Author Topic: What is it like to live in Australia?  (Read 776 times)

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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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What is it like to live in Australia?
« on: April 01, 2017, 09:49:20 AM »
I accidently stumbled upon the Facebook profile of an old classmate (who I don't have any contact with), and she has apparently emmigrated to Australia. This prompted me to get more curious about that country.

I know already that there is quite a significant Swedish diaspora there, and reading discussions on Internet forums where people were discussing Sweden vs Australia, among people who have lived in both countries, almost everyone seem to say that Australia is the better country. Taxes are lower, living costs mostly lower, salaries higher, weather is better, and so on.

But, Australia seems to be subject to some nasty nature as well. I read in the (Swedish) news that recently there were storms in Australia, with water being driven up on land. The Australian authorities warned people to be careful, because the water might contain sharks and crocodiles.

To people here who live or have lived in Australia, do/did you like it or not? Is it a good country or not? What are the pros and cons?
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Offline SQ the ΣΛ/IGMд

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Re: What is it like to live in Australia?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2017, 09:55:08 AM »
I'd sure love to visit someday.
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Online NEKSkeptic

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Re: What is it like to live in Australia?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2017, 10:11:38 AM »
There is a HUGE housing bubble going on right now. 

Online daniel1948

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Re: What is it like to live in Australia?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2017, 11:46:56 AM »
Since this is the internet, I will chime in though I've never lived there. I spent two weeks there once and I loved the trip, mostly. It was a multi-activity trip. The two nights we spent on a working cattle ranch were not fun for this "pescatarian." (I hate that word, but it's the common one used.) The three days (or was it four?) we spent on a live-aboard dive boat on the Great Barrier Reef were the best snorkeling I've ever experienced. (I was not yet a scuba diver.) There are, apparently, more things that will kill you there, per square meter of land, sea, and air, than anywhere else in the world. There is a sea shell that, if you pick it up, the creature inside will reach out and sting you and you will die. There are lovely limpid pools below beautiful waterfalls, with fresh-water crocodiles that will leap out, drag you under, and eat you. A Prime Minister, walking along the beach with his entourage, went in for a dip and was never seen again.

Being an island, it's surrounded by the sea, so of course there will be storm surges and tsunamis, and the interior is barren desert. I would say that in terms of social policies, Sweden is far more civilized, but also has a far harsher climate. Australia has a very wide range of climates.

As to how it feels to live there, of course I have no idea. I've heard, for what hearsay is worth, that it's very hard to get permission to emigrate there. U.S. citizens can get a visa to visit just by going on line, unless they have a criminal history, in which case they have to mail their passport to the Australian embassy with a description of their crimes. If the crimes consisted of peacefully protesting nuclear weapons, the visa is granted, at least it was in the case of yours truly.

I would go back and visit again if it were not about 16 hours of airline flight and two layovers away from me. I might anyway. It's possible, though I have no immediate plans for it.
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Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: What is it like to live in Australia?
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2017, 11:59:11 AM »
Been to Perth twice. (Docked in Fremantle, of course.) Had loads of fun. Thousands of young sailors with lots of money and the ladies knew we were ... coming. Great fun after half a year in the P.G.
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Offline Mr. Beagle

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Re: What is it like to live in Australia?
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2017, 12:00:10 PM »
After returning from England, my wife got down to being one of two candidates for a long-term assignment in Sydney, and we had gone so far as discussing with relocation folks. We still wish this had come to fruition.
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Offline Tassie Dave

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Re: What is it like to live in Australia?
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2017, 05:11:22 PM »
It depends where you live, of course.

Where I live (Queenstown, Tasmania) the weather is shit. It rains 250+ days a year (About 2.5 metres + of rain a year)
The living expenses would be much higher than Sweden. We are on the high side for Tasmania, which is the most expensive State to live in.

On the plus side. We don't get extremes in weather. It rarely gets below -5C (23F). Then only at night. It almost never gets below 5C (40F) during the day.
It rarely gets above 35C (95F). In 55 years I've only once seen the temperature above 100F (it got to 39C (102F) a few years ago)
We don't get cyclones in the lower states. Only the northern parts of Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory get cyclones. The same for crocodiles.
No major earthquakes either.

Sharks are easy to avoid. Stay out of the water  ;) You won't see crocodiles unless you travel to the northern third of the country.

Housing is relatively cheap in Tasmania. It is not hard to find a decent house for a decent price, even in the cities. (Under AU$200,000 (US$150,000))
If you like the country you can find a nice house with a fair bit of land for a similar price or just a house with a normal size yard for under $US100,000)
A similar priced house in Sydney would be more like $500,000+.

If I had to recommend parts of Australia. I'd put Sydney & Melbourne at the top of the list. Though the housing and rental prices are a problem.
Both are among the most liveable cities in the world. They are both in the temperate zone. So no cyclones or crocodiles to worry about there either.

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: What is it like to live in Australia?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2017, 12:42:52 AM »
I've lived in Canberra all my life, and I haven't ever been killed by a crocodile or a shark.

Online daniel1948

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Re: What is it like to live in Australia?
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2017, 09:21:07 AM »
There's a first time for everything. ;D
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: What is it like to live in Australia?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2017, 02:16:27 AM »
I could go on and on about how great Canberra is to live in, especially now that we're finally shaking off our reputation as a boring city full of politicians. But I'm sure it'd just bore everyone.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 02:21:36 AM by arthwollipot »

Offline Alex Simmons

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Re: What is it like to live in Australia?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2017, 06:23:09 PM »
To people here who live or have lived in Australia, do/did you like it or not? Is it a good country or not? What are the pros and cons?
Many northern Europeans living here are climate refugees.

In general a free and safe society (e.g. murder rate is about same as Sweden) with relatively low taxes compared with much of western Europe and especially Scandinavia but with a reasonable social safety net, e.g. universal medical insurance coverage for all, unemployment benefits, various forms of government funded assistance for the less well off.

In the 1980s tertiary education transitioned from being free to anyone that demonstrated the academic merit to being pay or part pay by student, often with an ongoing additional tax debt. Lots of outdoor fun to be had. An enormous country - here is a true size comparison with Sweden, which is geographically large itself. Sports mad, but really most societies are sports mad and I don't think we are any more so than Latin/Euro countries are about football, or the US population are about their sports.



The vast majority (2/3rds) live in/near the 5 major capital cities, else the population is pretty sparsely dotted about the many regional towns. 21% of the population live in Sydney alone.

The economy is diverse, dominated by services sector, but much wealth has been generated via export of minerals (especially iron ore) and energy (coal and natural gas) as Australia is one of the most resource rich nations on the planet.

Politically fairly conservative, with the usual looney nut cases at the fringes that get more say than they really deserve. Three levels of government, federal, state and local council with pretty clear demarcation on who is responsible for what (generally).

As a place to live, wonderful or crappy depending on where and what you like doing, same as anywhere in the western world.

Weather is hugely variable depending on geolocation. Highest temp recorded by over 50C, lowest -23C. Not many people live in either of those locations though. We have snowy alpine regions and tropical rain forests. Huge deserts, more coastline and more beaches than anywhere. Not crappy beaches, very nice ones. Yes there are some dangerous wildlife but of the 30 deaths per year on average due ot animals, it's mostly incidents with livestock. On average about 6 deaths per year due to sharks, spiders and snakes combined. More likely to be killed by falling off a horse.

Question is a bit too broad though, what in particular are you interested in?

Offline superdave

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Re: What is it like to live in Australia?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2017, 09:10:46 PM »
How do you guys keep everything from falling off the ground?

Online The Latinist

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Re: What is it like to live in Australia?
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2017, 09:51:26 PM »
How is the broadband infrastructure and costs in Australia?  Is there such a thing as unmetered Internet?
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Offline Caffiene

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Re: What is it like to live in Australia?
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2017, 10:43:53 PM »
How is the broadband infrastructure and costs in Australia?  Is there such a thing as unmetered Internet?

Infrastructure is... present, but sub-standard. We're in the process of implementing a national high speed network, but political warring has basically neutered it. We'll soon have some level of high speed broadband, but it'll be slow, over-capacity, and what type of access you get is pretty random.

The idea was essentially to replace ADSL coverage with fiber "to the premises", and to extend the network to cover more areas, plus extra technology like fixed wireless or satellite to cover remote locations. The end result is fiber "to the node" (similar to phone exchange) with aging copper networks as the last leg, mixed with fixed wireless and satellite with unreliable logic as to who gets what.

We're slowly moving down international broadband comparison rankings while its being built, and the network is likely to be in need of an upgrade by the time its finished in the next few years (if not before, and assuming its finished on time which is dubious).

[/end rant]


Unmetered internet does exist, but you pay more and typically only get a reasonable price from companies that save costs by overselling their connections (ie, poor speeds in peak times). Some small areas are lucky to have ISP-specific dedicated cable or similar networks that get better deals.


How do you guys keep everything from falling off the ground?

We use snakes like clamps to attach everything to the ground. Sometimes it doesnt work - kangaroos cant actually jump that well, they are just dogs that have come loose.
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Offline Alex Simmons

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Re: What is it like to live in Australia?
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2017, 12:02:13 AM »
I'm on a plan with the nation's biggest ISP and it's the most expensive generally but I've found it provides better service than the 3 other ISPs I've used over the years. It offers double the download speed of all the other ISPs I have available.

I have fixed wireless via National Broadband Network since I'm classed a in rural zone just outside of my local town. It's ~25Mbps download speed which is comparable to the coax cable broadband I had when in Sydney. I get 500Gb/month for A$89 (US$68), plus 3 free top ups a year if needed (which doubles that monthly allowance). Lots of ISPs have cheaper service though, there are unlimited options here for A$60/month but speed is limited to 12Mbps.

We've just set up some internet TV channels with a Fetch TV unit to replace the Tivo (Tivo service is being discontinued here this year) and watch a fair bit of streaming TV, and we are pretty much hitting that limit now. I may need to consider upgrading to a higher monthly limit if the better half continues to watch so much streaming TV!

I understand the wireless service will be getting a speed boost in the year or so ahead which will be good as our bandwidth demands grows although we manage to watch dual streaming HD TV now without issue.

But what sort of broadband you will have available depends very much on where you live and when the NBN becomes available at your address. Those lucky enough to have fibre to the premises will have the best capacity and speed options available.

If you are stuck with ADSL for a while, I feel for you.

 

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