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Smirfyduo

Possibly moving from Melbourne to Mackay

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Hi everyone,

We (hubbie and I) are going to Mackay in August to have a look around....I have been offered a transfer there, so just need to see if we think that we would want to live there.:unsure:

 

Has anyone got any idea what the cost of living comparison is between Melbourne and Mackay? We have been in Melbourne for nearly 1.5 years now - any tips on things to look out for on our reccie trip??

 

How does it work with taking my car? It is registered with Vic Roads - taxed until March 11 - would I need to change the rego plates etc? How much would it cost? What do I tell Vic Roads?

 

Drivers licences? Again - we hold Vic Roads licences - valid for another few years - will we need to change them? If so, how soon and it is easy?

 

RACV cover? Can that just transfer and become RACQ cover?

 

What about getting my car from Melbourne to Mackay? 2,300km? Is driving it realistic? Put it in a container? Have thought about selling and buying again when (IF) we get there, but I like my little car, so not keen on that option.

 

Does anyone have a list of good areas / areas to avoid when living in Mackay? Would be working near Sarina, so that restricts things.....

 

Am sure we will have more questions, but any assistance, comments (even snide remarks???) welcome!!!!!!!!

 

Thanks

:notworthy:

Jules

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Hi everyone,

We (hubbie and I) are going to Mackay in August to have a look around....I have been offered a transfer there, so just need to see if we think that we would want to live there.:unsure:

 

Has anyone got any idea what the cost of living comparison is between Melbourne and Mackay? We have been in Melbourne for nearly 1.5 years now - any tips on things to look out for on our reccie trip??

 

How does it work with taking my car? It is registered with Vic Roads - taxed until March 11 - would I need to change the rego plates etc? How much would it cost? What do I tell Vic Roads?

 

Drivers licences? Again - we hold Vic Roads licences - valid for another few years - will we need to change them? If so, how soon and it is easy?

 

RACV cover? Can that just transfer and become RACQ cover?

 

What about getting my car from Melbourne to Mackay? 2,300km? Is driving it realistic? Put it in a container? Have thought about selling and buying again when (IF) we get there, but I like my little car, so not keen on that option.

 

Does anyone have a list of good areas / areas to avoid when living in Mackay? Would be working near Sarina, so that restricts things.....

 

Am sure we will have more questions, but any assistance, comments (even snide remarks???) welcome!!!!!!!!

 

Thanks

:notworthy:

Jules

 

G'day mate, good to see you are contemplating transferring to Paradise...

 

Mackay is quite an expensive city, rents especially, unfortunately, I cannot compare prices to Smellbum.

I believe that you must re-register car rego and driving licence within 3 months and I think RACV to RACQ is just a formality.

Would suggest that you drive north, should be a nice 3 day trip, preferably going via Shepparton and Morree

Driving Directions @ ExplorOz

 

Working near Sarina...Suggest that you look at that area, Sarina, Sarina Beach, Grasstree Beach, or Campwin Beach; they are between 13 and 18 km from Sarina and only 30-40 minutes to the Mackay CBD for weekly shopping.

 

Yell out if you need any more info, hey?

 

Cheers, Bobj.

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Guest girlwizz99

Have you visited Mackay yet? I think you will experience some culture shock after Melbourne...

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Mackay is quite an expensive city, rents especially, unfortunately, I cannot compare prices to Smellbum.

Cheers, Bobj.

 

:biglaugh::biglaugh::biglaugh:

 

From looking on the internet, rent seems about the same as Smellbum, just never know which areas are the nice ones and which aren't!!

 

Have been thinking about taking a few days to drive up if we do decide to move up - it doesn't seem so unrealistic now that you have said we could do it in about 3 days.

 

If we do make the decision to go, I'm sure hubbie will need loads of advice on the important stuff like fishing spots etc.

 

Thanks Bobj!!!

:hug:

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Have you visited Mackay yet? I think you will experience some culture shock after Melbourne...

 

Hi there,

No we haven't visited Mackay yet - reccie planned for August. :err:

 

We only moved to Melbourne in Feb 09, and that was a culture shock in itself!! Have lived in Zimbabwe and in the UK before Melbourne, and we think we are open to anything!!!!!

 

Anything in particular that you think we might struggle with? Am guessing you have been there before? How did you find it?

 

All positives and negatives welcome!!! We need to know what we are getting ourselves into!!!!

 

Cheers

Jules:wubclub:

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It is actually a very easy drive from Melbourne, go through Parkes and Goondiwindi rather than the coastal road, you'll save about 1/2 a day and the roads are quieter inland.

 

If it helps, there's a large population of various African nations (mainly white immigrants, but I know a few Ghanians too, about 15,000 all up), there's a few stores that specialise in Saffa foodstuffs too.

 

Sarina is significantly cheaper to rent and buy, it's a nice little area, very hilly with clean, quiet beaches. I'm guessing your hubby is either in sugar or trains as those are really the only two major industries there.

 

You're not going to have a vibrant nightlife or huge cafe and theatre culture, but equally you can park your car in the middle of town on a Saturday afternoon and it's been years since the last drive-by shooting.

 

Unless you're mad keen clubbers the only thing you might struggle with in the humidity in summer, this time of year the weather's at it's best and you'll love it compared with Melbourne (it's why my in laws have parked their caravan in my garden; they come up this time every year to get away from Victorian winters).

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Guest girlwizz99

I don't want to offend any Mackay residents but to me the town seemed rather red neck with quite a few unsavoury looking types in the bars and pubs, no real buzz or culture and the shopping is basically just Kmart etc ... I might be a little prissy however. I spent the last year in Townsville at the University and I would definitely say that is too red neck for my tastes as well... We are trying Cairns next! I have a yacht and love diving so am keen to be near the barrier reef.

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We are trying Cairns next! I have a yacht and love diving so am keen to be near the barrier reef.

 

Good luck with that!! Sounds fab!!:wubclub:

 

As for Mackay - will make a point of stopping in at a few pubs on our reccie trip and see how we go!! Regarding the shopping, I'm sure hubbie will be over the moon!! I will have to make frequent trips to Bris-vegas and Smellbum for work, so I can get my fix then:yes:

 

Thanks!!

 

Jules

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Hi,

 

I lived in Mackay for 3 months Oct 09 - Jan 10 and to be honest, I was really unhappy there.

 

I don't want to offend anyone either as everyone's tastes are different - I'm not really outdoorsy and burn very easily plus I had just moved there from Paris which may have influenced my experience somewhat.

 

In case it helps, what I really struggled with was the lack of shops (even just for gift buying, sounds silly but I love sending gifts), cafes closing at 3pm, poor quality restaurants (although maybe I'm a snob!),in the evenings the pubs all seemed to play music so loud you can't have a conversation, very few cultural activities of any kind and just the general isolation with Rockhampton and Townsville being 4 hours drive away.

 

Sorry this is all so negative but I guess I'm only sharing my experience in case it can help you be more forewarned than I was but all in all, I think your idea to go and visit Mackay is probably the best way to decide whether you'd like to live there or not.

 

As for me, I'm in Newcastle now and much happier.

 

Good luck with whatever you decide.

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Hi,

 

I lived in Mackay for 3 months Oct 09 - Jan 10 and to be honest, I was really unhappy there.

 

I don't want to offend anyone either as everyone's tastes are different - I'm not really outdoorsy and burn very easily plus I had just moved there from Paris which may have influenced my experience somewhat.

 

In case it helps, what I really struggled with was the lack of shops (even just for gift buying, sounds silly but I love sending gifts), cafes closing at 3pm, poor quality restaurants (although maybe I'm a snob!),in the evenings the pubs all seemed to play music so loud you can't have a conversation, very few cultural activities of any kind and just the general isolation with Rockhampton and Townsville being 4 hours drive away.

 

Sorry this is all so negative but I guess I'm only sharing my experience in case it can help you be more forewarned than I was but all in all, I think your idea to go and visit Mackay is probably the best way to decide whether you'd like to live there or not.

 

As for me, I'm in Newcastle now and much happier.

 

Good luck with whatever you decide.

 

Don't be sorry! I'd like the "warts and all" view so that we have an idea of things to really think about on our reccie trip!!:wideeyed:

 

On the sun front, I think we should be ok - neither of us are too fair.

 

I do have concerns regarding the shopping front, BUT - I will have to travel for work, so at the moment I'm hoping that coinciding work with shopping will give me my fix :jiggy:

 

Cafe's and restaurants... we don't eat out that often, but again - something to look out for on our reccie trip.

 

Like I said - warts and all - if you think of anything else, please shout!!

 

Thanks:wubclub:

Jules

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There's massive investment happening in retail at the moment; a couple of city fringes retail centres going in, the main shopping centre is doubling in size with a huge investment from Myer, Sunday trading has just started. You won't find a Gucci store, but then I watch the traffic report on the 6.30 news and wonder how people can spend a couple of hours a day commuting, horses for courses and all that.

 

It's a wealthy town, but you'd never know it by looking at the locals; I find it refreshing that it's the only place I've ever been that you don't get discriminated against in posh restaurants (yes, we do have some) for turning up in non-dressy clothes, as the restauranteurs know full well that the bloke with the scruffy beard and a postie's tan earns $150,000 a year.

 

The downside is that there aren't really family friendly pubs, actually not "pubs" in the respect of what you'd be familiar from in the UK at all, they're bars instead. There are, however, plenty of clubs with good food and sporting facilities around.

 

It's something you'd have to decide for yourself. I was highly reluctant to move here as I thought it looked like a bit of a dump, but after being here 6 years I would not consider moving to a city.

 

Just an anecdote; I worked with a Zimbawean bloke who visitied a friend here with the intention of moving to Sydney, but after seeing that the friend never locked his back door fell in love with the place. It has dodgy areas, but many suburbs have permanantly unlocked doors still. I'd rather that then a DFO outlet any day.

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Odd, innit??? Comparing a city of roughly 4 million to a city of about 95,000...Mackay does have most things Smellbum has, commensurate to size...but...has Smellbum got 15 or so tropical islands to enjoy? Has that great southern city got a fabulous barrier reef to enjoy? Does Smellbum have beautiful winters? :no:

 

And...the fishing is far, far better up in the Mackay region.:laugh: Got that in again, olly:tongue:

 

Cheers, Bobj.

 

 

Cheers, Bobj.

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There's massive investment happening in retail at the moment; a couple of city fringes retail centres going in, the main shopping centre is doubling in size with a huge investment from Myer, Sunday trading has just started. You won't find a Gucci store, .

 

Not the biggest Gucci fan so I might JUST survive that one! :cute:

 

It's a wealthy town, but you'd never know it by looking at the locals; I find it refreshing that it's the only place I've ever been that you don't get discriminated against in posh restaurants (yes, we do have some) for turning up in non-dressy clothes, as the restauranteurs know full well that the bloke with the scruffy beard and a postie's tan earns $150,000 a year.

 

:yes: Love it!! Just like it was where I grew up. Hopefully I can fit back into that way of life without too many issues.

 

The downside is that there aren't really family friendly pubs, actually not "pubs" in the respect of what you'd be familiar from in the UK at all, they're bars instead. There are, however, plenty of clubs with good food and sporting facilities around.

 

Going to make sure we pop into at least one pub / bar on our reccie trip.:wink:

 

It's something you'd have to decide for yourself. I was highly reluctant to move here as I thought it looked like a bit of a dump, but after being here 6 years I would not consider moving to a city.

 

Sounds like a few places I have been to - look like real no-go areas, but once you settle in and see it for what it is, then it actually can be perfect. Will definitely keep that in mind on the reccie.

 

Just an anecdote; I worked with a Zimbawean bloke who visitied a friend here with the intention of moving to Sydney, but after seeing that the friend never locked his back door fell in love with the place. It has dodgy areas, but many suburbs have permanantly unlocked doors still. I'd rather that then a DFO outlet any day.

 

A fellow Zimbo happy in Mackay? Always a good start!!:wubclub:

 

Thanks Eera!!

 

Jules

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Guest LINDZI

Hi there we lived in Mackay from March 2006 till January 2010 :biggrin:

We came over from the uk on a 457 visa and it was the first time we had been to aussie land and we didnt expect anything and we gained so much we got married/had baby and have very good memorys of the place and it will always be special.

 

We rented 2 houses while living there one was in Rural View which was a lovely spot and we paid $295 in rent then we moved to Andergrove which was $430 a week.

The town its self has all types of shops kmart/big w and so on.

 

The weather is really good all year around apart from maybe summer jan/feb when it is really humid it does rain abit but it is tropical.

Airlie beach is not far away an hour and half drive and we spent alot of time there on weekends i love the place also all the islands to go to and of course the barrier reef.

I did find that after living there for 4 years we got a little bored of things to do as a family but this was just us.Townsville is 4 hours drive but to be honest we went there once and it was good.

Prices had gone up so much over the 4 years of the time we had first arrived but with food that seems to be everywhere now, petrol well up and down it was $1 when we first arrived !

 

Im not sure of anything else just give us a shout if you need anything else, you will know when you get there if its for you or not.

 

I forgot the beaches - about 30 of them are all lovely and really quiet but we never went swimming.

 

Lindzi :biggrin:

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In Mackay on our reccie trip.

 

Naturally the bl**dy Melbourne weather followed us here :mad:

 

But anyway!! That was Thursday and Friday!! Today was quite warm and humid -perfect to be honest. We have certainly clocked up some km on the hire car as well.

 

Looked at a few rentals in Mt Pleasant, North Mackay, Andergrove, Shoal Point and Slade Point. To be honest, for what we are looking for - pretty much perfect, although perhaps a little bit more expensive than I anticipated. Definitely not a show stopper though.

 

Also been shopping - Mt Pleasant shops, Caneland Shops. Can't see what we would be missing out on if we do decide to move to be honest.

 

Found a few beaches too - Dolphin Heads, Blacks Beach. Also went down to Sarina - Grasstree Beach, Armstrong Beach, Campwin Beach. All are LOVELY.

 

The only questionable side will be the job. I think I can adapt from going to work in a suit to wearing a high-vis long sleeved shirt, steel capped boots, protective glasses and a hard hat every day. I also think I can cope with the drive from the northern suburbs to Sarina - it's about 50 mins - only 15 more than my current commute.

 

The potential show stopper is the "office". VERY small. And already too cramped with 4 people in it. No way they are going to fit me + one other in there (Unless we hang from the ceilings:skeptical:)

 

Then of course - there is always a :arghh: somewhere - after being in Aus for 18 months, one of the companies where hubbie had an interview for a permanent job in Melbourne a few months ago, has emailed him to ask him if he would still be interested in the role he applied for. Typical. :cry:

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Guest Toorak Trev

Since Sarina is a small place I suppose its CSR you are moving up with?

 

My suggestion is to evaluate property location with a drive around. What is suitable for you may not be for me or other posters.

 

I think you need firstly to realise that with the floods of recent years and expansion of local mines the property values have esculated to the point you will find it more expensive than melbourne.

 

Now I know a lot of the GM's in the mines and in CSR and the wives have often told my wife at their disappointment at the level (standard) of accomodation for the price. So can imagine that at any point in the food chain will be roughly the same.

 

I do find Mackay a charming place and have fond memories of nights on the main street:cute:

 

But $600 a night for a 3 star hotel (only thing available, unless things have changed it was always a gamble when trying to book accomodation less than a week in advance).

 

Sarina beach was a good suggestion from an earlier poster. I would also have a look at the northern beaches of Mackay ie away from the airport and main town. I hope the new dual carriageway is finished now - that should make it a really quick journey around the ringroad and down out to Sarina.

 

You will of course be needing a boat, crab pots before worrying about housing :jimlad:

Good luck - oh and drive your car or put it on the train its about $2.5k but you cant leave anything in the vehicle. Better to drive in my opinion.

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You will of course be needing a boat, crab pots before worrying about housing :jimlad:

 

Hmmm - sounds like you have been speaking to my husband!! :biglaugh:

 

Good luck - oh and drive your car or put it on the train its about $2.5k but you cant leave anything in the vehicle. Better to drive in my opinion.

 

Will definitely be looking at driving if we do decide to move up permanently.

 

Thanks Toorak Trev!!

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Guest siamsusie
Hmmm - sounds like you have been speaking to my husband!! :biglaugh:

 

 

 

Will definitely be looking at driving if we do decide to move up permanently.

 

Thanks Toorak Trev!!

Bobj is an Mackay resident, now he is one positive bunny...maybe you could do a "member search" and I am sure he will be able to answer all your questions... failing the search, you will find him on my friend's list , just click on it.... very best wishes in your choice

 

 

Susie x:wubclub:

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If you're working in Sarina I would very, very much advise living on the south side of the river unless you can do commutes early; it takes about 25 minutes to get from Mount Pleasent to the Bruce Highway at 8.00ish, then you've got the drive to Sarina on top of that; if traffic's bad you can spend 2 hours getting from Blacks Beach to Sarina, easy.

 

Have a look around West Mackay, the houses are older but you have decent sized blocks, Illawong beach and the botanic gardens on your doorstep, plus the CBD without having to get through the roadworks on Forgan bridge.

 

I did the ground wroks for the upgrade to the CSR plant, spent a couple of days with nitric acid fumes wafting up my nose. Happy days...

 

But yes, as Tooraktrev says, book accommodation plenty in advance; generally the hotels are booked out by DIDO miners and it can be hard finding last minute accommodation. I can stick a mattress in the back of the landcruiser if you're really desperate.

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Guest Toorak Trev
I did the ground wroks for the upgrade to the CSR plant, spent a couple of days with nitric acid fumes wafting up my nose. Happy days...

 

 

Did you inscribe your name on the wall of the famous cafe? on the main street.

 

Hope young Josh and Julie are still coping with all those molasses deliveries:cute:

 

Many fond memories myself of Sarina and Mackay:yes:. Wont be for every one but if you see its charm your click with the locals real quick.

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If you're working in Sarina I would very, very much advise living on the south side of the river unless you can do commutes early;

 

Will be aiming to start work around 7am and leave probably around 4pm - did a dry run on Friday, and made it from Shoal Point to Sarina in 50 mins. I guess that is best case, and I just need to arrange my hours around this.

 

But yes' date=' as Tooraktrev says, book accommodation plenty in advance; generally the hotels are booked out by DIDO miners and it can be hard finding last minute accommodation. I can stick a mattress in the back of the landcruiser if you're really desperate. [/quote']

 

Thanks for the offer :wubclub: But accommodation should be ok - part of relocation package and arranged by the company. (IF IF IF we do decide to go)

 

Have already pointed out that I won't be staying in the motel that we were in last week again!:policeman:

 

The sugar refinery smells bring back memories of home!! (Home home - Zimbabwe) The sickly sweet pong that wafts through the thick air :yes:

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Sometimes the smell is kind of like popcorn, other times just foul; we get the waft from Racecourse Mill where we are.

 

It's great on a spring evening sitting on the deck smelling the cane trash being burnt though. Apart from when they burn too many fields at the samer time then it's kind of like brown fog.

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Sometimes the smell is kind of like popcorn, other times just foul; we get the waft from Racecourse Mill where we are.

 

It's great on a spring evening sitting on the deck smelling the cane trash being burnt though. Apart from when they burn too many fields at the samer time then it's kind of like brown fog.

 

 

Oh - so they do burn it here too - we were wondering that!

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Ah, the pong from the cane crush...reminds me of toffee apples. And that was 60 years ago...

 

Cheers, Bobj.

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Ah, the pong from the cane crush...reminds me of toffee apples. And that was 60 years ago...

 

 

 

Nothing quite like the sound of the harvesters on a spring morning, the clunk of a section of cane hitting your windscreen and the tailback behind a tractor hauling cane down the highway at 20 kph...Dude, I could use your avatars as a "spot the fish breed" tick sheet, how many you got?

 

They only burn the trash, not the whole cane but you still get a fair old smoke out of it.

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