our trip to oz

Old Apr 26th 2007, 2:39 pm
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Our Trip to Oz

The Family

Me: Robert, 37 .net developer
Lea xx hairdresser (not working)
Ashleigh 11 year old daughter.

Flights

We flew with Emirates from Gatwick to Dubai (6.5hrs) and then on to Perth (10hrs) the return leg was Melbourne to Singapore (7hrs + 1 hour in airport) on to Dubai (7hrs), then Dubai back to Gatwick (7hrs).

Personally I found the service terrible, the flight staff are not friendly and were down right rude at times, constantly ignored everyone’s call buttons, on all the flights they only offered drinks twice and most of the time spent it talking to each other down the back of the plane.

Seats on the 777’s to Dubai are not comfortable. On our 10 hour flight to Perth we had no TV at all and all we got was 3 hours of “give it 20 minutes while we reset the system” eventually I gave up asking but a 10 hour flight with no entertainment for an 11 year old is a nightmare for me and her mum.

Only good side to all this was that we were asked to delay the flight out by 7 hours as they had overbooked the plane and were looking for volunteers to go later in the day, compensation for this was free return tickets to anywhere in the world (Australia is as far as they go) and £55 to spend in the airport. We were also promised an upgrade on the Dubai to Perth leg of the flight. This however never happened and I have still to find out why, when we checked back in to the new flight we were told that Dubai had refused the upgrade but no reason was given, then we found out on that flight that most of the business class passengers had been upgraded so we were not best pleased as we feel we had been lied to. Maybe my complaint to the check-in desk was the reason why our 3 seats on the Dubai to Perth leg were the only ones without any working entertainment systems!

Perth

Perth is absolutely gorgeous; perfect weather for us about 30 degrees each day, bit cold apparently for the locals as many said they had put the heating on that week due to the cold spell.

DO NOT stop in the YHA in Perth if you are a light sleeper, it backs on to the railway lines and you get constant train horns all day, but they do stop between 11.30 pm and 4.30 am when the drivers I think take pleasure in making as much noise as possible, we moved to the kings hotel which is nice but if your looking for a good deal have a look at miss maudes they do a room deal including breakfast and evening meals in their restaurant (excellent smogs board or something like that) for only $180 a night per couple, we only discovered this on our last day, but if we go back to Perth that’s where we will stop.

Place is spotless, and the bus system is free in the CBD, you can just get on and off busses as you please. Take a ride up to Kings park that is well worth a trip, just don’t walk the bottom way passed the exhibition centre as you end up at the bottom of the hill with about 300 stairs to climb, very steep and very crowded as locals us this to exercise on. Personally I would not bother with the DNA tower as its not quite tall enough to give great views as the top is about the same height as the trees surrounding it.
We spent a couple of days looking at the places to live, north Perth through cottslow, Scarborough and Hillary’s all the houses just seem on top of each other, we did not like it although the beach’s are stunning. There is a reasonable price restaurant in the harbour shopping centre at Hillary.

We preferred south of Perth, Fremantle was well worth the visit and is quite quaint, we also looked at Rockingham which has a fantastic beach and the sea is so clean and still warm  and is shallow for a considerable way out, with Rockingham also being on a peninsular there is always a sheltered beach in the town depending on which way the wind is blowing.

We only had a few days there, I met up with a couple of IT recruitment companies, the one I had an appointment with on the Monday morning (landed 2am appointment at 10am) the guy could not even be bothered to be there, so if anyone wants some suggestions as to which IT companies were the better ones please PM me and I will let you know, quite a few just take your CV and you never get passed reception.

Oh and in a morning if you need coffee in Perth find a Croissant Express, large latte is only $4 but is best latte I had in Oz.

Our feelings for Perth is that if the right Job came up we would be happy there, but you do get the sense of isolation and the fact that you are so far away from everywhere else, but if I can get a job there say for one of the mining companies paying an absolute fortune we would be up for it! I guess you would get used to the heat.

Car Hire & Fuel

Petrol at the moment in Australia is about $1.25 per litre, Enterprise who we got our car from was offering prepay at 99c per litre, if we had realised the prices at the pump we would have per paid, but we were ok because we took the drive from Ballarat to Melbourne back at a nice speed and managed to get away with the needle still on F even though we had done 100km since filling up.

Coles and Summerfield’s both offer discount vouchers for fuel with your shopping, at Coles if you spend $30 you get 4c off a litre of fuel and then if you spend in the petrol station on top you can get a bit more off, Coles petrol stations are all (well nearly all) the shell garages.

Great Ocean Road

We absolutely love the views and the walks on the road, it is advisable to stop at every point there is as you just see so much, although there is not much until you get to Apollo Bay other than winding roads that made Ashleigh sick.

We stopped in the Great western at Apollo bay, take note that they close at 11pm and were not happy when we arrived at 2am trying to check in, it would help if they mentioned this on the website or on the booking forms!

We did the usual 12 apostles, and all the rest of it so I am not going to bore you with any more details, we nearly got stuck for somewhere to stay as everything was booked up and we ended up at the Golden Chain in WARRNAMBOOL - Gateway Motor Inn. If you are in the area and hungry you have to stop and eat at quigleys restaurant which is run by the couple who run the motel, fantastic food and very well priced! I would have been happy paying twice what my bill came to and I am a tight arse Yorkshire man it was that good.

One tip – never follow a sign for a waterfall in Victoria unless a local recommends it and you trust them. It might have been a waterfall at some point but not these days!

Ballarat

We spent some time here as my sister lives in the area, nice town just over 1 and a half hours from Melbourne and only 45 mins to Geelong. Not much to tell other than we loved Dalesford as well.
Canberra

We decided to do this just me and Lea, Ashleigh decided to stay behind with her Aunt Uncle and new baby Cuz, so we left Ballarat 10am Tuesday morning, got to Melbourne tuned left onto the highway and my Tom Tom said turn left in 180 miles! If it had an up to date map where the highway goes straight on it should have been turn left 300 miles +, its only when you do these silly things like drive from Ballarat to Canberra that you realise just how big Australia actually is!

A couple of pointers for anyone that does decide to drive, rest stops are everywhere and many of them on the highway also have free BBQ facilities so rather than packing sandwiches why not pack some meat!

Canberra

In Canberra we stopped in a Golden Chain, having found how good they were and cheap by accident we will be using them in future, we stopped near Manuka which has some very nice restaurants.

Canberra is well strange, but in a good way. There are practically no cars on the road, everything is clean and tidy and well laid out, there is green space everywhere. Its not what you expect or we expected from a capital city.

We only had a day in Canberra and needed to see as much as we could, so we drove around some areas looking at houses, most suburbs have huge shopping centres so there is no need to go into the city centre, then we did the Telstra tower which gives a stunning view of the place.

My overall thoughts of Canberra was that I could work there but I think I would like to live further out than the immediate suburbs as they are all very much like your UK housing, bigger houses but just as close together. Lea was not over impressed with how dated the buildings looked. I don’t think it was top of Leas list of places to move but I am sure that’s more down to the fact we left Ashleigh behind than because of anything we saw.

Canberra zoo by the way is also excellent and lea got to feed the giraffes which made her day.

Overall we liked everywhere we went, and nowhere screamed come and live here, so I think its going to be a move to Victoria as we have family there unless we find great jobs elsewhere, and that’s assuming we get our VISA’s well back to wishing we were there again I guess!
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Old Apr 26th 2007, 7:03 pm
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quality thread robert
regards jim/lorraine
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Old Apr 26th 2007, 7:08 pm
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Default Re: our trip to oz

Yup, well written

Shame about the flights - we had no problems with Singapore.

Let's hope you get the visa soon

Karl
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Old Apr 27th 2007, 7:58 am
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Default Re: our trip to oz

Thanks for that - loads of useful info!

You mentioned that nowhere shouted to you to live there - i assume that you where hoping that it would and i was wondering if you were disappointed that it didnt? I am asking because we are planning on doing a similar trip before deciding where to live and i have just sort of been assuming that we would love somewhere!

Adele
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Old Apr 27th 2007, 8:15 am
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Default Re: our trip to oz

If you've got a visa, I know a pretty good recruiter in Canberra who is working for EDS, and always looking for technical guys, although he did comment that he was seeing more a swing from .NET towards J2EE in the industry. If you PM, I can give some details. If you don't have a visa and are looking for sponsorship, his company don't do that.
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Old Apr 27th 2007, 9:10 am
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Default Re: our trip to oz

Originally Posted by Tiggs+Graz View Post
Thanks for that - loads of useful info!

You mentioned that nowhere shouted to you to live there - i assume that you where hoping that it would and i was wondering if you were disappointed that it didnt? I am asking because we are planning on doing a similar trip before deciding where to live and i have just sort of been assuming that we would love somewhere!

Adele
Hi Adele,

its not that we were disappointed just that we would be happy everywhere we saw, unlike our previous trip where we did not like some places this time we actually liked them all so because nowhere jumped out I guess it means were not going to be disappointed if we don't get a job and move to an area. Were happier to have seen the places and decided we would go there than moving somewhere we then find we don't like.

Robert
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Old Apr 27th 2007, 10:32 am
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Great read
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Old Apr 28th 2007, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by dwaindibley View Post
Hi Adele,

its not that we were disappointed just that we would be happy everywhere we saw, unlike our previous trip where we did not like some places this time we actually liked them all so because nowhere jumped out I guess it means were not going to be disappointed if we don't get a job and move to an area. Were happier to have seen the places and decided we would go there than moving somewhere we then find we don't like.

Robert
Hi Robert
At least if you liked everywhere then you have lots of choice! Although it does make it a bit more difficult to choose!
Where was it that you didnt like?

Adele
p.s. do you have your CO yet? i havent read the feb applicants thread for a while!
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Old Apr 30th 2007, 10:04 am
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Default Re: our trip to oz

Originally Posted by Tiggs+Graz View Post
Hi Robert
At least if you liked everywhere then you have lots of choice! Although it does make it a bit more difficult to choose!
Where was it that you didnt like?

Adele
p.s. do you have your CO yet? i havent read the feb applicants thread for a while!
Hi Adele,

we did not like sydney don't know why, we might go back and look at outside the city to see if we like anywhere around it but we were not impressed with the actual city.

We got our CO on the 15th April, my sister has ber AoS interview on the 8th May and then its a wait to see if we get the VISA.

Robert
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Old May 1st 2007, 9:22 am
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Great post. Sorry the flights weren't good.
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Old May 16th 2007, 5:43 pm
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Default Re: our trip to oz

Fantastic post Robert!! Very interesting.
Sorry to hear about your flights - we flew with emirates to brisbane on the 21st april. They were much better than qantas/ba, but the only thing i didn't like was we had to transit in both dubai and singapore. Bonus for some people but if you're trying to sleep a pain.
Rebecca
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