About me

I was born by the beach. Unfortunately, it was Southend.

Every summer my parents used to drag me down to the beach and make me swim in it. “There must be better beaches in the world than this.” I thought. That was way back in the early 1960s. I went on to live for almost half a century in and around the Southend area.

At the age of 40 though, I pondered the question “Will I live here all my life?” So I asked my wife “Will we live here all of our lives?” She said she hoped not. She explained that she had always had a dream that one day she would live in the south of France.

Now there’s a thing. You see, that’s where my Mum had lived for most of her life until she moved to England to marry my Dad when World War Two came to an end. Well, they were allies!

“Okay, let’s do that then” I said. And with that was born in the five-year plan. So in 1998 we agreed to move to the south of France in 2003.

Then in 2000 my wife’s brother moved to Australia, taking with him his two daughters (as you would) aged four and six at the time. This was crushing news to my wife. She doted on her nieces and they were being taken away from her. Taken thousands of miles away from her. There were tears and plenty of them.

All they left behind was their dog. Baggy was now ours.



We resolved to visit Australia at least every two years, and that’s what we did.

Bob at a better beach.

Bob at a better beach.

March 2002


Our first trip to Australia was mostly about my wife visiting her nieces (oh, and her brother) and far less about visiting Australia. We stayed in Brisbane all of the time and just did days out.

July 2004

Elizabeth was born in March of this year and we decided to take advantage of my wife’s maternity leave by flying out for a four-week holiday when she was just four months old.

Again, it was more about visiting the relatives and showing them our new daughter rather than visiting Australia. And again we hung around Brisbane.

We were also holidaying in France during this period with a mission to find our new home town. During our holiday in December 2004, we found it. We were going to move to Pezenas. We loved France and especially the Languedoc Roussillon region we had chosen. It boasted 300 sunny days a year, had a great Mediterranean climate, and was sleepy and relaxed.

I think we had half an eye on retirement (way too early) and another half an eye on the cheap French wine. It was seven hours door to door to get back to England, very convenient for keeping in touch with friends and family. And we really loved Europe, we’d seen a lot but had  some more we wanted to see. For us, Australia was still just too far away from home for us to consider.

Then came our third holiday to Australia.

December 2005 – Jan 2006

The BobinOz logo image comes from this visit. Here’s the original.

Boxing Day Swim 2005

Boxing Day Swim 2005

This was Boxing Day in the pool with my wife and daughter and our two nieces. This was the holiday that changed it all. Elizabeth was 18 months old and she was a little action girl. All of a sudden France seemed too sleepy for her. I talk more about this holiday in the first part in my post Moving to Australia – An Idea

Yes, this was the holiday in which we fell in love with Australia and changed our minds about our futures. Our five-year plan, which had already become a five-ish year plan had now been extended further. With France we could have just moved, with Australia we had the small matter of a permanent residency visa to sort out. You can’t just turn up.

The rest is all well documented in my series How to Move to Australia and today we are very happy with our decision to come here instead of France. In fact, we couldn’t be happier. Moving to Australia has changed our lives. I decided I wanted others to know what it was really like to move to Australia. So Rob Kiernan, who used to live in England, launched BobinOz from his new home in Australia.

Ha ha some of you may be saying. No wonder you settled in Australia so fast, your wife’s brother and his family had been there for seven years by the time you arrived. You just latched on to all their friends, right?


Our daughter was just 3 years old when we arrived, their two girls were both older, one a teenager and the other almost one. Most of our friends have young children and most of their friends have teenagers. The two just don’t mix. We see them on family occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. So we socialise with them just a few times a year. They have their friends and we have ours.

So each and every one of our friends we have made from our own efforts. It wasn’t hard but it was (and is) great fun meeting new people. Originally, Australia seemed a move too far, a move that was too final and maybe even a move that was too scary. 11,000 miles away from (virtually) all your friends and family. Today, we are so glad we cast aside all of those fears and jumped feet first into our new life.

This blog is all about how we took that leap and how our lives are now that we have done so.



Visa Assessment Service
{ 269 comments… add one }
  • Anicow June 24, 2023, 11:22 am |

    Hi bob, that’s an amazing about page.. Learnt a lot about yourself.. I am from India and your site will help the students here who are planning to move..

  • teresa April 7, 2021, 8:38 am |

    Hi Bob My husband son and I come from Essex we moved to Oz in 2005.
    In 2014 we decided to move back to UK as we both had elderly parents etc.
    To find we were not able to get social while looking for work, and had to pay private docs scripts etc.
    My husband and i have worked since 16 years old and left UK in our 40″s. We returned to OZ with a suitcase as all our belongings were now in the UK in a 40 foot container in Norfolk. ( they sat here for 6 years until recently we had enough money to bring it all back to OZ).
    We are now looking at returning to UK when we retire as in our late 50’s now. (This is the only option now open to us).
    Just hope the UK do not say we cannot have our state pension. which we both have paid into for 35 – 40 years.
    How the NHS will work or will we be punished and told all medical has to be private.

    • BobinOz April 9, 2021, 6:31 pm |

      Sounds like a bit of a nightmare. I don’t know how it all works, I don’t even know if I will get my UK state pension when it’s due, and like yourself, I paid UK tax and national insurance since I was 16 and I didn’t leave the UK until I was 49. I suppose I’ll find out when I try to claim it.

      As for yourselves, you are still UK citizens and as such I can’t see how you would not qualify for the NHS, it is your right to receive medical treatment in the UK from state government. I hope it all works out well for you.

  • Martin July 31, 2020, 2:00 am |

    Hi Bob,
    I’ve really enjoyed your inspirational posts. As of today, we are ready to start the roller coaster ride of our own! We have been sitting pretty with our visas for 5 months, but we are finally a proud owners of exemption to travel certificate. We have 2 kids and while my wife has already a job in Sydney we are petrified to jump. I am not worried as much about C-19 as looming recession/depression which for newcomers could be rather harsh. I know nobody has a crystal ball, but I guess any words of experience (being there during last recession) or encouragement would be highly appreciated.
    Thank you.

    • BobinOz August 3, 2020, 4:11 pm |

      Congratulations on having got your visa in the first place and congratulations again on managing to get one of those exemption certificates.

      It’s always scary moving to a new country, so many unknowns, it’s like jumping over a wall without knowing what’s on the other side. It’s easy to be petrified in normal circumstances, but with this Covid stuff, just being anywhere is scary.

      I don’t have a crystal ball, as I’m sure you guessed, but all I can say is that despite the recent second wave we are experiencing here, mainly in Victoria and a bit in Sydney, I’d be surprised if our numbers weren’t much much better than the numbers you are experiencing where you currently are.

      Having secured that exemption to travel certificate, I’m pretty sure that means your jobs are regarded as essential here and as such I suspect you have a very good chance of hitting the ground running and immediately being in a better situation than the one you are coming from.

      Australia is a great country to live in, I love it here, and I do believe we will get this second wave under control, so hopefully the future is good.

      Hope it turns out to be good for you and your family too.

  • Arfin Syed July 8, 2020, 4:19 pm |

    How did you manage to get a job while having a foreign degree I heard that Aussie recruiters don’t employ you unless
    you’ve a degree from a local college?

  • Kathryn Hall June 6, 2019, 7:49 pm |


    My partner has been approached about a position – Director level in the construction industry. Locations available are Sydney, Brisbane & Melbourne.
    We have 2 children aged 9 & 10 but are not married.
    Salary has been discussed as ‘ high 300’sK cash’ ( not sure what ‘cash’ reference is!) What would you expect to ‘take home’ after tax etc say on £375K..?

    They are offering full assistance with Visa’s etc and have a seperate department who will help should we decide to move.

    Right now we are really excited at the prosepct of a move (it’s always been on the cards!) I just wonder if the salary will be enough to support our family if I were not to work.

    Will us not being married be a problem?
    Would we need to sell our home in the UK – to release the cash – or can this be avoided if we are sponsored?

    Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you.

    • Kathryn Hall June 6, 2019, 7:50 pm |

      Realised I used the £ not $AUD 375,000

      Sorry , Kathryn

      • BobinOz June 7, 2019, 5:37 pm |

        That’s an excellent salary, whether at $300,000 or $375,000, it’s about four or five times the national average. How much tax you pay I don’t know, but there is a tax calculator you can use here…


        It is an older post but there is a link to updated information included in it.

        Bearing in mind that Brisbane is significantly cheaper than both Sydney and Melbourne, the weather is much warmer and it is far less crowded. So if you get the chance to go there for the same money, personally, I’d take it, as you will be able to afford a much better house and your lifestyle would be more laid-back.

        As long as you can prove you are in a de facto relationship of more than 12 months, not being married won’t be a problem, whoever sorts out the visa for you will be able to explain all about that.

        Good luck, Bob

  • Jane Powell January 24, 2019, 11:14 am |

    Hello Bob,

    Lots of interesting information. I loved this about the wasp. Did you bring Baggy to Australia?

    All the best,


  • Emily Young October 2, 2018, 4:11 am |

    Hi Bob,

    I’m doing a report for my a-level geography course and it is based on Australia, I’ve found your website brilliant and I want to use you as a reference but unfortunately I can’t find your surname (putting Bob doesn’t seem very professional) and any dates that the articles were written. I most specifically used the one about dangerous animals. Don’t worry if you’re not able to provide me with these details, thank you anyway!!

    • BobinOz October 2, 2018, 8:12 pm |

      Hi Emily

      My real name does appear in the above page, fourth paragraph underneath the heading “December 2005 – January 2006”; in the bit where I say “So Rob Kiernan, who used to live in England, launched BobinOz…”

      The page about killer creatures went online Jun 1, 2011, and any other pages that do not have dates on them (blog entries all have dates) would have all been from around the same time, but if you want more specific dates, just let me know.

      Good luck with your a-levels, hope you do well. Cheers, Bob

  • Jimmy September 27, 2018, 4:17 am |

    Bob, Stumbled acroos the website, my wife Em is a GP and has got herself a medical director job in Port Maquarie starting in April 2019. I’ve got a two year career break from being a detective in Old South Wales (not supposed to work) so we are considering giving it a go and emmigrating (well having a two year look at least)! Anyway your site made me laugh and is proving a valuable resource, Just wanted to say thanks, Jimmy (potential man of leisure, more likely full time with kids).

    • BobinOz September 27, 2018, 8:22 pm |

      Hi Jimmy, thanks for your kind words, much appreciated. Glad to hear you are enjoying my website.

      You should definitely give it a go, even if it is only for two years, but I reckon you might just fall in love with the place. I know I did.

      BTW, “Old South Wales”; I like it 🙂

  • Mirja March 13, 2018, 8:24 pm |

    Dear Bob
    You write: “Originally, Australia seemed a move too far, a move that was too final and maybe even a move that was too scary. 11,000 miles away from (virtually) all your friends and family.”

    You are writing from my heart… and again, we (me and my husband) have been having an affair with the idea of moving to Australia since 2012. I say an affair, because I do regularly get scared away of it exactly because of the reasons you wrote. And when we start to talk about it, both of our eyes lit, we engage us to an discussion, new ideas roll in, new questions arise “what would that mean, what would this cost, etc…) With every year we wait, there is a new hurdle though. One turns over 40 – more difficult to get a visa. The children. And then you start to worry about them too, not just about savings, etc.
    What I want to say – thank you for your blog. It is inspiring. It is very assisting. And it is beyond anything I have found so far what comes to reliable information / links and variety of information. Keep up!

    • BobinOz March 14, 2018, 5:29 pm |

      Hi Mirja

      Thank you so much for your very kind and much appreciated comment. I’m so glad you have found my website to be helpful to you as you try to make what is a huge decision. Yes, there is so much to think about, and always hurdles, or shall we say, challenges.

      Whatever decision you come to in the end, I hope it is the right one for you and your family. All I can tell you is that we have now been here for 10 years, and it has definitely turned out to be the right decision for us. We are extremely happy here and have no plans to return.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Janet Kemp January 18, 2018, 9:22 am |

    Hi Bob
    I just read your tale of getting stung by the paper wasps in your wall near the kid’s trampoline. We have a few of these little nests hanging from the tin roof of our patio (Queensland) and I have been watching them coming and going, feeding their babies etc. I had no idea they were dangerous. Will they become aggressive and sting us if we just leave them alone? My husband wants to spray them but I like to live and let live!

    • BobinOz January 18, 2018, 4:56 pm |

      The problem with these things is if just one of them feels threatened when you get too close to the nest, it will come out and attack and the others will follow immediately.

      So if either of you are likely to walk close to any of the nests, I’d say within about two or three metres, then yes, they could attack. If you have kids around the house, I would be inclined to get rid of them if I were you.

  • Mike May 2, 2017, 12:44 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Thank you for taking the time to build this website and share valuable information with us. I have encountered with a character issue which may disqualify my PR application. I am struggling with finding the most experienced immigration lawyer whom specialises in character matter. I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. If our visa get cancelled, all of our family will have to leave the country. Are you able to help provide some tips on finding this type of immigration lawyer? Much appreciated.

    • BobinOz May 2, 2017, 7:02 pm |

      Well, I don’t specifically know of one that specialises in this kind of thing, but suggest you look for a MARA registered migration agent who is also a practising lawyer, probably with criminal experience. They will be about, Google should help you find one.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Elisabeth April 5, 2017, 7:34 pm |

    Hi Bob, I’ve searched on google for some answers to my creepy kind of problem, and found you. A total stranger has asked me via e-mail if I would be willing to be a contact person for him on his visa application. He found me via contacting a website against his Ex-Guru, I also have a site exposing the fraudulent Guru. He claims to have left the Guru, he wants to come to Australia and wants to put me down on his visa application form. Apparently he has an on-line business. I said no. Now he asks me if I know anyone else who would be willing to be a contact for him? My alarm bells are ringing. Bob, have you ever heard of strangers asking for favours like that? I’ve looked at the on-line form, he’d have to put my name down, my date of birth, and my address. It’s crazy. There’ll be nothing stopping him from dropping in, and trying to take advantage of my good heart. Any thoughts on this? Thank you!

    • Mark April 5, 2017, 7:54 pm |

      Its a bit daft having your email on a website nowadays, youd be better with a contact me page, your second mistake was replying to the email, there is a darn big delete button. I am guessing some spiritual teacher is the fake Guru though it matters not though may show you to have more of a spiritual nature. He may or may not have some kind of connection with you even very minor thats perhaps why he has asked Its not acting as sponsor it just asks for if you know anyone in Australia. I dont think the section has to be completed even. Best thing you can do is not reply STOP do not reply again, if you have concerns you can also block the email on most accounts, From my reading Bob gets asked some far more what maybe termed serious dubious things to do and of course they are all told in no uncertain terms to go away I think his latest bid is $20,000 from a total stranger. Anyway block then delete to save your sanity

      • BobinOz April 6, 2017, 8:25 pm |

        Hold on the Elisabeth, let me get this straight; you searched Google for ‘my creepy kind of problem’ and my website came up? That’s a worry 🙂

        Seriously though, as Mark has said, it’s best to ignore it and not even reply. And yes, I have had these requests, both in direct emails and as comments online. I’ve had people ask for Australian citizens who are prepared to marry for money, and others wanting to pay for a job sponsorship as well and yes, I think $20,000 is the highest bid so far.

        Don’t let it concern you, if anyone were to try to use your name as a contact without your permission, I’m sure the immigration department will find that out and that would not look good on their application.

        Just don’t worry about it, and sleep easy, it’s clearly a liberty for a stranger to ask this kind of thing.

        • Elisabeth April 6, 2017, 8:46 pm |

          Bob, thank you so much for your reply, and for the fact that you exist and have this website and YouTube channel. I was so upset. Mainly because I ignored my gut feelings, and listened to somebody else instead. This “somebody else” from Europe, got me in touch with that person, and failed to see what I saw straight away. My alarm bells were ringing right from the start, but I was silly enough to ignore them, due to thinking that this other person knows better, and maybe I’m over-reacting, or too emotional, bla bla bla bla bla. God bless you (if you believe in him), or may you win Saturday Lotto, if that appeals more. ……with a grateful heart, Elisabeth

      • Elisabeth April 6, 2017, 8:41 pm |

        Mark, Ouch. I don’t consider myself daft. But I suppose I’m not “up there”, when it comes to Internet concerns. Could you teach me how to do a Contact Me page? I’ve only got a free google website, not even sure if I can do that. Mark, I’m totally, totally grateful for your advice, even though the first bit hurt my Ego. I will actually go and block that e-mail address now. You know, I would never, ever ask a stranger to do me such a favour, like asking to help with immigration. I mean, he could be a Criminal, a Swindler, a Fanatic, etc, etc. I’ve noticed I had to fill in my e-mail address before posting here, can that be viewed by visitors, or only by Bob? If you can view it, I’d love to get your guidance about “contact me pages” as opposed to providing e-mail addresses. I’m real curious. Want to keep up with what’s happening “out there”.

        • Mark April 6, 2017, 9:15 pm |

          Hi Elisabeth. My sincere apologies, my comment was not meant to be hurtful in any way. My use of the words ‘a bit daft’ was aimed at the set up you may have not at you personally, by default because you may have set it up, you felt I was referring to you. You seem savvy enough, maybe not up with current trends but just google something like …create a contact page html…..you will likely find all the instructions and even some sites may create and generate a page you can copy to yours…
          My comment was aimed at the frustration I sometimes have with folk and the internet I have only read a few weeks back of a lady from USA who has paid some 25K US dollars to some oick purporting to be in trouble in the Cote D Ivoire Local police have supposedly tracked the emails to a cafe DOH ! I am also not long from UK and saying a ‘bit daft’ is not as bad as it may be here. Positive’s you saw the error of your email correspondent and didn’t reply with details, there is many that would be coerced. No only Bob has access to email addresses but as I said just google it, there will be loads of sites offering contact page help for free. Save s writing it all on here..Cheers Mark .

          • BobinOz April 7, 2017, 7:23 pm |

            Don’t worry Elisabeth, I must be a ‘bit daft’ myself 🙂 I do not use a contact form, I publish my email address online. Check out my contact page and you will see what I mean. I would never use a contact form, they are an over complication in my view and just one more thing that can go wrong.

            I know, I tried to use a contact form, and it did go wrong. So, Mark, I’m afraid on this one I’m going to have to disagree with you.

            For my money, you don’t need to worry about people getting hold of your email address, what you should be concerned with is making sure your email address is presented online in a way where it cannot be scraped by bots and passed on to hackers and spammers.

            The way to do it is to put your email address with code wrapped around it. I just googled ‘code to prevent email from being scraped’ and right at the top was a perfect site to give you the instructions…


            It’s perfect because it’s using the same code I use and as an added bonus it also explains why lots of people do not like contact forms, so it saves me explaining why I don’t like them. One reason they did miss off though is sometimes you can complete all the information required on a contact form and the infuriating Captcha, write your email and hit submit and it goes to a page error.

            That’s happened to me more than once, what a waste of time. Hope that helps, Bob

            • Elisabeth April 8, 2017, 6:54 am |

              Bob, thank you for your advice and suggestions, will check out that link. I didn’t even know about code wrapping, and e-mails being scraped. It’s a whole new world for me. Good to know all that stuff. Now it’s walkie time, glad the rain stopped!

          • Elisabeth April 8, 2017, 6:52 am |

            Mark, no worries, thank you for the suggestions, I knew you were ok, no harm done!

            • Mark April 10, 2017, 9:18 am |

              Yes No worries as you say here. Bob’s way may be better. I actually have no idea, never working that way. Heck with the field I am in. Its all about protection of email addresses phone numbers and so on. Its horse for courses I think, e.g. depends on how easy you want emails to get through from strangers. We (as in my companies I work for) Don’t Full stop. Otherwise emails may get published and goodness knows what we and the folks I work with will get. Certainly they would have to change email addresses.which is a pain I do not do the IT either, I just use it. and even I may be out of date with contact us pages then. In fact in several of our websites we dont even have any contact us page. My email address (for work) is a different spelling to the main company website just to hide emails, from folk guessing what they may be.. I have another for emailing say the press which I deal with fairly regularly… As I say horses for courses. When you need the outside world to be able to contact you as an eg, Bobs site, it will be a lot different to my work. . .

  • Virginia Fuller March 11, 2017, 1:57 pm |

    Hello Bob
    Love your site. Great idea, congratulations!
    I am looking for a suitable new – for me – place to live. I’m a reluctant widow, retired recruitment consultant (head hunter), children all grown up and launched, therefore fancy free though still hoping to find another soul mate, a lovely man who is also as free as I.
    Seeking a warm climate, near the sea, I believe the ideal population for a town or city is around 15,000 +. I hope to find performing arts outlets available with friendly, articulate and intelligent people.
    Born in Sydney eastern suburbs, a senior full of energy and enthusiasm (size 8), non religious, educated in five different countries, I speak fluent French and very little Italian. My passion is performing in musicals or operas (usually chorus: still waiting to be discovered – waiting, waiting . . .) and singing in choirs as high soprano, no wobble (vibrato): more like a choir boy than a woman. Always cheerful and considered to be funny (I mean ha ha, not the other).
    Do you or any of your fans have any suggestions as for where such a person could live happily?
    Very best wishes to you and your family.
    Virginia Fuller – AKA Moog/y

    • BobinOz March 13, 2017, 8:05 pm |

      Warm climate, near the sea, my money is on somewhere in Sunshine Coast. It’s a beautiful part of Australia, the weather is fantastic and the beaches are really quite stunning.

      Noosa is the posh end, my favourite is the Mooloolaba Maroochydore areas. It’s not commercial like Gold Coast, but it is known as a place where people do go to retire, so you’ll find (I think) a higher number of the population would be in your age group. That’s where I would be looking and I think it would be well worth you popping up to have a good look around and check out some of the small towns in that area.

      Good luck, Bob

      • Virginia Fuller March 13, 2017, 11:16 pm |

        Thank you Bob for your scholarly response. I’m serious, it was and I will go up there and have a look.
        Best wishes,

  • Stacey Clegg January 13, 2017, 8:17 pm |

    Hiding Bob came across your on YouTube – great page too. Been doing some research and looking to move to Queensland with my husband and two girls agedo 6 and 3. I’m hoping to travel to Ashmore next year and in our time have days out etc.. Can you give us some hints and tips on areas etc. We love the arts, motor sports, swimming and a good old BBQ!
    Thanks, Stacey

    • BobinOz January 14, 2017, 8:03 pm |

      Hi Stacey, thanks for the compliments, I always love those 🙂

      Can I suggest you take a look at my main page about Brisbane and in particular have a look through the comments? There’s lots of chatter there about the suburbs and if you want to ask more specific questions about where to live, it would probably be a good idea to do it there as quite a few people can come up with suggestions as well as myself.

      Cheers, Bob

      • Stacey Clegg January 18, 2017, 2:39 am |

        Hi Bob,
        Thank you for your reply thats great. I have started reading lots of comments on the Brisbane and Victoria link..Just working through comments, our own research etc.
        Thank you, Stacey

  • Kylle Fideler October 22, 2016, 9:30 am |

    Hi Bob!!

    Even though I’m sure you’ve forgotten my last comment as you are sent so many comments a day – I thought I’d update you on our relocation plans from the US back home to Oz! 😉 Our 4 year old US born son now has his Aussie passport and our dog has started her 6 month process of tests, exams, vaccines etc and should be good to go by March 16th, 2017, My hubby’s partner visa was officially lodged last week, he’ll be going for that nerve-racking medical next week and then we WAIT 😉 Our Aussie migration lawyer says she thinks we could get an answer in 4-6 months 🙂 Meanwhile I’m just waiting on my US citizenship interview and naturalization ceremony so that it will make it easier for us all to travel back and forth to visit hubby’s family once we’ve settled back in Australia.

    Wow. Can’t believe we’ve come this far already. Just the waiting part, selling the house and getting all our stuff shipped over, to do! 😉 Ok, I just panicked myself again, we’ve still got a helluva list to whittle away at but at least we’re almost there!!! Hoping to spend a chilly Christmas in July with the family!

    Much love,


    • BobinOz October 23, 2016, 9:31 pm |

      Of course I remember your original comment, honest 🙂

      Sounds like things are progressing very well for you and your family, fingers crossed it continues to go well. If everything goes to plan, you have just one cold proper Christmas left in the US, from then on your Christmases will be spent wearing a hat and shades, barbecuing and going to the beach or swimming in your pool.

      That takes some getting used to, I’m still not there yet after nine years, but it’s fun trying. Good luck, hope to see you here soon.

      Cheers, Bob

      • Kylle November 5, 2016, 3:21 pm |

        Hahaha 😉 You’re too sweet Bob 🙂

        Oh I remember those hot Xmases all too well 😉 With my mum (and dad) being British, we got the full roast dinners with fruit cake (complete with hidden sixpence) and brandy custard for dessert. Thank goodness mum decided to finally acknowledge the difference in hemispheres and we then had the option to eat fresh seafood and cold cuts of fresh ham with cold pastas salads and fruit etc OR we could stick with the hot Xmas dinner because she still made that too 😉 You know in all my 26 years of living in Oz, I don’t think we ever had a BBQ on Christmas Day! After 20 years here in the States maybe we can go back and make it a new tradition. We did however, hang out by our pool every Christmas (and New Years) Day and we’ll continue to do that for sure 🙂

        As we head towards our final winter here in the US, I’m feeling kinda robbed of the traditional white Christmas, which I never really got a chance to experience. Here in Los Angeles where I have spent 99% of those 20 years, winter may as well be a mild summer in Sydney 🙁

        I’ll update again in a few months!

        • BobinOz November 7, 2016, 5:59 pm |

          Of course it had a sixpence in it, it’s not a proper Christmas pudding without one 🙂

          Even though I lived in England for almost 50 years, I’m not sure I saw too many white Christmases either. They are as rare as hen’s teeth. On the other hand, hot Christmases in Australia are guaranteed and that swimming pool in the back garden is the place to be.

          Keep me posted, cheers, Bob

  • Bill August 27, 2016, 6:54 pm |

    Hi bob. , we were in the process of moving back to Perth but have had a few bad stories about the place going tits up , it was very over priced on every thing from beer to houses So I have started to think about Brisbane but don’t really know much about the place apart from Sydney is about an hour south
    How would I find out about schools my son is 16. And where are the best central suburbs Cheers

    • BobinOz August 29, 2016, 5:09 pm |

      Well Bill, I think you still have quite a lot to learn about Brisbane. Sydney is actually 1000 km south of Brisbane, that’s one hour and 35 minutes by airplane or 10 hours by car.

      You can find out more about Brisbane by checking my main page about it, the link is underneath the main navigation menu of Australian Cities. I’ve also written hundreds of articles about things to do in Brisbane because I live here.

      For schools, see my page Which school?

  • Joanne farnworth August 21, 2016, 7:50 pm |

    My son is moving to Brisbane in January 2017 , he has a contract with a rugby club in Brisbane but wants to also attend university (Griffiths ) which is on the Gold Coast .
    He only need to attend uni two half days a week and can complete the rest of the course on line . He will be contracted to train/ play 6 days a week with his club . Any suggestion where to rent a house and another help on rail link down to the Gold Coast would be greatly appreciated.

    • BobinOz August 22, 2016, 4:03 pm |

      Sounds to me as though the best option for your son would be to live close to wherever the rugby team trains in Brisbane and choose somewhere with good transport links to that Gold Coast University.

      If you Google ‘Brisbane area train map’ and also ‘Brisbane Translink journey planner’ that will help you decide where would be best for your son to live and also help you plan the journey to get down to the Gold Coast. Once you’ve identified the area best for your son to live in, have a look at my pages about’s Brisbane, particularly the comments, to help you choose which suburb to go for.

      Good luck, Bob

    • hayley October 18, 2016, 10:53 pm |

      Hi Joanne,

      I highly suggest your son live in the MtGravatt or Nathan area to be close to Griffith’s Nathan campus. There is an intercampus bus from Nathan to the Gold Coast which is only a 45 min to 1 hour drive whereas using public transport will be about a 2 hour journey depending on where you live. I’m a student at the Gold Coast campus but live in Brisbane and public transport route for me is a 20 minute bus ride – 10 minutes wait for the train – 1 hour on train – 5 minute wait – 20 minute bus ride. Thankfully I get to drive most often.

  • Joey Slayer May 18, 2016, 11:51 am |

    Ahoy Bob!
    Great webpage design, I was out shooting  roos the other day and a wallaby jumped onto my lap. Thoughts?
    -Joey Slayer

    • Daniel May 18, 2016, 11:59 am |

      Sorry Bob,
      Someone has taken my computer and they thought it would be funny if they wrote this. Sorry for them wasting your time.
      Thanks, Daniel.

      • BobinOz May 19, 2016, 12:09 am |

        I think that someone was Joey Slayer; that’s just a hunch 🙂

        Thanks for apologising Daniel, that was very good of you, you will do well. Cheers, Bob

  • Kylle Fideler May 10, 2016, 6:16 am |

    Hi Bob! 🙂
    So happy to have found your website! I’m an Aussie, born in Sydney but have been living in Los Angeles, CA since 1996 – it’s TIME TO MOVE BACK HOME to be with my family and friends once more! So I’m packing up my American husband (with his permission), 3.5 year old son and 11lb maltipoo and relocating back to my homeland!!! Just starting to get all the paperwork together for hubby and dog, luckily my son was awarded Oz citizenship through descent so he just needs an Oz passport now 😉
    My parents actually did this huge move by themselves back in 1970 when they left the U.K. (mum is from Leeds, Dad from Glasgow) and moved to Sydney, no friends, no family and started their lives here. Once I was born 6 months later, my mum’s family (all 14 of them) emigrated from the U.K. as well on the Q.E.II !!!
    We are so blessed as a family to be able to make this move and I am blessed to have a husband who is just as excited as I am to… well, basically start our lives over and begin a new adventure in a beautiful country! 🙂
    Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed with all the paperwork and decisions we need to make, I just pop on over you your website and read about all the people who have done this move before and are preparing for it as we speak – and this gets my excitement back on track again – lol! So once again, thank you for all the positive “you can do this” vibes and I’m sure as we move deeper into the process that you’ll be hearing from me again! 🙂


    • BobinOz May 10, 2016, 11:34 pm |

      Hi Kylle

      Great to hear from you and thank you for such a wonderful comment. I know this is probably a little premature, but may be the first to welcome you back home. You’ve done your time in your husband’s country, now it’s time for your husband to spend some time in yours 🙂

      He sounds fully up for it though, which is excellent, and I hope you and all your family, plus dog, have as much fun when you get here as me and my family, plus dog, have had since we moved here.

      Glad to hear my website is helping you through those overwhelming moments, it is a big and sometimes scary move, but the vast majority find it to be a very good move once they get here.

      I do hope the process goes very smoothly for you, but do feel free to post any questions on any of these pages if you get stuck with anything.

      Cheers, Bob

  • EDMUND March 23, 2016, 12:10 am |

    HI bob

    My name is edmund , i m planning to move from malaysia to australia , i got something i need to know and asking , because i move at there , i not friend at there , no family , this is a big gamble in my life . so that i need more more detail. i think only you can help me . any social media that i can contact you . please reply in my email . i think that will be P&C for me and You

    • BobinOz March 24, 2016, 12:09 am |

      Yes, it is a big gamble and there are many, many details you will need to know. Your biggest hurdle will be getting a visa, then you’ll need (probably) to get a job and somewhere to live and there will be 1000 other things you will need to think of.

      The thing is, I can’t help you with this, I certainly can’t help you with the visa, I’m not a MARA registered migration agent. I can’t help you with the job, I don’t work in recruitment. I can’t find you somewhere to live, I don’t work in real estate.

      Not only is moving to Australia the big gamble, it’s a lot of work and there are a lot of things to do. If you want to make your move real Edmund, the only person who can do that work and make it happen is you. Good luck, Bob

  • terry February 16, 2016, 11:24 am |

    Hi Bob

    Me, my wife and 2 kid’s have been thinking of moving to australia for the longgest time now, I am so puzzled as where to move, I Think I’m looking at Queenland around Brisbane or up to half an hour away the reson for this is we have no trade, Back here in the UK SE London we have both been working on the railway for (me 17,wife 16 year’s) NOW so that’s why for the railway for the job side also I’m i looking in the right area for work and is this good for experience?,We want to be close to beaches to good schools, shopping centers and hospitals, i also need a place that will give my family good fun factor, so close to beaches and fun places to spend family time, i was sure melborne was the place, but from what i read weather is bit like here in the (UK). I need a more family oriented place, the schools need to be close by and good, all around since my kids are small and i want to move to stay for good…so please could you help us?

    Look forward to hearing from you

    Thank’s Terry

    • BobinOz February 16, 2016, 5:30 pm |

      Terry, I’ve written scores of pages, if not hundreds about all the subjects you mention, particularly where to live.

      I think you really need to have a good read of my pages, particularly the Australian Cities link in the main navigation menu at the top of each page. You will find even more links on that page all about where to live in Australia and then each of those pages has hundreds of comments from people talking about what it’s like to live there.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Daniel January 3, 2016, 7:21 am |

    Hi Bob, sorry to disturb you…
    For the past few years I have been pondering over between moving to the US or Australia, and I have finally decided on Aus! Like you, I’m bored by our grey skies here in the U.K. and have always dreamed of travelling an becoming a citizen of a beautiful country like Australia. But, I’m finding it extremely hard to find out what visa would be best for me. I find that it’s all very difficult. So I wonder what would be the best option for me…
    I’m 25 and I have a good degree on my side and I’m climbing up the university ladder. I would love to be a permanent resident and possibly even a citizen one day. Is it hard? How long will it take? What’s my best option?
    Thank you very much for the help in advance!! 🙂

    • BobinOz January 4, 2016, 10:40 pm |

      Ah, I’m afraid giving advice on visa options is the one thing I am legally not allowed to do. See Would I Qualify?

      You can also get some good advice on my page about Visas, but my advice would be to speak to a MARA registered migration agent. I have one that works with me here on this website, you will see links to his service on both of those pages.

      Understanding which visa to apply for is a very complicated business, which is why you need to speak to someone who is qualified, and that’s exactly what MARA registered migrations agents are. Good luck, Bob

    • Steve February 7, 2016, 11:08 pm |

      Hi Daniel,

      I just wanted to let you know that I came across on a holiday visa, then after deciding that I wanted to stay I applied for a temporary residency visa, then after two years in the country I was allowed to apply for permanent residency.
      Having a degree helps a lot, but in my experience it has to be a degree in a work area that is ‘needed’ for the most points. Luckily I had an Uncle who could sponsor me for extra points here in Aus.

      It looks complicated at first, but to be honest you can do it all yourself. The Aus govt immigration site is really clear and concise, you just need to do some digging to find the right pathway for you. It depends on how much money you have. For me as a newly qualified student (at the time) I could not afford such luxuries as advisers and experts, so I did it all myself.

      Good luck.

  • Harry December 30, 2015, 12:55 am |

    Hey bob, just got my working holiday visa and stumbled upon your website when doing some research. Gobsmacked to read you’re originally from Southend, as I’m currently sitting at my computer only a few miles from Southend in Leigh on sea! What a small world it really is!
    Just wanted to say your website is a huge help and the invaluable information will surely help me out in deciding what city i want to touch down in first! Heres looking forward to new adventures in 2016!

    • BobinOz December 30, 2015, 11:02 pm |

      Ha ha, the picture of Baggy above was taken in Leigh, by the cockle sheds. Small world for sure.

      Glad my site has helped you a bit and have fun when you get here on your WHV.

  • Ian October 1, 2015, 7:17 am |

    Hi Bob,

    With the exchange rate once again so good for the UK you’d have to think we can expect a surge in migration applications? Particularly given the EU has set it’s own course on an uncontrolled immigration experiment. Things are looking grim over there. Your website should be getting more traffic.

    • BobinOz October 1, 2015, 4:41 pm |

      You may well be right Ian, things aren’t looking so great in Europe at the moment. It will be interesting to see what the figures are for migration in the coming couple of years. Cheers, Bob

  • Ellie September 30, 2015, 4:03 pm |

    Hey Bob,
    Great website! It’s very intuitive to those that don’t live here! I hope that you keep on going making it and I think it’s a really good site as well, because I myself am Aussie and have lived here and in Europe and I must say that you really grab attention from people!
    Keep doing what your doing!

    • BobinOz October 1, 2015, 12:03 am |

      Thanks Ellie, I always love it when an Aussie likes my website, gives me a warm glow inside 🙂

  • Chris July 18, 2015, 12:25 pm |

    Hi Bob – great website that I bumped into by chance. I escaped the draconian clutches of the NHS in 1999 for a working holiday in North Queensland and I’ve been here, very happily, ever since. The visa mill does grind you down but it’s worth every tedious beaurocratic second in the end.
    I was curious to see that you haven’t included Cairns in the Cities list-it’s a magnificent tropical city. It has an international airport and boasts a very laid back tropical lifestyle that wonderfully contrasts with the cold grey misery that was working in London!

    • BobinOz July 20, 2015, 12:01 am |

      Yes, I’ve heard Cairns is a quite vibrant city and also I’ve heard it’s a bit of a holiday destination thanks something called the Great Barrier Reef 🙂

      I haven’t excluded it particularly, I have just organised things so that my Australian cities page just has our capital cities from each state and territory, and then I have my Australian states page which details all cities and towns with a population excess of 10,000 people.

      So Cairns certainly gets a mention on my Queensland page, but not an individual write up. I’ve still not been there, it’s on my to-do list, but when I do get to see Cairns, I’ll certainly be writing about it. Cheers, Bob

  • Rich Seeley July 3, 2015, 7:13 am |

    Hey Bob,
    I read in an earlier comment that you’re working from home as a web designer?
    I’m moving to Perth (again, this time to australia for permantent with my NZ girlfriend) and i wanted to know just how hard it is to survive off this job, with the cost of living in australia, etc, and web design being a very universal job in that you can do work for anybody, from anywhere. Are most of your clients local, and therefore pay an ‘australian price’ rather than what some may be charging in the uk or usa?

    The reason i’m curious is because im trying to get into web design and its actually my ambition to work for myself, hopefully succesfully, but i’ve been pondering how possible this may be in australia, vs england or another country where the cost of living is a lot less.


    • BobinOz July 3, 2015, 9:25 pm |

      No, I’m not a web designer Rich, I think I have said somewhere here that I build websites, but these are websites I build for myself, I’m no designer.

      This website is one of those websites that I’ve built for myself, but it’s just WordPress and plug-ins. I’m certainly no designer, just a dabbler in web stuff.

      So I can’t really answer your question, but I do know web designers here in Australia and I don’t believe business is that great for many of them, people generally outsource web design these days to countries like India, Philippines and Eastern block countries who do it much cheaper.

      That’s what I’ve heard anyway, it’s not what I know, as I say I’m not a web designer.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Megan Smith June 23, 2015, 4:46 am |

    Hey Bob,

    I am glad to have come across your blog. I graduate with my business degree in August. I am anxious and excited to be starting my career in marketing. I have recently started applying for jobs and I really would LOVE an international opportunity. The only way I could afford to do that is to be sponsored somehow, someway. Is that even a possibility? Or is that only possible for those who having plenty of years in their field. I really would love a chance to live and work in Austrailia, even if for a short term assignment. I hope you can help me get an idea of steps I can take to get a job overseas or maybe give me some insight or tips that might help. Thanks!

    • BobinOz June 23, 2015, 4:48 pm |

      Most employers do tend to look for some postgrad work experience, but maybe not all. So I suppose there is a chance, but I don’t know what that chance is.

      I do have a page about it, see Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Thanos March 1, 2015, 10:11 pm |

    Hi Bob

    Thanks for the very useful comments and info. I was organising to come and work to Australia (Sydney) this year, but finally the contract with the Un. Syd. was not signed so not there yet. For me (living in Greece at the moment) it seems rather difficult and expensive (too risky to be honest) to just move there… So i first need to find a job, sign some kind of contract and then take the decision 🙁 Although with a PhD and more than 15 years experience (aged 39) on academic positions and research, it is difficult to find my way in to Australia’s working environment.

    Having said the above, any ideas are welcomed. I am (avowedly) lost in the many (or not) options of coming there. I am married but with no kids yet.

    Thanks a lot.
    Cheers from sunny Greece.

    • BobinOz March 2, 2015, 12:08 am |

      It’s very hard to secure a job sponsorship whilst you are not here in Australia, but if you were to purchase the package available on my page called How to Find a Sponsored Job in Australia then that will definitely give you the edge.

      It’s a great guide, I’ve read it myself and I highly recommend it. Good luck, Bob

  • Andrew February 9, 2015, 8:27 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Good on you for spreading the good word about Oz. Some great insights as well.

    My question is related to migration to UK due to family reasons. I currently earn around $150k in Sydney, which may sound much but with mortgage and school fees, this is just enough for us to live a reasonable life. Going by the AUD to GBP conversion rule as mentioned in your blog, I would need to earn GBP 75k in UK to maintain my lifestyle. All my search so far for a job (consulting engineer) shows a salary range of GBP 25k-50k, with most jobs around 35k mark.

    My question is, are there any jobs that pay engineers the 75k salaries.

    • BobinOz February 10, 2015, 7:40 pm |

      I have no idea I’m afraid Andrew, but I assume you have been searching the major online employment agencies in the UK? You’ve highlighted the exact reason why I say people shouldn’t be so scared of the apparent high cost of living here in Australia, because they will often earn so much more.

      Going the other way, it’s obviously reversed. Scary, isn’t it?

      I don’t know what to suggest, but I would say how much you actually need to earn very much depends on what city you will be living in in the UK. Obviously Sydney is easily our most expensive city and if you are moving somewhere in the UK that isn’t one of their most expensive cities, then perhaps you could get by with less.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Rachel January 9, 2015, 9:49 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I have just found your website whilst repopulating my browser bookmarks after a macbook upgrade.

    We are a family of 5 with three youngsters – 8, 3 and 5. We are lucky to live in Jersey but the restrictions of a small island especially during the winter months was becoming obvious when we just had the 2 girls (now 8 & 5) – when our boy arrived 3 years ago we just knew we needed bigger horizons and an almost year round open door policy with the weather! And so we set the wheels in motion and our permanent residency visas came through in Nov2013 and we activated them on a flying visit to Perth in August 2014.

    And so our house is on the market and we are hoping to make the move to Sydney this coming August/September, giving us a few months to settle before the children go to school in Jan2016.

    Your website is fab in that it relates on a practical level to when all parents want for their children and helps in all the technical nitty-gritty.

    Thanks and I will continue to pop by and read up!

    • BobinOz January 11, 2015, 12:11 am |

      Yes, I think the landmass here is considerably larger than what you have been accustomed to in Jersey, so I can guarantee you bigger horizons 🙂

      Really pleased to hear that my website has been helpful to you throughout your journey and I do hope that you sell your house soon and your move to Sydney goes smoothly.

      Thanks again and good luck, Bob

  • Porcupyn October 12, 2014, 1:13 pm |

    Came here after googling for ‘possums’ vs. ‘opossums’ following a discussion (that just got started) on FB’s A Way with Words group 🙂

    BTW, who do you support during the Ashes?

    • BobinOz October 13, 2014, 4:24 pm |

      Welcome, how ever strange way you got here 🙂

      England of course, is part of the fun of living here, the rivalry between us Poms and the Aussies.

  • Ian October 9, 2014, 5:47 pm |

    The more poms and scots that immigrate to Oz the better as far as I’m concerned and I’m sure I speak for the vast majority of Aussies. In Sydney the northern beaches around Manly/Balgowlah etc is the place many end up. Our local primary school is full of parents with Brit accents! They pretty much all love it here.

    Now that the exchange rates are more favourable the chance of a northern beaches house is a slightly better, not withstanding Sydney’s ridiculous prices all round. Good luck Mike and good work with your blog Bob.

    • BobinOz October 10, 2014, 9:05 pm |

      Thanks Ian and you’ve reminded me, Maclean, bit of a Scottish town in New South Wales, worth checking out. I wrote a post, you can read it here.

  • Mike October 9, 2014, 11:48 am |

    Hi Bob,
    Just wanted to post a wee thank you…. I’ve been reading your blog on and off for the past year or so while we went through the PR visa process. Arrived in Sydney from Scotland last week and loving it. Your blog has been so helpful, keep up the good work :o)


    • BobinOz October 9, 2014, 5:15 pm |

      I thought you were from Scotland as soon as you said wee :-). Glad to have helped Mike, and welcome to Australia. I hope you get to love Sydney is much as I love Brisbane.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Ehtesham September 25, 2014, 10:14 pm |

    Hi Bob, can you help me immigrating or getting work visa to Australia? Please contact me. I need your help.

    • BobinOz September 26, 2014, 8:08 pm |

      No, I can’t help you, I am not a MARA migration agent. I do have an agent working with me though, he can help through my Visa Assessment Service.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Rose Marlo September 11, 2014, 5:26 pm |


    Hope you’re doing well!

    I’m Rose Marlo and am an avid reader and blogger, a passion which I think we share.

    Your blog “bobinoz.com” is by far the most interesting I have come across in the recent past, hands down!

    The writer in me is yearning to write a piece for your blog, maybe around 400-500 words, or whatever you are okay with.

    Awaiting your reply.

    Rose Marlo.

    • BobinOz September 11, 2014, 7:34 pm |

      Glad to hear you like my website Rose, unfortunately I don’t accept guest posts here, it’s just a policy I have. If you are passionate about blogging, you really should create your own blog on a subject that you absolutely lurve, and start building an audience.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Dean July 29, 2014, 7:22 am |

    Hi Bob

    Hope you are well, I am being sponsored by a company to work in Sydney for 4 years, i have no qualification in what I do, however I do have over 10 years worth of experience I am 32 with no criminal record.

    How difficult is it to get a 457 vist?

    • BobinOz July 29, 2014, 5:41 pm |

      Hi Dean

      How easy or difficult it is to get a 457 depends on so many factors, so I simply can’t answer that one. What I can say though is that it is possible you can get sponsored without qualifications, but you may need to have to go through a skills assessment first.

      That’s when the authorised body here in Australia assesses your relevant work experience and decides whether that qualifies you to do the job, so your work experience can act as a replacement for an official qualification.

      Skills assessments can be passed or failed, so it may be a good idea to get professional help from a MARA registered migration agent.

      Good luck, Bob

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