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Auckland vs Brisbane/Melbourne

(113 Posts)
AngryBeaver Wed 27-Apr-16 08:40:35

Hi, we emigrated to NZ around 5 years ago (I'm sure some here will remember the threads!)
Well, while we LOVE it here on Waiheke, we find it very restrictive, cost wise.

We decided to move to a suburb of Auckland (Devonport) which I also love.
But, the problem with NZ is its just sooooo horrifically expensive.
We could get a house in Devonport. But it would be a small 3 bed (we have 4 kids) with a tiny garden, and overlooked from most angles! And it will still cost us over a million.

It's not just the houses that are expensive - it's just EVERYTHING.

So, we started to think about Australia.
We started to look at houses in Brisbane and were shocked to see what we could get for the same money.

We wouldn't want to live West Aus, or Sydney.
But, Queensland/Melbourne look nice. I have never been!

We qualify for a visa, so that's no problem.
But, it's another big move for the kids 2,6,8,10.

Can anyone give me any insight into life over there. Someone who has lived both places would be great.

brassywind Wed 27-Apr-16 08:45:52

Well, according to the NZ Herald Auckland is one of the most expensive cities in the world for housing. What about just moving out of Auckland? I think you started in Hamilton .... very dull yes? Other parts of NZ are lovely. ..

AngryBeaver Wed 27-Apr-16 09:31:51

Hi brassy. Dh worked in Hamilton, we lived in Cambridge.
We always wanted to live on Waiheke, though. And it is amazing here. If we had more disposable income and a car city side, it would be OK, I think.

We'd have to stay near Auckland, do wouldn't get the $ anywhere else. And, I love Devonport. We've looked in other places but the easy commute and the schools/village feel of Devonport win out.

I'm sick of paying top dollar for -quite frankly- shit!!

brassywind Wed 27-Apr-16 10:53:19

I love Devonport too, but the houses are silly money. We live in northland, where it's a bit more affordable!

AngryBeaver Wed 27-Apr-16 11:01:19

Houses are very silly money. An uninsulated villa (aka SHED) for. 1 mil plus? I've never ever thought of Aus before. But now I'm thinkin'!! Even if it's for 10 years.
I just don't know sad

specialsubject Wed 27-Apr-16 12:24:10

never been to Brisbane. Visited Melbourne for a few weeks. Nice city but huge and spread out, terrible traffic and entertaining climate! Oh, and the flies...

echt Wed 27-Apr-16 12:36:54

Melbourne's terrible traffic depends where you're coming from/going to and when.

I have no idea what is meant by an "entertaining climate".

Melbourne is as big as London, and there are bits I'd poke my eyes out rather than live in, but that would be the same wherever you are in Au.

God only made so much waterfront, and it's all pricey.

Flies can and are, caught by exterior fly traps ( that smell of horrible stuff but work)

Rainbowqueeen Wed 27-Apr-16 12:46:56

Ok things to think about.

Brisbane: look at the climate. It is way too hot for me to ever consider living there. Might not be an issue for you though. Are you comparing like with like. Eg. For what you get for the same money is the commute the same, similar atmosphere to what you like. You might consider a pool to be a necessity in Brisbane which will bump up the price.

Also in Australia you will be paying stamp duty on a house purchase unlike in NZ. How much would your moving costs be?

Melbourne is more similar in climate to Auckland. I don't know much more about it though

There is a similar Australian forum site to mumsnet called essential baby. It has forums for each state. You could go on the Queensland and Victorian boards to get some opinions.

AngryBeaver Wed 27-Apr-16 20:52:33

Thanks guys. Some things to think abt here. And I will check out essential baby.

AngryBeaver Thu 28-Apr-16 06:53:38

Gosh, that essential baby is reeeeally horrible to navigate!
I posted a question on an Australian expat forum and got a few replies, but now it's locked me out for some reason.

Ok, so I have to tell you this.

My kiwi friend, who is very lovely, generally. Has a house in Queensland. But they live in NZ now.
She said she found it really hard to find any friends as people were very racist, sexist and generally rough. I know this is a huge generalisation. But, she is usually very kind. So for her to say this has thrown me.
Any thoughts on that?!

ifink Thu 28-Apr-16 07:47:17

I lived in Brisbane for a few years and it was a fantastic place to live. We moved from the UK to there. There have been loads of threads on here about Oz v UK or somewhere else and the old racist/sexist people in Oz chestnut always raises its ugly head.

There are nice people in all countries, there are rough people in all countries....err that's it. You don't need MN to point out your friend's view is unfortunate but frankly just one view...her view.

AngryBeaver Thu 28-Apr-16 21:04:11

Can you tell me a bit about life in Brisbane, ifink?
How did you find the heat in summer?
Did you find it over crowded?
Just anything really?

Rainbowqueeen Thu 28-Apr-16 23:09:06

My SIl lives in Brisbane.

She loves it.

Queensland is a huge state, at least twice as big as the UK but with a much smaller population. I think certain parts of it could quite easily be described as being racist sexist rough communities but not Brisbane. Where did your friend live?

Sorry to hear you are finding it tough to navigate essential baby.

I came back to this thread specifically to comment on the flood danger in Brisbane. There are a lot of areas that are in a flood zone, lots of stories about people being unable to get house insurance or else having to pay an absolute fortune - think more than $10,000 a year. Try googling to find out more. Houses in those areas tend to be cheaper as people can be desperate to sell so you need to take that into account.

TerrorAustralis Fri 29-Apr-16 05:14:20

Melbourne and Brisbane are very different places. I lived in Melbourne for 9 years and love it, but could not see myself living in Brisbane. Can you book a holiday to both places to see how you like them?

The price of property in Melbourne is quite high too. Have a look on to get an idea of some of the prices.

Rainbowqueen is right about the flood risk. A few years ago there were terrible floods. DH's cousin's house is close to the river and the ground floor was flooded. I their insurance is now astronomical.

Your friend's experience reflects the stereotypes about Queenslanders in general. Rightly or wrongly, they're often seen as being quite parochial and a bit backward in their views. (The same view is held of West Australians.) It is also less ethnically and culturally diverse than Melbourne. Melbourne is seen as more lefty-liberal, as well as being more cosmopolitan.

I didn't find it hard to make friends in Melbourne and indeed a lot of my friends weren't from there originally either.

ifink Fri 29-Apr-16 06:38:16

Brisbane city council produce flood maps so you can assess the flood risk of any property (whether renting it or buying it) plus any proper solicitor will ensure you have proper information as to whether the property flooded in 2011. The well known flood areas are just that, well known i.e look them up, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.
Brisbane is quite a small city but it's really quite cosmopolitan with tonnes of stuff to do. Brilliant for families - excellent and free parks in many suburbs, good primary schools in many areas. You can spend your weekends at the Gold Coast (1hr away) or the sunshine coast (1.5 hours). I made many lifelong friends although most at first were like me and had moved from UK/Ireland. I met more Aussies through primary school. 6 months of the year the weather is perfect, blue skies, not too warm, cool nights. The other 6 months range from hot to hotter and humid. Summer is tough, Christmas in the sweaty humidity feels all wrong but I'm British. There is a strong British expat community with high numbers on the Bayside area and some more inner city suburbs. HTH

kiwidreamer Fri 29-Apr-16 20:51:50

Oh gosh AB sorry to hear things aren't panning out so great in NZ, I used to pop up on the Living In NZ threads that were about a few years ago and have often wondered how you and the others were getting on.

I'm still in the UK as the cost of living in NZ scares the crap out of me, my friends there all seem to manage but I just don't know how they do it. I'm right in the middle of trying to decide if the kids and I return to NZ in Sept this year for good or if we stick to Sept 2017 which was original plan but there is a huge part of me that is terribly worried about how we will afford life in Auckland. I have til midnight tomorrow lol as we made a pact to decide by the end of the month - gulp -

Ive been to the Gold Coast and love it, but holidays are so different to real life of course and I've never been in middle summer, my SIL has lived there on and off for 5yrs and hates the middle of summer months. They all hibernate indoors out of the heat she says!

Melbourne has much more defined seasons I believe, can get chilly in winter whereas I don't believe Queensland ever gets properly cold.

kiwidreamer Fri 29-Apr-16 21:00:07

Have you checked out British Expats . Com they have an Australia forum, could be a good place to ask questions.

This thread in the NZ forum talks about NZ vs OZ...

AngryBeaver Sat 30-Apr-16 09:43:55

Thanks very much for the replies everyone. It's really good to have little bits of info to try and make a picture.
I will be able to do a weekend recce or two later this year. We are aiming to leave for Aus in December.

Hi kiwi smile well we really love it in NZ. Really love it. I would have been fine to stay here, but when my eldest Dd turned 10 last month, I had to think about the high schools.
The island high school doesn't get a good rep.
So, we started looking in other areas within 15 mins of Auckland.
It was doable, but ridiculous!
A friend mentioned about moving to oz as a joke, and I looked at some property over there.
We could get a lovely house, with a pool and a big garden for the same price as a 3 bed tiny house with not much garden . Got us thinking....

kiwidreamer Sat 30-Apr-16 10:38:48

I have friends who are super smart and talented who teach at the new Albany and Hobsonville High Schools, have you looked out those directions? There are some great high schools in Auckland (and plenty of average ones I'm sure) and if you love NZ then it seems kind of a massive jump to go to Australia, I believe lots of people go private in Australia as the state high schools can be hit and miss... obviously that is a massive generalisation but is the general feedback from my SIL (kiwi married to an aussie with kids 12,10, 8, 2 and 2mths).

And then there are the bugs.

Once I was walking down the road in Surfers Paradise and was half way thru saying 'look its a mouuuuuuu-horror dawns-sssssssssse, oh crap that's a cockroach'... and that's not even thinking about the critters that can kill you... OR THE SPIDERS!!!!

kiwidreamer Sat 30-Apr-16 10:42:15

Oh and if I were you I'd try and plan to get there earlier or later, you would benefit from time to acclimatise, going straight into 35 - 45 degrees is harsh... tho some people do say the NZ sun is pretty nasty so even tho the temps don't get as high the burn / harshness is worse.

My mum always says 35degrees in OZ feels like late 20's in NZ so maybe not such a big deal but worth thinking about.

papooshka Sat 30-Apr-16 10:42:58

No help at all to you - but we had a weekend at a beach house in Waiheke with friends who live in Auckland, what a stunning place! good luck with your decisions :-)

AngryBeaver Sat 30-Apr-16 23:20:59

It s a great place. But, it's a bit of a gilded cage for me, iykwim?
My husband goes off everyday to the city, so it's q completely different experience for him.
It is a significant cost to get myself and four children off the island.
Then, we have to actually get to the activity, so it's train/taxi.
It all adds up. Then by the time we have done the activity, we have to get home again. That's another hour of travel by boat and then car!
It's exhausting.
It really hit home when my 5 yr old had to have an op at starship.
He vomited all over me and himself/spare clothes.
Then we had to get to the last ferry late at night, stinking of sick. I had to carry him...running! He was crying, I was close to it.
I just thought how much easier it would have been to have my husband collect us from the front doors and go straight home!
It's been great here for the kids,a special place. But, tbh it gets boring in winter.
Im just thinking they need more stimulation.

My kids are not sporty, or particularly outdoorsy, no matter how hard we try and make them be so!
They are bookish, and love art galleries and theatre. I think maybe access to a it city, like Melbourne, or Brisbane where they have these things in abundance, would be great for them.

Plus, that old draw of the lovely house and pool. Their favourite thing of all is swimming (not in the sea!) they would've over the moon to swim every day!

Squiffy01 Tue 03-May-16 19:22:43

I think there are sooo many things to take into account!
I'm in London and my partner and I are starting to think about moving home in tgthe next few years.. Maybe.. Him from Auckland me from Brisbane. Knowing so much about both places we still can't make a decision.
Where abouts in Brisbane would you be looking? That effects house prices hugely. And being near w train or bus route would put the price up quite a bit. I personally would never be in Brisbane without a car cause I don't think transport is reliable.
As a PP said a lot of people opt for private schools which can get very expensive cause the state schools aren't amazing but they are getting a lot better fast.
It is also expensive as well. I was amazed when my friend posted coco pops on sale on Facebook. They are usually $7 something a box! I was so shocked.
I guess it's like anywhere you can find cheaper options.
The heat can be tough if you aren't used to it.
I would t worry about floods. Just don't buy a house on a flood plain.

Brisbane does have some good museums/ galleries . I would say Melbourne would have better.

kiwidreamer Wed 04-May-16 10:59:44

I definitely agree Melbourne would be more cultural than Brisbane, my friends there are constantly doing really interesting stuff whereas my Queensland friends are mainly doing outdoorsy things from the world according to Facebook!

Its definitely not cheap to live in OZ by all accounts, I don't think you'd notice an overly significant drop in expenditure but yes houses a fair distance from the CBD will be more affordable... but the same applies in Auckalnd, the commute would be the price to pay.

Living on a small community island is always going to be expensive and limiting. It would be like comparing Waiheke life to Hamilton Island or Stadbroke Island, amazing places to visit but not overly practical for day to day life smile

AngryBeaver Thu 05-May-16 08:45:14

Thank you guys, really helpful. Squiffy, have you been to NZ? Someone told me that the heat in Brisbane wasn't as intense as the NZ sun -yes, higher temps, but it feels just as hot here in the late 20's as oz does in the late 30's. That might be wrong, I'm not sure.
Just one persons opinion.
But, the intensity of the sun in NZ is so fierce, so I'm wondering if it mightn't be that far off the mark.

I love the look of Melbourne, but the 4.5 month long winter is slightly off putting.

Year round swimming for my guys, sounds good.

Oh, GOD! Someone tell me where to live!

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