Canít quite believe we have been here nearly 6 months already. I used to really enjoy reading other peoples updates when I was wondering if we would ever be in Adelaide so I hope this doesnít send you all to sleep.
We left Heathrow on the 19th August via Singapore and arrived in Adelaide on the 21st August. Canít recommend Singapore Airlines enough, they were absolutely fantastic on both legs of the trip. The entertainment system and choices available were great and certainly occupied the kids. We would also recommend using the hotel in the terminal at Singapore as we booked two slots and slept amazingly well. It was so great to be able to have a sleep and a shower before the next part of the journey. Iím sure if the kids hadnít had that sleep they would have struggled with the next leg of the journey. The airport was also great to wander round in to waste some time, check out the butterfly garden ☺
Well we arrived in Adelaide early morning and picked up our hire car (booked a car for a week) and went to our short term rental in Sheidow Park, we had booked the rental for 4 weeks via the internet from the UK. We each had a large suitcase and hand luggage. Thank god my cousin met us at the airport as we could then fit all the luggage and us between the two cars.
The rental was in the newer part of Sheidow and was lovely. Great start to our stay knowing that everyone was happy with the rental. Sat down, caught our breath and thought wow we are finally here. We then sorted out some groceries and settled in for our first Australian night with a takeaway and a beer and vino.
Even though we had received our visa in December 2009 we had promised our son that he could finish off his first year at High School. We had moved around a lot earlier when they were babies and toddlers (Guernsey to the Isle of Man then the UK) but once they started at playgroup we had decided that we would stay put. So he went to junior school with the kids he had gone to playgroup with and then on to High School. We also had decided that it would give us plenty of time to sell the house (ha ha) declutter and sort stuff out before we came over. We had put our house on the market when we applied for the visa and as the market had stagnated that wasnít looking so great. Nick and I sat down and thought ďSod itĒ letís just go. We couldnít afford to come over and validate and then go back to the UK so we decided that August 2010 was our move date and the start of our new life for our family. We booked our one way flights with Singapore and then it felt like it was actually happening.
We then went into the CBD on the Monday to sort out our registration with the Immigration Dept and Medicare. We sorted out mobiles and opened our bank account with Westpac. Next thing on the shopping list was a car. We went into one of the dealers on South Rd in Reynella who recommended a second hand car dealer across the road called Amber Car Sales. Picked up a Hyundai, after choking a little bit on the price of used cars over here even after haggling.
Then it was time to look for a long term rental, our advice based on our experience would be start looking as soon as you can. There is a serious lack of rental properties in certain suburbs and youíve got to make sure you go to the openings as soon as you can. Donít be put off by the amount of people who turn up. Make sure you introduce yourself to the agent and try to build up a relationship with them. We ended up offering more rent up front and made sure we had numerous references to present to the agents. You are basically competing with everybody else and the agent will present to the owner of the property a shortlist of candidates and itís up to them to choose. Apparently it can be made more difficult to obtain a rental as ďPomsĒ have a reputation of breaking leases. We found our rental with two days left on the short term rental, we were beginning to panic I'll admit.
Also we would say donít just think Hallett Cove, Iíve seen a few posts recently where people in the UK are saying that Hallett Cove looks good from the internet research they have done whilst in the UK. There are other suburbs and they are all so close, we are about 10 mins drive from Hallett Cove beach and 5 minutes drive from the school and the shopping centre.
We also did a tour of the schools and thought Hallett Cove R-12 would suit our kids (also would just be the one drop off in the morning) it just felt right and we liked the fact that the Deputy Principal wanted to meet with the kids prior to suggesting their class placements. Jack wasnít too impressed when he was told he would be in a year 7 group and he did mention that he didnít want to go down in school. But the Principal was quick to point out that he would start then in year 8 in January and he shouldnít think he was being moved down as he was starting in a completely different school system. The kids havenít felt there is a huge difference in the school work but they enjoy the different approach the teachers have but Jack seems to get a lot of homework. Weíve been really pleased with how they have settled in and were made to feel welcome.
Iíve also got to say we are loving it over here. We feel this is home and where we are definitely going to be staying.
Laurie & Nick