The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything…

How much is ……?


Let me tell you.

When I first moved to Australia in 2007, shopping online wasn’t what I was used to back in the UK. Most major stores had a website, but they weren’t quite ‘finished’.

By that, I mean almost all websites had a picture of their store, a way of finding where the store was, the telephone number of the store, but very rarely had any information about their products and almost always no pricing.

If you did find exactly what you are looking for, with full details of the product and the price, it would invariably turn out to be a site from the US. Their $ sign and Australia’s $ sign both look like $.

Today it’s a much different story, which is why I can present to you….

The cost of absolutely everything in Australia!

But before you check out all these prices, a word of warning. If you take these prices and convert the Australian cost into your currency, you will not be left with a fair reflection of the cost of living in Australia. Why?

If the Australian dollar is strong against your currency, then Australia will appear to be a very expensive country to live in. If the Aussie dollar is weak against your currency, Australia will seem like a cheap country.

But when you live here and earn Australian money, exchange rates mean nothing. And as salaries here are generally higher than the countries, prices won’t seem so bad once you’re here.

But to understand this fully, you need to read the following two posts…

Now we’re ready for the cost of everything……


I’ve got a separate page for that…..


Here are some great resources for checking out the price of cars in Australia. The first one is the big one; it’s where both private sellers and dealers can advertise their cars for sale online.

Here are some other options to search for second hand cars, in fact all…

Second Hand Stuff

Ideal for new arrivals to Australia looking to pick up some cheap furniture, maybe a car, or even somewhere to live


Our two major supermarkets here are called Coles and Woolworths. We used to have a couple of independent websites that would check both of these supermarkets prices side-by-side, but sadly those websites no longer exist. So it’s down to checking out Coles and Woolworths separately…

So click below to find out the prices for your grocery shopping…


This is a difficult one, because there is gas, electricity, water and telephony as well as rates. Prices vary from state to state too and with eight states there would be a lot of links.

To make things worse, utility companies hide their pricing structures behind plans, tariffs, peak times, off-peak times, they build in surcharges, standing charges and sometimes make the whole lot inaccessible by insisting you enter your address and postcode before giving you a price.

But I hope these links help.


I have a couple of posts about electricity prices…

And solar…


Water prices in Australia are the best kept secret in the world. I am flabbergasted at how difficult it is to find the price of water from these utility companies. Do you think they are trying to hide something? Here are links to what I think are five of our states water suppliers.

Here’s a tip though, don’t bother trying to look for prices, life is too short.

The information is probably there, although you’ll need to dig deep. But on top of water, there are also sewerage costs. And I know, there are 3 more states to go, but as a guide, you’d be better off reading my post about it…


The national telephone company here in Australia is called Telstra. You can find out about their various plans here…

I found them way too expensive, especially for international calls. So, back in 2008 I set up a VoIP telephone system which wasn’t that difficult to do. You can read my post about it here….

Of course these days, I don’t think it’s necessary to go through all that.  You could use Skype or FaceTime over the internet for free or get a cheap mobile phone plan that includes unlimited international calls.

Talking of mobile phones, I was originally with 3 Mobile when I got here, then I moved to Vodafone, then Telstra and most recently I have switched to Amaysim. I am on a prepaid plan with them, I had my own phone so it’s a Sim only plan, and it costs me $30 per month.

And yes, that’s for unlimited calls in Australia, unlimited SMS and also unlimited international telephone calls to 10 different countries, which include the UK and the US.

But if you really want to research all of your telephony needs, these are the guys to visit…


Rates vary from state to state, from council to council and from one year to the next. So I won’t list them all here. But if you search Google for “average council rates” you will get an idea. But make sure you search the Australian one….

I did compare my council tax back in the UK with my rates now that I’m here in Australia though, you might want to read that article and look at the comments…

Clothing and small household items:

The following three stores are amongst the most popular in Australia for what I used to know as “department stores”. So they are like a mix of John Lewis, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer’s, but if anything, a little downmarket. You can buy all sorts of stuff from these people and their websites now show pictures and prices….


There are hundreds of insurance companies, all will require you to speak with them at length before they will quote you a price. We did, (well Mrs BobinOz did) and these are the companies we chose for our insurances. That doesn’t mean they are the best, but they were good enough for us and we haven’t been disappointed with the service we have received from any of them.

Electrical goods:

These are Australia’s biggest electrical goods retailers, but more important than that, they both have a good website….


I’ve divided entertainment into 3 sections, alcohol, TV and going to the pub! Use these links to find the prices of alcohol and your digital TV package.

I’ve got quite a lot of posts about going out drinking, here’s a few of them….

Find bargains here:

We don’t have a proper Amazon here, hold on, we do now, it’s just not very good yet…

And for product reviews, go here….

And with that, I think I’ve covered everything.

More useful links:

But if I haven’t, and you can’t get what you’re looking for from here, then I just don’t know. Well, I do, this lot sell everything….

Visa Assessment Service
{ 186 comments… add one }
  • Monika July 26, 2016, 8:04 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    You really do a wonderful work.
    As I’m from India, MSc in computer science and MA in psychology and plan to sattle their in Australia. Will u pls suggest me something for the same.
    And first thing is how much expense I need for visa etc.

    Pls suggest me.

    • BobinOz July 27, 2016, 4:03 pm |

      Sounds like you have a fair bit of reading to do to catch up Monika, you can find out a lot of information from my Migration Advice page and in particular on my page about Visas you can watch a video that explains how you can explore the various visa options and find out what they cost. Good luck, Bob

      • Monika July 27, 2016, 6:58 pm |

        Hi Bob,
        Thanks for ur reply.
        Now pls tell me I have 10 experience in administration.
        And as in psychology I’m a fresher.
        Which profession has more scope than other in Australia.

        Thanks a lot

        • BobinOz July 27, 2016, 11:39 pm |
          • Monika July 28, 2016, 8:14 pm |

            Hi Bob

            How r u? Thanks for reply. But do let me know that what jobs mentioned on ur webpage are really worth. And if we reply, can we directly get sponsorship from employer.
            Pls confirm.


            • BobinOz July 29, 2016, 12:00 am |

              Monika, you really need to be reading the pages I am giving you links to, the answers are there. You clearly seem to be struggling with the process, may I suggest you get help from a MARA registered migration agent?

              See my page called Migration Agents.

              I can tell you though, is not easy to get a job sponsorship from an employer, you would need to have a skill that is in high demand here. That’s what you need to look at first, and a MARA migration agent can help you with that. Good luck, Bob

  • Alison July 25, 2016, 8:47 pm |


    We are moving to Melbourne end of September and we starting fresh with furnishings and buying everything we need for a house when over there as oppose to taking our own things.
    Can you tell me if it is a lot more expensive in Melbourne as oppose to the UK to buy everything you need for a house?


    • BobinOz July 26, 2016, 1:06 am |

      Some things are cheaper, some more expensive and some about the same. Personally I don’t recommend coming here and buying everything you need from scratch, I think it’s much cheaper to bring all of your stuff with you.

      I think you can ship a container load of stuff for around £6000 to £8000, and you won’t furnish an entire house for that sort of money here. If I were you, I’d have a good look at the prices of things here, the links on this page will help you. Good luck, Bob

  • Louise July 22, 2016, 3:40 am |

    Thank you for such an informative website. I am currently in the sunny UK and we are seriously considering moving to Perth. We have friends out there who have told us it would be the best move we ever would make. However I am coming to the end of my law degree and was wondering what I would need to convert that degree to become usable in Oz. Also would you advise to gain experience here or move and have my entire legal career from the off being Australian. Many Thanks. Lou

    • BobinOz July 22, 2016, 3:33 pm |

      You are correct Louise, I’m pretty sure there will be some additional studying to be done in order for you to be able to practice law here in Australia. What the exam is exactly though, and what it entails, I really couldn’t tell you. I suspect you will need to get in touch with the Australian Law Society or equivalent to investigate that further.

      I’d try to talk to somebody in the industry here for help with this, including whether to gain your experience here or before you get here. Good luck, Bob

  • Patrick Chong July 15, 2016, 10:26 am |

    Hey I am an Asian Gansta living in Melbourne. I love to party but my wage isn’t high enough. Thoughts???

    • BobinOz July 15, 2016, 5:42 pm |

      Maybe you should get out of the Gansta-ing business and study to be a lawyer or a doctor. The pay would be much better. Hope that helps, Bob

  • linda July 14, 2016, 8:30 pm |

    I am from Nigeria and I find your sight very helpful. I intend to pursue a masters in law in Melbourne or New South Wales, I would really like to know about the cost of living in these two areas. I am looking out for an affordable city where I can get a part time job and pay an affordable rent

    I would also like to know my chances of extending my visa after my one year masters program.
    You mentioned a points system, please how does that work? I would really like to stay back after completing my masters. Thank you. I would appreciate your advice.

    • BobinOz July 14, 2016, 11:10 pm |

      You say Melbourne and New South Wales, but Melbourne is a city and NSW is a state. Sydney is the biggest city and capital of NSW and is probably our most expensive city, certainly in terms of housing.

      Melbourne is probably our second most expensive city. The plus side of these two cities is that they both offer better employment opportunities. The downside of finding somewhere cheap to live is that there is usually very little work available.

      So there is no simple answer, other than do your research and you can use my pages Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia for that.

      I can’t help you with your visa questions, if you’re not sure how it works you should speak with a MARA registered migration agent. Good luck, Bob

  • Anand July 9, 2016, 2:45 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Firstly, a huge thanks and congratz for maintaining such a comprehensive site! Hoping to move to AU soon. Very informative blog on the cost of living. Helps me plan better.
    I have worked in Oz for a few months earlier and just loved the sports culture (one of my main reasons to move there :). I can never forget the day @ MCG Aussie Rules match and SCG for Brett Lee’s final match. Superb ambience!

    Thanks and Take care,

    • BobinOz July 10, 2016, 8:20 pm |

      Thanks Anand, I appreciate your comments. Hope your planned move to Oz goes well. Cheers, Bob

  • saksham June 29, 2016, 12:33 am |

    Hey Bob,
    I am from India & want to do graduation from Australia, but i need to know how much money do i need to live in Australia (annual expenses) and how much money can i make by doing part time job per year and also tell me how much can i earn in a full time job in vacations (summer and winter).

    • BobinOz June 29, 2016, 10:09 pm |

      It would be impossible for me to put numbers on it for you, everybody is different in their needs. This page is for you to try and work out your own budget based on the kind of things you would need to buy.

      As for how much you can earn, that’s also difficult to predict. $15 per hour, maybe $20? On the other hand, there is no guarantee that you will find work and I’m pretty sure you will be limited in the number of hours you can work as well.

      If you need specific advice about this, check out my page about Student Visas.

  • Steven June 27, 2016, 11:17 am |

    Bob, morning. Currently I’m in Malaysia and planned to move over in next few years. I have many types of insurance in malaysia currently. I am aware that there are only few options of insurance in australia, such as General, life, and health care. Where as malaysia or Asia we have much more to offer and personally owned , such as education , investment insurance other than typical ones in australia. Why is it so? Is it due to better public welfare in australia that doesn’t need extra things to cover?

    • BobinOz June 28, 2016, 1:07 am |

      That may be the case, yes, personally I think most insurances are a bit of a rip-off. The small print always gets you.

      Here in Australia, I have car insurance, household insurance which includes contents, and a very small health insurance that pretty much only covers dentistry, prescription glasses and physio. I don’t know enough about Malaysia and Asia to say whether it’s because we have a public welfare here, but I feel quite comfortable with my minimalistic insurance cover.

  • Brendan June 17, 2016, 5:01 am |

    What about groceries in Aldi? I have been told they are much more affordable.

  • kumar June 15, 2016, 10:12 am |

    Hello Bob,

    I currently live in toronto, Canada. I have been offered a job in Sydney. Me and my wife are planning to move. I have been offered 95k/year. Will this be enough for two of us ?Will we be able to save? My office is located on Loftus Street Sydney NSW 2000. So we will be looking for a place within 30 minutes of this location.


    • BobinOz June 15, 2016, 11:39 pm |

      $95,000 a year is a pretty good salary, but then again Sydney is our most expensive city. It’s impossible for me to say for sure whether you would be able to save or not, all I suggest you can do is budget carefully and use the links on this page to work out the costs of the things you will need to have.

      Your biggest challenge will be in finding accommodation that suits your budget.

  • F Brand June 5, 2016, 12:36 am |

    Hi Bob, I’m a South African and was offered a job in Australia on a 2 year 457 visa. I’ll be coming over alone at first and if everything goes well I intend to bring my family over, wife and 2 kids. Somebody mentioned that if I’m offered another 457 visa from another company while I’m there I can change, is that true and how long does an application for permanent citizenship takes ?

    • BobinOz June 6, 2016, 5:31 pm |

      I’m afraid that’s one of those questions I cannot answer Francois, you would need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent about that. Cheers, Bob

      • Nigoshita June 16, 2016, 3:40 am |

        Actually I am a student and have been offered with a course in Adelaid, UniSA. Your blog really helped and also calmed me down. I am from India. I can get a student visa now any minute. Can you tell me about any part time jobs I can do there to afford my living atleast. Please.


        • BobinOz June 16, 2016, 9:51 pm |

          Glad to hear my website has helped, please check my page about Adelaide, your find a link underneath the Australian City’s main navigation above, and have a good read of the comments. There is lots of talk there about the jobs in Adelaide, or rather lack of them at the moment.

          Also, see Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

  • ADU June 3, 2016, 4:21 am |

    Hey Bob !

    Nice to see your knowledge and responses so far. I also wanted to take some benefit of your knowledge 🙂
    I am from India and have landed a Job in Sydney near Hunter Street NSW 2000. I
    will be living alone and have a family to support in India along with a Mortage of monthly A$ 515. Would like to stay on rent as near as possible to above location and probably will be eating out since I don’t know cooking (will learn though). Will prefer to have a motorcycle or a 2 wheeler instead a car. I also would like to save for me and my family’s future.

    Can you suggest what should be a good Salary assuming there is mandatory deduction for Taxes & Superannuation.


    • BobinOz June 3, 2016, 9:17 pm |

      No, I can’t, that would involve a good deal of guesswork and a fair bit of time on my behalf. I think you need to work backwards, use the links on this page to estimate the costs of certain things, in particular how much somewhere to live would be that is suitable to you and then work out your monthly budget.

      Only when you have done that will you know the kind of salary you will need to make it worthwhile for you. You can read about taxes here…

      Good luck, Bob

  • laura March 11, 2016, 4:39 am |

    Hi Bob

    How much do you think my husband and i would need to live comfortably in Sydney – Currently looking at Illawarra, Sutherland Shire, Ingleburn and Wollongong…

    Were a family of 4 (children will be 10yrs-6yrs on arrival) im a student nurse so will have a nursing job in either general medical/surgical or emergency care as that is the fields im interested in…. and my husband is in the building trade, although i dont quite know where he will slot in…

    Any advise would be much appreciated.


    • BobinOz March 11, 2016, 7:03 pm |

      It would be impossible for me to put a number on it for you Laura, everybody’s needs are different, the idea of this page is to help you work out your own budget based on the kinds of things you usually buy.

      You can also get more help on my page called How much do you need?, it’s also worth reading the comments on that page and on this one to hear other people’s experiences.

    • Mike March 29, 2016, 8:34 am |

      Hi Laura..

      Sutherland Shire is a middle to upper middle class location as such housing prices there are going to be reasonably high.

      Ingleburn and Wollongong on the other hand are working class. I have lived in The Sutherland Shire, Wollongong and Minto (Near Ingleburn). Sutherland shire is a nicer place to bring up Children but you are looking at around a 50% increase the rental costs of similar places in Ingleburn and Wollongong.

  • Yessi February 23, 2016, 9:17 pm |

    Hello. My Husban got a job in Darwin, we are moving in couples months, how is the life in Darwin? We have to kids, when the school start, and for how long is ? Is a nice city and safe city? Thanks.

    • BobinOz February 24, 2016, 5:57 pm |

      Please use the search box to the right of every page near the top and search for Darwin. I have several pages with information about that city.

  • Nanda Reddy February 19, 2016, 10:18 pm |

    Hi my name is nanda from india, end of march i am moving to Melbourn Australia,
    I got a offer 80000 p.a, This is suficiant to live in melbourne,
    what is precent living cast in melbourne.

    • BobinOz February 22, 2016, 5:04 pm |

      I couldn’t tell you if that would be enough, but I can tell you that $80,000 is a pretty good salary, above-average. Melbourne is quite an expensive city though, especially housing. What you need to do is a budget for yourself using the information on this page to get prices of the things you need.

  • SNL February 11, 2016, 11:15 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Curious if you can point me in the right direction of a good source for comparison shopping for schooling (private)? Also, assuming no American curriculum schools in Melbourne, for purposes of not confusing spellings and such for only a few years in AUS? Also would be curious if I can find data on where there is a good mix of expat children.

    Also any suggestions for good sources for comparison shopping neighborhoods (East side)? We aren’t in a position to hire an agent to help us with home searches but I’d like to do my own research.


    • BobinOz February 12, 2016, 8:37 pm |

      Well, I can’t really help you with the schools I’m afraid, other than the information I have on my page called Which school?

      You will find lots of data there though, I suspect you need to be looking for an international school with a US leaning.

      As for checking out the neighbourhoods, I assume you are thinking of moving somewhere along the east coast but not sure where? Your find lots of information on this page…

      And if you visit my page called Which Suburb? you will find a link towards the bottom that will help you find out where the various expats from different countries tend to move to in terms of the suburbs of each city.

      Hope that all helps, and good luck!

      • SNL February 12, 2016, 10:14 pm |

        Thanks for the message. Are there international schools? That was my first search as we are at an international school in another continent and nothing much seems to come up. I have seen a few schools that want to charge an arm and a leg for international students but the schools don’t seem to be international or American leaning.

        I was hoping for more organic data/personal experience about the school search versus the statistic information which isn’t as important when kids are young I guess. Not sure if my searches are different because I’m not searching from within AUS? And yes just from reading your blog and online, I’m leaning towards SE/E Melbourne suburbs.

        • BobinOz February 15, 2016, 4:12 pm |

          No, is not because you are not searching from Australia, I had a quick look and couldn’t find very much at all either. Looks like there is one US-based school in Canberra and an international school in Western Australia.

          It may be better for you to send your kids to a regular school and just teach them privately about the different US spellings. Hope you find somewhere suitable, Bob

  • Vipendra February 3, 2016, 10:26 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for having a great work for helping people.

    I am from India and about to migrate to Gold Coast, Brisbane (Onsite invitation). And my incentive will be $1200 AUD/month (Accommodation will be provide from company side). Is this enough to live there?

    Thanks In Advance.

    • BobinOz February 4, 2016, 4:45 pm |

      $1200 per month? Gosh, I would have thought it would be very difficult indeed to get by on that, it’s really not enough. If your accommodation covers everything, including rates, electricity, I mean absolutely everything and you don’t have any travel expenses or want to buy a car or anything like that, then maybe you could ‘survive’.

      But you won’t be having much fun.

  • Thomas January 19, 2016, 3:39 am |

    Hi Bob
    Thanks for a good website. I hope to love to oz udring this year together with my wife and 13 year kid. We will live in Melbourne or Brisbane and my wife will not work.
    My salery will be around 140.000 AUD a year. Is thant enough to have a good living ?

    • BobinOz January 19, 2016, 5:05 pm |

      That’s about double the national average salary, you should be fine.

  • Sarah January 4, 2016, 11:57 pm |

    Hi my husband is a Australian citizen and been in uk meet me had 3 children and I’ve got 2 from before we been together 10 years and he has 2 children born and growing up in oz and his family are all out there his family will sponsor us but been told going to cost loads for a visa to live X please help mum X my mother in law is in Perth X thanks X

    • BobinOz January 5, 2016, 9:09 pm |

      Yes, I’m afraid visas do cost money, but if you need help, you must speak to a MARA registered migration agent. See my page Migration agents. about that. Good luck, Bob

  • Jas December 29, 2015, 9:26 pm |

    Hi bob great work you are doing here and also all other people who are contributing their valueable comments and advise.
    We are a family of three soon to be moving to south australia-adelaide.
    We validated our visas last month and looked at a few properties.
    Back home we are not used to pay rents so we decided to buy a house in brighton area for 500000 aud so that we are relieved of the rent pressure.
    Now i have 2 questions.
    Since we have decided to permanently move to australia is buying a house a wise decision.
    Once we buy a house and do not have a mortgage or rent. How much do we really need to earn to live a decent life.
    I am 30 , wife 29 and son 5 years old.
    Looking forward to replies from all corners.

    • BobinOz December 30, 2015, 10:28 pm |

      I can’t really answer whether or not it’s ‘wise’ to buy a house as soon as you get here, but it is what I did and I have no regrets. I suppose it could go wrong if you didn’t stay very long and decided to sell up and go back.

      That’s the risk, and I can’t answer that one for you.

      With no mortgage or rent to pay though, and just the one child, I’d say you should be looking to earn (after-tax) between $5000 and $7000 per month to live a good life.

  • Gytenis November 29, 2015, 6:55 pm |

    Hello, Bob,
    could you or anyone reading it, write me more websites where I could look for the used cars in australia?
    thank you in advance.

    • BobinOz December 1, 2015, 8:55 pm |

      The links to trading post and gumtree underneath secondhand stuff above will help, these places sell cars as well as other things.

  • Suleiman Kupaza November 16, 2015, 9:51 pm |

    Dear Bob.

    Please help me with this.
    I am about to join one of the Construction company in Australia how is the cost of living is , with my Monthly Salary of USD $ 4875. Can it be enough for living and saving with middle class life.
    I am looking forward to see your replay.

    • BobinOz November 27, 2015, 7:48 pm |

      That depends on your outgoings. Do you have a family to support? What will be your rental/mortgage payments? Which city? These are rhetorical questions, what you need to do is work out your own budget using the information you can find on this page.

      Good luck, Bob

  • suchi khadka October 16, 2015, 4:59 pm |

    hey bob i ended up here when iI was trying to get info about migration to australia. i loved the informations nd it is surely going to help me in dealing to australia. i have plans to be there for my studies. i am from Nepal and i may be there in sydney for my high school. it will be appreciated if you could tell how to search for rent and schooling for i am unawared and just a 15 year old girl. thank you

    • BobinOz October 19, 2015, 2:59 pm |

      That’s a tricky one, as a 15-year-old I would have thought you would need to be finding some kind of supervised accommodation. May I suggest you get guidance from my student expert, details of how to do that can be found on my page about Student Visas.

      He may be able to help you find somewhere to study that also has accommodation facilities.

      Good luck, Bob

  • CHIDERA ENIKE August 29, 2015, 11:37 pm |

    Please my hubby lives in Malaysia and wanted to relocate to Australia, how much wil it cost… he want to take his wife with him and stay there… hope its possible…..

  • Sara August 18, 2015, 11:15 pm |

    Hey Bob!

    Firstly thank you for your blog it has provided me with lots of advice and answered a fair few questions about life in Australia. One question I do have however relates to medical insurance and living in Australia. After being lucky enough to have the free health service in the UK, I am now wondering about Australian medical insurance and the process you go through to pay for doctors and hospital appointments that are either pre-booked or last minute?

    My belief was that you possibly register your insurance details with your registered GP practice and they contact them each time for payment? I was also wondering if this was the same process ( If I am correct) for medical referrals?

    If you have any information at all on this I would be really grateful. I understand that you won’t be able to give exact costs etc but I was just looking for rough guidance and costs if possible.

    Many thanks,


  • Anne July 25, 2015, 3:59 pm |

    Hi there, We were wondering what the cost of braces/orthodontia was in Australia. Our daughter needs braces, and we weren’t sure if we should start the process where we live now, or wait until we move to Oz. Thanks.

    • BobinOz July 26, 2015, 9:55 pm |

      Dang! You’ve got me there, so much for the costs of living in Australia of everything. Sorry Anne, I just don’t know. Dentistry isn’t cheap here though, that I do know.

  • Tracy June 9, 2015, 11:31 pm |

    As they say In scotland… ‘Ma heeds Nippin’ is there an Aussie equivalent ??

    • BobinOz June 10, 2015, 6:38 pm |

      My guess, before Googling ‘Ma heeds Nippin’ was ‘strewth, it’s cold enough to freeze the ears off a wombat’.

      But then I did Google it and realised I was way off the mark when I found ‘nippin’ ma heid’.

      We’ve got ‘earbashing’ for being nagged and we’ve got ‘spit the dummy’ for getting upset about something, but we haven’t got anything that quite matches ‘Ma heeds Nippin’.

      Unless anyone else knows of something?

  • Marin April 14, 2015, 6:40 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    I appreciate your response in this. Wow, you definitely made a valid point here. (:
    It’s true that both countries are beautiful in their own ways and i guess, it all boils down to what one’s priority are and preferences.

    One thing for sure, i’m digging’ Australia sunny weather though. Who knows, i may be there haha!

    thanks, mate.

    • BobinOz April 15, 2015, 1:43 am |

      Well if you want sunny weather, the choice is simple and you don’t need my help with that 🙂

      Good luck to you, wherever you choose.

  • Marin April 13, 2015, 6:08 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    I have spent alot of time perusing your site and it’s really informative and helpful.Thank you.
    I’m a student from Singapore looking to pursue further education in University and am torn between UK and Aussie(Melb). At first,i’m kinda leaning towards the UK , as the i felt the cost of living is lower, and a more appealing education structure(i like the modules offered and culture). But after reading heaps of research of yours, i realized although the cost of living is higher in Australia, Jobs prospect wise and pay is definitely a huge draw for me, as i would love to live in the country that i’d graduated in. Right now, it’s like 50-50. For me, quality of education and a very good decent pay means alot to me.

    I would love to hear your input on this, as i’m kinda on the fence right now and it would be great to hear from someone that lived in both countries before. of course, i’ve read tons of comments above and everyone’s opinion varies. I just need to make an informed decision to enroll in an uni so that i’ve no regrets in the future haha!


    • BobinOz April 14, 2015, 2:05 am |

      Interesting question Marin, very interesting. Here’s what I think.

      Both are great countries, no doubt. I loved living in England and I now love living in Australia. I got bored with English so I moved to Australia, more than anything because I wanted a change.

      I now prefer living in Australia, but maybe that’s because I spent nearly 50 years in the UK and so far I’ve only have 7 years here. If I had been born in Australia and spent 50 years here before moving to the UK, maybe I would then be thinking England was better? Who knows?

      So I’m not surprised you’re 50-50.

      If I were you, I’d forget about the cost of living, I’d forget about wages, because as you’ve discovered, even if it is more expensive to live here, you’ll earn more anyway which cancels out that debate.

      If I were you I’d just head for the country you really want to live in.

      So, where do you WANT to live?

      Good luck, Bob

  • Max Gibbins March 6, 2015, 8:57 pm |

    Is that correct, that no English TV will work over here? Can you confirm please as to what you can do to make our new English tv work which we brought over please?

    • BobinOz March 8, 2015, 9:34 pm |

      I brought a TV over from the UK and strangely, it picked up one channel here. I suppose it will depend on your TV set, but who knows, it might do better and get more channels. If it doesn’t though, you can buy a set top box (from as little as around $20) and plug that into a spare HDMI slot, and away you go.


    • Max Gibbins March 9, 2015, 8:03 am |

      Thanks Bob. I’ll try it first in the new property and come back to you when I know what happens! I’ve no idea what you mean by this ‘set top box’- what is it????
      Thanks for your help Bob- in advance!!!

      • BobinOz March 9, 2015, 4:57 pm |

        It’s a separate digital tuner, gets all the freeview channels. Just plug it in and connect to your TV with the HDMI and you’re away.

  • Kamma October 31, 2014, 9:23 pm |

    Bob, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you’ve only got one link under cars, yet you advertise three.

    Thanks for all the links. =D

    • BobinOz November 3, 2014, 4:23 pm |

      Actually there are four links from where you can potentially buy used cars, the other three are underneath the secondhand header. Originally there were just two links there, but I recently added another one, so I’ve changed the word “three” to “some” and it’s all good again 🙂

      Cheers, Bob

  • Fredina Silva September 20, 2014, 12:21 pm |

    Thank you so much for all your information. I really appreciate it. I am from Montreal Canada. I would love to move in Australia, my dream place!
    Take good care and all the best!

  • Pam Roddick August 24, 2014, 7:24 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    I have contacted you before and love the website. Its so helpful. We are about to move over to Sydney (9 OCT!) So excited and want to ask you about the digital box you mention for TV conversion? Our ‘relocation agents’ (provided by hubby’s company to ease our move) don’t seem to know anything about it. They have been most helpful with other stuff like contacting schools and utilities etc. Just to say though that your website has proven to be more useful to us on a daily basis so thanks. I am guessing its like the digital boxes we get here in England? I know its a bore to ask about TV’s but we did spend rather a lot on a new Smart TV just before hubby was offered the relocation – typical – and we wonder whether to bother shipping it or not.

    Thanks for the fab site,


    • BobinOz August 24, 2014, 9:33 pm |

      Hi Pam

      I would definitely bring your TV if I were you, you may be surprised to find that some functions will still work on it, although I can’t guarantee that. And the digital boxes are more regularly referred to as a “set top box” and are available in all electrical outlets and other major stores from about $30 onwards.

      It’s just a digital tuner that gets all the free to air stuff that you can read on this post:

      Just plug it in and connect it with a HDMI lead and you will get Australian TV on your UK television.

      Hope your move goes well, cheers, Bob

  • Patricia Evans August 18, 2014, 10:01 pm |

    I know you’re not at that stage, but could you please include some information on discounts for seniors on things like phones, Internet, electricity, gas etc.


    • BobinOz August 19, 2014, 6:22 pm |

      I’m not far away either 🙂 Interesting subject, I haven’t looked into it at all yet, but I will make a note to do so.

      Cheers, Bob

    • Richard December 9, 2014, 9:44 pm |

      I have met many elderly folk who have been seduced to emigrating to Australia by their young, energetic & optomistic children who themselves have made the move & have good jobs & a good overall quality of life in their new found land of sunshine & opportunity. However, after selling their family home their parents
      ( parent) who are actually still relatively young & still have to & expect to be in the work force for another decade or so, or who only have the cash resourses they got from the sale of their home, after several years in Sydney have still have been unable to find any form of employment in basicaly a youth obsessed employment market (unless u wish to drive a cab or a bus like me) being for the most part left out of their childrens exciting & buzzing social life for obvious reasons(being oldies) eventually find themselves, without the life long friendships they developed in their country of origin to fall back on, in a very depressed & hopeless situation.They are spending their savings living not with, but in the same expensive & comfortable areas of town that their children live, but unable to buy any more than a shoe box with what they got from the sale of their house in the UK.Eventually they reach a situation where-by even if they do decide to leave their kids to their new lives & to return home themselves,unless they had large reserves they would be unlikely to return to their country of origin particularly the UK & buy back into the same neiborhood or even in the same town or area that they lived before they left.
      This may seem like putting a negative light on the subject of a mature sector of the population who wish to migrate.However it is is not rearly that way.It is only to serve as warning or perhaps a reality check for those who are are a little more neive put it kindly.Lets face it if one has never been some where one is always a little unawares, i know i was.Patricia wireless broadband in the Sydney metropolitan area (Modem USB / Dongle) was before i left last June 2013 AU$3.00 a day PAYG with Optus, & i can vouch that the entire wireless broadband set up & service is so far ahead.The same in the UK is a joke & is subject to thousands of complaints daily, believe me i know,i presently rely on it.Due to the hordes of migrants in the Sydney metropolitan area International phone cards are dirt cheap & can be purchased from most convenience stores or gas stations at any time of day or night.
      Patricia,please take no offence but if your worried about the cost of these basic utilities & you intend moving permantly to Australia, i would still go,but definately don’t sell up your home, rent it out, because these costs would be the least of your worries.Also one very important aspect one should consider is that if one has any medical problem any doctor prescribed drugs that one may require perhaps later in life will be met by oneself at the local pharmacy, the whole cost. I actually do not know this for sure,but i have been informed by friends (but then perhaps they don’t have medical insurance)i cant’t vouch for this one , it’s here say. If the worst comes to the worse & your out on the streets in a couple of years, don’t worry too much,you can always crash in the back of my pick up & live off bread & beans & good Whisky like myself.One great thing about Auss is their not too strict on people camping out under the stars,good job as well, because as the years go by there’s more & more.
      Welcome to the Asian Pacific region & Oceana. Richard

      • BobinOz December 10, 2014, 5:19 pm |

        It’s a fair point Richard to issue this kind of warning, the problems for pensioners who come over from the UK are also exacerbated by the freezing of their pensions when they get here as well is the poor exchange rate of the pound against the Australian dollar.

        On top of that, it’s even harder these days to qualify for any kind of visa without paying a rather large contribution towards the Australian government. If I were a pensioner whose children and grandchildren had moved here, I’d probably be inclined to stay in England and come over for a nice relaxing (including free accommodation with their offspring) 4 to 6 weeks holiday during which they can demand the attention of their children and grandchildren because they’ll be living in their house.

        Holiday over, they can go back to the UK, take advantage of the NHS for any of those niggling medical problems and still keep all their old friends and neighbours who will envy their suntan for about three days before it wears off 🙂

        Cheers, Bob

        • Luise March 10, 2016, 5:31 pm |

          Thanks to Richard for the posting. We live in Southeren Africa, our kids in Sydney. We are considering to emigrate, but after reading your comments, will think about it very hard, we are pensioners of 70 years old.

          It might not be a good idea, and thanks for enlightening us. By the way, we would have to live on about A$ 4500 a month, is that enough?

          • Luise March 10, 2016, 5:34 pm |

            Luise again, please submit follow up comments via email. Thank you

            • BobinOz March 10, 2016, 6:14 pm |

              Luise, all follow-up comments are submitted online, not direct by email. If you subscribed to this comment thread when you made your comments, then you will get a notification if anybody replies. Thanks, Bob

  • joanna July 5, 2014, 6:56 am |

    hi Bob,
    your blog is many information we can find here which is needed before start live in OZ.
    i have got 457 sponsored visa for 4 years.. my wages will approx 800-850 $AU.. im coming to australia with two kids.9yrs and 12 yrs old…
    im still cant figure out how much money i will have to spend for a life there? any clothes or some food in supermaket, car insurance and etc… is that amount of wages will enough to survive or rather hard on enough good standard ?

    • BobinOz July 13, 2014, 6:47 pm |

      Hi Joanna, glad you like my blog 🙂

      If your wages are $850 per week, that’s less than $45,000 a year which isn’t a very good salary here; average salary is about $70,000. With two kids you will find it very difficult I think, depending how much your major expenses are like rent and travel costs. You may want to read by page called How much do you need? as well as using the above links to research some of those costs you mention.

      Good luck, Bob

      • Richard December 9, 2014, 1:21 am |

        A very honest reply from Bob!
        AU$850.00 p/w is barely enough to get by if you have kids, in Sydney unless you live in the greater west & know where to shop & even then it’s tough because you will need a car with all the costs that entails.I am presently on an extended stay in the UK & actually right at this moment having a coffee in Asda. Even if one averages out the pendelum swing of the exchange rates the cost of virtually all basic food items in Asda, sainsburies & other major UK food chains ,excepting meat is about half the cost or less than in the two major Australian supermarkets, Bannanas are 68p kl in Asda & in Sydney over $3.00 k, a good loaf of quality wholemeal bread in my local, in Sydney now ranges from $7.50 to $9.00 (£3.99 – £4.78) Tomatoes are over $7.00 (£3.72)a kilo (seasonal fluctuations) a 500g block of local cheese like Bega is over $7.50.Luxury items: 700 bottle of Jsck Daniels in Asda is special for £14.00 ($26.33) usually £15-22, ($28.22-$41) in most cheap liquor outlets in Sydney such as Dan Murphies it was $46.00 last year which is almost double the cost.Understandably if one has a trade or professional occupation or sponsorship,like i would imagine the majority of British citizens emigrating into Australia are now required to have then they would undoubtably take the high cost of living in their stride, however for many less well off residents of this great City living off the minimum wage or in many instances far less, like the thousands of menial workers, Taxi-drivers , cleaners etc etc then life is certainly getting a lot tougher & one at times finds the ridiculously excessive prices hard to justify.When & if i do get back to Sydney i will certainly be comtemplating moving away, it’s certainly not the place i settled in many years ago,one wonders just how bad it will get, it’s already condsiderably more expensive than most American cities, including New York by a long way.

  • Michael January 22, 2014, 10:56 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I found a sponsor in Sydney and I would like to come for 4 years with my family on a 457 visa.
    We are trying to make a budget and thought perhaps someone has an idea of food costs for a family of 4?
    We would like to know if someone has experience in Sydney, what we should expect (prices of everything)?
    Thank you in advance. Nice blog with a lot of information.

    Kind regards.


    • BobinOz January 22, 2014, 11:58 pm |

      As someone not from a family of four who doesn’t live in Sydney, I’ll start this off with a wild guess; $1,300 to $1,600 a month? We are talking just supermarket shopping for food and the other things you get there.

      I may not be far away, but obviously different families eat different amounts of food, so it’s always a bit of a stab in the dark, anyone else want to say what they think?

  • Stuart Dale November 17, 2013, 5:09 am |

    Hi Bob, great site very informative. I think I will be moving to the Brisbane area in early Jan. I have a job with the QGC just waiting to hear about confirmation of the visas (457) I am going to need some means of communication as soon as I get there. Don’t know if I can get my UK orange phone unlocked to work in Oz. If not what is the quickest, best way to go initially please? We like the look of a place called Petrie, north of Brisbane for a place to live. Do you know anything about it?

    • BobinOz November 18, 2013, 3:58 pm |

      Hi Stuart

      I don’t know for sure, but I really can’t see why your unlocked orange phone would not work here in Australia, we have used Australian mobile phones abroad with different SIM cards and may have been fine. If it doesn’t work though, you can easily pick up a cheap mobile phone here from around $50.

      Personally I just have a $20 a month plan with Vodafone, but there are other companies and more expensive plans depending on your needs, see my post UK versus Australia: Mobile Phone Prices Compared.

      My wife tells me we have been to Petrie, I can’t remember it but she tells me it’s quite nice there, quaint was the word she used.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Liam Warburton October 27, 2013, 8:44 pm |

    Hi I am currently at the very early stages of thinking of a move to oz to work and live.If everything goes to plan hpw much money would it yake to buy a small cheap car pay for insurance and kit out a two bedroom apartment. Thanks Liam

  • Pavan July 23, 2013, 2:08 am |

    I am looking out for Jobs in Australia – I stay in India [Hyderabad], can you suggest me how and can you give me information of cost of leaving for a family of 3.

    Thanks in advance.

    • BobinOz July 23, 2013, 4:27 pm |

      There is no set cost of living for a family of three, but that’s why I put this page up, to help you work it out for yourself as everyone is different. As for finding a job, check out my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

      Thanks, Bob

  • Alerthajdinaj February 17, 2013, 4:26 am |

    hi Bob, me and my family will move soon in Australia, we are from Albania and i will get a student visa for master. my child is 11 years old and if he goes in a public school is it for free or we have to pay fees if its so how much are the fees for him ?

    • BobinOz February 18, 2013, 2:58 pm |

      I can’t really answer that question, because it depends which state you are moving to. I am also unsure whether or not you might qualify for any concessions as you will be on a student visa. You might like to read my page about school fees in Australia, and be sure to read all the comments as well, they are also helpful.

  • norasimpson November 6, 2012, 6:26 pm |

    hi bob good son and family emigrated to oz july 4th this year.guess wot they r in rockingham

    • BobinOz November 8, 2012, 9:58 pm |

      Well, I’ve never been there but I hope they are having a fantastic time! Good luck to you to.

  • Patrick November 6, 2012, 5:28 am |

    That is great info. It made me look more closely at some items of everyday life and wages… It’s reassuring to find that the food and cars costs almost the same as here in Qc, but the minimal wage is around 55-60% higher. takes the weight off about the lodging costs 🙂
    I just got my visa for a working holiday, as the first step to building relations and hopefully move permanently soon. I will fly to Perth in July, and wish to stay around Rockingham/Warbro. In the meantime, your blog will become my home page! 😉 Thank you Bob!

    • BobinOz November 6, 2012, 6:14 pm |

      Thank you Patrick! I hope you have a great time here on your WHV and that it does lead to something more permanent. Cheers!

    • Richard December 14, 2014, 12:56 am |

      Australian National Workplace Relations Tribunal: DATE: 14:12:2014
      Award Minimum Wages 2014:
      Gross: P/W: AU$641.06 (£336.38) P/H AU$16.87(£8.85)
      United Kingdom National minimum wage for over 21yrs:
      Gross: P/W £260.00(AU$495.00) P/H £6.50(AU12.39)
      Australian Full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings: MAY 2014
      AU$1,453.90 (£762.89)
      All employees Full-time adult average ordinary weekly earnings
      Australian average full-time workers annual income AU$72,000.00(£37,779.00)
      Australian Median full-time workers annual income AU$57,400.00(£30,118.00)
      REMEMBER: The average gives a misleading impression / false representation
      about what the typical worker earns.It is pushed upwards by the large salaries of a small number of very high income earners.One might add the term is quite often deliberately used as a spin by those whose basic honesty leaves a lot to be desired & who would like the world to believe everyone out their is as well of as & as comfortable as they are.
      The MEDIAN gives a far more accurate sense of the typical workers wages or in other words, shall we say what “most” people are more likely to earn. If you earn the median salary, your wage is in the middle of the distribution – it’s higher than 50% of the workers & lower than the other 50%.Even this figure is higher than the typical workers wage, that’s because it doesn’t include the 3.5m
      people in Australia who work part-time,when they are taken into consideration,
      the average (mean) wage drops to AU$56,300 & the Median drops to AU$46,900.
      Also even then the above figures don’t tell the whole story, just less than 62% of the adult civilians over the age of 15 have a job in the first quarter of 2014 so these average incomes do not apply to everyone.One has to make further calculations on taxpayers incomes which will give us a far more realistic picture of the typical income in Australia.

      • BobinOz December 15, 2014, 4:32 pm |

        Good stats update Richard and additional advice, thank you. Anybody considering moving here should always compare ‘like for like’ when trying to work out whether they would be better off here or not.

        Cheers, Bob

  • norasimpson October 19, 2012, 3:35 am |

    hi my family emigratedin july this year
    i am the mother enquireing .if i wanted to go for a visit .around xmas 2014.can you advise wot i do?

    • BobinOz October 22, 2012, 7:11 pm |

      Hi, you’ll need to get a holiday visa from the Australian government. See my page about Visas.

  • Lauren September 14, 2012, 4:52 am |

    Thank you so much for your prompt response. The information regarding your underwear was particularly interesting;) But ultimately how would they know whether your furniture is 6 months old or 14 months old?

    They probably just do not want to see a container filled with products in their original packaging.

    • BobinOz September 17, 2012, 1:46 pm |

      That’s right, I don’t think they can possibly tell, although stuff still in its original packaging would be a bit of a giveaway 🙂

      • Alison June 28, 2015, 8:31 am |

        I’m seriously considering a return to Oz and wondering about packing items for transport. I’ve saved the original packaging on a few appliances I’d be tempted to bring, and they are all at least 2 years old, not new. Would this packaging really prompt a customs investigation? (for goods under 12 months old) I would think the original box & shaped styrofoam etc would be a better packing option than chucking it in a box wrapped in towels or bubble wrap.

        • BobinOz June 29, 2015, 12:07 am |

          That’s a very good question Alison. As you can see from my comment above yours, I have suggested that stuff in its original box might look suspicious, and maybe it would, but if you still have the receipts to prove that you purchased them more than 12 months ago you certainly won’t have a problem.

          If you haven’t though, I’m not sure if this would cause an issue.

          I am going to see if I can ask my removal expert, Caroline Mason, to comment on this so hopefully she will add some advice here. Stay tuned, cheers, Bob

          • Caroline Mason June 29, 2015, 6:25 pm |

            Hi Alison and Bob,

            We would normally suggest that the appliances are professionally packed in any case so that they are better protected. Specialist export wrapping materials such as 5 ply paper blankets and double walled cardboard cartons are needed for shipping household goods internationally to reduce risk of damages.

            Yes it’s correct that for duty free entry, goods need to be owned and used for a period of 12 months prior to departure for Australia.

            Alison, if you would like me to send you a copy of our Australia customs guide, please feel free to e-mail me at

            Many thanks

  • Lauren September 13, 2012, 5:03 am |

    Hi Bob

    I would just like to double check with you whether there is some kind of rule regarding bringing over household furniture. We’re looking at moving to Brisbane in January 2013 and are not sure whether we should bring over our couches etc. or purchase new furniture and then ship it over? If I’m not mistaken, I read somewhere (and for the life of me, I can’t remember where) that one cannot bring over new furniture and that furniture must have been in your possession for at least 1 year.

    Please could you advise me whether this is in fact true? We also have a relatively new Samsung LED 3D Smart T.V (series 6 range). Could we also just buy one of those digital boxes that you mentioned in one of the posts above?

    • BobinOz September 13, 2012, 2:13 pm |

      The rule, as I remember it, is that you must declare to customs EVERYTHING that you are bringing over which is less than 12 months old. I remember remarking to Mrs BobinOz that I had some underpants, bought from Asda, which were only about nine months old, wondering whether I should put them on the list.

      We didn’t put them on the list and I appear to have got away with it.

      I think if you bring too many new things over, they will charge you an import duty, so it’s probably not a good idea to buy new furniture. But yes, I’d buy a digital box when you get here for your TV.

      This is only what I think though, you can always check with your removal company, they should know the rules.

  • Random Tip April 5, 2012, 2:04 pm |

    Actually 5000 pounds is about 10,000 aussie dollars last time I checked. If you’re looking to deck out a three bedroom house, you can probably do it for less than 10gs depending on where you move – the further out bush the more transport AND finding new furniture will cost. Even in cities it relies on a bit of pot luck sometimes and the idea is you buy cheap basics to tide you over, save up later for nice things when you get the hang of the seconds/local markets (factory seconds / floorroom displays are often quite handy). But you can also use your computer as a TV if you want – will need adapters (if bringing overseas plugs) and a tv card but it’s cheaper than transporting a tv especially now digital is being rolled out (and analog cancelled) and the cost of monitors / hardware in australia is getting cheaper if you know where to look. Save transport costs for the things you can’t replace like heirlooms, knitted baby booties nana made for the kids and stuff like that if moving to a city. Get insurance too.

    • BobinOz April 10, 2012, 6:52 pm |

      It must have been a long time since you last looked then, £5000 is now worth more like $7500 AUD. As you point out as well, there are certain things that you just must bring, and I know you can buy one quarter of a container on a shared basis. By the time you’ve paid for that, you may as well go the whole way, get a complete container and bring everything. Well, that’s my view anyway.

      And yes, insurance is a must.

  • julie freeman March 25, 2012, 6:38 pm |

    Hi bob , it was good reading all about your move to australia . We are meant to be going out oursevles , got our visa’s & just sold our home . Can i ask about hime appliances and taking things like washing machines , tv etc .The cost if taking all my home out is going to cost between £3000-£5000 , my husband wants to sell everything and buy new once we get there is this a cheaper way to do it or is it cheaper to pay the £3 – £5000 & take all our stuff ? does our uk washing machines work out there ? many thanks julie

    • BobinOz March 27, 2012, 12:00 am |

      Personally, I’d say bring your stuff with you, it’s very expensive kitting your house out with everything from scratch. The only electrical item that won’t work here is your TV, although you could buy a digital box for about $40 to fix it.

      Read my post about what to bring with you for more information.

  • Sudha10 February 25, 2012, 4:08 am |

    thanks bob
    i’ve got some information here. i got to know that we shouldn’t convert the prices to our country’s currency. that’s the matter

    • BobinOz February 27, 2012, 9:45 pm |

      Yes, always try and use the hard yakka.

  • gerrard doyle December 31, 2011, 9:07 pm |

    i am moving to queensland on a 457 sponsor visa…
    i wont be eligible for most if any benefits , but if eligible for the lafha, i am led to believe that this is being done away with ,or is it just becoming taxed….is the goverment going to introduce anything else to help overseas workers….i have 5 kids…….can i apply for anything else,i will be paying tax so would immagine there would be…its my only concern as my partner is staying at home with babies…

    i am a diesel mech/fitter.

    • BobinOz January 3, 2012, 10:05 pm |

      I’d never heard of LAFHA until a couple of weeks ago when it was discussed on this post….

      Take a look at it for yourself and read the comments that follow it. There is a bit of a discussion about it there and also a link provided by Kathleen to some further information.

      Hope it helps.

  • Lisa August 3, 2011, 4:32 am |

    Myer and David Jones are more of an equivalent to the department stores you mentioned in terms of being ‘upmarket’ and price also

    • BobinOz August 3, 2011, 9:24 pm |

      Of course, yes, I don’t know why I missed them out. They are exactly like Debenhams and John Lewis, for example.

      Thanks for pointing that out.

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