Families sample life 'down under'. Helen and Gary Ward are considering a new life in Australia, but can their 15-year-old daughter Rebecca be persuaded to make the move too?
Browse content similar to Ward. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Welcome to Wanted Down Under,
the show that catapults a British family right across to the other side of the world
to help them make the biggest decision of their life -
whether to stay in the UK or to move to Australia.
Helen and Gary Ward from Bradford are considering
swapping the daily grind of the UK for a new life in Australia.
I went there ten years ago.
I went to Sydney and Brisbane
and just enjoyed the lifestyle and obviously the weather was amazing.
I want to give my children the opportunity of a brighter future
in a climate where it's healthier, it's more outdoors,
less of a rat race, perhaps.
I think it would be really good for their future.
But will they be able to persuade their 15-year-old daughter Rebecca
that it's the right move?
I think if I stayed any longer, that it would get really hard.
I've seen what Australia's done to my family in the space of a few days
but it doesn't mean it wouldn't hurt a lot.
'We knew it would be difficult.'
I wouldn't want to be dragging her here kicking and screaming.
She's clearly not sure. There may be some tough decisions to make in the future.
Around 150 people a day migrate to Australia in search of a better life
and anyone who's under the age of 45 and on the skills shortage list
could be heading Down Under at the head of the queue.
But for all these families, how hard is the decision
and do they find what they're looking for?
We've given another British family
the opportunity to spend a week Down Under
to see if it's all they dreamt it would be.
After that, they'll have to make a decision one way or the other,
whether to stay in the UK or to move to Australia.
Gary and Helen Ward live in Bradford with their three children,
Becky, Dan and the youngest, Rachel.
And not forgetting Jake, the dog, who won't be making the move.
Visa applicant Gary is a full-time youth worker.
I work with young people, 16 to 19-year-olds,
who've got a level of crisis in their life.
They try and raise their skills and their ability to get education, employment or training.
My job's amazing, actually,
because you get a chance to help people who haven't had a good start in life.
When we get alongside people and people respond,
then you feel you've actually helped the big picture.
You've done well, there.
Helen is a self-employed dressmaker,
who doubles up as a teacher to home school their three children.
We wanted to give our children the chance to soar with their strengths,
to excel in the things they're good at,
instead of concentrating on the things they struggle with, which is what happened at school.
That just dented their confidence.
Makes you think, this, doesn't it?
They weren't enjoying their education or exploring what they did enjoy.
I do prefer home school to actual proper school.
You do most of the learning yourself.
I think it goes pretty well, for me, at least,
and it's a lot of fun.
For Gary, the idea of a move Down Under has been on his mind for some time.
I went there ten years ago.
I went to Sydney and Brisbane and round there.
And I just enjoyed the lifestyle and obviously the weather was amazing.
I want to give my children the opportunity of a brighter future,
in a climate where it's healthier, it's more outdoors,
less of a rat race, perhaps,
so I think it would be good for them, for their future.
But eldest daughter Becky could have a lot to lose if they make the move -
her beloved horses.
My horse is called Shadow. She's a dark bay.
She's standard bred and she's eleven years old.
She's recently had a foal called Cara, who is lovely.
She's very friendly and she loves running around and stuff.
They're both lovely to be with.
I'm torn, half and half, because obviously I have a good life here.
I've got my horses, I've got my friends, I've got my family,
but moving to Australia will help my family and it'll help me, as well.
'Leaving my horses will hurt a lot.'
I'll miss them so much cos they're a huge part of my life.
But underpinning the family's motives for the move
is mum Helen's long-term well-being.
The reason why we've decided now is because my wife's got SAD,
which is seasonal affective disorder.
Her mood can go quite low at times
and it would be great for her to be in a climate
which had more of a guarantee of, you know, sunny days.
In the UK I suffer really badly.
I just want to hibernate, I get very low moods, I get very tired
and very depressed.
'If she can be in a better environment, then why not?'
If we can do something about that, then you would, wouldn't you?
With such strong pulls in both directions,
there could be tough times ahead.
It's all or nothing. We all go.
But if she said, "I'm not going, that's it,"
I couldn't bear the thought of going and leaving one behind.
We're sending the Wards to the northernmost city in Australia, Darwin,
to experience life Down Under.
Its laid-back lifestyle appeals to Brits who want a better quality of life.
Its warm climate should suit Helen
and despite being surrounded by the outback,
it has a modern and cosmopolitan feel.
As Australia's fastest-growing city,
it has plenty of job and housing options for the Wards.
We found three possible lifestyles for our family,
each one offering a brand-new way of life
for them to try on their budget.
But which one would be the most suitable?
The city of Darwin is situated on a peninsula
overlooking the harbour.
Space is at a premium, so city apartments can be expensive
and may not offer as much space as the Wards need.
Larger houses come at a huge cost.
This stunning house just five minutes from the city centre
offers more space
but costs nearly £1 million, well out of the Wards' budget.
But what a view!
So very different from their life in the UK.
But what about option two?
Durack is an outer suburb.
It's a 35-minute drive to the centre
but with good schools and transport links,
it could be a viable option for the Wards.
A four-bedroom house with a pool and lake views
will cost around £426,000 but there's plenty of space for the family
and Gary would be able to commute easily to the surrounding suburbs for work.
That all looks very inviting but what about the third option?
Nightcliff is one of the oldest areas of Darwin,
with fantastic views of the Timor Sea.
If you fancied the beach lifestyle,
but need to be within commuting distance of town, like Gary,
it's only 15 minutes to Darwin city centre.
Houses can be expensive, like this four-bedroom detached home -
at nearly £320,000, above the Wards' current budget.
Three very different options, there, all of them life-changing.
So where did we decide to send our family?
We've chosen the country for the Wards.
It will suit the lifestyle they're after.
Gary can commute to the nearby suburbs for work
and they should be able to find a four-bedroom home within their budget of £270,000.
We've lined Gary up with a job...
Hi, Gary, how are you? Nice to meet you.
..some housing options for the family...
It's lovely. There's room for a pool We could build a pool in there.
..and along their journey, they'll experience a taste of Australian life.
It's just amazing. Just so beautiful.
The scenery's awesome. My goodness, you don't get this in the UK.
But they'll have a tough week ahead of them,
as they try to make the biggest decision of their lives.
Rebecca, she's clearly not sure about what she wants to do.
I still have a lot to leave behind
and I'm still not sure, totally sure.
I'm still not made up at the moment.
The Ward family are looking for a big change
but with so many questions to answer,
will Darwin live up to Gary and Helen's expectations?
And will Rebecca be persuaded to join her family for a new life Down Under?
After a 10,000-mile flight,
the Wards arrive on the other side of the world, a little weary.
-It's good we're here.
-It was quite an adventure.
I counted the hours from our house to here. 30 hours.
It was quite surprising, how long the journey was,
all things considered, everything together, waiting time for planes and things.
It's going to be an interesting and challenging week.
We need to put some things to bed about the way we feel about Australia versus the UK.
I'm just really excited, you know, what we're going to discover.
This car's bigger than our house at home.
Well, a big family need a large car and a large apartment.
The Wards will be staying in Anula,
perfectly positioned to explore both Darwin and the surrounding country.
Well, that's pretty cool, isn't it?
There is a drawback, however.
Rental properties in Darwin are rare and large houses are hard to find.
This house has only three bedrooms and two bathrooms,
so some people will have to share.
Wow. It's amazing.
That's a bit of all right.
It's pretty good.
-This is brilliant. It's amazing.
-Yeah, it's huge.
Our kitchen would fit in the fridge.
-Could you get used to this?
I'm already used to it.
Well, the kitchen and living area are certainly large enough for the Wards
but what about the lack of bedrooms?
-Well, I baggsy this room.
-Erm, I don't think so.
-Please, please, please, can I have this one?
This is really cool, isn't it?
OK, we'll fight about the bedrooms later, all right?
-You say it's yours, I say it's mine.
-You can sleep in the yard.
The lack of space is OK short term,
but it's a real possibility
they could only afford a small house on Gary's salary.
With such a large family,
considerations like this could mean a move just isn't viable.
We'll have you two in the end room over there,
Dan in the one next door,
and we'll be in the downstairs suite with en suite toilet.
I think that's fair. See you.
I don't want to sleep in the same bed as that thing!
If we both go in the guest room,
Becky can go in the queen-size bed and I'll go on the sofa.
-Are you finished?
-Thank you. Let's go.
Well, the number of bedrooms might not be ideal
but there is one more surprise
that might help Rachel get over having to share a room with her sister.
-Has it got a pool?
-That's pretty good.
Can't wait to see it when the sun's on it.
-Oh, it's warm.
-Yeah, it's refreshing but not absolutely freezing.
In just a few hours, our family really get to test the water,
comparing their lives in the UK to how they could be Down Under.
30 hours ago, I'm sitting there being excited, generally,
and now I'm in Australia - it's just too much to take in.
Pinch her! Pinch her! It is real.
Back in the UK, the Wards live in a four-bedroom house on the outskirts of Bradford.
They bought it eight years ago for £52,000.
They also own the house next door, which they rent out to another family.
To finance their move to Australia, they'll have to sell both houses.
In their home, space is a real issue,
with Dan's room barely able to fit a bed.
The family are hoping to find more room in Australia,
as well as the all-important pool.
We found three suitable homes for sale in Darwin.
The first is in the suburb of Moulden,
about 30 minutes' drive from Darwin city centre.
This three-bedroom detached house is on the market for about £210,000,
so as long as they can get the right price for their property in the UK,
Gary and Helen should be able to afford it.
-Oh, this looks nice.
It's pretty different.
It's not what you expect to find in Australia.
Cos you get the concept of big homes, big rooms and everything's bigger.
Nice, though. If you had a place like this, you could change things round.
-Change a few things, I guess.
-Fixtures and fittings.
-But you can't change the size. I'm slightly surprised.
-It's bigger than ours, though.
Gotta say, though - it's a very British thing -
they don't plaster the walls here and I would.
We're not going to be spending every second of our life in here, so...
We'll be outside a lot, won't we?
-Bit in two minds, myself.
Shall we have a look around the rest of the house?
Well, a mixed reaction so far
and Gary already has his reservations about the size
but things don't get any bigger in the bedrooms.
-My goodness. You say come in but can I get in?
-How would you feel if this was your room?
-I wouldn't feel great about this, really.
-I think it's too small.
It seems that size is becoming a real issue.
Dan, we did say, because you always had to put up with the smallest bedroom,
which room would you choose?
-I'd rather live outside.
Oh, dear. Dan certainly isn't impressed with this place
but will the master bedroom help sway it for Gary and Helen?
-I hate the walls. It's just painted breeze block.
I don't want to be unkind but every room looks like a garage with furniture in.
The surprising part for me is that this is within our budget
but I'd prefer to live in Bradford in my house than this house.
Oh, no! Things are going from bad to worse.
But if they move to Australia, this may be the sort of house they have to settle for.
-Yes, that's the toilet room.
Or bedroom number four.
-I feel like I've seen enough, to be honest.
-We haven't seen outside.
-We haven't, good point.
-Would that make a difference?
-No. It wouldn't make a difference.
-But there may be the potential to extend.
-A gold mine.
-Mm. Now, this is spacious.
-This is cool.
-This is more like it.
-This is lovely.
-There's room for a pool.
-We could build a pool in there.
At last, something positive.
But Gary's still not satisfied.
I'm struggling with the concepts of outdoor, indoor.
That's my problem.
You've got to remember how much time you're going to spend indoors,
when it's 30 degrees year-round.
You're going to be outdoors as much as possible.
I'm not at all convinced.
-It would be useful to look at other properties.
-Oh, yes, yes.
See what there is.
The size of house you can get for your money has come as a shock to the Wards
but Helen is trying to be positive.
It is pretty small inside. I always had the impression Australian houses were much more spacious.
It is open-plan living but it is quite cramped.
But then you go outside and there's this really beautiful and spacious garden,
so the outside makes up for the inside.
I'm an outdoor person, I always have been,
and that's why we're considering a move to Oz, to spend more time outside.
So they love the outside
but they certainly didn't like the cosy interior of property one.
But extra floor space could come at a hefty price.
Property two is in the suburb of Durack, 35 minutes from Darwin.
It has a lot more space, with four bedrooms and two bathrooms
and costs around £270,000,
so this property would be more of a financial stretch for the Wards.
-Ah, a walk-in wardrobe.
-There you go.
-This is all right.
-It's pretty fantastic, this.
-It's what you expect.
-This is more like what you would want, isn't it?
-This is about the same size as your room at home.
-Good, good, good.
Well, first impressions seem to be good,
but with the extra bedroom,
Dan might have trouble deciding which room to choose.
-This is a good size, too.
-A good size.
-Is this your room, then, Dan?
-Yeah, just without the teddy bears.
It's just a little bigger than the last place.
I think it's the way it's done, as well. It's not as breeze-blocky.
-It's pretty good.
-Yeah, good to go, this one.
With its French doors, maybe bedroom three could be the one for Dan.
That's a massive feature of this room. Gets you outside,
opens the whole thing up.
I'm still going to wait, though, cos there might be a better one.
Weigh up your options at the end.
-Well, we're definitely more impressed so far.
Oh, this is fabulous.
-Now you're talking! Look at this.
This is great.
I like this very much.
So the inside gets a big tick
but will the outside live up to expectations?
-Yeah, that's a spa, isn't it?
-That'd be really good.
-You're not gonna get much exercise in there.
-We could cool down, still.
Cool down in the Jacuzzi.
'It appears to come with an unexpected guest.'
-Oh, it's still alive.
-Does that come with the house?
-I bet he can't get out, that's the reality.
-Shall we rescue him?
Don't fall in!
-I don't think I could touch a lizard.
-Rachel's a good girl.
What was the pool water like?
-Slightly but it's very refreshing.
It's what you want, isn't it?
-I prefer this.
-Yeah, I do.
-Absolutely prefer this.
I did like the garden in the last place
but this is much nicer, the house is much nicer,
and you've still got a nice outdoor space.
-There's only so much grass you can stare at...
-..before it says, "Fill me with a pool."
This house seems to have been right up the Wards' street,
even with the local visitors.
-So have you made a decision about the room situation?
-Yes, we have.
And the decision is?
I'm probably going to have the one with the door.
Just open at night and you'll probably be able to listen to wildlife in an evening.
I'll just... I'll just go with anything.
-So it's down to you, then.
-I guess I'll go for the bigger one, then.
The third property we found for the family
is a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house in the suburb of Woodroffe,
half an hour from Darwin city centre.
This property offers all the space the Wards would need
but it's expensive.
At around £290,000, both Helen and Gary would have to work full time
if they were to afford it.
Cor! Whoa! That's amazing.
-Not sure about the darkness of the place.
-We could make it brighter.
This is just an entertainment area, isn't it?
It's very homely and cosy, isn't it?
I like it.
And the kitchen's got quite a fun layout.
Hey, look at this. It goes round.
-Flows well, doesn't it?
-That's where we've been.
Yeah, it's excellent.
They like that but the bedrooms lead straight off the living area,
which may be an issue for some
and Gary's still concerned about the space.
-It's not huge, is it?
-No but it's not bad, really.
This is OK, I guess, as a guest room, maybe.
-Do you like it?
-The other one I liked straight away.
This one I'm hoping it's going to have more to offer than we've seen so far.
So far, this house has failed to wow Helen
but there's still a lot more to see.
-Well, this has got to be our room.
-Goes without saying, really.
-There's an en suite through there.
There's a huge shower head, Gary. You won't have to dance around.
Oh, it's brilliant. I like that.
Yeah, this is... This is selling it a bit more to me now.
-Yeah, I like this.
-It's great, yeah.
-Oh, this is cool.
-Learn how to play pool.
-I like playing pool. That's great.
There's such potential in this area, to just stick a...
You could have this as your dining area, right off the kitchen
and make the lounge more sort of spread round.
-Or a ballet room.
-Would a horse fit in here?
If Gary's trying to persuade Rebecca to move to Australia,
perhaps he should forget the games room -
this feature might just help.
-Oh, the pool's awesome!
-That is one nice big pool.
-Oh, this is cool.
-Cor, look at that! That's outrageous.
-I think this has tipped the balance a little bit.
-That's the business.
It's the dream home.
-I do actually want to try it now. It's pretty cool, isn't it?
In terms of the house I'd like to live in, that's a dream home.
-It's the dream, isn't it?
-Guys, I think you'd better come here.
-What is it?
-A fitness room.
-You've got to be kidding.
'That's not exactly what some would call a fitness room!'
Oh, yeah! Awesome.
You could just get out of bed, go for about ten lengths or 20,
come and lift some weights and that's it - done.
Diet finished. Diet finished.
Pile it all back on with a barbecue.
We've show the Wards three properties in Darwin.
The first house in Moulden cost £210,000 but was far too small
and the Wards struggled to find anything they liked about it.
Property two, a four-bedroom house in Durack,
was more expensive, at £270,000,
but it was perfect for the Wards
and Gary could obviously see himself living there.
The third house in Woodroffe eventually won them over,
with its impressive pool and large living area.
This may have been their dream home
but with a price of £290,000, it might have to remain just that.
I think property 1, I don't think it's workable for us.
I couldn't see myself spending money on a house like that.
I just found it unacceptable.
I really hope that we can afford property two.
I'd be amazed if we can afford property three
but if we could only afford property one, I don't know.
I think, you know, especially based on Gary's reaction,
I don't think that's going to work for us.
So which way will they vote?
Based on the properties we've seen today in Darwin, our vote goes to...
Australian properties have space and they've got swimming pools -
that's generally it.
-I just prefer...
-You like our house back home.
-Yeah, very much.
'It's all hanging in the balance.
'If property one is all they can afford,
'the rest of the family may follow Rachel's example.
'Later the Wards will discover exactly how expensive it is
'to live the Australian dream.'
Property in Darwin is expensive
and if the Wards want more space than property one offered,
then Gary's going to have to find the right job.
Gary is up early to sample work in Darwin.
Back in the UK, he's a welfare worker helping disadvantaged children.
It's a job that means a great deal to him
and leaving the charity behind will be very difficult.
So it's important he can find a similar set-up in Australia.
In the Darwin area, the YMCA carries out the kind of work that Gary does in the UK.
I think for me, the reason why I'm into welfare work
and working with young people is because I want to make a difference.
I see these problems and there needs to be fixes in society,
so my job in Australia,
I think what I'm looking for is as close to the same as you could get.
If they make the move to Oz, both Gary and Helen will have to find work
if they're to have any chance of affording the property and lifestyle they want.
That means that home schooling the children will no longer be an option,
so the rest of the family are off to visit a local comprehensive school.
-Welcome to Darwin.
-My name's Helen.
-Daniel. And Rebecca.
-Come on in, let's have a look at the school.
Both Rebecca and Dan are planning to go to sixth-form college
but for young Rachel, it would be a massive change, adapting to an Aussie school
having been taught at home in the UK.
I'm a little bit nervous since I've never been to school since I finished reception
and I just find it really nerve-racking, confusing.
I don't know what to expect
and just generally, it's weird.
Come on in.
Gary's come to meet Raquel and some of her staff and clients at the YMCA.
-Hi, Gary, how are you? Nice to meet you.
Come and have a look through the centre.
It's a great place to work. We have a lot of fun here
and we do some great fun activities and it's really good, hanging out with kids.
Hi, everyone. This is Gary. This is John, our youth services manager.
-Monica, Ramona and Rasupa.
This is part of a four-week holiday programme that the YMCA puts together over the school break.
They're doing bead-making, making little jewellery boxes.
That's great, isn't it? Are you gonna wear them?
This is a safe environment. People can come here, know that they're safe.
Along with programmed activities, they can relax
and they have access to things that they wouldn't at home.
Where I come from, a lot of people do actually bring youth
to be the main culprits in all society.
-I don't think that's true and I'm sure you don't.
But it's good that you're putting things on to reverse the trend
and get people doing diversionary activities
and putting education programmes in place. It's great.
I think a lot of focus on youth services in the past
has been around just the youth.
It's no use just working with the youth if you're not working with the families.
So that holistic approach to working with young people
and helping them to be good family members is just as important as working with them.
-There you go.
-There's another one that Jess made.
-Can I have a look?
-That's very cool.
-This has come from feedback from them on the things that they like to do.
-Pretty creative, eh?
What do you think?
No, it's good, that.
The worst part is cleaning up afterwards, isn't it?
While Gary looks around, the rest of the family are checking out school life.
It's the school holidays in Darwin, so the classrooms are empty.
However, there's still a lot to see
and Rachel's first experience of Australian school is going well.
-This is the outdoor area.
-The students gather here in the breaks.
-And have the opportunity to sit and eat their food.
-It's really good.
This is nothing like the schools I've seen.
Not at all.
Darwin Middle School encourage their pupils to be hands-on
and that even extends to their lunch.
So it's the children themselves that prepare the food in here?
Yes, they have a teacher who works with them
who's trained in that sort of area
but the students actually prepare all of the food,
they learn about food handling, safety issues in the kitchen.
-Can I come to school with you?
They have a really big focus on healthy food,
so the menu's very healthy
and they have food that teenagers love to eat, so it works well.
I really do want to come here now.
And there's even more to tempt our budding ballerina.
-This is the performing arts area.
-Wow. That's amazing.
-Look at this.
The students, they do dance, they do drama, music.
So do you have performing arts as part of the curriculum?
-It's part of the curriculum.
A very important part of the curriculum here at this school.
-I think you've sold it to her.
-OK! That's good.
OK, let's go.
Back at the YMCA, Gary has some pressing questions for Raquel.
Erm, so in terms of the reality of working, perhaps at the YMCA,
what are the working hours? How does it work for an employee?
In this industry, which is working with young people,
outside school hours is the best time,
so we would definitely be looking for people who can work evenings and afternoons
and some weekends, obviously, that's flexible.
And in terms of salary, what would it attract?
A starting salary, with someone with experience,
would be anywhere from, say, 47,000 to 57,000,
-which is a fairly good salary in this area.
-Mm-hm. That's useful to know.
If you work in remote areas, which we also do,
there's other benefits around those sorts of things.
-It really does.
Well, those are very different hours
to the 9 to 5 that Gary works in the UK
and it would mean missing out a lot of time with the family
but the salary is a little higher.
Helen has some important questions for the head teacher,
if she's to send her children back to school.
One of the reason we've home educated our children so far
is because of the concern with bullying.
Obviously, I wouldn't want my children to subject to bullying,
whatever form that might take.
We have no tolerance for bullying.
We educate people about what bullying is.
We educate... We have things like natural justice,
so if you're bullied by someone in the school,
we would like to have you and them together and perhaps the parents,
so that they understand the impact of their behaviour on someone else.
'I just don't really want to be bullied.'
I'm just scared of not fitting in, my accent.
I've been teased quite a little bit
but it's not that kind of bullying as in pushing and shoving and stuff.
Erm... But I'm just...
It's kind of fear of the unknown at the moment.
We don't stamp out bullying completely
-but we work really hard to minimise its impact.
This is just... The school's just perfect.
-In every way.
You're very welcome. I'm glad you liked it.
Good luck with that ballet. See you later.
Well, the school has proved to be a hit with Rachel.
However, although the school has policies to minimise bullying,
recent studies show that it's as much of a problem in Australia
as it is in the UK.
It's been a long day for everyone,
but much of the decision rests on Gary finding work to suit him,
with a salary big enough to help support the family.
In terms of work, it's definitely a place where I'd consider working.
It's not a million miles away from what I do now
and they've got the same aspirations
to see young people helped and moved on
into something which is better and more appropriate to their future.
One of my concerns would be the working hours.
It would be take me away from what we've got as a pattern, really, in family life.
We eat together an evening meal and doing some things in the evening.
Erm, if needs must, I'd do it,
but I think I prefer the 9 to 5 job.
So how will he vote on work Down Under?
Based on what I've seen today at work, my vote goes to...
The Wards had been set on a move Down Under
but so far, things haven't been easy.
So what will the family make of Darwin's outback lifestyle?
The earlier disappointment that Rachel prefers homes in the UK to Oz
was something of a surprise for Gary and Helen.
But they know that Rebecca also has doubts about life here,
without her beloved horse Shadow and her new foal.
They're hoping a taste of the Australian outback can change her mind.
It's just amazing. It's just so beautiful.
Beautiful day and the scenery's awesome
and my goodness, you don't get this in the UK.
Even if you get places like this, it's full of people.
So it's just amazingly privileged to be in a place like this
I could see us spending Sunday afternoons somewhere like this.
Rachel seems to be warming up a bit but Rebecca's been very quiet so far.
Maybe a bit of outdoor life will do the trick.
-G'day. How are you going?
-How are you doing?
-My name's Evan.
Welcome to Mountain Trail Rides.
All right. Have any of you guys ridden before?
-I've ridden a couple of times.
-Yeah? A couple of times. That's all right. No worries.
So what we're going to do, we'll get you on your horses
and run through what we're doing with the reins and stirrups and how to hold your feet.
-OK, so if everyone's ready to go?
Almost the whole family's at home on horseback
but there's one person who prefers to keep his feet firmly on the ground.
-Is anyone feeling nervous at all?
-A little bit.
No worries. That's fine.
Where's the gear stick?
All right. Is everyone ready to go? Right. Just follow me.
There. To your left.
Look at them. There's three of them. A family.
And there's loads more to see than just kangaroos.
These massive structures are home to some pesky little critters -
These ones here are called cathedral termite mounds.
This one here is actually about 100 years old.
The most amazing thing about them
is that everything that's above ground, they go as deep below ground.
So they're quite an enormous thing.
-Everyone ready to get going?
No, we're not going that way. This way.
This way. Hey! Hey!
-She's off home.
-She wants to go home.
'Gary never did find that gear stick!
'But have they found a way of taking Rebecca's mind off her horses back home?'
-Can you see yourself working in a place like this?
-It would suit you.
-Makes me miss Shadow, though.
-Does it? Ah.
It's nice to be around horses. I've missed it cos I've not been riding Shadow,
so it's been a nice change, even for me.
There's horses everywhere, so I'm happy.
I'm still quite undecided cos we haven't seen a lot of Australia.
We've only been here a couple of days.
But I don't think I'd give it 100% just yet
but I enjoyed today, so it's a bit over 50 now!
That were good. Different.
I've never rode a horse before.
Bit of pain. Bit of saddle soreness.
-No pain, no gain.
-No pain, no gain.
The family seem to have had a fantastic day.
However, these sort of experiences don't come cheap
and at some point the reality of the cost of living will have to be reckoned with.
For now, it's time to vote on the Antipodean lifestyle.
Based on what we've seen, the lifestyle in Australia,
our vote goes to...
-Hooray. That's great. Fantastic.
The Wards may have enjoyed the outback lifestyle
but if they're going to afford to make the move Down Under,
it's important they get a good price for their property back in Bradford.
The Wards think that their houses in Bradford -
both their home and the house next door that they own and rent out -
are jointly worth a total of £270,000.
We sent round an estate agent
to get an up-to-date valuation on their property.
-This is weird, isn't it?
-Looks really small, doesn't it?
-It looks narrow.
Oh, he doesn't look happy, does he?
It's really weird seeing our home, isn't it?
-Rachel's idea of tidying her room.
-Oh, Dan did a good job.
Looks like there's about a hundred rooms, doesn't it?
Certainly it's a good-sized four-bedroom semi-detached property
that has been extended, adding the fourth bedroom to the ground floor.
There's a good-sized conservatory, overlooking the private rear garden.
Maybe a determining factor is that the fourth bedroom is downstairs
but a good-sized family home.
I would consider this property to be worth around £130,000
and the property next door to be in the region of £110,000,
giving a grand total of £240,000.
-We've been credit-crunched.
-Very much more than I thought.
I thought we'd probably be about 150 for ours.
I would've thought 150 would've been the smallest amount for ours.
-Cos it was valued at 170 at one point, wasn't it?
Shows how much they've dropped.
The properties we've seen so far in Australia have been valued at much higher than those houses are.
That makes quite a difference to us, really.
-So... back to the drawing board.
-It looks like it, doesn't it?
Oh, no! That's not good news.
It seems their property is worth a lot less than they'd hoped for.
Can they still afford to make the move Down Under?
We've provided the Wards with some details
of the everyday costs of living in Australia.
But will the numbers add up?
Costs. Wow, OK.
Large house, air conditioning running 24/7, £186.
We won't do that.
-So we've got that - 186 plus these costs...
-We don't have that now, do we?
There are quite a few hidden extras. How will the expenses compare?
What's that? We would only be looking at that, stabling and feed.
-So that's 225.
-No, no, no. It can't be that much.
-What are our current running costs for the car?
-£120 a month for fuel.
I'm getting stressed, now.
They've got some buying a home information.
-That's the mortgage.
-So that's on the first house we saw.
-So £1,000... Oh, goodness.
So it's well over double what we pay now on the mortgage.
-OK, well, we're still earning more, so...
-It's not too bad.
Things are a bit more expensive than they thought.
Gary's determined to make it add up.
It's time to do the sums.
That cost £1,060 more a month to live...
So it's that plus...
-195. So in actual fact, budget wise...
-We'd be worse off.
Yeah, only £200.
You can cut back. You can cut back on shopping.
You can watch your fuel bills, you can...
Well, the biggest thing is the horse.
We've said to Rebecca she needs to start paying towards it.
-That's one of the ways we can cut back on our expenses.
After crunching the numbers, how have things worked out?
Erm, I thought it was a challenging process.
I thought looking at all the outgoings and incomings, you know,
it was quite challenging.
It destroys the myth that somehow Australia's some cheap paradise.
It certainly was a reality check,
looking at the figures, the facts and figures on paper
and finding that overall,
the cost of living in Australia is a bit higher than in the UK.
But then to balance that out, the wages are slightly more than ours.
Gary and Helen are putting on a brave face
but how will they vote, in the knowledge that the life they dream of
might be just too expensive?
Based on the living costs we've just been working out,
our vote goes to...
It's obviously mathematically cheaper to live in the UK.
If the Wards are going to afford to make the move to Australia,
Helen's going to have to go back to work.
This will mean an end to home teaching for the kids.
They've been out of the school system for five years
and making new friends could be daunting for them.
Welcome to Darwin surf club.
If you guys want to get in your bathers, we'll get down to the beach and meet the other guys.
They're going to have to adapt quickly and make friends.
But how will they fare when thrown in at the deep end?
OK, guys, we're going to do some board training.
You guys, head down and grab your boards. Rach, if you follow them.
Daniel, we're going to use one of the rescue boards.
We'll go over there, grab that one.
In Darwin at this time of year,
there's a heightened risk of poisonous box jellyfish
but this beach is regularly checked by the surf rescue team,
so it's safe to go in the water.
I'm not taking part cos I've got lenses.
I've just been helping out on the land.
But even as a spectator, it looks really fun.
Experiencing new sights and sounds
may have taken Rebecca's mind off the UK for a while
but Mum and Dad are all too aware
that her heart still yearns for life back home.
Yeah, I think it's going to be difficult for Becky to leave Shadow
We've always known it was going to be difficult
and we've always talked to her about the situation
and if she says, "No, there's nothing for me in Australia,"
then that would be quite a difficult situation for us.
I got a text from my friend last time and that brought it all back
but I think I've had too much to think about
but I do miss them quite a lot.
Erm, I think if I stayed any longer than three weeks,
that would get really hard.
I've seen what Australia's done to my family in the space of a few days
and I'm quite happy about it,
that everyone's so happy and chilled and they've enjoyed every day.
They've come home and collapsed because they've done so much.
But it doesn't mean it wouldn't hurt a lot,
so I guess... I don't know.
'It's a tough one, isn't it?'
I wouldn't want to be dragging her here kicking and screaming
because it would be just heartbreaking to see her so upset
and really unhappy.
I wouldn't do that.
'I think it's a tough call, the Rebecca issue.'
But I think, we're trying to persuade her that there are more important things
than horses and pets.
I know it's hard to say that
and it's difficult to enforce that onto a child
but it is a reality for me.
Erm... There may be some tough decisions to make in the future.
If Rebecca, Rachel or Dan can't come to terms with life on the other side of the world,
the possibility of a move could be dashed.
But will the local surf club make them feel part of their gang?
-What do you really do after school?
Sport training and stuff, usually.
We don't go on the water much in the wet season cos of the stingers.
Yeah. You can go in - pretty good waves then.
-How hot does it get?
-About 33 degrees.
-This is kind of our cold. This is our winter.
-This is winter for us.
-It gets like 40 degrees.
-No, it doesn't, it gets...
-It gets like 33.
There's nothing like the weather to warm up a conversation.
-What's the weather like in the UK?
-Really, really cold all the time.
-Even in summer.
-Compared to here, it's always cold, really.
We sit outside when it's 20 degrees cos we get nothing better.
If you ever go to the UK, go in summer and hope for the best.
In the winter, it can get to minus five in the day and colder at night.
So, enough talk about the weather.
-Nice meeting you.
How did Rachel, Dan and Rebecca enjoy their day
with their new Aussie pals?
-I had a lot of fun.
-Yeah, loved it.
-I enjoyed it, too.
'They're really friendly. They helped a lot.'
They was all... When you wanted to know how to do it, you know...
yeah, they were really helpful.
It was really nice.
How will they vote?
Based on the friends we've met today, our vote goes to...
Leaving loved ones behind is always difficult
but have the Wards really given this enough thought?
We've prepared some messages from friends and family back home.
Hello, Gary, Helen and the children.
Hello. Nice to be able to speak to you.
They always seem to be enthusiastic about what the next challenge is,
what's the next thing.
-Caring and supportive.
-Without a doubt.
-And good friends.
Gary's one of those unique people who challenge how you think
and he doesn't go along with the run of the mill way of thinking.
He's a bit of an anarchist at heart.
You never quite know what he's going to do next
and it's a total surprise and I love that about Gary.
Helen has become a really good friend. She's a good mate to have a coffee with.
She is not only my daughter, she's a very good friend.
'She's somebody I can contact and talk about all sorts of things.'
She's such a thoughtful, generous girl and I love her to bits.
'I shall miss the fun, I think, of them being here.'
We'll miss them. We'll miss them terribly.
I mean, I know I can still phone when she's over there
but it's not in the same time zone,
so it's a case of, you've got to think about it - "Can I phone?
"Is it three o'clock in the morning over there?"
So I'll miss that. I'll miss not just being to phone and find out what they're up to.
It's not often you meet good friends that you can really rely on.
'I'll miss having somebody to talk to.
'Gary works with vulnerable people, as I do.'
The job is very, very stressful, so we can talk to each other.
We obviously keep things confidential
but we can bounce things off each other after a stressful day
and we understand where we're coming from.
So it's good to have a friend you can discuss things with.
'He won't be there any more, so I'll have to email him.
'I won't have the face-to-face contact.'
I won't have the personal contact with Gary.
I don't want to put them off because that's selfish
and I feel that I don't want them to go
but in another way, I do
because I know it will be a better life.
-Aye. We'll miss them.
-We'll miss them, you know.
We love you... I can't.
'We love you and we miss you very, very much.'
-God bless you.
I shall miss you dreadfully if you decide to settle.
I shall miss your company, I shall miss your fun.
I still keep thinking of all the good times that we've had,
thinking of the times that we've taken Jake out to the woods,
which we won't be able to go and see any more.
I shall just miss all your company. I shall miss everything about you
but you've got my love with you there.
I shall support you whatever you decide.
But I've lost a good friend if you settle
and I love you dearly.
We're really glad that you're getting the chance to live your dream
and we'll always be here if you need us.
Obviously, we know that it's best for you guys
but we will really miss you.
I hope you have... I hope you decide to do it...
Trying not to well up. Oh, goodness me.
If you do decide to go, I wish you all the best, I really do.
-It's nice to hear what people think about you.
-There's some great comments, there.
-Yeah, they're good.
Erm, I'm just touched by the nice things that they've said about us.
But I think they all see that, you know, this is a good move for us as a family.
I don't fear they won't get on a plane and visit us.
It's good that we've got each other, though, isn't it?
Ah! It's never easy.
Although the Wards might have a lot to gain from a move to Australia,
it would come with a huge loss.
So that's it.
The Wards are almost at the end of their roller-coaster week Down Under
and it's been something of a wake-up call.
Their hopes of affording their dream home were quickly dashed.
Living here in Darwin, it's quite expensive.
It seems that my life in the UK
is directly opposed to the life here in the Northern Territory.
House prices are going up here, the economy's booming,
where in the UK, we're just bottoming out in a big recession.
So that's a big... You've got to think that stuff through
and whether you could actually, realistically, manage.
But the kids love the outdoor lifestyle
and found it easy to make friends here.
-They're really friendly. I had a lot of fun.
-Yeah. Loved it.
I enjoyed it, too.
And Rachel fell head over heels
with the possibility of going back to school.
-This is just... The school's just perfect.
-Oh, that's great!
In every way.
There was work for Gary but could he leave the job he loves in the UK?
When I went to the Lighthouse Group,
I found it was an environment and a job which kind of suits me.
There was a Gary-shaped hole there
and I haven't found that, really, here.
Messages from friends and family were tough to hear.
'If you do decide to go, I wish you all the best, I really do.'
It is. It's gonna be really difficult.
I'd really miss Sarah.
I'd miss the laughs that we've had.
And also, I'd really miss my mum.
And all the time, Rebecca was heartbroken
at the thought of never seeing her beloved horses again.
I'm not really sure at the moment
because although riding here's good and there is horses and stuff,
I still have a lot to leave behind
and I'm still not sure, totally sure.
I think it's still a very hard decision
and I really... I'm still not made up at the moment.
Rebecca, she's clearly not sure about what she wants to do.
Erm... I've said before that if one wants to stay, we all stay,
so that's a big deal.
'I think she needs to make her own choice.'
With the all or nothing approach, things really could go either way.
So after sampling their dream for one week,
how will they vote?
Based on our week here in Darwin,
our final vote goes to...
-Was that unanimous?
-Yeah, it was.
-Yay, we're going!
-Good stuff. Australia.
-Cool. I'm glad you're all up for it.
-We are one!
-Well, Becs, it's been a good week for you, then, horse wise.
It seems Becky has finally been won over
to the benefits a new life Down Under would bring
and the Wards will be moving as a family to Australia.
Join us again next time
to find out what happens when another British family
has to decide whether they're Wanted Down Under.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Email [email protected]
Series in which British families, keen to trade in the British weather for the down-under lifestyle, are given the chance to sample what life would be like if they moved to the other side of the world.
Helen and Gary Ward from Bradford are considering swapping the daily grind of the UK for a new life in Australia. The family try out life in Darwin for a week. Helen needs a warmer climate for her health, but will their 15-year-old daughter Rebecca be persuaded to make the move down under? With such strong pulls in both directions, there could be tough times ahead.