Sunday, February 21, 2010

Melburnian in Newcastle- a guide

When i met my wife who was from Newcastle we made the decision to move here eventually. As our daughter was about to turn 3 we finally made the decision to make the move, not an easy feat as it's a move of over 1000kms.

While both newcastle and melbourne are both part of australia, i thought i might mention a few differences that struck me and i had to make some adjustments.

These are not complaints, just observations. As the phrase goes, when in rome, do what the romans do. I love this city, and not it's not sydney.

Place Names

  • Victoria has Pakenham Upper and Launching place but NSW has Tumbi Umbi and Kangy Angy.
  • NSW says Castle as if it was Carstle unlike the castle in Castlemane
  • Places like Merriwa is pronounce merri-war, or Wauchope- war-hope. Then there is the "i" in pace names is pronounced as eye not like in victoria which you would pronounce as a "ee" sound.
  • People living in Newcastle call themselves Novocastrians
  • When they say the Bay they mean Nelson Bay
Other curiosities

  • there is no compulsory or structred preschool program, what is called Kindergarten in Vic is called preschool here but you have to pay for it as childcare.
  • What victorians call Prep is called Kinder (the first year at school) which is really confusing when having an interstate conversation.
  • Primary school is called Public school and Secondary college is called High school and year 12 still does the HSC here.
  • the equivalent term for a Divvy van is a Paddy Wagon
  • when pulled over by a police officer, no it's not the police officer from the village peopl, the leather cap is a serious, official peice of uniform.
  • In melbourne the beaches are, well lets face it flat, most beaches here face the ocean which means they are equivalent to a back beach, Lake macquarie the water is similar to the bay beaches.

Food and drink

  • Don't ask for a potato cake, they are called scallops (my wife once ordered a scallop in melbourne and she got a real one much to her horror)
  • Also on fast food, being a fan of steamed dim sims, I was disappointed as there are only the fried variety available.
  • You can't buy flake in NSW
  • Safeway (which is on it's way out in Vic) is owned by Woolworths(since the 1980's) and here it is referred to as Woolies.
  • Beer here is sold in cases, not slabs and obviously.

Roads, Rules and Registration

  • You may notice there seems to be so many different types of number plates out there. Whereas in Vic there are just the Green and Blue formats(i have heard there are also now the Euro plates as well).
  • Registration seems to be so complicated here, every year you have to go and purchase you CTP insurnce as well as get your mechanic to approve your car. This is such a much more complicated process compared to in victoria you just receive you rego papers, pay them and all is done. not to mention how much more expensive it is.
  • Professional drivers are speed limited, for red P's they are only supposed to drive at 90kph and Green p's are allowed 100kph which i think at time they take that literally no matter about the speed limit.
  • Learner drivers are only alowed to travel at 80kph which becomes a bit of a hazard on open roads with 110kph zones. I remember when i learnt i drove to QLD at the speed limit which gave me experience at speed which was invaluable.
  • In NSW you aren't allowed to do a U-turn unless you are told you can as apposed to in victoria where you are told where you can't.
  • Many people who have never been through Melbourne give you stick about doing a hook turn (which is a logical turn when you have trams) NSW has a curious rule, being able to do a left turn on red which can be a bit scary seeing someone pull out on you when you have a green light.
  • Also road conditions are at time deplorable, some roads are just patchwork quilts, there is no more road left, just patch over patch over patch.
  • One thing I have always found amusing is the massive signs telling people about the location of fixed speed cameras, they say "Speed Camera Ahead", no hidden cameras. I love the revenue rasing argument here.
  • Roundabouts, what's with roundabouts, they do this crazy indicator thing when entering which gives no actual indication of where they intend to turn at the roundabout...scary


  • Enough said


  • Newcastle Knights, League league league.
  • they call AFL aerial pingpong, they don't understand it

1 comment:

  1. I so understand Chris.
    I'm also a Melbournian living in Newie, been here 6 years now.
    Other observations I have is:
    They call them swimmers not bathers.
    School leaving age was 15!!! OMG.
    Lack of baby health centres compared to Vic
    That is all I can think of at this stage.