Hello fellow PIA'ers....I dont visit this site as much as should. But I thought I should post our reccie findings on here, as it may be of help to those hoping to move Adelaide and have not had the chance to go themselves. So here is a bit of report of our findings in no particular order....
Flight - We flew with Cathay Pacific. Service was fantastic, food not bad. But, the seats were the worst I have ever sat in. They do not recline....its the part of the sit you actually put your bum on that moves forward, so you are left sitting in a very uncomfortable slouching position....this wasn't too much of a problem flying out as the flight was empty and we had more seats to ourselves but coming home the flight was full (thanks to BA for striking and therefore Cathay Pacific took all their passengers) so we had to try and sleep upright... So unless Cathay Pacific change there seats I would never fly with them again for that reason.
We had a stop at Hong Kong, we didnt leave the airport. But the airport is huge....with loads of shops, plenty of places to eat. Very clean and staff very helpful.
We arrived in Adelaide to very bright sunshine...I felt I had been in a black hole for 26 hours. We collected our car rental and headed to our accommodation. We took our sat nav with us, and found this to be a god send through out the reccie.
We stayed in a suburb called Morphett Vale and rented a house, as we felt by staying in a house in a suburb would give us a better idea of what it would be like to live out there. We rented a 3 bed house, from RooRentals, she owns other properties and is a fellow pom. I highly recommend RooRentals if you need a short term rent in Adelaide.
Our first day we headed to K mart to buy some booster seats for the car for the kids. We got 2 booster seats for $50. They were great, in fact I was so impressed with them I brought them back home to the UK. We had all intentions of ditching them out there but there are small and narrow and so are great for small cars. After that we headed for Coles for some food....
Okay, food, I know this causes a lot a debate about the price of food between there and the UK. But my opinion is that its either roughly the same price or its more expensive. I did'nt feel anything was cheaper than the UK. Bread is more expensive than the UK. Things like biscuits, crisps, yoghurts, pretty much the same price for top brands. Meat is better value for your money. Fruit and veg in the supermarket about the same price as the supermarkets here. Fruit and veg in the market, not a lot of difference to what I pay at my local market. I personally think the supermarkets need to start more competition with each other to create price wars and bring prices down.
We spent one day driving around looking at suburbs. For us with had already knew we wanted to live on the south side of the city. It is really true what they say, you can't pick a suburb until you get there. You just cant get a feel for the place until you are there. Like everywhere else in the world, you get your really nice suburbs with big price tags, the not so nice places and those in middle which you just have work out for yourself whats best for you. If money was no object, then I would pick the Adelaide Hills over a sea view. The Adelaide Hills are just wonderful. But alas we couldnt afford to live there, so we have found other places that seem to tick our boxes.
We also looked a school for the children whilst we were out there. It was a R to Year 7 school. Children stay at primary school in Adelaide till there are 13 years old. The school we looked out was having a lot of building works going on and the staff come across as very proud of their school. The biggest difference for me was the size. The school was capable of taking nearly 1000 pupils at the time they had about 400. They also taught japanese from reception year. The children in the classrooms seem very happy and well behaved. The school said we could enroll the children the UK ready to start for when we arrived in Adelaide. The other thing the teacher said is that schools in Adelaide are becoming more target measured just like the UK. They dont have an ofsted equalivent out there but the teacher said she felt it would be too many years before they did.
The Aussies - I can honestly say that everyone we met pom or aussie was very welcoming and friendly. This was something OH liked very much. He likes a good natter and found this a welcoming difference from the UK in particular he is referring to the south of england where he says people never what to give you the time of day.
We have friends out in Adelaide. Who were just wonderful. It was great to sit and talk to them about they gripes and worrys for their country. We came away with the impression they there worries and gripes for their country are not any different to what most of us have in the UK, we just felt it was on a lot smaller scale.
Work - My oh spent a day in the city meeting up with a couple of contacts he has made. My OH works in IT and we are well aware that Adelaide is not the best place to look for IT work. But again as it has been said many times, it is very much a case of not what you know but who. He came away with more contacts and the overall view was if we were staying then oh would have probably got a job be it only a contract to start with.
Overall we do feel Adelaide is place we could live. Adelaide is more a like a big town, like they say. It doesnt have the wow factor but its definately liveable and very much our type of place. There is definately a feeling of space in Adelaide, and parks in the city definately help with this, maybe thats because Adelaide was designed not simply put together. But my opinion is because it was a designed place, it makes it far more liveable than Melbourne or Sydney. Just my opinion, everyone is different.
Driving, for us we felt overall the driving speed is a lot slower than the UK. In fact it too a bit of getting use to and me constantly reminding the hubby to slow down.....the big freeway that runs in different directions at different times of day, and the never the direction you want it, was for us probably the most driving place, especially at the end of day rush hour....everyone gets on it and just goes....and over takes all over the place. But I guess you do get use to it.
Finally, Adelaide is also called the city of churches....but I must admit I wasn't quite expecting that many....seriously there is a church of some sort on every corner....