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Canberra 2015: My views on arrival


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Well, my wife and I have now been in Canberra for a few weeks. We landed in Sydney on the 22nd of January, and drove through on the morning of the 23rd - with an incredibly early start owing to jetlag which after 11000km is no joke!

I also highly recommend driving in to the ACT, it's a light drive (3 hours) and offers up beautiful scenery you would otherwise miss entirely.

Upon arrival, we had set up to stay at the Ibis Canberra (old Formula 1) until the end of January, with a hire car until then too, to allow us time to settle in and find our roots. The key was to get employed, homed, and buy some odds and ends we'll need (we sold everything to start from scratch).

Thanks to an incredibly first world system, we were able to have our bank accounts and medicare done on the day we drove in; we had our dogs licenced, our bus passes done and by the end of Saturday 24th, we had applied for a home to rent.

Within the next week, we'd found employment, secured the home, bought some inexpensive Salvos (Salvation Army) furniture and some cheap goods to set up a little home for ourselves and managed to fit in some incredible Australia Day celebrations through the long weekend.

There is far too much to include in a quick little post, but sufficit to say - Canberra is amazing. It's most definitely not a stuffy public servant town, or a quiet sleepy village. It's a bustling metropolis filled with incredible culture, AMAZING food and coffee, incredibly variety, tremendous shopping experiences - all interspersed amongst a wide open vista of green trees, open plains and beautiful views.

Canberra offers you everything you need - what you choose to get out of it is entirely up to you.

I've found the people to be amongst the most friendly and helpful that I've ever come across in the world. The service has been 2nd to none, whether with call centre operators, cashiers, waiters, or even the guys down at the tip.

There are a lot of things to get used to, coming from SA, like the ways the estate agents work (use the websites and book inspections yourself - they just do the paperwork) - and PARKING! Oh the parking! Recycling is huge and the refuse system is a new adjustment because they do it properly - and we're not used to that.

It's an amazing, wonderful place filled with opportunity. It's all up to you whether or not you're willing to find it.

Our dogs also finally joined us earlier this week - a tremendously smooth process (PetPort were fantastic on the SA side, and the Eastern Creek quarantine facility was lovely.).

The dog parks are wonderful and our pups are having a wonderful time adjusting to the clean air and amazing smells.

I can go on and on - but thought I should share some good news about Canberra, in reality - now that we finally arrived and particularly because this community doesn't get nearly enough praise as it should deserve.

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Thanks so much for sharing Jasper your comments are so inspiring.. My Fiancé and I are coming to Canberra to activate our 190 Visa's on 28 March 2015. We are hoping to get a lot of guidance and advice on how best to do the great big move.

Any suggestions are welcome.



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It's exciting and an adventure. It's also hard and stressful. All worth it in the end once you've settled. We did a lot in the first few weeks to fast track the settling because I was starting work much earlier than I expected so it doesn't have to be as rushed and mad cap as we did it.

Everyone is incredibly friendly and the public service system is set up to serve the public so everyone actually is helpful!

If you love a vibrant young trendy culture then Civic and Braddon are going to be killer for you. Instagram and Twitter is awash with great people to follow and engage with to good great insights too

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Hi Jasper.. Also visit Kingston, the pubs, coffee shops and restaurants there are very very vibey? welcome to Canberra, its lovely to hear how well you faired so quickly. If you dont mind me asking, in what industry do you work? Im really happy for you that you landed a job so quickly! It doesnt happen often

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I work in marketing, advertising and digital communications. I'd already started making contacts about a month prior to arrival to started setting up opportunities. So I'd already had some discussions ahead of time and was able to secure a position pretty quickly. It's not always that easy - I was lucky. But also didn't sit around waiting for opportunities - I took them.

Kingston's great. Really enjoy Walt & Burley and of course Brodburger... and and and... :-)

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