It has awesome beaches and many of them in every direction.
I can get up at 6am with a t-shirt and be bathed in sunlight.
The trees where I live are filled with noisy parrots, fearless kookaburras, crows and whatever else it is that makes tke worst racket at 7pm and 4am.
I have been here seven months and have only tapped the tip of the iceberg in terms of things to do.
It has many many different place to live in. Sprawling suburbs, beach areas, quaint towns, mountainous regions and young and upcoming areas filled with young people and lots of restaurants and clubs and cafes.
The awesome infrastructure.
My short train journey (compared to London).
The blue mountains.
Its Cosmopolitan with many people from around the world.
Its economy is booming.
The endless leafy suburbs.
The fact that I had a job offer before I came and another after I arrived.
The beautiful endless waters ways in Sydney.
The yachts, boats, ferries, tinnies and fishing.
My wife and kids.
The health and emphasis on sport or outdoor actvities.
The TAFE colleges.
The excellent universities.
The myriad of malls.
That big bridge over the Sydney Harbour.
The Safety, no burgler bars, double guard/pet dogs, open car doors.
Well it was a calm humid and hot Sydney morning...well it was. It all started with my eleven year old daughter asking for money(again) for SIMS( a pc game). Who, on hearing my answer, decided she needed a paper round. This is how we got to her fetching the post.
Well, said post, which was made up of a newspaper and some advertizing pamphlets, sat on our lounge coffee table for about half an before my wife started reading through it all after morning coffee.
Now at this point it should be noted my wife is sitting about 3 meters from me.
I'm in shorts and quite sleepy....
NEXT thing, theres a loud, petrified, wailing banshee shriek! Now, my mind works pretty fast and on a subconscious level is processing about 4 things at the same time. Something heavy has hit my chest, my wife is moon stepping/bounding in the opposite direction(still screaming) out the lounge, the suspicion that something evil has hit my chest, sudden anger at my wife(who is defining "every woman for herself") and the fact that I need to take evasive action of some sort.
At this point my manly defensive reactions kick in (which consists of my doing a sort of epileptic fit and accomplishing zero gravitational floatation abilities and a monkey dance(my wifes description)). At some point I look down to register whats going one, and this is the thing, I cant quite remember as its all a haze, but its a frikking huge giant hairy spider! Which has just gone from somewhere about my chest region to the floor between my legs and is on the move!
The spider is about 8 centimetres across and seems about a meter wide. So I take off after my wife(with whom I am still pretty angry).
Well my little eleven year old girl has a fit, after seeing this and finding she has carried it in the house. Basically my wife found the spider by leafing through an advertising pamphlet(which makes me pretty happy for some reason). Perhaps she will never read adverts again?
Safe to say, the house is now in deathcon 4 mode, screen doors shut, everything sprayed and every item inspected suspiciously before handled.
See picture of monster below. (I had quite a few but they were all blurry as I was quivering)
Gaurd your post boxes people!!!
Ok I found the next two while gardening the same morning. Had to shrink the photos a bit to reduce file sizes. These are all over my St Ives garden.
Have a good one people!
Oh yeah just swiped this from one of my favorite forums. Apparently this spider was shot in Queensland.
Hi, so you want to know which areas are cheap or in-expensive in Sydney? I think many of us that immigrate to Sydney Australia will be looking at the option of building a new house.
I'm going to focus on the North to North West areas of Sydney for now.
Lets get this clear - there is very little new house building North of Sydney. Its built up in a wide circle that encompasses the beach areas, Hornsby, Glenhaven and Baulkham Hill, Castle Hill, and so on.
Outside of that area to the West and North West you can find new house builds. I have been primarily concentrating on four bedroom homes.
The price range is, from the worst areas - $460000 to about $650000 (the better). Obviously there are houses that are way more expensive, but I am focusing on the average persons needs herev(like me).
Builders charge from about $245000 to about $350000(upmarket spec) to build and you have to come up with the land. The cheapest land I have seen is about $250000. You can probably get cheaper, but this will be out of a suburb - sort of rural. i.e. no schools, buses etc. And long commutes.
If you head further west to Penrith you can get Land for about $200000 but then the penalty is the long commute to Sydney(1.5 hour by train.)
Even Further to Katoomba its cheaper - but its far - Its also really really nice out there.
There is a lot of land for sale and new houses springing up around Rouse Hill, Glenwood, Quaker Hill, The Ponds, Beaumont Hills, Kellyville Ridge, Dural, Acacia Gardens and around the Stanhope shopping mall. A lot of these houses are small and close to each other. Not too leafy.
For me so far, Rouse Hill has a very nice local set of shops plus a Big Mall one click away. It has a primary school and a High school but its new and only has years 8,9 and 10 so far. Its all new housing. Its quite far out though and there is a lot of public busses. There is a "bulletbus" which is privately run with tea and coffee and this takes between 40 and 70 minutes to get to Sydney(depends on the traffic or time)
Kellyville is very nice too - slightly more up market than Rouse hill (only slightly) and this is between the Stanhope and Rouse hill shopping malls. Not a bad option too. There are a lot of builder display houses here. Slightly soul-less as its a new suburb - but has huge potential.
All the above areas are developing and are nearby to lots of shops and furniture stores etc.
Hope this helps someone - drop me a comment or question or even subscribe for my bits.
Is your child fitting in at their new Australian school? Are you worried about him or her coping at a new school? Do you want to help your child to integrate to his new Ozzie school?
This is one of the most important things to do when immigrating. Your childs happiness may make or break your stay in your new country. Everyone can struggle after a major move, and watching your child struggle at school can be a very large straw on the camel's back.
Help them catch opportunities.
Make sure they never miss an opportunity to link up with their new school friends. If theres an invite, help them to be there, take off work early, pull a sickie, beg, borow or steal the money! Make it happen! If they are asked to go to the mall, let them go (give them money! Its as important as your grocery budget if not more so!). Offer to lift them. (Even if your tired).
Is it a new dress your kid needs? A skateboard? Watch for the signs that they are doing stuff to get into the crowd. Help them sagely and silently.
I cannot stress how important this is. New invites or opportunities only come once. If your child misses the initial invite or outing, he will soon be passed by, and left to be a loner. MAKE IT HAPPEN. This should be your priority for the fist six months at least.
If you kid spirals into being a loner or retreats to his computer and this becomes the norm, you will have lost the opportunity and it will take forever to get them out of it, if ever.
Integrating your teenager is the most important as kids that are eleven and under are more resiliant/innocent and less prone to the huge teenage anxieties. (Even though your attention on them should still be the same)
Get those horrible new kids over, let them mess up your rumpus room, dont panic! All teens are idiots! ;)
Prompt him or her to ask someone over, or to phone someone up and visit.
Intoduce them to an activity, club, youth group. Activity is key. Gym or karate.
I hope this helps you and your children survive the move.
Later everyone - remember to please leave a Post :)
In the UK, I commuted for four years from Bedford to London. This involved 2 hours each way and 3 different trains each way. Two tubes and one train actually. I was so tired. I refused to sleep early as I resisted the shortening of my me-time, only to be bleary eyed an dzombie like.
It amazing that I could program computer programs at all. Somehow I figured out how to shower and dress and get to work without really waking up until I got there.
I am now in Sydney and just as tired... Why? because I stay up too late blogging, playing CSS and trying to figure out how to get rich. :) Figures huh.
Think I would be more successful in life if I got more sleep (or is it self-discipline(yeah it's that))
I have another "shits 'n giggles blog" which explains the game I play to relax. Two links below.
Its worth the view. You can walk, cycle and bus it so theres plenty to do. There are some nice beaches in Manly and seems very relaxed and festive. You can see all the yachts and ferries in the harbour from the head, so we are going to take the ferry tommorow.
That should provide us with an awesome view of Sydney from the water and we might go up the tower in Sydney once there.
Forgot my Camera so nicked this picture off the net...;)
well we came across this awesome beach on one of our weekend twighlight wanders. We kind of get bored at about 5/6pm sometimes and just go for drives.
Its secluded, quiet and surrounded by cliffs. Awesome for sunsets. (I wonder where it gets it name "Bongin" bay, ahem, maybe its an aph)
You can drive right down to a small parking lot near Warriewood Surf Club.
Address: Narabeen Park Pde (I guess that means Parade or Prominade), then just look for a really steep little Rd going down to the beach.
This is just our kind of beach as we are not into crowds. Also if you drive a couple of hundred metre North you get to some nice green parks on top of some cliffs which have tremendous views. You can walk your dog there and so on.
This is the "left" (or North), side of this beach, nearer the surrounding cliffs.
Well, the Delhi Mail Today, has posted this provocative cartoon which is basically accusing Australians of racism.
Must say, I was surprized at the outcry as I have not heard much about racism in Australia at all.
My kids, whose St Ives school is primarily european and asian, have stated that the kids dont mix, each group keeping to themselves. I have also seen quite a bit of anti asian ranting on gaming servers here. Mind you, I have seen the same between Australians and New Zealanders.
I was initially shocked at the outcry over one death and the immediate reaction and assumption that this was a racist attack. Surely there would be others that should step forward? Could this have been a mere fight or a bunch of gangbangers hanging in the park. I really dont see how this one event has caused such an outcry?
Of course I am quite sheltered in my nice suburb and job. Everyone is mixed and many of my managers are from other countries. Seems pretty cool here to me.
I guess racism or disrespect of people causes those disrespected people to jump in outrage when these events occur.
"what's this got to do with this blog!", you say...
This topic is hugely relative to immigrating to Sydney(or anywhere) as I believe a large part of anything we do is down to the spirit we live by in life...
Well this post came about as I was really happy the other morning. It was one of those moments when spiritually all was good. I had slept, I was on a diet(sigh), I had some time off from work. I was "eager", thats huge in itself. It felt like a new day.
So I started to think about what makes people succeed or fail or be happy or sad. Life is huge, there are many lumps we face and intriguingly there are the different ways that people handle these.
HUGE topic! right? (...yup and I'm not going to even try to answer everything)
The way we react to any given circumstance will be based on the overall state we are in. If I'm up, happy and positive, nothing will be too daunting. Even in small things, e.g. a person might not go out one evening (because they are tired, or whatever) and totally miss some great sight or person or exercise, which in turn, would spur them on to more and better things.
You are like a ecosystem on its own. WOW! big word there, but its true, we have many parts, our mind, our emotions, our body, our spirit, our beliefs. If any one of these things is poisoning us the rest of the system starts to fail or die.
No food or exercise = no energy - equals no action - equals unhappiness and failure.
No mental stimulation and learning - equals no action and no decisions - or even worse WRONG decisions
No interaction with others - no development - no action - no confidence.
You get the drift right?, I'm not trying to make a formula, just making want to make the point that we are complex with many complex inputs to our lives and any one part of that can be affecting our spirit.
Some people "naturally" deal with everything, somehow it's inbuilt and they cruise through life. For most people its not so.
There is a lot of power in introspection, i.e. trying to work out how you work, how your feelings, mind and bodily health work together. try to figure out why you do things and also get some input from books, people, articles on the web etc. If you rely solely on your self you will be seriously limiting yourself to what only "you" know. Who knows, you might stumble on something that changes your life forever.
Also. Try to figure our what you are doing that might get you down? Or conversely, try to figure out what gets you up. Sometimes, something as small as an extras half hour of sleep might change your whole day.
Often we cause our own good spirits, so lets find out what does that.
Maybe you need a goal or a vision ahead, if no challenge, then we are purposeless and achieve nothing. So tune your goals (don't aim for president). Make them something you can achieve easily. Do an exam, do a hike, bake a cake - do whatever rocks your boat.
Things like guilt, can really harm your spirit, allow a good attitude to stay in your mind and soul and your spirit will catch up and then you'll be a boat on full throttle!!
Well that's my "peece" for today ;) Hope yours is a good one.
We discovered this awesome little beach just below the West Head lookout. We drove to the West Head lookout point(which is awesome in itself).
It looks out to Barrenjoey Head over the water
At the top, if you are facing out to sea there are paths to the right (slightly back from the lookout). Take the path down to the nearest beach. The beach is totally secluded (ahem I did not have a costume and I swam in my rods). Its only about 60 metres wide and is surrounded by scenary and rocks etc.
Take some food, towel, cozzie etc. (or nothing) Chillout with a quick walk down- has stairs etc..
I would drive there via Church Point as the drive is so scenic and beautiful. You WILL want to live there!
My mobile camera went corrupt so I have nicked some photos off the web! gogogogo
well, from time-to-time we like to get out the house and do spontaneous day trips.
As we are new in Sydney the success of these trips are based luck or are based on hearsay from a colleague or friend.
The below picture is the 3 sisters, where you can see the blue haze in the background... Its from one of the viewing platforms.
This involves exploring, sometimes the trip fails and other times it seems its really good.
We went on a sort of house/area investigation in the west(Katoomba) as the properties are largish and cheap and pushed on into the mountains. Now these are not Table mountain, but are just as scenic. They seem to creep up on you as you drive and all of a sudden you are 1000 meters above sea level.
There are numerous place to go in the Blue Mountains. There are lots of lookout places, rivers, gorges, valleys, caves and even a cable car.
Oh yeah, there a lots of trails, from 20 minutes to days. All clearly marked and so on. So bring your trainers with if your in the mood. Bring your costume if you like da water man! I do!!!
There are also lots of place to get food - from scones to meals - you know the score.
Watch out for spiders - WE went to a public toilet and after settling saw a red-back perched in the corner behind the toilet. (Worlds fastest rest stop!! oh yeah!)
I believe you can do abseiling, climbing and also canoeing too.
There are numerous places to stay, from hotels to bed-'n-breakfasts to resorts.
This is all quite spread out and there are some nice villages to visit.
Some people even buy property close to here as its cheap and just they just bear with the long commute into Sydney.
They are Called the blue mountains as they actually look blue. There is a blue haze that hovers above the mountains which is produced by oil from the plentiful Eucalyptus trees.
Well enough said for now, I'll blog about specific trips another time.
You wanna move to another country right(I did)? You wanna go somewhere better?
Well it might not be what you want!
My advice: If either spouse(or teen) is unhappy, do something to accommodate them, send them home for long holidays (once or twice a year) - no matter what it costs.. give them something to live for....
DO things like week long holidays. Get yourselves out of the home where you can recharge.. spend the cash !!! its way cheaper than having to relocate country every couple of years.
If you have property and are returning to SA, rent it out - go back for some time and SEE! - you might want to come back. (Even if you lose some cash doing this)
People give crappy advice, they say, "burn your bridges, sell it all, move it all etc". Its crap. YOU CANNOT BURN the bridges in your mind! You will not know until your gone how much you will miss your home town.
Another thought. If you are first time leavers. DO not sell your house. rent it out, make it a staged process, come back for a year, then go again. I know this sounds crazy and burns cash, but in reality we are far more sensitive to change in life than we know or think..
Why make your immigration a one off process? Enjoy both countries..
Well, when we came over we had a bit of lag time between when we started renting a place and when our container of house hold goods arrived.
note: Be careful, even though the shipping companies say 10 - 14 days to deliver from arrival- this really means 10 to 30 days ok! - anything can hold it up, from public holidays, sick workers and they might be under heavy load.
If you are on a budget and if you are going to be waiting over a month for your goods - dont rent - its probably cheaper to buy skeleton furniture.
But if its shorter, or you cant be bothered to go shopping for 30-40 items then just call up a furniture rental company.
Just call up, get some quotes, haggle a little (not too much) and let them know a delivery date. The company I used turned up at the agreed time, spent an hour or so unpacking everything and putting in all the furniture, They even put all the kitchen stuff in all the drawers and brought complimentary items and things like coffee and tea etc. They were friendly and it was a really positive experience.
SO NICE to move in and just chill! as apposed to camping in your house!!
My rental costs for kitchen package, lounge suite, dining room table, large tv + cd player, plus 5 beds, plus chairs, hoover etc etc was about $400 per week, I think its cheaper if you take it for longer periods.
The lady that helped was Leah and I can really recommend her and her company.
Cheers peeps! hope that helps.
oh yeah - link to the company Living Edge is here. Their website looks pricey, but I compared a few and these guys seemed priced cheaply and were really helpful. They also seem to be country-wide.