Pmenlove

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    We (family of 4) were granted a permanent visa at the beginning of December and want to move to South Australia asap but with all our money tied up in UK accounts until January 2017 it looks like we may have to wait until then to move over permanently (and spend £7500 on a holiday this year in order to trigger our visas, arggghhhhh!!!!). This is unless we took the chance and moved over with only £10000 in October 2015 with only the promise of part time work so far as we aren't really getting anywhere with applications for full time jobs so far. Looks like too big a gamble with £10,000 that would only see us through the first 6 months, anybody else been in this scenario?

     

    Also, with so much to take in regarding houses, work (I'm a Business/Sports VET Teacher), schools, hospitals, sports facilities, eating out, etc we are looking for an insight into any the following areas please?

     

    South Adelaide - Christies Beach, Hackham, Morphett Vale, Mitcham, Marion, etc

    Victor Harbour

    Mount Gambier

     

    Finally, any help or thoughts on how we should best approach all this would be very much appreciated.

     

    Thanks in advance.

     

    Paul

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    Hello and welcome to the forum :)

     

    I think most people move over without having secured work. It can be done before you move but for many it tends to be they like you in Aus first.

     

    My honest opinion of Victor Harbor and Mt Gambier is that they are both lovely towns. However Mt Gambier is simply too far from anything for me to ever want to live there. We have family there who have grown up happily there and some have remained living there as they managed to secure good jobs locally but others headed to and stayed in Adelaide or Melbourne. Its a 5 hour plus drive through a big expanse of pretty empty space to get to Mt Gambier from Adelaide. I think we only used the indicator once or twice the whole way once we hit the open road. Its a lovely town, population about 26,000 but that is pretty much it down there. If you are self sufficient and are confident of dealing with living in a rural town, research more into it. I'd not move their from the off but would take a trip or two to it, check it out and get a feel for the place.

     

    Victor Harbor is about an hour or so from Adelaide. Its coastal and has a fair population of older people. Its a cooler coast than Adelaide as its on the ocean, not the gulf. Again, the hour plus drive on a not so great road (seems to be a bit of an accident hotspot but then so do many country roads). In short, I like to visit it but living there does not appeal. It strikes me more as a holiday beachside town. We are actually heading down there for a few days in the autumn with the extended family. Unless I had a job down there as I'd not want to commute daily. But then with small kids and so on, I'd not be looking that far out if it were me :goofy:

     

    The next part, please be aware that school options were a driving factor in our choice of where to settle. We wanted (what in our view were) good state school options for primary and also then in a few years, high school. Everyone is different and what we wanted from a school or schools is different from the next. I'm writing this based on my thoughts and expectations of schools. Always advise people to check it all out themselve as what we didn't like might appeal greatly to someone else and tick their boxes. So we did a lot of reasearch, asked teachers we know and other things to narrow our search focus down. Schools were our main focus as hubby works from home and commuting was never an issue. We started off in Glenelg and our son went to a school further away as I didn't like Glenelg primary. For the 7 months we were in Glenelg I was happy with our school choice but always knew it was a stop gap to a permanent option and I felt there were much better schools out there for us in the longer term.

     

    South Adelaide - Hackham is considered a cheap area to live. It seems to be the but of jokes (serious or not) if you mention it. Schools wise you may not have such great state options locally to that. Would I buy or live there? In short, no.

     

    Christies Beach - Still a cheaper area to buy or rent but prices do seem to be rising there. However, again, schools would concern me. I think the beach is fab there, has a great food and wine festival there iirc. We went last year. The shops seemed ok, typical ones to be found and all that. The mall is within an easy drive a suburb or two over. We never wanted a coastal suburb either so we neve really looked at it down there past researching schools. Had it had schools that we felt were worth serious consideration we may have looked at it harder though the hills not the coast was our main focus.

     

    Morphett Vale - Inland a bit, some good buys and rents to be had. Again, schools didn't appeal, well apart from one further over in Happy Valley but outside of that, nah, the options didn't strike us as great, especially once we got to high school. It would have been private for us had we bought in that suburb or any close to it that didn''t fall in a high school zone we wanted. The suburb overall didn't jump out at me enough to really want to push trying to find a house there though.

     

    Mitcham is pricey. Lovely IMO though, much closer to the city and also good access to the hills. Has a number of lovely (IMHO) suburbs all round it too. If you are coming over with only £10,000 I'd not be starting off there, not unless you could secure jobs to afford to rent there. If you have funds to move over later then it could be good to consider but you may find yourself settled well elsewhere by then. Given the schools I researched out that way I think if you looked round you could find options schooling wise. It has a number of schools that were mentioned to me a fair bit during my travels.

     

    Marion - Its on the flat. Closer to the city (depending on time of day, traffic etc) Its got a huge indoor mall, cinema, bowling and aquatic centre right there. Plus train line running through. However, again, schools. Meh I thought. We looked hard at this area when we were buying and suburbs nearby but honestly, the high school options for the price of the houses was scary. We got a lot more house, land and better schools going 15 minutes up the hill into the foothills. The sub dividing of plots around the area there has reached insane levels. Paying $500,000 for a rather shoddy built 3 bed shoebox with no backyard on a block of land where once one house stood but now 2 or 3 are squished on, nah, not at all appealing. Older houses, most were so run down knocking them over was an appealing option but the developers also want those so its tough. Buying a decent well cared for house can set you back $450,000-500,000 plus around there which is ouch if you don't fall into a good school zone.

     

    Some do move over on only a small amount, others not. Its hard to know what is best as you can never predict how it will go once here. If you are a teacher I'd think starting off in Adelaide is a good option and then apply to the country jobs once here if you think you could settle in a remote town. We know someone who is a teacher and recently applied for a job in a primary school about an hour from Mt Gambier. It was only a 2 year contract and the town was small, kids came from miles around. They decided against the job and the move. There is a need for teachers in the small towns in rural SA. Adelaide does seem to be rather saturated with them although I guess that can depend on what age group you teach and your skill set etc. Primary seems to be overflowing, high school maths and science seems to be in shorter supply. TAFE, obviously not small town job but the larger towns may be options.

     

    If it were me with a family of 4, right now, I'd say wait. £10,000 could be swallowed up very quickly with rental, bond, car, insurance etc. I'd go with validate, try to keep costs down as much as possible on that. Perhaps visit in the off season (winter) and do house sitting instead of paying for a holiday rental. There is a good housesitting website with listings. Or do the whole hostel or camping thing to keep costs down. Make it more of a backpacking thing and don't do it for a longer trip, even if you only do week in Aus before heading back, you've validated. I don't know how much it would save but it could be a decent amount. Look into money saving ways to keep flight costs down. Perhaps flying from somewherein Europe, so getting a cheapie flight to whichever country from the UK (I think Amsterdam can often work out cheaper). Or fly an airline that has an overnight stop in its country, Japan Airlines used to do this. Hubby used that route to save a fair chunk each time. They put him up in Tokyo for the night before his onward flight the next day to Adelaide.

     

    If you did want to come over in Oct, look into as many money saving options as possible. Again, house sitting, camping to start off, anything to save money. If you are a teacher, as I understand it the one year contract type posts for the following academic year are often already gone by the time you'll arrive, or in the process of being gone and so it'll be temp short term stuff as and when probably then. But please research this more to get picture of how it works for yourself. I am not a teacher but we have a fair few in the family and know some so I hear stuff is all :) But that is only for primary and high school, beyond that, TAFE, no clue, it may be similar, it may not.

     

    To give you some idea of costs, when we came over, we spent $6,000 on an 8 year old car. Nothing fancy, a Holden Astra. Lucky it had very low mileage, rego for 9 months or so and FSH but it was a chunk of cash. I boggled at the amount cars cost here. Still do. We didn't rent as we stayed with family so bought 7 months in. But rental can be a few hundred $$ a week and there is a bond, could be $1500 or more. Then you have insurance (ambulance cover is always a good thing if nothing else health wise IMHO). Food shopping can eat into your budget. I do find it pricey food wise here but then our income can cope with that. But it is expensive if you are used to UK bargin prices. Fuel is cheaper. If you can rent somewhere close to local supermarket and so on, so it can be done within walking distance, you can keep costs down if you can make do without a car to begin with or run one old banger or something. That was the handy thing for us in Glenelg was it was 2 minutes to the supermarket, PO, cafes, bakers and butcher. So I could shop on foot or take my pushbike. Now where we live, its not within walking distance, especially not in this heat. I can walk it and have done so but on a hot day, sod that for a lark :wideeyed:.

     

     

    Good luck with whatever you decide :) Hopfully others will be along to give you their thoughts and feedback.

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    I actually really like mount gambier. I would happily live there. And there a couple of different ways you can drive to Adelaide from there. It can be lovely (other than the part from Keith to tailem bend). There never seems to be rush hour traffic there, and personally I think it's placed better for holidays at least. Well, holidays in oz, not international ones. They have a decent amount of shops there. Also, it's a bit cooler and more rain.

    Every now and again we consider moving there.

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    I agree ,there are many interesting ways to drive to Mt Gambier with a few great little places to stop over and then Victoria's Great Ocean Rd and all that itoffers is not far away. Great cafes and interesting shops. There is a lot to do in the South East and if you live there then you make it your home. Great beaches like at Beachport, Robe, caves at Tanatanoola and Naracoorte. There is also a big winery region down there. Mt Gambier has a choice of schools too and dance, sports etc for kids. Just over the border about 30 mins there us a run down place called waterfall gardens. Would become a great B and B if you had a second income lol. Beautiful place tucked away on a hillside with…. waterfalls and lush plant life.

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    I actually really like mount gambier. I would happily live there. And there a couple of different ways you can drive to Adelaide from there. It can be lovely (other than the part from Keith to tailem bend). There never seems to be rush hour traffic there, and personally I think it's placed better for holidays at least. Well, holidays in oz, not international ones. They have a decent amount of shops there. Also, it's a bit cooler and more rain.

    Every now and again we consider moving there.

     

    We did both routes, along the coast and inland :smile: I preferred the coastal route to drive, bit more scenic as you passed it all but it was a long drive. We broke it up with stop offs in small towns and saw the giant lobster and a few other things along the way. I loved the salt flats and we stopped and I took a lot of pics, stunning place. The inland drive on the way back, we stopped once for lunch in Keith. It was a Sunday so most places were closed, only one cafe open and a bus full of tourists stopped there just after us and the population of the town doubled :cute:.

     

    You have a good point about it being cooler down there. Everyone seems to comment on that. I know the family we have there drive to Melbourne as often as they do the Adelaide as it sits pretty much midway between.

     

    You can live quite happily in Mt Gambier I am sure, all the day to day stuff is there. I liked what I saw and experienced of it. It's aspects stood out for me, like a cousin got married last year but nowhere in Mt Gambier did wedding dresses so she had to make a number of trips to Adelaide for fittings and other things. It was here or Melbourne. A few trips back and forth, lot of hours in the car. Aussies don't seem to really mind those long drives in one day, it is accepted, but for me at least, its a drive I'd not want on a semi regular basis. One cousin drives it at least once a month and thinks nothing of it, here to there. I pull faces at the thought :eek::cute: Yet I used to drive from the Netherlands to Switzerland with friends for a weekend skiiing throught the winter season and not bat an eyelid :goofy:. I also spent many years living rural in the UK in a tiny village and also a little cottage tucked away a few miles from anything else. But rural UK is so different to rural Aus. And the (eventually) limited facilites of a town in the sticks, while it has much of what Adelaide has, its on a smaller scale and so on. I could at least hop in my car in the UK and within an hour be in a large market town with far more than Mt Gambier has and another 30 mins or so from that be in a small city (with a centre on the scale of Adelaides city shops/mall etc).

     

    I can picture you living in Mt Gambier too lol :cute:

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    Thank you all for this valuable insight. I teach TAFE and my wife teaches in a Nursery (both achieved through non-teaching degrees) so I suppose waiting until Jan 17 will give us time to complete some transitional qualifications such as mapping my PGCE to the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. There are working options for these jobs in Mount Gambier and across Adelaide which is good.

     

    You have already given us some good options for our holiday too, so thanks a heap - house sitting though, people do this (apologies for my ignorance here)..... I take it they have animals? My kids are 8 and 12 - hostels good for them? Any good websites for house sitting/hostels?

     

    Mount Gambier sounds appealing (we currently live in a place with 40000 people and it fits it's basic purpose) and as it has access to both cities and the cooler temperature may suit us at first. As for the rain - I have put up with constant light drizzle for the best part of my 40 years in Scotland which is truly depressing and I like the thought of it raining properly for a short time and then being sunny - in Scotland it doesn't go away for days/sometimes weeks. It's this damp climate that affects my sons health (bad asthma) so the move to Australia will suit us. Overall, this looks like a very good option and it appears that the house prices are excellent.

     

    Since yesterday, the day to day roller coaster continues though - it's good for the patience I suppose!!!!! There is now a good chance we will have another 2 young adults joining us (1 year working holiday visas) which would keep the costs down again in the early stages - shared car, split rent, food is cheaper in bulk, etc. Adelaide would probably suit them better but they may want to take up farming as I am lead to believe there are benefits to their visa if they work in agriculture - do buses run from Adelaide into the wine regions or farm land or are they better settling rurally?

     

    Is there any massive issues with schooling in general snifter........... our main concern is about how the curriculum matches up for my oldest daughter as she will be midway through high school by Jan 17? Also would she just start 3rd year again in the January?

     

    I thought last year was a long one emotionally going through the ups and downs of the visa process ...... Can see these next 2 years involving lots of visits to the off licence!!!

     

    Stay safe folks and enjoy the best of the heat if that's possible

     

    Paul (brrrrrrrrrr from Bonnie Scotland)

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    Hi Paul,

    High school here starts at yr 8, yr 7 is the final year of primary. So your daughter would I'm guessing just slot into our yr 9 to match her age. There are no public exams until the end of yr 12 (the final year) so she would have plenty of time to settle in to the Australian curriculum. In yr 9 they usually still follow a broad curriculum and choices are not narrowed down until the end of yr 9 for yr 10. Even then it's more things like pre chemistry, pre physics etc at some schools. The school yr starts at the end of January and finishes mid December. So the few months your daughter will have spent in 3rd yr will not be wasted.

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    Be aware, SA still has winter. It can be just as drizzly for days/weeks at a time. Mount gambier even more. It always seems to rain when I go there lol. I probably notice it more than most as my job is out doors, so you really notice it having to take wet weather gear on and off. Working indoors you wouldn't notice so much as you do get nice sunny days too.

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    IIRC the whole of SA counts are regional for people on a WHV who want to do this to gain their 2nd year WHV. Its more about finding the actual work/job required to ensure this is gained. There is a long list of what counts toward it, can be done anywhere in SA. For some working with horses or doing fruit picking, it would be easier in and around Adelaide as there are lots of places with both sorts of jobs and seek WHV people. They could probably find places they could also stay at while doing their regional work, or stay near by in a hostel or some such. Or head to places like Kangaroo Island and do some regional work out there, depending on the time of year. I don't know what Mt Gambier would offer, or if there would be as much work for this purpose. Its more rural but as to if there are jobs there for WHV people, I don't know. I think those wanting to do the WHV need to research for themselves to see if Mt Gambier could work for them or if they are better being closer to Adelaide. There is lots of fruit picking and other work in and around here at least, depending on the time of year. If they can't get regional work in SA due to the time of year, they could go elsewhere in another state.

     

    I don't think you should expect the cirriculum to match up. Its a different system, different set up. Its not a bad thing, just something to be aware of. It seems to me to be far more relaxed at primary level, especially in the early years but then my son's new school is pretty full on in terms of what they acheive within school hours. At least compared to his first school here where it was like an extended play time. I prefer his new school much more and am very happy with it, so is he, he loves it. I would seek to put your daughter in the correct year group for her age, don't focus too much on what year she was in in the UK, remember they start a bit later here and go on a bit later age wise, so try to find a good balance for her to settle in to. Discuss with the school also. It seems some can be flexible with which year group, others not. Although with the new school one intake being implemented now, they may stick with birthdate regardless. Friends the same age or closer in age, a year or more age wise can make a big difference in where kids are at emotionally and maturity wise. There will be a wide range of kids and academic levels being reached within this. It also allows for transition to the new system and so on.

     

    For me the key thing is finding the right school for you. There are lots of choose from around Adelaide depending on where you live. My approach was I/we went for a primary school that was in the top 150 primaries Naplan wise (although please don't read that as that automatically making them all better schools), also we factored in socio-econominc aspects etc . It was easier for me to work from the Naplan result list and narrow it down that way rather than drifting from school to school or keep asking people trying to work out what was best. So I stuck to those within the top 150 Naplan primaries. Luckily the areas we became more focused on to live had some schools within the parameters of my search. I did visit a few schools outside of the 150 and liked one of them a great deal, but as I said in my earlier post, the high school within that zone did not fare well at all and had some not great feedback and other things, so we ruled it out pretty quick. The school we ended up at is the one I liked the most anyway after visiting a number of them. I liked the principal, felt she was more driven than a couple of others I met and the overall feel of the school was better, I felt it was a good fit for us :)

     

    This site is worth checking out and searching for schools or areas http://myschool.edu.au/

     

    And this site is the ranking on Naplan, those not listed in top 150/100 can be found via the search function. It explains how they work the rankings and the average etc. Also being less high schools we tried to stick within the 100. I realise schools can go either way in the meantime but we at least wanted to be in an area where we could see the current pattern and hope it would continue in a similar vein at least. If need be, we'll go private for high school.

     

    Primary - http://primary-school-ranking-adelaide-south-australia.street-directory.com.au/#search_schools

     

    High school - http://secondary-school-ranking-adelaide-south-australia.street-directory.com.au/

     

    High schools are all zoned and you need to be living within the zone to get a place generally. Some, not many, but some HS offer an Ignite programme or a gifted and talented and will then take kids from outside the area to go on that, but not many seem to have these in place.

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    Be aware, SA still has winter. It can be just as drizzly for days/weeks at a time. Mount gambier even more. It always seems to rain when I go there lol. I probably notice it more than most as my job is out doors, so you really notice it having to take wet weather gear on and off. Working indoors you wouldn't notice so much as you do get nice sunny days too.

     

    Heh, hubby says it rains a lot there. Every 2-3 days he told me. Our family who live there reckon more than that at certain times of the year (outside of summer). I found that aspect quite appealing lol. While I like summer, I don't like 35C plus days much at all. I am over those pretty darn tooting quick.

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    O forget, yes people do house sitting :) A few members on here have done so when they arrived in Adelaide. Google 'house sitting Adelaide' and you should find aussie house sitters site or somesuch. Not everyone has animals, some just don't want to leave their house empty for a month or a few weeks. Also sites like Air BnB seem to be going well and have lots of options for various budgets I would think. Camping is worth pricing up depending on the time of year. I know a few members on here have also done that to start them off. Its a holiday camp out more and kids may enjoy it for a couple of weeks. There are campsites around, again, a quick search on here or google should turn some stuff up.

     

    ETA - Some members on here have short term furnished rentals to let and depending on how many of you you could get a place and split the costs. However, for people on a WHV it might not be a great option location/cost wise and it usually is only for a few weeks till a longer term rental is secured. I have never used any of these myself but others on here have.

    Edited by snifter

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    Mount G has only been sunny once while I've been there, raining every other time (once we didn't land - the plane flew over the runway a couple of times then turned back to Adelaide because the weather was too bad).

     

    The Bureau of Meteorology's climate stats show it averages 119 days of rain (obviously doesn't mean raining all day) per year, which is about 30 more than Adelaide. Annual ave rainfall is 712mm to Adelaide's 445mm. It averages 207 cloudy days, which is about 70 more than Adelaide.

     

    Different strokes for different folks and all that, but personally, regardless of weather, I'd not up sticks to the other end of the world and head there - okay to visit but not live.

     

    Jim

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    Every time it gets hot my partner and I talk about moving to mount gambier or Tasmania. Neither of us have been to Tasmania. Lol.

     

    I like that it's so green there. It doesn't seem as far from everywhere as Adelaide, and it has some great restaurants and cafes (which I seem to find far more often at small places you wouldn't expect it, compared to Adelaide).

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    Thank you once again, I will continue to look into it all and a wee holiday during July looks on the cards now with a view to moving in January 2017. Thank you for all your help.

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    We recently visited Mount Gambier, we hadn't been before, although we have previously visited the surrounding areas/attractions. I was quite surprised by Mount Gambier, it was a lot bigger than I was expecting and we had a great time there and enjoyed visiting the sink holes and the Blue Lake, we had some great food and coffee and stayed in a lovely B&B with fantastic cooked breakfasts........

     

    http://www.matthewshotels.com.au/colhursthouse/

     

    I mentioned to a colleague that I had visited Mount Gambier and they said "oh you mean the meth capital of SA (South Australia)"! I had not heard about that, but if you google 'Mount Gambier meth' there are a few articles on the issue. I have no idea whether the problem is any worse than elsewhere or if it is just something that has been picked up by the media. We certainly didn't see any issues while we were there and until my colleague mentioned it, I was not aware of it.

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