Anyone in Queensland who could give me a realistic idea of bugs and cyclones?!

(13 Posts)
HPandBaconSandwiches Mon 11-Jan-16 07:45:24

Been thinking about emigrating to Australia or NZ for several years with dh and 2DC age 2&5. There's a possible job in rockhampton and yeppoon looks nice to live. I'm a natural worrier whereas DH is a go for it type. He's lived in Aus before (1 year Sydney, 20 yrs ago). We've both travelled a lot.
My main concerns are weather (I'm fair skinned and not great with heat ) - do you just get used to it? Bugs - if there's a mozzie within a mile it would choose me to bite, so how bad is it? Are spiders and snakes a significant danger for the kids? Cyclones - how often and how much risk realistically?
I completely understand that these seem like small issues and I'm not sure if I'm tending to just see the negatives. Actually feeling v stupid having typed it out.
Schools seem good, work life balance better and nicer houses. Know it would be quiet living but that's fine.
Can anyone tell me if the downsides are actually just over inflated in my head?? Thanks. At work but will check in at the end of the day here.

DropYourSword Mon 11-Jan-16 08:00:22

I think the things you are worrying about now aren't the things you may find difficult if/when you arrive.

QLD has some spectacular storms. Yeppoon was quite badly affected by a cyclone not too long ago. But, you know, weather can affect you wherever you live in the world.

I am shit scared terrified of spiders. There are some pretty bad ones out here, but again there's ways to deal with it. You get your house sprayed and protected, and just use sensible precaution (for example I don't leave my shoes outside). Snakes are pretty much going to leave you alone if you leave them. Kids need to be educated and trained, but plenty of Aussies manage to do just that! Bugs etc can be a nuisance on an evening, use spray/candles/traps etc. The thing that's irritated me the most since I've been here was actually a Bleating Tree Frog. Unsociable little sucker has been screaming in my garden for months, disturbing my sleep. FINALLY found him last week and relocated him to a stream away from my house.

What I found more tricky was the culture shock. Just because it's an English speaking country I just wasn't expecting it to feel so different. I was naive. You do get used to things, but it takes a little while. It also took longer than I thought to really meet and makes friends with people. Again, I thought it'd be like living in Neighbours. Clearly I was an idiot. The lifestyle is great and I think it's a great place for kids, but many people end up moving back becuase they are homesick and miss friends and family. When things go wrong at home you are literally on the other side of the world. You feel so far away, and the time difference really cements that too.

I am jus trying to give you a balanced view though. I've now been here 7 years. I have met and married my partner, bought a house I'd never have been able to equal in the UK, have a well paid job, good close friends and am expecting my first baby. I could never imagine moving back to England. Sadly I have just learnt that my Mum is very sick, and it's very difficult to cope with that from afar.

ifink Mon 11-Jan-16 19:49:53

Hi OP, I've recently left Queensland due to work relocation. Bugs and spiders were not awful although I lived mainly in urban Brisbane, but we still got a lot of ants/moths etc in the house, so definitely get the spraying done. The weather could at times be unbelievably crazy but everyone there seems so laid back and accepting of it. I found the heat hard in summer and being that far north will mean hot hot hot - not sure about the humidity in the coastal parts though - it was worse inland I suspect. I wore a sunhat a lot - I'm fair and could literally feel the sun frazzling my skin on clear days - and the cloudy days are deceptive, so many people get burnt when it's overcast.
Now we have moved and had a bit of time to reflect on our time there (4.5 yrs). The first 2 years were hard - really hard to get settled into a community when most people around you already have family and friends so why would they want a new one? The next 2.5 years were awesome, our children literally became little ozzies, the parks/playgrounds and beaches at weekends were so fun and if it weren't so far away I would certainly return there again for a period if our kids wanted to...but for now I'm actually quite relieved to have moved a bit nearer family/friends (we went to SE Asia)...I missed them.

HPandBaconSandwiches Mon 11-Jan-16 21:37:53

Thank you both for your replies. Drop I agree that there are definitely bigger things to worry about! I've read quite a few expat forums and I know how frequently people are surprised by the isolation feelings. I expect the first couple of years to be very hard. It worries me that our kids may feel like outsiders longer term though.

ifink it's that ideal of beach fun and kids happy with outdoor play that drives us I guess so it's nice to know it is achievable. I would definitely want to live on the coast rather than inland. Rockhampton sounds impossibly hot!

Lots to consider. I have a tendency to overthink but DH is the opposite so hopefully between us we'll come to a decision.

SavoyCabbage Mon 11-Jan-16 21:52:49

I lived in Victoria not Queensland but since moving back to the uk I've noticed how much I must have adapted to the whole bug thing.

I've found myself doing things here that I don't know I did when I was there.

Shaking the laundry out before putting it away. For example. Looking inside dd's roller skates (stored in the garage) before she put them on. Must have learnt to do those things over time but I didn't know I did them. So you get used to it is what I saying.

HPandBaconSandwiches Mon 11-Jan-16 22:06:01

Thanks Savoy. I'm hoping I'd develop some sort of tolerance to mozzies. The snakes and spiders thing I can understand, but those dreadful biting beasties are awful. I get covered in bites and have quite nasty skin reactions too them. Can cope on holidays but not if its every day!

KP86 Mon 11-Jan-16 22:26:04

Rocky (as it's known!) is hot and sticky most of the year. You might need a light jumper but that's it! Definitely don't bother taking winter coats unless you are planning on travelling south (eg. Melbourne) in the winter.

Spiders/snakes/other bugs are something that you get used to. Flies annoy me the most. All windows have screens in them so you can leave open to help with air flow. North Qld also has issues with mould in summer, as it's the wet season. But same methods of dealing with it as here. Open windows, have ceiling fans on (instead of heater) and you'll be right.

Lifestyle in that area is very laid back, not much traffic (you won't know yourself!) and the further north you go the broader the Aussie accent.

Kids will love it. Wear sunscreen everyday and they'll go nut-brown and never want to move back.

As someone who moved to England from Australia in mid-2015, it is definitely a big adjustment. Much more than I expected. But Google for local play groups and your eldest child will be in school so there is an instant social circle.

Getting a visa might be more difficult than you expect. Apparently we (Aus) are worse than coming here, and that was hard enough. If you can afford it,
go through an immigration agent.

Embrace the differences. It's worth it.

HPandBaconSandwiches Thu 14-Jan-16 08:37:43

Thanks KP, we would definitely use an immigration agent, sounds like a minefield! Turns out we would be too far from the workplace at Yeppoon (distance restrictions) and I wouldn't want to live in Rocky itself, so we're back to hunting again.

Looking at Cairns now, but bit concerned that all the private schools seem to be strongly religious, which we are not. Couldn't find a single one that is non-denominational. If anyone has any idea of the schools there I'd really appreciate an overview. Thanks

KP86 Thu 14-Jan-16 14:25:17

My FIL is a teacher in Cairns (primary), at the local public schools.

I don't know anything about private schools up there, but would recommend going that way instead of public, if his stories are anything to go by!

Most religious schools in Australia (as is religion generally) are fairly mild. We aren't really a church-going people.

chloeb2002 Mon 01-Feb-16 16:19:12

Don't worry about the religious bias in Aus schools. They are all religious. But it's not a bad thing. We are very unreligious but it does have to be said that a good Christian school here teaches morales well. Something that we found very lacking in uk schools. Religious schools are not overly expensive and generally have a good reputation and education. Dh was very worried when we first moved to a Christian school. In hindsight it's been very good all round. They include all our kids one with significant special needs, one very bright kid and a smart little preppie is the latest they contend with!

KP86 Mon 01-Feb-16 16:35:32

They are all religious What do you mean by this?

I attended state schools in Australia for both primary and high school, no religion besides an opt-out 30 mins each week of RE.

Private schools are either religious or independent (no religion).

ifink Tue 02-Feb-16 06:35:59

I think what was meant was that many or most private schools have a religious foundation. Obviously the state schools don't.
I struggled to find a private school in QLD which didn't have some religious connection! In fact, I can only think of the Brisbane Grammar schools?...which are impossible to get into

GrinAndTonic Tue 02-Feb-16 07:35:47

I live 2.5 hours from Rocky. Rocky is only 40 minutes drive from Yeppoon which is not far. That is the average commute time in Brisbane. Very few people live near to work. Emu Park is a nice area to live if you work in Rocky.

Cairns...if you want steamy hot weather with rain all summer and regular cyclones with mould everywhere then Cairns is for you. Yes a lot of school are religious but they are not very churchy. Most people send their kids to religious schools if they don't like the state schools not beacuse of the religion. I don't particularly like Cairns (my in-laws live there but I like them just not where they live)

At the moment it is 5:30pm and it we just had a huge storm and the temperature has finally dropped to below 30'c. Central Queensland is hot. And boring.

What about Townsville? Still hot but a dry heat so no humidity or mould.

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