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We knew we’d have a busy first week here, trying to settle into our temporary residence while managing all the logistics of setting lives up in a new country, but “busy” barely covers it! I feel like we packed 2-3 weeks of activities into 1. Highlights of the week include: getting our Aussie mobile numbers, setting up a bank account, arranging a PO Box at the local post office, getting our “CRNs” (a government-issued ID that is necessary for all sorts of other things), and buying a car – the one we’d had our eyes on for the past few weeks was still at the used car lot when we arrived! The salesman, Kevin, was wonderful – even drove us from Rockhampton back to Yeppoon the first day we were at the car lot so we didn’t have to go through the combo of Uber and bus, and he offered to take Hugh out fishing! Here is a photo of our Subaru Outback (I know, I know, how cheesy is that :)) near the main Yeppoon beach:

And then came the piece de resistance – we bought a house yesterday! There aren’t many houses on the market right now and they tend to sell quickly, but Lady Luck continues to smile on us with our big move down under and on June 23, we will be the proud new owners of 17 Coolibah Street in Taranganba (just love the fun names down here!). We still need to have a building and pest inspection done – yes, you read that right, you have to have properties assessed for termites and other 6-legged critters here :). We will be in regular contact with our wonderful entomologist friend Marvin as we learn all about the various insects down here. We had to accelerate our plans to find a house because we learned this week that our shipping container is 1-2 months ahead of schedule and should be arriving in Brisbane on June 18, meaning it could be through customs and delivered up here by end of June. We didn’t want the hassle or cost of having to store the shipping container so decided to get going on house hunting and we are so excited about the one we found! The real estate system works quite differently here – the sellers have agents but the buyers just find listings by looking online or signing up for email updates from all the different agencies in town. Then the buyers prepare their offer based on their own research rather than the knowledge of an agent. This was a bit intimidating but we found all the sellers’ agents to be excellent and the process went smoothly.

The final big highlight this week was meeting our new friends Rob and Barb (from Niagara region but moved here in 2017). Rob very kindly toured us around the area so we had a feel for neighbourhoods we’d like to live in, and he showed us all the amazing beaches in the area.

Rob even took us into Rocky (that’s what the locals call Rockhampton) when we needed to pick up our car, and he and Barb hosted us for a spectacular dinner last night. Turns out we like the same food and drinks – and we consumed A LOT of both last night! Rob and Barb have been tremendously helpful in getting us oriented to all things Aussie/Yeppoon, it would have been so much harder to figure things out without their incredible help. Oh – check out the photo of the kookaburra that was hanging out in their back yard last night along with 8 of his feathered friends (and countless other birds, including an Australian brush turkey):

So many different birds here, need to buy a bird book and download an app to start learning about them.

Here’s a photo that I feel like could be a piece of art work – patterns that teeny-tiny crabs make in the sand as the tide is going out. They dig holes and kick tiny balls of sand up out of the holes and these beautiful patterns emerge all over the beach:

That’s it for now – I start work at CQU tomorrow and retiree Hugh has his first golf game booked for Wednesday, so we’ll share all those exciting updates next week sometime :).



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