Anyone in/from Queensland? Wanna talk me out of it?

(34 Posts)
toOzornottoOz Tue 16-Mar-10 18:02:32

Hi, please forgive my long post, I'm depserate for some advice.

DH and I are from London, living on the outskirts, have three children, DD9 and DTS7. We're both bored stiff of living in the UK, it really doesn't suit us and we don't like it for our children.
I have lived and worked all over the place in the past, Brazil, Spain, Greece, Thailand, Singapore, and spent a year as a working couple travelling around Oz.

Then we got sucked into getting stable jobs and a stable environment for the children, buying a house etc. Well, we got the jobs, made the money (were very lucky just before the credit crunch) own our house outright and we want out!

The truth is that the time I spent in Queensland was the only time in my life I felt that I "belong". I could breathe easily, unlike the rest of my life. I felt I was finally home after a very long time... And I want to move there. We did a little Visa questionnaire and we were informed that if we applied for residency we would have good chances. My children seem to take these things to their stride.

BUT, I'm not naive, I know that being there on a holiday is not the same as living there. I don't care about shopping,I'm kind of a "back to the basics" person. I like it there because I think people are friendly and laid back (is it true?).

And what about schools?

It's such a big terrifying decision to make, but I so want to make it! Please tell me the worst you know about Queensland, so I can decide if it's worth it.

OP’s posts: |
JeMeSouviens Tue 16-Mar-10 18:08:17

Nope I won't talk you out of it. I love Queensland, lived there for about 3yrs (preDH/DC), in Brisvegas. We're in Canada now, but we are seriously considering going there end of year.

The only thing that puts me off, and it really is the only thing, are the arachnids. I have a slight (understatement)aversion to them and wonder how I'd cope with them with DC. <shudder>

toOzornottoOz Tue 16-Mar-10 18:27:41

that's what I feared I'd hear...
Do you know anything about schools in the Cairs area though? You know, the closer to the equator the better we say ;-)

OP’s posts: |
hannahsaunt Tue 16-Mar-10 18:31:57

Where in Queensland? We spent a fabulous year in Townsville - great schools, great lifestyle but ... it's a terribly long way from anywhere. And that's just within Oz. We loved it but couldn't be there forever - too isolated.

toOzornottoOz Tue 16-Mar-10 18:37:38

North Queensland please. Townsville is so pretty, I spent about a week there. But wouldn't want to go any further south than that.
Is there some sort of link where I can find out about the education system and schools?

OP’s posts: |
woosam Tue 16-Mar-10 18:49:30

I can't help you but just wanted to show a little empathy.
We're about to sell up and come to Melbourne with Dh's job. It's suppose to be for a few years but I've just got this feeling we wont come back.
The empathy bit is because I, too, want to go 'back to basics'. I tired and bored of the rat race and the neverending quest to earn more money and own a bigger/more expensive house. I can't remember the last time I properly relaxed and just 'lived'.

Also wanted to say that on my Melbourne thread someone posted a link to the state of Victoria's education information pages which is for teachers, pupils and parents. I think each state does one.

Good luck with your decision. It does look beautiful up there but I couldn't cope with the heat.

JeMeSouviens Tue 16-Mar-10 18:54:32

Try here Educaction Queensland

I don't know about the schooling I'm afraid as it was preDC.

Try also British Expats Forum

Someone in Oz should see this later on tonight and be able to give you advice about schooling.

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toOzornottoOz Tue 16-Mar-10 18:57:38

thank you both :-)

oh dear... I fear we're gonna go for it...

OP’s posts: |
hannahsaunt Tue 16-Mar-10 20:35:22

T/ville is fab for families. Can't recommend Belgian Gardens State School highly enough - google as they have a website.

Ozziegirly Wed 17-Mar-10 02:39:21

I like Townsville too - I have family about an hour inland from there and the hinterland is just stunning, as are the beaches.

Don't know about schools etc, but I must say I love Qld. Only thing that puts me off is the flooding, but houses seem to be pretty much equipt for it.

Go for it, you only get one life! If you don't like it, you can always move, but you'll have a great adventure in the meantime.

Gmarksthespot Wed 17-Mar-10 03:01:40

I am in Brisbane. Weather is great, lots to do especially if you are outdoorsy.

I don't get the arachnid thing. I have lived here my whole life and go bush camping 4 times a year and have yet to see a big spider. They are not crawling all over the place. We do have screens on our house so I guess that keeps em out. It is more for the flies than the spiders though. Have never seen a snake outside a zoo either.

You may be surprised with the prices of things here now. Housing is now becoming some of the most expensive in the world. ditto for groceries. Heard a radio report yesterday that Australia's food prices are increasing at the fastest rate in the world. Petrol is cheap.

I guess crime is low compared to some other countries. Although in Qld alone an 11yo boy was stabbed and killed in an upmarket private school in Brisbane last month and a 9 yo girl was abducted from her bed and murdered by a person known to the family in a regional town last month. So it is out there.

Job market is not so great at the moment I think. If you are specialist and coming on a visa then you may be set in the job department.

Don't know much about Cairns except it is the number 2 (1 is Sydney) stopover for tourists so if you don't mind living in a tourist trap then I imagine it would be good.

There are a lot of things to love about living here.

helenwombat Wed 17-Mar-10 03:12:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JeMeSouviens Wed 17-Mar-10 03:33:29

Re the Arachnids, I once got trapped in the site toilet due to a huntsman sitting under the door handle. All I had to hand was air freshener and toilet rolls and there was only one way out. Don't get me started on the number of friends who've had them in their cars, eek!

helenwombat Wed 17-Mar-10 03:59:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ben5 Wed 17-Mar-10 04:48:53

we moved to rockinham 50km south of perth in WA last June and just love it over here. the way of live is so much slower and theres not the traffic of UK. the weather is better and if you enjoy outdoor living then it's the place to be. As for schools you can go to;
www.myschool.edu.au
I find the local primary school is very good and my kids have settled in well. private schools are alot cheaper than in UK but we are happy with our one. the private school near us however charged double the amount for swimming lessons than what we paid and they were for the same lessons!!!!!!!

toOzornottoOz Wed 17-Mar-10 06:23:55

thank you all.

I don't see anybody talking me out of it... which I suppose is a good thing :-)

OP’s posts: |
ShrimpOnTheBarbie Wed 17-Mar-10 06:51:57

I won't talk you out of it, either! I've been living in Qld for about 8 years and LOVE it. Tons of snakes and spiders, though - but we are fairly rural! I'm so used to them, now, I barely notice them.

LouIsOnAHighwayToHell Fri 19-Mar-10 14:30:38

Im from Brisbane and went to uni in Townsville. It is a nice place but if you are after culture then you won't find much. If it was not for the uni and the army base then it would not exist smile.

If you like the beach atmosphere why not try Caloundra or other places further south. Or inland like Toowoomba.

There are lots of creepy crawlies but you learn to live with them.

thumbwitch Fri 19-Mar-10 14:35:04

I have a British friend who lives in Townsville - she doesn't use MN so I can only pass on what she has told me. She recently moved there from NZ and doesn't like it as much as NZ. She has found the locals to be quite insular - she has friends but they are all expats from one country or another - the locals are pleasant to your face but don't get involved, in her experience. She would move back to NZ in a heartbeat though - much more community-minded, she says.

Bear in mind that is just one person's experience however...

palacemonkey Fri 19-Mar-10 14:45:40

Hi, I'm originally from Qld - I'd rethink Cairns if you don't cope with heat very well... the humidity is a killer - If you looked further south (like the Sunshine Coast) you've still got the beach/tourist things/schools all the same as Cairns, but without the oppressive humidity (and the jelly fish aren't so bad at the beaches further south).

LadyPeterWimsey Fri 19-Mar-10 14:45:54

I was born in Queensland and my parents have moved back there now, and I have travelled there a bit. It is a spectacularly beautiful part of the world. I love the Australian friendliness and the laid-back outdoor lifestyle, and would move back there like a shot if I could.

But I would be reluctant to move to Queensland, and if I did, I wouldn't go too far North - and not just because of the humidity. Outside the big cities Australians can be very parochial and Queenslanders have a pretty right-wing reputation. Friends who moved to Townsville from Sydney were pretty shocked at some attitudes they encountered, particularly to indigenous Australians. My parents, bless them, despite being living outside Australia for 30 odd years seem to have reverted back to racial stereotyping since they moved back.

NB I am not saying all Queenslanders are racist, and especially not the Queenslanders on this thread. I'm just saying that attitudes I find offensive are perhaps a little more tolerated there, and the OP may not quite be expecting that.

palacemonkey Fri 19-Mar-10 19:37:41

LadyPeterWimsey - As a Qlder I second your comments. I lived there when OneNation was voted into a few seats (very similar to BNP in their thinking on immigrants)and it was awful. That sort of reputation is unfortunately well earned. However, it has spread to a lot of country areas of Australia as a whole.

Another no-no in the far north is also the cyclones. There is one currently hovering of the coast and doing much damage with high winds and torrential rain. If you want to know about worst case scenario google Cyclone Tracey. It hit Darwin on Xmas Day in 1980 (I think!) and wiped out the entire city...

Have we talked you out of it yet?? grin

toOzornottoOz Fri 19-Mar-10 20:20:54

oh dear,
thanks for advising on the negative side of things, I had almost started packing wink

If the thing about racism is true then I don't know if I could live there. I'm generally a very patient person who accepts people with their shortcomings, but I have no time for laziness and for racism! Especially the later.

I don't mind the heat and humidity, I kinda enjoy it, I know I'm weird.

hmmm, it all looked quite rosey until now.
Fortunately we have the opportunity to do it just for a while (let's say a year) and then come back if we don't like it, it's not like we're gonna have to sell up or anything here.

But I'm not sure this would be fair on the kids.

OP’s posts: |
palacemonkey Fri 19-Mar-10 20:27:03

If you're worried about the kids - they'll love it! It will be THE biggest adventure for them.

And don't worry about the racism thing - There are plenty of people out there (like me!) who are completely normal and NOT racist! grin

ShoudBeDoingSomethingElse Fri 19-Mar-10 21:06:34

I would be doing the move 'for the kids' they will have so many opportunities open to them.

Have to agree with being closer to the NSW border (Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Byron - gorgeous!) rather than top of QLD - humidity, can't swin in ocean, isolated, expensive to travel! More work opportunities, schools, universities (later!) in southern QLD.

Do not be concerned about racism - it is no different to here and the minority who are racist you will realise soon enough and they won't be part of your life.

What a great position you are in - mortgage free, why not do it. You can always come back, your children are young enough, they will adapt. (I was an armed forces child and moved heaps and so far all ok!)

Start packing.........

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