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I’m looking into moving to Oz with my wife, 2 kids (3 and 5) and cat. We’re trying to decide on a location and it’s got my head spinning. 
 

I work in railway engineering and my wife’s a PM in utilities. There seems to be quite a lots of opportunities for both of us, mainly if not exclusively in the main urban centres and seems likely one or both of us could get sponsored. 
 

The issue is we’d like to live somewhere fairly rural, a town not a city, near the beach, but within commuting distance from city. Don’t want to be much over an hour away. 
 

We’ll rent initially but want to be somewhere we can afford to buy once settled. We’ll have between $800k and $1m to spend on a 4 bed ideally with a garden and pool. 
 

Currently considering areas around Melbourne (have a relative there) and Brisbane (cheaper and better weather). Would consider Sydney but don’t think we can afford it. With the possible exception of Perth (with I feel is too isolated) everywhere else will likely be too small to sustain work. 
 

Any idea would be appreciated!

 

 

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8 hours ago, JustJoe said:

The issue is we’d like to live somewhere fairly rural, a town not a city, near the beach, but within commuting distance from city. Don’t want to be much over an hour away. 
 

That's definitely your issue. Australia is not like England, where you have big cities surrounded by lots of little villages.  We don't have that.

It takes more than two hours just to drive from one side of Melbourne to the other.  So if you want to be an hour from the city centre, you're still in the middle of suburbia.  Same goes for Sydney.  Living in a country town outside Sydney or Melbourne means being two or three hours from the city. 

With the budget you mention, I'd say Brisbane is the only city worth considering. 

Edited by Marisawright

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

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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10 hours ago, JustJoe said:

I’m looking into moving to Oz with my wife, 2 kids (3 and 5) and cat. We’re trying to decide on a location and it’s got my head spinning. 
 

I work in railway engineering and my wife’s a PM in utilities. There seems to be quite a lots of opportunities for both of us, mainly if not exclusively in the main urban centres and seems likely one or both of us could get sponsored. 
 

The issue is we’d like to live somewhere fairly rural, a town not a city, near the beach, but within commuting distance from city. Don’t want to be much over an hour away. 
 

We’ll rent initially but want to be somewhere we can afford to buy once settled. We’ll have between $800k and $1m to spend on a 4 bed ideally with a garden and pool. 
 

Currently considering areas around Melbourne (have a relative there) and Brisbane (cheaper and better weather). Would consider Sydney but don’t think we can afford it. With the possible exception of Perth (with I feel is too isolated) everywhere else will likely be too small to sustain work. 
 

Any idea would be appreciated!

 

 

As someone who lived in Melbourne for almost 10 years before moving to Queensland, I'd definitely recommend Brisbane. The bad news though is that the beaches near Brisbane aren't the best and because everyone wants to be near the beach they're also the most crowded and expensive parts of Brisbane. However you can easily find somewhere that is fairly rural yet officially still in Brisbane (Greater Brisbane is twice the size of Greater London but with a quarter of the population) and so in commuting distance. People also commute to Brisbane from the Northern end of the Gold Coast and the Southern end of the Sunshine Coast.

Your budget would cover a 4 bed in the Western suburbs of Melbourne but not in the more popular South East of Melbourne.  You'd have a much wider choice of affordable suburbs (some of which are fairly rural) in Brisbane.

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Chartered Accountant (England & Wales); Registered Tax Agent & Fellow of The Tax Institute (Australia) www.kbfayers.com

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Brisbane is our first choice at the moment, for all the reasons you’ve mentioned.
 

Any recommendations of suburbs around Brisbane that are rural (ish), good schools, nice cafes, nice feel? Ideally walking distance of a beach but realize we may have to compromise on this. We just want to bear water so close to a nice lake might work too, if that’s a thing?

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44 minutes ago, JustJoe said:

Brisbane is our first choice at the moment, for all the reasons you’ve mentioned.
 

Any recommendations of suburbs around Brisbane that are rural (ish), good schools, nice cafes, nice feel? Ideally walking distance of a beach but realize we may have to compromise on this. We just want to bear water so close to a nice lake might work too, if that’s a thing?

There isnt really a proper beach in and around Brisbane at all to be honest. If you need to be in the city then perhaps South Bank which has the (fabulous) made made beach with loads of restaurants, bbqs etc. Otherwise, have you considered the North end of the Gold Coast? You can commute to Brisbane from the GC but its a city in itself with loads of job opportunities, stunning beaches galore. Even though there is no beaches as such in Brisbane itself IMO it beats Melbourne hands down, but I am biased and I am sure others may disagree.. Certainly the QLD beaches are way better that the ones surrounding Melbourne once you get to them

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16 hours ago, JustJoe said:

I’m looking into moving to Oz with my wife, 2 kids (3 and 5) and cat. We’re trying to decide on a location and it’s got my head spinning. 
 

I work in railway engineering and my wife’s a PM in utilities. There seems to be quite a lots of opportunities for both of us, mainly if not exclusively in the main urban centres and seems likely one or both of us could get sponsored. 
 

The issue is we’d like to live somewhere fairly rural, a town not a city, near the beach, but within commuting distance from city. Don’t want to be much over an hour away. 
 

We’ll rent initially but want to be somewhere we can afford to buy once settled. We’ll have between $800k and $1m to spend on a 4 bed ideally with a garden and pool. 
 

Currently considering areas around Melbourne (have a relative there) and Brisbane (cheaper and better weather). Would consider Sydney but don’t think we can afford it. With the possible exception of Perth (with I feel is too isolated) everywhere else will likely be too small to sustain work. 
 

Any idea would be appreciated!

 

 

Moooorning, you may know this of course, so apologies if so - on the cat front, worth kicking the process off early doors with regards to rabies vaccine as there's a 6 month period between confirming immunity post-jab and them being able to travel. The vaccine is valid for 2 years 👍

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I’ve just had a chat with someone who works in the same industry as me who move to Melbourne a few years ago and discovered my salary is likely to be 50% higher than I was banking on! Off the back of that our potential budget just went up and Melbourne is back in the running, he thought a lot of leafy suburbs feel more like towns in them selves… back to the drawing board.

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5 hours ago, JustJoe said:

I’ve just had a chat with someone who works in the same industry as me who move to Melbourne a few years ago and discovered my salary is likely to be 50% higher than I was banking on! Off the back of that our potential budget just went up and Melbourne is back in the running, he thought a lot of leafy suburbs feel more like towns in them selves… back to the drawing board.

The higher salary doesn’t change the commute times though


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

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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8 hours ago, JustJoe said:

I’ve just had a chat with someone who works in the same industry as me who move to Melbourne a few years ago and discovered my salary is likely to be 50% higher than I was banking on! Off the back of that our potential budget just went up and Melbourne is back in the running, he thought a lot of leafy suburbs feel more like towns in them selves… back to the drawing board.

I live in the leafy Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne. It really is a wonderful place to be.

 


Buy a man eat fish. The Day, Teach Man, to lifetime.      - Joe Biden.

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9 hours ago, JustJoe said:

I’ve just had a chat with someone who works in the same industry as me who move to Melbourne a few years ago and discovered my salary is likely to be 50% higher than I was banking on! Off the back of that our potential budget just went up and Melbourne is back in the running, he thought a lot of leafy suburbs feel more like towns in them selves… back to the drawing board.

I wonder if you're putting the cart before the horse.   If you go for a skilled visa, you'll have quite a few hoops to jump through before you can get your application submitted, and then you'll have a year or more to wait until you find out if you're going to be successful, so I would suggest getting that sorted out before you worry about where you might live.

If you want to go the sponsorship route, then be aware that there are temporary sponsored visas (a 482 visa) which only gets you 2 to 4 years in Australia, with a possibility (not a guarantee) that you might be able to stay permanently after that.  If you have children's education to worry about, you might want to be cautious about that option. Think of it as a great opportunity to experience another country but plan for the possibility you'll be going home again, e.g. don't sell your home.  

The other option is a 186 visa, which is a permanent visa.  If you can get one of those, grab it with both hands.  However, it's not easy, so don't assume you can choose where you want to live, give someone a ring and bingo, you'll have a job. Australian employers, in general, won't sponsor someone from overseas for a 186 unless they're desperate.  So if you want to go that route, I'd start hunting for an employer first and then your location will be decided.

 

Edited by Marisawright

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

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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8 hours ago, Marisawright said:

The higher salary doesn’t change the commute times though

No but it might mean being able to live in a suburb that feels less city but is still in commuting distance, a bit of a change of tacked I know. 

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4 hours ago, Marisawright said:

I wonder if you're putting the cart before the horse.   If you go for a skilled visa, you'll have quite a few hoops to jump through before you can get your application submitted, and then you'll have a year or more to wait until you find out if you're going to be successful, so I would suggest getting that sorted out before you worry about where you might live.

If you want to go the sponsorship route, then be aware that there are temporary sponsored visas (a 482 visa) which only gets you 2 to 4 years in Australia, with a possibility (not a guarantee) that you might be able to stay permanently after that.  If you have children's education to worry about, you might want to be cautious about that option. Think of it as a great opportunity to experience another country but plan for the possibility you'll be going home again, e.g. don't sell your home.  

The other option is a 186 visa, which is a permanent visa.  If you can get one of those, grab it with both hands.  However, it's not easy, so don't assume you can choose where you want to live, give someone a ring and bingo, you'll have a job. Australian employers, in general, won't sponsor someone from overseas for a 186 unless they're desperate.  So if you want to go that route, I'd start hunting for an employer first and then your location will be decided.

 

The guy I spoke to went over on a 482 and now after 3 years with the same employer has just got PR, it sounds like most employers would offer a 482 and circumstances are similar to his so fingers crossed PR would be an option, I love the idea of giving our kids due nationality, even if we decide to return, so fingers. That said we would as you suggest rent our house here until we knew we could and wanted to stay. Take it as a 3/4 year adventure with a possibility of staying or returning at the end. 
 

It seems likely my wife could also get sponsored on a 482. So another option is we all come over on that and I look for work as a contractor, which is what I do here in UK.
 

Work may well end up dictating it but we want to know where to start looking for work, if we don’t find it in our first choice we may have to look elsewhere. 
 

Thanks for all the advice everyone.

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22 hours ago, Raplin45 said:

Moooorning, you may know this of course, so apologies if so - on the cat front, worth kicking the process off early doors with regards to rabies vaccine as there's a 6 month period between confirming immunity post-jab and them being able to travel. The vaccine is valid for 2 years 👍

Thank I did not know about those times, we’re gonna get the ball rolling with this so it’s not a blocker later. 👍

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6 hours ago, Parley said:

I live in the leafy Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne. It really is a wonderful place to be.

 

Any recommendations?

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21 minutes ago, JustJoe said:

Any recommendations?

Well it comes down to budget. My suburb around Blackburn you will need $1M at least. although prices are apparently dropping so may be quite a bit cheaper in a year or 2.

If that is too much just go a bit further east towards Ringwood or even further.

The good thing is that Belgrave/Lilydale line is probably the best train line to be on for travelling to the city.

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Buy a man eat fish. The Day, Teach Man, to lifetime.      - Joe Biden.

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I think it would boil down to what you are looking for in the move. Yes you may get paid more in Melbourne but house prices and cost of living are quite a bit higher so it will likely negate the higher salary. Therefore start from what you are looking for.. People move to Melbourne for a vibrant city-it's arguably better for culture, diversity and events than Brisbane. The city itself is always described as more European feeling than others. If you are after what we Brits think of as an Aussie lifestyle then Brisbane is likely to be more for you. It has a more relaxed pace of life, better surrounding beaches, hotter weather (Melbournes weather, whilst probably still better than the UK, is not what people imagine of Australia-it can be rainy, cloudy and colder much more often), so all in all, Brisbane and Melbourne will give you pretty different things from your move, so dont just follow the money unless you have no preference otherwise

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5 hours ago, Ruth1 said:

I think it would boil down to what you are looking for in the move. Yes you may get paid more in Melbourne but house prices and cost of living are quite a bit higher so it will likely negate the higher salary. Therefore start from what you are looking for.. People move to Melbourne for a vibrant city-it's arguably better for culture, diversity and events than Brisbane. The city itself is always described as more European feeling than others. If you are after what we Brits think of as an Aussie lifestyle then Brisbane is likely to be more for you. It has a more relaxed pace of life, better surrounding beaches, hotter weather (Melbournes weather, whilst probably still better than the UK, is not what people imagine of Australia-it can be rainy, cloudy and colder much more often), so all in all, Brisbane and Melbourne will give you pretty different things from your move, so dont just follow the money unless you have no preference otherwise

Sound advice and something we have been thinking ourselves. I’m leaning towards Brisbane for all the reasons you stated. Apprehensive about the mozies, they love me, it’s not reciprocated. Never been at that time of year so not sure how bad they are but guess it depends where about you are… 

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1 hour ago, JustJoe said:

Sound advice and something we have been thinking ourselves. I’m leaning towards Brisbane for all the reasons you stated. Apprehensive about the mozies, they love me, it’s not reciprocated. Never been at that time of year so not sure how bad they are but guess it depends where about you are… 

Haha, yes that is a downside but they are only out for the summer months despite it being warm all year round. The first year I was bitten to death and then my body seemed to get used to it and after that hardly got bit at all 🤷🏻‍♀️

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On 12/09/2022 at 16:13, JustJoe said:

I’m looking into moving to Oz with my wife, 2 kids (3 and 5) and cat. We’re trying to decide on a location and it’s got my head spinning. 
 

I work in railway engineering and my wife’s a PM in utilities. There seems to be quite a lots of opportunities for both of us, mainly if not exclusively in the main urban centres and seems likely one or both of us could get sponsored. 
 

The issue is we’d like to live somewhere fairly rural, a town not a city, near the beach, but within commuting distance from city. Don’t want to be much over an hour away. 
 

We’ll rent initially but want to be somewhere we can afford to buy once settled. We’ll have between $800k and $1m to spend on a 4 bed ideally with a garden and pool. 
 

Currently considering areas around Melbourne (have a relative there) and Brisbane (cheaper and better weather). Would consider Sydney but don’t think we can afford it. With the possible exception of Perth (with I feel is too isolated) everywhere else will likely be too small to sustain work. 
 

Any idea would be appreciated!

 

 

Hello, 

Just browsing this for Brisbane things, visa's etc and thought i would mention somethings you may or may not know. 

We are planning the move with similar age children and I also work as a construction PM. We started the 189 process in January and aren't in the system yet as my skills assessment has been in for 22 weeks now. 

Ive now been offered a sponsorship which circumvents most of the process, however the sponsor visas are tricky as the usual option for many gives you temporary status which means you have to pay school fees (around $450-500 per week based on one in school and one in kindie), healthcare and (I think) have challenges if buying a property. For younger, single people or couples without kids these visas are fine but kids complicate things (in life lol). 

I think we are slightly ahead of you in our time line as we started the process fully in early January. As we have similar situations it might be useful info for you.

I have assurances from the company that we will work out the visa situation but its one to watch if you go that route. 

Good luck! 

Ps we were open to both cities too but as we are moving from west of Scotland which is quite affordable property wise, we just couldn't get what we wanted in Melbourne suburbs without going very far out. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Constance said:

I have assurances from the company that we will work out the visa situation but its one to watch if you go that route. 

Just bear in mind that assurances are not legally binding, even if they are in writing. If the company really wants you, then you should push for them to offer you a 186DE visa (which gives you a permanent visa), not just a 482.  

It's not just healthcare, school fees and property you have to consider.  It's the fact the visa is so insecure. If the company goes bust, you have 90 days to find another sponsor or you have to leave the country.  One of Australia's biggest construction companies went under recently -- how would you have felt if you were one of their 482 workers, faced with a 90 day deadline to pack up their family and get out?   Similarly, if the company has a restructure, the 482 workers are likely to be first out.  You know your industry, so consider how secure your job would be.

It's not necessarily a showstopper, it just means that you have to be aware it's a risk and plan accordingly.  Don't sell your UK home, for instance. 

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

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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Areas like redcliffe, Scarborough, Margate, all have beaches. Sandgate is a lovely village along seafront not great beach but nice.

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Also, please really think about the type of climate you would like to live and work in before deciding on Melbourne or Brisbane, both of which are lovely cities but in completely different ways.  It is one thing to say "I like heat", but living and working in temperatures that can get up to the mid to high thirties (C) with 100% humidity in the summer months can be quite challenging. I live in Brisbane and I struggle with the heat and humidity of our summers here (my husband less so) and I have often found that even the born and bred Queenslanders struggle with it.  However, the winters in Brisbane are lovely and mild.  If you want to live by the beach then yes, as 'partnership' says, the northern suburbs of Brisbane will give you that.  Just be aware that the long, long, sandy beaches that most of us come here for are 45 minutes to one hour south of Brisbane (Gold Coast) or 1 hour to 1.5 hours north of Brisbane (Sunshine Coast), depending on where you are situated as Brisbane is a river city.  The sea is never far, but in some parts of Brisbane is more harbour-type sea than sandy beaches. It would definitely be best to keep your UK home if you can possibly afford to until things are a bit more settled with your visa situation and to see if Australia is the right fit for your family.  Marisawright always gives such sound advice as above on these issues.  Wishing you all the best with your plans.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Brisbane Susan said:

Also, please really think about the type of climate you would like to live and work in before deciding on Melbourne or Brisbane, both of which are lovely cities but in completely different ways.  It is one thing to say "I like heat", but living and working in temperatures that can get up to the mid to high thirties (C) with 100% humidity in the summer months can be quite challenging. I live in Brisbane and I struggle with the heat and humidity of our summers here (my husband less so) and I have often found that even the born and bred Queenslanders struggle with it.  However, the winters in Brisbane are lovely and mild.  If you want to live by the beach then yes, as 'partnership' says, the northern suburbs of Brisbane will give you that.  Just be aware that the long, long, sandy beaches that most of us come here for are 45 minutes to one hour south of Brisbane (Gold Coast) or 1 hour to 1.5 hours north of Brisbane (Sunshine Coast), depending on where you are situated as Brisbane is a river city.  The sea is never far, but in some parts of Brisbane is more harbour-type sea than sandy beaches. It would definitely be best to keep your UK home if you can possibly afford to until things are a bit more settled with your visa situation and to see if Australia is the right fit for your family.  Marisawright always gives such sound advice as above on these issues.  Wishing you all the best with your plans.  

On the other hand the advantage of Southern Queensland over Melbourne is that the weather is a lot more consistent. If it's consistently warm you can get used to it whereas a summer in Melbourne can have a high of over 40 degrees one day and a high of below 20 degrees the next and then warm up again the following day.

I also find Queensland a lot less windy than Melbourne. Melbourne's not really wintry by UK standards but the number of windy days!

Edited by Ken
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Chartered Accountant (England & Wales); Registered Tax Agent & Fellow of The Tax Institute (Australia) www.kbfayers.com

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1 hour ago, Ken said:

On the other hand the advantage of Southern Queensland over Melbourne is that the weather is a lot more consistent. If it's consistently warm you can get used to it whereas a summer in Melbourne can have a high of over 40 degrees one day and a high of below 20 degrees the next and then warm up again the following day.

I also find Queensland a lot less windy than Melbourne. Melbourne's not really wintry by UK standards but the number of windy days!

However, even a 40 degree day in Melbourne starts fresh and fairly cool (I notice it never gets really hot until mid afternoon) so even a hot day is rarely uncomfortable the whole day, particularly as it’s nowhere near as humid as Sydney let alone Brisbane 


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

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, is due out August 2022

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Marisawright said:

However, even a 40 degree day in Melbourne starts fresh and fairly cool (I notice it never gets really hot until mid afternoon) so even a hot day is rarely uncomfortable the whole day, particularly as it’s nowhere near as humid as Sydney let alone Brisbane 

How do you all find the extreme weathers for both Melbourne and Brisbane (and wherever you are). Extremes are occurring more frequently everywhere, but they have been longstanding for Australia. 

I associate Melbourne with dry, bushfires and Brisbane with flooding. However, these are when it makes global news - what is it like more regularly?

It's something which my husband talks about more than me. We live in an area of the UK that never really has the extremes - Snow storms the worst, but very very rare and much less impact / danger etc. 

Being somewhere for shorter periods of time, as we have been in Oz before, doesn't give the real insight to longstanding issues. 

Edited by Constance
additional point

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