I might move from USA to Australia...

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by BimmsAndBices, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. BimmsAndBices

    BimmsAndBices New Member

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    Please forgive my complete lack of knowledge. Most of what I know about Australia comes from surfing eBay and watching movies. Anyway, something may or may not happen to me in 2 months. If it does, I'm leaving this country. Maybe for good. Australia seems like the best choice for me. My question is... (for Australians) How is the cycling down there? More specifically, does the law give plenty of room for cyclists, or are they treated as second class citizens, like in some US cities? Is there a friendly cycling community in general? I browsed eBay Australia looking for bikes, and most of what I found seemed like department store junk. Is a good bike hard to find for a reasonable price? Any info at all is greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    this guy has moved here from LA, but is thinking of moving back, partly because it's a little expensive to live.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/member.php?userid=21542
    It would be worth registering on Bike Fourms, and sending him an email or private message.


    there's no doubt this is a great country, but if you like buying toys, it's a FUKIN RIPOFF....especially bikes!!! :D Same goes for New Zealand, but it's cold over there to top it off. Check out some crappy Aus bike prices (multiply by 0.75 to get US dollars):
    http://www.freedommachine.com.au/shop_body.asp?Category=31

    An example of a good price down here would be the Carbon/Ultegra Giant, which sell for the "clear-out" price of ~$2200, or ~$1650 US, at the end of each year.


    We have some great (and safe) areas for riding, and a very good racing culture (it's no coincidence we had 10 riders in this year's Tour de France), but we also have our fair share of problems with motorists thinking we shouldn't be on the road, and our fair share of sobby riders. :)
     
  3. SEGFTG

    SEGFTG New Member

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    The price of some 'toys' might be expensive in Australia, but the cost of living compared with USA and Europe is a lot lower.It is no surprise that the guy thinking of moving back to the states lives in Sydney, that is the most expensive place to live in the county and IMHO far from the best. Melbourne has the strongest bike culture in Australia and is an affordable place to live, the motorists attitude's are like most other places, but I find they are much worse in the inner city, than in the burbs(where i live) where there is less traffic.
    Ebay is full of junk for most things here, there are other ways of picking up a decent second hand bike, but if you could bring a bike with you it would be a good idea.
     
  4. BimmsAndBices

    BimmsAndBices New Member

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    Yeah I guess I'll probably do that if I end up moving. Then my bike will be USDM tight!
     
  5. Expatriate

    Expatriate New Member

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    Fair dinkum! I'm a celeb on 2 forums now. Seriously though, I'm happy to offer advice on moving to Australia. For the record, I live in Newcastle, not Sydney.

    BimmsAndBices, I don't know where anyone would get the idea that Australia is cheaper to live than the US. A general rule of thumb is to double the price of everything, and knock 20-40% off your current wages. Yes, as a single guy you might be able to live pretty cheap, but it depends on the lifestyle you're after. I moved here from Southern California, and with the exception of real estate prices, everything else is cheaper there. If you want some examples. let me know, and I'll give you a rundown of cost comparisons. Also, do you have a plan as far as residency? It's not easy to get in here, unless you have certain skills in demand, or you marry an Aussie Princess, like I did.

    Cheers,

    Brian
     
  6. scotty72

    scotty72 New Member

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    You have a choice.

    You can live well and be rich or you can move to Sydney (or anywhere in NSW for that matter).

    Not both.

    Sydney is my home, has been for life, but it is falling apart at the seems and we are taxed out of all proportion.

    Might I suggest Brisbane if you want to come to Oz?

    Scotty
     
  7. BimmsAndBices

    BimmsAndBices New Member

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    As many examples as you care to quote would be extremely helpful. As a single guy, I can live in the smallest apartment eating beans and rice and be perfectly content as long as I've got some toys to tinker with (a Subaru and a bike) I do not have any plan yet as to how I'm going to get there (airplane I guess), and I don't know anything about becoming a citizen. Is it a lengthy process?
     
  8. Expatriate

    Expatriate New Member

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    Before you can become a citizen, you need residency. To stay for more than 60 or 90 day, you will need some kind of residency. If you haven't looked into that yet, you've got a lot of work ahead of you. I think the application is about $700 right now, perhaps a bit more. You'll also need somehere to sponsor you. What line of work do you do? If you're bringing more than just some luggage and a bike, you'll need a shipping container. Rates vary, but plan on $3-4k for that. More if you're not coming from/going to a city with a nearby port.

    Now, bills. No more free AT&T mobile phones. Figure $200 for a decent phone, and no cheap plans. If you're at all social, that will cost you $70/month, plus your home phone will cost at least $30 for basic service. No such thing as a free local call either - they're 20 cents. Adds up quick. I have a friend in Utah with 3 kids, just like me. While our grocery bill averages at least $300/week, his is about $150. Oh, no Baja Fresh or In N Out Burger either. And sometimes you'll have 2 kinds of tortilla chips to choose from at the grocery store. Those $1.25 MGD's we love so much are $6.50 at the pub. Petrol - $1.30/litre. There's 3.8 of them in a gallon. So figure an easy $5+/gallon. NSW is the speed camera capital of the world too. Tickets aren't cheap. Neither are cars. Have you ever seen a $50k Toyota truck in the US? A fully loaded 4 door 4WD gets into that neighborhood. I don't think you'll find any cheap Honda Civics either. The Subarus are nice. Google Australia news, type in the words "Subaru, smash and grab" to find out what happens when your WRX gets stolen/carjacked. Utilities, let's see. This winter, our quarterly bill was $500. It will get down to $300 when we don't use the A/C or heater. Basically, my friend in the US is paying 1/2 of what we pay here. Of course, you don't have 3 kids and a wife, but you get the idea. In Newcastle, $34k is considered a good wage. That's less than 1/2 of what I made as a single guy in California, so my perception is slightly skewed. I would suggest you do a bit more research into how you'll become a resident, and where you'll live. I'm happy to answer any other questions you have, and I'll also point out that I've got nothing against living in Australia, but I can certainly enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle in the US.
     
  9. crazney

    crazney New Member

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    Melbourne has an awesome bike culture, and is probably the best city in the country vis-a-vis cycling facilities. Bike lanes are everywhere. We have a good amount of bike paths. Lotsa cool bike shit goes down here. We have a pretty awesome critical mass.
     
  10. BimmsAndBices

    BimmsAndBices New Member

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    Before you can become a citizen, you need residency. To stay for more than 60 or 90 day, you will need some kind of residency. If you haven't looked into that yet, you've got a lot of work ahead of you. I think the application is about $700 right now, perhaps a bit more. You'll also need somehere to sponsor you. What line of work do you do? If you're bringing more than just some luggage and a bike, you'll need a shipping container. Rates vary, but plan on $3-4k for that. More if you're not coming from/going to a city with a nearby port. Now, bills. No more free AT&T mobile phones. Figure $200 for a decent phone, and no cheap plans. If you're at all social, that will cost you $70/month, plus your home phone will cost at least $30 for basic service. No such thing as a free local call either - they're 20 cents. Adds up quick. I have a friend in Utah with 3 kids, just like me. While our grocery bill averages at least $300/week, his is about $150. Oh, no Baja Fresh or In N Out Burger either. And sometimes you'll have 2 kinds of tortilla chips to choose from at the grocery store. Those $1.25 MGD's we love so much are $6.50 at the pub. Petrol - $1.30/litre. There's 3.8 of them in a gallon. So figure an easy $5+/gallon. NSW is the speed camera capital of the world too. Tickets aren't cheap. Neither are cars. Have you ever seen a $50k Toyota truck in the US? A fully loaded 4 door 4WD gets into that neighborhood. I don't think you'll find any cheap Honda Civics either. The Subarus are nice. Google Australia news, type in the words "Subaru, smash and grab" to find out what happens when your WRX gets stolen/carjacked. Utilities, let's see. This winter, our quarterly bill was $500. It will get down to $300 when we don't use the A/C or heater. Basically, my friend in the US is paying 1/2 of what we pay here. Of course, you don't have 3 kids and a wife, but you get the idea. In Newcastle, $34k is considered a good wage. That's less than 1/2 of what I made as a single guy in California, so my perception is slightly skewed. I would suggest you do a bit more research into how you'll become a resident, and where you'll live. I'm happy to answer any other questions you have, and I'll also point out that I've got nothing against living in Australia, but I can certainly enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle in the US.

    Is the $700 for just for an application paper or is there screening and interviews? As for the line of work I do.... whatever I can get over here. I plan to go to school so I can wrench on old BMWs, but that's in the future, for now it's mostly low pay grunt work. I figure I'd pay less for bills there than here. I have a roommate now, and I pay for about half of her exesses (cell, high speed internet, bigger apt. than we need, ect.) If I was alone I would cut all utilities to a minimum. Just a small apartment with a light, home phone (no cell contract crap), the neccesities. Not too worried about my car getting jacked since I'd be driving somethinmg more like an 81 mulit colored Leone :) If I go, I would sell everything I own that I could bear to part with. Is there some way I could live there for about a year, then make a decision? I always planned on visiting Aus anyway, living there just recently became a possible reality. I really appreciate all the info.
     
  11. Expatriate

    Expatriate New Member

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    You need to go do your research about visas. They have a points system, and if you don't qualify, then it doesn't matter, you can't move here. If you're going to live here, you'll need a mobile phone - I don't think there's a way around that. If you're young and keen, the best thing to do is sell or store your posessions, save all your money, and come over here for an extended holiday. You can stay for 60 or 90 days on a visitor visa. If you want to party, surf and cycle, Queensland is the place.
     
  12. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    :p
    YEAH!! :D :p
     
  13. Expatriate

    Expatriate New Member

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    If I didn't have a girlfriend at the time, I would have been a kid in a candy store .
     
  14. Spider1977

    Spider1977 New Member

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    B&P, if you are from Medford, Oregon then Tasmania will be right up your alley. Forests, mountains, lakes, rivers etc. etc. No high rise building over 15 storeys. Plenty of great bike riding and lots of hills. Not so much traffic, 10 minute maximum commute to work in Hobart in the car. The weather is pretty similar. Sure you can go to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne etc., but if you do that you may as well go to Portland, Seattle or San Francisco - a big city is a big city - in my experience they are all pretty much the same, all over the planet.
     
  15. Expatriate

    Expatriate New Member

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    I don't recall Tassie being about sunshine, surfing, and topless women. But I'm sure when he gets here, he'll be interested in a map of Tassie...:D
     
  16. BimmsAndBices

    BimmsAndBices New Member

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    Cold weather is something I'd like to avoid as much as possible. I've lived in rainy cold Medford for 20 years and I'm ready for some flat desert. Expatriate, would the point system be something like "If you've commited a certain crime you get 5 points, and so many points makes you uneligable for residency?" Also, what's so important about a mobile phone? Here I have a Virgin Moblile and I only use it a few minutes every few days. I really do need to get ahold of some solid info on actually getting there. Could Australia's naturalization agency help me out if I wrote them a detailed letter?
     
  17. Expatriate

    Expatriate New Member

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    If you plan or working or having a social life, you'll need a mobile phone. Trust me on this one. Go to the DIMIA website, or just Google "How to obtain Australian residency" or something like that. Do a little online research, and you should be able to find the point system. It works like this: If you're of working age, but young (18) you get a few points. You get a few more for being 20-30 (or something like that) then they drop as you get older. Old folks can't work as long, and generate taxes for the gov't. They also require more medical care, which is paid for by taxes. If you happen to be bringing a million dollars to invest, that's a lot of points. Doctor, Structural Engineer, Environmental Engineeer, IT Infrastructure and Communcations expert? That helps. I don't recall the exact list, but you get points for work experience and job skills. Panel Beater? Thanks to the NRMA, they're all going to be unemployed. Does that help? Now do some research before you ask anything else.

    Cheers.
     
  18. scotty72

    scotty72 New Member

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    Have a look here

    http://www.immi.gov.au/

    that is the immigration dept web-site.

    How useful will contacting them be? About as useful as contacting any other large govt bureau.

    Just get the forms, and submit them.

    As for your aversion to cooler weather, then I can suggest you avoid Tasmania (Hobart) or Victoria (Melbourne).

    Sydney will have weather similar to L.A. and Brisbane will remind you of Nth Florida.

    Adeliade and Perth are both cold in winter and F&^%& hot in the summer.

    As for the need for a mobile phone, I'm not sure what that is about. If you can get by without one in the U.S., then the same would apply here. I have one, hardly use it, they can be money black holes.

    So there you are.

    Scotty
     
  19. scotty72

    scotty72 New Member

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  20. Expatriate

    Expatriate New Member

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    You don't just "Get the forms, and submit them". You have to pay for that application, and it's not exactly pocket change. You also need a full medical check, with xrays. So he's going to want to go to the website and find out if he's eligible, and under what class before he spends at least US$1000 applying.

    I have yet to meet someone in Australia without a mobile phone. Yeah, they can be expensive, but they're pretty much a necessary evil. If he's going through a labour hire company, he'll want them to be able to reach him. Unless he plans on sitting home by the phone all day. I know at least one company sends text messages about available jobs. I have 3 kids in school, and if they "Forget" to go to class, or even show up late, the school sends me a text. Being a single guy, you think he might need one for other reasons as well.
     
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