January is to Australians what August is to Europeans: we are all metaphorically or literally at the beach! Many Australians take holiday leave from Christmas through to the end of January.
Corporate Australia takes a break, with offices closing before Christmas and not opening again until the second week of January. Construction and tradespeople have extended breaks, schools are out for the summer, and we all collectively sigh that the holidays are here.
What does this mean for new arrivals:
Schools: Start their summer holidays the week before Christmas and don't return until the 30th of January 2024. All school staff will take a break, and the offices will not be open until a few days before school starts on the 30th of January, 2024.
Any new arrivals to Australia can't enrol their children until the schools reopen in late January. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to the rule, and our consultants won't be able to contact anyone earlier than late January.
The Real Estate sector takes advantage of the holidays and shuts down from the week commencing 18th December until approximately the 2nd week of January. There may be skeleton staff at some agencies. Property inspections will be reduced, with a limited number of new properties coming onto the market.
New properties generally come back online around the last week of January.
Our advice: if possible, delay the arrival until late January, or extend your accommodation. If these two things are not possible, we highly recommend that you heed the advice of your Relocation Consultant about what is achievable in the current market availability.
Household Goods: The removal providers will be working (apart from the main holidays). However, there are delays with Customs and Quarantine taking a break until the 2nd week of January ( they will have a skeleton staff). This will cause a flow-on effect and a backlog of clearances, resulting in delays. Another unfortunate delay is the current strike with the shipping lines' companies. This affects things arriving and leaving the port by up to two weeks.
We understand it can be very frustrating. The key to surviving a long, hot January in Australia is to be patient, take advantage of the holidays' slowness, rest, regroup, head to the beach (like the rest of Australia), and enjoy our wonderful lifestyle. And remember the famous Australian idiom, 'She'll be right, mate!'