A letter from one of our accountants – from South Africa to Newcastle, Australia!

We assisted Annelo make the move from South Africa to Newcastle, Australia and we were delighted when we received an email from her telling us about her experience. Annelo has very generously offered to share this story for any other any other people who might be considering making an international move.


On Tuesday the 2nd of August we arrived in Sydney, we landed in rush hour traffic and it took us over 3 hours to get to Newcastle (which should be an easy 2hour drive) but this gave us some time to take in a bit of the city and relax on our way to Newcastle. We were picked up by the airport by a shuttle service and chauffeured to our temporary accommodation in Newcastle-a self-catering apartment 2 buildings down the street from my office.

We were lucky enough to have a 24-hour grocery store across the street from our apartment and we went and did a bit of shopping – which took much longer than usual! The store is called Coles, much like Checkers, big difference is that there is self-service checkout points – so if you pay with a card you get to swipe and pack your own groceries-this was new!

We spotted familiar and new items on the shelves-kangaroo meat is available. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies which mostly you pack yourself, so it is not pre-packaged and then the Australian version of Douwe Egberts instant coffee -just a different sticker.

Our second day in Aus was my birthday which we spent wondering around the wharf and enjoying some treats-organic red wine, Lindt dark chocolate (my favourite) and some cookies.


I started working on Monday the 8th of August, so we had a bit of time to settle in and explore the city by running on the promenade, walking around the city and enjoying the view from memorial walk.


Next up, we took a train to Sydney, which took us about 3 hours but it was super cheap at around $3,50pp. We explored the city on the Hop on Hop off red buses and we got off at the fish market which is the largest fish market in the market in the southern hemisphere, the Sydney harbour bridge – the architecture is impressive and a large icon of the city, we saw the Opera House and to end off our trip we had our first Starbucks coffee. There is still so much to experience in Sydney and we will most definitely go back.


We moved into our own apartment after 2 weeks in Aus, the process of renting a place is quite different here, much more extensive and you have to book an
inspection and actually be there for the inspection. As the rent is by week, there is new places opening up each week, luckily Wessel handled the inspection bookings while I was at work. We live right across from a park where the cockatoos wander around and 800m from the beach. My work is a mere 15 minuite walk so it is quite a nice spot.



We hired a car to go to Coffs Harbour to buy our car we used trains, buses and Uber up to now-, the speed limit is 110km/h max so getting there took a while and there were roadworks, but all is good as we enjoyed the scenery. The vegetation is quite dense, very forest like and there are mountains around. In Coffs Harbour, we visited a local attraction called the Big Banana. We stayed at an Air BnB place in Scotts Head on our way back to Newcastle, beautiful little town.


On our way back we stopped at Ricardoes-a tomato and strawberry farm. We bought some tomato salsa and olive tapenade.

Up to now we have not seen any kangaroos (I have seen a few kangaroo road kills by that does not count) or koalas in the wild, so we went to Blackbutt Reserve once we got back from our trip to Coffs Harbour. We saw koalas-they were sleeping and a few wallabies-they are smaller than kangaroos.


Wessel got a job as a carpenter and he is enjoying every minute of it. They are refurbishing cinemas with woodwork and luxury recliner chairs-like lazyboys. It is much more physical work than what he is used to but he takes on the challenge. He starts to work at 5a.m. while it is still nice and cool.


Work wise I am adapting well to the differences here, the tax is a bit different, the VAT is at 10% (it is called Goods and Services Tax), payroll tax is different. I am also getting experience in different sectors such as the construction industry. Our company works on a program called Caseware which is what I worked on during my time at Mazars, but there is always new tricks and shortcuts to be learned. Last week I worked in Port Maquarie. I was lucky enough to have dry weather for 2 mornings which I used to go for runs on tarred pathways along the beaches, breathtaking and very refreshing.



A few upcoming things is our wedding anniversary next weekend, we will be going away the weekend thereafter as it is a long weekend. It was my turn to plan something so I am quite excited as I know what is in store. I will be working in Melbourne for the first 2 weeks in November, Wessel will come down over the weekend, so I am very excited to work there and explore the city.


We met new friends from USA and Thailand, they are secondees that will be heading back in October. Everybody here has been nothing but good to us and are very friendly. We are blessed with a lovely experience of Australia so far.


From all of us here at Think Global Recruitment we would like to thank Annelo for this lovely update and wish her and Wessel the best of luck with their new life in Australia!

Please get in touch with us here if you would like to discuss moving overseas with one of our advisors.