Moving to Australia is a dream held by many, but what should you be aware of if you want to make that dream a reality?
One of the biggest surprises for expats when they begin living in Australia is just how expensive everything seems to be.
Australian property prices in particular have surged dramatically in recent years, especially in major urban areas like Melbourne and Sydney.
The skyrocketing prices have caused both cities to be frequently listed as some of the most expensive in the world when it comes to purchasing a home.
Fortunately, recent data suggests that Australia’s property market may have finally peaked so prices may begin to gradually edge lower over the next few years.
The cost of living in Australia is also considered to be higher than in many other countries – with the cost of living estimated to be 16% higher than living in the UK.
While some of the higher costs are offset by more generous average earnings, the higher costs can present a difficulty for expats who may be retired and rely upon a pension drawn from their home country.
However, many view the higher cost of living as a reasonable trade off for the higher quality of life you can enjoy in Australia.
Australia is an incredibly beautiful country and is home to diverse and unique wildlife, however, it can be easy to forget just how inhospitable the Australian environment can be.
For instance, the waters around Australia are known to contain the deadly Bull shark, which alone is enough reason to fear going in the water for a quick dip, however, Australia’s coastline is also known to attract many different species of jelly fish, including the tiny Irukandji jellyfish. Despite often being no larger than your little finger, they can prove fatal if a sting is left untreated.
Poisonous spiders and snakes also need to be taken into consideration – a creepy crawly that appears harmless at first glance could be quite the reverse!
Even the country’s national animal, the Kangaroo, can be dangerous if it’s provoked or feels threatened, delivering a dangerous kick with their rear legs.
Bushfires are another major concern in Australia, especially for those living in rural areas, as whole swathes of the outback can be lost to flames in the warmer months of the year where the dry climate and flora can turn the outback into a veritable tinder box.
However, while Australia’s environment can certainly be dangerous, it shouldn’t deter you from enjoying the breath-taking scenery that can be found in the country or from enjoying the crystal clear water of the nation’s beaches, just remember to be careful!
Another thing to keep when mind when looking to move to Australia is just how large the country is and how difficult it can be to travel from one end of the nation to the other.
If you’re not travelling by plane, getting around Australia can be a daunting prospect – partly due to the size of the country but also because much of Australia is largely barren outback.
Some locals also complain that Australian public transport lags behind many other developed countries, with infrequent trains/busses and limited routes meaning that owning a car is something of a necessity.
However, because most Australians own their own cars it means there are often a lot of vehicles on the road at any given time, meaning that traffic jams at peak hours are a regular occurrence.
Also keep in mind that Australia may be some considerable distance from your country of origin, which can make flying home to visit family or friends a very time consuming endeavour.
One final consideration to make when looking to relocate to Australia (or any other country) is how you will transfer your funds into the local currency.
While your first thought may be to use your bank, the more competitive exchange rates specialist international money transfer providers are able to offer could save you thousands. You’d also avoid the fees that are often tacked on by banks and have access to a range of transfer services that can be tailored to suit individual requirements.
If you’re considering relocating to Australia in the near future, find out more about your currency transfer options.
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