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What is not so great about living in Australia ?

(40 Posts)
bouncy Mon 02-Jul-07 03:30:54

Dp and I have always wanted to move to australia, and do is thinking of retraining.

He seems to think that Australia will be a dream come true and everything will be fantastic, but I am sure there are lots of things to get used to etc etc.

I just wanted to know before we full commmit ourselves to learning something new from the people who live there or lived there, what is not so great, if there is infact anything.


Califrau Mon 02-Jul-07 03:35:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mymama Mon 02-Jul-07 03:58:16

Heat depending on where you settle. Even Sydney and Melbourne get their hot days. Not so much the temp but the humidity here in Australia.

Brisbane, Queensland where I am have a huge water crises at the moment. We are on level 5 water restrictions and will be going to level 6 soon. No outside watering and 4 min timed showers.

A lovely UK friend said our grocery stores are like corner shops compared to UK.

Travelling. We are a huge country and travel times can be lengthy between cities.

Apart from those few things I have a few lovely expat friends who adore it here. They miss their families desperately and travel back to see them/they travel here etc but the quality of life for their children more than makes up for that (so they tell me anyway).

I have one UK friend who came for two years with her husband and hated it. He loved it and stayed and she took their dd and went back to UK. She missed her family too much and could not handle the heat.


sandcastles Mon 02-Jul-07 05:04:36

Well, it's peeing it down in Adelaide at the moment...but we need it, so I'm not complaining. We had temps of 41 degrees last year, but it isn't as himid here as other states (or at least, I don't think so)

It's still very much geared towards smaller independant retailers, i.e. bakers, greengrocers, bottle shops, butchers, fishmongers....etc. Saying that, these things are available at supermarkets, but they can be more expensive & not as good quality.

Our stores here are small compared to Tesco, Asda etc. Here you an only get food/storage tubs & limited other items of clothing. No clothes on the scale of Tesco/Asda.

Alcohol isn't available in the supermarkets & we don't have pharmacies within the stores either.

It depends really, it is a hard queations to answer for me, as I love it here & don't really find the above THAT problematic.

Loofahs are big tho...dh certainly NOT happy about that!

eidsvold Mon 02-Jul-07 06:10:01

translation - loofahs = spiders!!

sorry but having lived in a number of places in QLD, seen a bit of Aus and lived in the UK for 4 years - although Aus is my home ( so take into account a little bias) I love it here compared to the UK - we just have such a better quality of life as a family. I did love living in the UK - but that was single me not married with three children me.

I am sure others will come along and have suggestions as to things they find hard or don't like BUT i think the biggest thing to do is to give yourself time. The first couple of years can be tough - even for me moving back to my hometown - had to adjust my friendship circle etc - left Aus a single girl and returned pregnant with dd2 and dd1 who was 2 years old so my life had changed beyond all recognition within 4 years! But have made fab friends now and love being a SAHM - although the at home point is debatable. We are able to have a quality of life without me having to go out to work. I know in a few years time I will probably head out to work again. Would love to take the dds back to the UK to see my il's and that costs a lot when you have 5 seats to pay for!

I think if you come with an open mind nad try not to compare everything with the UK - cause it is different and there is a different mindset and 'culture' to get used to you can love it. You just have to give it a go. Be open to new experiences and a different way of life and doing things and I think that can help along with putting aside any preconceived ideas about what you think Aus will be like. I know that helped when I moved to the UK - made it easier. I know the first year for me in England was tough - second year - not so bad and got better. I do know others who were there as long as I was and hated it - couldn't wait to leave.

SOrry long message but hope it helps.

SSSandy2 Mon 02-Jul-07 09:08:48

skin cancer. You really need to cover up, keep in the shade, wear sun protection and MAKE dc wear legionary hats. Some old people have got it really bad because when they were young ,less was known about it and they often come up to you, show you the damage to their arms and try to talk you into standing in the shade. Take it seriously. The sun is fierce.

eidsvold Tue 03-Jul-07 00:40:00

guess to me it is just second nature kind of like coat, hat, scarf, gloves in winter for people living in a colder climate.

It used to amaze me in the Uk when the first bit of summer warmth would appear and people would be out in the minimal amount of clothing - baking themselves. Also stunned by the amount who thought being scorched red and then going brown was okay.

Queensland was at one time the skin cancer capital of the world. Having said that I know it is on the rise in the UK quite dramatically too.

sandcastles Tue 03-Jul-07 02:58:03

I know it shocked me too in the UK. I used to work with a girl who thought it was OK to cover herself in baby oil & sunbathe..pity her children, I really do.

I burn easily, so agree with Eidsvold that it is is second nature to me & I wouldn't protect myself & not dd....

I have burnt once here, but that was due to unexpected sun & being out in it longer than I normally would be. Now I carry suncream in my bag, just incase.

MarshaBrady Tue 03-Jul-07 03:45:29

Yep agree sun is lethal, even in Tasmania, even with clouds and wind.
Ok not so great stuff
- the distance to the UK. Once you have dcs it is a horrendous journey. If you just want to see your family/ close friends it is a mammoth undertaking. Plus air prices will probably keep going up due to tax andgreen issues
- Compared wiht London even melbourne can feel small, but you might like that
- the culture is different, more 'laid back' , again you you might prefer that
Only other thing is pick your city to suit you, Aus is so vast that Brisbane is different in climate and feel to Melbourne,
It is a great place to bring up children (not sure if you are planning/ have a family) for lots of reasons, but they do tend to travel from home when older, like moi!

arfishy Tue 03-Jul-07 04:22:13

I arrived 2 years ago and would quite happily never return to the UK.

What's bad here? It depends on you really.

I miss the online shopping and ability to find everything you need online.

Supermarkets here are tiny and run out of things. The oddest things have additives and the choice is much smaller (but when I went back to the UK last month I stood baffled in Tescos and thought 'why on earth is there 30 different types of wholemeal bread here?'). I think this is only noticeable because the UK supermarkets are so gigantic, we're used to having a warehouse full of stuff replenished every night. I prefer to use the smaller shops and it's much easier to do that here. I really miss M&S food halls though.

It's hard to get French wine . This is a problem for me but I'm sure nobody else cares that much!

It's miles and miles away. Your really don't realise until you get on a plane just how far away it is. Last month I flew back and we'd been flying for about 7 hours and I checked on the in-flight map and we were STILL flying over Australia. If you did that from London you'd be in New York.

If you still have to send money back to the UK it's hard on an Australian salary.

They are completely sport mad. There is sport everywhere. They talk about it all the time.

Australia is a wonderful place, it's beautiful, healthy and the people are just great. I hated London when I went back last month, it was crowded, expensive and the people were miserable.

It's worth remembering that nowhere is paradise though - if you come here you'll still have to pay bills, commute, pay car tax etc. The grind will go on, but at least the sun will be out, you'll be able to go to the beach to chill out and people will smile at you as you walk down the street.

MarshaBrady Tue 03-Jul-07 05:01:37

Arfishy your post has made me all teary here in cold London with my damn industrial strength coffee-related insomnia.
Australia is wonderful, and each time i come back i am at the high level of miserableness in inner city london. BUt having said that, i get used to it, see happy people, forget it's there and so on and on.... every year for 10 years.
Bouncy they also have freddo frogs and pollywaffles over there, very nice indeed.

ghosty Tue 03-Jul-07 05:11:18

I completely agree with Arfishy and everyone else ... but particularly Arfishy's last paragraph.
I have a good phrase to describe that concept: "Same Shit, Different City"
Having left the UK for NZ 5 years ago and am now in Melbourne, Aus, I have very little negative to say about Australia so far. I love New Zealand with a passion (I still do) but moving to Australia I feel that I have come back from the edge of the world ...
Ok, so the supermarkets are tiny compared to the UK (and pretty pokey compared to NZ supermarkets) but I love shopping at local independent retailers (I never buy supermarket veg and always go to a local butcher now) Going back to what Arfishy said: Anywhere in the world you move to to live and work will have the stresses of everyday life ... going to work every day, commuting, bills to pay, mortgage/rent to find, children to entertain/educate etc etc ...
Emigrating is not like going on holiday ...
Australia and New Zealand are just nicer places to have those stresses (weather/scenery) ... people seem happier and have more ability to enjoy life around the daily grind.
Aussies and Kiwis are 'up and at 'em' in general and take life by the horns ... I love that about them.

The worst bit about Australia IMO is the TV ... pants pants and double pants ....
But get Foxtel and you can get Eastenders on UKTV every night and remind yourself that you aren't really missing that much

bouncy Tue 03-Jul-07 08:15:50

thanks all for your replies, it will be a lot of thought, I just don't want to go into it thining its paradise lol, so any more not so good things, keep them coming lol

Ziggy3 Tue 03-Jul-07 10:12:23

Hi our family have just returned from 6 years in Sydney (originally went for 2 yrs but stayed on...). We absolutely loved the place and thought the climate was magic. However ultimately it was family that bought us home. I met so many UK expats and my experience was that peoples' decision to stay forever or go was often dependant their family situation back home. It's a really individual thing and there is no one right answer. Yes of course you can fly home and see everyone and now technology such as skype can bring your friends and family right into your living room but the reality is that flying home is an unbelievable expense ($10,000) for a family of 5 and that's only the flights! nevermind spending money, car hire etc etc which is crippling in pounds when you are earning in dollars and also I found that when I came home for a "Holiday" I needed to go into rehab afterwards to recover from a hugely busy busy time catching up with friends/family etc whose expectations to see us were very high and then doing at least one of the 24hr flights on my own with the kids plus 2 weeks of no sleep afterwards due to their jetlag (3 kids under 5 - not fun!) and when family come to visit it's lovely to have them around but it can be quite intense and as often people come to stay for a month at a time and don't necessarily go off and do their own thing. I don't mean to sound negative, I am so glad we had the opportunity to experience such a great country but for us it did feel far away from everyone to make the commitment to stay permanently. I am now loving being back in the UK and being back "in the loop" with the family. It's amazing how being away from the place makes you appreciate things so much more, the green countryside and great pub gardens even the rain!!! - actually very reassuring when you've lived in a drought- I still get stressed if the kids clean their teeth with the tap on!!
It's a great experience good Luck - One bit of advice tho' - If you are not doing a work transfer but going it independantly I would strongly advise you to organise your residency from the uk BEFORE you move. I met so many people who arrived in the country either on visitors or business visa and then went for residency and they had a nightmare. It can be quite hard to get a job if you are not a resident and you have to pay $4500 for each child to attend your local state primary and medicare coverage is minimal to name just a few of the many disadvantages.

SweetyDarling Tue 03-Jul-07 10:40:08

Re the Supermarket issue, it is very much dependant on where you go. Coming from Sydney, I found London supermarkets to be small, understocked and full of junk.
For me the main down-points to Aus would be: The v different pub culture - in Aus pubs are very much a young person's domain - I would be shocked to see my parents or their friends in a pub except for a function or something. And country pubs tend to be very rough.
The insects can be hard to get used to - I loath cockroaches, spiders etc.
The small population (and I'm from Sydney) can feel oppressive, although some people find this comforting. I certainly couldn't live in any other Australian city without going mad with clostaphobia(sp?).
$$ Sydney is really not much cheaper than London.

Then again, I miss the open space, the warmth and access to the ocean. I miss the wonderful fresh produce (at reasonable prices),the clarity of light and cleanliness.
It really is a great place to bring up children - sign them up for nippers ASAP!

MelbourneMum Tue 03-Jul-07 14:07:38

sorry sorry very quick hijack - Ghosty, am desperate to get in touch, emails to you keep bouncing back and I think I must have your wrong email address, have new mobile without your number in it anymore and have been thinking of you loads and would love to catch up again.

Email me if you get a chance on tuesdayandtheboys at gmail dot com

Tuesday xx

KTeePee Tue 03-Jul-07 14:21:43

I think it does depend on which part you move to - big difference between living in one of the large cities in the south and living in a tropical area.

The things I didn't like were

Too far away from family and friends

Felt like I was a long way from the rest of the world - but I think with the internet and satelite tv this is not so bad now

BUGS, eg large flying cockroaches. Not being able to sit on the grass without around 100 different species crawling all over you. But especially Mosquitoes - they really loved me and my legs were covered with bites no matter what I tried.

ghosty Tue 03-Jul-07 23:10:17

MELBOURNEMUM!!!!! I thought you had given up on me
Emailed you before I left NZ ... and then I lost YOUR email addy ...

Thank God you Are Here!

Will email you TODAY!

mymama Wed 04-Jul-07 00:35:35

KTeePee - not sure where you lived in Australia but I live in Queensland and have never had things crawl over me when sitting on the grass.

I guess coming from somewhere without many spiders etc you would notice them more than I would. Having said that I don't have any spiders or cockroaches in my house and neither do my friends so it is not really an issue for me.

wannaBe Wed 04-Jul-07 08:17:45

Me and dh looked into emigrating to Australia just before I fell pregnant with ds, but for one reason or another it didn’t happen. But if dh were offered a job there I would be on the next plane out as I would love to live there. I grew up in South Africa and have been to aus on holiday, and am told the lifestyle is very similar but without the added security/political problems that exist in SA. The only thing I would consider is the impact that living abroad will have on your children’s relationship with their extended family ie grandparents etc.

When I was living in South Africa I thought it very exciting that I had all this family that lived in England, and I talked to my friends about my cousin x and auntie y and my grandparents etc. But the reality is that when I returned to the UK I had no relationship with them at all. Oh yes I knew who they were as we had all spoken on the phone etc over the years and some had been over to visit, but it’s just not the same as seeing them in person on a regular basis, and consequently I just don’t think of family in the same way as people who have grown up close to their family would. Before we emigrated to SA I used to see my grandparents aunts and uncles etc on a weekly basis. Now we all still live in the same town and I haven’t seen my gran in nearly three years, and I have cousins I wouldn’t know if they passed me in the street.

But I guess that depends on the relationship your children currently have with their extended family, as not all people have that kind of relationship in the first place iykwim. And it’s not something I would let put you off, but is a consideration. Skype/the internet is not the same as rl contact, and it really isn’t that simple/affordable to jump on a plane and come visit. And it’s also worth considering that the holidays are different over there, so the summer hols in Aus fall over Christmas when it’s winter here and not very nice climate wise in terms of visits.

potoftea Wed 04-Jul-07 08:52:37

Not the same as settleing down overseas I know, but we spent a year in Aus before we married and loved that year.

However, I am always glad we came home to live before we had dc. Our ds was very ill as a baby and spent many months in hospital. We could not have survived that time without the help we got, both practical and financial from old friends and extended family. Really made me appreciate the importance of being amoung our own.

During that year (which I really loved, enjoyed my job, and made lovely friends) what I hated was not knowing people just to say hello to. Like no one waved out a car window as they passed, or no one in a shop was an old aqqaintance, or whatever. I had no history there. Turned out I needed that to feel I belonged.

SweetyDarling Wed 04-Jul-07 09:59:40

Potoftea - that's what I like being awawy from Aus! I love the anonymity of London. I guess this would change if I had a sick child though.

KTeePee Wed 04-Jul-07 10:50:56

Mymama - it was the NT

SweetyDarling Wed 04-Jul-07 10:58:56

Ktee, it was the same in Sydney - and pretty much everywhere I've ever been in Aus. If you sit on the grass you are v likely to get ants etc on you - or a bindi in your butt!
I think you don't really know any different until you sit on an english lawn - that is something I will really miss when I go back to Aus!

potoftea Wed 04-Jul-07 12:53:20

Amazed that no one mentioned the flies as being the worst this in Australia. LOL

They nearly drove me insane. They are much "braver" than the ones here and don't move if you just shake your arm or whatever.

Honestly one followed my dh home one day.
Was bothering him at the tram stop, followed him onto the tram, and followed him getting off. He ran in and slammed the door when he got home, and of course I pmsl when he told me what he was running from.

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