25 September 2010

Somersby Falls

Dave and Neo at the foot of the Upper Falls

Zoe at the foot of the upper falls....

There are upper falls and lower falls.

Last weekend we went to Somersby Falls.

We love Aussie signs.....

The top of the upper falls are even with the parking lot. You can climb down a steep, narrow path to the bottom of the upper falls.

The path to the lower falls is steep and narrow with scary wooden stairs, but the destination was worth it.

Lower Falls

We enjoy going to these falls. The kids found tadpoles.

More lower falls....

There's also another, smaller, lesser known waterfall near Pearl Beach which I discuss on this older post.

22 September 2010


Rego - pronounced rej-O - is the Aussie way of saying registration.

One of the first things we needed to get done on our arrival to Australia was to rego the cars. Both cars rego had expired. This is not an easy process - and our experience with rego in the past is that we needed a lease for a permanent rental, our passports and US drivers license, and proof of ownership for the car.

To rego a car, it takes multiple steps. 1) Car insurance. This is called the "Green Slip". Many times the green slip can be electronically submitted to Roads and Transit Authority (RTA), but because our cars were expired, we had to pick up the proof of insurance from the insurer. We had to buy 12 months of insurance, cash, on the spot for each vehicle.

2) Blue Slip - or certificate of road worthiness. Cars 5 years old or newer do not usually require a blue slip - but this was necessary for Dave's car since the registration was expired. For my car, we had to replace the taillight we had each bumped and the lens was broken. While the mechanic was replacing this taillight, I saw a house spider bite him! He noticed too because he rubbed his finger for a while after being bitten.

3) Trip to RTA to register the car, turn in the old license plates, and get new plates.

Dave's car had been previously registered in his name, and only one name can be on the rego. When I went to the RTA to register the car, they wanted me to pay stamp duty (for a car sale) or bring in our marriage certificate and a note from Dave stating it was OK to rego the car. I sent Dave in instead.

While Dave went to rego his car, I returned the rental car and stood waiting for him to pick Neo and me up. He called to say the computer system had gone down and they had taken his old plates. He couldn't go anywhere. After about 20 minutes it was up and running.

Never once did they ask for his permanent address. The looked at his old, expired, NSW drivers license and issued the new plates.

When I went to register the Trajet, I had the same experience. No questions about permanent residence or request to see US drivers license. Once the car was regoed, I asked if I could renew my driver's license. Yes, no problem.

We think the difference this time is because we had Australian licenses. The thought of registration for the 2 cars was scary....and the process was daunting. So glad the cars are regoed and legal :)

04 September 2010

Our House for 12 months

Our view from 2nd floor windows.

Here it is, our house for the next 12 months. These pictures are from the Realtor's website.

The house in in MacMasters Beach - the same community we lived in previously. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. There is a lot of living space over 2 floors. The lower level has the entrance and the rumpus room. It also has north facing windows overlooking the backyard. North facing is important to collect the sun's heat in winter. The 2nd floor is the main living area....see photo.

Pool, flat yard, and cabana

The back yard is flat - even though the property is on a hill. That was a feature we really wanted so the kids can play in the backyard. There's a cabana (gazebo) with table and chairs. There is also a pool. The Ocean view is wonderful. It's an easy walk down to the beach, but the walk back is 15 minutes uphill - a definite burn on the leg muscles.
Kitchen, living and dining area

Some of the furniture was left for our use - like one of the living room chairs, some TV tables, and 2 beds.

We bought an HD TV for there - the rest of the furniture was included.

We moved in on Monday, 30 August. Our first night we slept in the 2 beds and on cushions from the couch. The 2nd night was more comfortable as the mattresses I had purchased had been delivered. By Wednesday, we had two tables (one upstairs and one in the rumpus room downstairs) I bought 2 TVs - the HD for living area, the tube TV for lower level for video and game play.

2nd floor bathroom.