live in a family environment with a great outdoors then Canberra is perfect. Just be prepared for the road rage :arghh:

 

Double and triple glazed is available to those who spec it, or get it on a reno. Insulation is mandated by law for all new build houses, and has been for years. Been here since '76 and the driving is fine. Poms are used to cars with small engines and here 400 HP isn't unusual in a ute or grocery getter, and speeds/acceleration are somewhat different IMHO. Most importantly It takes years to get to know where to go in the ACT/region as is it covers a very large area, and is different in design than most cities. Still finding things after 36 years, local knowledge really is gold!

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Worst drivers ever - not sure if its an Ozzy thing in general or just Canberra, but the drivers here fall into 2 groups, boy racer's revving there done up ute's or sunday afternoon dwindlers who keep 10km under the already lame speed limit. Also, the drivers here have no peripheral vision or courtesy. If your waiting to pull out onto a very slow moving line of traffic, your very lucky if someone lets you out! I noticed when I got here that if you flash someone to let them out, they look at you like "what you flashing me for" & don't move.....seriously the worst driving standards ive ever seen! Rant over :0)

 

 

Agree with this bit...it's like entering the twilight zone.


"Nationalism is an infantile disease, it is the measles of mankind." Albert Einstein

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Guest lisa crowe
I found this forum really useful when me & my wife were coming over on a 457 visa last October so I thought I would share our experiences of Canberra so far for anyone who is coming over & wondering what it's like.

 

Good things:

 

Big open / clean place with fantastic views all around & very well spread out - more of a big country town than a city

 

Very safe place to live, we haven't experienced any crime (touch wood) & you never really see or hear of any bother. No groups of kids hanging around the streets like back home.

 

Good weather. Maybe not the hottest place in Oz to live but summer gone was warm with a great deal of sunshine even though the locals said it was very poor by normal standards. Much better than back home where it rains most of the summer. The last few months have been beautiful for autumn & winter with blue skies nearly every day (even though it is very cold once the sun goes down).

 

Nice housing / area's - we live north side & most of the housing is brand new. We're renting at the moment in Casey & the house we rent is a new build. Nice big rooms & plenty space in nice neighbourhood with great views. Similar suburbs around us look pretty nice - Ford / Amaroo / Harrison

 

Location - 3 hours to Sydney, 2 hours to the beach & 2/3 hours to the snow (all driving)

 

Great place to bring up or start a family. We are in our early 30's & are thinking of starting a family & Canberra seems like a great place to bring up kids. Loads of parks / lakes & open spaces.

 

Not so good things:

Worst drivers ever - not sure if its an Ozzy thing in general or just Canberra, but the drivers here fall into 2 groups, boy racer's revving there done up ute's or sunday afternoon dwindlers who keep 10km under the already lame speed limit. Also, the drivers here have no peripheral vision or courtesy. If your waiting to pull out onto a very slow moving line of traffic, your very lucky if someone lets you out! I noticed when I got here that if you flash someone to let them out, they look at you like "what you flashing me for" & don't move.....seriously the worst driving standards ive ever seen! Rant over :0)

 

Bit of a closed society - Again, not sure if its just Canberra being a government place but people don't seem to interact much. We've been here 9 months & found it hard to meet people in a social context. We're from Newcastle in the uk which is a pretty friendly place & easy to make friends, but that isn't the case in Canberra. The people are friendly at face value, but not much 'crack' beyond that?

 

Lack of insulation in the houses. Like I said, the houses are nice, but they don't have double glazing in many of the properties & once you turn the heating off it goes freezing cold within minutes. I cant understand why they dont push double glazing etc much as Canberra is very cold in the winter, not as cold as Newcastle but at least back home the housing is geared up for it.

 

In all, Canberra is a lovely place to live. Maybe not where we would want to live in our 20's but if your looking for somewhere easy to live in a family environment with a great outdoors then Canberra is perfect. Just be prepared for the road rage :arghh:

 

 

They can't drive up here on Central Coast either!!! Totally agree with everything youve just stated about Aussie drivers lmao

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Nice update, agree with your observations on driving standards in particular.

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Double and triple glazed is available to those who spec it, or get it on a reno. Insulation is mandated by law for all new build houses, and has been for years.

You shouldn't have to spec it - it should be the norm on houses in areas that get cold in winter, as it does in the ACT. And there is insulation, and insulation. As per one of the other responses, insulation standards vary (although they shouldn't, "cheap" housing areas having minimal insulation is really lame) and in general it's poor. Talk about defending the indefensible. There are loads of great things about this country, build standards when it comes to handing winter isn't one of them

 

Nice write up, thanks

Edited by northshorepom
removed pic that referred to a quote that a mod removed

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You shouldn't have to spec it - it should be the norm on houses in areas that get cold in winter, as it does in the ACT. And there is insulation, and insulation. As per one of the other responses, insulation standards vary (although they shouldn't, "cheap" housing areas having minimal insulation is really lame) and in general it's poor. Talk about defending the indefensible. There are loads of great things about this country, build standards when it comes to handing winter isn't one of them

 

Nice write up, thanks

 

If you want highly spec'd houses they are available.

 

However, most Aussies don't appear to have a problem with being comfortable in houses that don't have double glazing and the highest grade insulation. Perhaps it is simply a case of Australians being more acclimatised to the variance in temps. If the Aussie don't want all the extra insulation etc and won't pay for it why would a builder do it unless specifically asked to.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi - glad you are settling into Canberra. It is safe and a great place for families. Although Casey was designed as a more affordable housing area (hence minimal insulation and lack of double glazing) is looks like quite a nice area and close to schools and the oval etc for those with kids.

 

In relation to flashing your car headlights - we only do that for two reasons. To warn of danger or to warn a mobile speed camera is up ahead. If people are giving you funny looks it is because you are confusing them. You are saying something is wrong but they can't see what it is. If you want to let someone into traffic just slow down and give them a wave. By the way, flashing your lights to warn about speed cameras is illegal - although most people do it anyway.

 

Hope things continue to go well for you here. :smile:

 

While not saying you are wrong Freckleface I thought I would add that growing up in Brisbane everyone flashed people in etc. It is less popular these days but I notice some people still do it - including me. It should be encouraged. :biggrin:

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While not saying you are wrong Freckleface I thought I would add that growing up in Brisbane everyone flashed people in etc. It is less popular these days but I notice some people still do it - including me. It should be encouraged. :biggrin:

 

Yeah they tend to do it more where I grew up as well (south coast NSW) although nowhere near as much now as when I was little. Canberrans don't like it though - they can actually get a bit agro when someone does lol.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think that double glazing may not be suitable in Aus. We were in UK summer 2010 and it was hot and we found that the double glazing made the places we rented a lot hotter, we do not need that here. We have block out blinds and drapes and they work fine to keep the heat in and the heat out when necessary but we can also get the house cool easy as well.

 

I do see that there are a lot of people pushing double glazing these days and I know if you are on a new development near to a freeway its mandatory that double glazing is installed for the noise.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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If you want highly spec'd houses they are available.

 

However, most Aussies don't appear to have a problem with being comfortable in houses that don't have double glazing and the highest grade insulation. Perhaps it is simply a case of Australians being more acclimatised to the variance in temps. If the Aussie don't want all the extra insulation etc and won't pay for it why would a builder do it unless specifically asked to.

 

It (insulation) is cheap as chips if installed at build - costs virtually nothing compared to the price of the rest of the build, regardless of the spec. Double glazing slightly more expensive but again not that much compared to the overall build costs. And plenty of the Aussies I work and socialise with bitch about their houses - and energy bills, which is more to the point. Maybe increasing energy costs and carbon taxes and the like will finally bring people to their senses, let's hope so. I work with people who live in relatively modest 3 bed houses in relatively warm Sydney, and get electric bills of $1000 or more for a quarter over winter when they're trying to be careful. That is insane, from a household finance and climate change point of view. When I've worked up figures for annual running costs and energy usage per square metre they frequently come in 50% or more over the equivalent in most European countries, countries where winter is much colder and much longer and where heating bills should be cheaper. It can't be excused because of hot summer temperatures either, going to the Euro experience again there are places like Germany (away from the coasts) that have consistent hot summers with 30C+ temperatures frequent, and cold winters at -10C and below for longish spells. Much lower energy use. A properly designed and built house can easily cope with extremes of temperature at both ends and the principle behind keeping a house either warm or cool is the same one, albeit you have to consider solar gain (through windows) carefully for hot summers, but it's easily dealt with.

 

I've seen the inside of lots of houses in both countries, it's my job. What goes on here is just a function of custom and practice, there's no good economic or climactic reason for it. It really isn't very good, you know. Like I said, lots of things here are wonderful, but this isn't one.

Edited by northshorepom

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As Freckleface says, all new houses have to be efficient and a fair few homeowners here are quite savvy, but a lot aren't. They don't know that insulation keeps the house cool in summer so saves on electricity bills for aircon, for instance.

I don't buy that they're more acclimatised to the weather either, the hats and scarfs were out in May.

The builders are pretty good however, they know their stuff and it's standard practice now, unless you get a cowboy.

 

The main problem is that a pretty large percentage of houses here are rentals, and the owner has no desire to spend any money on them. The owner passes all fuel and electricity bills onto the renter, so isn't affected by the carbon tax either.

The only way they will learn is if the value of the house drops significantly because it becomes less desirable due to inefficiency, or if they cannot find a renter, or the rental price drops to compensate for the extra bills.

However, the occupancy rates are high and the money they cream on rentals here would even dwarf even a loss in capital value, so it's hard to see what the answer is.

 

The secret is...get into a newer property if you can, because bills are only going to go up and up.


"Nationalism is an infantile disease, it is the measles of mankind." Albert Einstein

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Canberra drivers worse habit, is driving slowly in the right hand lane.

 

I've wanted, for a while now, a lit up, scrolling, text display for the back window of my car. It woud read.

 

"THIS IS AUSTRALIA.......WE DRIVE ON THE LEFT HERE....."


all my eye and Betty Martin.

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Canberra drivers worse habit, is driving slowly in the right hand lane.

 

I've wanted, for a while now, a lit up, scrolling, text display for the back window of my car. It woud read.

 

"THIS IS AUSTRALIA.......WE DRIVE ON THE LEFT HERE....."

 

Ha ha, right with ya! I wasn't sure if pulling in once you've over taken someone was a road law here as 90% of people do not...going 60 in an 80 in the right hand lane seems to be quite popular in Canberra!!!

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Hi Ben, we've been here 4 weeks and certainly notice the cold house syndrome! The crappy wall mounted heaters are usually on most of the day/night as we're renting there's not much we can do about that.

 

Driving is a bit odd, but I've driven some places that makes Canberra drivers look fantastic, eg Paris, Milan and London! They may be slow here, but at least they're not trying to kill themselves in a hurry! On the plus side, a slower pace on the road allows better sightseeing! Canberra has lots to see.

 

I love it here, bad couldn't think of a better place to raise my kids!

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Hi Ben

 

My family have been here since Feb and I would agree with you on all your observations so far. As a fellow Northerner (Cumbrian) I would agree that the Aussie's although polite are not the friendliest bunch and don't make it easy to break into established groups of friends.

I know that being from the UK we are supposed to be used to the cold but some of these Canberran mornings take the biscuit I really miss my radiators and double glazing more then I ever thought possible!

 

On the plus side at least we have the promise of a sunny and warm summer that may last more then 2 weeks and we are much closer to the beach then we were at home. We have a toddler and I think overall that this definitely seems a great place to raise kids as it manages not to have that 'big city' feel.

 

Hope you continue to enjoy your time in Canberra.

 

Kate

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hi ben, we've been here 4 weeks and certainly notice the cold house syndrome! The crappy wall mounted heaters are usually on most of the day/night as we're renting there's not much we can do about that.

 

Driving is a bit odd, but i've driven some places that makes canberra drivers look fantastic, eg paris, milan and london! They may be slow here, but at least they're not trying to kill themselves in a hurry! On the plus side, a slower pace on the road allows better sightseeing! Canberra has lots to see.

 

I love it here, bad couldn't think of a better place to raise my kids!

 

totally agree!


 

:ssign15:Mobile Hairdresser. For a competetive and professional service, covering most of Canberra.

Fully insured. Fully Qualified. Fully experienced. 0468340215

 

 

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Canberra drivers worse habit, is driving slowly in the right hand lane.

 

I've wanted, for a while now, a lit up, scrolling, text display for the back window of my car. It woud read.

 

"THIS IS AUSTRALIA.......WE DRIVE ON THE LEFT HERE....."

 

You might want to add "if you think I'm driving too slow overtake on the inside" What's your problem? just use the inside lane and overtake, it's not hard and happens all the time.

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Guest Ptp113
You might want to add "if you think I'm driving too slow overtake on the inside" What's your problem? just use the inside lane and overtake, it's not hard and happens all the time.

 

And it's legal

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we have been here 8 months now and have just bought a 3 bedroom house, we get the keys next week and we are so looking forward to moving in in November. We love Canberra a perfect place to raise a family


 

:ssign15:Mobile Hairdresser. For a competetive and professional service, covering most of Canberra.

Fully insured. Fully Qualified. Fully experienced. 0468340215

 

 

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Where abouts in Cumbria are you from Woodsy16? We're from Kendal - we live in Nicholls and totally agree with you about the radiators and double glazing, bloody freezing at the moment having just moved back from the Gold Coast!!!

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Just go to Sydney, driving there is a real test.

 

Dont even mention taxi drivers, they are all pretty manic and I always feel ill after the roller coaster ride. Good old Black Cabbies in London!

 

As for cold housing, we rented in the Metropolitan Towers, a relatively new apartment block in the City, we froze sufficiently due to large areas of signle glazing until we found a double glazed apartment in Kingston - now much warmer.

 

Oz is 10-20 years behind the UK. For a Country that has just brought in a controversial Carbon tax, the lack of double glazing to keep the heat in / out seems rediculous.

 

Be aware of this if you are looking for a property in Oz - find a well designed / constructed modern property if you are looking for a warm property!

 

Martin

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Where abouts in Cumbria are you from Woodsy16? We're from Kendal - we live in Nicholls and totally agree with you about the radiators and double glazing, bloody freezing at the moment having just moved back from the Gold Coast!!!

 

 

Hi Gotty

 

We are from Whitehaven originally but lived in Carlisle for 5 yrs before coming here. I never knew anywhere in Oz could get this cold so pleased we kept some of our woolies! It does give me some comfort though when we check the weather report and summer at home is not much warmer then what we have now!

 

How long have you been out here?

 

kate

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