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Moving to Australia or NZ for a year where to live???

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
My husband just got a new job where he can work from anywhere as long as we have a high speed internet connection. We live on Vancouver Island in BC Canada.. We are wanting to rent our hose out and go live in Australia or NZ through our winter season , we would leave her Sept and come back March (ish) (or later).. I would like to be somewhere near or in a community where I can meet like minded people, we homeschool/unschool, and also not be paying HUGE rent! Anyone have advice on where we should go? Would like to be near a beach town or close to one but need to have high speed internet
Any advice??
post #2 of 25
come to mullum - we have all that there
well, rents can be high, but it's also possible to find really nice places in the forest, if you don't need a fancy house with AC and swimming pool.
have a look at "mullumbimby" and "byron shire" on google searches
post #3 of 25
Do you want to be in a climate with a similar climate as Vancouver summers as far as moisture and temperature are concerned? For me, that would be a key piece of the puzzle. We moved from Seattle to Colorado where the weather is very similar to Adelaide in South Australia (only more intense because we're a mile high now)...very arid and little rain - makes this duck miserable.

Other Australia options:

I love northern NSW (and not just because it's majikfaerie territory ), the southern coast of Queensland, Tasmania and the southern coast of Western Australia (between Albany & Margaret River) for similar PNW feel. Not sure about high-speed internet options in a lot of those places, but maybe you could contact (who's the provider, Majik? Telstra?) to get a map of their service areas.

We're actually fantasizing about buying B.C. one day, and have hopes of doing the exact same thing you are. Wishing you all the best and keep us posted where you end up!!
post #4 of 25
okay, firstly, when we're talking about "high speed" internet connections; what people are used to being high speed in other countries simply doesn't exist in Australia at all.
Don't get me wrong, we have broadband, at reasonable speeds, but there isn't yet a truly world-class competitive high-speed network in oz. (yet).
the sheer distances and sparse population are a big part of that, but also the stupid politicians play a part. (one former minister was quoted as saying something like (paraphrasing from memory) "australia doesn't need to upgrade to faster internet, because the only people who use that kind of bandwidth are criminals and pornographers" :

anyway, you can easily find what places have high-speed connections by internet search. there's a LOT of competition at the moment.
most providers have somewhere on their website a page where you can put the number of your landline in and they tell you if broadband is available on that interchange. (to approximate, search for a phone number in whitepages.com.au)

there's also a great website called Whirlpool (google it, I'm not sure if its a .net or .au or what) that has huge amounts of info re ISPs and stuff, as well as a great techie forum.

anyway, Mullumbimby does have high-speed broadband
post #5 of 25
Oh, and the Atherton Tablelands (N. Queensland) are simply LUSCIOUS in winter, but I can't say I could survive the humidity with the heat in summer.

I've never been to New Zealand, but several PNWerner friends rave about Queenstown (again, no help on internet availability)
post #6 of 25
After travelling extensively to other countries I think your chances of finding likeminded people in Australia is fairly easy. And a lot of Aussies are pretty broadminded - lots of homeschooling associations, ABA (Australian Breastfeeding Association), Childbirth Association and other organisations where you can link up with people in an organised way - but word of mouth excellent.....I live in SE Qld in an area not widely known for being the type of community you've described however I've met people like what you've described to one extent or another. Make sure you let us know where you end up, if it's near any of us I'm sure you'll be made welcome!!
post #7 of 25
I agree, the Tablelands are just brilliant.... one of my fave places on in the world. Summers are hot though, if you want a similar/coolish climate like Vancouver I recommend Hobart, Tasmania.

I live in North Queensland (near the Atherton Tablelands), & have visited Tasmania in summer (which is when you will be here- opposite to the northern hemisphere)..... ANd honestly, I would pick Tassie over QLD in summer- it's a bit cool, but Tasmania is just awesome for hiking & outdoor stuff that time of year.

If you want warm water beaches, you're probably better off with coastal NSW or SE QLD.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiemum View Post
I agree, the Tablelands are just brilliant.... one of my fave places on in the world. Summers are hot though, if you want a similar/coolish climate like Vancouver I recommend Hobart, Tasmania.

I live in North Queensland (near the Atherton Tablelands), & have visited Tasmania in summer (which is when you will be here- opposite to the northern hemisphere)..... ANd honestly, I would pick Tassie over QLD in summer- it's a bit cool, but Tasmania is just awesome for hiking & outdoor stuff that time of year.

If you want warm water beaches, you're probably better off with coastal NSW or SE QLD.
You weren't, by chance, visiting/camping Tassie in Feb of 2006? How wild would that be if we met briefly at the campground in - I think it was - Mt. Field Nat'l Park?!?
post #9 of 25
We've been in Sydney for a year now (originally from Toronto). It's beautiful, and the lifestyle is lovely BUT I'm surprised at how rainy it is here - for weeks at a time. I've had trouble with mildew growing on my furniture. It reminds me a lot of Vancouver. If you don't mind battling damp, then I'd recommend Sydney.

Unfortunately, the rents are astronomical (even compared to Vancouver), so you might want to look a little further afield, if you're looking in NSW.
post #10 of 25
Yes, Sydney rent is pretty expensive. Newcastle is rainy too, but the rent is cheaper. I personally don't like Wollongong, but it's close enough to Sydney to commute, and the cost of living isn't as high.

Newcastle and Wollongong both have beaches and high speed internet, with national parks nearby for great hiking.
post #11 of 25
The Blue Mountains has great community (lots of unschoolers ) and beautiful bushland but if you want to be close to the beach I'd take Majikfaerie's advice and look at Northern NSW.
I've never been to Newcastle but I don't like Wollongong either and I wouldn't reccomend Sydney (where we are). Sydney rents are just ludicrous. We are actually looking at moving to Europe temporarily to save money.
post #12 of 25
have a look at realestate.com.au to get an idea of rents
post #13 of 25
The Blue Mountains are gorgeous, I agree. Expensive rent though, from what I remember.

If you don't want a city, places outside beachy cities can be really nice. Coffs Harbour has a fairly high crime rate, but Woolgoolga is CHEAP and it's only 20 minutes north. Nelson Bay is north of Newcastle and is lovely (or Fingal Bay). Good nudist beaches that way

I'm going to highly recommend Bellingen. It's pretty alternative, has lots of gorgeous scenery, the beach is 30 minutes away (but forget the beach, swim in the Bellinger river) and it has a small town feel. It's expensive to buy a house there, and I'm not sure what rentals are like. The hiking in that part of Australia is spectacular.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
okay, firstly, when we're talking about "high speed" internet connections; what people are used to being high speed in other countries simply doesn't exist in Australia at all.
Don't get me wrong, we have broadband, at reasonable speeds, but there isn't yet a truly world-class competitive high-speed network in oz. (yet).
the sheer distances and sparse population are a big part of that, but also the stupid politicians play a part. (one former minister was quoted as saying something like (paraphrasing from memory) "australia doesn't need to upgrade to faster internet, because the only people who use that kind of bandwidth are criminals and pornographers" :
We don't have the equivalent of what Nth Americans call high-speed internet either. Trust me before I had my babies I worked for the equivalent of the Competition Bureau, for the Telecommunications Commissioner. They are working on it though.

Anyway my suggestion for cheaper accommodation is that you search University websites for house sitting/house swapping options. I've worked for a couple of Universities and often academics go on long or short-term sabbaticals and want to house-swap with someone in the country they are going to, or just have someone housesit for them, to make sure that they have someone to feed the cat and water the plants. Not sure about home-schooling options I think you have to go through some sort of formality with the Ministry of Education, my sister-in-law did it so can't be too taxing. Also very big on breast feeding here and parental involvement in things like playcentre http://www.playcentre.org.nz/

Dunedin has a university and high-speed interconnection because of the University, and has long white sand beaches, but the temperature can be cold cold cold even in Summer, but then the temperature can soar to 30 degrees celsius (don't know what that is in Fahrenheit). You can literally get 4 seasons in one day.
post #15 of 25
I loved living in Christchurch New Zealand for a few years. It was progressive, beautiful, culturally rich, and close to Banks Peninsula which is so damn beautiful. There is one of the best botanical gardens attached to an amazing art center. Great home schooled families, and one of the best birthing centers called Avonlea.

So there you go!
post #16 of 25
Well OP, where was the winning spot??
post #17 of 25
Coming back to cross off my vote for Nelson Bay. Too overdeveloped and touristy now . It's lost its unique feel.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by graceomalley View Post
The Blue Mountains are gorgeous, I agree. Expensive rent though, from what I remember.

If you don't want a city, places outside beachy cities can be really nice. Coffs Harbour has a fairly high crime rate, but Woolgoolga is CHEAP and it's only 20 minutes north. Nelson Bay is north of Newcastle and is lovely (or Fingal Bay). Good nudist beaches that way

I'm going to highly recommend Bellingen. It's pretty alternative, has lots of gorgeous scenery, the beach is 30 minutes away (but forget the beach, swim in the Bellinger river) and it has a small town feel. It's expensive to buy a house there, and I'm not sure what rentals are like. The hiking in that part of Australia is spectacular.

Ot Graceomalley you must be in my neck of the woods, I am just north of Woopi.

We have fantastic beaches between Coffs Harbour and Yamba. Rents are reasonable compared to a lot of holiday destinations type places. Don't know about Bellingen though. The towns have reasonably fast internet (you would have to check out service providers) but forget it if you want to live in the hills. Sattelite works when it's not windy or raining, wireless isn't too bad but I woudln't rely on it 100% and you need to be able to get mobile coverage.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda in OZ View Post
Ot Graceomalley you must be in my neck of the woods, I am just north of Woopi.
did you mean wooli? I used to live there : right by the river
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
did you mean wooli? I used to live there : right by the river
Woopi is what the locals call Woolgoolga, but Wooli is magic. It is beautiful along that whole stretch of coast line
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