Australia’s Bad Things.

One of my readers in the UK has requested that I do a post about the bad stuff. He says I’m making Australia look like paradise and it’s making him depressed. He needs cheering up, but he’s read about….

•    Cheaper houses
•    Cheaper petrol
•    No problems parking
•    Free parking
•    Bigger houses
•    Cheaper houses
•    Hot and sunny
•    Under crowded beaches
•    Open roads
•    Schools with fields

He wants to hear about some bad things. Perhaps I have been a little one-sided. Australia is a big place, bad things do happen here. We have lots of bad stuff like

•    Sharks
•    Spiders
•    Snakes
•    Crocodiles
•    Deadly sea creatures
•    Dangerous sunlight
•    Extreme weather conditions
•    Rolf Harris

Rolf Harris and Friends

Rolf Harris and Friends

Image courtesy of Lamere

So, starting next week, I will be adding an  “Australia’s Bad Things” category. I had hoped that this would be a happy blog. I wanted my message to be all about how great it was to move to this fantastic land. I was hoping to inspire people to make that big leap, to take that incredible step and move to the other side of the world. I wanted people to feel my happiness at living in the land of the lucky.

But it seems I am just cheesing some people off! You just can’t please all the people can you?

So look out for next week when I introduced misery to Bobinoz.

Update: 1 July 2014

Yesterday in the UK Rolf Harris was found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault on four girls, the youngest of whom was aged seven or eight and the oldest 19.

Harris was originally included in this article as a joke, but sadly it turns out that he really is both a UK and an Australian Bad Thing.

Visa Assessment Service
Visa Assessment Service
{ 104 comments… add one }
  • Richard Ivanovic September 5, 2012, 4:29 pm |

    Thanks for the reply.
    I’m sorry to hear about your hometown.


  • Richard Ivanovic September 4, 2012, 11:31 pm |

    I think you should tell people what areas to be careful of and my community has many immigrants and there are many other immigrant communities like mine so maybe you should tell people that if your going to settle here and you want to live somewhere nice get a good job and stay away from working class ghettos.

    • BobinOz September 5, 2012, 1:24 pm |

      Ah, now it makes sense. You don’t actually live in a western town of NSW, you live in a western suburb of Sydney, a notorious crime hotspot. I think everybody recognises that there are bad areas in every country. Normally, the worst areas are in the suburbs of the biggest cities.

      That’s where Punchbowl is. For those who don’t know, it’s about 12 km to the west of Sydney’s city centre and it’s in an area called Cantebury-Bankstown. The crime rate there is very high.

      Richard, you are right to bring this to our attention, Australia isn’t a paradise and there are some areas that people should really avoid. I’d love to be able to warn people about these places, but it would probably be quite difficult for me to make an accurate list. Maybe I will look at it though, I think each state police force does release official figures.

      On the other hand, I still think Australia isn’t as bad as, for example, as the UK. There are plenty of no go areas around London and the other big cities. My hometown, Southend-on-Sea, has now been taken over by Somali drug dealers, I’ve heard. I used to play in Southchurch Park, they sell drugs there now.

      That is an even bigger worry, Southend is not a major city, it’s more traditionally known as a holiday destination.

      I think everyone should do research before deciding where to live, whichever country they are considering.



  • Richard Ivanovic September 3, 2012, 8:41 pm |

    This is why problems cannot be solved in Australia because they are ignored. You come visit my town in Western NSW’s and tell me it’s great! I am disgusted that in my and surrounding towns which are located in Australia! Locals have to live with drive by’s, murders, stabbings, dirty streets, thugs, racists and many other things.
    -Just last week there was a stabbing in my area.
    -There have been numerous drive by’s.
    -My train station is fought over by two local gangs in turf wars.
    -A few weeks ago I was threatened by a Neo-nazi on my bus.
    -I have been approached by a drug dealer on my bus.
    -Two men were quite obviously selling drugs right in front of me on the bus!
    -my neghbour was imprisoned 2 years ago for drug related offenses and continues to do so and break driving laws!
    And I am sick of my local police targeting non whites in my community!
    You come visit my town Bob!

    • BobinOz September 4, 2012, 12:01 pm |

      Maybe I will, but it doesn’t sound like the sort of place to come for a holiday.

      What town is it?

  • Rowan June 25, 2012, 7:42 pm |

    Hey Im Australian and I would just like to leave a few thoughts here..
    I have to agree with alot that has been said about AU so far in both the good and bad points.. I grew up in Brisbane lived at the Gold Coast for a few years then just north of Brisbane until I left, I have traveled all around Australia except for western Australia and the northern territory. I now live in Germany by the way.

    Good things about Australia:

    The beaches, weather, etc all the usual stuff you think about is good.

    People are nice. Generally people like foreigners and are curious about what life is like outside Australia so someone will sit down and buy you a beer and chat for hours. Its a very multicultural place so most people are accepted but don’t just go shoving religious mumbo into people it doesn’t sit well and don’t go on about the bad things there because some Australians are very loving towards Australia but others are not. Just get to know the person before you open your mouth.

    Education is good overall.

    Australian Beers. I don’t mind the XXXX either. I actually went on the brewery tour and its good value and I recommend it.

    Medical situation. If you have private cover you will be looked after very well.. The public hospitals can be like anywhere else though and if your missing a arm don’t expect to be seen quickly.

    Internet is good and not very restricted like it is here in Germany (there are ways around that though). If you are into online gaming that’s very popular here even for the older generations (up to 45 year olds play regularly that I know of)

    The atmosphere of the place is very laid back and people don’t care much about things that other countries may take much more seriously (like politics for example), this can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it.

    I would say Australia is a nice place to holiday for sure, living there can be ok if you can afford it and are careful about what you are doing. Get to know Australians before you trust them. Be mindful on public transport even more so at night. Buy things off the internet its much cheaper than shopping there. Make sure you always lock your car and keep your house or apartment secure. Don’t talk about your financial situation to anyone that doesn’t need to know about it.

    My negatives:
    Food, the cost of food and variety of food.

    Television is mainly typical regurgitated American TV. Alot of people are brainwashed by the news and spend most of their lives infront of the box. There is not alot of variety there either with only about 10 main free to air channels. You can get Foxtel for about $100 a month

    Owning a car is one of the most expensive and frustrating experiences there possible. Even more so if you are a car enthusiast. There is a ton of red tape to get through but getting a licence is relativity cheap and easy though. 90% of drivers there have very little road safety training and the condition of most roads is terrible. City traffic is shocking in all major cities and public transport is the MOST EXPENSIVE in the world because its the only place that tries to profit from its customers (if you are in Brisbane, this is a fact by the way), its dangerous on train lines many people are bashed or robbed at night. It is also incredibly easy to lose your licence if you don’t follow the extremely strict road rules to a T, which is why there are many road accidents because people are too busy focusing on their speed and rules to care about whats going on around them. Speeding fines are incredibly expensive also. For example doing 65km/h in a 50km/h zone will cost you $340 and 3 points (you get 12 points for 3 years)

    Cost of living. Its expensive to live in AU no doubt. With the latest prime minister Juila Gillard she has introduced many new taxes and made life much harder for Australians. Food, fuel, luxuries, travel, electricity, parking, bills etc all are taxed and the more you make the more you a punished. It´s like the average Australian income is just enough to get by leaving you with very little at the end of a week to save for a holiday for example. Most Australians I know have never left the country or even thought about it because its too expensive. A general idea of the cost of things is, 25 pack of smokes is roughly $20, a 6 pack of Heineken is about $22 and a full trolly/cart of food from coles will cost about $250, renting a typical 3 bedroom house within 15km of the city is about $380-1,850 a week depending on location and house, and $380 is not going to get you anything close to nice or new with energy efficient living. In fact when you sign up for a PR Visa from the immigration department on one of the last pages it has a mini disclaimer about the cost of living in Australia. Also just to apply for that it is about $3,000 and you do not get that back even if you fail to meet the requirements.

    Crime. Crime is a serious problem there, and alot of it can be contributed with alcohol abuse and drugs. The Gold Coast, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne are pretty bad for crime ranging from violence to grand theft auto. Every town is different though so make sure you research before you plan to move there. Talk to locals about what they think of certain areas its the only way to get a true idea of what its like.

    Centerlink/welfare. It is far to easy for people to get onto this and the system is in need of a serious overhaul. Many younger people know this and take advantage of it using it for the wrong reasons. It not like that everywhere but in certain areas around Australia it shows. If you ever think you will need this or someone in your family will I would strongly suggest NOT to move to Australia simply because of this one reason. If you sign up to it expect to lose all privacy and the government will want to know everything about you and I mean EVERY THING.

    Customer service with all major companies you will need to deal with is a downright disgrace.

    I agree with this comment:
    ”great difficulty to find a job if you do not have any local experience or do not have a recommendation, basta, you’re not welcome..”

    I cant really think of anything else that hasn’t been covered here already but if anyone has any questions don’t hesitate to ask.
    Places id recommend to go:

    Sydney and go to the bar under the opera house, Brisbane queen st mall, Sunshine beach at Noosa, Alexandra Headlands at the Sunshine Coast, Cavil avenue at Gold Coast, Mt Tambourine behind the gold coast, the great barrier reef, Morton Island is a must, drive around alot, see the outback just by driving west for a while from Brisbane.

    • BobinOz June 27, 2012, 3:51 pm |

      Lots of good advice and I can’t disagree with too much that you have said here Rowan, it all seems pretty much the same as how I see it.

      Only things I don’t quite agree on are safety at night on public transport, I’ve never seen any trouble. The city traffic thing is relative, most cities in the world have traffic, I think the traffic in UK cities is way worse than here. Similar with crime, yes, of course there is crime here and some areas are much worse than others. But there’s also a lot of crime in the UK, I have always felt much safer here in Australia than back in England.

      That said, you are currently in Germany, maybe the traffic and crime aren’t so bad there, it didn’t seem to be last time I went.

      As for beer, never buy it in a sixpack! I can get 30 cans of XXXX for around $45, often less. I might try the brewery tour though, I have been thinking about it.

      Thanks Rowan!

  • David C June 21, 2012, 4:44 am |

    Last thing
    Internet is very pricey fOr what you get
    Ireland your get unlimited download for 20 euro and high speed , 45 euro get you nearly 100 MBs. And your service is active and set up in a few days

    50 dollars here in regional area 1.5 mps with 5gb download , and been waiting over two weeks for it to be activated 🙁

    Mobile phone plans are rubbish. 20euro for ulimated usage calls download texts in Ireland

    Oz 40 dollars unlimited calls text with only 5gb data

    This stuff matters when you a multimedia dude and when you wanna skype your friends back home from your mobile phone 🙁


    • BobinOz June 21, 2012, 1:20 pm |

      I did a post about the cost of mobile phones, check it out here…

      UK versus Australia: Mobile Phone Prices Compared

      And acquaint yourself with the hard yakka mentioned in that post. It will make you feel better.

      As for the Internet, check out TPG, I pay $50 a month for unlimited downloads on ADSL 2.

  • David C June 21, 2012, 4:31 am |

    Hey I’m Irish 🙂
    Before I moved I was extremely excited. I imagined a amazing paradise. Unfortentely my first few weeks have been very bad. Me and my beautiful wife are here 4 weeks now an ill tell you the series of unfortunate events

    First got here rained constantly which crushed my hope, buy luckily last 2 weeks have amazing and I haven’t left the beach :p
    The car we bought back home would 400 euro it cost us 2400 !! And broken down in the first few days

    Im a chocolate lover ! And it broke my heart looking at prices ! The only perk was Cadburys had way more flavours !

    This is the worst . 5th day driving car. I parked in a car park by the which was empty. I could back and I get fined 75 dollars cause my car was 5inch too forward. I actually measured !!

    Have been doing a lot of garden work cutting down lantana !! And more poor groin have been bitten numerous times by ticks!

    Here in sunshine coast i couldn’t see houses anywhere just farmers shed. But soon realised that they were ppl lived : and soon reason don’t believe in insulation ! So morning here’s (winter) we are shivering. Might have to invest in a electric blanket
    But I put this a lot of this down to being unlucky

    Even with all this I think admire the Beauty here loving beachs surf lakes mountains trees wildlife. Skatepark . But some things in this county just confuses me !!

    Overall I think I will Defo stay here for a few years , and it let my first impressions ruin my experience of OZ

    • BobinOz June 21, 2012, 1:15 pm |

      That’s a shocking start to your life here, I am so sorry for you. Rain and bad chocolate! Nobody wants to see that.

      I’m glad the weather brightened up enough for you to spend two glorious weeks on the sand, not bad considering it’s winter here.

      Stick with it though David, you sound like the kind of guy who can tough it through and make a go of this country 🙂

      Thanks the sharing.

  • Matt March 12, 2012, 10:27 am |

    Hmm… Bad food I’d say, very limited choices and the fact that some really working European medications cannot be bought from overseas and brought to AU, AU dermatology services suck really…
    Maybe great difficulty to find a job if you do not have any local experience or do not have a recommendation, basta, you’re not welcome..
    Those petty facts made me go back to Europe leaving my parents who seem to settle there and do not want to change anything again…Australians themselves are very friendly and helpful, easy-going and happy, that’s a positive thing about Australia

    • BobinOz March 13, 2012, 1:08 am |

      Not sure where it is easy to get a job these days, and as for food, my wife’s cooking is still as marvellous as it was back in England.

      • Matt March 13, 2012, 11:02 am |

        I’m Lithuanian and found a good job straightaway I arrived back to Vilnius, probably just because I’m home:)? Hmmmmm… just one comparison between a basic Auchan in Paris and a basic Coles in Brisbane should speak for itself:)

        • BobinOz March 14, 2012, 12:40 am |

          Wish we had an Auchan in Brisbane… cheep beer!

  • ged February 17, 2012, 7:33 pm |

    Appalling racism and complete lack of culture comes to mind.

  • Milla July 25, 2011, 9:54 pm |

    Haha Bob that’s very funny that your longest post ever was about Telstra! They must be the worst company in the history of time. If I even mention them my other half goes into a fit of rage, we have had so many problems with them providing us with zero service yet doing their best to steal all our money.
    Thank you for your reply to my earlier post. I am very much looking forward to the point when mossies will start leaving me alone!
    Just a quick note on Deborah’s previous comments and what you were saying about a recommended place to live – I would also say Brisbane is a great place, as it really has everything you need. It’s a lively and relaxed city, and is also quite close (in Oz terms) to lots of other places. It also has quite a lot of culture, but isn’t snobby about it like I found Melbourne to be a bit.
    Or Cairns is great – if you don’t mind the humidity and it being very laid back. There is so much to do here too, especially if you like the outdoors. Even when it rains – as the best part of this area is off the coast and underwater!

    • BobinOz July 27, 2011, 8:13 pm |

      Well spotted Milla, Telstra was my longest ever post, easily! But what was the longest ever comment? That’s what Deborah is trying to beat.

      Good to hear another vote for Brisbane, obviously I agree with you, that’s why I live here.

      Hope those mosquitoes leave you alone soon, surely they’re not still pestering you this time of year?

  • Deborah July 11, 2011, 9:48 am |

    LOL! Yes, I do like it here, but as I’ve lived in many places in Aust. and experienced many different lifestyles I feel I can comment realistically. I have a very close friend who I first met 3 years ago, an english family who emigrated, 2 teenage girls and her OH is in the army. They came under the impression that it was cheap to live here, houses were cheaper, better lifestyle etc etc. and were very shocked for the first 12 months although are staying. Years ago I believe Australia was a sort of ‘promise land’ but this has changed.
    Of course we do have nicer weather than UK, but there are also many places with worse weather. Quite a few of our aussie friends don’t even like the weather where I live LOL! They think it’s too humid..I think the weather is perfect and that is what attracted me to the region in the first place as many places in Aust do have awful weather ie. it can be over 40 degrees for days on end, cyclones, or else very dry, snow and freezing weather too. We only have to check out the nightly weather map to see that Alice Springs is below freezing now but in summer is over 40, similar for all the southern states while the northern areas have too much rain and heat in the summer but do have lovely warm dry weather in the winter. Some females dont like that as they never get to wear ‘winter’ clothes…LOL. My ‘winter’ clothes are the same as summer but with socks and a windcheater over the top!..Nice look..

    I believe both countries have their good and bad and all the posts here have relevent points. As I’m moving during the next 12 months and trying to find the right place I find I’m really struggling with where to go. I want to be closer to or in a city as I have lived in the country most of my life aand am rather tired of the lack of resources and the constant travel to access resources. I’ve been researching this for about 5 years now and am reaching a decision. apologies to everyone, LOL. this is only my thoughts…
    Sydney-never ever…too spread out, too expensive, crowded,…
    Melbourne- awful weather, very expensive, spread out, crowded
    Hobart- freezing, isolated, pretty dull..
    Perth- too far away, very expensive to visit others or have others visit,(fares etc), very hot and dry, very isolated
    Darwin, far too hot and wet for 8 months of the year, isolated, extremely expensive, cultural problems…very limited things to do, everything stops during the outdoors stuff at all!!!! crocs, stingers, cannot swim anywhere or use the beaches, but lovely place for a holiday at the right time!
    Canberra- too many politicians..LOL, freezing or boiling.., very boring..bushfire prone, but , close to many other places like sydney or melbourne etc. and the snow if you are keen and, great flyfishing!
    Adelaide, cheap housing close to the city, everything is close as it is small, hot and dry but cold in winter!, many find it boring..but I grew up there so am prepared.., low population so not crowded, bad weather..but in the middle ie. only 2 hours flight from most places perth, sydney, brisbane, darwin, hobart..
    Brisbane, nice weather except for the bad summer storms and flash floods every summer, very spread out so it takes ages to get to where you need to go, heavy traffic issues, crowded, expensive, too many tolls as with melb and sydney, but leafy and pretty in places but the better spots are very expensive to live, close to sunny coast, and the absolutely hideous gold coast..

    am I up to the record yet?LOL…xxxx

    • BobinOz July 18, 2011, 7:41 pm |

      Haha! Nowhere near. Your comment has 624 words. Elsewhere someone posted a comment with 3,233 words in it. You got a long way to go.

      You have given us a very comprehensive roundup of Australian cities, thank you. I don’t agree with all of it, but I do agree with quite a lot of it. But obviously I don’t have the same experience of living here that you do and I have not yet been to Canberra, Perth or Darwin.

      But I’ve got to ask, have you made your decision yet? Where are you going to move to next?

      • Deborah July 19, 2011, 9:11 am |

        No, still looking, that’s why I visit here!! to see if I can find anything to assist me with the decision..LOL.!

        I need to try harder re word limit, I’m way off.
        I’d expect most people to disagree with much of what I’ve written, otherwise we would all live in one perfect place..what is great for one person, or even at certain different stages of life, is not great for another..
        Anyone who finds somewhere right for them, where they feel completely at home even if there are things (weather, traffic, far from everywhere) that they dont like, is very lucky. Unfortunately my ‘spots’ are not OHs , so hence the gypsy in me…

        • BobinOz July 21, 2011, 12:54 am |

          No, please, don’t try to break the record for the longest comment. My longest post ever has 2,864 words in it, and I didn’t believe anyone would read it. It’s a rant! I was really cheesed off with Telstra. The post was for me really, I was getting it off my chest.

          But in a perverse way, I was proud of that long post. Then someone comes along with a comment even longer! And a bigger rant! So I reckon the only way you’ll beat it is by ranting. You don’t want to do that, do you?

          As for the perfect place to live, I still go with Brisbane. I don’t go with your traffic gripe, but then I stay away from traffic hotspots, I don’t have to commute into the city. I live in Western suburbs, leafy green and no traffic. Unless you want to go to the city.

          I live in the countryside, yet I’m only 22 km from the city. I can get the bus for six dollars and be there in 40 minutes. Bars, restaurants, casinos, nightlife, Sun Corp Stadium for sporting events, there is plenty there.

          I don’t miss the four seasons, but most of us here do not think it’s hot all year round. It’s cold now, it was only 16° C today. Relatively, that’s cold. In England, that would have been pretty good. 18° C (and sunny) in England and I would have had my shorts on. Here, now that I am acclimatised, it feels cold.

          Brisbane is sprawled out and it can take a while to get to places, but isn’t that good? It’s certainly not overcrowded. So it still gets my vote, but like you, I can’t stay in one place for too long.

          So I’ve got my eyes open too, I won’t be living in Brissie forever.

  • BobinOz July 10, 2011, 3:46 pm |

    Hi almost there
    Congratulations! Great to hear you are on your way. And the Aussies don’t mind, don’t worry about that. I’ve found them all to be more than friendly and very welcoming.

    And what’s all this? – ‘if OZ don’t work’ – you can make it work. All those things you want to do, this is exactly the right place to do them. So enjoy your new home and I know your son will love it here too.

    Good luck!

    Hi Deborah

    Wow! Yes, you did write a lot. I’m afraid it’s not the record though, I believe we have one or two longer ones:-) You have some interesting thoughts, do you actually like it here?

  • Deborah July 9, 2011, 11:30 am |

    Almost there. HI! There are many many MANY SA’ers (here that means south aussies, but I understand you mean South African. LOL) here, also Zimbs etc. Love the accents. I have rels in SAfrica too as many went there and in fact we were meant to go too and my father had a job waiting there but just before we were to go there were bad riots etc. so parents changed to S Aust. instead…. I’d love to go, my daughter worked there for a while in Hoedspruit and loved it..

    Things are more expensive here but it sounds like you are used to that. Only this week stats have found most cities in Aust more expensive to live in than New York… Definitely much more exxy than UK, even if the dollar were not doing so well. The most expensive places here are Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin (very exxpensive there!! average house rental, and I mean average rather yukky house, is about $600. a week, nice house about $1200. and city flat about $2000. a week).

    We do have lovely weather though, except where I live it did rain every day for 7 months!! don’t even get me started on the mold issues!!recently and we had countless floods, food sources completely cut off and roads lifted etc. We tend to get heavy rainfall but do also get our sunny days. Water restrictions are a nuisance, not because of showers etc. (we always had tanks so had to be very careful anyway, no water to the house), but because you watch your garden die, cant wash the car, have to be really careful with the washing machine etc.. after a while it gets annoying. If you are seen with a hose you can almost get arrested! and there are very heavy fines and water rates are expensive. but it’s just part of living in a ‘dry’ continent. Really, the country has heaps and heeaps of water, in WA the Ord scheme has more water than a zillion sydney harbours..we just have no infrastructure to get it elsewhere and all our flood water ends up in the sea etc… Govt. should get onto it one day!!

    I’d like to live in UK again just for a couple of years. I live in QLD but am going to move back to SA in a year or two. cairns is quite nice, my son lives there, but I dont think I could live there..

    Re aussies having a higher rate of pay for some jobs, this can be a real curse for the economy as small businesses really struggle so do not have as many employees as they need, close for weekends, public hols as they cannot afford the massive wages etc. so it rebounds. ie. touristy towns cannot afford to keep things open for tourists during easter etc. or sundays, then there is nothing to do and not many places to eat, so people stop arriving, a domino effect. also it makes ‘tours’ very very expensive so people cannot afford to go. I know all this from many many years of experience. It also means many employees only get a few hours a week as things are tight. So there is good and bad to the situation.
    The great outdoors is great. We had a climate smart electrician here recently and our swimming pool costs us $350 a quarter in electricity!! We can cut that down by spending a couple of thousand dollars on rewiring or the new solar technnology but as we are hoping to move we wont be bothering.. We are also one of the most obese nations along with the USA, a very unhealthy lot…the western curse I suppose..LOL.
    I didn’t need the doctor in UK and mine here is a lifelong friend and I”ve never paid, but when I lived iin Darwin I paid and it was $75 a visit! I only went once..LOL.. and had consults over the phone with my GP friend instead..LOL. Many people clog up the hospital emergency system with silly problems because they either cannot afford or wont pay to go to the doctors. If you live somewhere like Darwin or other remote places,, you have to travel thousands of miles for a lot of health care, often whole families have to move and give up their jobs and homes if a member has cancer etc. but I guess that would be the same in Africa too, large country.
    Re the guy who was ‘complaining’ a lot.. I think he must have had bad experiences and also there is a lot of australia (even here) that gets very very cold, snows, floods, cyclones, all manner of nasties etc. so I’m giving him the benefit of thinking he has seen the worse but not the best. I have my heater on right now and I”m in QLD!! it does get cold. If you are not near the coast it gets below freezing every night in winter and in NSW and VIc and Tassie it snows for several months. The only thing putting me off SA is the adelaide winters! LOL.

    Re race issues. Probably bit complicated here (and in South Africa) because ‘they’ were here first where as in UK it was a caucasion country..I’ve lived in community areas and predominately white places and I think it is a very sensitive issue. One of the largest jproblems is education as the aboriginals have such a different culture regarding the importance of this than we do and our culture is a very recent phenomena to them. They also have hundreds of tribes and each has a different language so to publish books etc. for them is almost impossible. THere are a zillion issues that throwing money at will never fix. ie. all their health care is free, but most would not go to a doctor (cultural) so have terrible health issues, it’s such a difficult situation, so yes, we are sensitive here about it and many are also quite horrible about it which I find appalling.

    We don’t take hardly any migrants complared to other places, so I think we have room for you Almost there!

    OMG! think I’ve written far too much!! Bye for now.xxxx

  • almost there July 9, 2011, 2:31 am |

    Wow, this site is way cool. I’ve been living in the UK for 5 years and I just can not wait to get away from it all. While I know that OZ is no paradise, I am expecting Sunshine more than 5 minutes a day (that is if you are lucky). I want to forget TV and spend my free time outdoors, on the beach, hiking, wind-surfing, watching cricket and rugby, BARBECUES!. I want my son to grow up in a place where one can live! And that’s not the UK. I spent many years in South Africa and I loved it to bits … but the crime and government policy made me leave. Finally I’ve got my permanent residency so I am on the way … I guess it must be quite annoying for Aussies to have so many migrants … but I do not care, there is still space. England has many good things (don’t ask me to name them, because I would be in trouble … but I read it in a book once that England is a nice place to live) and if OZ don’t work out I’ll be back (what a grim thought). I actually come to this site because I wanted to find out about the bad things on OZ, but if you lived in SA you know that generally everything is more expensive than it is in Europe, very far from other civilization, but boy, 250 sunny days!!! … Sydney and NSW, I can’t wait to see you!

  • Milla June 30, 2011, 8:29 pm |

    Dear Bob

    I am so glad I have found this facinating website! I’m an English girl who has been living in Oz since last April, and it’s really interesting to hear everyones comparisons between here and the U.K as I think about them quite often. I’m in the process of applying for residency with the Aussie other half, and we have regular discussions about this (he’s a Mackay boy but has been to the UK several times)

    It’s only my personal experince, but from living in Brisbane, Proserpine and now Cairns I’ve found these things to be the only problems I’ve had with Oz. I think it goes without saying the general lifestyle, weather, work/play attitude etc is miles above the UK! Today was the first time in a year that I have had to wear boots instead of flip flops and this makes me very happy!

    A few niggles though –

    1. As mentioned the mozzie’s. I have fair skin and they love me, however much spray I wear. During summer in Northern QLD I am covered in bites! You do learn not to care though.
    2. Not really a bad thing, just a difference – the sense of humour. Aussie’s are very relaxed and love taking the piss, but it doesn’t work quite as well when a ‘pom’ takes the piss out of them. Then they start to get very competitive! I really miss the self deprecating British sense of humour, but that’s me personally.
    3. Don’t want to get too Political here, but I often am amazed at the stupidity of Australian Politicians. I find it hard to watch the Oz political debates here because Joe Hockey, Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce etc just make me want to cry. It’s all a little too BNP for me. But again a personal opinion.
    4. I think mentioned already, but prices of food, cd’s, books etc. A large box of Cornflakes here is around $8. A bestselling paperback book which I saw in the UK for five pounds is $30. I have found rent/lecky etc to be about the same. Fuel is cheap though and wages (especially for lower paid jobs like waitressing) are miles better!
    5. I’m not sure how to put this in a tactful way, as it is a hugely complicated isssue, but the relationship between white Australia and Aboriginal Australia is something I find very difficult. I hate to say it but I find I cannot discuss race issue’s here as openly as I would in the UK. Like the UK many places are hugely multi-cultural (Cairns, Melbourne) many are not at all (Mackay). Cairns really is and I think that’s one of the many things it has going for it (Cairns is generally ace by the way!)

    Ok feels nice to get that off my chest even if it is into virtual cyberspace! Hope I haven’t opened up too many cans of worms, but just wanted so join what is a really interesting discussion.

    Milla x

    • BobinOz July 2, 2011, 9:56 pm |

      Hi Milla

      Well I’m glad you found this blog too, it’s always good to hear other people’s thoughts about Australia.

      I agree entirely with you that the general lifestyle here is much better than the UK, but for some people it doesn’t go without saying. Some people hate it here. I’ve never met anyone personally, but I’ve had plenty make comments around this blog to that effect. As for your niggles:

      1. I feel your pain, mainly because I have felt that pain myself. But as you say, you learn not to care although I think in some way our body gets used to the bites and they just don’t hurt so much. I don’t get bitten anywhere near as much as I did in the first year, so maybe they may ease off of you sometime.

      2. There is a reason Hugh Grant is English and not Australian. I get what you’re saying, but I also, in many ways, admire the pride many Australians have about their nationality. I quite like the Aussie sense of humour, but their competitiveness is not something I’m used to. But then, I am English.

      3. The stupidity of politicians never amazes me no matter which country.

      4. Yes, some things are very expensive, particularly books. It is much cheaper to buy them from Amazon and pay the shipping. That can’t be right, can it? And Australia doesn’t do low paid work, but then unlike the UK we don’t have Eastern European’s and unlike America we don’t have Mexico. Am I allowed to say that? Probably not. Which brings me on to…..

      5. Shh! Not here. Seriously, I know exactly what you’re saying and I have wanted to write about it here on this blog. But frankly, I don’t feel qualified and let’s be fair, I’m not. It’s like a dark room nobody can go in to.

      And yes, I’ve heard that Cairns rocks and I certainly will see it one day. Thanks for popping by!



  • Deborah June 2, 2011, 7:13 pm |

    Hi, sorry I have not been on here for ages but it seems to have been busy. I’ve just returned from a few weeks in UK (and France to avoid ‘the wedding’ crowds, but ended up with Obama’s crowds anyway!!). Which was rather exciting with all the ‘spooks’ etc. around…
    So, had great weather all over UK, lucky!, loved it all, drove nearly 4000 miles, which made the British just about keel over..LOL.
    I found most groceries cheaper there, our car hire very cheap, fuel expensive but I knew it would be, accommodation excellent in B & Bs, drivers courteous, roads excellent and people very friendly and helpful. Loathed the pay and display!! even in the most isolated places.. really, why do you have to pay to park on a bit of dirt when you are the ONLY one there..
    Any technology, mobiles, Internet etc all cheap.. terrific public transport, rubbish coffee!! so bad I cannot even go idea why that is when they have the right equipment..
    anyway I loved it all and saw lots of wildlife and took ticks off a dog.. and the whole holiday was really fantastic. Loove the fact that dogs can go just about anywhere,, hate the aussie attitude to dogs and cats..

    I’ve been in australia since 1964, back a few times to UK (all rels are there). In my years here I’ve never ever seen any crime or been a victim of it, found everyone friendly and great, had positive experiences. I loathe both Sydney and Melbourne as do many aussies, and have only lived in Adelaide, kangaroo island, darwin, hervey bay (for the past 17 years). If you live in a big city, expect crime, high prices, crowds etc. If I was ever lucky enough to return to the UK for a while I’d choose the New Forest or Cornwall, Dorset, Devon, Wales, Scotland..(maybe too cold for me there though). I would never go to anywhere near places like Manchester, Birmiingham, Liverpool (sorry to those people..) as those places do not appeal to me. I think wherever you go there are good and bad and you should live in areas that suit you and not complain about what there is or isn’t as you WILL find the right place if you look. I’m also surprised a couple of people think Asia is better and safer than Oz.. very shocked. Maybe it’s just a lack of knowledge or something but please do some research.. I think aussie food is terrific and there is a huge variety of what you can get everywhere.
    I and my children have dual citizenship, I never even think about it, had it for most of my life.
    Liz, hope you have a great holiday!xxx

    • BobinOz June 6, 2011, 12:36 am |

      Hi Deborah

      Glad you had a great holiday over in England, sounds like you were lucky with the weather.

      Yes, with the exchange rate as it is now and with you going over with money you have earned in Australian dollars changed into English pounds, everything would have looked very cheap indeed. I think it’s a great time for Australians to enjoy cheap holidays in most countries around the world whilst the Aussie dollar is so strong.

      You’ve given us all a good roundup of both countries too, and let’s face it, when considering the whole world, Australia and the UK both rank pretty high as desirable countries in which to live.

      But I wonder, has your visit back to England made you consider returning there for good?



  • Liz June 2, 2011, 12:04 pm |

    I think I’m most likely looking at the wrong website but I’m an Australian looking at going to Britain on holiday.
    I’ve never been out of the country so it would exciting to see some different parts of the world.

    P.S. most of the problems people are talking about on this blog, only exist in Melbourne and Sydney. I live in Queensland on the Sunny coast, I’ve never had much of a problem with crime (someone stole my collection of DVDs once, but left all my money and credit cards on the table) and even though I live in a city, I live on four and a half acres of land

    • BobinOz June 5, 2011, 10:00 pm |

      Well, yes, you probably are looking at the wrong website. But websites about holidaying in Britain aren’t anywhere near as much fun as this 🙂

      Anyway, if you want to ask anything, I do know a bit about that country, I did live there for nearly 50 years. So if you have any questions, I’m happy to answer.

  • boiwonder May 24, 2011, 5:28 am |

    ohhh man…..who seems more on the ball? the british auzzie hater or the hippy bobin?……ticks? WTF!!!
    3 main concerns i have moving there:
    1.Sketchy food situation…good thing in a chef…..:(
    2. two min showers? weird…
    3.”common” and “robbery” should not be in the same sentence.

    • BobinOz May 25, 2011, 6:29 pm |

      hippy bobin here….
      1) kebabs still taste good after 10 beers
      2) 4 mins not so wierd
      3) stay away from the Gold Coast then 🙂

      Now are you coming over?

  • Yazmin May 18, 2011, 9:10 pm |

    I LooooooooVeeeeeeeeee Rolf Harris :/:/:/<3

    • BobinOz May 18, 2011, 10:11 pm |

      Good of you to pop by, Mrs Harris

  • BobinOz January 31, 2011, 12:38 pm |

    Then I’ll buy the first round. Cheers!

  • Dave January 28, 2011, 11:29 pm |

    Well, I am going to have to take one of those holidays y’all talk about, are Americans the only ones that call them vacation? I am sure the wife will want to go to a big city, so Brisbane would be the closest.

  • BobinOz January 28, 2011, 3:46 pm |

    Mackay! Geez, one of us is going to have to travel a very long way for that beer!

    Good luck Dave, hope the visa comes through.

  • Dave January 28, 2011, 12:56 am |

    Wonderful, I hope to be able to take you up on that. I am told I will be getting a formal offer tomorrow, today your time. His visa guy says no worries and we could be downunder in a few months. For anyones information I am an Auto Electrician, drive whatever gets me from point a to point b and will be living where I can afford to close to Mackay. Its my wife who likes the “finer” things in life, but she is starting to come around to a simple life as our kids get older. This is going to be a great chance to get rid of all the shit we’ve accumulated through 20 years of marriage, both literally and figuratively (sp?). Now about that home brew……..

  • BobinOz January 28, 2011, 12:11 am |

    Gordon, you are so right, there are lots of choices here. Some people like what we have here and some people don’t. In which case there are loads more choices elsewhere.

    Which brings me to Keith. Thankfully we are all different, otherwise we’d all want to live in the same place. Then that place would be overcrowded. Like England. (Sorry, sorry! Just can’t help myself at times.)

    Dave, I’ll have a XXXX with you and I’d be more than happy to talk rubbish all night. And I’ve never asked anybody what they do for a living, where they live or what car they drive. So you’re safe with me.

  • Dave January 27, 2011, 5:11 am |

    Sounds like it is all a matter of what you like and what you are used to. I am from the Midwest USA. I dress up for funerals and weddings. I personally dont see the whole refinement arguement but hey, whatever floats your boat. I would assume that in the large cities there are plenty of places to dress up and feel important. Myself, I am looking forward to bellying up to the bar with a XXXX and shootin the shit with a bloke with a good story. I am hoping that that the “Keep-up-with-the-Jones” mentality is not present here, but if it is I will try to stay away from it.

  • Keith January 26, 2011, 1:16 am |

    Deborah & Bob, thanks so much for the insights. It’s truly fascinating how different it is we all are. Even more enlightening knowing the story from both sides. Keep up the good work, Bob!

  • Gordon January 25, 2011, 11:10 pm |

    In reply to Robins post , December 15, 2010 at 7:31 pm , A few months ago a cousin of mine finally got his Australian Citizenship after many working visits to Australia since age 16 ( now 40 ) . He couldn’t be happier to finally be able to call Australia home.

    When my family came Australia in 1960 , many came as “10 pound poms”
    and a percentage of those ( I went to school with some of the kids ) found everything wrong here and wanted nothing more than to go home to England , the catch was , they had to stay 2 years or pay full fare back.

    Some of them went back , and some of those then saved like fury to get back to Australia. Again.

    Life is what we choose , as well as how we deal with that we have no choice over.

    Australia has gaols ( jails ) because we have a criminal element here , just like every other country .

    It is not some Utopian dream but a land of opportunity where people who are prepared to get qualifications and skills will get work and be remunerated accordingly , people have a choice of climate from maritime Tassie to tropical Queensland to desert outback to snowfields. We have a great deal of CHOICE here regarding what we do and where we do it.

    Perhaps it does not suit every persons sense of what is refined or proper , in which case that person should probably consider their other options.

  • BobinOz January 25, 2011, 12:25 am |


    As I said when answering Keith, you’ve made some very valid points there. In fact you have single-handedly solved why some people think Australians are materialistic when they really aren’t. Thank you.

    As for wanting to live in England, if I lived in Australia most of my life, so would I. Europe is a fascinating continent, it was a tough decision for me to leave it, and I’d been there almost half a century! So I fully understand why anyone who has lived in Australia or their life would want to check it out.

    Not sure how long you’d last though 🙂

  • BobinOz January 25, 2011, 12:17 am |

    Hi Keith and welcome!

    Well, I didn’t get the “materialism” and “surface” comments when they were first raised, it is not my experience of Australian people. I couldn’t even tell you if people from the UK are more or less materialistic, because I haven’t met everyone in the UK or in Australia either. And as I said, I don’t pigeonhole.

    But luckily, Deborah who has added her comments after yours, seems to have nailed it. If you read her comments you’ll probably get a better understanding of what might be going on.

    But I can tell you the Australians are not slow to express their own opinions, nor are they insecure. Probably, by and large, (not pigeonholing of course) they are quite the opposite.

  • Deborah January 24, 2011, 10:40 am |

    Whoops, I know there are some snakes.. compared to having them in your backyard all the time and everywhere else, there are ‘none’ in UK , lol.
    I adore snakes, esp. pythons,, but it is a constant worry with pets….

  • Deborah January 24, 2011, 10:37 am |

    Came accross this ‘blog’ while looking for average wages/house prices etc.
    Really interesting to me as an Australian Pom who has lived here for most of my life. I’d love to live in UK again (I’m from Middlesex) for a few years.
    I’d llike to comment on the materialistic comment.
    Having been back to UK a few times and had relatives and friends out here to stay, I think there is a much different view of materialism in both cultures.
    In Australia it’s pretty unusual to not have a normal (see largish for UK) size home on a normal block with plenty of driveway for cars etc, a swimming pool, garage etc. this is not materialistic, this is normal ‘working class’ (not that we have that here) stuff. No one takes any notice, boring, ordinary.
    WIth rels and friends from UK, they are often really surprised and think there is something unusual about it, and maybe materialistic? I guess here we think similar when we hear about all the travel UK people are able to do. A European etc. trip is just about a once in a lifetime thing for many Aussies…..
    I’d love to return to UK for a while for the countryside, no snakes (I have dogs), history, proximity to Europe (any holiday from here is VERY expensive), architecture, canals, etc. etc.\xx

  • Keith January 24, 2011, 6:29 am |

    i forgot..
    ‘That said, Bob, would it be fair to say that people are generally (with all due respect, of course) more insecure / slower to express a personal opinion from themselves? or is it the case of a nation’s self protection mechanism(so tht would imply mostly migrants / foreigners would be seeing more of this than a local)?’ opposed to where you’re your case, Bob, UK i assume?

  • Keith January 24, 2011, 6:24 am |

    Hi all, a little late to join in the discussion..I find the ‘materialism’ & ‘surface’ comment very interesting..first time i’m seeing this, (but mind me, i’ve never been there in my life..just been reading a lot abt Aus recently for my uni preperation).

    That said, Bob, would it be fair to say that people are generally (with all due respect, of course) more insecure / slower to express a personal opinion from themselves? or is it the case of a nation’s self protection mechanism(so tht would imply mostly migrants / foreigners would be seeing more of this than a local)?

    Again, not passing any judgement here, there’s a whole lot of problems with my people too, just trying to figure out if there’s anything i’m missing in the big picture. 🙂

  • BobinOz December 16, 2010, 9:57 pm |

    Hi Robin

    Yes it is interesting that everyone has a different point of view, it’s what makes the world such an exciting place I suppose. My thoughts on your comments…..

    Most places are becoming worse to live in than they used to be. Let’s have a competition, open to everybody in the world: Name a place that gets better and better to live in.

    Crime: statistically, yes, Australia has more crime. But crime statistics consist mainly of reported crimes and prosecutions. For example, if somebody has a bike stolen and goes to the police and they say “it’s not even worth filing a report, we will never catch them!” Then technically no crime has been committed. So crime statistics aren’t always the true measure of how much crime is taking place.

    All I know is I feel much safer walking the streets after dark here in Australia than ever I did in England and everyone, without exception, that I know who has moved here feels the same. Australia just feels safer. But maybe I’m lucky, I don’t live in a rough area.

    Education: Read Australian Education Standards Compared to the UK and USA.

    Food: Whoever moves to Australia for its culinary delights? Surely that’s what people go to France for?

    I’ve met some great Australians, my closest Australian friend is extraordinarily genuine at a very deep level. I’ve never been one much for pigeonholing entire nations so I don’t think it’s fair to describe a whole country as being not very deep, or advantage taking, materialistic (I was quite shocked that that one, I don’t find them at all that way) or lacking in morals.

    Having said that, I’m probably about to fall into the trap of pigeonholing myself by agreeing with you that nobody seems to dress up and refinement isn’t a top Aussie trait. But I like that, I’m a scruffy slob myself!

    As for Rolf, I love him too. He’s an icon for sure. Not sure where he lives these days, but he must be getting on a bit, isn’t it?

    Thanks for your views, always good to hear what others think.



  • Robin December 15, 2010, 7:33 pm |

    P.S. I like Rolf Harris, but I believe he spends more time in U.K. now.
    Also Educational system here is really VERY bad.

  • Robin December 15, 2010, 7:31 pm |

    Interesting how all have a different point of view. I expect it’s where you come from in U.K. and where you live in Australia.
    I’m finding Australia is becoming a worse place to live than it was once.
    Food: The wonderful Aussie food is to my mind a myth. Companies that produce food don’t seem to have a set standard, because there is a smaller population here.
    Wildlife & insects were the best thing ’bout Oz. Now they’re all dying off.
    People. Aussies are on the surface friendly. I don’t believe that goes very deep. Crime rate is higher than U.K. I’ve had more theft here than in any other country, (and I’m well travelled. Advantage taking is the national hobby.
    100% agree about history, architecture. but Australia isn’t very old.
    Design here is dreadful, when I visit England I revel in seeing beautiful things in the shops. They seem to have no idea here.
    Yes, Dress, nobody dresses up, ever. The fun of dressing up is great yet Aussies don’t seem to get it. I live in country Australia.
    Manners, – They just don’t get it.
    Refinement,- there isn’t any.
    The countryside is great, but it was messed up way back when they arrived & thought it a good idea to chop down all the trees.
    Climate. Where I live there are about 3 days a year when you can get out & achieve something. It’s usually raining or else so hot, you feel you will become irradiated outside.
    I find Social Services are very good.
    Medicine is slightly better than U.K.
    Materialism is gigantic here. First thing I noticed.
    Nationalism’s very strong, (but not as bad as it once was.)
    Morals- Not a patch on the Brits. You have to get to know people pretty well before you can figure out their trust-worthiness here.. I tend to be open & trust people immediatly, this has got me into trouble here. I’m pretty naturally kind, but it really doesn’t pay here. Nice people are taken for MUGS. I.M.O.

  • BobinOz October 4, 2010, 6:44 pm |

    Ah, but I really am a scruff bag, self confessed 8) and no offence was taken by your remarks. I think it’s great that it’s impossible for everyone to agree on which of the two countries is best and I thank you for adding your views.



  • aprile01 October 1, 2010, 11:30 pm |

    “As for fashion, yes, I am a scruff bag!”

    Sorry, I didn’t mean anyone who isn’t overly into fashion was a scruff bag, nothing wrong with a t shirt and a pair of flip flops, just that I have an eye for the latest fashion and Britain suits me more in this regard.

    “But let’s be fair, both countries are pretty good. And as you say, both have their own pros and cons.”

    Couldn’t agree more, both are fantastic countries, it’s no coincidance that Brits flock to Australia and Australians flock to the UK. Both countries are doing something right 🙂

  • BobinOz October 1, 2010, 9:31 pm |

    Well I’d only like to add that my experience is predominantly of Brisbane. I find the public transport here to be excellent and as for parks, the mayor’s vision is that every house should be within 500 metres walk of a park. I’ve already got two within 500 metres of my house.

    As for fashion, yes, I am a scruff bag!

    But let’s be fair, both countries are pretty good. And as you say, both have their own pros and cons.

  • aprile01 September 29, 2010, 10:53 pm |

    Hi there,

    Enjoyed your reply, agree with pretty much all of it. I’ll just pick up on a few of your points.

    “Parks and open spaces, they are everywhere.”

    I agree with this, however I will point out that the UK has an abundance as well, look at London for instance, you have Hyde, Kensington, Victoria, London Fields etc… And in regional areas there a plenty of beautiful parks, so for me there isn’t really a big difference between the two countries on this score.

    “Informal dress, wearing shorts and T-shirts every day.”

    As someone who is into his fashion I actually see this point as one of Australia’s negative’s. I love being able rock up in London in the latest clothes or to a bar (even pub these days) smartly dressed and not look out of place. I love the trendy feel of Britain in this respect, however I understand why some people would have the opposite opinion to this.

    “Much better public transport, especially at night.”

    Sorry I have outright disgree with this one. I used the system in Melbourne and obviously in Sydney, got to say they were both appalling, Melbourne being the worst of the two. Both had very old, dirty and slow trains with poor links. I live about 7 km from the CBD in Sydney, it took me 40 mins during rush hour to get to work as I had to use the bus due to poor train links. In London I would be at my destination within 5-10 mins max.

    But other than that I agree with everything else. Clearly Australia and the UK have lot’s of pros and cons just in different areas.

  • BobinOz September 29, 2010, 10:18 pm |

    Funnily enough, I (almost) totally agree with you. But firstly I have to say I’m not a lover of Sydney. Been there twice but it really wasn’t for me. I don’t think Sydney shows Australia in its best light.

    But that’s not overly important, I think when comparing Australia to the UK as opposed to Sydney with London, everything you say you preferred about living in over there is true.

    The UK is almost certainly better for nightlife, architecture, history, theatre, art, music scene, better beer (definitely), access to Europe, pubs and fashion.

    I cannot argue with any of that.

    But what is Australia better for? Well, as you say, the weather and the beaches. Don’t know so much about coffee, I don’t drink it. But I would further suggest that Australia is better for:

    Housing, they’re bigger and more spaced out.
    Driving, roads are nowhere near as congested.
    Parks and open spaces, they are everywhere.
    Informal dress, wearing shorts and T-shirts every day.
    The laid-back lifestyle, much more enjoyable here.
    Australia feels safer, people walk their dogs at night here.
    The wildlife, the fauna and the countryside are fantastic.
    I find the people extremely friendly and easy to get on with.
    Easy access to New Zealand (just kidding!)
    Much better public transport, especially at night.
    Outdoor entertainments are big here in Australia, better than being stuck indoors.

    So for me, when you add the above to the fantastic beaches and glorious weather, it all adds up to a great place to live.

    But as I have explained in other posts on this blog, I think the trick is to live in different places, not the same place all of your life. I thoroughly enjoyed my (almost) 50 years in England and Europe, but now I’m really enjoying Australia. If I’d have been born in Australia, I guess I would’ve moved to England at some point and done things the other way round.

    Thanks for popping by, it’s appreciated.

  • aprile01 September 28, 2010, 1:34 am |

    Hi there, just thought I would give me 2 cents. OK, what I prefered about living in Sydney…

    The weather
    The beaches

    What I prefered about living in London…

    Music Scene
    Better beer (and cheaper 😉
    Easy access to Europe

    As you can see the postives for living in London (on a personal level) far exceeded those for Sydney hence why I moved back after 3 years of living down under. Don’t get me wrong I totally understand why people love living there, equally I totally understand why people love living here.

  • BobinOz July 16, 2010, 12:15 pm |

    Eddy, thanks for letting us know where you are at. I have read and re-read your reply and it doesn’t make sense to me. In about 18 months time I hope to secure my own dual nationality. I kind of know what you mean, it gives you the freedom to go back to the UK but with the added freedom of returning to Australia if you don’t like it. But without dual nationality, any of us can go back to England, returning to Australia would be the problem.

    So going back to England is always an option.

    What I don’t get is that you say you prefer living in Oz. So why go back to England just because you can?

  • Eddy July 14, 2010, 10:07 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Just to put things into a little bit more of a perspective. All my kids are more Australian than I am because they were born here have Aussie accents and say “pants” rather than “trousers”. I have been here for ten years and before I had kids, I travelled all around OZ, going as far north as Weipa and Cape York and far south as Kangeroo Island. I have a permanent job a house in Sydney and my kids are settled in school/preschool. When I first came to OZ, I really enjoyed it until I started weighing up against the pros and cons of living in the UK. And this is where the problem lies, once you get dual nationality, you have another option or choice, and then you start comparing. So Bob, In answer to your question, I prefer living in Oz but will be returning to England before Xmas to live.

  • Eddy July 12, 2010, 10:36 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    I have been living in Oz (Northern Beaches, Sydney) for 10 years after emigrating from the UK and have found a mix of good and bad things. I wont mention the good as you have covered a lot in your blog, but to give some balance, here is the bad:
    1. I have three kids. They often get ticks by playing in the back garden. We once owned a cat that almost died twice from ticks ( they affect the respiratory system)
    2. Mozzies- They are a way of life here. You can get used to them and you can get sprays
    3. Houses. Not built as well as in the UK. Newer houses are not double brick (post 1970 onwards) The govt only made it mandatory 7 years ago to insulate between the brick veneer walls. Double glazing is not affordable for normal housing ( in Sydney). Many houses are made of weatherboard – you can hear the outside traffic very clearly from your bedroom.
    4. Energy costs- After you have been in Oz for a while your blood begins to thinnen and you start feeling cold at 13 degrees C- the same as if you were in the uk when it is 5 degrees C, so you tend to use same amount on electricity/ gas as you were in the uk. But hold up, if you have air-conditioning, then you will use it on those hot summer days and nights- so your energy costs are in fact higher in OZ than in the UK.
    5.Choice- because of the remoteness of Australia to the rest of the world and the population, there is not a lot of retail competition. This leaves you with little choice for consumer goods. Food shopping is a good example with just two major supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles creating an Oligopoly.
    6. Social Services- There is non. There is no infrastructure
    7. Medical system- I think the NHS in theUK have more skilled and experience medical experts. I also feel that the discipline of UK systems gives it the edge.
    8. Australians usually end up with products at the end of their life cycle. eg automotive industry- new model cars here in OZ are already being replaced in the UK for even newer models.
    9. The government- eg the home insulation debacle
    I am keen to get your insight into my observations above.
    Keep up the good work on the blog – Eddy

    • BobinOz July 13, 2010, 10:01 pm |

      Hi Eddy

      Thanks for popping by my blog and for adding your comments, they are much appreciated. You have made your points well and they are very valid too. So I’ll do my best to answer each one.

      1. I did a post about ticks here, I am not in love with them either, who is? But they aren’t just in Australia, are they?

      2. I did a post about how bad mosquitoes are here, and another post about my yard guard to protect me from mosquitoes here, one about killing mosquitoes here and also a post about the equally irritating sandfly here. I hate mosquitoes! But I have got used to them and I have discovered ways to beat them.

      3. I did a posts about housing in Australia, well, lots of them really. You could start with that one which is about when I went househunting. At the bottom of the article, you’ll see a list of similar posts and they’re all about housing in Australia. I’ve only lived in one house since I’ve been here, and it seems pretty sturdy to me. I think it’s about 20 years old. It’s probably fair to say that in both the UK and Australia, the older the house the better the build. Too many companies cut corners these days, and it’s happening with builders big time. It’s true to say that there are some really stunning and solid houses in England, I’ve been in some fantastic townhouses in Bath that were probably built around 100 or so years ago. They are proper houses! I’ve not seen anything like that here. But I don’t think houses here need to be as solid or as insulated. It is a warm country and normally your neighbour lives a lot further away than about 3 feet, which is often the case in England.

      4. I did a post about energy costs. And another one about the soaring cost of electric here. I kind of agree with you, especially the bit about your blood thinning and starting to feel cold at much warmer temperatures than before. I did a post about that too, you can read about acclimatisation to the Australian weather here. But I’m still not yet (but only just) paying more for my energy here than I used to in England, but then I don’t use air conditioning in the summer. I live on a bit of a hill, we get a great easterly breeze and I just leave all the windows wide open, day and night. For those of you who think that’s nuts, we have security grills which are quite common here in Australia.

      5. I haven’t yet done a post about choice, but believe it or not, it is on my list of things to do. You do have a good point here, I think Australians do get ripped off for certain goods, in particular the latest gadgets. Mainly branded goods, iPods, media players, wifi audio streamers, dictaphones, cameras, microphones, we can often be asked to pay double or more than those living in the US or the UK have to pay. I did do a post about the price of groceries though, and Coles and Woolworths fared pretty well against Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s. But as you say, they do have a duopoly. But I do prefer your word, oligopoly, although I had to look it up.

      6. Social Services here I would guess are Centrelink. We had to register with them before we could take our daughter to kindie. We found them very efficient and quick. Other than that, I have no experience with them. Being a resident and not an Australian citizen (yet), we don’t qualify for social services so I can’t really add any more.

      7. I think I strongly disagree with you on this one, I found the NHS a bit of a bureaucratic mess back in England, a sea of referrals to various specialists and experts in different hospitals, clinics and departments. Here things seem a little bit more slick and certainly faster and more efficient. The quality of care and the experience of the medical professions seems just as good as back in the UK. But of course, it’s not free. You’ll need private medical insurance or you’ll end up waiting a long time. Just like you do in England.

      8. I’ve not really noticed that one, so can’t comment. It’s a valid point though, there’s quite a few things Australia is a bit behind on, but I find that a good thing, mostly.

      9. The government here are hopeless, just as they are in the UK. It’s a universal rule of governments. We’re stuck with it. Probably worldwide.

      But tell me, Eddy, you’ve been here 10 years now, having lived in the UK. Which country do you prefer?



  • BobinOz June 23, 2010, 9:45 pm |

    Sorry for the delay in my reply…… I’ve been busy watching the telly. Nothin’ else to do around these parts.

    Anyway, now that I’ve bothered to get up off my butt, yes, he is misinformed, or a wind up. I bet he’s over at the Greenpeace website explaing why the whale is a pest that must be destroyed. Then he’ll go to the FIFA World Cup site and explain why England will win the world cup.

    I hope he comes back here, I miss him.

  • JustinUrippa June 22, 2010, 11:07 pm |

    Haha Anthony is truly misinformed isnt he? With a attitude like that towards Australia im not suprised you were broken into. Living here in Oz (Sydney) really isnt that hard, Iv moved all over the country, iv had many different jobs, yes you get the odd idiot on transport but can you tell me a populated place in the world where you wouldnt? Seems to me you obvisouly cant handle Aussie life which is fine, you made the right choice to move 🙂

    Bob i see your no.2 and raise you 1. Entertainment : TV is the most entertaining thing in Australia.
    Haha made me laugh, just shows he wasnt very smart on his statistics. Id write a bad list about the U.S but one lives forever? lol

  • HughKelly June 15, 2010, 10:46 pm |

    That fellow is incorrect about pretty much all things except for the Australian aggression traceable to the AFL sport in many cases which i can agree with 100%.
    as for the rest of it total bull%$#@.
    The country is well known for how active it is hence the talent at many sports and the TV is crap. Most Australians would rather go do something productive.
    Australians can get any food they can possibly imagine and i think he would find with a bit more looking round that due to their incredibly multicultural identity Australians get more food variety then many countries. The country due to isolation produces ingredients fresh in Australia with no shortage of variety. Nothing to do with customs which only restricts fruit and veg which of course is grown in the country because that makes plain sense.
    Besides Londoners can hardly be picky with their fish and chips background.
    Maybe he has just read Wikipeadia on Australia and seeing that mining is the biggest industry in the country he has decided that that is all that there is to work in in Australia.
    I assure you that the country is modern with modern jobs in abundance and he shouldn’t take a view on job opportunities or perhaps even living in the country after living in only cold cities.
    Try Perth next time bud or perhaps Darwin.
    There is hardly a person who finds any trouble with water restriction. Im very sorry you had to cut your shower down 2 minutes a day i know your hair doesn’t look right unless u give it that extra piece of special hair care. The farmers however need to feed the country and provide some of that cheap meat you were talking about so perhaps you could make this oh so terrible sacrifice. A minor inconvenience indeed that no one even notices.
    modern housing as well. beautiful buildings like ahhhh a little known opera house landmark.
    Im not sure where this fellow was living but Australian houses are known for providing a fantastic lifestyle rivalled by few other places in the world. in no way do Australians live in bunkers except for some cold city suburbs where my uninformed friend seemed to dwell.
    I can agree with the safety point however but again it depends where you live. live in a city withe little money for a place to live then u will end up in a place where crime will occur. But yes a recent atmosphere of crime and violence has descended on the country within the last decade. This is not an exceptional case in the scheme of things however when looking at the rest of the world including the UK.
    public transport is great especialy in Melbourne if a little crowded and i rarely witness any congestion. Sydney however is prone to a fair bit of traffic.
    All and all a very uninformed opinion.

    • Gibbo September 3, 2011, 10:35 pm |

      i agree, that other guy should stop trashing our country!

      • BobinOz September 5, 2011, 6:56 pm |

        I think he has, well, here anyway.

    • Hank Coleson March 22, 2013, 1:16 pm |

      Housing is crap, crumbling plaster, ever heard of double glazing? Yes they look nice but are way over priced for what they are!!

    • BobinOz March 22, 2013, 9:07 pm |

      Hi Hugh

      Thanks for popping by and giving us your view of Australia. For sure, Anthony Ford, the guy you are obviously talking about, is having a laugh. Virtually everything he says is totally incorrect and misleading. What he’s angle is, I don’t know.

      Perhaps we should have a competition and we could ask Anthony himself to judge it. We have to guess why he took the time to write such a load of rubbish. As a tiebreaker, we have to pick out what we think is the most ridiculous statement of all. I’ll go first.

      I think he lives here in Australia and loves it. But he’s noticed it’s getting a teeny bit more crowded lately and his mission is to put other people off from coming here. So instead he tries to send them to the US or France or Brazil or Thailand.

      My tiebreaker: No. 3, especially “Public transport is poor overcrowded and dangerous.” – That’s funny!

      Anyone else want a go?

      • BobinOz March 22, 2013, 9:12 pm |


        Maybe the plaster in your house is crumbling, in mine it’s just fine. All my friends houses are just fine as well. As for double glazing, why? My windows are left open for 10 months of each year.

        So I don’t think you can speak, generally, for all houses in Australia

  • BobinOz January 3, 2010, 9:05 pm |

    Hi Anthony

    Sounds like you’re not an OZ fan. But you are very, very funny. We should go for a beer sometime.

    Obviously I disagree with all of your comments, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy reading them! If you look around this blog, I think you’ll find I’ve already covered my angle on all of your points, so I won’t repeat here.

    But my favourite, without doubt, is number 1. TV the best entertainment in Australia? If I wanted to stay in watching TV all day, I’d have stayed in England. They have much better programs!

    But instead, I go to the beach, I go camping, I go to any one of the many outdoor events put on by the communities all around me or I go for a picnic somewhere beautiful. Most important, I spend loads more time with my wife and daughter and my friends than I ever did in England.

    And it’s much more fun.

    Oh, and another thing. I’ve had 3 free bus rides (actually 2 free bus rides and one free tram ride, none of which were dangerous) in just the last year. All from friendly “city” drivers. So I think Aussies, city and rural, ARE friendly. Never had a free ride from any kind of public transport in England in nearly 50 years.

    Nice try, but I’m not buying it. Love it here.



  • Anthony Ford December 30, 2009, 4:26 pm |

    Problems with Australia:
    1. Entertainment : TV is the most entertaining thing in Australia. Statistically Australians spend the most time watching TV. That says something about the place.

    2. Food: Food quality is not as good as Europe or US and the variety is not that good either. A lot of foods don’t make it through their customs. Food also is very expensive. You get more bang for your buck on food in the US to Europe.
    Beef products are about the only reasonably priced items.

    3. Transport: The large city traffic is not that good. Bangkok has better traffic flow in peak hour than Sydney or Melbourne. Public transport is poor overcrowded and dangerous.

    4. People: Friendly people-Not in the cities that is. Rural Australia has some of the friendliest down to earth people you would come accross. However, the large cities are cold emotionless places. A rural Australian person sumed up the Aussie cities for me: “People in the cities suck lemons and would not piss on a stranger if they were on fire.”

    6. Work: Work is easy to find in Australia but with very limited fields. Services seems to be the biggest employer, manufacturung is dead and also any RD that goes with it. Agriculture is dying, and mining seems to be the biggest gig in town after cutting hair, clearing blocked “dunnies” and painting a fense. The good news is you can make money even though the work may not be very fulfilling.

    7. Houses: The houses are bunkers for the local population. The population that attract there seem to prefer low density living, very paranoid about neighbours viewing them in a nuddy in the backyard. The good part of the houses is the space, the bad part is that if you want to go somewhere you rarely walk. the southern areas are cold and the houses are not built for it. Water is also a big problem. the whole place seems to be short of water.

    8.Health care: They have a good health care system for the general population, although a bit too perastroker, definatly not a good place to be with a non- life threating problem without private health insurance but that is the same for emost places.

    Security: Not that good, I feel safer in Asia than Australia. The place has a lot of agro. I suspect they have more punch-ups in Melbourne or Sydney than London. Maybe it is a function of the competitive nature they have about sport. But Australias love a bit of “Biffo”. They been also doing a bit of racial bashing lately. A number of bashings ended in deaths and a lot of racial tension, so it is now becoming a public social issue.

    When I lived in Melbourne I go my house broken into and my car broken into, but the locals say that is normal for the cities to happen every now and then. Just make sure you are insured.

    Overall, my accessment of places to live will depend on how much money you have:
    With No Money the best place to live is Australia or Canada (if you don’t mind freezing you hinnie off).

    With a moderate amount of money the best to live is Brazil or Thailand

    With an extreme amount of Money the Best Place to Live is the US or France

    • Ash March 18, 2014, 12:57 pm |

      It’s actually a lot worse but you’re spot-on about most things.

      All this and more was covered during the last mining boom in the classic Donald Hoarne book ‘The Lucky Country.’ It’s as true today as it was then.

      A hundred years ago someone wrote:

      Come to Australia
      Where everything’s nice
      Where Vice is virtue
      And Virtue
      A vice.

      Australians, like Americans, believe what they see on TV and they will argue till they’re blue in the face that what’s happening is not in fact happening. And when they inevitably lose the argument they’ll try to kill you. Failing that, they’ll pretend you don’t exist and go back inside to watch more telly.

  • Phil March 3, 2009, 10:18 am |

    Serious question this Bob, flies, what is the REAL story on the fly situation? Australian documentaries on TV often refer to the fly population (yeah and the hat with the corks thing for defence). Is this maybe another part of Australia?
    Cheers Mate, keep em coming.

    • BobinOz March 3, 2009, 12:51 pm |

      Aah, patience, patience. Flies will be covered within Australia’s Bad Things. The pace of life is a bit slower down here mate, but I will sure get around to it. Meanwhile, here’s a clue. A very dear friend of mine made me a hat with corks and gave it to me at my leaving party. It is way, way more irritating having corks bouncing around your face than dealing with flies. More later.

Leave a Comment

If your comment doesn’t get answered, find out why…..
FAQs and Comment Policy.