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 }
  • BobinOz May 5, 2011, 9:41 pm |

    Yes, I went to Corfu in May 2006, loved it! Elizabeth was just 2 and a bit, but the Greeks, they are so family orientated. Childrens play areas everywhere and in lots of bars.

    And the beaches were fantastic! Big thumbs up for Greece, shame the GFC messed them up so much.

  • dimitris May 5, 2011, 7:21 pm |

    Have you ever visited Greece ?There are a lot of wonderful beaches https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSR-xiEKCcM you should visit Greece. Leukada,Zakynthos have the most amazing beaches!Greece is every year second from 41 countries in Europe.

  • BobinOz March 31, 2011, 12:58 am |

    Hi Tereza

    It’s a problem faced by many people who want to emigrate to Australia, the grandparents are against it! Well, not just grandparents, but all family and friends. The thing is, they don’t want you to leave them. They want you to stay. It’s understandable, especially in the case of grandparents, they want to see their children and grandchildren.

    But I take quite a savage view on this. Your children are young and have their whole life ahead of them. Your parents are old and have lived most of their lives already. They made their choices, you make yours. And you make yours for your children.

    If you think your children will have a better life here in Australia, then you bring them here if you can. And you say to your parents, their grandparents, “sorry, I’m doing it for my children, but I know you love them and they love you.So save every spare bit of money you’ve got and come visit us often, then you can see what a wonderful country I’m bringing them up in.”

    And when they do come and visit you, they will see what a great country their grandchildren are being brought up in, and they will forgive everything. I’ve written a post about it somewhere, but I can’t find it.

    As for north of Brisbane, I don’t know it well enough to make recommendations. But I hope to go that way on my next road trip.



  • tereza March 29, 2011, 1:52 pm |

    hi Bob, I am a native of Brazil turned US citizen recently married to a born US citizen and have 4 children under 8 years old. My husband has been dreaming of Australia and its beaches and tropical climate. So we are on the works to move to Queensland. He is job hunting and I am pondering on what to take. Although I am not afraid of moving (I am a former Air force brat I have moved so many times I forgot to count) it concerns me now since I got 4 little ones to tow along.

    My parents who live in Brazil come visit every year. When we mentioned moving to Australia my Dad had a conniption. “Why the heck so far??” he asked. “Settled down and raise your kiddos.”

    But Australia is calling… what can we do??? 🙂

    Question for you… we are looking for a small town to settle in…north of Brisbane… what would you advice? My husband has job possibilities in Fraser Island and Mackay.


  • ben March 5, 2011, 9:50 pm |

    Hi Greg,
    Interesting question! I’ve recently moved to Perth from the UK and I’m awaiting my work visa (I’m being sponsored and will share the experience with other when it all gets sorted).
    Anyway, I would happily have stayed in the UK had it not been for a) the current financial climate b) My 5 year old daughter has more family here than in the UK c) My wife is originally from South Africa and has decided she wanted to get back to a warmer climate. All of that stuff is good but England and the rest of Britain has some excellent stuff to offer. The weather is the weather and if you look at Queensland and WA the past few months there will always be a extreme of everything. In england it’s grey cloud and rain. If you can handle that, and you get the intellectual stimulation that you’re after, you’ll enjoy yourselves. To be honest, I really do miss the slightly elevated conversational stimulation of my Uk friends and that of the standard of education too. We opted for Steiner school and had it not been for that we may have headed home already. England is not a bad place, especially if you haven’t already spent nearly a lifetime there as most of us immigrants have! It’s nice for us to get a change and being in Australia gives us that. Pick the right area in Manchester and you’ll have a lovely time. As with ALL areas in the UK, pick the wrong part and you’ll not like so much. Coming from Melbourne probably sets you better than most as natives of other states would probably find the Uk too much of a culture / weather shock.
    Using http://www.upmystreet.com will help you to suss out areas if you have postcodes.
    Have a great time if you do go – it’s even better knowing you can come back to Oz if you want to!

    I’m sure Bob will have a good opinion too…


    • BobinOz March 7, 2011, 8:10 pm |

      Greg and Ben

      Firstly, I did a post you might like to take a look at about the educational standards between England, Australia and the USA.

      As for moving to England from Australia, I’ve said elsewhere on this blog that if I’d lived in Australia all my life, I’d probably want to go and try England. Ben has given some sound advice, pick the area in which you live wisely, especially around Manchester. Bad areas there can be very very bad. That said, I don’t think there’s a better city in the world than Manchester for musical culture and you can read more about that in my post comparing Manchester with Queensland.

      So I think it’s a good idea you give it a go, as Ben said, you can always come back if you don’t like it. If you do go, it’d be great if you let us all know what you think.



  • Greg March 5, 2011, 6:52 pm |

    Dear Bob,
    I am wanting to sound you out as we are thinking about migrating to the UK?? No I am not from the UK, but born here in Melbourne, Vic. There are many reasons why, kids educational opportunities are becoming increasingly poorer in Australia ( I come from a family of teachers!!) and right sort of education exists for my sons in Chetham’s, Manchester.
    Beach culture, warm weather, safety(?) etc is a big plus for some – good luck to them! Culture of the artistic / musical kind is very high on our list and lifestyle – Australia still suffers with cultural cringe and opportunity!! I am not talking about Don Bradman either! If we do move over there I’ll have to stop calling poms, poms 🙂

  • Kate February 19, 2011, 3:59 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Great site…nice not be overwhelmed with monotonous jargon!
    Basically I am due to graduate in July this year with a LLB Law degree and I may only be 20 but I’ve wanted to live out there for years….sun sea and surf 😀
    How do you think my visa applications and career prospects would be? And also, I’d more than likely be moving alone so the thought of not making friends and being lonely terrifies me!! How did you find the process of meeting people/ making friends?
    Sorry for bombarding you with questions! Hope you’re still enjoying it out there…cannot wait to live the dream myself someday!! Take care, Kate x

    • BobinOz February 20, 2011, 8:08 pm |

      hi Kate

      Thanks for popping by and for the compliment, I always love those. Not exactly sure how easily you would get a visa but I do know that Australia loves younger applicants with a degree. So you’d be in with a good chance, but you may need a little work experience to secure a sponsorship. So you might be better off just applying for permanent residency straight off.

      As for making new friends, Australia is a really friendly place, I’m sure you wouldn’t have any problems. We didn’t. But I have written a lot about making friends, check out my page about How to Move to Australia and scroll to the bottom to see my link to 3 posts about making friends. Hope that helps and good luck.



  • BobinOz January 15, 2011, 8:05 pm |

    Right now I think most of Queensland could do with one huge great big mega tumble dryer, whether that’s un-Australian or not.

    Thanks for your thoughts, the cleanup is underway.

  • Bronwyn January 12, 2011, 1:36 am |

    A tumble dryer??? Sorry Bob, that is very un-Australian of you! In my life experience, real Aussies drape wet washing all over the house on clothes dryer racks that are made of plastic coated wire (no motor) and clothes hangers stuck on every door jamb to recreate a look of a London doss-house which our mothers cheerfully called (mistakenly) “A Chinese Joss-House” as in “I’m happy to get a bit of rain, but the house looks like a Chinese joss house.”
    The even more popular method, before we all got worried about our curb-appeal, was to hang bright nylon ropes up in the garage or under the verandah or carport and hang the undies in full view of the neighbours (Garage doors open to allow for airflow)
    Please immediately amend this glaring mistake before people start calling you that strange Pom that uses the clothes dryer to dry his clothes. Everyone knows you only do sheets in those contraptions as they take up too much space on the aforementioned undercover but open to view nylon clothes lines and non-motorised clothes dryers.
    I hope this helps your assimilation into the full cultural experience of an Australian lifestyle.
    Cheers, Bronwyn
    P.S May God bless everyone coping with the terrible floods and the tragic loss of loved ones. Our thoughts are with the Queenslanders and those in northern NSW as they face this dreadful disaster. Take care of yourselves and your friends and family.

  • BobinOz January 11, 2011, 8:00 pm |

    Hi Bronwyn

    Good to hear from you and I’ll take any title that has the word greatest in it. Well, maybe I haven’t thought that one through properly, but you know what I mean.

    And thank you for another big Aussie welcome, I keep trying to tell my readers how friendly you guys are but nothing beats having real Aussies come in here being friendly directly and saying to people “come and join us”. Our two cultures are so alike that, as you say, you will get that “familiar feeling” whichever direction you move in.

    As for drying the washing, we’ve had a lot of success with our tumble dryer lately……

  • Bronwyn January 10, 2011, 9:30 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    I have just spent a lovely hour looking through your website and I had to tell you that you are the greatest PR man Australia has ever had.
    It has been a rough year for you guys up in Queensland so far with all that “English” rain, but I know you will now be learning what makes us such a tenacious lot. We always pull together when our mates need help!
    I was lucky enough to get to the UK for the first time ever in my 48 years during July 2010. Two things became obvious,
    * you do have very hot weather in London occasionally
    * London has a very familiar feeling to those of us born and bred in Australia.
    This is because many of us are raised on BBC children’s TV, English literature and British music, not to mention playing card games, Monopoly etc etc. No wonder you guys feel welcome! We really have very similar values and goals and so you all fit right in!
    It is not Shang-ri-lah, Aussies work just as hard as anyone anywhere else in the Western world and pay taxes on anything be it plant, mineral or animal. BUT it is worth every bit!
    May I encourage you to keep up the great website that is bringing others to join us here in our lucky country.
    We always have room for new friends to come and join the fun.
    Cheers & good luck drying the washing!

  • Ian December 30, 2010, 5:05 pm |

    Great idea for a site Bob,

    I’m an Aussie and just wanted to say to the Brits, you are very welcome to immigrate to our fair shores.
    Anecdotally it seems there are plenty doing so, my wife was only saying recently how there was a growing influx of kids at the primary school (northern beaches sydney) with English parents.

    We have quite a few close friends who are originally from Britain and all without exception have made a success of the move and would never think of moving back. They love to visit the UK every few years or so but those visits just reinforce their love of the lifestyle here.

    What I like about our British friends is that they are all so much fun to be around and have a real zest for life. I guess that zest is what is needed to undertake the big move.

    Australia really is the lucky country so come on down.


    • BobinOz December 30, 2010, 8:42 pm |

      Hi Ian

      I wrote a post asking the question, and you can read that post here, called are Australians the friendliest people in the world? and my conclusion was that the Aussies are a very friendly bunch indeed and I even back it up with some facts. The thing is Ian, you have thrown out such a warm and friendly welcome to Brits everywhere who are thinking of coming here to Australia, that you might just be in contention for being the friendliest Australian in all of Australia!

      That actually makes you, according to my research, the friendliest person in the world.

      Seriously, that is one heck of a welcome and it is really appreciated. I can certainly back up what you you are saying from my own experiences, and I now have a bunch of Aussie mates which is continually growing and I’ve still not yet met one that wasn’t very welcoming. And as for Brits returning back? I’ve not met many of those either, but strangely I’ve heard it can be as high as 40%. Can you believe that?



  • BobinOz October 20, 2010, 3:47 pm |

    Why thanks Ben, I hope you make it out here soon. I’ll buy you a beer!

  • ben October 18, 2010, 10:18 pm |

    That is the nicest email I have received in a long time! What a fun, lighthearted way of looking at it all. Cheers Bob, you’re a goodun’. 😉

  • BobinOz October 18, 2010, 8:42 pm |

    As King of all of Australia I hereby bestow you and all your family with a visa granting you immediate permanent residency in my fine country. I would be more than happy to upgrade you to full Australian citizenship on arrival in exchange for just one carton of XXXX Bitter. I have entrusted my chief messenger who is preparing his horse as we speak and will deliver your visa by hand.

    If only eh?

    Devon or Perth? Perth or Devon? You know the answer don’t you? I’d stick my application in as soon as possible if I were you and just hope it passes quickly. But however long it takes, it’s always worth it in the end as long as they say yes.

    Good luck Ben and thanks for the lovely compliments about my site.



  • ben October 18, 2010, 7:17 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Well, me too. Bumping into your site I mean. And, as has been said before, what a nice site it is too!

    Anyway, I’m writing this with a fantasy that you are well connected and when you have read all the way through you will issue us a visa, as if you are the king of Oz who can decide these things. Ho Hum.

    We, (wife, me and our now 5 year old) have just come back from a 12 months stin it or travelling around the world. I had done a year in Oz in 1995 and have family there. This year we did 6 months of our year, splitting it between the 3 brothers, 6 cousins and aunt, uncle and 18 nieces / nephews / second cousins we have in Perth as well as driving around the big island in our Lancruiser Troopy and camper trailer )what fun we had!). SO, back in the Uk for 4 weeks and our dream of moving to Devon has been slightly covered with a grey cloud of both rain and confusion: what to do.

    The main problem is the visa situation that changes a lot recently both with business visas and skilled. I suppose we just need to know that the process won’t be too difficult as we want to settle down now and the thought of fighting for something for 2 years fills me with feelings of exhaustion!

    So, no visa given by you then, leaves me with the next viable step of either trying to do the whole agent thing OR come out on a holiday visa again and try and find an employer who will sponsor us. Anyway, good on yer Bob for bothering with this site as it obviously has struck a chord with a good many people.

    Ben, Hayley & Kyra

  • BobinOz October 6, 2010, 5:19 pm |

    I just can’t believe that Google has somehow managed to link my blog with alcohol. I mean, crikey, I’m almost teetotal!

    But I’m glad you found me and I really appreciate your great comments. Makes it all worth while for me.

    Enjoy your life’s journey too Luke.

  • Luke October 5, 2010, 6:38 pm |

    I just lucked onto this site while googling something inane about alcohol. Imagine my surprise to find something erudite, informative and, in parts, moving. I must be pissed already! But seriously, good on you for sharing and all the best with life’s journey. Cheerio, Luke

  • BobinOz October 1, 2010, 9:06 pm |

    Hi Josh

    It’s a great plan you’ve got, I hope you go ahead with it I reckon it would be fun. Difficult for me to say how you’d be without your family around you, but I’m pretty sure you would make plenty of friends at uni. Well, not just at uni, everywhere. I think making friends out here is pretty easy.

    And of course, I’m sure some of your family will come out here to visit you anyway. As for those crispy mornings, I think Melbourne still do those in winter and it’s a pretty lively place to live. Canberra definitely does cold, but is also definitely not lively.

    Good luck with your plan mate

  • Josh September 30, 2010, 2:34 am |

    Hey Bob

    I’m 18 currently in the UK, and applying for university in Australia, and found your site while researching as much as I can about Oz.. Very informative, (especially about the beer!) thank you and well done for keeping it going! You’ve been a great help.
    How would I find it if I stayed on in Oz after uni (I want to be a teacher, great teachers pay over there!) considering i’l be on my own without any family etc?

    One thing i’l miss about England… Those crisp clear autumn/winter mornings with frost and golden leaves on the ground…

  • BobinOz September 27, 2010, 8:08 pm |

    Hi Kim

    Thanks for your comment and I’m glad I have been able to help in some way. I’m sure you will really like it here but that’s a good thing! Because I am absolutely convinced that if you come out here to live you will find you’ll have more time to spend with your two kids and that on its own will be well worth the effort.

    Anyway, you’ve done one major move already, second time round it’s sure to be much easier. Good luck with your trip out here, I hope it goes really well.



  • Kim September 24, 2010, 2:32 am |

    Hi Bob
    Great site! we moved from Zimbabwe to the UK – we had a 10 year plan – stay in the UK, work on our careers a bit more, have some kiddies – re-evaluate!
    We have been here 9 years now – so it is re-evaluation time. Hubby is a GP, I am a dentist…we both work in the NHS which is an amazing system…but paperwork paperwork paperwork means less time with patients and…..alot less time with our two kiddies (8 and 5).
    We are coming out for our ‘reckie’ in October and are so nervous….what happens if we really like it! Sounds crazy, but one intercontinental move took about 5 years to call UK home – to restart…again…a little daunting, but your outlook is so positive and balanced – it has given me new confidence to come out ! We will continue to follow your site while we ponder our next 10 year plan!
    Thanks for the insight!

  • john August 4, 2010, 3:09 pm |

    Hi Bob

    Thanks for the advice Bob, I think we will have to approach someone about the application as this would be more sensible due to some of the complexities surrounding the application.We have actually spoke to the wife of a Nurse who completed his own application,so he did say he would give it the once over for us.

    Its funny how you can meet a whole net work of people who have completed or are applying for the same goal.

    Just another question Bob which came to me last night, I know Australia has the nice weather, beaches, barbies, fishing etc etc etc….but can you tell me do they have them things they seem to irritate you betwen the hours of 5pm to 8pm their bigger than a mozi. as surprising as a snake and as deaf as a bat . I do not know what you call them in Aussie land but in England they are them ****ing door canvassers….. and if so what are the gun laws and regulations their in Oz …….(.only joking about the gun laws of couse for any government officials who read your site and track my isp).

    so have a great day Bob… dont forget to tie your wallaby down.


    • BobinOz August 4, 2010, 11:06 pm |

      Ah John

      You haven’t read my ebook have you? “20 Reasons Why YOU Should Move to Australia”. I think I cover that question in the first or second chapter.

      But rest assured, if you hate door-to-door salesman, you’ll love Australia!

  • Ursula August 4, 2010, 7:00 am |

    Hi Bob

    I came across your blog via googling ‘move to australia’. I have enjoyed reading your posts and i am feeling a lot better about my return to Australia.

    I lived in Sydney for 6 years and i met my husband on holiday in Cairns. I am originally from London, UK and my husband is from Edmonton, Canada. We are currently living in Edmonton, Canada, as my husband (then boyfriend) visa run out so we moved to Canada temporarily. We and have been here for nearly two years. I have hated living here and we have had a terribly time deciding on where we should live. After living in Edmonton, going back to live in London seems like paradise. Luckily i got my Australia citizenship before i left. In fact i needed and Australia passport to get a Canadian working holiday visa.

    The problem is, we have too much choice and family to consider. We have thought about moving to a nicer part of Canada, or going back to the UK. But my parents are encouraging us to go back to Australia as they saw that i was happy there and its a better place to bring up children. Our decision is complicated by the fact that we now have a baby on the way and in many ways i want to give it an Australian upbringing. I feel that we can achieve a lot more in Australia and live a better lifestyle. I feel that the secondary education is better in Australia and not sure i want to have my child go a school in London. Things we getting bad when i was at school 15 years ago and from what i hear things have gradually got worse.

    However i am hesitant to be so far from all our family and friends. This is my first child and lots of people have said that it would be better to be nearer family for support. My husbands family would love us to stay in Edmonton, but that is not going to happen. I would rather go back to the UK. I am lucky that my husband is happy to go anywhere. He would live in the UK but he has only been there for a total of 6 weeks and not actually lived there, so he is not really familiar with how life is there.

    So we have our application submitted for my husbands Australia visa, which should be an easy process as we are married. We could be back in Australia at the end of the year. We plan to head to Coffs Harbour and look for work, or Brisbane if all fails. Sydney is just too expensive.

    I love Australia as a country and have travel extensively throughout the country. I wad so proud to become a citizen. I love the fact that the population is relatively small and there is plenty of space,not to mention the brilliant beaches. There is always somewhere to go and visit and so much diversity. I have missed it very much. I think if we chose to return to the UK i would always be hankering for Australia.

    I would just like to know how you and your wife have copped and felt without having your parents around? Do your children know their grandparents? How easy was it too meet friends and are people generally supportive of each other?

    Many thanks


    • BobinOz August 4, 2010, 11:03 pm |

      Hi Ursula

      I have to admit that is one of the things we struggled with, Australia is so very far or way from all your family and friends. That’s why originally we were going to move to France. We could be had finished off a glass of wine in our French home and within seven hours been sitting in an English friend’s back garden. The distance didn’t matter.

      Australia though, different story.

      You are lucky to have fantastic parents, as much as they’d love to see their grandchildren grow up, they recognise that Australia offers a better life.

      As for parents, well, mine are long gone. My wife’s parents generally live six months in the UK and six months here, they have invested in a property here. So yes, our daughter does get to see them. As for friends, checkout this post and the top 3 related posts you’ll see links for at the bottom of that article.

      Goodbye Sam, Goodbye Samantha

      I hope it helps some.



  • BobinOz August 2, 2010, 11:40 pm |

    Hi John

    Small world, when my mother went into labour to give birth to me my parents were living in a rented house in Bournemouth Park Avenue. I then lived in Newington Avenue just around the corner until I was about five years old.

    I don’t blame you for getting the ball rolling yourselves, I know a few people who did the paperwork without an agent to help them. If your skill is not in question, for example you are a nurse or a doctor, then I think that’s half the work done. It only gets a little more tricky when you have to prove your skill.

    Let us know how your application goes.



  • John July 30, 2010, 8:53 pm |

    Hi Bob
    sorry g-day Bob ( I am already their )

    yes thank you for the quick response to my message, me and my wife have set a target of 12-18 months.

    Just touching on the agents work or lack of, we have heard a few stories about misplaced paperwork ,various fee prices etc, so we have decided to get the ball rolling ourselves as with a lot of the information required ( education certificates, passports, marriage certificates etc etc) can only be obtained by your self anyway so we decided not to sit around and wait for the agent to call us and get these things,so touchwood everything works out .

    Southend 1975 I would of been 6 and sitting in a small fishing boat, or fishing off the beach.

    It was so long ago I cannot remember specific details but i do remember Bournemouth park school and my street was Ruskin avenue.

    Just a note to Bob in Oz readers-if any one would like to double check our application once completed we would be very grateful as any mistake could be costly and time consuming ..preferably anyone with admin or executive background welcome………

    Bob have a great day and Im sure we will chat soon.

    Regards John & family

  • BobinOz July 28, 2010, 7:48 pm |

    Hi John

    It’s a good question and one I know I have answered somewhere here on this blog. But can I find it? Nope! So I’m not surprised you couldn’t either.

    But luckily, it’s not the sort of thing you forget. We decided to move to Australia in December 2005, but didn’t put our plan into action until January 2006. We got off to a false start with our migration agent, because our first choice was hopeless. She messed us around for three months.

    At the beginning of April we started using a different agent and by November 2007 we were living in Australia. So start to finish, depending on when you call the “start” is around 20 to 23 months. Door to door.

    It’s a long journey, but worth travelling.

    Good luck, I hope it goes smoothly for you.

    PS. I was on Southend Beach in 1975. Where were you standing?

  • John July 28, 2010, 2:48 am |

    Hi Bob in Oz

    Me and my wife have decided to move to Australia after spending a couple of years pondering the idea.
    Just a quick question ,…How long did it take you from deciding to go—— to landing in oz .


    John ex visitor of southend beach 1975 now living in lancs

  • Christina July 21, 2010, 10:32 am |

    Hi Bob! What a great site! Exactly what I was looking for in my haphazard searching online. My hubby and daughter and son and I live in California and are considering a move to Australia within a couple of years. His mom’s family is all there and he can easily get dual citizenship (which I think means I and the kids can easily get a temporary-to-permanent visa, if I understand things correctly), so at least that’s one headache we won’t have to worry about (too much). The logistics of moving so far do seem overwhelming, but I REALLY appreciate all of your helpful info, especially about the schools. Now we have to figure out how to make a living there and whether our senior pooches could make the trip or not…

    Very exciting! Thanks for getting me enthused. 🙂


    • BobinOz July 21, 2010, 11:58 pm |

      Hi Christina

      Glad to have been of help. It’s good to hear you are thinking of coming over, I hope it works out well. How old are your pooches? Our chocolate lab was one month off 10 years old when we brought him out here. He took it all in his stride. Have you read Baggy’s story?

      • Chris Huculak October 24, 2014, 10:24 pm |

        10 years old? That’s nothing. Our Jack Russell was 17 years old when we emigrated to Oz in 2006. She had one eye and one tooth. To avoid quarantine, we flew with her from England to New Zealand and then hired a motorcaravan to tour around for an expensive but highly enjoyable 3 months. In 2006 there was no quarantine between England and NZ or between NZ and Australia. However, Australian rules said our dog had to have been in NZ for at least 90 days to be accepted as a New Zealand pooch. Our Jack Russell enjoyed the warmth of Brisbane for a good year before she finally expired and was only separated from us for 2 days during the flight from the UK.

        • BobinOz October 26, 2014, 8:17 pm |

          Haha, what a great story. Your one eyed one toothed dog certainly had some great adventures before she finally met her maker, swanning around NZ and then lapping up the Brisbane sun.

          Good on ya, you certainly looked after her and it shows that it’s never too late to move to Australia.

          Cheers, Bob

  • BobinOz July 16, 2010, 12:22 pm |

    Hi Dawn

    I am glad to have been some help to you. Your kids will love the Gold Coast, it’ll seem like paradise. Its theme park central, keep your eye out for the cheap entry passes for local residents. Oh, and of course the great beaches.

    If you do have to leave your Jack Russell behind, make sure you go back for him at some stage. Otherwise you might just miss him more than you thought.

    Good luck with the move.

  • Dawn July 14, 2010, 11:33 pm |

    Hi Bob, I stumbled on your website after googling “red back spiders”.

    My two children (8 and 11) and I are in the process of selling our house etc in Wellington, New Zealand to make the move to Gold Coast. I have to thank you so much for posting the website re schooling over there as this was a major issue for me. As we know nobody over there, we are relying on the internet to inform us as much as possible as to what we should expect when we get there. We have stayed in Main Beach twice and like that area so have started our search from there.

    Unfortunately for us, it looks like we may have to leave our little Jack Russell behind as it looks like our best option to start off with is a furnished apartment.

    I will be checking your website frequently for more advice … so thank you in advance for your wisdom!

  • BobinOz July 12, 2010, 6:07 pm |

    Hi Narzanka

    Thanks for the compliment, totally appreciated! I hope the idea grows and we see you here soon.



  • Narzanka July 12, 2010, 5:47 am |

    Hi, Bob!
    Well, it’s love from first site 🙂 Totally adore your blog!
    We are in the stage – Idea!
    Hope someday somehow someway be there too…..

  • BobinOz July 9, 2010, 12:44 am |

    Hi Heather

    Glad to hear my blog is helping you out. Here’s some more help…. go on, go for it! You won’t be sorry. Just one more teensy weensy country move.

  • Heather July 8, 2010, 7:24 pm |

    Hi Bob, just found your blog, and think it’s great to read your experiences after the move.

    We have already moved countries twice (between South Africa and UK) and now considering a move down under. We are still debating whether we want to go through another country move, but your blog really helps with the practicalities 🙂

  • BobinOz April 23, 2010, 12:37 pm |

    Hi Pat

    When I was a lad, Rochford was famous because it had something like 27 pubs! That’s a lot of boosers for a small place.

    Not so many pubs in Redcliffe, but the beach must make up for that.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  • Pat April 23, 2010, 10:21 am |

    Just a g’day from Redcliffe from a Pom who was born in Rochford Hospital.

  • BobinOz April 19, 2010, 9:13 pm |

    Hi Jasper

    Good to hear from you, sounds like you’re on your way soon. Hope everything goes smoothly, I think you’ll love it here. We’ve never looked back.

    Let me know how it goes.


  • Jasper April 16, 2010, 10:54 pm |

    Bob. Brilliant stuff. We are currently in the process of securing a 457 visa so will be Perth (hopefully) by June 2010. Love the no nonsense blog. Funny but informative stuff. Can’t wait to leave the UK. 39 years in a cold climate is far too long.

  • BobinOz February 19, 2010, 9:26 pm |

    As you can see, my head is taken from that photo, along with my can of beer in my nice little pink stubbie holder and super-imposed on my banner.

    I used that image because it was during that holiday, at almost that time, that I realised Australia was where I wanted to live. So it seemed fitting.

    Also saved me the bother of getting one done professionally. No good at posing.

  • Aviram February 19, 2010, 8:24 pm |

    “The BobinOz logo image ”

    Bob, why this photo after all?

  • BobinOz February 7, 2010, 3:07 pm |

    There’s not an easy way to break the news to your family. There will be tears, especially if you have children. But if you do have kids, sell it on the idea that you want a better life for them (it is).

    And when they come out to visit you, they will see for themslves how much better it is and they will forgive you for moving……..probably…..I think.

    Let me know how it goes.

  • Caroline February 5, 2010, 3:00 am |

    Printed out the engineer skills assessment form today and getting the CV sorted tonight…now to pick an agent.

    One quickie – any advice on breaking the news to family in the UK that you’re upping sticks and leaving for sunnier climes?

  • Caroline February 3, 2010, 11:56 pm |

    Been reading more of your blog at work (don’t tell) and am now even more enthused; very helpful to read all about the application process and it has made me think just get on with whilst we’re still discussing things…at least then the plan is in motion.

    Re France vs Australia – please tell me what I hope to hear that the wine is great there too??


    • BobinOz February 4, 2010, 12:54 pm |

      Your secret is safe with me. I say yes! Get the paperwork started. It’s a long process so why wait? Our plan was, if Australia won’t have us, we’ll just go to France.

      My wife is the wine drinker, and you might like to read my post about the cost of wine here, click on this link wine prices. But in a nutshell, red wines are really good and the whites aren’t bad either. Prices are low enough to experiment. You’ll have fun checking them out and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  • BobinOz February 3, 2010, 8:02 pm |

    Hi Caroline

    We ummed and aaahhed lots over France v Australia, but in the end the language problem and our perception that France was a bit sleepy and yes, hard to find work for us English, swayed us to Oz.

    Absolutely no regrets. Or regret rien! We love it here and so does our daughter. I’m thrilled that I appear to have enthused you about Australia.

    Hope to see you here soon.



  • Caroline February 3, 2010, 7:06 am |

    Hi Bob

    I literally stumbled onto your website when investigating gardening in Oz. Hubby and I are like you used to be – hankering to live the ‘year in Provence’ lifestyle in France. Trouble is the lingo…oh well you gotta earn a living!! Australia seems like a real possibility with his work so we’re seriously looking into it and your website has filled me with enthusiasm – thanks!!

  • Dave January 12, 2010, 10:01 am |

    Hi Bob, just found this site after watching some program on Sky1 about couples making the decision to leave the Uk for Aus.

    May I enquire what you do for a living and maybe your wife and how do you cope with child care, benefit system if any?


    • BobinOz January 13, 2010, 8:51 pm |

      Hi Dave

      Glad you found my site.

      Both my wife and I work from home. My wife runs a dog care business for dogs emigrating to Australia who have to spend time in quarantine. I build and run a number of websites. So neither of us have to worry about childcare, it is normally other peoples children who end up around our house after school!

      But I do know there are plenty of facilities here to take care of children whose parents work. If you can be more specific about what exactly it is you’d like to know and what sort of benefits you’d like to know about, I’ll look into it for you.



      • Alex January 3, 2013, 4:24 pm |

        Hi Bob, On the subject of your employment in Australia you didnt exactly reply, would I be correct in believing that you are self employed in this site that you run?… My wife and I have lived in Australia twice now and built a house there on both occasions, we went on a retirement visa and lived on the sunshine coast in the Noosa area. (such a great area) We would still be there but for my wifes love of the U.K and everything British (Waitrose Marks and sparks etc) to be honest its the weather over there that I miss…..I am currently looking for a new warm destination to live now that the Australian $ is way overpriced at the moment and history tells me that the A$ jumps to great highs and lows over the short years so I will await the next decline of Au exports to China. I agree with you that currency exchange should not worry long term immigrants if they are paid in Aus $. As a retired person all of my finances are held in the U.K and as so I have to compare every Au purchase with sterling, Australia is a great country for young families but they need to live in a city for employment, but the sunshine coast…. its second to none for retirement.
        Great web site Bob, good sensible information. Of course European property is running very cheap at the moment… but we will need some language lessons etc to live there. My wife and I have made many moves around the U.K over the years and a move to Australia is not much different, just the time it takes to get there 24 hours… simple go for it.

        Best regards Bob..

        • BobinOz January 4, 2013, 8:29 pm |

          Hi Alex

          You are correct, I am self employed, but this website is only part of what I do. I have a few other things going on that keep me away from the unthinkable, working for somebody else.

          The Sunshine Coast certainly is a fantastic place to live, but I’d compare it to somewhere like Cornwall; not much work about and best suited to those in retirement. Beautiful place though.

          I hope you find a suitably sunny place soon, maybe you could hang out in Spain until the time is right to return to Australia? I do understand what you are saying about exchange rate and the effect on your pension, I wrote about it in the post called British Pensions in Australia: The Bad News.

          Anyway, hope to see you back here soon.



  • james December 14, 2009, 5:55 pm |

    hi Bob,

    Its great to get an honest opinion of someone local (I spent every summer in Southend with the grandparents). My wife and I after our five year plan are moving to Oz in 3 weeks. We have been so many times before but obviously holidays and living are two completely different things and its good to get some real life facts from an English point of view, just wanted to say keep up the good work and thanks for helping


    • BobinOz December 14, 2009, 6:34 pm |

      Hi James

      It’s good to hear from you and I’m glad you have been enjoying my site. I hope it has helped in some way.

      It sounds as if you have an exciting month ahead, I hope it all goes well. Don’t forget to say goodbye to Southend cockle sheds, and cockles. I don’t think we have them here.

      Good luck and when you have settled in, perhaps you could let me know how it all went.



  • BobinOz August 16, 2009, 6:25 pm |

    It’s just goes to show that Australia isn’t always for everyone. Although, perhaps I detect a slight hankering for a return? I am a very perceptive guy (… “pine for the palm trees, sunny morns, open space…. and lifestyle, Sunshine coast beaches” and “We may return 1 day”) were the subtle clues I’ve picked up on.

    So look after that dual nationality, and I may see you back here soon. Thanks for the kind words and do stay in touch.


  • John August 15, 2009, 6:58 am |

    Hi Bob,
    Thanks for a refreshingly simple site to read and enjoy. My wife and I lived in Brissie for 4 years ( Sunnybank) , but retrned to the Uk when our boy was 1 year old. We had a wonderful Xmas holiday in Uk and returned boomarang stlye within 6 months. Wel its 10 years now in the UK , and we dont hate life here , we just pine for the palm trees , sunny morns , open space ( even though we live in Devon ) , and lifestyle ,Sunshine coast beaches . We have dual nationality and so do our children , Sam , now 11 and Abby 10 . We may return 1 day , but for now thanks. JOhn.

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