Hello fellow PIA's
We are now 2 weeks into our Oz adventure and thought a wee update might be in order. Having used the info here so many times we thought we should share ours
We used Whites to ship - no complaints at all. Last time we tracked our container it was in singapore. We had a whole 20 footer to ourselves (mainly Dougs guitars) and the cost was very reasonable.
We flew with Air New Zealand from Glasgow to Heathrow and from Heathrow to LA spending 11 nights there before flying LA to Aukland and then on to Adelaide. I have to say Air NZ are the best I have ever flown with (been BA, virgin, Royal Air Morocco). Seat back entertainment absolutely fantastic and the meals and the wine in particular brilliant. An advantage of flying that way is that you leave LA at 9:30 pm and arrive 13 hours later in Aukland at 5:00am. If you or your kids sleep as we did (helped by copious Lindaur and Pinot Noir - us not the kids) you get a nights sleep and wake in the morning. The downside is you miss a day. We left LA on the 15th July and arrived 17th July - hmmm.
Used the Meet and Greet service and have to say we were completely taken aback by the warmth and friendliness of the couple we met. Absolute saints. They took OH and half the kids to the holiday accomodation while I got the hire car. Their advice and support was fantastic.
We had applied for OAA and were ultimately sucessful but had arranged holiday accomodation as OAA is only confirmed 3 weeks before arrival. With 4 kids we felt we couldn't wait until 3 weeks before we left just in case so got a holiday let through www.realestate.com.au in the holiday let section. It was a 4 week rent fully furnished in Seacombe Heights and is great (if a little cold just now). Would recommend it to anyone else being 5 mins drive from Marion shoppingtown and 3 mins to Seacliffe railway station.
We had arranged a hire car before we left with acacia hire cars (see another post for the web address) and they picked me up at the airport and took me to the office to complete the forms. they gave us 2 child seats and a streetmap as well. the car was a bit older and we called it "The Mystery Machine" due to it's resemblance to another people mover but it worked fine.
Spent the first few days looking at cars - no shortage of delearships in Adelaide and eventually plumped for a Kia people mover at Wayne Phillips Kia in Reynella. They were fantastic and I cannot recommmend them highly enough. If you go there and buy a car saying I recommended them I get $150. I promise to share the wealth - 6 cleanskins in it for you!
Spent the next few days looking for a house for a longer rent. Looked all over the southern suburbs, Flagstaff Hill, Hallett cove, Brighton, Seacliffe etc. managed to get one at Seacliffe Park today. Much relief. Don't be fooled by the number of rents on www.realestate.com.au there were many people at the viewings and we were often up agianst a large number of applications. We had no history of renting having owned in Scotland and have no jobs so was a bit tricky to get sorted. You use a lot of petrol trying to get a rent and they go quickly so be prepared. It's not just that easy to get a rent. Offer a few months up front - worked for us!
Marion is fantastic with a Target, 2 supermarkets and many shops. We got pay as you go mobiles with Optus (the cheapest phones) and wireless broadband with 3. The fresh produce is the best here - the celery is like a triffid and once you discover "cleanskins" at Dan Murphy's there is no going back. £2 for a bottle of Shiraz - come on!
We also got tax numbers using the internet. We got SA driving licences by pitching up at Marion again and filling out a form and we got Medicare again at Marion by filling out a form. We are on the SIR 495 visa so rest assured others. Ambulance cover next on the to do list.
We opened Commonwealth bank accounts before we left and they were great. Easy to deal with and all set up here now.
Kids getting enrolled in Seacombe Downs school next week which has a good rep.
Not seen too much of Adelaide yet. Will get a chance now got a house and car. From what I have seen it looks nice. Took the kids to the Museum of SA. Going to go to the Oval once the cricket season starts. Watching the footy on channel 9. Trying to Oz up the kids with Milo and vegemite. Cold tubes in the fridge - cleanskins in the wine rack just a job to get and we are getting there.
Will answer any particular questions through the forum - we took enough info from it - would be nice to put back.
All the best - Unch & Dougs :)