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Discussion in 'Visas / Migration' started by nickandvicky, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. nickandvicky

    nickandvicky New Member

    Hello all, my name is Nick and myself and my wife Vicky and our 3 children will be moving to Brisbane next year.

    We have never been, but have just sold our house and I have a job to start in Brisbane CPD, but we just can not decide on the area.

    So far we have narrowed it down to either Aspley, Sherwood, The Gap, Holland Park or Cooparoo.

    We want great schools for our 6, 4 and 1 year old to go to.. I would like it within 30 mins of work and somewhere with some nice coffee shops etc to walk up to from home.. good parks etc nearby and plenty of things for my wife to do with the 3 children whilst I am at work.

    All suggestions would be very gratefully received..

    Nick soon to be leaving Welling in Kent!!

  2. cal

    cal Super Moderator

    Hi welcome to LIQ,,

    The Gap is known as a very respctable area so although i have no first hand experience of the area i would imagine the schools around there are pretty good too. I would definately be putting it on my short list.
    Albany Creek is another area that is quite nice with good school, not far from the city and most ammenities on hand.

    Good Luck there are a lot of nice areas to choose from so it wont be an easy job,lol,
    Cal x
  3. Bob Tonnor

    Bob Tonnor Guest

    Hi there

    To try and get an idea of where you want to be you should maybe figure out what sort of lifestyle you want, do you want to be close to the beach or out in the bush or burbs, and then whether you want to rent or buy and what sort of budget have you got, this should narrow down your options and make a choice easier. Personally id recommend renting at the moment for a couple of reasons, first, if your renting and you find your not too keen on the area you will find it easier to move and secondly the market in Brisbane at the moment is on the way down, maybe give it a year after you arrive before buying, but thats just my opinion. Ive included a quick link to Holland Park, Park this might make it easier to choose where you want to be.


    PS by if you do want to buy check out this site for all the mortgage rates in Australia, no brokers fees either,
  4. briggy

    briggy New Member

    Hi and welcome:D
    I know a lot of families here live in Bracken ridge, bald hills, Mango hill and North lakes. I only know Bracken ridge as my freind lives there she has a 5 year old and a 10 year old. Schools seem to be good and there are parks there too.
    But depends what type of lifestyle you want. As where I rent in Chermside there is a huge shopping centre plenty of parks swimming pools Library. Even a free adult park where you can go and work out on gym machines. And a park too for kiddies and plenty of schools. Only down side is there is no train station, but a large bus station. Think we are 10/15 mins into the CBD, but best to use busses. There are bars cinemas and a bowling alley too. So plenty to keep the kids occupied.
    But depends weather you want a quiet place or a bit bussier place. Wish you all the best with your journey down under:D

    Brig XC:
  5. fish.01

    fish.01 Member

    You mention wanting cafes you can walk to with lots to do. Once you leave the inner 5km most Brisbane suburbs get very quiet as Brisbane is a very suburban city even very close in. Some of the outer suburbs have a big shopping mall for excitement but not many with a good high st style cafe strip.

    If you want a decent cafe strip it costs more to live near the city so really depends on your budget. The other consideration is whether you like character homes or new builds. Obviously most character homes are in the inner city with new builds on the quiet estates on the outskirts.

    If you want family friendly inner city with good schools I would recommend amongst others Red Hill, Ascot, Hamilton, Bulimba, Hawthorne, Balmoral, Ashgrove, Indooroopilly, Toowong, Wilston etc...most are on the expensive side. If you go further because of budget there are still lots of nice suburbs just often very quiet.

    The 30 mins from work depends on whether you are driving or public transport and whether you mean door to door with waiting etc or just timetabled trip time?

    Driving into the CBD is "very" expensive to park unless work is paying. Driving to suburbs adjacent to the CBD is still doable though.
  6. nickandvicky

    nickandvicky New Member

    thank you

    thank you for your responses, the information has been invaluable.

    First of all we considered the gold coast but realised the commute would be too much, then we considered Wellington Point but the same again the commute would be too much.

    My new boss says she lives in coorparoo and thats only a 10 min commute and that really appealed.

    I am happy to commute 30 mins to cpd and ideally we would like a nice little town with shops and parks etc to walk to... Bulimba sounded good. but any more suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    thanks again!
  7. fish.01

    fish.01 Member

    re: "nice little town" - it may just be the terminology you are using but just thought I'd warn you that Brisbane suburbs aren't like some UK cities where lots of little long standing town centres joined up to form a city.

    Most of it is suburban with people driving to the local shops which are often newish little standalone shopping centres or huge shopping malls.

    Generally, it is only closer to the city in the older parts of Brisbane that you find suburbs old enough to have little high street centres with many people walking to them. There are some exceptions to this rule of course.

    I have put links on the following suburb names to street view maps of the area so you know where to go to find where I am talking about.

    Bulimba is very nice with the added bonus of a glorious 20 minute express citycat ferry ride to the city. Only downside might be increasing airplane noise in 10 years time if you are thinking long term and worse driving access to the city than the northside of brisbane. Toowong has a little cafe/shopping village with train just 5km from town. Central Toowong is busy but it has some beautiful family streets. Further out on the same line Indooroopilly has a large shopping mall but also surrounding streets with many shops, good schools and a train station. More appealing place IMO than living near one of the other 3 large suburban malls. Neighbouring Taringa and St Lucia are nice as well specially if living next to a university professor appeals (or in some parts the students) with the University of Qld dominating the suburb :).

    The inner west has a very nice little area named Rosalie (in the suburb of Paddington) with a good primary school, lovely park and restaurant/shopping village but there may be too many younger rentals for your taste - each street varies depending on how upmarket the houses are (usually the high streets are the best). Low lying parts flood so check the flood maps. It is 5 minutes from the city by train. The rest of Paddington is an option but neighbouring Red Hill is probably a better family area with some lovely streets full of character homes within walking distance to the cafes, clothes and antique shops of Paddington. It is only a few km from the city by bus. It also has a lovely little park or two (see Woolcock Park) and a good primary school and great C&K childcare.

    Ashgrove is next to Red Hill and is slightly more family again as the blocks and houses get larger. It has a less trendy but very functional suburban centre named Ashgrove Village about 4km from brisbane city with a church, schools, deli, book shop, 5 banks, 8 or so cafe's, restaurants, a couple of bars, 3 large supermarkets, many chemists, doctors, pathology, council library, clothes shops, pet shops, video shops, fruit/veg shops, butchers, bakers etc etc. It also has two little creeks with a ring of parks and bike tracks and very well respected govt and private schools. It has many bus routes passing the village with a 15 minute off peak bus ride to the city going to 20+ minutes during peak. From the village it is a 5-10 minute off peak drive to the city, not sure about peak. Neighbouring Bardon is gorgeous with just a few little shopping strips but with lovely trees and parks, great schools and next to mountains, Rosalie, Paddington, Ashgrove and Red Hill.

    To the north of Ashgrove is Wilston. It has a little cafe strip surrounded but some lovely character homes, some with great views of the city and well regarded primary schools.

    Some other places to check out are Wooloowin and Ascot. There are many more nice places within 30 minutes commute depending on how much stuff you want near by.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  8. madcatjane

    madcatjane New Member

    Hi there, we moved here 2 weeks ago with our 3 kids aged nearly 5, nearly 3 and 13 months. We wanted exactly the same as you have mentioned but have realised unless you are earning an awful lot of money the suburbs that have all that are out of reach, had my heart set on Ascot, Hamilton, type of areas originally! We have done loads of research and found the Northern suburbs appeal to us. My hubby works in the CBD and will commute by train or bus depending on where we end up. We have been looking at Albany Creek, Bridgeman Downs, Eatons Hill and surrounding areas, none of which have a train station. The older very inner city suburbs have the high street lifestyle but the newer suburbs have little malls which have everything you need but you wouldn't really walk to them. It's much more of a driving culture over here, although seems to be a very fit and active place with lots of people running and biking.

    It's a very child friendly place and you can quickly gage what are the not so family suburbs and what the less desirable suburbs are. It seems like a lot of the schools don't have catchment areas, although those in the most upmarket places do.

    We would be happy to meet up with you when you get over as I know how daunting (and exciting of course) it can be.

    PM if I can help you guys out in anyway. We are currently living in the city until our stuff arrives.

    Hope it all goes well.

  9. nickandvicky

    nickandvicky New Member

    Hi Jane

    We are so jealous of you already being there! thank you for your response.. it was much appreciated!

    We should definitely meet up, our kids are such similar ages..

    Where are you staying now that you have arrived? what deal did you get? We have found a place in Hendra which we will be booking..

    We are currently looking around the Norman Park, Bulimba, Balmoral areas... i think we can afford to rent, but so sure we could afford to buy there... so difficult to tell !

    Hows it going there? Are you happy..

  10. madcatjane

    madcatjane New Member

    Hi again, yes definitely get in touch when you get over. We have just found a rental in Bridgeman Downs and are signing a lease for a year. We too had the same problem with a lot of the inner city suburbs, we could afford the rent but not to buy so we purposely looked for areas we knew we could buy in. When you get here just have a drive to the suburbs you are thinking about that's what we did.

    We are staying in an apartment in the city which my husband's company are putting us up in so that was very handy.

    There is so much to do with kids here, lots of lovely parks and so close to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast for amazing beaches. It's easy for the kids to get to know people as there are lots of playgroups, libraries that do kids stuff. I have made Brisbane info document for myself that I was adding to from before I left until now, I can email it to you if you like. I do still miss my friends from home and Edinburgh where we lived was such a nice city but overall I think life here, especially with young kids is better and far easier.

    Brisbane is a lovely city, has everything you could want and great shopping centres. We've been going to the one at Chermside which is massive, even has a little indoor play area right next to Starbucks (if you like your coffee as we do!!).

    I'm assuming you know about the school system here? They start school when they are 6 here (cut off is June and school year starts in January), they do a year of prep (bit like reception but not compulsory) when they are 5 and before that there is no formal education and it seems like the waiting list for kindys is very long (years for some of them!).

  11. nickandvicky

    nickandvicky New Member


    Thats great to hear.. glad you are so happy..its very encouraging to hear! How is the commute from bridgeman downs to brisbane cbd? how long and how? i.e train? etc...

    How are you finding the cost of living? I guess its swings and roundabouts? a bit more expensive for somethings, cheaper for others?

    ha.. we dont drink, so yes we are huge coffee lovers!! and cake... we love cake!

    Miller will be nearly 6 when we arrive.. we get there in June, he will be 6 in september... so he should be able to go straight in.. Jed will be 3 but 4 at the end of July so will need kinders... was hoping we could get him straight in? Freya will be 1, so we can apply for her then if it takes years!!
  12. madcatjane

    madcatjane New Member

    The commute will be about an hour door to door, can either drive to a station or get bus. I don't find the traffic that bad here because I'm used to traffic in London, but it's all relative I guess! The cost of living like you say is definitely swings and roundabouts, things like Foxtel (Sky equivalent) if you interested in that are more expensive, broadband more expensive, food - if you were to do all the shopping in a supermarket it would probably be more expensive but if you shop around and go to the green grocers for fruit and veg, etc. I think it would probably work out about the same. Petrol a lot cheaper, costs us the same in dollars to fill up our car. Clothes about the same, especially for kids.

    When is Miller 6? The age cut off is end of June. Our son is 5 in December so will start prep in January. We have a 3 year old and she is 4 in October but again the cut off is June so Scarlett isn't eligible until 2013 which is a pain as she would have started school nursery in Edinburgh in January and is so ready for it, I'm looking at private nursery for her even if it is just 1 day a week. The waiting lists for the C & K kindys seem so long so put their names down as soon as you get here and know when you will be living.

    Will your wife be working? If she isn't I will be happy to show her around and help her out.
  13. nickandvicky

    nickandvicky New Member

    Hi Jane

    I wrote out a response and posted it as quick reply? Do you get that in another way?

    If not I will try again!

    Thanks for the heads up on Bridgeman Downs, I did a fair bit of research on Aspley a few months ago... Good idea to rent where you can afford to buy.

    We are really glad your happy there... when you say so close to the beaches.. how long a car journey are we talking?... if you could email me that, I would really appreciate it.. my email is

    So you came from Edinburgh? We are from Kent... Yes we love coffee... real good coffee.. we don’t drink, so coffee shops are important to us!.. that and decent restaurants etc...

    My wife will like the shopping centres.. how are you finding the cost of living? I guess its swings and roundabouts with food etc.. what about clothes?

    Re the schools, Miller will be 6 3 months after arrival, Jed will be 4 1 month after arrival and Freya will just be one.. all good ages.. Was hoping Miller will slot straight in and Jed into Kindergarten.. have you managed to get your kids in ok?

  14. nickandvicky

    nickandvicky New Member

    ahhh sorry, I can see you have responded sorry!!

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