Moving to Australia – Part Fifteen

The story of how we moved to Australia has almost come to an end. If you don’t live in Australia but you want to, then your story has not yet begun. If you want it to begin, it has to start with an idea. Everything in this universe started with an idea, including the universe. (I think).

We had sold out home in England, we had arrived in Australia and validated our visas, we moved into our new Australian home and, of course, we had hit the beaches to relax. We were finally living in Australia. But something was missing. Our move was not fully complete. Let’s play spot the difference…….





Did you spot it? Yes, the furniture. If you remember, we loaded up a container with all our worldly goods just a couple of weeks or so before we flew out to Australia on a one-way ticket. In fact, the container left our house on Wednesday October the 24th. We were told we could have our furniture in Australia before Christmas “if we were lucky”.

We weren’t.

We were probably quite the opposite, very unlucky. It wasn’t until January 21st that our stuff finally arrived. Even taking into account Christmas and New Years being in between, the 6 to 8 week delivery estimate had stretched to almost 3 months. At times we wondered if it had all got lost at sea! Believe me, that is not a pleasant thought.

That nasty thought aside, personally I wasn’t that bothered. To me it was actually a bonus that the furniture didn’t show up any earlier. As you can see from the two pictures above, I had a lot of decorating to do. Decorating in a house with no stuff is about twice as easy.

But as I mentioned in Elizabeth’s story, our little girl was struggling with the move and not having any of her toys made it really difficult for her to settle in. So January the 21st didn’t come soon enough for her. And by the end of January everything was unpacked and in place and all the boxes were gone.

At last it really did feel like home. Now our move to Australia really was complete.

And do we have any regrets about moving to Australia? None whatsoever. We absolutely love it here. Our lives are just so much better.

What do I miss about England? The pub and playing football.

That’s it. Nothing else. But instead of the pub I have plenty of barbecues both at home and out. Our social life is way better than it used to be back in England. And just recently I have started using our local sports club, not to play sports (that would be silly) – but to have a beer at the bar. About five or six of us meet in their every two or three weeks, so it’s like having my pub back.

And playing football?

Yes I miss it but I do not miss the injuries. At my age, it was about time I hung my boots up. A few weeks ago I had an email from one of my English pals, Alan, who I used to play football with. He tells me they are all injured! So much so that they have cancelled football for three months whilst they all recover. He is not convinced they all will.

Yes, I had hung up my boots at the right time.

If you’re thinking about moving to Australia I would say think no more. Do it if you can you – you won’t be disappointed.

For a full chronological list and brief description of all the posts in this series about how I moved to Australia, please visit my page How to Move to Australia.

Visa Assessment Service
{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Mumin June 8, 2017, 9:55 am |

    Hi Bob,
    Great site.
    In 2 weeks I’m relocating to Sydney.
    I wondered if I can bring with me rice and rosted seeds.
    From some reason I have a good friend who asked me to bring some with me. He says that our home country rice and seeds are better.

    Anyway, for your knowledge, should be any issue?
    Should I declare on it on AU custom when I arrive?


    • BobinOz June 8, 2017, 6:12 pm |

      I’m pretty sure that seeds can be a bit of an issue with customs, and I’m not sure about the rice. The bottom line is you can bring them but you will see signs at Customs saying that any foodstuff must be declared. They will then ask you what it is, maybe take a look at it, and then they will either let you keep it or they will take it away from you and destroy it.

      I do not suggest trying to smuggle them in, not a good idea.

      If these things do not cost you a lot of money, it’s worth a try, and funny enough I have found that declaring food often gets you through customs quicker because it is usually a shorter queue.

  • Kevin April 22, 2016, 6:23 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Once again, thank you very much for your Website, I have spent hours reading it and getting tons of Information….
    I have made the first step and downloaded the file to contact your MARA Agent and keep thinking about we are going to organize everything if it works out, take a Container or buy everything new and so on…

    So here is my question ; As we bought few months ago new beds for the Kids and us and a few other things, I believe that a container might be a good solution. However as it takes quiet long to arrive, how can you live 3 months without table / beds / couch and so on ?

    Second question : We will definitely don’t buy a house online so we will have to search a house to rent once arrived… It means that the first month (let’s stay positive) we must find a temporary solution… Any piece of advice ? Furnished appartments ? Serviced appartments ?



    • BobinOz April 22, 2016, 8:16 pm |

      Hi Kevin

      That is a very good first step, I do hope your assessment goes well.

      And yes, a container would be perfect for you, but as you say, there are some things you can’t live for three months without. When we got here we purchased a couch, two beds, a TV and a barbecue. The box the barbecue came in was turned upside down and used as a coffee table.

      Usually you will be moving into a bigger house, so the extra beds you have bought can go in the spare rooms for when the relatives visit. If you know people here in Australia, you can always borrow stuff, or you can buy cheap things from garage sales, gumtree, eBay and even the local councils rubbish tips usually have shops.

      For somewhere to live when you get here, these days I’m suggesting a search on AirBnB. Look for a hefty discount for booking for six weeks or so. Hope that helps, Bob

  • Wendy John February 4, 2016, 2:10 pm |

    Hi Bob

    Well I am here in Oz after waiting nine years, and have brought UK televisions with my furniture and effects. Do you know if these TVs will work in Australia, if so what does one need to do?


    • BobinOz February 4, 2016, 5:51 pm |

      I’m not sure anymore, not since we’ve gone all digital and with the advent of smart TVs. At worst, if it doesn’t you could buy a set-top box (tuner), you can get a real cheap one for about $25, and connect it to your TV through the USB.

    • Andy September 21, 2016, 2:16 pm |

      Hi Wendy,
      My experience, moving out here about a year ago was that our TV couldn’t pick up any signal in Oz, despite being a good modern set. So I got a digital set top box and plugged it in with an HDMI cable.
      It’s possible yours might be configurable to a different region.

  • Caroline Mason May 8, 2015, 9:30 pm |

    Hi Em,

    This page might help –

    Wood furniture should be ok, it’s just untreated wood that can be a problem.

    Hope the page above helps, let me know if you have any questions at all.

    Many thanks

  • Em Hughes May 8, 2015, 12:33 am |

    Was wondering whether you knew what you cannot take in to the country when immigrating? Tried looking online and not having much luck. Heard you cannot take wood, leather ect but then that’d out sofas,tv stands znd furniture out of the question haha. Thankyou

    • BobinOz May 8, 2015, 9:21 pm |

      We brought plenty of wooden furniture over and as far as I’m aware there’s not a problem with leather either. Wood that has been in the garden, i.e. garden furniture, that’s dodgy as is anything that has come into contact with soil.

      You can give these kinds of items are thorough clean with a power wash and detergent and they might get through. If they don’t though, the worst that happens is that they will be destroyed by customs but they usually give you an option to have them cleaned by them, although it’s usually not worth the cost to recover the goods, obviously depending what it is.

      Hope that helps, Bob

  • Dave J March 8, 2014, 5:25 am |

    Hi Bob,
    Great blog!! Really helpful & informative. I’m in Manchester & looking to come out to oz in around 18 month – 2 years when i complete my HNC in Electrical Engineering. I’ll have 3 yrs experince behind me by then. My wife is a health care assistant with 10 yrs experience so hopefully she’ll find work no problem.
    I’ve been advised to apply for a 190 skilled visa that gives permanent residency?? Would you recommend this??
    Finally, I have 2 daughters who’ll be 10 & 8 at the time of the move. I was hoping to move to Queensland?? Would you recommend that for us?? Or maybe somewhere near Melbourne? I also love football & will really miss that but like the rugby league so I’ll have to just pick a team & follow them & watch my beloved Utd on tv!!



    • BobinOz March 9, 2014, 8:53 pm |

      Okay Dave, let’s get the important stuff out of the way first. Football is played here, it’s a bit of a rising sport. You will be able to watch plenty of football on Foxtel, they show all of the EPL games and I mean all of them in full. It’s like Sky, so you will have to pay for it.

      I’ve played football both indoor and out since I’ve moved here, so no reason to hang up your boots yet.

      I love Queensland, I think it would be great for your daughters, my little girl is 10 herself now, she loves it here in Brisbane.

      Finally, I can’t recommend anything for you in terms of visas, I leave that to my expert who is a MARA registered migration agent. If you want to know what he thinks, then go through my Visa Assessment Service for a full written report.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Dean Tobin March 6, 2013, 6:44 am |

    Hi Bob …
    Loving your blogs can’t take my eyes off them . I’m nearly finished school and after college I was thinking about getting a working visa to Australia for a year , can you tell me do you need a skill to get that visa ?
    Thanks Dean

    • BobinOz March 6, 2013, 8:58 pm |

      Hi Dean

      Glad you love my blog 🙂

      No, you do not need a skill to qualify for a Working Holiday Visa, but you will need to prove that you have access to a minimum of $5000 as part of the qualifying process. Other than that, I think this visa is quite easy to qualify for as long as you are aged 18 to 30 and come from a country for which this visa is available.

      Lots of youngsters come over on these visas and have a great time, I hope you do too.



  • BobinOz February 26, 2013, 4:03 pm |

    Hi Sally

    Unless you are living together and have been for more than 12 months (with proof) then yes, you will need a visa each. I couldn’t recommend a particular place in Australia, everybody is different and what might be a great place for one person could be terrible to another.

    I suggest you have a good read of my page A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia and go through all of the links on my other page, that way you can narrow it down a bit. Read the comments too, they are very helpful.

    I haven’t properly looked into the current situation with mortgages, I think it might be difficult to arrange one before you get here and also it depends what kind of visa you are coming over on as to whether you can buy a house straight away or not. Getting a job before you get here isn’t easy either, you can find out more about that my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

    Good luck


  • Sally Cullen February 22, 2013, 7:59 am |

    Hi, your blog has helped me and my boyfriend out loads, just a few questions though…
    As we’re not married would we both need visas?
    Where would you recommend staying in Australia? We would want to be living very close to the beach but close enough to a town for business and work?
    When buying a house you mentioned paying the whole amount within two weeks, is there a way you can get a mortgage before moving?
    And is there a sight which you can apply for jobs before moving?
    Thanks Sally

  • Alec August 23, 2012, 12:06 pm |

    Hey, im a high school senior over in the USA. Do you have any tips for moving and starting out over there? Anything is greatly appreciated, thanks!

    • BobinOz August 24, 2012, 2:25 pm |

      Yes, apply for a Working Holiday Visa first, that’s a temporary one-year visa for those aged 18 to 30 which also allows you to work here during that time. It is also possible, if you meet certain criteria (working in agriculture I think is one of them) to extend that visa to a second year.

      This visa is quite easy to get compared with others and is a great way for you to check out this country first to see if you really like it. Good luck!

  • Greg July 18, 2011, 11:01 am |

    We live in the United States and are in stage one. If we do manage to make the move, would it make more sense economically to move all our belongings or to sell them and buy new when we get to Australia?

    • BobinOz July 19, 2011, 12:29 am |

      Hi Greg

      Probably not. You would need transformers for all of your electrical equipment, I would think, and they aren’t cheap. I believe you are on 110 to 120 V, Australia is on 220 to 240 V. For the rest of your furniture, I suppose it depends on the condition of what you’ve got. If it’s good, I bring it. The best way is to find out the cost of shipping and decide from there.

  • BobinOz December 22, 2010, 6:02 pm |

    Hi Kate

    Oh dear, that is a bit of a downer. But not the end, as you know. Good luck with that agency, I hope they find a way in for you. And never give up!

    Hi Pauline

    And welcome! A good tip about the container, we waited long enough for our stuff to turn up and we had our own container. Fully three months we were without our stuff! Yes, it sure was like Christmas and all our birthdays when it did finally show up.

    You sound as happy as I am here….. And like your kids, our daughter loves it here too.

  • Pauline December 21, 2010, 12:52 pm |

    Hi BobinOz
    Just read some of your very amusing blog… the memories came flooding back, we moved out 2004 and never regretted a moment. Just a bit of advice to the shipping of furniture out, DON’T SHARE A CONTAINER! We left some furniture in our uk house (which we initially rented out) as it would cost more to ship it out than buy new so didn’t have enough to fill a whole container. The problem being you are then tied to the other person sharing your container and THEIR schedule which can delay things! We would sit on the beach watching ships coming into Sydney wondering if our furniture was on it, then when it did arrive it was like Christmas and bazaar seeing our ‘stuff’ in what felt like a holiday home, then remembered we were here for good 🙂 Can I recommend the move….YES I CAN!!! Kids are soooo happy.

  • Kate in Norfolk December 20, 2010, 8:22 pm |

    It seems Australia doesn’t want me right now! 🙁 I’m a primary school teacher and my occupation has been taken off the SOL list, but I’m not going to give up. I’m in contact with an agency who might be able to help. Thanks for your encouragement.


  • BobinOz December 20, 2010, 7:55 pm |

    Hi Kate

    Everyone starts at stage one!

    I hope you get to the final stage and get to enjoy living in Australia as much as I do. Thanks for the great comments and good luck in your journey. Hope to see you here soon.

  • Kate in Norfolk December 20, 2010, 7:34 am |

    I’m still at stage 1!! But what a brilliant blog. So informative and useful. Thanks.

  • BobinOz September 12, 2010, 10:07 pm |

    That’s great news Chris. The reason I added the new index for my moving to Australia story was that I felt it was too hard to navigate without it. I assume that you read it from this page….

    How to Move to Australia

    So, you are in “stasis” right now, uncomfortable isn’t it? I hope you zoom up to part 15 quickly. Anyway, yes that was a 40 foot container and we managed to fill three quarters of it. We brought absolutely everything except the kitchen sink. And we are glad we did, nothing has gone to waste and it has saved us a fortune. Buying new stuff is great fun but very expensive. Moving to Australia is expensive enough without all that.

  • Chris September 12, 2010, 10:08 am |

    Hey Bob, just finished reading your entire “how to move to Oz” series (in one go). I myself am at about part 9 but cant wait to be at part 15!
    That container looked to be a 40 footer, did you manage to fill that? Did you take everything you had with you?
    A very informative blog mate, hope my medical goes a little smoother though!!!
    Thanks Bob.

  • BobinOz July 21, 2010, 11:47 pm |

    Hi Mike

    It’s great to hear you are on your way to Oz to take a look around. I hope you have a fantastic time while you’re here. Do send me an e-mail when you’re headed towards Brisbane, we can skip the football if you want, but I never say no to a beer.

  • mike July 21, 2010, 6:48 am |

    …I haven’t miss not even one of your “newsletters”. I find your blog very usefull for my future. As I was telling you month ago I’m interested to move to Australia…and guess what…ha,ha…I’m about to do the first step; I’m coming to visit Australia. I will be also in Brisbane for a week…without playing football or futsal like they call it. I might do you a pleasure by playing in the opponent team…usual, teams where I play get ruined. But who knows… the pub idea sounds nice. If I will become a “puber” free beer for you is guaranteed. I like to say: see you soon and until then… cheers

  • Clare June 26, 2009, 11:12 pm |

    just wanted say how much I love your blog – it’s really entertaining! We’re hoping to be on the move down under in the next couple of months so your blog has been giving us lots of useful info and laughs along the way.

    keep it coming,
    Clare (plus Jon and the kids)

    • BobinOz June 29, 2009, 1:48 pm |

      Hey Clare, Jon, kids
      Glad you love my blog – you’ll love living here even more! Hope the move goes through Ok for you all and yes, I’ll keep it coming.

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