In truth I have been meaning to write this thread for a very long time but we have been far to busy having fun!!
However after being strongly encouraged by Tyke I will get my bum in gear and do it!!
So the story so far, we've been here 2 years in October and still feel like newby's!!
The point of this thread is that hopefully some people travelling the same journey as us may get some benefit from our experience - however this is all just my opinion and I encourage other's to join in!!
So we flew here in Oct '09 from LHR with Singapore air (great service and if flying again with kids would always use these guys for the service they provided). We were a little daunted flying with a 3 year old, 2 year old & 7 month old but a couple of things saved the day. Firstly in front of the kids it was all an adventure - we tried not to let them see us be sad as they are so responsive to your emotions and it worked they were so excited.
We also took 2 UK car seats on the plane this helped the 3 & 2 year old get really comfy & sleep well.
We also booked into Singapore airport transit hotel which was a help as it allowed us to sleep, shower & dump our things while we wondered round.
When we arrived we stayed 4 weeks to Roo Rentals, She was awesome and gave us loads of advice and support that made those first few weeks easier. For us 4 weeks was only just long enough to find another rental (long term) we also ran around finding cars, jobs and childcare. It was certainly stressful but we were so thankful to be here and living our dream that we got through those first few weeks. However dont underestimate how expensive those first few weeks can be!!
The children were amazing and didn't seem phased by anything, even the jet lag wasn't as bad as we imagined, we flew mainly night time and landed in Adelaide at 9am then kept them up all day exploring our new home till they fell asleep in their dinner and slept the night through with not a sign of jet lag!
They are all now at childcare or school and have thrived, I cant really compare it to the UK childcare system as I didn't have Childcare then but here we cant fault it (well there has been the odd hiccup but nothing is perfect as it was dealt with very well).
I could write forever about our experiences and our accounts of do's and dont's but I guess the main thing is to remember this is Oz some things are different and sometimes you just need to go with it, you do adapt I promise. Also accept that you will make mistakes (we all do) but hey you work it out and it's all just part of the story.
It helped us doing as much research as possible before coming out here and when you do arrive be sure to ask for advice and assistance - most if not all people are only to pleased to help in one way or another, there will certainly be ups and downs on your rollercoaster but if you hit a rough patch (we all have them) try and remember why you came here. I have to say for us our quality of life and our family time has by far improved for being here. We have even gone so far as to have our own authentic Aussie.
Sure there are things we miss, but if we ever went back to the UK we feel there is more to miss about SA than there is about the UK.
So to everyone about to make that step, chill out and enjoy the ride - for us it has all been worth it!!