A month in Melbourne

Old Oct 2nd 2007, 11:40 pm
  #1  
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Default A month in Melbourne

I haven't posted that much on BE but have found it a great source of info and loved reading the updates so here is my own, and if there are any questions feel free to PM me.

We (OH and I) arrived in Melbourne on 29th of August (stopped in Singapore for 6 hours, booked into the transit hotel had a swim and a sleep) on a 457 visa. I had a job to go to with a company I worked for in the UK and had already contracted with in Melbourne when on a working holiday a year or so back - so I already had friends in the company I was working in and knew a lot of my colleagues. I went straight into work from getting off the plane at 6:00am (probably wouldn't have done this if had been going into a totally new company), and for me this really worked, I didn't suffer from jet lag at all.

We were staying with friends for a couple of days and then my employers were putting me up in some accommodation and hiring a car for a couple of weeks while we got our self a rental sorted. I was working and my OH was doing the flat finding (I think I had the easy job). The rental system is frustrating here because, 1) Agents won't take you round places so if you are trying to do it all on foot is difficult. You have to find open for inspection places or leave a deposit take the key and then have an hour to get back with the key. 2) Once you see a place you like you have to submit an application form and then see if they will accept you (offering rent up front didn't seem to help us here, we were often viewing with about 30 other people), we got rejected from two places and then found a private rental where the landlady liked the look of us so we didn't have to go through the submit and wait application process. This was a life-saver as I think because there is so much competition for rentals the estate agents were just looking at the last address being England and deciding that checking references for us was likely to be too much hassle compared to all the other applicants they had. As is just the two of us and we wanted to be close to the city and on the train line to where I work (Belgrave line) so we have a nice two bed flat in Hawthorn, which we have managed to furnish with donations from friends and the bargain bin at IKEA (mattress half price just because it had a dirty mark on it) - we only brought over a rucksack each from the UK (didn't really have anything much worth shipping as had a furnished rental in the UK and before that lived in Spain).

Something that was fantastic for us during house hunt was the sat nav I brought over from UK which bought a new card for (GARMIN NUVI 300) not only was it fantastic for helping us find places but as we needed to be within an easy walk of the station the function on it where it will show you route and time to nearest station on foot was fantastic. The Sat Nav has probably been the most useful item I brought with us.

We have sorted a car, bought a new Toyota Corolla and paid the same for it as I did in the UK for a two year old Corolla. We will mainly use public transport/bike for us both getting to work (OH has just got a job in the CBD) - so the car is for when is too wet/cold for me to bike and for trips on the weekend, moving stuff about etc. I like the public transport here is really cheap compared to the UK and seems to run well, I can't believe there are letters in the paper saying that it should be improved to be more like London - the number of hours of my life I wasted at Rayners lane!

Now a month in we are pretty much sorted, sorted out banks with Westpac before we arrived and have got a credit card with them also. I get a phone with work but OH uses a Vodafone pre-pay that we had from our year out. Still have to sort out Medicare although have private health insurance, we have already applied for Permanent Residency so are now eligble for Medicare, just have to provide the right evidence of our application at the Medicare office.

As we have lived here for three months before, now it seems like we have been here ages, we already knew the city reasonably well and had some friends here so it has been very easy for us. We have taken advantage of all the sporting events here, been to the MCG three times to see two of the elimination finals in the AFL (we followed the Swans when we lived in Sydney for 3 months) and once to see the Socceroos. Seen The Storm 3 times and the Victory a couple, and have been to the Melbourne show.

Cost of living for us is probably overall cheaper, rent is cheaper for a place double the size and within 10 mins of CBD, food from supermarkets is probably about the same overall, public transport and petrol is cheaper, eating out is cheaper, not sure about furniture, electricals etc as never really bought these in the UK - there is another thread I am going to post some figures in after we have done six weeks.

We didn't really have any specific reasons for emigrating, just that we thought we liked living in Australia more than in the UK and felt very at home here when we stayed here before - and now feel the same, very settled. Probably the only thing I struggle with is how cold the houses can be inside (maybe we will be glad of this in the summer), we knew what the weather in Melbourne could be like before we got here, so haven't been surprised by the cold or the showers, but I think in England we are used to being warmer inside.
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Old Oct 3rd 2007, 6:22 am
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Default Re: A month in Melbourne

A pretty down to earth post, much of which I can empathise with

Good luck wiuth your new life here, and maybe if a meal or drinks in the CBD is arranged you can both come along
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Old Oct 5th 2007, 2:19 am
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Default Re: A month in Melbourne

Great update. I too have wasted a lot of life at Rayners Lane (lived in Ruislip) and am pretty impressed by the public transport here, particularly the way your ticket "integrates" so once you're off the train and on to a tram you don't have to pay again.

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