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Living in the outback - 6 month update

Living in the outback - 6 month update

Old Mar 13th 2007, 1:52 am
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Default Living in the outback - 6 month update

For all who are interested about life in the outback, here is my 6 month update.

First I need to mention that we are actually ping pongers, although not from Britain,but from Germany, We lived in Melbourne from 1997 to 1999 with a 457visa and went back home at the end of 1999 due to the following reasons: homesickness (hadn’t been home for nearly three years), and the wrong advice from an unregistred migration lawyer about a possible permanent residency. Couldn’t adapt anymore at home, and over the last six years we yearned to go back to Oz again, but we needed a sponsor as we didn’t have enough points.

As OH is a civil engineer, but without recent work experience, we were lucky to find an employer sponsoring us for a RSMS visa (they wanted to do 457 at first, but we wanted permanent from the start this time....).

Visa went through within two months, and on September 13 last year we flew out. We went to Melbourne first to stay with friends, as our two cats were in the quarantine station in Melbourne for 30 days. OH had to go up to Queensland after 10 days, and I stayed in Melbourne for a month until the cats were released and flew up to Townsville on October 12.
It was great to see all our friends in Melbourne again and we had a very nice time there, we even checked out the house we built 8 years ago, it still belonged to the guy we sold it to.

After our Melbourne visit it was quite a culture shock coming into our new town, which is situated about halfway between Townsville and Mt. Isa. It is literally in the middle of nowhere, with only two small supermarkets, two butchers, and one post office. About 1500 people live here.

We moved into a 3 br-home, which is owned by the council (OH’s employer), which they renovated beforehand. It has a fairly big backyard, and is in the typical Queenslander style.

Early December we received our container with all our stuff, and felt more at home straight away. The lifestyle is very relaxed here (probably because there is not much to do), and the community spirit is huge. People are very friendly, one neighbour gave us homegrown cucumbers and watermelons, the other ones help with lawn mowing and look after the house when we are away.

OH likes his job a lot, the stress level is not as high, and the hours are great (9 day fortnight).
His colleagues and boss are nice, and it is only a 2 minute drive to work for him ! I’m looking into starting my own business (sales and marketing of dental products) and have enroled in TAFE to study marketing.

The weather so far was sometimes very hot and dry (in November we had often more than 40 C and about 10% humidity), but there has been some rain in the last two months due to the wet season. Can’t wait for it to cool down by the end of this month though.

Just before Christmas one of our cats got really sick, and the local vet is not into cats and dogs, more into cattle and sheep.
So I had to drive to Townsville (4 hours) with the cats. Luckily I could stay in the unit of friends from Hughenden, who happen to have a holiday unit there. It was touch and go for almost six weeks with our cat, and after a couple of operations he was recovering again.
Altogether I spent almost six weeks in Townsville, with Xmas and New Year’s in between, which we couldn’t enjoy obviously. OH was able to spend two weeks with me just after Xmas.

This made us aware of one of the challenges of living in the outback, not being able to have access to facilities which you take for granted normally.

On the other hand, I feel that it also helps us to do things we would have never dreamt of doing before, just because we have to. Like a few weeks ago, when I came back from Townsville by myself from a trip to the vet, and found myself in the middle of quite a bit of flooding on the highway, and this was the only way to get back home. I had a 4WD, but never drove through water before, had to do it four times on the way back home, with water depths between 20 and 50 cm, which was very scary .

Life out here is a great experience and adventure, away from the never-ending possibilties of big cities.It has its advantages and its disadvantages, but it has been a great first step back into Oz. After our two years are over however, we can’t see us staying here and are probably planning to go back to Melbourne.

Hope I haven’t bored you too much with this long story.
Thanks for reading it.

Cheers from Queensland’s outback


Katie
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Old Mar 13th 2007, 8:44 am
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Default Re: Living in the outback - 6 month update

That sounds great, do you have any pictures of where you live? Do you get internet easily?
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Old Mar 13th 2007, 10:32 am
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Default Re: Living in the outback - 6 month update

A great update really enjoyed reading it - I'd also love to see photos if you have any.
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Old Mar 13th 2007, 11:03 am
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Default Re: Living in the outback - 6 month update

Glad you enjoyed reading it. Here are a few photos, the blue house is our rental, the other two are the Grand Hotel and some buildings on the main street. It looks like from an old Western film, doesn't it ?

Yes, we actually have broadband internet access here. They really do make sure here that even in remote and rural areas you have broadband access.
Attached Thumbnails Living in the outback - 6 month update-hausgreen.jpg   Living in the outback - 6 month update-hughenden-hotel.jpg   Living in the outback - 6 month update-main-street.jpg  
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Old Mar 13th 2007, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: Living in the outback - 6 month update

Thanks for this great post Katie. Really enjoyed reading it.
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Old Mar 13th 2007, 1:00 pm
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Default Re: Living in the outback - 6 month update

Hi
Is it Hughenden where the dinosaur bones are displayed ?

I used to live in Airlie Beach for about 6 years ago in the Nineties, my OH had a Band that used to gigs in Hughenden, it was nothing to do a 6 hr drive to a gig, stay the night and go home the next day. We went out to Hughenden several times, can't remember the pub name though !

It is a great experience living in the outback. When I lived in Airlie Beach I used to work for MAIN ROADS (out on the edges of outback) as a Stop and Go girl. All you Aussies will know what I mean, and I spent the day at my boom gate on the lonliest stretches of road, with ony the snakes for company !! At one point I CB'd one of the truck drivers that I could see coming down the highway and told him there was a huge snake about 200yds back from my boom gate and could he run over it, as it was heading my way ! Oh the stories I have for my kids when they are older. Before returning to the UK I drove the circumference of AUstralia in an old holden panel van........great journey...

Making me homesick for Aussie now.............. We are coming over to Oz in 2 weeks from UK - to viist OH rellies and see if we want to make the big move back........... but thats another story.

Have a good time in Hughenden
lizzy

Last edited by timbuktoo; Mar 13th 2007 at 1:03 pm.
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Old Mar 13th 2007, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: Living in the outback - 6 month update

What's your postcode Katie? I'll have a google earth look at your town if there is any detail in that area
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Old Mar 13th 2007, 1:09 pm
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Default Re: Living in the outback - 6 month update

What a great experience. I know I couldn't do it, especially with young teenagers but all respect to you - not like the rest of us softies all around the edges Hope you enjoy the rest of your time there.
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Old Mar 13th 2007, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: Living in the outback - 6 month update

Originally Posted by timbuktoo View Post
Hi
Is it Hughenden where the dinosaur bones are displayed ?

I used to live in Airlie Beach for about 6 years ago in the Nineties, my OH had a Band that used to gigs in Hughenden, it was nothing to do a 6 hr drive to a gig, stay the night and go home the next day. We went out to Hughenden several times, can't remember the pub name though !

It is a great experience living in the outback. When I lived in Airlie Beach I used to work for MAIN ROADS (out on the edges of outback) as a Stop and Go girl. All you Aussies will know what I mean, and I spent the day at my boom gate on the lonliest stretches of road, with ony the snakes for company !! At one point I CB'd one of the truck drivers that I could see coming down the highway and told him there was a huge snake about 200yds back from my boom gate and could he run over it, as it was heading my way ! Oh the stories I have for my kids when they are older. Before returning to the UK I drove the circumference of AUstralia in an old holden panel van........great journey...

Making me homesick for Aussie now.............. We are coming over to Oz in 2 weeks from UK - to viist OH rellies and see if we want to make the big move back........... but thats another story.

Have a good time in Hughenden
lizzy
Yes, it is Hughenden with the famous dinosaur bones...
I always feel sorry for the stop and go boys and girls on the roads, standing out there in the hot sun the whole day and not having any company (sorry, forgot about the snakes ).

Have a great trip to Oz and good luck with your decision.

Katie
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Old Mar 13th 2007, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: Living in the outback - 6 month update

Originally Posted by temptininnit View Post
What's your postcode Katie? I'll have a google earth look at your town if there is any detail in that area
Postcode is 4821. You won't see much and it actually looks worse than it is in real life, especially now when it is a lot greener after the rain.
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 12:38 am
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Great post, wonderful to see someone experience a bit of OZ and not go straight to the same suburbia
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 5:25 am
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Default Re: Living in the outback - 6 month update

Hi! Glad you're doing well ... we're 6 mths soon too having followed you through the whole process!

You're more Outback than us but similar good qualities, good community etc - shame you can't send some of your rain our way!

All the best!

Jo
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 6:29 am
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Default Re: Living in the outback - 6 month update

Originally Posted by jothefw View Post
Hi! Glad you're doing well ... we're 6 mths soon too having followed you through the whole process!

You're more Outback than us but similar good qualities, good community etc - shame you can't send some of your rain our way!

All the best!

Jo
Hi Jo, good to hear from you - have you settled in well ?
Will try my best to send some of the rain to you - it has just bucketed down a couple of hours ago, but our rain will be over in a few weeks when the dry season starts.

Best wishes

Katie
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 6:41 am
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Default Re: Living in the outback - 6 month update

Originally Posted by KatieLilly View Post
Hi Jo, good to hear from you - have you settled in well ?
Will try my best to send some of the rain to you - it has just bucketed down a couple of hours ago, but our rain will be over in a few weeks when the dry season starts.

Best wishes

Katie
Looks like Eumundi! In fact it looks nicer than Eumundi, all those pretty flowers. Walked past Joe's Waterhole yesterday to get a latte and smelt a distinct aroma of beer and urine - lovely!
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 6:47 am
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Default Re: Living in the outback - 6 month update

Originally Posted by glittababe View Post
Looks like Eumundi! In fact it looks nicer than Eumundi, all those pretty flowers. Walked past Joe's Waterhole yesterday to get a latte and smelt a distinct aroma of beer and urine - lovely!
and here's a snap from my mobile
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