In the UK primary schools are from 4 to 7 years old. Our son was 3 when he started primary school and entered the Nursery year (mornings only) at a C of E School. When he was 4 we moved to Australia. We thought it was a lovely school and he learnt a lot.
We got 3 quotes for shipping our furniture to Australia. These were from Crown, Allied Pickfords and Anglo Pacific. They each came round to survey our house contents and all agreed that it would fit into a 20 foot container and take 2 days man power. A day and a half to pack everything and then the afternoon to load everything onto the container. In the end we went with Allied Pickfords as we preferred them. We negotiated their cost down to our lowest competitors pricing. Insurance we went through Letton Percival which was the cheapest we could find. All insurance companies add 5% on top of their quote for Insurance Premium Tax.
We flew to Singapore and then on to Australia with a 2 and 5 year old. This was our kids first flight and something I was not looking forward to but surprisingly we had a good journey. Here are my top tips which helped us;
- We bought each of the kids a Trunki which were amazing. It was much easier for us and fun for them to be pulled all round the airport. Inside them we stowed a few surprises for the journey, spare clothes, washbag (wetwipes, nappy) and favourite bed toys.
This is our checklist – hope you find it useful!
- research and decide whether to sell or rent the UK house?
- research tax implications for leaving money in the UK and transfering to Australia
- open bank account in OZ whilst in UK
- research different accounts
- identify and research areas to live in
- make sure you have at least 2 years left on your passport get visas put in
- compare and book flights
- confirm fight details to removal company
- book accommodation for any stopovers and buy currency
After school today i took the kids to a local beach called “Wellington Point” where they proceeded to run around splashing in the waves and catching crabs. The sky was a glorious blue and the sun was shining – what a lovely way to spend an hour after school! The sun shines nearly every day in Australia so if you like the outdoor life its perfect. Saying that we have had some dramatic weather including floods and cyclones in Queensland which has been worrying. The climate does makes it ideal beach weather though and we have the Sunshine and Gold coast less than an hours drive away. All this makes it a great place to raise kids thats for sure! There are of course always down sides. The general cost of living is high and the state schools are disappointing which for us now means paying for private schooling. On balance we love living in Australia. All four of us feel happier and healthier even though we are now more out of pocket!!
One thing in Australia which I don’t think we will ever like or get used to are the spiders. The first time we encountered a spider in the house, it was late at night and I headed down to check on the kids asleep before going to bed myself. There on my sons door was the biggest and ugliest spider I had ever seen! As soon as it sensed me it ran round the door into my sons room. Arrrgh I ran to get my husband! We found it hiding in the crack of the door and after much panicing my husband came back with boots on and towel. The idea was to throw the towel on the spider and stamp on it as we were scared it would bite us. My husband then proceeded to do throw the towel from a 2 metre distance from the spider..this was def not going to work! Off set the spider running down the corridor – not only was it bloody fast but it jumped. Eventually after a long chase I finally caught it under a pint glass (might have chopped off a few legs in the process) and turfed it out into the neighbours garden (across the road)! This spider turned out to be a Huntsman quite a harmless spider but with 8 eyes probably for me one of the ugliest. Since then the spiders we have encountered have only gotten bigger! We have had about 6 big spiders in total which have gotten into the house. Two were so big and aggressive we caught them with a fishing net and I am ashamed to say we sprayed killing them outright. Now I keep all insect doors firmly closed but they still seem to sneak in;-(