Category: How To Guides

for rent sign on red door 4

8 Things you Need to Know Before Renting in Melbourne

We got reasonably lucky with our first rental property, especially as we had arranged it all from 17,000 kilometres away!  After many hours of internet searching via realestate.com and domain.com (how we decided on our search area needs another blogpost), we homed in – pardon the pun – on our ideal house.  This internet journey took us very quickly from our ‘ideal’ property (something big and flashy by the beach) to our ‘realistic’ property in a great suburb northeast of the Melbourne CBD.  Lots of hand-wringing and sleepless nights occurred along the way, as we realised that we would have...

3

AFL Football – An Expat’s Guide to Australia’s Game

Guest blog by Sports Journalist – Sean Mortell There comes a time in the life of every person who decides to make the trek down under when they discover AFL football. It could be on at a party when new friends point you to the TV screen and begin shouting at adults chasing an oval ball around on grass. It could be when sightseeing in the city centre, seeing specks of bright colours on beanies, scarves, and jumpers. Wherever you see it, confusion is the most common side effect to discovering Australia’s most popular winter pastime. From a footy-mad young...

School books, apple, pencils, chalkboard. 6 Steps to Finding a High School in Melbourne 2

6 Steps to Find a High School in Melbourne

It’s not easy to find a high school in Melbourne when you have no prior knowledge of the city and you are sitting at a laptop 17,000 km away in the UK. It was more by luck than judgment, that I happened upon the right school. We are currently on the final approach to the exams season here in Melbourne.  As my youngest completes her final year at high school I find myself reflecting on how lucky we have been to find such a great school and, by association, a fabulous bunch of friends. It may have been slightly haphazard,...

Sunglasses, passport, hat and toy plane. How to survive the long haul to Australia. 4

How to Survive the Long Haul to Australia

I had it in mind to publish this post when international borders are fully open and we are once more free to travel.  However, that seems like such a long way off, so I thought I would exercise my freedom to dream.  I know that there are so many people out there longing to see family and friends again, so let’s get prepared for the day when we can start to make travel plans. I’ll never forget the first words of my dear sister-in-law when we greeted her in the arrivals hall at Melbourne Airport: “God it’s a bloody long...

what about the dog Close up of yellow Labrador 6

What About the Dog?

It’s not every day you are presented with the opportunity to change your life completely and go and live in a new country.  The decisions to be made are huge and it’s often difficult to know where to start with the thought process.  As soon as Australia became a possibility for us, my mind went into overdrive.  But I can tell you that the very first thought that popped into my head – and subsequently straight out of my mouth, was ‘What about the dog?’  I laugh about that now, because surely my instinctive reaction ought to have been ‘What...

Medicines on Purple Background 0

How to Access Healthcare in Australia: A Quick Start Guide.

When I first arrived in Melbourne from the UK, one of the key actions on my to-do list was to get to grips with how to access healthcare in Australia, both for myself and for the family. Australia has a reciprocal agreement with the UK which means you can access healthcare via the Australian national insurance scheme known as Medicare. This agreement covers medically necessary care out of hospital, medically necessary care as a public patient in a public hospital, and some prescription medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Here’s what you need to do. Get Your Medicare Card...

Car City Driving 0

How to Survive Driving in Melbourne

I had been driving in the UK with a full licence for over 35 years and considered myself to be a pretty good driver.  However, I was a little cautious about driving in Melbourne.  Firstly because I had lived in a village in the UK and the main hazards when driving locally were slow-moving tractors and escaped sheep. Secondly, I was nervous because I was swapping from manual to automatic transmission and I was a bit dubious that it wouldn’t feel like ‘proper’ driving.  OK, so I soon got over that second hesitation.  Driving an automatic car is what most...