Had Enough of Australia, Want to Move to England!

No, not me……..

And now for something completely different…….

There are always two sides to every coin, of course. One of my more controversial categories has been “Cost of Living — Australia” which has attracted several comments doubting the validity of my findings. As if!

One woman in particular, Vivienne, felt that Australia was NOT cheap and made her views clear in a comment on my post about the cost of groceries in Australia.

So I replied to her comment and then she sent me the following email, reprinted here with her kind permission…….


NOT Vivienne

NOT Vivienne

Yes I agree there is not much difference in prices between the 2 countries but so many people I meet believe Australia is so much cheaper….may have been decades ago but not so now.

I don’t think houses are much cheaper although you do get a much bigger home in Australia so it appears to be value for money or though the quality of homes in oz are rubbish can hear all outside noise….jerry built!!!

I live in a large 100 year Victorian home and I have lived in many homes in oz being all types, and have found this home to be the quietest …considering it is terraced and our neighbours have 4 kids…still cant believe the quality of it.

I find Australia compared to England like a 3rd world country doesn’t offer too much, so much desert and dead gum trees for miles and miles. Scenery is very bland compared to the UK

UK is very lush and green with lovely architecture, quaint villages, historical sites, fantastic funfairs at the sea side …… I am
totally in love with England apart from the crime and the really cold weather.

I do believe Australia has none of that to offer.

I don’t know where you are staying in oz but I grew up in Victoria living in Melbourne, Gippsland and the famous Phillip Island……..I have moved approx every 3 years of my 35 in years in oz.

I travelled all of Australia except W.A., travelled from Melbourne by car up to Alice Springs onto Darwin then onto Cairns to Sydney and back home. Didn’t think much of the trip scenery was similar all the way , being in the outback  seeing aboriginal queuing up at the pub at 9 am or there squalor huts was like visiting a 3rd world county.

I was very surprised to read that you said you weren’t paying school fees, all STATE schools in Victoria you have to pay term fees which are very expensive approx $120 per term.x3.

I and my boys have only ever gone to state schools and always had these fees also stationery fees, and uniform which trust me when kids get to secondary it is much dearer.

I cant believe that school  and doctors are  free here  it is too good to be true in fact I feel as though I am cheating the system some how….when first arrived I offered to pay both on first visits and they both looked at me like a alien.

The other thing you need to mention in your blog is ambulance fees in oz if you’re not a member it will cost you a bloody fortune, unlike here again it is free to my surprise.

I could go on forever, but overall I do love the English people and there witty characters, their honesty and friendliness I don’t know how you find the Australians but I found them to have a lot of road rage and rude will not go out of there way for most people.

Where are you living in oz??

Bye Vivienne

So that’s when I emailed Vivienne and asked her if I could quote her email online in a post and she said “Yes you can post my views on your blog” – which is why I have printed the email today. Vivienne then went on to say…..

“And yes England and Europe is steeped in history and traditions, unfortunately Australia is lacking of it.

My husband spent 30 years living in Australia he is now 63 spent all of his adult life there he was trapped with his first wife wanting to return to UKalthough he is very easily pleased were  he lives,  but after arriving back in UK he has vowed never to return to oz.

He is still in love with the scenery and waking up to the misty cool mornings and most of all be able to work comfortably in the weather.

My eldest boy at the time 11/12 come home from school learning telling me all about Egyptians Mummies and King Tut, invasion of Vikings, generations of royal family- Henry the eighth and so on, world war 2. School bought in a old polish man telling his story how he escaped the war and the dangers of it and so much more I cant remember it all.

My boys go to a public school (edit: I think she means state school) we don’t live in a nice area-Sutton in Ashfield  and there education is superb….I never got taught any of this at school.

I find when my boys are coming home I sit there fully attentive listening and learning my self from them; they think I am dumb because I don’t know the depth of this history.

I have to remind them Australia education standards are behind.

My son left school in Australia Berwick(vice)when he was in year 2(8yr) when he started school here  school was cramming allot more in at first he felt very behind and seemed to overwhelmed by it but after 6 months he caught up to the educations pace.

They say life it self is an education well it has certainly opened my eyes up exploring Europe.

I lived a sheltered life in Victoria.”

Bye Vivienne

Vivienne has raised some interesting issues here and I have certainly learnt a few things.  I thank her for that. She has shown us, without doubt, the other side of the coin.

I’ll give my reply tomorrow, and it might not be what you think.

Visa Assessment Service
{ 84 comments… add one }
  • Abby March 25, 2017, 9:55 pm |

    Hi POP,

    I have a question regards public schools in Victoria, Australia. I am a guardian of my daughter who’s studying at Monash Uni. in Australia. The issue, I have a little daughter who’s gonna live with me in Australia, so do international students have to pay any fees to join a public school?
    If it’s required to pay, how much is gonna cost the 11th grade?
    Do I have to get a student visa for her?
    Do I have to email the district or your ministry of education to get acceptance for my daughter to get into a public school?
    I don’t know from where I start to get a visa for her, can you help please?
    My daughter was studying the primary and the middle high school in USA, so her first language is English? but her native language is not English, is it obligated to take a second language? Please if you have a link of the education system in Australia, I’ll be so thankful.

    Thanks POP in Advance

    • BobinOz March 27, 2017, 7:06 pm |

      Well, I have lots of information about schools on my page called Which school? You have also asked about visas and other things though, I cannot help with that. What you really need to do is speak to a MARA registered migration agent, you can find out about those on my page about Visas.

      You might also get some help from my page about Student Visas.

  • RobInOz January 21, 2017, 11:49 am |

    I’m a born and raised Aussie, but my parents were both £10 Poms….. as a result I have both Australian and UK passports…..

    I’m thinking of relocating to the UK… maybe forever, maybe just a couple of years, or maybe a couple of months…. I won’t know till I get there.

    I’m not looking for some trite ‘ten step’ guide, but I would like an idea of the essentials….. I enjoy an adventure, and I’ve stepped of planes in foreign countries with just my trusty old army pack a few tim in the past….

    I’m guessing that having a UK passport will make things easier, but im guessing it’ll also come with extra responsibilities, too. It’d be handy to know who I can/should ‘report to’ in my first week as a returning ‘BOS’.

    • Cathy Browning January 22, 2017, 12:24 am |

      Hi RobinOz,
      Returned to the UK myself to be around aged parent but intend to return to Australia when the time comes. Firstly, you need to get registered with a doctor – you are accepted based on where you live (catchment area) as they get paid a fee for you to be on their books regardless of whether or not you visit them.

      Be prepared for lots of paperwork if applying for jobs. Seems you need to identify yourself time and time again so have your passport with you when necessary. Open a bank account – this can be hard and incur a fee of approx £60! with relevant documentation needed. You will need a bank account so no getting around this. It is not compulsory to vote in the UK but you should register – go online and check it out. TV licensing in currently £165 per year!!! Car tax disc have been abolished but you must pay your fee to the Driving Vehicle License Authority (DVLA) – check it out online. You must also register for tax with HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs aka ATO). You may have to give up your State driving licence to get a UK one. Depending upon where you locate to, traffic is a nightmare compared with Aus. Motorways often block up coming to a standstill due to accidents. Weather is not good most of the year. Not sure we even had a summer last year! Since being back, my impression depending upon area is that it is overcrowded, dirty with lots of litter compared to Aus, with plenty of EU nationalities of all types here. Some areas could be likened to other parts of the world. But it all depends on where you go to.

      There are some lovely parts of the UK – you just need to make a list of your needs. Public transport is good but trains are expensive – book well in advance for best prices. the countryside is wonderful as are the huge array of historic buildings. Weather’s not the best. Booze is sold in supermarkets here unlike in Qld but there is a huge variety of craft beers if that’s your tipple. Everyone seems glued to a mobile here – everywhere.

      All depends on what you want and your lifestyle. I would advise coming over for a few months before relocating so you can check out the areas of interest.

      Any further info required, just ask.


      • RobInOz January 22, 2017, 12:13 pm |

        G’day Cathy.

        It doesn’t sound like you are enjoying yourself over there…. sorry to read that.

        I’m not sure how long I intend to stay, so bank accounts, driving licence, and tv are not primary concerns. Medical is another story, so I’ll take on board your advice about registering with a doc.

        My dad’s from York, so I plan to spend some time there…. Other than that, I have no solid plans.

        Trains, buses, and walking suits me fine for most travel….

        a Visa card and internet banking should do me until I decide where to settle down….

        Do people just ‘wander’ in the UK, like they do in Aus? Do pubs have rooms?

        • BobinOz January 22, 2017, 9:13 pm |

          Cathy has given you a wonderful answer Robinoz (love the name :-)), better than I could have done. Yes, it does sound like Cathy is pining to return to Queensland, but as she says, she’ll be back when the time is right.

          For my money, the UK is definitely worth a look, and York is lovely, lots of history. Maybe you will want to stay, maybe you won’t, so I wouldn’t rush into doing those things that are normally necessary for a permanent stay.

          People in the UK don’t behave too much differently than those here, they just wear more layers of clothing and often have an umbrella 🙂 I think some pubs have rooms, but not all. Enjoy your visit, however long you stay, Bob

        • Cathy Browning January 22, 2017, 11:23 pm |

          Yes, RobinOz, some pubs have rooms but not all and those that do are often old and basic. Again, all depends on where you go. You might be better off in a Bed & Breakfast place or staying in an AirBnB and sometimes you can get cheap hotel deals.

          York is home to the National Railway Museum, free entry, over the tracks from the railway station and well worth a look if you like trains. York Minster is a must as are the Shambles – narrow roads from days gone by with great individual shops. Full of history and as Bob says, York is a treasure – lovely place, as are the Yorkshire Dales where I spent childhood holidays. You may find some British accents take a bit of getting used to and a bit hard to understand.

          Generally speaking to register with a GP on the NHS, you need a permanent address. You will need to check it out online as things may be different for you – being born and breed here I already had a national insurance number which qualifies me for NHS free treatment. However, that said, the NHS will always treat anyone with a life threatening illness regardless – health tourism is a real bone of contention here with some coming with stage three cancer just to be treated for free.

          People tend not to wander as they do in Aus. You will notice a huge difference with people everywhere, a small island nation with way too many people. Some, like our adventurous selves are happy to wander but the British mindset is job, housing, family, 2 weeks holiday abroad somewhere hot, in a resort or beachside town, all herded together (not my cup of tea) and repeat each year. Most are not very adventurous – scared of change I suppose, and the unknown, liking the familiar.

          All supermarkets have an abundance of ‘ready meals’ ready to heat in the microwave, ideal in your situation and there are plenty of take-aways if that’s your thing.

          British Rail is no longer with a variety of train companies operating. Virgin Trains are the most modern but don’t operate throughout the UK but generally on the main routes. Coach travel is big so check out:
          Rail: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ and Coach: http://www.nationalexpress.com/ and https://uk.megabus.com/ Always book in advance if possible for best prices.
          If hiring a car, I think it is cheaper to arrange in in Oz as you will probably get better rates. Currently, unleaded is £1.19 per litre. As you travel north, the amount of traffic lessens and driving in some areas is a pleasure as in the Yorkshire Dale. However, get near any big town or city and it’s a different kettle of fish. Major motorways can be efficient if no hold ups or accidents. Sometimes an accident have been known to cause tailbacks up to 10 miles.

          To see Britain from a tourist point of view it’s a wonderful place with so much to see from beautiful national parks and areas of outstanding beauty to a full range of historic buildings from the smallest of houses to stately homes – we have the full spectrum. Living here long term is different. Lots depends on where you live and your age group. Pubs are not nearly as abundant as before due to booze being sold in supermarkets and a clamp down on drink driving (but nothing like Qld).

          Waking to frost on the ground and a grey overcast day is miserable. Central heating is on for many months – at a cost. We have many many overcast grey days, a fair bit of rain and drizzle and snow in the winter sometimes – again all depends on what part of the country you are in – some never see snow, other parts get snowed in, and lots of things grind to a halt, motorways, roads, schools closed. Summer can be glorious but isn’t guaranteed. Spring is lovely as is autumn with the wonderful colours on the trees.

          Clothes here are cheap – again its all relative. Generally, there is a wider variety of consumer goods on offer due to the increased population. Lots of German cars on the roads – the new ‘must have’. Four wheel drives are increasingly common – status symbol to take the kids to school etc and rarely used for purpose. Cars tend to be narrower here to deal with the smaller roads.

          Hope this helps.

          • RobInOz January 23, 2017, 9:49 am |

            Thanks for all the useful information… this is exactly what I was after…

            I’m a former soldier, so I’m pretty hardy. I’ve traveled extensively throughout Aus and Asia, often with just my trusty old pack and a good attitude.

            I’ve read that knives are frowned upon in the UK, so I will have to leave my trusty old bayonet behind… that’s a tool I will miss, but I’m sure I can pick up something legal when I get there.

            Being over 50, I’ve slowed a bit, and I’d rather crawl into a pub than my sleeping bag under a convenient bush, but I can still cope with sleeping rough if need be…. I still love a campfire and a rabbit.

            Can I carry a bow in the UK? It’s something I normally carry when out. Yah in Oz. Nothing flash, just a basic 55# recurve.

            • Mark January 23, 2017, 2:54 pm |

              Hi RobinOZ Your 55 bow will not go down well at all (unless your in Nottingham Forest and dressed in green tights answering to the name of Robin Hood 🙂 ). Yes you are correct the knives are frowned upon but the law behind carrying them is confusing. You can carry a knife as long as its non locking eg folding blade and the cutting edge is less than 3 inches 7.6 cm. However certain buildings have their own rules so wander into the Houses of Parliament with it in your pocket and you will have to hand it in. Now if for any reason you get this knife out in a populated area youd get away with saying say that and sitting there peeling and slicing your apple up. but just looking at it might draw someones attention…of course if you get it out and then threaten anyone then you will be in the do do. Though defend able if it was self defence but that’s a whole other area.
              If your doing some stays B&B style pub type guest houses then google them as you go. There are several books available for BnB the AA do a good one AA being sort of RAC or book-a-bnb.com If your going to York many of the guesthouses are near the racecourse and if going in Winter as it is now you’ll be fine…Summer it can get busy…Also have a look on UKcampsite website its for tents and caravans, if you go in Spring Summer you could use these fairly economically for some sites with a cheap tent UK bought …A long term eg two week guest house may be value by the time you have bought tent sleeping bag stove cutlery (no fires) etc…but for a month or so the tent gets cheaper by the day As another suggestion try a caravan rental eg static for a week or two out of season these will be cheap. Either of these options will let you usually have mail sent eg doctors registration You could apply for a National insurance number while you are here if you had an address to stay for two weeks or so Train travel use http://www.nationalrail.co.uk. dont eat the food on them (been the butt of Jokes for years and with good reason) .
              If your in York its worth taking a look at Manchester or Liverpool whatever you do dont sleep just anywhere there, it would be classed as rough so a vagrant and all manner of things may happen. Id say the same for York though as there is more greenery round youd get away with it easier. City’s NO way…Chester is a lovely place again campsites on the UKcampsite website close by I guess really in UK you hear the terms I’m going backpacking around Aus I dont think so many say Im going backpacking around UK…In summer you will find say in the lakes predominantly though anywhere for that matter, folks on bikes with big rucksacks, home on shoulder so to speak…Try the UK campsiites, its as expensive as this site…. free …and ask the question in the forum, you may even find someone selling some tent equipment or a static van for hire… In reading your posts Id be surprised if you last the month there…Its a lovely place especially for a holoday but I think you may be too Aussie homegrown to put up with the UK ways…If you are travelling near Chester Manchester or Liverpool or London I know many a good place to visit, not so much campsites but those are easy….One other thing you may find on ebay UK someone selling a whole set of camping gear you could even collect when there if thats your preferred option… Oh I forgot Hull mmmmm its city of culture soon and not far from York but they say there is only two good things to come out of Hull one is the M62 and the other is the Rotterdam ferry…I am only having a laugh before I offend any Hullites’ 🙂

  • Jack Union April 10, 2016, 9:24 am |

    I am currently an international student based in the UK (from Australia originally, obviously), and I really liked living here when studying. However, my student visa is running out when I graduate in the summer. I am presently undertaking some tests in order for me to hopefully obtain British citizenship.

    There were so many websites out there, and I came across this site: http://citizenpaper.co.uk/life-in-the-uk-test/. This is far the best one I have seen, even though I am only getting 18 out of 24, ha ha.

    What do you think you could get?

    • BobinOz April 10, 2016, 8:29 pm |

      Well you are doing better than me Jack Union, I did test 1 and only got 14/24, and I lived in the UK for almost 50 years! Crikey, some of those questions were tough. Good luck, I hope you get the pass mark you need.

      Cheers, Bob

    • Cathy Browning January 22, 2017, 12:27 am |

      Did the official HIM government test and got 92% – not bad for someone who has lived more years out of the UK than in!


      • BobinOz January 22, 2017, 9:27 pm |

        Wow, that is impressive. I’m just grateful that the Australian test is a lot easier, only 20 questions and multiple choice. Both my wife and I breezed it, so we can stay here in Australia 🙂

  • Michele November 17, 2015, 5:44 am |

    Her mother’s mum was English she was born in England and moved to Australia when she was 5 years old what does that mean that she will be able to get a British passport as well as having her Australian passport?

    • BobinOz November 27, 2015, 7:57 pm |

      So you mean her grandmother? I think I’m unravelling your riddles Michelle, am I right in saying your girlfriend is Australian but she has an English grandmother and you want to know if she can move to England to live with you?

      If that’s the case, I can’t help, you would have to speak to the British immigration department about that. Good luck though, Bob

  • Michele November 17, 2015, 5:42 am |

    My girlfriend is a Australian citizen and she wants to come over here to live with me what qualifications does she need to do that

    • BobinOz November 27, 2015, 7:53 pm |

      I don’t know, where do you live?

  • Ria August 16, 2015, 11:28 am |

    Also would you consider the idea of renting house in Aus or best to sell? What do you think will happen to house prices? Would it be hard to rent house out and be over in UK? Cheers

    • BobinOz August 16, 2015, 8:13 pm |

      I’ve written about all these things in different post Ria, just use the Google search function towards the top right hand side of every page to search for more information on these subjects.

  • Ria July 22, 2015, 3:47 pm |

    Hi there, your blog has been such an interesting read for me. I have been here for 10 yrs, married with 2 sons under 4. Have lived in city and now coastal country which is just beautiful and agree you get more of a community feel than in cities. I have pondered for years what it would be like if we moved back to UK, I struggle with these precious years going so fast of my boys growing up and not around their family. My main concern is what is best for them from a lifestyle and education point of view. Is it more valuable to be around family when growing up? I do love my life here but have been getting these itchy feelings towards the above topics and finding it hard to weigh up pros and cons! Would the kids be better off growing up here or in uk around family? I worry there could be a future division when the children grow up if we did go back and they wanted to be here instead or vice versa! Work for my husband would be a challenging thought if we did go back with no particular qualifications. Starting again from scratch is a scary thought also! Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated! A crystal ball would be great! 🙂

    • BobinOz July 22, 2015, 8:18 pm |

      I think one of the real strengths of Australia is that it’s such a great country to bring children up in, it’s an outdoorsy kind of place, beaches, parks, sunshine, it’s just great for kids.

      Whilst I never get a hankering for returning to the UK, I understand that many people do. I think the quickest cure is to go back for a few weeks holiday and have a good look around. My bet is that you decide not to stay.

      No point in worrying about the future, live in the now, now is the moment and the only moment you can enjoy. Good luck, whatever you decide.

      • Ria July 22, 2015, 11:09 pm |

        Hi there thanks for your prompt reply, your right now is more important, but I do feel some what regretful if i didn’t have some time with mum and kids watching them grow and share memories! yes we did just recently go for a month to spend time with the family and became even more torn! Due to the amazing family time. I had to keep reminding myself I was on holiday mode and wouldn’t always be like this! Probably didnt help it was summer there and winter here in victoria! Such a tough one. It’s clear living style would be much different to here.

        • BobinOz July 23, 2015, 6:08 pm |

          Yes, it is a tough one, missing family. The most important family (in my opinion) though is you and your kids, so you have to do what’s best for your immediate family. I think you need to weigh up all the sacrifices you will all have to make just so that you can be close to your family and then ask yourselves if it’s worth it.

          • Ria August 15, 2015, 6:39 pm |

            Thanks for your reply, when you say is it worth it, what do you mean in this context? Also I do think about where my children are best growing up, but also the importance of having family relations, as we have non here and can feel quite lonely at times in that respect, although we have great friends: I appreciate your input thanks

            • BobinOz August 16, 2015, 8:11 pm |

              Yes, that’s what I mean in this context, would you prefer to bring your kids up in a better environment, lots of outdoor space, great weather which means they play outside a lot more and take part in outdoor sports more often. Or would you prefer them to live close to their relatives?

              For my money, family is mum and dad and kids, the rest is extended family who have their own mum and dad and kids that they need to do the best they can for. My wife and I make decisions for our family, not the other families, and for us we decided Australia would be the best move. And it has been.

  • suss July 12, 2015, 5:52 am |

    I have been here for approx 8 years and till today i still ask myself ‘what if?’
    I really want to take the courage to leave Australia as i and my two little girls feel extremely lonely here with no family and being so far away from the family and of the rest of the world

    australia is amazing .. Beautiful weather, places , opportunities and good Money
    but ALL of that have not made me feel happy about living here.

    I miss family and i have spent the last 8 years asking myself should i go or stay?

    • BobinOz July 12, 2015, 9:10 pm |

      Missing family and friends is almost certainly the number one reason why people don’t stay in Australia. It’s never ever been a problem for me, but everyone is different. Good luck, whatever you decide, but only you can decide it.

    • David December 31, 2015, 6:06 pm |

      I can’t understand why anyone with UK/European citizenship would waste their time in Australia. The opportunities are so limited and we are so isolated. In the last few years the UK has decided to make it near impossible for an Aussie to move the UK permanently despite sharing a language, heritage and head of state. I’m always intrigued by the number of brits that seem to be in Australia with permanent residency, but then again I guess they have their golden ticket (European Passport) and can return at any time they like.

      • BobinOz January 3, 2016, 7:01 pm |

        By the sound of it, you have never lived in the UK for an extended period of time David. If you had, maybe you would understand. I don’t have a problem understanding that a born and bred Australian may at some point in his life want to live in the UK, simply because it is something different.

        I’m not sure why you can’t see it the other way around.

      • Brad January 3, 2016, 8:09 pm |

        As a born and bred, true blue, fair dinkum aussie who now lives in the Scottish Highlands I can see both points of view. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, after making the move permanent a couple of years ago I haven’t looked back and have no intention of ever returning to Australia, of course you never say never..lol
        My brother on the hand who had the same upbringing lives in rural West Australia and feels the same about where he lives, whilst you may not understand why anyone would want to live in Australia, I can. It is because we are all different, thankfully. Some of us prefer the lifestyle and culture of the UK with its rain and snow and colder all round temperatures whilst others think Australia with its sunshine and lifestyle to be the best choice, regardless of where we are born and what passport we hold, we all find things suit us in different ways.

        • Steve April 21, 2016, 10:51 am |

          Hey Brad, Just interested to know how you as a born and bred, true blue, fair dinkum aussie were able to move to the UK permanently? You mentioned “regardless of passport” in your post, so what pathway did you take?


          • Brad April 21, 2016, 5:56 pm |

            Steve, I have an Australian passport but am fortunate enough to hold a ‘right to abode’ certificate.

  • Alice Thomas June 21, 2015, 2:40 pm |

    My daughter is doing under graduation in Sydney. She is 20. Can I go with her?

  • oluwaseyi June 18, 2015, 7:29 pm |

    I want to study in Australia and bring out the best in me. that’s why I need a scholarship

  • louisa klimentos October 18, 2014, 11:31 pm |

    I forgot to mention,that Australia has culture.The aboriginal culture goes back further than 40000 years.Australia is a multicultural country.We have alot of different religions ,and have lots of festivals such as Chinese ,Greek,Italian,German etc.Every year we celebrate Chinese new year.Australia therefore is rich in culture.Australia only lacks ancient historical buildings.

    • BobinOz October 19, 2014, 9:36 pm |

      I fully agree Louisa, both countries have a lot going for them in terms of history, scenery, countryside and nature, but in quite different ways. There is certainly much to love about each of the countries, as there no doubt is for most countries in the world.

      Every country is different, that’s what makes the world so interesting. It’s all here for us to enjoy.

      Cheers, Bob

  • louisa klimentos October 18, 2014, 11:17 pm |

    I can not believe that Viviene thinks that the English scenery is so much more beautiful than the Australian scenery.Yes ,England is lovely and green,however it does not have the divesity of flaura ,fauna and the landscape of Australia.The scenery goes from one extreme to the other.Yes we do have alot of desert in Australia,but there is spectacular scenery with in our deserts.We have beautful rainforests,stunning beaches,especially in Western Australia.Ausralia doesn’t have alot of man made history,but has alot of natural history.Some of the buidings in the Australian cities,are built similar to those of England.Look at Queen Victoria building in Sydney.I recently visited Adelaide and was amazed when I saw beautifull old styled buildings,which remined me of the ones in England.They are not as old but still beautiful.Sometimes when people are not happy with their lives.they see things greener over the other side.No country is perfect,so there is no need for anyone to put Australia down so much.I was born in England ,but live in Australia.There are things I love about England and there are things I love about Australia.Why can’t people be positive and appreciate every country on this earth.

  • Marilyn Mittelheuser August 10, 2014, 1:24 pm |

    Marilyn Mittelheuser
    Thanks for this website.
    I wonder if anyone would like to comment on their experience/feasability/difficulties etc of relocating back to the UK as retirees.
    I am a British citizen, my husband is Oz and have lived in Sydney since mid 80s and are feeling drawn to return. We intend to sell up here and buy in UK, somewhere fairly rural but within reasonable access to London. We would still require the support of our Oz pensions and would appreciate any suggestions on the relocation process

    • BobinOz August 11, 2014, 5:59 pm |

      Not something I have experienced Marilyn, so I can’t help, but hopefully somebody else might read this and give you some tips.


  • Leisha Young August 9, 2013, 5:40 pm |

    I have never travelled to Britain or Europe (but I have been to Asia and lived in the Americas). I keep telling my husband I want to go to Europe (especially Britain), as I have always felt that Britain’s history is connected to Australia’s. I know, without visiting, that Britain would offer an amazing experience so very different to what we have here in Australia. I don’t want to go for a holiday though, I want to go for at least a year. However, I am 34 and my husband is 39 so we don’t really see a way that we can do this without walking away from our jobs (that we have both worked hard for). Can you even get a ‘working visa’ in the UK, at our respective ages, if you are Australian?

    I would absolutely love the opportunity to experience the British life simply because I know it would be vastly different to my daily life in Australia. Why on Earth would you want to travel to another country and have the same experience you can have at home? I’m also a history lover and would relish the opportunity to soak up Britain’s vast and rich history.

    I know Britain is going to be awesome and hope my husband and I can find a way to make our ‘working holiday’ happen! 🙂

    My husband works for the NAB in Australia, so if you know of any affiliated companies in the UK that may be interested in a trade….LET ME KNOW! 🙂

    • BobinOz August 11, 2013, 7:51 pm |

      Yes, I can understand that, I would not have wanted to live all of my life without seeing Britain or Europe, I think everybody should go. But how? It is a problem, isn’t it, do you just pack in your jobs and go travelling?

      I have no idea how easy or hard it might be to get a working visa for the UK, but I’m sure the close relationship between the UK and Australia will help, so I can’t imagine it would be too hard.

      If you just wanted to see Britain, I’d say go for a four-week holiday if you can get the time off work. But if you really want to see a few places in Europe as well, then four weeks is not going to cut it.

      Maybe you need to speak to your respective bosses at work to find out what the chances are of a one-year sabbatical. What ever you do, I hope you find a way of travelling to the UK and Europe, I’m pretty sure you will find it very different.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Brad June 30, 2013, 12:01 am |

    great website and thanks to everyone for posting the various views. My wife and I lived in the UK for about 2 years just over 10 years ago, now we are back in rural NSW with 2 kids (5 & 8 years old) and are looking on returning to the UK permanently in the coming months.
    Both my wife and I grew up in Sydney before leaving it for the UK in 2001 we returned in 2003 but found we could no longer enjoy Sydney so we headed west which is where we are today, now due to rising cost of living, lack of available work we are looking around Australia and the UK and have decided to head back for good.
    Why, not because we hate Australia, neither of us do in fact we both love the country of our birth but because we both feel the UK has more opportunities that are inline with our views and a way of life that is more appealing to us. There is good and bad things about both countries and for each person once country will appeal more than the other and for us right now it is the UK

    • BobinOz June 30, 2013, 2:05 am |

      I’ve said elsewhere, maybe on this page, that both countries are good countries and if I’d lived in Australia all my life, then I would probably find moving to the UK very attractive.

      I just did it the other way round.

      Good luck Brad, I hope it works out for you.


      • Brad February 10, 2015, 8:47 pm |

        Just to update for those that read this great thread.

        We have now relocated to the UK and have settled rather nicely into a small village in the Highlands, we now own and run the village store and have done so for just over 6 months now and I have to say for us it is turning out to be the best decision ever.
        Other ask about fitting in and to be truthful as long as you get involved with the community as we have you will have no problems at all. We have made a load of great new friends, the kids are happy in their new school and things are looking better all round.
        If you are thinking about it, I say go for it. You wont know until you try

        • BobinOz February 11, 2015, 12:39 am |

          The Highlands in Scotland, that’s a bit of a weather change for you. Glad it has all worked out Brad, and the advice you’re giving is exactly the same I give to people thinking about moving to Australia.

          Give it a try, otherwise you’ll spend the rest of your life thinking “what if?”

          Cheers, Bob

  • ezmee June 5, 2013, 4:25 am |

    Nice and helpful site.
    I am coming on student visa (473) at CQU Brisbane.
    My daughter will be, 5 year old next year (in March 2014)
    My question is that, is there primary school is free for Tampere visa holders (on student visa holder)?
    Thank you & regards

    • BobinOz June 5, 2013, 6:45 pm |

      I don’t know the answer to this one, although I would be surprised if your daughter’s education would be free, I assume you are paying for your education?

      But I really don’t know, so don’t take my word for it, I think this is something you are going to have to research elsewhere in conjunction with the full details of your visa terms and conditions. All I know about school fees for temporary visa holders (not students) is detailed in this post.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Jan Barker May 31, 2013, 5:09 am |

    Hi all, great website may I say. I was born in England and emigrated to Australia in 1966 when I was 11. I am now a naturalised Australian and am married to an Australian, who wants to move to England permanently as he is in love with the pretty villages in Kent (along with my beautiful cousins and extended family). Just wondering if anyone can give me some advice as I would also bring back my elderly father (who lived and worked in England until 1966). He currently gets an Australian pension as well as a British part pension, so would he be eligible still for both? Also he is currently in high care in a nursing home in Australia and I am wondering how I can find out what is available in the Kent area and also at what cost. Appreciate any feedback – thanks
    Jan Barker

    • BobinOz May 31, 2013, 8:48 pm |

      Not something I can help with Jan, hopefully someone else can give you some pointers. Anybody?

  • Tina April 26, 2013, 3:57 am |

    Oh what I’d give just to be able to visit lovely-looking Australia. . .

    • BobinOz April 26, 2013, 6:04 pm |

      Hope you make it out here one day 🙂

  • Scott December 24, 2012, 12:20 pm |

    Hi everyone.

    I am Australian born but live in the UK now for 5 years. England is lovely and full of history and doesn’t have hours of endless desert like you get when driving around Australia, however, Australia dwarfs England in size, there are plenty of European climates and locations around you just need to educate yourself to find them. Food here is what you make of it, I find English food so bland and flavorless, whereas in Australia I find it much easier to find tropical and exotic ingredients, as I can when I visit the continent. If you don’t like barbeques eat out? Or learn a new way to cook on the barbeque I believe many international chefs own and operate their same style restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne these days.
    For anyone English to complain about the Aboriginals is ridiculous I believe England had the same problem with its own kind called convicts 200 years ago and who was it that displaced these Aboriginal people you refer to as third world? Australian’s didn’t exist at the time I believe.
    As for education I have taught in Australia and in England, here in Australia I earnt $75,000p/a as a normal primary school teacher. In England I make £30,000p/a. While I will agree fashion and media are these days are a season or two ahead of Australia, the materials students may have in England maybe newer; however students get less educational opportunities in the England outside of direct learning with the teacher. Mainly from lack of availability of venues, outdoor experiences, weather plays a major role in limiting opportunities in England. In Australia the education system is undergoing this revolution in making learning a more interactive and technological experience, providing children with hands on experiences not just text book learning. This is how work leading countries in education are operating.
    I also find people can afford less in England, despite incomes working out similar with conversion, and lower taxes in England, the average person makes less than £430 a week. I find the figures on bills and price tags themselves to be lower in England like utilities and food, but you also take home less to spend. The environment in England is pretty and green but so are many places in Australia, and in Australia you can use them nine out of ten days usually, here I find England can be depressing when I have not seen the blue sky for weeks on end. It is a lovely country, culture galore like you only find in major Australian cities, filled with history.
    One issue I do have with the English is hygiene. I fins so many do not shower regularly or take care of their oral hygiene, I find is utterly disgusting. I dislike the cities are overrun with Pakistanis and Indians telling English people to go back to where they came from, disgraceful and it’s all over London where I live.
    I brought a Toyota Corolla when I moved to London the same as I had in Sydney. With currency conversion it cost me slightly less in England. However I earn substantially less, and the weather here has ruined my cars exterior in 5 years it looks older then my car I had for 9 years back home. The resale is dramatically less also. What I do like about England and why I stay is it is close to the rest of the world, and I can easily travel and here I feel like I am a global citizen, Australia’s location makes it feel isolated and like you are part of the Australian community but it rarely goes beyond that. It has been a great experience and I plan to stay in England until the novelty wears off and I need a decent sized home and plenty of sunshine again. Then I will be headed back down under.

    • BobinOz December 28, 2012, 7:50 pm |

      You have made a lot of interesting points there Scott, it’s the one about the weather that sticks out for me; it is depressing when you haven’t seen blue skies for weeks on end. I always say it’s really difficult to be depressed he in Australia when it’s hot and sunny and there’s so much to do outdoors.

      Location is a big point too. Yes, the UK is in the heart of Europe with so much culture and so many things going on, whereas Australia really is pretty isolated. That’s the downside of Australia in some ways, but one I’m happy to accept having spent so long living in Europe.

      Some of your other points might cause a bit of a stir; the English unhygienic? Pakistani’s and Indians telling English people to go back to where THEY came from? I will diplomatically not get involved in some of your other thoughts, but I do appreciate you taking the time to share with us how you have found living in both Australia and the UK.



  • Stella February 16, 2012, 12:01 am |

    I made the move from Australia to England 5 years ago, using every possible route visa-wise to get here. My reasons are many, but the most important for me was that I felt intimidated and harassed living in Sydney. Travelling to rurual areas of Australia did not get better for me because of the stares and the discomfort dished out by more ‘ignorant’ people. I am of Asian decent (or oriental to some of you) and have been victim of racial abuse and harassment on countless occassions. Sometimes it’s not even racial. I didn’t have a good childhood and to have that heaped on my young self had damaged my self perception and my perception of Australians. After moving to England, I have not experienced a single instance of racial abuse to the same severity of a typical one I endured back ‘home’. I will have to muster up the strength to go back and see family one day but for the time being I am staying put. I still miss the magnificent beaches (Coogee beach was my home), but I remember that living in that constant heat drove me half mad.

    • BobinOz February 17, 2012, 12:00 am |

      I am surprised by your comments, Brisbane and I think Sydney have thousands and thousands of Asian people living there. Whoever is doing this staring, well, they must be very busy people. They’d be so busy staring all day, they’d never get anything else done 🙂

      Anyway, I’m glad you have found somewhere where you are more comfortable, Australia isn’t for everybody, but then no country is. We all have to find where we feel happiest.

      • Stella February 17, 2012, 1:39 am |

        Perhaps a debate on whether high levels of ethnic minorities mean greater social cohesion or greater social division should be reserved for another day. But I think it can create a ghetto mentality, and my experiences have certainly demonstrated this to me. I felt that often other ethnic minorities had the greatest aggression in general, and part of this aggression was racially motivated toward other minorities, often those that seem ‘weaker’, ‘softer’, ‘nerdier’ than them. Nevertheless there are a lot of white people who didn’t like the sight of Asians like me. Also what puzzled me was a hierarchical perception of minorities. For example, my mum’s friends were approached by white men asking if they were Japanese, when they said Chinese they were rudely dismissed by the men instantly. Also fellow children somehow used to treat the Vietnamese and Korean kids better than Chinese kids at my primary school.

        I have visited and lived with family friends in North Sydney and that is by far the safest place to live. I felt aggression and experienced harassement in the inner west of Sydney, Sydney CBD, and occassionally the East. I got physically harassed by a woman and received a derogatory remark when I visited Melbourne for 2 days.

        I thought I must have ‘victim’ written on my forehead before I moved to Britain and realised that there’s nothing wrong with the way I looked.

        Overall I think Australia is home to the nicest people and the worst type of people, but for me the worst overuled the best. People often act surprised when they find out I moved from OZ to the UK, but I think people won’t understand this unless they see it first hand. After all, Australia markets itself as a multicultural society. Despite its best intentions it cannot control how people react.

        On a side note, my bf’s British friend stayed in Brisbane and had a brush up with the police and didn’t want to stay there anymore. Apparently he had guns pointing at him and shoved around and put into a cell just because he had a beer before driving. I do agree that authorities like immigration and police can be strict and ‘narzi’.

        • BobinOz February 21, 2012, 2:42 pm |

          It is not normal practice to point guns at someone because he had “a beer before driving”. I can’t help thinking there is more to that story than you’re telling. Not sure who you are agreeing with when you say “authorities like immigration and police can be strict and ‘narzi’” – but it isn’t me.

          As for the racism thing, you can only go by your own experience I suppose. I play five aside football each week, there must be 20 or 30 teams between all the leagues. Chinese, Japanese, Vietnam, Australians, Europeans and Brits all playing together, no sign of racism at all. All races smiling and enjoying themselves. That’s my experience.

        • joblow December 14, 2015, 2:01 am |

          Asia is home to the highest levels of racism on earth – it just gets swept under the carpet and the wool gets pulled over the foreign media’s eyes.

          Sneaky as hell.

    • UrbanGeorge February 8, 2016, 6:20 pm |

      It’s true, Australians are racist, and if you move to a country town and can’t blend in, you will experience it even more. Ask any Australian Aboriginal about racism. I was born in Australia but my parents were from Europe, so I was always subjected to racism. But I found that if you are white and change your name to an Anglo Saxon sounding one, you can blend in and live like an ‘Australian’, whatever that is these days. Australians don’t embrace multiculturalism, they just tolerate different cultures, and when push comes to shove they will soon remind you of your place. I completed University studies to Masters degree and subsequently worked full-time at University, and saw the racism there also.

      • Brad February 8, 2016, 7:44 pm |

        UrbanGeorge I find it sad that you have had such a bad experience, but I dont think it is the norm. I was born in Australia and over the years have lived in cities and rural towns from big to very small and have never experienced or witnessed any severe racism at all. In fact my experience has been quite the opposite, I found people on the whole very excepting and welcoming to all, of course there are some smaller towns that are wary of ‘outsiders’ but that is not race or religion based, they just have trouble excepting people that were not born in that town. On your point of University based racism I would have to agree, but it would be a reverse racism, I saw many times people from foreign countries get preferential treatment simply because they were paying cash up front and not paying via HECS

  • BobinOz August 10, 2011, 11:52 am |

    Vicky, Mary and Gordon

    As you all know, I live in Brisbane and I find the place to be very friendly and I seriously haven’t come across any road rage at all in nearly 4 years. Well, there was just one occasion when somebody tooted me and raised a finger, but I would hardly call that rage. Hold on, I think I bibbed first. Old habits….

    I have found people to be very friendly, although I’d say if I don’t start the conversation, there won’t be one. I don’t get people coming up to ask me how I am. When I went to Adelaide I was particularly struck with how very friendly the people there were. Maybe that was because I asked for directions and advice on many occasions, not knowing the place. The conversations that followed were always pleasant and never short.

    On a bus ride, my wife and I were trying to work out how to get somewhere when another passenger apologised for overhearing and then went on to give us lots of great advice about things around the city.

    In Melbourne I got on board a tram because my daughter just wanted a ride on one. I explained to the driver that we didn’t want to go anywhere, just have a ride and return, and he explained that his tram went about four stops until it got to the end of the terminal and then it would come back again. He didn’t charge us.

    So there are friendly people about, that’s for sure. Maybe Perth is different, I’ve never been. Maybe you should move to Queensland 🙂

    As for the news, I think that happens everywhere, scaremongering that is. But other countries do not have time to report every crime, maybe we’re lucky it can happen here. I once saw a news item on seven news where they interviewed a man who had had stones thrown at his house. You could watch the news 24 seven in the UK and you would never hear a story like that. Windows weren’t even smashed, the stones hit the wall!

    Gordon: a quick update on those riots in the UK. Sounds like they were started by thugs using twitter and it sounds like a cleanup campaign of volunteers is also being arranged on twitter, so the art of helping your neighbour has not completely disappeared from the UK yet.

    Strange world we live in these days with this social media stuff though.

  • Gordon August 9, 2011, 8:14 pm |

    Just an observation , I think it’s fair to say that big city dwellers ( anywhere ) tend to be less polite as drivers and are likely to be less community focused day to day .

    The recent floods in Brisbane brought out a community willingness to help that would not , perhaps , been so apparent otherwise, i.e. people have become somewhat disconnected in this modern age but given a reason ( or excuse 😉 ) are more than happy to interact.

    A few weeks ago I drove up to my local shop and passed an out of state ( Victorian ) car with caravan parked on the side of the road with the bonnet up , on the way back I stopped and offered assistance , very pleasant conversation ensued and they ( elderly couple ) said Six people before me had stopped to see what was wrong . They were impressed with the friendliness offered .

    I would assume that attitudes in England would be similar in smaller centres like Morpeth ( waves to Mary 🙂 ) and bigger cities like Liverpool may be similarly disconnected and have a more hurried lifestyle .

    The recent ( current at this time ) riots and looting in the U.K. is not something that has ever been seen here , I can’t even imagine it here. Bigger issues there than less than polite drivers and shoppers methinks.

    Australia is a melting pot of people , it has bad as well as good , based on my travels around the world I would not choose to live anywhere else . The good by FAR outweighs the bad in my opinion .

    I’ve never been to Perth but grew up in Sydney , I know I’d never go back to a big city to live in . Brisbane maybe , because it’s more like a big country town.

  • MARY August 9, 2011, 12:01 am |

    Hi Vicky,

    I’m returning to the UK to set up home again after 47 years in Oz — not that I’m going rant on about Australia when I get to the UK — I really think there are different times in life when one should make changes and not get in a ‘rut’.

    I thought the very same as you this evening as the ABC 7pm news ran its course. I hate the continual ‘doom and gloom’ of presenting the ‘bad news’ and the disagreements between States. (I know about the Federation of States back in the late 1890s and the difficulty of getting all the States to agree on the Confederation and Federal Parliament in 1901.)
    The ‘aggressive’ interviews, which have grown over the past ten years or so, on all tv stations/radio, is not my idea of a good technique.

    Driving — well — most drivers seem to want to be ‘in front’ of anyone obeying the speed limit, down here south of Perth anyway. My experience of driving in the UK last November (2010) was not exactly ‘relaxing’. SPEED… (WOW) across one’s ‘bows’ with great aplomb. Try getting on the M1 by mistake in the Sunbury area, and find a place to leave it and slowly find one’s way back to where you should have gone in the first place.

    As an older person I have had very helpful assistance when I’ve had the misfortune to trip over a ‘Beach Closed’ sign a couple of years ago. When one can find people to chat to, Australian born or more recent Australians, are very kind and enjoy a laugh.
    The world over enjoy humour, and generally responds to a smile, so don’t give up on Australia just yet. As I mentioned I’ve lived here for 47 years and just want to avoid another very warm summer — as last year was. (Tesco’s is a ‘draw-card’ too in the UK’s favour.)

    All the best, Vicki.

  • Vicky August 8, 2011, 10:00 pm |


    I moved to Perth WA in january of this year. I am 26 years old and have to say i do agree with some of Vivenne’s points. The 1st thing is the rudeness of people here. I just couldn’t believe it. For example an old lady tripped on uneven pavement in front of me in Fremantle and other than myself lunging to help her, everyone else held back sheepishly standing around. I’ve had checkout girls stare at me blatantly (makes me dread to think how they’d treat someone with a physical ‘abnormality’ ), people shamelessly pushing in when waiting to be served, idiots blocking my way when i have right of way whilst driving. So yeah Rudeness really got me down over the last 6 months.

    I always saw Aussies as friendly welcoming folk as they are portrayed to us in the UK. However I’ve found it hard to befriend any. The nicest folk who’ve really made me feel welcome are either from NZ, Europe, or Asia!!!

    I don’t mean to sound so hard on Oz, it is a beautiful place from what I’ve seen so far, I just felt a bit let down by the unfriendliness.

    ps- whats with reporting EVERY crime on the news out here? Channel 7 and 9 LOVE scaremongering people. rant over.

  • Gordon June 19, 2011, 8:14 pm |

    Hi Mary , I think you need to do some costings over a 12 month period first just to establish where you are ACTUALLY better off in terms of affordability , food , transport , recurring housing costs ( rates etc. ) and energy . You mention cost of air-conditioning in Perth , what are the costs of heating in North of England ? Carbon costs are likely to apply to that too.

    Other than the costings , there are a couple of other important considerations , i.e. family and health services , the desire to be near family is very subjective and only you know your circumstances and how much of a factor that is .

    On the health side , a cousin of mine recently dealt with having to try and arrange carers for his Mum on the I.O.W. after she had a major stroke , big hassle to find carers and then 40,000 pounds per year for 2 of them ( 24 hour ) plus food etc. live in .
    NHS care was basically non existent after the initial period in hospital.
    I gather from your post above that you may be a retiree and those things do have to be considered when making a major decision for the future as you are .

    How recently were you back in England and did you winter there ? Do you remember it as being cool and refreshing or bitterly cold and rainy , in other words , are your expectations of England realistic for year ’round ?

    How old is your dog ( I love dogs ) is he/she young enough to get through quarantine easily and a breed that likes indoors through winter , short hair / long hair ?

    The questions I have asked are not questions for you to answer to me , just questions you might need to answer to yourself , weigh everything up honestly in your own mind and then base your decision on that . If possible , go back again for a couple or a few weeks or so in the worst time of year there or at least look into some webcams and weather sites and blog sites in the area to refresh your view .

    Join in some local discussion groups there over the internet , that’s what I’d do as a starting point .

    I wish you well 🙂 whatever you decide .

    • Mary June 19, 2011, 11:41 pm |

      Thank you Gordon for taking the trouble to point out a view factors to be considered when thinking about living, once again, in the UK from Australia.

      I’ve checked up on the PETS scheme for my dog to enter UK — subject to the Rabies blood test, etc 6 months before travel from a Rabies free country as Australia is. He is an indoors fellow — a cross German Shepherd — a real ‘sook’! But I wouldn’t return to UK unless he came too.

      Friends in the UK but being somewhat of a ‘loner’ I’m not looking for lots of ‘buddies’ just the chance to meet up with old friends sometimes. I’ve my eye on Morpeth for a semi-detached house/bungalow. Pleased to walk in the wind and rain with appropriate clothes. Was in UK late last November and the previous December for an aged sister (now departed). Public Library and the setup of a the internet etc is sufficient for my entertainment (plus dvds etc.) Is the UK ‘digital’ as will be introduced for tv in Australia at the end of this year I wonder.

      I studied at ANU and UWA (nineteenth century UK topic in the later thesis) so the opportunity to refer to documents in the UK would be a bonus for me.

      My continuing dilemma is to dispose of my present furniture and travel very light until I reach UK and manage to furnish a house/bungalow pretty quickly to avoid unnecessary expense renting. On the other hand I don’t want to rush a sale and make a big mistake. I aim to take into account Rates, Solicitor’s fees, Estate Agent’s charges, Surveyor’s report etc. Problem — to rent or buy in my chosen area?
      No relatives close-by in WA, none would be close by in the UK. I am used to being independent and have to be strong. I feel back in the UK I would not be so far from many cities/or occasional interest venues. My dog and I are ‘buddies’.

      • BobinOz June 20, 2011, 9:42 pm |

        Hi Mary

        I’ve written a post about this very subject, you can read it here….

        Moving to Australia: What to Bring With You.

        I think the advice I give in that article holds good no matter which direction you are moving in. So for you, moving to England, I would advise the same.

        Please do read the article if you have time, but the conclusion is that I feel it’s best to take your stuff with you. You’d be surprised how expensive it gets replacing everything, whereas removal costs aren’t as bad as all that, even if you do have to store your furniture for a while before you find where to live.

        But of course, everybody’s situation is different depending on how much stuff they have and the condition it’s in. In the end, only you can decide.

        The digital TV switchover is due in the UK to be completed by 2012.

        What ever you do, I hope it all works out well for you.



      • Gordon June 23, 2011, 8:40 am |

        Hi again Mary , I’ll throw an idea at you , have you considered New Zealand as an option ?
        I spent a year there in 1998 , mostly around South Island , cool climate , relatively cheap housing , you’d get about $1.30 NZD for each AUD , Dunedin is a university city and Invercargill is very scenic , the smaller cities of Timaru and Oamaru on the Canterbury coast are nice too .

        I looked up http://www.inorthumberland.co.uk/weather/ the other day , not very pleasant considering it’s summer !

        Anyway , might be worth a thought ?

        Regards , Gordon

        • BobinOz June 24, 2011, 12:17 am |

          This comment is from Mary, who replied to the email notification instead of posting online. I have copied it here with her permission…….

          Hi Gordon,
          Again, many thanks for taking the time to even think up and suggest an alternative to Morpeth for me.

          I really want to go to the UK again, even though in past times here in Oz I would not have considered it. However, I know quite a few women in the UK and we are all Susan Boyle Fans. We met Susan, and I 15 other fans when we stayed at the same hotel in Tokyo a year ago. I also met up with the same fans in New York last November which cemented our friendships further. I want to be able to join in the Meet and Greets that go on in the UK as well as be released from Perth and the lifestyle I now lead which is a very isolated one in very quiet, 50 ft/?metre frontages etc. My dog is my constant companion here, and I want to splash through anything that comes down in the north of England.

          Bearing in mind that I’ve tasted Yorkshire, and East Lothian as a youngster. I certainly do not have ‘oodles of noodles’ living here, so I do not expect great wealth anywhere now. I think twice before spending on petrol these days, but I am taking my dog for his first Rabies vaccination tomorrow so that he qualifies to enter, eventually, to the UK with quarantine for six months.

          I do have ‘half’ relatives in the south of England but once a year to see and wish my, one year older than me, nephew and his wife would be on my diary.

          The local library’s dvd and music discs are enough to satisfy my interests, plus walking in the fresh air when the weather is cool enough. It has always been too muggy in the south of England when I’ve visited my half-sister (who has since passed on at 100 yrs of age. My mother lived to be 100, too.)

          Again, thank you for suggesting New Zealand; perhaps in another life!


  • Mary June 19, 2011, 2:57 am |

    I live in Perth, Australia and have lived in many Australia States. I was born the UK and have since become an Australian citizen. However, I am toying with the idea of returning to the UK to live out my life. I want to live in the north of England and bring my dog over and money to buy a small(ish) house but be near some countryside for walks. The long hot summer(s) here in Perth are tiring me, plus electricity charges for air conditioning are rising, plus carbon tax coming in next year.

    My UK part pension is shrinking due to the strength of the Aussie dollar, as is a USA pension. I’ve visited UK to see an elderly relative and found Tesco stores far superior to Oz main chain supermarkets.

    I wonder if I should sell the contents of my house here and start afresh in UK or get some possessions freighted over? I own this house but want to downsize but be near available places to walk with my dog who I would fly over with me. Any comments would be helpful.


  • Rob May 21, 2011, 5:14 am |

    I have made the move from Perth to England in 2008, and have not regretted it. The change was good for me. I love to experience what Europe has to offer. There is so much to see and so little time. Perth is very isolated, and nothing much happens there. What I like here is: greenery, rain, the seasons, countryside, history, travel, politeness of the people, job opportunities, …
    Thing i miss most is the beach

    • BobinOz May 23, 2011, 7:24 pm |

      I’ve never been to Perth but I have spoken to people who have and they also tell me there’s not much to do there. And for sure, it is very isolated. So England, with its easy and cheap access to Europe must seem like Disney World!

      But I’ve said it elsewhere on this blog, I don’t think it’s good for anyone to live in the same place all their lives, as you say, too much to see and not enough time. I’d lived in England for almost 50 years, and I too enjoyed all the things in your list, except for the rain. But for me, just like you, it was time for a change.

      I’m loving my change and it sounds like you are too. Although I’m not sure which part of the country you’re living in to refer to “the politeness of the people”.

    • Neelix February 10, 2015, 9:25 am |

      I am to from Perth as well and I completely agree with you there is’ant much here to do its a relativity dull city and surrounding areas aside from the occasional bush fire. I am curious to know as I am considering the move from here to Bristol, in your opinion was the move easy ie. expenses and all the other bits and pieces related to such a move.
      Lastly was “fitting in” with a different culture a struggle?

      • BobinOz February 10, 2015, 7:51 pm |

        I would never say the move was easy, or cheap, getting the visa was a struggle for us and we did have a lot of stuff to bring over including a dog. It all came to a tidy sum but for us, worth it in the end.

        Fitting in was absolutely no problem, but you will have to give it time. The first four months for us here was a struggle, no doubt about that. But once things fall into place, and you make a few connections, all is good.

        As long as you’re sure you won’t miss the glorious weather of Perth, you will probably quite like Bristol. Lots going on there and some fantastic old three-storey houses in the city. Just be aware there are some rough areas to avoid, I don’t know specifically where they are, but I’m sure some research will unearth them.

        Good luck, Bob

    • Jacqui June 20, 2015, 11:56 pm |

      Hi Rob

      My Daughter has just finished studying and is about to turn 19. She wants to move to England in the next 6 months or so. I am at a point in my life where i have decided that it is now or never and i will move also.

      As you have already done this, do you have any advice, hints, tips or contacts that would help us make this random, scary and exciting adventure come true?

  • Melinda May 17, 2011, 4:34 pm |

    I have just come across your website, so I apologise for the very late comment. However, I do have to comment on the type of conversations to be found in pubs. Well, from what I can understand from my UK born mother, pubs are more ingrained in the community over there, than compared to here in Australia. I have had many interesting conversations with people here, it just so happens that most of them occurred at gatherings at people’s homes, or between classes at university. Or even, while I was working as a checkout operator in woolworths when I was younger. So, in my opinion, it’s hardly an accurate way of identifying the intellectual quality of one country versus another.

    Also, in response to Vivienne’s comments about what her children learn about in school in the UK, I remember learning about all of that during my years in Primary school and High school. That was on top of learning about Indigenous Australians and European Colonisation. So we’d look at everything from Australian history, to Ancient Egyptian lifestyle and culture. However, my school years spanned from 1988 – 2000, maybe that makes all the difference.

    My thoughts are, people see what they want to see. My mother says she misses a few things about living in England but she does not regret moving here and would never think of moving back. I am hopefully relocating to the UK some time this year, not because I hate Australia but because I want to see where my parents grew up, and because of a man. Haha.

    I am sure I will miss many things about Australia, but I plan on trying to experience it all with an open mind.

    • BobinOz May 18, 2011, 8:24 pm |

      Hi Melinda

      Glad you found us, better late than never 🙂

      I agree, judging the intelligence of a nation by the quality of conversation you get in the pub is not great yardstick. That said, I think pubs in England have a far greater significance to the country’s culture than pubs do probably anywhere else in the world. But it’s a diminishing significance as more and more pubs close down to be replaced by what is known as a JD Wetherspoon’s. Nothing against that organisation, but they are not like the traditional pubs I grew up drinking in.

      Here in Australia the barbecue in the back garden along with the gathering of friends is probably the equivalent to the British pub as an entertainment medium. A good conversation here in a friends back garden is every bit as equal as a nice chat in a British pub.

      As for Vivienne’s comments about education here, there is no proof that education in either England or America is any better than it is here in Australia, as my post on education standards shows.

      As you say, people often see what they want to see and perhaps I have done a fair bit of that since I’ve moved to Australia. The way I see it though, both England and Australia are great countries with lots to offer and anyone who gets the chance to have a go living in both should take it. Nothing beats making your own mind.

      Hope you enjoy your adventure there, maybe you could pop back and let us know what you think of it?



  • PETER March 10, 2010, 5:02 pm |

    Hello Bob

    In reply to your comment about my previous statement about Australia not having ANY “Human Rights Laws” whatsoever. I post this comment from the “wikipedia website”:
    “Human rights in Australia are generally respected and recognised. Although Australia is the only western democracy with no bill of rights[1], numerous laws have been enacted to protect human rights and the Constitution of Australia has been found to contain certain implied rights by the High Court. However, Australia has been criticised for its past treatment of its indigenous population.

    The Australian Government is presently considering how to better protect human rights through a National Human Rights Consultation. The Consultation, which is being chaired by Frank Brennan[2], is expected to report back to the government on the September 30, 2009.
    To date there are still ” NO BILL OF HUMAN RIGHTS LAW” within the Australian constitution. You can check this statement out for your self.

    Also regarding our difference of opinion on my other statements concerning Australia and Europe, hey that is what makes the world more interesting diverse opinions and ideals, indeed Australia is very different in many ways to the U.K. and Europe, for good and bad ways dependent on your views.

    Keep up the good work with the website, and I will let you know how I get on once I arrive in Europe.

    All the best

    • BobinOz March 10, 2010, 6:42 pm |

      According to wiki answers on December 10, 1948, 48 countries came together at the United Nations in Paris to sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The following is an edited list:
      Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, ….etc,etc,United Kingdom, United States of America,,,,,,etc,etc…and Venezuela. Check the full list here,

      The US Dept of State’s 2008 Human Rights Report: Australia, says a lot, but in brief says…..
      “The government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, and the law and judiciary provide effective means of addressing individual instances of abuse. Problems were reported in a few areas, including domestic violence against women and children, and societal discrimination against Aboriginal people” – read the full report here.

      The Observers Top 100 Human Rights Offenders List says Australia is 65th, (USA is 37th, UK is out of the worst 100) – see the full list here.

      So, you have a point. Australia is not squeaky clean on this. From my brief research, I’m still not sure whether they have signed up for human rights or not, some say sources say yes, some say no. Whatever, there are a lot worse places to be.

      But England isn’t one of them and by and large, both of our countries enjoy freedom of speech and that’s what makes them great places to live. Enjoy your return to Europe and I’ll look forward to an update sometime in the future.

      Take care.


  • PETER March 5, 2010, 5:24 pm |

    Hello Bob in OZ

    I have just today found your website and have read some of the entries with great interest, especially the lady Vivienne whom states that she was born in Victoria Australia and has since relocated to Nottingham, England.

    I myself was born in London, England and have lived in varius locations around Australia for the past coming up to 30 years. I loved this Country Australia, when I first came here, but now I reside in Darwin N.T. but I am not enjoying living in Australia at all anymore.
    The main reasons for this are both politically and Geographical as I have recently learned that Australia does not have ANY “human rights laws” whatsoever. This learning experience as come about by increasing “over Authoritarian Police and Government legislation” within Australia. Where both State/Territory Government’s AS WELL AS Federal Governments are acting more like bandits and robbers with Police hiding behind Parked cars and bushes to catch a motorist that may only be driving a mere 3km over the speed limit to pick up the kids from school on time etc. This kind of authoritarian over the top Police/ Government fear tactics were never evident in the U.K.
    (come to think about it they were not in Australia until around 10 years ago) when I lived there or even when I have been back there just recently in the past 2 years on business.
    I agree with the ex-pat Vivienne that the education here in Australia is very poor. The reason why I state this, is that when I go into a Pub in the U.K. the conversation that I have with a person standing at a bar in the U.K. can be very diverse and learned and then I find out that the person that I have been speaking with is a blue collar worker or may be a factory worker.

    Here in Australia when I go into a similar Pub or Coffee Lounge and I speak with that same kind of social section of society I find that the conversation does not seem to extend any further than speaking about sport and sex, very limited showing a lack of education. Of course there is a more learned view from Aussies that have traveled at least past Bali that is!
    The 2nd reason that I am now most definitely making plans to leave Australia for good is that the increasing temperatures here. I presently reside in Darwin N.T. which is similar to living in a constant sauna with temperatures of minimum 25c maximum of 36c and humidity sometimes as high as 90%….lovely you may say? Try cutting the grass or doing something even walking from the air con car to the air con house/shop it feels as if you have been sprayed with watery glue all over your body……terrible climate, which could only be explained as a living hell environment!
    Of course I could re-locate down south, but down South even in Sydney they are experiencing water shortages and of course increased water charges for a commodity that is essential for life!
    However the Federal Government do nothing about piping the plentiful water from the tropical north of this Country to the South where water is needed for Farming and agriculture. Very short sighted indeed!
    I believe you Bob, state that you believe houses are more affordable here in Australia than in U.K. may be they were but no longer Now in the U.K. the average price of a house is £165,088. Compared to the average price living in a suburb on the outer fringes of Darwin where the price is AUD$486,000 with ever increasing costs due to Air Conditioning operating 24 hours per day to just keep cool.
    Oh, as well as the above the lack of choice in shopping even for groceries as there are only two grocery store that being Coles and Woolworths and the prices are now higher on most basic items with the exception of steak than Tesco and Asda to mention only 2x of the many grocery outlets in the U.K. Also the nearest town to get away from Darwin for a change and a break for the weekend is named Katherine which is 350 km (4 hour) drive away, when you get there all it consists of is drunken aboriginals littering and throwing up on the streets and outside and inside the public social meeting areas. So all in all Europe wins every time.
    I hope that my comment is read as it is written which is my point of view of the state of this nation Australia at present.

    Once again I very much enjoy your website.

    Cheers Peter

    • BobinOz March 8, 2010, 8:07 pm |

      No wonder they call us whingeing Poms! Hey, just kidding.

      Hi Peter

      Welcome to my website. Yes, of course your comment will be read as it is written, certainly by me. I welcome all points of view. However, I do have to take issue with you over your statement that “Australia does not have ANY “human rights laws” whatsoever” – I mean come on, police hiding in bushes with speed cameras doesn’t exactly constitute a lack of human rights.

      Australia’s over Authoritarian Police? I’ve been here 2 1/2 years and I haven’t properly spoken to a policeman in all that time. That’s not very authoritarian is it? I am excluding the times I was stopped and breathalysed or in a car where the driver was stopped and breathalysed (four times in all) because frankly, I don’t mind that. Keep the drunk drivers off the roads I say!

      As for the “education, England versus Australia” debate, there is no documented evidence to suggest Australia are behind the UK or any of the other major countries when it comes to education. You can read the results from my research into this in my post called Australian Education Standards Compared to the UK and USA. I called it a draw between the countries, but it would be easy to look at those results and conclude that Australia has the better education.

      Funnily enough, in a way I agree with you about your “pub conversation” theory, but I don’t believe it’s a foolproof way of proving which country has the smarter people.

      As for your dislike of the increasing temperatures and the isolation, well, you are in Darwin. It is quite warm and remote up there.

      Bad timing on your water drought concern, Brisbane’s dams are currently at 93.8% of capacity and last time I looked, Melbourne High Street was about 3 feet deep in water.

      As for house prices, you may well have a good point. When I first arrived here in November 2007, without a doubt, houses were cheaper in Australia. Today with the pound in nosedive and housing struggling in England, that probably is no longer the case. I will be doing a revision post on the subject very soon. And Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and the like probably do offer better value than Coles and Woolworths here. It depends what you want from life, cheap groceries or fantastic beaches?

      But just as I said with Vivienne, there is nothing wrong with looking for a change, and I think both countries have a lot to offer. I spent nearly 50 years in England and Europe and I loved it, but I did want something different. Australia certainly is that something different and I love it here too. Perhaps in 30 years I might have had enough of it here too.

      But I’ve got a long way to go yet.

      If you do go back to the UK, I’d love to hear how it goes. I know of several people who have gone back and it isn’t too long before they wished they hadn’t. But perhaps after 30 years, you are ready for a change.

      Good luck with whatever you choose and thanks for contributing your views here on my blog.



  • BobinOz December 1, 2009, 1:40 am |

    Hi Dean

    Glad you like my site.

    Oh, for sure, there are people who love where they live and wouldn’t dream of moving anywhere. Ever! And there’s nothing wrong with that, in fact you have to admire the contentment. But for others, like me and it also sounds like you, at some point you ask yourself “I wonder what it’s like to live in……?”

    Funny thing is when I said I was quitting England to come and live in Australia to whoever would listen, the replies fell into one of two categories. Most popular answer was “don’t blame you, England has gone down the pan” and the other less popular answer was “I’d never leave, I love this country”.

    I can’t remember anybody saying “Hey! That’ll make a nice change”.

    But I came here to Australia even though I do really love England, although I do think it has gone a little bit down the pan, because I fancied a nice change.

    Oh, PS. Yes Aussies are a little more laid back, but don’t come here for the food, unless you love barbecues.

  • Dean Robinson November 28, 2009, 8:02 am |

    I personally think that some people like where they live and wouldnt change it for the world were as others feel (like me) that although I live here (UK) it is not for me, dont get me wrong I love it and I am proud to be british its just that most people in the UK worry too much and take life to seriously where as I just dont. And from what I have heard most of the Australians are like me…….aren’t they?! Also the food over here is just pants unless you live down south you cant get half of all oriental ingredients which is damn annoying, then theres the traffic and just like the lady above said she can go on forever about oz I can do the same about here.

    Great site BTW.


    Dean Robinson (Sheffield)

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