Moving to Australia or NZ for a year where to live??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 04-22-2008, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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??

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#2 of 25 Old 04-23-2008, 10:39 AM
 
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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

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#3 of 25 Old 04-23-2008, 04:58 PM
 
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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!!

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#4 of 25 Old 04-24-2008, 04:51 AM
 
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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

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#5 of 25 Old 04-24-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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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)

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#6 of 25 Old 05-26-2008, 09:30 AM
 
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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!!
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#7 of 25 Old 05-30-2008, 10:44 AM
 
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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.

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#8 of 25 Old 06-01-2008, 05:43 PM
 
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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?!?

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#9 of 25 Old 08-25-2008, 06:40 AM
 
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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.
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#10 of 25 Old 09-11-2008, 05:46 AM
 
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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.
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#11 of 25 Old 09-11-2008, 09:34 AM
 
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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.

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#12 of 25 Old 09-11-2008, 09:48 AM
 
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have a look at realestate.com.au to get an idea of rents

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#13 of 25 Old 09-12-2008, 05:25 AM
 
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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.
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#14 of 25 Old 09-23-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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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.
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#15 of 25 Old 11-04-2008, 03:00 AM
 
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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!
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#16 of 25 Old 11-04-2008, 03:07 AM
 
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Well OP, where was the winning spot??

Pagan  lovin'  WOW playing mum to 5 boys in the wonderful land of Oz ... FOR THE HORDE! hehehe
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#17 of 25 Old 01-04-2009, 07:58 PM
 
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Coming back to cross off my vote for Nelson Bay. Too overdeveloped and touristy now . It's lost its unique feel.
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#18 of 25 Old 02-18-2009, 03:34 AM
 
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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.
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#19 of 25 Old 02-22-2009, 04:21 AM
 
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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

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#20 of 25 Old 02-22-2009, 08:06 PM
 
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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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#21 of 25 Old 02-23-2009, 03:21 AM
 
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Where on Van Island? I'm in Vic and we're looking at spending a year or so in Oz in 2010 We're also an unschooling, attachment fam. Just HAD to say hi given the geography
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#22 of 25 Old 04-15-2009, 03:41 AM
 
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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.
Oh, I'm inland a bit - we're only a few hours apart.

I was looking at Bellingen real estate when we were there the other day, you won't find anything decent under $600,000 now. Woopi is definitely a better choice. I have warm memories of it - we spent our honeymoon there, and take the kids for holidays there fairly often.
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#23 of 25 Old 08-06-2009, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey OP here again!!! Plans changed for us! We sold our place in Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island bought an RV and have been travelling the US and Canada for the past year, we are wanting to buy land out here but are going to do a bit more travelling first, which brings me back here
We have decided we would like to go to NZ and spend 4-6 months there through our winter here (Nov-Feb)ish
We are trying to figure out if it is better to look at renting or WOOFing in one area or to get an RV there so we can do some travelling around. We decided on NZ because we are wanting to spend some time on organic and sheep farms while there to get some more experience
If we stay in one spot we need reliable internet for DHs work if not we need to stop in areas for chunks of time where we can get online so he can work
So those of you from NZ any advice? Thanks!!
Here is a link to our website and travels from the past year
www.canadianfamilyrobinson.com

Mama to SDD (12), DD (8), DD (6), DD, (4), DS (3) and new little babe arriving Dec. We are in the process of building our cob home and homestead
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#24 of 25 Old 08-06-2009, 08:09 PM
 
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wow that sounds awesome

in NZ it's pretty common to buy an RV or campervan and live in it, even when you are WWOOFing.
Did you know there will be the next world Rainbow Gathering in New Zealand in December/ January? definitely check that out, there's a yahoo group with information http://groups.yahoo.com/group/worldrainbowgathering

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#25 of 25 Old 09-24-2009, 11:05 PM
 
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NZ is beautiful and peaceful and relaxed, but high speed internet... no way. It's so bad over here. Sometimes I don't know whether we've gone over our data cap for the month and are down to dial up speed or it's just the internet. If the only condition is a high speed internet connection you might actually have to cross NZ off the list of possibilities.
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