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6 Days In Act And Wow....


Orion25

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Hi All,

Well we have officially be in Oz 7 days and in Canberra 6 days. :ilikeit:

Wednesday 25 Jan: We arrived in Sydney to a rainy day, after watching countless hours of Border Security before we left we had made sure we had all our bases covered. We made it through immigration with a smile and a very friendly "Welcome to Oz" :D from the officer, this after watching a listening to him interrogate the lady in front of us. Then it was off to customs, and we had medication (lots of it) and a carved Ostrich Egg (we got a permit from SA to export it), the customs guy was very impressed as he said in all his years he had never seen anything like it. It was very painless and we were through in under 15min, to start our lives in OZ. Vodafone was our first stop in the airport, so that i could let my mom know we were all safe and sound. Then we stopped at McDolands while Avis were sorting our car (we were earlier than expected - we budgeted and hour for customs), I was supposed to order 2 strawberry, 1 vanilla, and 1 chocolate and a coffee, but when I got there, the menu was different and the coffee was not coffee it was - short black, flat white etc, so I got all stressed (lack of sleep) and ended up ordering 4 strawberry milkshakes and a flat white coffee (oh well at least it was half the order correct) Lesson 1. Then we went off to find our car, a KIA Grand Voyager with 8 seats all our luggage fitted (back seats down ) with pleanty of room for more. (we hired the car with GPS & Booster seat) We then went in search of our hotel room for the night. The Graden Court in Parramatta drive, it was neat and clean and had 2 x double beds and a single for $200 for the night for the 5 of us. Just what we needed after a long flight. We then all showered and changed and went in search of supper at 8pm at night and found Pizza Hut (not healthy but tasty). BAck to the hhotel and bed at 11pm. 3am five wide awake people feeling like (WTH) :o So we packed up and went for a drive to find the Opera House, and Habour bridge. All the roads were closed due to Oz day celebrations but we found a park across the bay and took pics from there, everything is so clean and beautiful.

8am: We set off for Canberra at a gruelling 110km p/h, we stopped in Goulburn to see the "BIG MARINO" and then off again to Canberra, we arrived just after mid day we were treated to a real Australian treat with sausage sizzle, and later we were off to Lake Burley Griffin for the Oz day celebrations, wow the fireworks were something out of this world!!!! Truly amazing. We met up with other Saffers, as well as some forumites "Apollo" and Terence (Iamin ACT) and their families. What a real welcome to Oz, it was good to see some familiar faces. :P

Friday: life got back to some kind of noraml, with us all battling Jetlag and trying to stay focussed on the task at hand of registering for Centrelink, Medicare at a TFN, as well as trying to find our way around this new city we now call home.

The people are VERY friendly and helpful and the only rude Ozzies we have met are the Estate Agents, but then again not all of them are like that. :huh:

We are currently staying down South in Tuggeranong and loving it, there are plenty of trees and parks and it is not as busy and cluttered as up North (but this is only our opinion) the kids asked us to stay in this area too as they did not like the Northern suburbs as much as much of it is still new and not as green and cosy as down South. Honestly we looked for houses from one end of ACT to the other. House hunting is not at all like in SA and I really wish it was.

Saturday: we went to the tip (rubbish dump) to the "Tuny Green shed" to buy our youngest a bicycle as he was devasted to leave his behind, anyway we ended walking out with 3 bicycles (1 for each child) and a badminton raquet (Yukon) brand new all for $50. And yes all the bikes were in working order. Then the house hunting staterted in earnest. In the late afternoon though around 6pm (sun only sets here at about 9pm) we set off for the park with our friends and the kids on their bikes, what a treat.

Sunday: we went off to Fyshwick and bought our first car, a 2001 Ford Falcon 4lt straight 6 (for you men out there hope this makes sense) we paid $4500 for this. It was however a good 3 hour walk around and test drive session before we hit on this particular car. From there our ever amazing hosts whipped us off to Cosco (Makro is a laugh compared) anyway it costs $60 a year for membership, which we will pay quite happily, and you can buy anything from Jewellery to meat to sea food to groceries to books to clothes to tyres etc etc etc all at bulk and excellent prices. They alo have a food hall and we ordered a large pizza (will not fit into a conventional oven ) for $13. which fed 7 of us plus extra. Oh yes please think of this coins here are actually worth something a fanta at the cooldrink dispencer in a 330ml can is 80c and a coke is 60c. This blew our minds.

Monday: saw us setting off on the mad rush again into civic (town centre), we are actually starting to get to know our way around, back to centrelink and the bank to finalise some details and draw money to pay for the car. They do not use the note counters in the bank like in SA that flips the notes through the mahine, here they weigh them :huh: anyway I re-checked when we reached the car and yes all was right, oh yes before we reached the car we had a few more errands to run like buy a booster seat for our youngest and all this time the money was in my handbag and i felt safe!!!! I was however vigilant and not reckless with my handbag but still I felt ok to be walking around with all this money and not have it shoved in my bra!!!

Monday afternoon had us looking at still more houses and had our first "official" turn down as we are not OZZIE, and it hurt like hell, but we got back on the preverbial horse and kept pushing forward, phoning Agents to view houses driving around suburbs etc etc, doing on average 150km a day.

Tuesday:We went off to a house viewing at 9am in Macgregor on the other side of town in the newest area (they are still building in the street) and from there to buy hubby a suit, and work shirts and ties etc (they are very formal here and a suit is a must for introductions and interviews) We stopped our hectic running around the mall for lunch and had our first KFC in Oz, it was not too bad (they even give you refesher wipes (wet wipes) for your hands) whilst waiting the one agent I had harrassed the evening before called us for a viewing down in Tuggeranong, so off we all hopped in the car and took a quick (80km p/h) drive from Belconnen to Tuggers (25min) the house is 3 bedrooms, lounge, parents retreat, main bathroom, en-suite kitchen and dining room, deck outside and double garage. Not a palace but nice and we see potential in it, we pleaded our case to the agent who was wonderful, and said she could not promise anything but would speak to the owners. So off we went with a hope and a prayer back to civic to meet with the lady from Canberra settlement services. Little did we know that while we were travelleing the house agent was phoning our references (Apollo) and the lady from Canberra Settlement services. we finished our meeting and went to Office Works and bought a Printer, copier, scanner, fax so we could print out more CV's and house info pack's for the agents. Phone calls from "Cramer" and "Gwyn" keeping our hopes up about the house, thanks guys for the support.

6pm The agent phoned us and YES we got the house, 3 month lease so we are not tied down should Hubby not get work and we need to move and it frees the owners of non paying tenants, should we not have work after 3 months (we will have) so we move in on Friday!!!!

What a relief of stress this is as we need to register our kids for school and we needed a house for that, and we also need some semblance of normalcy in our lives.

Wednesday: Today we are off to the Kambah super school also known as Namadgi to register our kids.

I know this is a long post but I thought it might help you all understand what the first weeks of life in Oz are truly like. I will post again soon.

Tania.

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Lovely thanks for your post Orion25! Its so nice to 'hear' all the excitement in your writing about your first few days in Australia - brilliant (I loved the 'Border Security' part - my favourite programme/ also the 'clutching your handbag' part - typical south african!). Congrats on the house (yes its easier to get a doctors degree than a tenancy...). You certainly remember all the details - enjoy it. I wish you and your family a wonderful new life in Australia, very welcome!

Edited by Emille
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Keep Positive and everything will work out for you! Welcome to Canberra!

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WOW!!!! Wat 'n journey :ilikeit: Ja jong - die house hunting is nogal 'n pyn - maar gelukkig het julle 'n plekkie gekry waar julle vir nou kan nesskrop :D

Dankie vir die post (hou ons op hoogte) - bly julle settle so goed in - vasbyt en geniet elke oomblik :ilikeit:

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Oh my hat, you have only just got there but you seem to have organised so much.

It is fabulous to get such a positive vibe from reading your post. Makes me want to

Get there even sooner!

Hope the move on Friday goes smoothly and you all settle in quickly.

Keglin

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Welcome to Canberra, and in particular to Tuggs.

Hope your move goes smoothly tomorrow, please call if theres anything we can help you with.

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Hi Orion

Wow, I am so impressed by what you've accomplished in such a short period of time.

I just want to ask you a question though... How did you secure the rental property? I don't know anybody in Canberra and we'll be moving mid year. How did you get references? And what did you tell the agent to secure the rental?

How did you get round the 100 point identification?

Regards

Olga

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AndreaL

The 100 point I.D. check is used pretty much anywhere you need to prove your identity in Australia. Your passport is worth 70 points, driver license 40 and so on. Most of the banks are used to new migrants and will help you to satisfy the requirement. Here is a copy of the points allocated that I found on a volunteering site. 100 point check

It does say that recent arrivals ( 6 weeks) only need to produce a passport, but don't expect everyone you encounter to know that.

Photo I.D. is very important so I urge people to get their drivers license converted as soon as they feel up to it as that is the most asked for piece of I.D. and the Medicare card ( which isn't much help if you are on a 457 and don't have one)

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THANK YOU for posting your experience!! Very exciting and INFORMATIVE. It is good to get a sneak preveiw into the eventual REALITIES!!! Enjoy the adventure. Looking forward to more......

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,

Well we have officially be in Oz 7 days and in Canberra 6 days. :ilikeit:

Wednesday 25 Jan: We arrived in Sydney to a rainy day, after watching countless hours of Border Security before we left we had made sure we had all our bases covered. We made it through immigration with a smile and a very friendly "Welcome to Oz" :D from the officer, this after watching a listening to him interrogate the lady in front of us. Then it was off to customs, and we had medication (lots of it) and a carved Ostrich Egg (we got a permit from SA to export it), the customs guy was very impressed as he said in all his years he had never seen anything like it. It was very painless and we were through in under 15min, to start our lives in OZ. Vodafone was our first stop in the airport, so that i could let my mom know we were all safe and sound. Then we stopped at McDolands while Avis were sorting our car (we were earlier than expected - we budgeted and hour for customs), I was supposed to order 2 strawberry, 1 vanilla, and 1 chocolate and a coffee, but when I got there, the menu was different and the coffee was not coffee it was - short black, flat white etc, so I got all stressed (lack of sleep) and ended up ordering 4 strawberry milkshakes and a flat white coffee (oh well at least it was half the order correct) Lesson 1. Then we went off to find our car, a KIA Grand Voyager with 8 seats all our luggage fitted (back seats down ) with pleanty of room for more. (we hired the car with GPS & Booster seat) We then went in search of our hotel room for the night. The Graden Court in Parramatta drive, it was neat and clean and had 2 x double beds and a single for $200 for the night for the 5 of us. Just what we needed after a long flight. We then all showered and changed and went in search of supper at 8pm at night and found Pizza Hut (not healthy but tasty). BAck to the hhotel and bed at 11pm. 3am five wide awake people feeling like (WTH) :o So we packed up and went for a drive to find the Opera House, and Habour bridge. All the roads were closed due to Oz day celebrations but we found a park across the bay and took pics from there, everything is so clean and beautiful.

8am: We set off for Canberra at a gruelling 110km p/h, we stopped in Goulburn to see the "BIG MARINO" and then off again to Canberra, we arrived just after mid day we were treated to a real Australian treat with sausage sizzle, and later we were off to Lake Burley Griffin for the Oz day celebrations, wow the fireworks were something out of this world!!!! Truly amazing. We met up with other Saffers, as well as some forumites "Apollo" and Terence (Iamin ACT) and their families. What a real welcome to Oz, it was good to see some familiar faces. :P

Friday: life got back to some kind of noraml, with us all battling Jetlag and trying to stay focussed on the task at hand of registering for Centrelink, Medicare at a TFN, as well as trying to find our way around this new city we now call home.

The people are VERY friendly and helpful and the only rude Ozzies we have met are the Estate Agents, but then again not all of them are like that. :huh:

We are currently staying down South in Tuggeranong and loving it, there are plenty of trees and parks and it is not as busy and cluttered as up North (but this is only our opinion) the kids asked us to stay in this area too as they did not like the Northern suburbs as much as much of it is still new and not as green and cosy as down South. Honestly we looked for houses from one end of ACT to the other. House hunting is not at all like in SA and I really wish it was.

Saturday: we went to the tip (rubbish dump) to the "Tuny Green shed" to buy our youngest a bicycle as he was devasted to leave his behind, anyway we ended walking out with 3 bicycles (1 for each child) and a badminton raquet (Yukon) brand new all for $50. And yes all the bikes were in working order. Then the house hunting staterted in earnest. In the late afternoon though around 6pm (sun only sets here at about 9pm) we set off for the park with our friends and the kids on their bikes, what a treat.

Sunday: we went off to Fyshwick and bought our first car, a 2001 Ford Falcon 4lt straight 6 (for you men out there hope this makes sense) we paid $4500 for this. It was however a good 3 hour walk around and test drive session before we hit on this particular car. From there our ever amazing hosts whipped us off to Cosco (Makro is a laugh compared) anyway it costs $60 a year for membership, which we will pay quite happily, and you can buy anything from Jewellery to meat to sea food to groceries to books to clothes to tyres etc etc etc all at bulk and excellent prices. They alo have a food hall and we ordered a large pizza (will not fit into a conventional oven ) for $13. which fed 7 of us plus extra. Oh yes please think of this coins here are actually worth something a fanta at the cooldrink dispencer in a 330ml can is 80c and a coke is 60c. This blew our minds.

Monday: saw us setting off on the mad rush again into civic (town centre), we are actually starting to get to know our way around, back to centrelink and the bank to finalise some details and draw money to pay for the car. They do not use the note counters in the bank like in SA that flips the notes through the mahine, here they weigh them :huh: anyway I re-checked when we reached the car and yes all was right, oh yes before we reached the car we had a few more errands to run like buy a booster seat for our youngest and all this time the money was in my handbag and i felt safe!!!! I was however vigilant and not reckless with my handbag but still I felt ok to be walking around with all this money and not have it shoved in my bra!!!

Monday afternoon had us looking at still more houses and had our first "official" turn down as we are not OZZIE, and it hurt like hell, but we got back on the preverbial horse and kept pushing forward, phoning Agents to view houses driving around suburbs etc etc, doing on average 150km a day.

Tuesday:We went off to a house viewing at 9am in Macgregor on the other side of town in the newest area (they are still building in the street) and from there to buy hubby a suit, and work shirts and ties etc (they are very formal here and a suit is a must for introductions and interviews) We stopped our hectic running around the mall for lunch and had our first KFC in Oz, it was not too bad (they even give you refesher wipes (wet wipes) for your hands) whilst waiting the one agent I had harrassed the evening before called us for a viewing down in Tuggeranong, so off we all hopped in the car and took a quick (80km p/h) drive from Belconnen to Tuggers (25min) the house is 3 bedrooms, lounge, parents retreat, main bathroom, en-suite kitchen and dining room, deck outside and double garage. Not a palace but nice and we see potential in it, we pleaded our case to the agent who was wonderful, and said she could not promise anything but would speak to the owners. So off we went with a hope and a prayer back to civic to meet with the lady from Canberra settlement services. Little did we know that while we were travelleing the house agent was phoning our references (Apollo) and the lady from Canberra Settlement services. we finished our meeting and went to Office Works and bought a Printer, copier, scanner, fax so we could print out more CV's and house info pack's for the agents. Phone calls from "Cramer" and "Gwyn" keeping our hopes up about the house, thanks guys for the support.

6pm The agent phoned us and YES we got the house, 3 month lease so we are not tied down should Hubby not get work and we need to move and it frees the owners of non paying tenants, should we not have work after 3 months (we will have) so we move in on Friday!!!!

What a relief of stress this is as we need to register our kids for school and we needed a house for that, and we also need some semblance of normalcy in our lives.

Wednesday: Today we are off to the Kambah super school also known as Namadgi to register our kids.

I know this is a long post but I thought it might help you all understand what the first weeks of life in Oz are truly like. I will post again soon.

Tania.

Welcome Orion - glad things are going well! Funny how we all buy our first (14th hand!) cars in Fyshwick!! Sure we'll meet up somewhere, all the best, Beverly

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Sausage sizzle... came accross that in Auckland... wasn't impressed...

Had the same issue with the coffee.

Flat what? Tall black? Americano? No, I don't want an American president, I just want coffee...

Edited by Rover
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Welcome Orion - glad things are going well! Funny how we all buy our first (14th hand!) cars in Fyshwick!! Sure we'll meet up somewhere, all the best, Beverly

Hi Beverly,

Yip it seems Fyshwick is the place to buy your 100th hand car and amazingly they still go. :ilikeit:

Keep well

T

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Hi All,

Well just a brief note for now i will post a complete update soon.

Today the 25th february has been a month since we landed in Oz, and well so much more has happened since the 1st 6 days update. Hubby has a job (I don't :whome: ) but all the juicy info will follow in the week.

Awesome weekend greetings to all. :ilikeit: .

T

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HansaPlease

Great to hear he as a job T - that's excellent news and must be a big relief. Hope you're settling in well...

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  • 4 weeks later...
Orion25

Well Hi There,

I did say i would post again soon but wow how a whole month flies by, anyway here is my follow on to our journey.

Well since I started this message a LOT has changed, we have been here 2 months on Sunday, and are really loving our new life.

:ilikeit:

The kids are all enrolled at Namadgi School, from pre-school to grade 8 and they have all the modcons that one can think of for use at their fingertips supplied by their school, taking into account the school only opened last year. Apple Mac desktops, apple laptops as well as ipads, and they do a lot of digital work; even my youngest in pre-school is learning how to use a computer!!!

Hubby got a job the week after we moved into our house, they guy who came to fetch and clean the blinds for our rental offered him a job the day he came to our place, all this without knowing us, but knowing we were in need (God orchestrates these things and can use anybody) so now he is working for a company called Amazing Clean as a blinds technician, totally out of his depth but he is doing so well. God’s grace has truly been over us and we have achieved so much in such a short period of time. So we keep getting told.

We have now renewed our lease till end April 2013, so at least now we feel a little settled. Hubby and I are still sleeping on the mattress on the floor and so is our daughter but we are slowly but surely getting on top of everything and we should have beds soon. We bought our lounge suite on Saturday from the tip (rubbish dump) Tiny’s green shed and it cost us $80.00 a lovely suede L shaped set and new they cost around $500.00, so we scored a bonus it has nothing wrong with it and is very comfy.

I am not working yet, I have turned down the very first job I was offered, the interview process was difficult but the pay and hours were not suitable once we pay for daycare for our youngest etc as well as petrol. I have been approached by another company and we will know our decision in the week. The reason we need daycare even though J goes to pre-school is because so many things work so differently from South Africa. Pre- school is 2 days one week and 3 days the next, so he goes to school Thursday and Friday this week from 9am – 3pm and next week Wed, Thur & Fri from 9am-3pm, and is currently home with me on the other days. So if I get work I need to pay for Daycare as well as holiday care so we need to obviously make sure all these little hiccups are taken into account.

We have been visiting a church near us called Life City, and they are very nice people, we have been to dinner with the pastor and his family as well as to a BBQ with another couple from the church (he is from South Africa – been in Oz 11 yrs). We will be visiting another church this weekend called Fusion Church Int. so we are still looking for a “home”.

Life here in Australia is VERY different to SA, especially the city in which we are living. We live in the South of the state in a Suburb of Kambah in Tuggeranong.

We find there is ALWAYS something on over the weekends and this month is Canberra’s birthday month so it is a month of events but here is a small summary of what we have had to choose from and what we have attended.

  • Multi-cultural Festival end Feb
  • Australia Day 26 Jan – HUGE fireworks (Free)
  • 29 Jan Coffee Club get together – we didn’t make this one we bought our car instead.
  • Next weekend we moved into our house.
  • Valentines week – a BIG thing here
  • Coffee club 26 Feb we went to this and got rained on and then the sun shone. (Free)
  • 2-3 & 9-10 March enlighten festival – we never made this too much on (Free)
  • 10-18 March the Canberra Air Balloon Spectacular – we went on the 17th at 6.15am (Free)
  • 16th March Australian Ballet Theatre Ballet in the park – I took Tanique was awesome. (Free)
  • 17th March Sky Fire fireworks spectacular to music. Also had a Helicopter aerobatics display as well as air force training plane display all FREE.
  • 24-25 March National vintage guitar & Amp Expo $10pp.
  • And so the list goes on have a look at www.eventscanberra.com.au it will help you see what we have to experience.

We miss our family and our friends,and Church!!!! As well as the security of jobs we know and the comfort and convenience of knowing everything (the familiar) but I we will be honest we are settling in more and more everyday especially now that we have routines in place. Oh yes and that we have internet at our fingertips again is a HUGE help. We have posted many pictures on Face book, to keep our families updated

Oh yes the bird life here is amazing, the feathered birds that is,( the human kinds are way to revealing for our liking) but we are adjusting to that and training the kids, although thankfully with the values they have been brought up with they do not appreciate the way the youngsters here dress or behave. (there are some great kids here though)

Today we went to Questacon, and were there from 12-4pm, there is just so much to see and do and the kids just loved it, as did we adults, sometimes I was not too sure as to who was having more fun :whome: .

Well, That's the blog update from me for now. Hopefully I will update again before too long.

Chat soon

T

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Toitjie

Hey T, Im glad you guys have settled in nicely. It sounds hectic, but fun. It's good to hear when people are finding their feet.

Canberra is such a beatiful city, and so much to offer. My brother, who lived in Perth for a while (now in Amsterdam) told me he does not really see himself moving to Canberra, he prefers Melbourne, because Canberra was "planned" and not spontaneous....I just smiled, because that is what sets Canberra apart from other cities. It is so spectacularly symmetrical and beautiful, I told him that Canberra is probably the most understated city and like a hidden treasure...people just don't realise how perfect it is there.

*sigh* I wish I was there now

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  • 2 years later...

Your posts are truely inspirational,even after all these years. Can't wait to move to Canberra, or any Australian city for that matter. Everything feels like a 'black hole' to me,but your story gives me an insight of life in Canberra. Thank you and I hope you are all still doing well.

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  • 4 months later...

Hi Orion,

I loved your post, thanks! If you're still following this, what sort of weekly rental can we expect to pay in Canberra?

Are you still happy with Tuggeranong?

Many thanks in advance...

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