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UK to Australia(20 Posts)
I'm really considering moving to Australia and I was wondering if anyone who has done the same move (UK to Aus) could tell me their experience. Or could anyone living in Aus tell me the pros but mainly cons of living there? I'd really appreciate it
I moved from UK to Sydney in 2015. I'm not going to add all my thoughts on this forum (there are many!) but if you have any specific you want to ask, please do so.
I would say in Sydney, main issue is the cost: housing (rent + buy), fuel, groceries (although not too bad if you are careful) and so on... there are bargains to be had but I am always surprised when I get one! Public transport is OK if you are in an area with good buses or trains, but many areas don't have the train connection at all, and there are large swathes of the city and outer suburbs without any helpful connections. A lot of people drive everywhere.
Obvs the weather is a big deal. I love the winter the most, never really gets cold and the UV is low/acceptable. Summer on the other hand is extreme UV (rating of 12-13) most days and very hot. I am fair and plump, so if you are darker skinned and slimmer, you may not have the same issue
There are beautiful places to visit in Sydney and beyond, but of course work still remains the same 9-5 Mon-Fri process, so not really any different there, sadly.
I moved Ireland to Perth in 2013, before that I lived in London. Its a big move to make, it costs a lot of money and it doesn't suit everyone, but its the best move we ever made and I wish I'd done it years ago! The weather and the lifestyle is just wonderful, I am also fair and plump but I bloody love summer! We spend a lot of time at the beach, we have a beautiful one at the end of my street. If you are a hard worker you will do well, although unemployment is currently higher here than on the East coast house prices are a lot lower, you can get a beautiful four bedroomed house with pool for $450k or less where I live. Western Australia is absolutely beautiful, but it is remote, although the time difference to the UK is 8 hours so fairly manageable.
FWIW I visited Sydney for the first time before Xmas. While we had a fantastic trip, I'm really glad we didn't move there! Its a proper big city, like London in the sunshine! Perth is much more laid back. It depends what you want really, I think I would have loved Sydney in my 20s and been a bit bored in Perth! But I absolutely love it now.
Uk to WA in 2013, best move we ever made. We have lived in Busselton and Geraldton and prefer to stay away from city living. Our jobs are well paid compared to the UK and we are just about to buy our third property. Weather is great, supermarkets good. It is hard being so far from family but you get used to it and I cant see us ever going back.
I moved from Australia to the UK so here's my pros and cons:
It's really fucking hot, honestly. You better like hot weather because consistent weeks of 40+ is unbearable for a lot of people.
Australians have no sense of humour and can be fairly unfriendly (in my experience)
Hours and hours away from anywhere, no quick cheap holidays over to Europe etc very far away from family if they are still in England
Really fucking expensive in the main cities, Sydney is like London and Melbourne is getting there. The country towns are more reasonable but most are in the middle of nowhere with hardly any amenities etc, you don't get quaint country villages like in the UK
It's. Really. Hot. No Really, it is.
Can be very hard to get a job in certain fields that are extremely oversaturated with graduates. Their healthcare system is the opposite of the NHS essentially, too many people and not enough jobs compared to the NHS where you can walk into any old job so long as you are HCPC registered
Australians drive like absolute twats
Some very nice areas, Tasmania is lovely, Cairns too
Beaches, if you like beaches. Real beaches too not the pisstake English people call beaches
Winters are quite mild and very little rain
You can grow loads of stuff if you're into gardening
Everyone goes on about snakes and spiders but the main issue is cockroaches, they are EVERYWHERE. It's like the apocalypse.
Don't go near a country town if you want to save your sanity. The coffee in Sydney and Melbourne is fab. It's really fucking hot and humid, you need aircon.
The pomzinoz.com forum is great and will answer your questions.
@Solasshole totally agree about the avocados and mangos... Also never saw the fuss about them until I got here and realised they are much tastier when local and ripe
@theplot lol about the roaches. Fingers crossed I haven't come across too in the past six months or so.
The one thing that I didn't realise when I went to Australia (and also central California) is that the sea is not that warm. We are used to the Med which is an enclosed sea. South australia oceans are cold. And others have stingray, jelly fish and sharks, depending on the time of year.
I agree the Southern ocean is absolutely bloody freezing. We have the Indian Ocean in Perth which is a lot nicer, but seldom as warm as the Med. Although my local beach has a very gentle shelf so gets pretty warm on a hot day. Also humidity is low in Perth which helps a lot with the heat, I found high 20s in Sydney much more unpleasant than high 30s in Perth.
Also agree about the Mangos and Avos, I thought they were disgusting until I tried them here now I can't get enough of them. The cockroaches are horrible, but my cat loves eating them so we seldom see one.
I do have to strongly disagree about Aussies having no sense of humour and being unfriendly! We have loads of Aussie friends and they are hilarious! I think the Irish and the Aussies share a similar sense of humour, if you can take the piss out of each other then its all good!
You just have to remember Australia is huge, so you can't really generalise. Apart from driving, they are all terrible!
I made the move 6 months ago. DH is working as an agency nurse doing contracts in rural areas so we can see as much of the country as possible before deciding where to settle down.
So far we have done 2 contracts in Queensland- one in the west in a mining town and the current one in the tropical far north.
We are loving it so far finding the people friendly, the work much better paid and the lifestyle so much better as you can spend so much time outdoors. This far we are really considering Cairns as a place to settle- really only a big town and very laid back with loads to do and stunning scenery, though currently very humid in the summer.
Groceries etc are much more expensive but the difference in pay makes up for that. We have saved over 20k aus dollars in 6 months with me only working part time in whatever job I can pick up (I’m a teacher but looking for a change)
The big plus of the way we are doing things is that we don’t have to pay for accommodation or bills- the hospital provide it for those on short term contracts in rural or remote locations as they have such a need for staff. We don’t have any DC so it makes it easier to be more flexible.
We recently moved to Adelaide in August, and so far absolutely love it. We lived and worked here for a year before kids and never really got over it. We now have 2 young kids (1 and 3) and figures if we wanted to make the move that now was the best time. I was in Sydney for 3 weekends for work in November and whilst it was a lot of fun it was crazy busy, hot and humid ( Adelaide has low humidity which makes the heat so much easier to handle) and felt very impersonal and unfriendly, which isn't what I'm used to here. It's definitely somewhere that is brilliant to visit, but I'm so glad we didn't move there. Melbourne is lovely but the winter weather can be pretty ropey! Haven't been to Perth and Queensland is lovely but waaaaay to humid for me. Perfect holiday destination though!
The weather is awesome. I really really love it.
The lifestyle is great, I really feel you work to live not live to work. We're pretty outdoorsy and take full advantage of it, we go camping, fishing, hiking, travelling etc. There are some absolutely incredible places to visit that are usually so quiet and so beautiful. You really feel in touch with nature, and I love that so much.
National parks can be fantastic and you can camp in many of them cheaply.
Beaches are fantastic and even yesterday (New year's day) we found a pretty quiet beach down the coast.
Wages are great (possibly depends on your job but great for us, especially compared to U.K.)
Petrol is REALLY cheap. Yesterday I paid 104.9 for unleaded which works out at about 58p/l. Prices vary dramatically though!
Produce is amazing. Depending where you shop it can be expensive but if you use markets, Aldi etc it's not bad at all. Adelaide and south Australia have amazing produce and great markets, and growing veg is amazingly easy compared to Scotland where we came from.
I find the people absolutely lovely, so kind, genuine an friendly, and would do anything to help you.
It is much greener and prettier than you'd expect specifically here (not all over!). We are in the hills which is a bit cooler and wetter than Adelaide itself.
The visa experience is very very long and tortuous. We used an agent who I couldn't recommend enough. I was the primary visa applicant so basically everything was down to me, and the amount hoops I had to jump through and bits of paperwork I had to produce was incredible, but the agents kept me right the whole way and made sure we didn't mess up and have to start all over again. It took just over 18 months in total.
Be very careful what visa subclass you go for. Some are MUCH better than others in terms of benefits. We are on 189 subclass which includes healthcare and schools, we can buy a house, run a business, live and work anywhere in australia. Renewing is also cheap and easy, and we can apply for citizenship after 5 years. Some visas are very restrictive as to where you can live, you can't buy houses, don't get medical or schools which could make life very expensive.
Moving is VERY expensive, especially if you ship a container which we did, although this is almost certainly cheaper than buying it all new.
Rent is VERY expensive. We are still waiting for our U.K. house to sell so we can buy, then our monthly costs will be more than halved.
I agree the internet sucks, we have NBN which is supposed to be the fastest and it's not great. On the other hand there is great 3G/4G coverage, even in quite remote places.
Whilst the heat is lovely, the heatwaves are VERY hot. We nearly ended up with a house without air con, and I am SO glad ours does have air con and its really good and efficient. the nights would be really unbearable without it.
Haven't had much experience with snakes, and don't get many cockroaches but a LOT of spiders, and in the house if we're not really good at keeping doors shut. They're mostly huntsmen which are massive and scary looking but not dangerous, but you do get red backs which are very terrifying. Lots of lizards and insects of all sorts in the garden too which slowly getting used to.
Missing people really sucks. A lot. Eapecially around Christmas time (although we had an amazing Christmas Day in the sun!) My mum is going to be our first visitor in February and I can't wait! We're going back to the U.K. for a couple of weeks in August too (family wedding) and are hoping to make a trip home every 18 months or so.
Sorry that's very long, but I hope it helps. If you have an specific questions feel free to ask. Obviously this is only our experience and we haven't been here long, but we love it!
Bristol to Adelaide 2011 and love it.
Have family near Sydney and in Melbourne - I like the visits but couldn’t live there as above by pp.
We go back to the UK every few years and have lots of UK visitor, and with Facebook and FaceTime etc it’s easy to stay in touch but still not quiet the same as being there.
DH misses his mates when it’s footy days out, and I kinda miss proper old / historical stuff but there is so much to enjoy here, and so much offered for free eg outdoor BBQs, play areas, walks, cycle paths, and bikes!, outdoor gyms, good public loos, water, showers, etc that exploring can be easy and fun.
I love seeing huge families rock up to an outdoor BBQ area (which will have undercover tables, chairs, green space) to celebrate eg a birthday.
We spent NYE on the beach, free fireworks, very relaxed, and cos we took picnic stuff and bubbles, v v cheap!
Biggest learning curve - Aus is not UK in the sun! Very different culture, a bit behind the UK technology wise, and a little more sexist.
As some have mentioned above summer can get really, really hot. I’m in Adelaide and I’ve found that apart from having air con the house you live in can make a massive difference. I’ve previously lived in houses that were real hot boxes and I was miserable, even though I had air con (only in the living area though so would end up sleeping in there as my bedroom was too hot. )
To me the weather isn’t awesome as there are so many days with high levels of UV. I’ve found it really hard having a dog and being really restricted in the times I can walk him in Summer.
Unless you have an irrigation system you will need to regularly water the garden and lawn in summer or everything will turn brown and die. It can be fucking depressing when it doesn’t rain for weeks or months and then on windy days there will be a dust haze.
To be fair I’m really not a summer / hot weather / beach person so if you are you may love it
Do not go anywhere near NBN for internet. Everyone I know who has it says it's shite. I have a standard Telstra connection and it's fine, no problems and fast.
YY to heating and cooling. For heat check out floor ducts, very common in Au houses, but, amazingly not always in every room. For cooling, see if there are ceiling fans/and or air con units, especially in bedrooms. I'm in Melbourne and use air con in my bedroom max twenty times a year, but my God, is it needed.
I have a dog and the heat is a consideration. I put my hand on the front yard paving and if I can't hold it for 15 seconds, it's too hot for the poochmeister. In other ways I'm lucky as I can get him into the car and down to the beach without his pads getting too hot. Today was a doozy, though. It went from 42 to 21 in an hour.
Back to you, OP, Australia is enormous, really really big, so hard to generalise about. You need to know what you want to do, and from that where the best place is to get work and live. In that order. The heat/cold/ snakes/locals/food/petrol/beaches are all secondary.
We moved to SE Qld just over 18 months ago and would not consider moving back to the UK. We have visited Sydney, Melbourne and NZ as well as a fair bit of Qld since we arrived. Where we live is classed as a regional city, but we’re only about an hour and a half inland from Brisbane and have a cute little airport which has flights to the big cities. If we want to go to the beach, both the Gold Coast & Sunshine Coast are just a couple of hours away by car.
DH’s commute is down to under 10 mins, he’s way better paid than in the UK and works fewer hours with far better conditions too. I’m not working and it is great. I had a v. niche role in the UK so no chance of getting anything like it here unless we moved to a big city. I get time to enjoy my hobbies, try new things and explore the city, do school things with the boys – something I always felt guilty about missing in the UK – and don’t have to pay for childcare during holidays. It works for us and I appreciate how lucky we are that I don’t have to stress about getting a job.
There is a reciprocal public health care agreement with the UK, so you are entitled to have a Medicare card but you might want to (or have to, depending on visa Ts & Cs) get private health care insurance.
Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, you’ll love the outdoor lifestyle. Beautiful beaches, national parks, and the council-owned parks are really well looked after compared to the UK – clean bathroom/shower facilities, public BBQs, free music/public events/farmers’ markets for most of the year.
The bigger cities have all the usual shops you’d see at home. We’re pretty well served for shopping here but I do miss just being able to nip down the road to Ikea or Costo.
The climate is great – very mild winters compared to NW England. Air con is a def if you want to be able to sleep at night during the summer. When it rains, it really rains. The sun is vicious here in Qld – sun cream and mozzie spray are vital everyday for us.
The people are (generally) really lovely and friendly, although shop staff do tend to pounce on you with offers of help as soon as you walk through the door.
Lots of UK/international retailers ship to Aus & Amazon/Kogan are good for online shopping too.
Coffee, smoothies and avocados are worshipped like gods here. Even in a regional city, we have a huge number of really good cafes and bars - not so many of the “posh” restaurants though that's not a problem for us.
Pretty much everything is more expensive than the UK. You just have to stop yourself converting dollars into pounds or you’d be screaming “how much?!?” every time you went to Woolies. Real estate in the big cities is outrageous.
I know so many people who go to the "best" butcher for their meat, grocer for fruit & veggies, bakery for bread. Some of it is pure snobbery about being seen to be shopping in the trendy/over-priced places. Nothing wrong with Woolies/Coles/Aldi imo. Supermarkets are just food shops here in Qld – you cannot really buy anything other than food. You have to go the bottle shop for beer and spirits can be eye-wateringly expensive.
The distance from the UK/family is a double-edged sword. Skype/Facetime etc make it really easy to stay in touch. The flip side is that people want to come and visit you for a really long time. ILs landed on us for 6 bloody weeks last year – never again.
The wildlife. Bugs are everywhere & flying roaches are the worst thing ever.
Yup, Aussies really do drive like tits.
The first thing to do is to investigate if you can move to Australia. On which visa do you intend to move. No visa no Australia. And obtaining a visa is getting harder and harder.
We have lived in several countries and I struggle with the distance. Australia is far from everything and everyone. The weather is nice, but so was the weather in Barcelona where we lived before.
I find it a bit empty to be honest. And renting is so expensive. Life is however sweet and easy for the kids even if I found it richer and more stimulating in Europe
Hopefully @wHatTheH will be back soon to let us know their thoughts!