Hello Rockhampton!

January 6-7, 2015

Landed in Rockhampton!

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First thought: What a small airport.

Second thought: God it’s even hotter here.

Third thought: Wow, we’re really here.

Luckily for us, the hospital provides us with temporary accommodation for up to one month while we look for a place of our own. That meant our first stop in Rockhampton was… the hospital to pick up keys!

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Yes, we did rent a car for our first few days. We had to. Rocky is a small city of over 70 000 people and I don’t think there’s public transportation. I mean, since moving here, we have seen buses – but where do they stop and how often do they run? Nobody seems to know for sure.

As we are a couple, they were kind to put us in the same 2 bedroom apartment. Clean, modest, with all the basics we needed – including air conditioners that were so ancient, they sounded like trucks parked by your headboard :P. All jokes aside, the place was nice and we were very grateful that our accommodation was provided.

Here are a few photos!

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I joked to Michael that they would provide hospital towels, as our stay was provided by the hospital – I was right!

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Although the temporary accommodation was comfortable and available to us for a month, Michael and I really wanted to find our own place and move in before starting work on January 12, 2015. That left us with 5 days.

Luckily for us, we had been searching online for weeks prior to coming to Rockhampton and had called in advance to set up appointments for the 3-5 places we really liked.

The next morning, we drove around to check out 4 places. Our top choice was our first inspection and the only application we submitted. 2 days later, it was accepted and we received our keys. Gave a call to the removalists and our stuff was delivered on Sunday. Things worked out perfectly.

We continued to stay at the temporary accommodation over the next week or so while working on unpacking and setting up our new place.

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Newly built, 3 bedroom (each with a huge walk in closet), 2.5 bathroom duplex house with a tandem garage and backyard patio. Quiet neighbourhood and located a convenient 10-15 minute walk to hospital and grocery stores – perfect for us as we haven’t bought a car. Place feels like home already!

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And that is the story of how we settled in Rockhampton ūüôā

Packing up 4 years of our lives

December 28, 2014 – January 06, 2015

As soon as our parents went back to Canada, we kicked our butts into gear.

Time to get ready for the next step in our lives – working in the real world… as doctors!

You might remember THIS POST and the happiness and excitement it entailed. Both Michael and I being simultaneously offered jobs during the first round… and in our first preference city. As international medical students, that was a feat we had only dared to hope.

And so, here we were, finding ourselves preparing for the move to Rockhampton!

Our flights were booked for January 6, 2015. Which meant we had just over a week to do the following:

  • Pack. Pack everything.
  • Find a relocation/moving company that will come to pick our stuff up the day before we leave and store our belongings until we found a place to live in Rocky… for a reasonable price.
  • But pack smartly. With all our essentials staying with us, because who knows how long it would take to find a place to rent once we got to Rocky?
  • Clean. Clean everything. Because we certainly weren’t going to spend hundreds of dollars on a bond¬†cleaning.
  • Hire a company to clean our carpets
  • Coordinate the following schedule: Movers to pick up our stuff the morning of Jan 5th. Carpet cleaners to come that afternoon. Final inspection and return of keys to real estate agent the following morning and fly up to Rockhampton that afternoon.
  • Cross fingers and hope our plans don’t fail.
  • And in between all of that, of course, to hang out with friends and enjoy our last days in Brisbane.

Easy? Totally. *sarcasm*

The HEAT. So hot that every aspect of packing was agonizing. But somehow, we eventually did it. We packed everything up into boxes – boxes that we didn’t have to pay for, yay. Tip: Ring Coles in the evening and ask them to save cardboard boxes for you. They throw them out every evening but will save them for you if requested.

Luckily, we were each allowed $2500 in relocation expenses. Pay first, claim later. That meant our flights to Rockhampton and cost of moving/storing our belongings could be covered. We came under budget, which meant not having to pay out-of-pocket Рsigh of relief.

For relocation, we went with Wide Bay Removals because they had fair quotes and really good online communication. On the day of pick up, they were fast, efficient, and careful with our belongings, which were going into storage (for up to a month) until we found a place to stay in Rocky. Unfortunately, the same care was not taken once our belongings were out of sight because on moving in, our fridge was dented and scratched and the back panel of one bookcase was broken. Not to mention many boxes that were crushed, although luckily, nothing inside was damaged. Would we hire them again? Not sure.

It’s hard to remember what else we did in those last days of heat stroke and stress.

But we did have a relaxing New Year’s Eve at Matt & Kristen’s!

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They made a delicious 5-spice salmon with smashed potatoes and veggies.

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We provided dessert – homemade berry cheesecake. My first attempt, and it wasn’t bad!

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We are getting old. I remember all of us being exhausted and calling it a night after the fireworks – woo hoo! However, it was absolutely lovely to spend the night with our favourite family! Especially since we would be leaving Brisbane so soon! Hope everyone has a really happy new year!

Thanks to photos, I can also tell you that later that week we had a delicious lunch at Bread & Meat Co! Definitely worth a visit, and if you haven’t been, you can read review¬†HERE.

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Before we knew it, January 5th came. And guess what? Our intended schedule worked out perfectly!

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The movers worked much quicker than anticipated and soon the house was completely empty except for the luggage we would be taking with us. The carpet cleaner came shortly after that and soon there was no

As we had no home for our last night in Brisbane, we decided to rent a studio apartment at Essence Serviced Apartments. Why? Closer to the airport. Similar cost to hotel room in the city. Quiet. And had free parking – which we needed because we had rented a car. Definitely recommend!

(Photo from Essence Serviced Apartments website)

It was a perfect getaway for the night. Until we were woken up in the middle of the night by a VERY loud alarm. “Whoop, whoop, this is an emergency. Evacuate immediately. Whoop whoop”

No idea what was going on. Everyone stumbled down the stairs to wait outside. Eventually, the fire fighters came and cleared the building. I believe it was a tampered/false fire alarm. Back up stairs to bed!

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In the morning, we returned back to our house to meet our real estate agent. No issues with our final inspection and we received our full bond back, yay! So many memories in this house over the last 3 years. It was a perfect home for us and our visiting friends and family, in such a convenient location for public transportation as well – we will miss it!

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We then went to Chermside Mall to grab some breakfast and look who we ran into!

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So nice to randomly bump into Roger, we’ll miss you!

Later that day we headed to the airport, checked in, and boarded our flight to Rockhampton… exciting!