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DoulaVallere 05-12-2010 02:16 PM

Hi all! My husband has a conference call interview tomorrow night about a position at a hospital in Rockhampton. As we are in the USA, all of my research on the area has been online, and thus far, what I've found out is that 1) it's hot there and 2) you guys have a lot of cows.

Anywho, if anyone could answer a few questions for me, I would appreciate it!

1) transit: How is public transportation? Is it easy to get in and out of the city proper if we were living in a suburb or even countryside outside of the city?

2) carseats: We have 2 Britax Boulevardes and a Graco bucket seat for the baby I'm expecting. Would I legally be able to take and use those or would we have to buy new seats once we arrived?

3) cost of living: We would have a house provided for us, but what are electricity prices like? I would assume that the air conditioning would be in use nearly year round. Also, food prices? Are there farmers markets? How easy would it be to grow some of our own veggies?

4) homeschooling: Our eldest will turn 6 in Nov of 2011 while we are there...when would I need to start looking at turning in paperwork? Do you wait till their actual 6th birthday or do it at the beginning of the year in which they will turn 6? Also, we'll probably only be there a year (Jan-Dec) so if he doesn't turn 6 until a month before we will be leaving, do I even need to do anything paperwork wise?

TY in advance! I'll probably think of more questions as the process gets further along.

aussiemum 05-23-2010 11:39 AM

Hi Vallere, I live a fair way north of Rockhampton, but the cultural experiences would be similar, I think.

Public transport in N Qld (& Rockhampton) is terrible. You will want your own transport. It is possible to find a bike trailer to use, just be prepared for the comments.

Queenland state law requires a car seat, but not to the same standards as the US. You may find it difficult fitting your US carseats into Australian size cars, & you may want to buy Aus standard seats when you get here.

Cost of living: we pay about $100 month in electricity, but limit our use, & don't have airconditioning or a pool. We have gas heated water & stove ($70/month), & the phone/internet costs about $130 month. Houses aren't heated in winter, so that isn't a comcern. Petrol for the car averages $1.30/litre ($5.20/gal). We have one car and spend about $200/month in petrol.

Homeschooling is fine here, and has a long tradition in Queensland, as long as you follow the state education requirements (I don't homeschool, but have never heard of probs from friends who do).

You can grow your own veggies year round in Rockhampton, although in summer you will be limited to tropical varieties.

I hope that helps a bit, even though I don't live in Rockie. Queensland is a very chilled place & after 11 years I cant imagine living anywhere else. I still go to the grocery store in bare feet, especially in summer when it's so hot you can't even think straight, much less consider shoes.

DoulaVallere 05-23-2010 07:32 PM

Thank you so much for replying!!! The interview went REALLY well and we are waiting to hear details on salary, etc. It's looking like (as long as we can get all the details worked out, of course) we'd be going to Rocky in January!

Would it be possible for you to ask one of your homeschooling friends if it would be ok to contact me so I could ask specific questions about that? I just want to make sure that I'll have all that paperwork, etc, in order so I'll know what all I need to bring with me and plan on once we get there. Or, if you know of a homeschool co-op or playgroup in the Rocky area, and know the contact info for them, I would love that as well!

Again, thank you for the reply! It was very helpful!

aussiemum 05-28-2010 10:20 AM

That's lovely, I'm pleased that the interview went well! You will find Queensland in summer to be quite hot, so be prepared for that. The sun is intense & you all will probably want hats & very light clothing for the first few months.

I don't know anyone who is currently homeschooling, but friends in years past have never had a problem with it. I know a number of people who have grown up on remote properties, & homeschooling is normal for them until they go to boarding school in year 8. Unfortunately I don't know much about the details of setting up a program for your own children, but I don't think it is nearly as difficult as it is in the States.

I did have a bit of a look around on the internet, & found a few websites to get you started.

These websites should be able to answer some of your questions about the technicalities of homeschooling. Remember, it is legal in all Australian states and territories!

As far as playgroups go, well... that may be more difficult. In my experience, I have to say that finding a like-minded community has been challenging at times. It takes a while to build those kind of relationships here, and you may find it a bit more reserved to what you are used to in the US. Do your research & get in touch with the Queensland playgroup association, & remember that the best friends may be those who surprise you.

Also, if you are vegetarian I should tell you that Rockhampton is the beef capital of Queensland. There are 13-odd cow statues on the main highway as you drive through town & the industry is a major source of pride for the town. Of course, if you eat meat the steaks are seriously fantastic! :

Hope that helps a bit more with your questions. I wish you all the best with your move, I know it is such a huge undertaking!

energizer-buni 06-02-2010 12:16 AM

Hi there, I stumbled across this forum totally by chance. I am also moving to Rockhampton in the next month. I have a son who turns 6 in Dec of 2011 so any recommendations of good schools and preschools would be greatly appreciated. Can anyone tell me if there is a Montessori preschool there at all? I dont know anyone there except my husband and a friend of his as we are moving for work. At first I was quite resistant to leaving my family and friends but now am getting excited about the move. It helps that it is FREEZING here lol and I cant wait to see the sun again.

aussiemum 06-02-2010 09:04 AM

You will definitely see the sun! Although the locals find it rather cool here this time of year!

energizer-buni 06-02-2010 05:10 PM

Originally Posted by aussiemum View Post
You will definitely see the sun! Although the locals find it rather cool here this time of year!
LOL Yay for the sun... I have to laugh at you saying the locals find it cool. I had Rockhamptons weather up on the internet yesterday and sat looking longingly at it for ages. It has been raining non stop for 3 weeks here with temperatures between -2 to 10 degrees c. Its a good day if it makes it to double figures lol. I think I am going to LOVE it there lol.

aussiemum 06-03-2010 08:18 AM

Summer can be quite hot, but in general I do love Queensland weather. One place you guys might want to check out for renting/buying is Yeppoon. It's on the coast, & it's maybe half hour drive inland to Rockhampton (not sure on distances). I've never been there, but have heard that it is a very nice small community, somewhat alternative (for Queensland that is). I know that ten years ago it still had a practicing homebirth midwife, although that may no longer be the case due to the current unfavourable environment for hbs. Good luck with the move!

Re: the cold weather. It's currently 22 degrees C at 9 pm and I have long pants and a fiberpile jacket on!

DoulaVallere 06-03-2010 05:16 PM

Thanks so much for the reply! I'm going to check those websites that you mentioned. And energizer-buni...maybe we can keep in contact and get together once we are over there! We got the official offer for the job yesterday, so assuming there are no paperwork snags, we'll be moving in early January! I'm sooo excited!

(VERY excited about the beef! We are DEFINATELY omnivours!)

And...long pants at 22C??? *bugeyes* That's about what I've got my air condition set on right now...trying to get it DOWN to 22C!

I've heard that, although it gets insanely hot in the "summer" there, that it's not very humid. Is that true? Where I'm at in NC, the summers are generally in the 90s F (so high 30s C) but it is SOOOO humid that it feels MUCH hotter. I think I can defiantely handle those temps and more if the humidity is less than what we have here!

aussiemum 06-04-2010 09:05 AM

I hate to break this to you, but whoever told you the Queensland coast isn't humid in summer is full of.... beans. It's kind of like southern Florida in August, for about four months straight.

Try this website for Queensland weather info.

Local Rockhampton info is here. Historical climate data here. Summer highs are generally 30-33 degC (86-92 degF) with humidity between 60-80 percent. When it gets really hot (100-108 degF) the humidity drops to around 20-30 percent. A cool night goes down to about 70 degF in summer.

When I moved to the tropics over 11 years ago, I had no idea how steamy it could be. We came here in January, from the UK, & I could barely bring myself to leave the air-conditioned hotel room for the first 3 days. Not trying to scare you, but just want to let you know what you can be in for, weather-wise. The 'winter' however, is absolutely beautiful. And usually pretty dry, too. Of course, I live 700-odd kilometers north of Rockhampton, so you will get cooler nights down there in winter than we do.

PS- it's 20 this evening, my toes are a bit chilly, & i'm thinking about putting on a pair of wool socks.

Hope that helps a bit with your planning. You guys will definitely love the beaches, & the fresh tropical food is amazing.

DoulaVallere 06-04-2010 03:48 PM

Florida, huh? *sigh*

Well, we'll have to pray and wait now to see what is going to happen. We had an...interesting...appointment with a pediatric endocrinologist this morning for our son and a new diagnosis might nix the whole thing. It looks like DS2 has growth hormone deficiency and I'd assume a super-expensive-to-treat, preexisting condition like that could very likely veto our visa. I posted all the details in my blog, if you are interested. We're having a very bummed out day.

energizer-buni 06-05-2010 05:28 AM

Oh Doula, big huge hugs to you and yours! I read you blog and my heart goes out to you. I am praying for you that everything goes well and you still get to come to Rocky.

Aussiemum its hard for me to imagine getting so used to the heat over there that I would have to put on warm clothes lol.

aussiemum 06-06-2010 08:32 AM

Oh, I'm very sorry to hear that Vallere. I hope all goes well with your little one, & I hope you all can come to Australia like you have planned for.

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