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Old 04-05-2015, 22:02   #46
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
Re education.... I asked a few more teachers at the weekend... they agreed... just front up at a country school and enroll your pups.
(...)
If they throw you out you are just back to home schooling.. no biggy.
Thanks El Pinguino... Unfortunately it's too late for Belmont public schools, we contacted them, and they confirmed that we would pay the advertised rates of $250 primary school, $300 middle school, $ 337,50 high school per week. I was hoping to hear that coming on a 12-month visitor's visa (about $1650 for the family + cost of "biometrics" in the Australian consulate in Fiji), we would be eligible for the other rate ($ 5000 primary school, $ 6000 middle school, $ 6500 high school per YEAR) but NO. We can't afford to pay $ 900 per week (3800 per month + "suggested voluntary donation" + uniforms, etc) and I don't think many sailing families could... It would be great if the suggestion of your teacher friends worked (thank you again for inquiring on our behalf), but I'm afraid it's wishful thinking on their part. For instance the Dept of Education produces PDF instructions for school principals explaining very precisely what to check according to what visa, and how much should be paid by non-Australians.
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Old 04-05-2015, 22:23   #47
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

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Thanks El Pinguino... Unfortunately it's too late for Belmont public schools, we contacted them, and they confirmed that we would pay the advertised rates of $250 primary school, $300 middle school, $ 337,50 high school per week. I was hoping to hear that coming on a 12-month visitor's visa (about $1650 for the family + cost of "biometrics" in the Australian consulate in Fiji), we would be eligible for the other rate ($ 5000 primary school, $ 6000 middle school, $ 6500 high school per YEAR) but NO. We can't afford to pay $ 900 per week (3800 per month + "suggested voluntary donation" + uniforms, etc) and I don't think many sailing families could... It would be great if the suggestion of your teacher friends worked (thank you again for inquiring on our behalf), but I'm afraid it's wishful thinking on their part. For instance the Dept of Education produces PDF instructions for school principals explaining very precisely what to check according to what visa, and how much should be paid by non-Australians.
Money hungry barstewards.... If the principles and their superiors weren't so busy thieving maybe they wouldn't need to shake down visitors.....

IBAC: 'Puppet' claims he was brainwashed by former senior Victorian Education Department official Nino Napoli

Oz seems to be doing everything it can to make sure visitors don't come visiting...

I wonder what the deal is in Unzud.. must ask..
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Old 04-05-2015, 22:32   #48
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

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Originally Posted by Mirage Gecko View Post
In the 10'years you have been away Australia has changed ...for better or worse. Along with that change attitudes of Australians as well most of the rest of the world have also changed.I also have been out of the country on and off for about a decade and certainly see the difference since coming back a couple of years ago.
One of the main reasons for the change is a 25% increase in population in the last 15 years and not necessarily from within.As an Aussie you are now sharing the same place of 10 or fifteen years ago but with far more people of a diverse range of age and financial demographics .
Fortunately in this country at least we are still allowed to have and voice an opinion but for how long remains to be seen in view of the power of minorities and politically correctness becoming rife in Aus.
Personally I would welcome the OP and others to this country however I have no idea of their financial situation but I would expect they can pay their own way while here.
I do however believe this country is not progressing infrastructure at an acceptable level for the population growth and is financially struggling to hold its own for its own .As the so called aggressive commenter said Im also not fond of others taking more than they give regardless of the cultural bonuses if any.
Selfish you might say mmmm maybe .Possessive ,protective and dreaming of the way it was certainly
Changed? Its always been that way...less so now maybe . Remember this sheila? Pauline Hanson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
She supposedly had 22% support from the electorate in the late 90's.

Education is an industry in Oz... flogging education to asians... itinerent sailing punters have just ended up in the net as by-catch.

With a rooted mining industry and virtually no manufacturing industry the country would be burgered if not for the housing and construction side of things which depends on high migration rates. Less ill feeling today re immigrants than there was when the country was being flooded with whinging ten pound poms.....

The way it was? The choice of tucker as vastly better today than 50 years ago....
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:00   #49
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

El Pinguino I see that you are currently 'In low Earth orbit' I hope this does not mean you are 'off with the pixies'.
By the way the lovely Pauline (NOT) came close to an Upper House seat in the recent Queensland state election but the preference votes did not go her way. Most people see through such a shallow person.
Australia is still a great country even if a little more self centered these days.
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Old 05-05-2015, 16:38   #50
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

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El Pinguino I see that you are currently 'In low Earth orbit' I hope this does not mean you are 'off with the pixies'.
By the way the lovely Pauline (NOT) came close to an Upper House seat in the recent Queensland state election but the preference votes did not go her way. Most people see through such a shallow person.
Australia is still a great country even if a little more self centered these days.
Michael
Pixieland, Newcastle
Thanks for your concern.... re-entry was successful....
The legacy of Pauline the not very lovely is that she drove both major parties further to the right. Getting a bit political so best stop here.... toodle pip.
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Old 05-05-2015, 17:31   #51
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

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Originally Posted by Mirage Gecko View Post
In the 10'years you have been away Australia has changed ...for better or worse. Along with that change attitudes of Australians as well most of the rest of the world have also changed.I also have been out of the country on and off for about a decade and certainly see the difference since coming back a couple of years ago.
One of the main reasons for the change is a 25% increase in population in the last 15 years and not necessarily from within.As an Aussie you are now sharing the same place of 10 or fifteen years ago but with far more people of a diverse range of age and financial demographics .
Fortunately in this country at least we are still allowed to have and voice an opinion but for how long remains to be seen in view of the power of minorities and politically correctness becoming rife in Aus.
Personally I would welcome the OP and others to this country however I have no idea of their financial situation but I would expect they can pay their own way while here.
I do however believe this country is not progressing infrastructure at an acceptable level for the population growth and is financially struggling to hold its own for its own .As the so called aggressive commenter said Im also not fond of others taking more than they give regardless of the cultural bonuses if any.
Selfish you might say mmmm maybe .Possessive ,protective and dreaming of the way it was certainly
Have to agree with this opinion.

I too am wondering what happened to the Australia I grew up in. The government is hell bent on increasing the population. Sydney has gone from a great place to an overcrowded expensive city with horendous traffic issues full of new arrivals. The middle eastern arrivals are particularly worrying as they are not generally interested in intergrating or sharing but in fact want to turn Australia into a country to suit there own backward religous beliefs. Whist they do not yet have the numbers they are having lots of kids unlike the Australians. Most of them are sitting on welfare of some kind.

It won't be long before expressing such opinions will be against the law as a racial hatred crime.
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Old 06-05-2015, 18:23   #52
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

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.....
I too am wondering what happened to the Australia I grew up in. .......
New Zealand isn't what it was either, Pommieland is overcrowded, the pre-Peronista/Kirchnerista Argentina that my Aunt Dorothy knew is nothing like the Argentina of today... and the anchorages of Patagonia are getting overcrowded....

Even nostalagia isn't what it used to be...
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Old 07-05-2015, 00:41   #53
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

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Not sure of your budget but it might be worth double checking the costs of some of the private schools, particularly those with mainstream religious affiliations as they are often very economical and some offer excellent education standards.
Thanks GILow, I didn't think of them, but will check. I don't think many private schools (even in the wealthy neighborhood) would dare to charge, like Public schools in NSW, +/- AUD $1300 per child per month. Unless by law they have to charge foreign kids more than Aussie citizens or residents?
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Old 07-05-2015, 01:05   #54
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

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Thanks GILow, I didn't think of them, but will check. I don't think many private schools (even in the wealthy neighborhood) would dare to charge, like Public schools in NSW, +/- AUD $1300 per child per month. Unless by law they have to charge foreign kids more than Aussie citizens or residents?
Last I checked NSW had the highest general cost of living of all the states in Australia, you may find some of the other states are cheaper both at a public and private school level.

Fingers crossed for you.

Matt
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Old 07-05-2015, 01:06   #55
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

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Thanks GILow, I didn't think of them, but will check. I don't think many private schools (even in the wealthy neighborhood) would dare to charge, like Public schools in NSW, +/- AUD $1300 per child per month. Unless by law they have to charge foreign kids more than Aussie citizens or residents?
Err... FWIW, I met a teacher the other day who works at a school that charged $45K per year per child. Ouch.
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Old 07-05-2015, 01:46   #56
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

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Sounds reasonable, especially taking into account the free schooling. But isn't it in a cyclone area? (...)
Homeschooling is probably the best option for someone on the move though. I can't really understand how you can base your sailing plans on a month or three here and there with three kids to educate, unless the formal schooling is just a supplement to the actual schooling on board, or do you stay for the full school year in one location and then use the two months between to relocate?
We arrived in the Marquises in October 2013. We chose Nuku Hiva because this is the most populated island (still less than 4000 inhabitants) and the administrative centre: hospital, middle school (till 15-16 y.o.), etc. But also because the bay of Taiohae is the biggest and most protected of the Marquises, even if it can be a bit rolly, even for catamarans, in case of the swell generated by the Southerlies. The Marquises have not seen a cyclone in 50 years, Nuku Hiva 8 degrees South) never. Marquises (and Gambiers) are considered by insurance companies as "cyclone free". We signed up our girls at the local primary and middle school the day after we arrived (for free) and stayed till the end of the school year (June)

We meant to sail to NZ between July and December 2014, but it was hard to leave (school friends, other kiddy boats, invitations by friends ashore, second mango season...). On the way to the Tuamotus, the girls mutinied "Why do we have to leave? We want to stay here". They seized the Lagoon. But instead of dumping us in the dinghy with a barrel of stale biscuits, two barrels of water and a compass, they made us agree to set sails to Raiatea after Tahiti. Here we are. Raiatea is the only island in FP with a high school (for the eldest) we are moored in 2m of turquoise water, near a motu, about 0,8 NM from the dinghy dock (itself 3-5 minutes' walk from the schools. This is the best mooring we have had since crossing the Panama Canal. Cristal clear waters, sandy bottom offering excellent holding. But, yes, even if they don't occur frequently, Raiatea is in the cyclone zone. We had a couple of storms coming from the NW ("tropical style") in December (one with gusts reaching 45 kts) and another in February. We are planning to leave at the end of the school year (end of June) - if they let us (2 out of 3 would prefer to stay one more year). This is a great place for them. We (parents) preferred the Marquises, but life here is very easy, good schools (better than in the Marquises), many friends and after school activities, good food, great tasting and safe tap water, no safety issues, no mosquitoes on board, etc.

Schooling: we try to make the most of local opportunities. Before French Polynesia, they were schooled for 4 months in Panama. They don't follow correspondence courses, but we have all the books on board.
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Old 07-05-2015, 05:19   #57
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

Now that you have said all that. I don't think there is a sailor alive that wouldn't swap Belmont Bay for French Polynesia.

Is the insurance issue the only reason you want to leave FP? Find a new insurer!

It sounds like you are in paradise and your family is happy. You're living the dream. Don't leave. The grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Dave
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Old 07-05-2015, 06:35   #58
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

Thanks well, sounds very nice. For the people recommending to find new insurance, it's not that simple. Insurance companies have a hurricane "box". If you're inside the box you either have no cover unless you are hauled out and tied down, or the deductible increase to 20% for named storms (pantaenius). Also insurance companies don't let you stop cover unless you sell the boat, so changing mid policy means throwing away dollars.
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Old 14-06-2015, 17:50   #59
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

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Wellington,

In the Sydney area, Pittwater would be a better bet for you, as there are many places you can anchor and also to stay on moorings. Transport is much easier than Sydney, IMO.

Ann
'Painted Skies' spent 5 months on a mooring in Lovett Bay, Pittwater in 2011. We found it ideal as this tiny inlet was well protected from the weather and security was excellent. We even left the boat unattended for several months while we traveled back to the US, and the owner of the mooring (Lovett Bay Boatshed) kept an eye on it for us. The cost was a very reasonable AU$300/month.

Lovett Bay (like the entire western side of Pittwater and Scotland Island) is a water-access-only community of homes with regular ferry service to 'the mainland' which drops you off at Church Point to link to city bus service. The Church Point Post Office kindly received and held mail for us during this time. Also, we often took the dinghy a short distance further, past the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and tied it up at the public jetty in Bayview Park, and then walked into Mona Vale for groceries (Aldi, Coles, Woolworths, and Harris Farm Market) - passing Pittwater High School on the way. The local residents in Pittwater were delightful; they live a water-centric life, much like us cruisers - so they were very sympatico.

The hills surrounding Lovett Bay are covered with hiking trails to some spectacular viewpoints, including the not-to-be-missed Lovett Bay Waterfall and into Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park (which is also prime cruising ground with free moorings, a short sail from Lovett). We highly recommend it!

Cheers, Katherine and Lael
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:21   #60
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Re: Where is the Australian Whangarei? (For the cyclone season)

As an Aussie, I'm shocked they charge you for schooling.

I live in a suburb adjacent to Pittwater called Avalon. This area is beautiful, natural and unhurried (relative to the rest of Sydney). However, local services are not great if you were living on the water. I'd imagine the best place would be to on a swing mooring down the souther end of Pittwater (Newport, Mona Vale or Bayview). The you could dinghy to shore and walk to a high school (ages 12 to 18). The town (Mona Vale) is a little more of a walk - maybe 15minutes from the dingy. Public transport is pretty hopeless.

You could get a mooring up near Avalon or in Careel Bay, but its a longer walk to the town and the schools.

I've travelled a fair bit (not much on yachts yet unfortunately), and every time I get home to Sydney I am reminded that this is the most expensive city on Earth. Honestly, its crazy expensive relative to the rest of the planet that I have been to.

A smaller coastal town between Sydney and Brisbane would be significantly cheaper for general living expenses.

If you insurance was not an issue, I'd suggest the Noosa River. I lived in Noosa for 2014 and it was fantastic. The main strip is touristy and expensive, but there are many other alternatives. General living costs much lower than Sydney. heaps of services within walking distance of the anchoring. A cat will get over the bar in good weather and high tide only. Many 40ft+ cats in the river.

PS... i did a quick conversion of your FP prices in my head to AUD and I'd say we are slightly more expensive on most things. Quality here is first class, but you pay for it.
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