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Discussion in 'Schools & Education' started by sjbreak32, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. sjbreak32

    sjbreak32 Guest

    Hi all :) we will be hopefully arriving in Brisbane February 2012 so im looking for some help!

    Firstly ill be needing to commute to Greenslopes daily so could anyone advise the best places to live for a family, I am a single mum and my childrens ages will be 22 months, 13 and 15 so somewhere that covers all eventualities I guess!

    Ideally id like to be as close to the coast as possible without my commute being completely horrendous but still able to easily get to the coast - I think if the commute is fairly straightforward I would definately look at Wynnum/Manly etc but is this possible? so any advise very appreciated (will also look at more inner suburbs though)

    My children need a high school, state or private that is also close to where we live and my daughter needs a kindergarten (she will be nearly 2) so I guess I am looking for everything lol......

    Maybe the best idea would be to have the children at a school/kindergarten on the coast and live there, then its just me that needs to make long journeys? who knows :arghh: im so so so confused! I have 4/5 months to go and I dont even know where to live! Please help me!

    Thank you thank you xx

  2. fish.01

    fish.01 Member

    To help answer what are you looking for when you say you want to live near the coast? Do you need public transport access to the hospital as well?
  3. Rudi

    Rudi Relocation Brisbane

    Hello and welcome to the forum!

    Wynnum and Manly are within commuting distance to Greenslopes, and I would also look at Thorneside and Birkdale. There are other Bayside suburbs which might suit you as well, but these would be the closest. The Bayside as a whole is a lovely family area with decent schools.

    If you are looking at private schools, then look at the Moreton Bay boys and girls schools (not sure what you have!!!), and also, if you head further south in the Bayside area, also look at Redlands College and Ormiston College - both co-ed. All these schools are excellent.

    Please shout if you need any more help.


  4. cal

    cal Super Moderator

    I honestly think you cant pick an area to settle until your here and can see the different places. For proper coastal living with nice sandy beaches etc you would be better looking at Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast, but the commute will drive you mad after a while and thats in your own car via public transport would be worse,lol.

    What about living nearer to work and commuting to the beach etc of a weekend? An hours drive wont seem to bad if your staying all day and having fun,, besides lots of suburbs have fab playgrounds and parks with cycle ways etc so there is a fair bit to do of an evening for kids without going to the beach.

    Where will your partner be working ?

    Cal x
  5. sjbreak32

    sjbreak32 Guest


    thanks so much for the replies :)

    Im just trying to make it as good as possible for everyone. I dont have a partner you see, my children, 2 boys age 13 & 15 and my daughter age 14 months will be relying on me to keep it together! so im trying to make sure the school is nice for the boys, ideally near to where we live so that they have the opportunity of having friends close by once they make them, near to the coast so that once they figure out to get there (either bus or walking) they can feel independant and enjoy it, and also it would be nice for us all to be able to take easy walks etc on the coast together. Hopefully my daughter will be in a kindergarten that is easy for me to pick up and drop off and that I dont ruin everything by coming home stressed and late after an awful commute. The kids are my first priority so I need to know that I am not just leaving them to their own devices whilst I am sat in a car on on a train to or from Greenslopes! Goodness this is very difficult, juggling it all and trying to sort out logistics so that everyone is well placed to be happy. Basically I know that it will be huge upheaval so I need to make sure I get the basics right so that we have a good chance of succeeding. I dont need to be near to a hospital but yes will be trying to find a car so that I have the option of using both modes of transport (its always good to have a car as well when you have children)

    Could you tell me of the suburbs you have mentioned Cal that arent so close to the beach just so I can look at those as well. I think somewhere along the line there may have to be a compromise lol !

    Thanks again!
  6. fish.01

    fish.01 Member

    Juggling work, commuting, school, childcare drop offs/pick ups can be a challenge. We live it as well. I think a short commute is often key as it opens up options that you do not have as your day and the commute gets longer.

    One suggestion would be the Holland Park West/Mt Gravatt (West)/Tarragindi area. If you look at this map link you will see a big forest at the bottom of the map named Toohey Forest. In the middle of the map you can see the south east freeway (M3) dissect the forest running south/north into the CBD. Tarragindi is on the left of the freeway above the forest and Holland Park West (and Mt Gravatt) is to the right of the freeway. Note the section of Toohey Forest to the right of the freeway contains a griffith university campus and mt gravatt mountain and lookout. Notice that Greenslopes is a neighbouring suburb just near the top of the map.

    I like both these areas as they are old established suburbs with some pockets being very green with lovely trees, specially the streets closer to Toohey Forest. Tarragindi in particular.

    They have been traditional good Brisbane family suburbs for many decades. The bonus is that they are very close to Greenslopes, have good access to local state and private schools plus the top private schools in inner Brisbane if required.

    They are only around 7km from the CBD so quite easy to access all the sporting/cultural/event activities of inner Brisbane.

    Holland Park State High claims the following on their website so may be an option:
    "Our Year 12 results were significantly better than all other state and non state schools in the area, and were the best in the whole of the Metropolitan Region of Greater Brisbane state schools.In fact, we are among the top 20 mainstream public and private schools in the state!"


    There are numerous other high school options in the area for example Clairvaux MacKillop, St Laurences, Villanova etc.

    For childcare I would start with a C&K centre as they are usually the best. Only some do long day care (the others are only part time) - the one at Mt Gravatt West does do long day care. I would consider putting your child's name down now for next year if you work out where you are going to live.

    A busway runs down the side of the south east freeway which has its own separate road with a stop at Greenslopes. Buses from Tarragindi/Holland Park West/Mt Gravatt go onto this busway and past Greenslopes and would only take 10 minutes or less. It is a 10 minute walk from the busway stop to greenslopes private hospital (with is the major employer in the suburb) and I believe there is also a free shuttle bus from the hospital to the busway every 15 minutes (needs confirmation). The other good thing about the buses is that they feel a lot safer for late night trips than the trains do. The busway stops soon after at the Mater hospital as well for those that work there.


    (Image: Greenslopes Busway stop)

    Your boys and you could use the mountain biking, walking and picnic facilities of nearby Toohey forest and then use the busway for a quick painless trip into beach at Southbank on the weekend. As your boys get older they will have easy access to Brisbane to keep them engaged and happy. You also have great access to the motorway to travel south to the beaches of the Gold Coast as you are right next to the M3 which joins the M1 heading south.

    Toohey Forest Track Map

    One downside of this area for some it is in a zone where the houses are often neither the beautiful queenslanders of inner Brisbane or modern brick and tile but rather post war weatherboard and tile. Many of these homes have been renovated nicely to modernise them and they also don't attract quite the premium price some others do so you can often find more affordable homes in a close to the city location for those that put location above house size/type.

    This of course is only one suggestion and you have many other options depending on your preferences.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  7. sjbreak32

    sjbreak32 Guest

    Wow thank you! What an incredible amount of thought you have put into this for me, really do appreciate it very very much! its so difficult to figure things like this out so for that kind of information to be given really helps thank you. Ill take a look at the areas you have suggested. Ive also had someone suggest logan, Mt Warren oxenford, coomaba and helensvale, nearer the goldcoast but is that not like a lloooooonnnnggg way away? If not do you know anything about these places, transport etc?

    Thanks again, this is great x
  8. cal

    cal Super Moderator

    Hi Fish's advice is hard to top,lol, my only conern with Mt Gravatt is every time i go there seems to be stacks of uni students knocking around and i wouldnt want to live in the middle of them with kids,lol.

    Logan is like Greater Manchester it covers a massive area. I wouldnt personally choose to live in the centre of Logan but i do live in far south Logan and its worlds apart (although a tad to long for a quick commute for you, its approx 35/40 mins to Greenslopes private hospital via car) we love it and i cant forsee us ever moving far away from here.
    Cornubia is quite nice and worth a look, as are the northern Gold Coast/ Beenleigh susburbs you mention above but i think they will be a drag to commute as well. With you having no partner i would go for the shortest commute for now, even if in a year you decide to move, at first id want to be on hand for the kids if they are sick or anything and school calls you to collect them.

    Good luck ,its a tough decision
    Cal x
  9. fish.01

    fish.01 Member

    No worries, glad to help. Like most I have had to think this through with my wife in recent years and know about the juggling of the reasons we moved closer to the city was exactly this reason.

    Those other far off areas mentioned might be more suitable to someone who can send a partner off on a long commute to Greenslopes or the CBD and manage the local school/child care themselves with either no job or a job in the local area....but in your situation it sounds a lot harder.

    Public transport to Greenslopes would be very bad to non-existent and the drive would be prone to motorway congestion. With childcare they sometimes charge a penalty by the minute if you are late beyond closing time. It is so much easier to keep everything local IMO. Maybe someone else can think how you might juggle the logistics in other areas?

    Good luck....any other questions fire away...
  10. sjbreak32

    sjbreak32 Guest

    Yes thats what I thought for the kids too, thanks. I have spoken to Cleveland district high today and they say that they would accept the kids if we live in catchment which as far as I can work out would be a 40 minute or so commute so pondering wether that would be too far for me to get to them if they needed me. The only good thing about it would be that ive heard great things about cleveland high and also if we lived in the catchment area for the school it would mean they were quite likely to be near friends that they make and also the coast with not too long on the bus/train if they wanted to go into Brisbane (its just whether its too far for me to be away every day) ...... I think that Holland Park does look good as well so the kids would also be around their friends AND I would be close by to them..... just not as near the coast! good grief the dilema lol im going round in circles....... what would you do? you both very obviously have your heads screwed on :) and seem to really understand and empathise with my situation..... I kinda trust your thoughts ! :) thanks both youre being brilliant!
  11. fish.01

    fish.01 Member

    Where do you see all the uni students in Mt Gravatt Cal? Are you perhaps thinking about Upper Mt Gravatt near Garden City? If so, the area I am talking about is a quiet family area 5km+ from there though I understand the confusion as a lot don't realise that Upper Mt Gravatt is a different suburb. Holland Park West and Tarragindi are further again - not that I have anything against uni students :)
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  12. fish.01

    fish.01 Member

    Naplan results aren't everything but if it makes your choice more like for like I just compared Holland Park High to Cleveland High in year 9. Cleveland scores significantly below similar schools in all 5 categories. Holland Park scores above similar schools in 4 out of 5 categories. (They compare schools of similar demographic.) Holland Park also out scored Cleveland in every category. Again, these results aren't everything just one part of the many things to consider in a school choice.

    I think it would be significantly harder to juggle things living out on the bayside but I guess it depends on whether the payoff is worth it to you. I'm not the best one to ask about the bayside as I like many other closer areas better and think most of Brisbane has nice schools, parks, family friendly etc and don't see any benefit to living so far away (1 hour on the train to Cleveland) in a very sleepy area unless living on acreage or for someone who is into boating/fishing on the bay. As it is surrounded by islands it is just a muddy bayside foreshore so usually the most you can do is walk along a footpath next to the sea if you live close enough. I would guess that many don't even bother on a day to day basis unless they live close by and use the local park instead. There is the odd small bit of sand in a couple of spots that some who live near might use? There are some foreshore parks that would be nice on the weekend but again there are many in inner brisbane that I prefer over these. We're all different so my personal preferences don't help much with this question sorry as you might love it as I'm sure other do :)
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  13. sjbreak32

    sjbreak32 Guest

    It helps more than you know believe it or not, its best to know the good side and bad of all situations in order to make an informed opinion. You see, now reading what you have written I can see that it may indeed be better to live closer in land because the benefits of living their seems to far outweigh the odd glimpse of the sea. I am very impressed with the results and have also had an email saying that the children would be accepted so that is great as well. Like you say, for the first year it may be best to live very close basically so that its easy! It is going to be difficult and stressful enough moving without the added trauma every day of worrying about commuting for an hour and being late for my daughters pick up etc and being absent from the house when the boys arrive home from school. May just be enough to drive me over the edge running as fast as I can back to England because I cant cope - I really dont want that so yes this is definate serious consideration for being based really close to Greenslopes. Aside from Holland Park West and Tarragindi, are there any other places you could reccomend, just so I can have an objective view?
  14. fish.01

    fish.01 Member

    Some places nearby would be good for a car commute but not so good if your car is in the shop and you need to do public transport for a while.

    Most public transport in Brisbane goes from a suburb into the CBD like spines radiating out from one spot rather than across the suburbs. But driving does open up other options.

    You could also look at Coorparoo, Mansfield (excellent state high school), Camp Hill, Carina, Carina Heights, Carindale and Wishart.
  15. Rudi

    Rudi Relocation Brisbane

    There are some lovely little beaches in Cleveland which are well used - you should see them on Australia Day!! I often walk along the bayside paths with friends or with my dogs and there's plenty more that do the same!

    Cleveland State High is a good school. Cleveland has a very good sports and drama / music programme within the school. However, as Fish says, Holland Park probably had the better results. Here's a useful site to find the year 12 outcomes.

    It is really confusing trying to find an area to live in before you arrive. My advice would be not to get too hung up on it all. Have some ideas in mind and take a few days to drive around and get a feel of places. We did this when we moved to Sydney and knew immediately which suburb was the one for us - it just felt "right".



    Here's a photo of one of the beaches in Cleveland!
    raby bay.jpg
  16. cal

    cal Super Moderator

    Yep your right, its Upper Mt Gravatt where Garden city is (and its surronds) im thinking of,lol, there seems to be lots of students around there. Dont get wrong ive no mass issue with students either just wouldnt want to live next door to a houseful of partying ones with my kids,lol..

    Cal x
  17. sjbreak32

    sjbreak32 Guest

    Lol it's good you don't detest students cal ;) coz i will be one! Studying AD Naturopathy at AIAS! ...... Yes I know lol many people have said how stupid I'm being but it's my dream & it feels right! What can I say :) I have saving to live ($70,000 per year for 1 adult and 3 children good enough? More at a stretch) 3 years with positive feedback for employment after graduation ...... I'm working on a basis of good research, knowledge and pure faith so I just have to keep positive it will work out. (naturopath is not on SOL but is on various SMP occ in demand lists) x
  18. cal

    cal Super Moderator

    LOL, Good on ya,, if you can afford it go for it. I have totally changed career since being here, when i first arrived i did Support work as id done this in the UK, after a few months i set up my own relocation business but got bored with that after a few years so decided to train as a Gymnastics coach,lol, im now fully qualified and absolutely loving it,, so yes, if you can ,why not???? lol...Good Luck..

    Cal x
  19. sjbreak32

    sjbreak32 Guest

    That fantastic good on you :) ..... you think $70k is enough per year or even less? or do you think more? ive been trying to find a breakdown (recent 2011) of expenses/living costs for Brisbane but cant find one ....could do with finding one so i know my budget.
    Really swaying on the side of Holland park school and living nearby so thanks for that I feel a lot clearer. I just need to figure out the logistics of moving now coz all our stuff will be in transit for 12 weeks, how did you do it?

    hmmm gymnastics coach lol i could do with being fitter but not sure im bendy enough to be a gymnast lol too old ;)
  20. cal

    cal Super Moderator

    We did the plastic plates, patio table off ebay and sleeping bags thing for a few weeks,lol, but as we shipped no furniture as soon as we had a 6 mth rental we bought beds etc. A furnished house or holiday let is ideal for your first few weeks really. Send the stuff as soon as you can, its easier to beg, borrow and steal in a familiar country with all your family and friends there ,than it is here knowing no-one and nothing.

    Our income is under $70k and we manage fine ( although we own and dont pay rent), i think our first few years here our JOINT income averaged $54k but then some prices have risen a bit since then.
    Just live within your means, dont go and sign up for foxtel straight away or but the big flash car until you have been here a few months and know what cash you have spare each month.

    TBH i think the cost of living varies so much, if myself, Fish and SRP were to post our average bill costs , they would all be very different,yet we all within a few hour radius,, your best bet is ALWAYS shop around and ALWAYS haggle, be it buying a Fridge freezer or a mobile , haggle,lol, its normal over here so dont feel funny doing

    Cal x

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