Possibly moving to NSW...advice on where to look? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-30-2008, 01:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Living in Hawaii is starting to take its toll on my family, so we're planning a trip to NSW this Summer to have a look. I'm super grateful for any advice on where might be a good place for us.

a little background....
DH and I are in our early 40's and we usually get along best with a youthful crowd. We're both teachers so we're looking for an affordable mid-income place with houses in the $200k or lower range in a safe neighborhood. We all surf so we need to be near the ocean where there are good safe surf breaks year-round. We're all artistic and musical so a town that nurtures that would be wonderful. We're hoping for a place that has down- to-earth relatively-liberal people who aren't mean or prejudice (dh and dd are biracial caucasian and hispanic, I'm caucasian), where we would feel welcome as American newcomers, where there's healthy living (clean air, organic foods), safe from crime and safe for my daughter as she (sloooowwwly) becomes a young woman, and some place that isn't too crowded, touristy or overly materialistic. We like a warmer climate but not so hot that we have to stay indoors all summer, but not so cold that we can't surf in the winter.

From reading here and elsewhere, NSW sounds like the best area for us. But we're not sure where. Byron Bay and Woolgoolga keep popping up. Once again, I'm super grateful for any advice.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:31 AM
 
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byron area would totally fulfil all your requirements, but houses around here start at $400K+
I'm not sure you find anything costal for under $200K anymore.
have you checked realestate.com.au or domain.com.au for an idea of house prices?

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Old 12-30-2008, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mama. We'll have a look at those sites. It looks like we'll have to rent the first year or so anyway but, for reference, $400k US or Australian dollars?

Is Byron High School the only high school in that area? How many HS are within a half hour or so? It sounds perfect for dd but dh might not be able to get a job with it being such a small school...

Are there any other good communities in that area, within close driving distance to Byron Bay?

Also, how do people view American accents? Would dd be made fun of or just seen as foreign?

Also, is it easy to move with pets?

Sorry so many questions. We're getting really excited. Thanks again.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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$400K australian.

house prices in byron bay are almost double that of mullumbimby, which is a much nicer (and less of a tourist trap) than Byron, and in the same shire - about 15 minutes away.
in Byron Shire there's several high schools, as well as byron, also mullumbimby high, and 2 steiner schools (one in byron and one in mullum). There might be more, but we homeschool, so i really don't know.

byron bay itself it kind of sucky, as it's a major tourist destination, very expensive and mostly "sold-out". but in the area there's LOADS of really lovely communities and small towns and villages.
Mullumbimby is very nice; it's the centre for all the really crunchy hippie types in the area, and there's heaps of really wonderful little villages and communities around Mullum.
Bangalow is a bit of an up-market version of Mullum.
Brunswick Heads is a lot like how Byron Bay was before it went all mega-expensive and full of tourists and the uber-rich with their holiday-house mansions. it's also on a very nice beach.
Ocean Shores is a very uninteresting suburb-y town, on the beach, about 5 minutes north of Bruns. seems to be mostly populated with Byron types who can't afford to live in Byron any more.
Murwillumbah is a bigger town, with a nice mix of all of the above, and has at least one high school that I can think of. it's about 1/2 hour north.
and there's heaps of nice little villages scattered everywhere in between.
I suggest looking at the google maps of the area to get an idea.

accents aren't really a problem, I think. My dd has one it's an area with a LOT of foreigners.

pets are a problem. australia has strict quarantine laws. you should google and find the australian quarantine website. i think to bring a dog in for example costs a lot and requires at least 6 months of planning

hth

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Old 12-31-2008, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That helps tons. Thanks again mama.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:37 AM
 
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very welcome. drop me a line if you end up in the byron area and we can meet

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Old 01-09-2009, 06:49 AM
 
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You may want to line up jobs before moving, you dont want to move to a rural area to find there are no jobs available.

You could start with:

Teachers on Net:

http://www.teachers.on.net/index.php

Australia Teachers

http://www.australiateachers.com.au/

Seek:

http://www.seek.com.au/education-jobs/

Career One

http://www.careerone.com.au/educatio...neral-teaching

You can then research the area to find out if it suits your needs.

Sam, mum to: Ian, James, Lottie, Maddy, Jack, Ruby, Bronte & Sophia and Nate
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:11 AM
 
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Just want to point out that being coastal is REALLY hard on getting a job cause ALOT of ppl want to teach there.

I'm near Byron (Ballina) but HATE it (Byron).. It's SOO touristy.
I like Lennox & think it'd fit your needs.. It's a quiet coastal town & is pretty close to Byron in location & attitdue but without the MASSIVE tourist bustle & isn't as expensive for a very nice place. You CAN go to the beach & not have to "fight" with a gazillion ppl for a wave.
There's a new Highway bypass being built so it will quieten down along the highway road (doesn't actually go INTO the town though)

From memory there's a primary school but I don't think HS? They have HS within a 1/2hr radius Byron High, A few Christian private schools (Catholic & Anglican), Ballina High (The "mainstream" HS for Lennox Head, Southern Cross (Kindy to Yr 12)

Feel free to pm me for more info & if you come into the area
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great info, thanks mamas.
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:51 PM
 
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Hi. I'm originally from the Byron/Lismore area (in-between actually); Mum still lives there. I have been out of the country for 14 years and plan to move back in April. Wanted to tell you that Byron bay is beautiful, although as pp said it is overly-touristy. There are lots of nice little towns 20-40 minutes drive from the beaches where I think you can decent housing (know this from searches I've done & also from talking to Mum). $200K Australian would be kinda low though, so with the exchange rate if you've got $200K US would be a good start. Mullum is a nice area. Bangalow is cute (lived near here) but WAY TOO expensive now! Ballina, Lenox all good.

There are lots of schools; depends on where you end up.

Aussies are usually pretty easy going. I wouldn't worry about your accents....you'll sound Aussie-enough soon enough.

We looked into moving a few years ago and we had a dog at the time. It is possible to move with a pet BUT there is lots of paperwork, cost & I think the dog would have had to stay in quarantine facility for 2 or 3 months.....can't remember exactly how long, it could have changed, but at the time I remember it seemed like a VERY long time (a lot for a pet to deal with I think).



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Originally Posted by mother_sunshine View Post
Thanks mama. We'll have a look at those sites. It looks like we'll have to rent the first year or so anyway but, for reference, $400k US or Australian dollars?

Is Byron High School the only high school in that area? How many HS are within a half hour or so? It sounds perfect for dd but dh might not be able to get a job with it being such a small school...

Are there any other good communities in that area, within close driving distance to Byron Bay?

Also, how do people view American accents? Would dd be made fun of or just seen as foreign?

Also, is it easy to move with pets?

Sorry so many questions. We're getting really excited. Thanks again.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks cherimoya.

btw, how's the ocean in the Winter? We heard we'd need wetsuits if we go there in June-July (we're used to Hawaiian waters). Plus we're planning to rent a camper van and travel up the coast from Sidney, camping along the way.
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:25 AM
 
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Mum & her man swim & boogie-board all year round. During the winter months I believe she wears a short-sleeve wetsuit....her man wears just his speedos (but he's a MAN, lol).
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's hard for me to picture dh in speedos but maybe he'll acclimate.


Thanks again. Glad to hear it's bearable all year.
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Old 02-22-2009, 05:38 AM
 
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getting a campervan and driving up from syndey is a GREAT idea. we drove up here from melbourne when we arrived to australia and it was wonderful

the water is swimmable year round, but that's totally relative. if you're used to hawaiian waters you might find a wetsuit useful in winter. I used to surf in winter in a short sleeved wetsuit. for short swims I go in as is, but for surfing (when you're in the water for at least an hour) I found a wetsuit a good investment.
oh the plus side, there's surf shops everywhere. even in towns no where near surf.

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Old 02-22-2009, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yeah, dd and I are pretty tough but dh will probably need a wetsuit. Maybe a springsuit or shorty will do. We surf at a river mouth so the water isn't nearly as warm as other spots in HI. We get the snow melt in the Winter and it's coldddd.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:04 AM
 
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Don't forget to check out around the Coffs Harbour area, you can get a really nice pad on the beach for around 300k aussie $$ in one of the villages, I lived in Murwillumbah most of my life and personally I think you can keep that whole stretch of coast, from Tweed Heads to Ballina. I used to love going to Cabarita and Hastings Point and taking the dogs to the beach now I wont go near the place way too many people. Woolgoolga is a quite town except during the holidays and then the only two caravan parks in town are full. But having said that if you own a place its a great time to rent them out, and enjoy your own vacation fully paid They call it the Holiday Coast, the villages around it are cool and yep the beaches are lovely and very popular even in winter. Coffs has a Uni and 3 or 4 public high schools and a few private ones as well. Plus a steiner, don't know if it a h.s. though. Woolgoolga has a public and a private high school.
I like to think that we are a pretty broad minded bunch of people, not as crunchy as Byron / Mullumbimby area but getting there
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