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  1. Hi All, We will be looking to move across to Brisbane as a family, already obtained our 189 visas; however still need to apply for the 101 visa after our girl number 2 arrives in June and are looking to make the move across in late October this year. We are not sure about areas; whether being north of Brisbane is better than being south. Mum will be at home with the girls initially until the new duckling is able to attend nursery. We both work in the ICT industry and would ideally be looking for areas with good transport links into the CBD. We will be renting for the beginning, but with the intention to buy something in the not too far distant future. Some questions; if anyone has been in our shoes and already done such a move with a small family, and how they have managed the move and are they settled in now with every day life? Any suggestions or contacts in securing a rental apartment, will be very helpful. Many thanks Justin
  2. IslandStyle

    Brisbane Suburbs

    Hi, we're a family of 4 with 2 young children and considering moving interstate and are looking to settle North of Brisbane. I would gladly appreciate any feedback on the pros/cons of any of the following suburbs: Everton Park, Everton Hills, Arana Hills, McDowall, Bridgeman Downs, Albany Creek, Bunya, Aspley. I'm mostly interested in getting an idea of the character of each suburb, whether it has a community feeling to it, how busy or quiet it is, what travel times to and from the city typically look like and whether people living there are overall happy with the area. Many thanks.
  3. Any recommendations for appliance stores in Brissie. My short term rental doesnt have a fridge so I am looking at buying a bar fridge in the mean time.
  4. Hi, We're considering a move to the Chelmer/Graceville/Sherwood region for the new school year. The houses we like mostly fall into the catchment areas for either Sherwood State School, or Graceville state school. Our children will be in year 2 and prep. Any feedback on either of these schools would be greatly appreciated, as well as the suburbs themselves.
  5. My experiences - hope this helps you and thanks to everyone that have helped me on the forum. We are now official permanent residents of Oz as of August 2017 (me, wife and kids (4&6yo)) We received our 189 in June and were given till august to activate. Our activation trip was 16 full days & 3 cities (Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane). We stayed at airbnb's in all cities. First tip - when renting a car (we used budget) it is $50 per day for insurance if you don't want to pay the $4500 excess if the car is in an accident (eina). This was not something we budgeted for and it was more than the price of the rental car per day. There is a cheaper option of $43 per day to reduce the excess to $500. Landing in Sydney jet-lagged and they tell you this my eyes were like saucers. We just bit the bullet and did the $50 per day. We bought an Optus starter sim card for our wifi hotspot and turned our cellular data on our phones to off. $30 gave us 14gigs which lasted us the entire holiday (sending pics in real time back home). all the airbnbs had high speed fibre internet (uncapped). There were also free hotspots all over the 3 cities we visited. Sydney is amazing - we stayed in Brighton le Sands. The area is ok (not much to do there - other than activate our oz bank account) it is 10 minutes south from the airport but we much preferred North Sydney. We met friends and went to luna park with the kids after waking up late and hardly sleeping. Lots of open spaces and parks around, drove over the bridge and walked forever taking it all in. Afterwards we went back to brighton le sands beach while the sun was setting. Coffee is $5 each, so 2 coffees and 2 hot chocolates for the kids are over R200 everytime. Dont tip your waiter, restaurant service isn't as good as in SA (i think this is because they don't get tips), when you're done you go pay at the counter. Bondi beach is my favourite beach in Sydney . Driving around its weird to see no fences around the golf courses (things you notice). Parking at the beach is expensive (I think we paid about $15 for 3 hours at Manly beach). Manly beach has nice shops and restaurants right on the beach. Driving around the suburbs we found a place called chipmunks (like a papachinos in joburg) for the kids. Lots of slides and mazes to spend a few hours in. Castle Hill has very nice homes and a big shopping centre like in SA. We only did a loop about 50kms in radius around the sydney cbd to get an idea of houses and suburbs. Self checkout at the grocery shops (Coles and Woolworths) was an unexpected surprise to me. Weirdly, they want you to deposit $2 in the shopping trolley to get a shopping trolley. Also at the airports you have to pay $4 for a luggage trolley. On the last day we used public transport to the zoo. Bought 4 Opal cards 2 kids 2 adults put about $20 on the adults and $10 on the kids cards and went from our Airbnb to the Toronga zoo (zoo has 20% discount if you pre-buy the tickets online and show them the barcode on the email they send back). We caught a bus to train to another train to a ferry to the zoo. The zoo is absolutely amazing (it is built on the side of a hill so they have a cable car that takes you up from the ferry to the entrance of the zoo and its a downhill walk all the way back to the ferry). We then did the same trip back in reverse. It was so easy. Google maps and citymapper are the best apps to use for public transport giving you times and telling you which train to get on. Junior school kids by themselves on the train on the trip back without an adult also surprised me. Off to Melbourne in the morning. Melbourne is beautiful. We stayed in St Kilda which is South east of the city on the bay. Roads are wide like in SA as opposed to Sydney where the roads and tunnels were quite narrow. Another Luna park in Melbourne and the most amazing parks with all the top end kid jungle gyms and open gym equipment for adults every few km's and right on the bay. We walked the prominade and had coffee on the restaurants overlooking the bay/beach. We drove down the east coast to meet friends in Carrum. Houses are very nice but obviously expensive along the east side of the bay. Had a braai in Carrum. We walked from our friends house with them and their kids and dog 5 minutes to the closest jungle gym. Drove back more inland to the airbnb to check the houses and suburbs out. On the last day we bought the Myki (public transport) cards to go check out the city. Again the transport is so easy to use with the apps on the phone. The tram system is amazing and we again winged it and were pros by the end of the day. Went to CBD had coffee, went to federation square (saw a Tesla electric car and walked through some of the expos they had), and lastly caught the trams to the star of Melbourne which we went on. Next stop Brisbane. Brisbane - so warm... Time for cossies and shorts with slops. Winter weather was 25deg. Had the most amazing airbnb (2 story house for the same price as little flats in sydney and melbourne). we stayed in seven hills again a few kms south of the city, it had the most amazing panoramic views of the city. It didnt feel like I was overseas. We went to Mt Cootha which was on a public holiday so it was quite busy. Then we went to South Bank Parklands for lunch. Blue pools and man made beach to chill at on the river in the city. Kids went off like pinballs and lost them a few times on the jungle gyms (again the most elaborate jungle gyms ive seen). Amazing spot for kids. Again parking in city is expensive (it was also a public holiday $16). Would have loved to have caught a ferry ride down the river but didnt have time. Next day gold coast. skyscrapers on the beach big houses boats, huge entertainment parks on the way there rollercoasters etc. The sea and beach (surfers paradise) on the gold coast is amazing, so clean. Got a parking fine though $75, oops. Next day Sunshine Coast. So quiet and much calmer sea, had a picnic on the beach for a couple of hours. We then drove back on this scenic windy route back to brisbane cbd. The GPS took us this way because their was a fire on the main route but it was such a beautiful windy hilly drive with farms. The last day was super windy and we were all so pooped we just chilled in the house to recover for the long haul back. And now the job hunt continues...
  6. There are two offices that issue visas, Brisbane and Adelaide. This is where your visa submission is reviewed by the case officer. The problem is that there don't seem to be any visas being granted by the Brisbane office. Up until last month the split was fairly even between the 2 offices, however on the myimmitracker website out of the 52 189 visas granted this month only 1 of them was from the Brisbane office and that was back on 5 April. People are asking the same question on other websites and forums so it is definitely a trend. I know that there have been staff cuts but surely they wouldn't have shut down an entire office. Has anyone heard anything or been granted a visa from the Brisbane office this month?
  7. We've finally got an eta for moving to Brisbane - mid-Jan 2018. To say we're excited and relieved to finally have the date in sight, is an understatement. We're starting to go through the motions of making to-do lists (sell, pack, do, etc). The idea currently is to pack up the house and send our belongings ahead with an estimated delivery for beginning Feb, we figure it'll be easier to camp out here, as we know our neighbours and can lend stuff more easily on this side to tide us over. Hopefully we'll be able to find a rental by Feb, and can enrol the children at a relevant school for the catchment area. My question is, what would you suggest we pack to take on the airplane (ito checked luggage) for 2 adults and two children aged 5 and 7 to tide us over until our stuff lands? We'll probably be staying in some kind of furnished accommodation until our stuff arrives or we find a rental. I keep trying to think of things that may prove useful, since the luggage allowance seems good, but am only coming up with clothes and toiletries...should I be considering things like blow up mattresses and sealed spices or other odds and ends that may save a couple of bucks on that side/in case we find a rental fast? Or would you suggest travelling light on the airplane? And also, it seems a waste to buy new luggage for one big trip (we tend to travel light, did a month of LSD with hand luggage only for each of us) - can you recommend any alternatives for luggage options that won't break the bank? I checked with IOM and they say 2 pieces of checked baggage per person up to 20 kgs each, and up till then I'd been thinking about getting a couple of those inexpensive plastic Pep zip bags but have to reconsider if it's just two each.....
  8. Hi everybody. My "aged" mother (73yo) has recently joined us in Brisbane on an "Aged Parent" Visa. I was wondering whether there are any families with parents having recently arrived (or long term already) and are looking to meet up and share their experiences and just get together for a "coffee klatsch"? Oliver
  9. Hi everyone! I've been very quiet, but we are now happily settled in Brisbane and loving it!!!! Our container has apparently arrived in Brisbane (what we've seen via tracking) but we only move into our unfurnished apartment on the 10th of Feb. Does anyone know how much they charge roughly for storage until we move in? Also, our apartment will be on the third floor...I know they charge extra for that...anyone know roughly how much?? We're trying to budget, everything seems to cost a lot more than you anticipate. Thanks!
  10. Good Day all, Are there any good Factory outlet stores? we have travelled in the USA and found - Factory Stores - they tend to be older stock, reject stock or stock that didnt move. The Pricing was fantastic and the value was really good too. Do they have this in Brisbane? please can you let us know some of the URLs? TIA
  11. At this stage our plan is to end up in Brisbane, mostly because we have a very good friend that we met on Contiki a couple of years ago that is willing to take us in for the first month or two. So far I really like Mango Hill, what other suburbs can you guys recommend?
  12. Our customer in Brisbane is looking for a book-keeper with Sage Pastel Evolution experience (not Pastel Partner). Please PM me or e-mail: sales@usagebusiness.com
  13. Is anyone relocating from the Cape Town area to Queensland, Australia. I immigrated few years ago and having just sold my house have about 2 Cubic meters of hobby items that I need to find some space to bring over. I can also provide a lot of common sense advice having been through the process. Thanks in advance for any offers.
  14. I know it can be difficult to find a house to rent when you 1st move to Australia!! I have a brand new townhouse available for rent in Brisbane, in Rochdale estate(http://www.rochedaleestates.com.au), about 17kms from the CBD. If you are interested have look on this site http://littlerealestate.com.au/listing/?listing_id=36181 for detail about the property or you can contact me at fahaas@tpg.com.au.
  15. Cuandv

    Off to Brisbane

    So I guess I have to start this journal thing. Seen that this is the first journal I have written, I don't expect "Author" quality and 10/10 grammar. Also, Quite a bit has happened already so I will need to sit tonight and start from the beginning and write. Looking at the other blogs, I didn't see much regards people going over on a 457 visa. I am hoping, with this journal, to help in this regard Oh well, lets see how this goes from tonight and would appreciate questions, comments and stories about what we shouldn't be doing.
  16. Hi guys, From those of you that have already been through this, what's your opinion on the first couple of days arriving in Brisbane? Here's what we thought: Seeing that we are selling most of our stuff and sending a small cube to arrive about 4 weeks after we arrive, I thought we should stay somewhere where we can get breakfast at least or easy dinners the first two nights upon arrival. We are 2 adults, 2 kids and an infant - so this does make it a bit tricky and costly. Thereafter I thought booking AirBnB for two weeks to give us time to find a rental. I will be working immediately and we know where we want to stay and what school the kids would like to go to. Or do you think it would be possible to find a rental from SA and move in on 1 September 2 nights after we get there? Riaan
  17. Caycee

    Brisbane schools

    Hi there, We are deciding between settling in Brisbane or Goldcoast. I found another post really helpful about the better state primary schools in Goldcoast. Hoping someone here would be able to give me an indication of some state primary schools in Brisbane that have a really good name. Thanks in advance Caycee
  18. Hi everyone, I see Qantas is having a sale on their flights at the moment when you fly as a minimum of 2 pax return, very exciting since it covers the period we want to use to activate our visas - Feb 2016. You have to fly in and out of the same airport - we're travelling to Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, and are considering flying in/out of Brisbane. We're a family of 4 (kids are pretty well behaved for their age when it comes to sitting still and travelling but are young and I think the flight will be very long for them, they will be aged 3 1/2 and 5 when we travel). Our trip will be for 3-4 weeks, my husband will be job hunting in each region. We're considering flying into Brisbane, and spending a week or so in Brisbane/Sydney/Melbourne and surrounds (my husband is in the cement industry). I'd like to make the trip as awesome for the kids as possible, so that they have a very positive view of Australia, and will hopefully be able to connect with other forumites and Australians for play dates, take the kids to the beach, see some kangaroos and koalas etc. I thought it might be nice to make the trip a bit of an adventure for the kids, and try to see more of Australia than just the airports and cities per se. I thought we could fly in and out of Brisbane, and hire a car or camper van to do a road trip between Brisbane and Sydney, spend a few days there, and then hire another one again for the trip between Sydney and Melbourne, with each route taking 2-4 days so it's not rushed. The other thing that struck me, is that if we hire a car/camper van and drive from one area to the next, will give my husband quite a bit of flexibility in terms of attending interviews and setting up appointments with recruiters if something comes up at the last minute as he won't be bound by flights. My question is, do you recommend taking a road trip from one region to the next to see more of Oz and give the trip more of a holiday feel between the job hunting (our kids love camping and seeing new things, so I'm hoping will not travel badly considering their ages); or should we rather head to the airports and fly from one region to the next and save time? What are those routes like between the cities I've mentioned? It seems a pity to miss out on the route unless it's just highway, roadworks and tollgates all the way (I haven't researched the routes yet because I didn't anticipate a flight special now, so I'm ignorant of the routes and am sure they're lovely with lots of beaches and interesting landscape along the way, but your guidance would be appreciated).
  19. Hi Forumites, I am quite far down the process with a Canadian company that is setting up a legal entity in Brisbane, Australia. I have not completed my EOI yet as I am waiting for February to increase my points after I retake the IELTS. However, I recently found out they will be making me an offer in January if all goes to plan. Most of the questions and topics in here are for people applying for visas without a job offer. I am fairly certain I have to apply for the 186 Employer Nomination Scheme after the company has nominated me - https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/186-#, but I could complete the EOI in the mean time and then wait for the nomination. My question is: Somewhere I saw that Brisbane, Gold Coast and other parts of Queensland are not eligible for this visa? Is this true? I can't find that information again.
  20. riaanpdaddy

    Almost Canada, now Australia

    Hi Everyone, Just a quick introduction. We have started the process of applying to Australia this week. We actually went through the whole process to go to Canada... ... but subsequently we got cold feet - literally, I think our feet will be too cold in Canaidia. So we have turned our sights towards sunny Australia, specifically, and hopefully - Brisbane. Thanks for the great forum, already we have found so much great information and we hope to contribute. If anyone wants to know the process of applying to Canada, then feel free to ask - we went through the whole process (including an agent scam ) to only decide then that we prefer Australia. We also don't think we will get invited (not enough points) and jobs were really hard to find - unless if I wanted to go to Red Lake and work on a mine where the maximum temperature for the year is 12 degrees - yikes. So here we are. My wife, two girls and another (boy or girl) on the way is looking for an adventure outside of South-Africa and, I'm sure, we have the same reasons as everyone else for leaving the country. ie future for kids, education, safety, permanent power, a president that can count. You know, the usual Good luck to everyone and see you on the other side soon Riaan
  21. Moose2014

    SA -> UK -> AUS?

    Hi all, My husband and I moved the UK just over a year ago and the grey is just too much for us. Having grownup in Durban I want that same lifestyle for my family and so the great trek to Aus begins. We're really excited but still early days. Wonder if there is anyone who has been through similar? We're focusing IELTS now and then skills assessment. My husband is a vet so we will apply under his name. Any other vets out there?
  22. Juanbessinger

    Visual Art Teacher - Trying not to Panic :)

    Hi Everyone, So the wife, 2 kids and I are arriving in Brisbane on 30 December and are of course hugely excited....but obviously we're a little worried as well. I am a High School Visual Art Teacher (Provisionally Registered with QCT) and I've also been Head of Sport. But it seems like there really aren't many art jobs around, if any at all!!! I've also taught English (TEFL) in Taiwan for a year (after varsity) and I'm now beginning to think that it may be the way forward to teach English at that level.... My wife is also a Primary school teacher and is currently in the process of Teacher Regisration with QCT. Should we relax and wait to apply for jobs actively once we're in Brisbane, or is there cause for concern? Eish! Any advice will be greatly appreciated.... Juan
  23. Good day, I arrived in Brisbane about 3 weeks ago and are loving it. I realised that I have underestimated the weather and need to get 1 or 2 boxes send over with a few things. Therefore if anyone is sending a container over from Cape Town to Brisbane and has space for 1 or 2 boxes (+/- size: 39x43x52 cm), could you please contact me? I would contribute to your costs. Thank you. Liezel
  24. Caz

    Brisbane's Bible Belt

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/questnews/east/southside-international-church-applies-for-3-million-upgrade-of-its-sunnybank-hills-facilities/story-fni9r0lo-1227237434884 BRISBANE’S southside is keeping the faith, with the city’s “Bible Belt” experiencing a groundswell in congregation numbers. Southside International Church at Sunnybank Hills has lodged a development application with Brisbane City Council for a $3 million upgrade of its facilities at Beenleigh Rd. The proposal includes the construction of a 1054sq m worship centre and an ­extension to the church’s ­existing training centre. Reverend Roger Lang said the church grew from about 25 members in the 1990s to more than 400 people. He said the spike could be ­attributed to the southside’s immigrant population and the church’s renewed focus on youth services. “Christianity is growing vigorously in the developing world and migrants are bringing that vitality,” Reverend Lang said. Hillsong pastor Steve Dixon said his congregation at Mt Gravatt had quadrupled in six years to more than 7000. “The growth is definitely towards the younger end — teenagers and people in their 20s and 30s,” he said. A steady rise has also been experienced by the southside’s second most popular religion, Buddhism, according to followers. Venerable Hui Jin, a 26-year-old Australian who ­became a monk last year, said more than 250 people visited Priestdale’s Chung Tian Temple every weekend. “The recognised benefits of meditation and mindfulness is a huge element of the increased interest,” he said. The surge in congregation numbers comes despite atheism increasing across Brisbane, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data from 2011, compared with 2006. Social researcher Mark McCrindle said 2011 Census figures reflected the southside’s ties to religion, with almost two in three residents identifying as Christian in comparison with the one in three who considered themselves atheist. Mr McCrindle said about 70 per cent of residents living in Mackenzie, Mansfield and Wishart identified with Christianity, well above the Australian average of 61 per cent and Queensland average of 64 per cent. In Kuraby, 19 per cent of residents identified as being Muslim, in contrast to much smaller numbers in other suburbs. Meanwhile, Sunday Assembly’s Cameron Reilly said its godless congregation, which met every month in Brisbane for ­services that “celebrate life”, had grown to about 350 members. He said he had been an atheist since he was eight years old when a Catholic priest told him everyone was “born a sinner”. “I looked at my baby sister and didn’t want to be part of the religion,” he said. “(The growth) is evidence there’s an appetite for a sense of community without religion.”
  25. Arrived in Brisbane few days ago and everything has gone smoothly. I will write a post about my experience, but I need help making a decision. Might be something only Brisbane locals can truly influence but I am all ears for the wisdom of others that don't know the two respective schools. Middle daughter is accepted to Lourdes Hill College and so is her younger sister (9yrs. - Yr. 4) at later stage. For this year I had applied at Sts. Peter and Pauls Catholic private school based on preference and ratings - but it was full - and even after several email request about a spot opening up (and some prayers) it did not. So I resorted to finding a good state school reputation in similar area, and thankfully settled on Norman Park S.S. She isn't enrolled there yet, but I spent my first weekend getting an apartment rental with year lease in the catchment area, so there would be not arguement that she could rightfully attend. This was stressful (and I limited my search to the walkable area around NPSS). Success - we signed a lease and I will email the principle this week to advise her that my daughter will be coming. About an hour after paying the two week rent on apartment, an email came (after months with no correspondence with St. P&Ps) that a spot was available for Yr. 4 - can I come for an interview. Oh my! I said yes, and plan to go but now am not sure that it right decision. Our financial situation isn't quite what I expected it might be, lost lots of $ on house sale before moving and my spouse hasn't found job so he will follow in a couple months when I feel ready to quit his employment.... then look for however long it takes. So, I have five days to decide. One other fact, even if I could get out of the lease for the apartment and be closer to the st. P&P school, the rents are much more expensive as go up towards Bulimba....however the walk from near Norman Park ferry stop(new apartment) is very far to Sts. P&P - and my youngest gets tired and puffy in heat and with long treks... hhhmmmm
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