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Canada2Australia

My Experience Living in the NT

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So, it's been 3.5 years since I've moved to the NT. And wow, what a 3.5 years it's been.

First off, I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring the outback in the area; definitely some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. I've been camping, hiking, fishing and kayaking. Enjoyed all of those moments. As well, Darwin has a pretty good festival and market scene. This is likely because it is the only large centre in all of the NT and is incredibly isolated from all other large Australian centres. So there are a few perks indeed.

However, after having said that, everything else has been...well....pretty bad. Darwin itself has many many issues that it is hardly tackling at the moment. Crime is literally out of control. Substance and alcohol abuse is rampant throughout every corner of the city. And the City Council are about as backwards and incompetent as they come. The economy is in the toilet, and the population is declining; people are leaving in a steady stream. Real estate is beyond overprices, which should be correcting itself but property owners are greedy buggers and prices are not falling as they should be based on simple supply and demand. Oh yeah, the climate can be unbearable at times, but that is the least of anyone's problems and can be easily mitigated.

My biggest issues has been with the people here. There are so many people up here who are....how should I put this......not balanced. Many people come up here from other parts of the country to try and escape their problems from where they come from. Instead, what happens is that they bring their baggage up here and act out through drinking and public displays of violence. I would say many people in Darwin need counselling, but they need to make the initiative to get it themselves. Also, people up here are very cliquey in nature. There aren't too many born and bred locals. But for those that are still around, and those that have been here for quite a number of years, there seems to be a reluctance to welcome newcomers into their social circles. This is because many people here come and go; the city is literally a giant revolving door. People come up here for a period of time to make their money, get whatever experience they need, and then leave. So I guess I can understand that mindset to a degree. But for me, I was looking to stay long-term and was wanting to make those deep connections. Unfortunately, I was not accepted very well up here and the friends that I did make, never lasted long or amounted to much. Plus I had some serious fallings out with a few people up here, and sometimes that can influence others into choosing sides. For me, I lost out and ended up losing all my "good" friends. You really discover who people are and their "loyalty" towards you through situation like this. Many people up here become depressed for various reasons, and I was one of those people, for two years, deeply. I've only started to recover in the last 3 months thankfully. There is just something about this place that seems to affect many people in a very negative way.

So, to sum up, I have not enjoyed my time up in Darwin or the NT overall and have decided that I will not settle here permanently. It's just not my cup of tea, and many would agree. You either like it or hate it. There really isn't much of a middle ground.

I've been living in Mackay QLD for the last few months, and I love it out here. Since coming out here, my life has improved substantially. My PR was granted two days after I arrived, I've started to mingle with people again and am slowly building friendships (although this will take some time I am aware). Also, I've been offered to be relocated here for a bit with an option of staying permanently or moving to Cairns should I choose to, which I am considering because I like it up there as well. I should be out of the NT permanently by end of next February at the absolute latest.

So to sum it up, think very carefully about choosing Darwin or anywhere in the NT as a place to live. Do some research on the place and even come and spend some time there as a means of gauging whether you want to live here. You may end up liking it, or it could be the worst choice you ever made in your life.

 

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Your assessment doesn't surprise me.  One of my friends moved there (from Sydney) for family reasons and spent the first six months in tears.  She seems happy now, but she lives out of town and her life revolves around her extended family and child.  

Here's a heartfelt post from another Darwin migrant that will strike a chord with you:

I wonder how @Huntersmummy is doing now?

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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1 hour ago, Marisawright said:

Your assessment doesn't surprise me.  One of my friends moved there (from Sydney) for family reasons and spent the first six months in tears.  She seems happy now, but she lives out of town and her life revolves around her extended family and child.  

Here's a heartfelt post from another Darwin migrant that will strike a chord with you:

I wonder how @Huntersmummy is doing now?

 

Yes I thought of her when I was reading Canada2Australia's post.  I do hope she managed to get away from Darwin.

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5 hours ago, Marisawright said:

Your assessment doesn't surprise me.  One of my friends moved there (from Sydney) for family reasons and spent the first six months in tears.  She seems happy now, but she lives out of town and her life revolves around her extended family and child.  

Here's a heartfelt post from another Darwin migrant that will strike a chord with you:

I wonder how @Huntersmummy is doing now?

Her posts used to crack me up. Hope she is well.

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9 minutes ago, Amber Snowball said:

Her posts used to crack me up. Hope she is well.

She has a fabulous sense of humour.  Probably helps her to cope.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Marisawright said:

Your assessment doesn't surprise me.  One of my friends moved there (from Sydney) for family reasons and spent the first six months in tears.  She seems happy now, but she lives out of town and her life revolves around her extended family and child.  

Here's a heartfelt post from another Darwin migrant that will strike a chord with you:

I wonder how @Huntersmummy is doing now?

Ah yes,  I remember reading that thread all those years ago. Would be  interesting to hear how things turned out for her.

I had no idea how my situation would turn out,  however I would have never thought it would be as bad as it had been. But thankfully the light is at the end of the tunnel for me,  and even though I've had moments where I was despising Aussies in general, I was able to put things into perspective and not despise the entire country or it's people. I mean geeze, this isn't the US haha (which I do despise along with most people I meet from there, unfortunately).

I also read through her last created thread,  and coming from an area of Canada that has a lot of issues with Aboriginals (although not as bad as in Darwin where I grew up anyways), I can relate,  and it never phased me too much of what goes on in Darwin. But it still doesn't make things any better nonetheless.  

 

Edited by Canada2Australia

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It's a difficult one isn't it - for some of us NT is the foot in the door to Australia and the pathway to an 887 visa after 2 years so maybe there are a lot of people there with no intention of staying which leads to a strange atmosphere or something? People not wanting to get to close to people so maybe there's an underlying tension up there.

Thanks for posting this, it's certainly food for thought. Will possibly be there by next March or so

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I’ve lived in Darwin for 2 and a half years now
My experience is completely different to Canada2Australia

My family absolutely love it here & I have to say other than the rental prices & yes economically it’s having a tough time , I disagree with virtually everything said

Crime isn’t rampant on with drug or alcohol abuse on every street corner. Sorry Absolute rubbish scaremongering.

We’ve found the people amazingly friendly and have made friends for life and have a fantastic social circle

We have so many friends who have children who love Darwin as it’s such a great place for kids and relaxing lifestyle

We all have opinions and ours clearly differ. Our experiences shape a place & the issue with friends that Canada2Australia had may have left a sour taste & association with Darwin . I can only guess

Some of the comments & scaremongering about Darwin I’ve read are not warranted

No where is perfect but we know so many people that love Darwin

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23 minutes ago, PFC1975 said:

I’ve lived in Darwin for 2 and a half years now
My experience is completely different to Canada2Australia

My family absolutely love it here & I have to say other than the rental prices & yes economically it’s having a tough time , I disagree with virtually everything said

Crime isn’t rampant on with drug or alcohol abuse on every street corner. Sorry Absolute rubbish scaremongering.

We’ve found the people amazingly friendly and have made friends for life and have a fantastic social circle

We have so many friends who have children who love Darwin as it’s such a great place for kids and relaxing lifestyle

We all have opinions and ours clearly differ. Our experiences shape a place & the issue with friends that Canada2Australia had may have left a sour taste & association with Darwin . I can only guess

Some of the comments & scaremongering about Darwin I’ve read are not warranted

No where is perfect but we know so many people that love Darwin
 

It is worth pointing out that crime levels in NT are statistically per capita significantly higher than other states, particularly in Darwin (although Alice Springs is officially the crime capital of Australia). The perceived reasons for this are well documented in numerous government studies. My limited experience with Darwin made me feel less safe walking around the city than other cities i've been to Australia. That said, friends who've lived there have thoroughly enjoyed the life and spoke very positively about their experiences. 

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The perceived reasons you mention It is worth pointing out that what increases that crime level is Indigenous on Indigenous crime
High levels of domestic violence

This skews the figures and crime which very very rarely affects other people in Darwin
More are affected in Alice Springs though

For the Indigenous population it’s a terrible and sad situation

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8 hours ago, PFC1975 said:

I’ve lived in Darwin for 2 and a half years now
My experience is completely different to Canada2Australia

My family absolutely love it here & I have to say other than the rental prices & yes economically it’s having a tough time , I disagree with virtually everything said

Crime isn’t rampant on with drug or alcohol abuse on every street corner. Sorry Absolute rubbish scaremongering.

We’ve found the people amazingly friendly and have made friends for life and have a fantastic social circle

We have so many friends who have children who love Darwin as it’s such a great place for kids and relaxing lifestyle

We all have opinions and ours clearly differ. Our experiences shape a place & the issue with friends that Canada2Australia had may have left a sour taste & association with Darwin . I can only guess

Some of the comments & scaremongering about Darwin I’ve read are not warranted

No where is perfect but we know so many people that love Darwin
 

Music to my ears!

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, PFC1975 said:

I’ve lived in Darwin for 2 and a half years now
My experience is completely different to Canada2Australia

My family absolutely love it here & I have to say other than the rental prices & yes economically it’s having a tough time , I disagree with virtually everything said

Crime isn’t rampant on with drug or alcohol abuse on every street corner. Sorry Absolute rubbish scaremongering.

We’ve found the people amazingly friendly and have made friends for life and have a fantastic social circle

We have so many friends who have children who love Darwin as it’s such a great place for kids and relaxing lifestyle

We all have opinions and ours clearly differ. Our experiences shape a place & the issue with friends that Canada2Australia had may have left a sour taste & association with Darwin . I can only guess

Some of the comments & scaremongering about Darwin I’ve read are not warranted

No where is perfect but we know so many people that love Darwin
 

Good to hear you are enjoying life in Darwin.  I live in Tasmania and it wouldn't suit everybody either but I love it here.

Edited by Toots
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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, PFC1975 said:

I’ve lived in Darwin for 2 and a half years now
My experience is completely different to Canada2Australia

My family absolutely love it here & I have to say other than the rental prices & yes economically it’s having a tough time , I disagree with virtually everything said
 

Why do you think it works so well for you, yet so many people struggle?    I know four people who've moved there.  One is a single mum who moved back to be with family, two moved to Darwin because of their husband's work.  All three of those women found it very, very hard and were frequently in tears of despair.  The other was a single man in his thirties who also hated it.  Does it depend on how well-off you are, which suburbs you live in, age - any ideas?

Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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18 hours ago, Marisawright said:

Why do you think it works so well for you, yet so many people struggle?    I know four people who've moved there.  One is a single mum who moved back to be with family, two moved to Darwin because of their husband's work.  All three of those women found it very, very hard and were frequently in tears of despair.  The other was a single man in his thirties who also hated it.  Does it depend on how well-off you are, which suburbs you live in, age - any ideas?

On the other hand, I know many, many people who love the Darwin, My son and his partner met there and they are seriously thinking of returning and their kids were born there. I have been going there for better than 50 years, first time in 1964 when the Darwin city ended at Winnellie caravan park. Indeed, we used to see buffaloes where Palmerston now stands. Now, it has grown to a thriving cosmopolitan city. In the  '60s and '70s, we used to go for long weekends when we lived in Kununurra, WA. and it was always a pleasure to be there.

And yes, Jo and I got married there, in the city centre. I am on a Territorian forum  and very little is mentioned about crime.

So, I have seen it grow from a very small, capitol city, to a thriving and exciting cosmoplitan city, worth its place in Australia.

Cheers, Bobj.

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On 16/08/2019 at 21:44, PFC1975 said:

I’ve lived in Darwin for 2 and a half years now
My experience is completely different to Canada2Australia

My family absolutely love it here & I have to say other than the rental prices & yes economically it’s having a tough time , I disagree with virtually everything said

Crime isn’t rampant on with drug or alcohol abuse on every street corner. Sorry Absolute rubbish scaremongering.

We’ve found the people amazingly friendly and have made friends for life and have a fantastic social circle

We have so many friends who have children who love Darwin as it’s such a great place for kids and relaxing lifestyle

We all have opinions and ours clearly differ. Our experiences shape a place & the issue with friends that Canada2Australia had may have left a sour taste & association with Darwin . I can only guess

Some of the comments & scaremongering about Darwin I’ve read are not warranted

No where is perfect but we know so many people that love Darwin
 

That's fine for you, but you are in the minority, nationally speaking. You can call my opinion "rubbish" all you want, but others, MANY others, share my sentiment. No need to attack my opinion simply because you disagree with it.

Edited by Canada2Australia

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