Families sample Australian life. The Saunders family from South London experience life in Brisbane for a week. However it doesn't go smoothly.
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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 lives - whether to stay in the UK or to move to Australia.
Tina Saunders lives with her family in south London.
Her dream is to move to Australia.
I've always had in the back of my mind that I would possibly want to go away.
She's tempted by a brand new start in a beautiful, fairy-tale setting, but not all the family agree.
Everyone knows that...
I didn't want to come in the first place.
The job situation here
would be the make or break and I don't think he's able to change.
This week hasn't gone anything like I thought it would.
It's been a bit of a nightmare, I think.
The Saunders have a roller-coaster week ahead but will they vote for Australia or will Tina's dreams
end up in tatters?
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 skill 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?
20 British families have been pushed to breaking point
as they try out real life down under.
And after just one week they will have to vote one way or the other.
Will they stay in the UK or move to Australia?
Robin and Tina Saunders live in a three-bedroomed terrace
in the London borough of Sutton with Tina's daughter Lauren and their children -
three-year-old Jack, and Grace, who's two.
But they've outgrown their home.
The energetic youngsters need all the space the Saunders can muster
and have even relegated Mum and Dad to the box room.
Me and Rob are in the smallest room, which means we've only got about
one-and-a-half foot to squeeze down at night to get into bed and I'm right against the wall.
It's Tina's dream to move to a country where they can afford more space, inside and out.
And somewhere she can hang up her washing.
So this is what we are reduced to - having washing and ironing hanging from most places we can find.
Perhaps Australia would be big enough.
A laundry room would be just perfect.
I'd probably stay in there most of the day, just doing my washing. I'd be in my element.
Moving abroad is something Tina's always dreamt of but is she on a lone mission?
I've always had in the back of my mind that I would possibly
want to go away, so that's when I started looking at Australia.
Basically, I've just been trying to work on Rob, trying to get him round to thinking about going.
It's been really hard, even discussing it.
A lot of the time I bring the subject up and he wouldn't want to talk about it.
Robin and his parents have lived in the area all their lives and he doesn't see the need for change.
It is a long way. It's not just round the corner.
And if anything happened to close family, close friends,
you can't just say, "I'll be there in a couple of hours."
You're going to be there in 24 hours. It's a long, long way to go.
Jack will phone and say, "Granddad, I want you to come to my house."
So yes, and I would miss them.
-We'll miss them, won't we?
12-year-old Lauren would miss her grandmother, whom she lived with until she was six.
It's in the back of the stitch, babes.
I would miss her a lot - an awful lot.
Because...we're very close.
To lose Lauren, more than myself, probably,
it's going to be devastating for my mum.
That's like the difficult burden I'm going to have, really.
But Lauren still likes the idea of moving.
I really, really want to go.
I just really, really want to go, basically.
Tina's just started a three-year course to be a midwife
and she's hoping to continue her studies down under.
That's really important to me, my studies.
I've wanted to be a midwife for a long time.
But it's Robin's job as an orthopaedic shoemaker that would
provide the entrance fees and primary income.
He's worked in the same job for 25 years.
It's all Tina's idea.
None of my idea at all. I don't know anything else.
This is the job I do.
Leaving here would be, obviously, hard because I get on with lots of people here.
He's only been to two job interviews in his life.
He wrote a CV very recently.
He just doesn't deviate at all from what he normally does
and that, I think, is going to be a major problem.
I like routine but Tina doesn't like routine.
She likes to change. I like to look for now and just do day-in, day-out.
He's just stuck in his little rut and I think it's going to be really difficult for him to think
about trying to get off of that and moving.
I really can't... I don't know how he's going to manage the change.
I can't foresee him adapting that well.
We're going to help the Saunders make a decision by sending them to Brisbane.
Brisbane is the state capital of Queensland and is on the doorstep
to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The Saunders' property budget of £225,000 should get them a nice home if they shop around.
We found three possible lifestyles for our family, each one offering
a new way of life for them to try on their budget.
But which one will be the most suitable?
First up is life in the city.
Brisbane's South Bank
provides barbecues, Splash Parks
and even a purpose-built beach -
perfect for families like the Saunders who have energy to burn.
Robin would enjoy living near to his work
and he would also be able to match his £25,000 salary.
But property prices in the centre have boomed in recent years
and the Saunders would have to make do with even less space
than they have in the UK.
This three-bedroomed apartment is on the market for £350,000.
They'd have to work hard to afford somewhere like this.
So, very different from their life in the UK.
But what about the second option?
The Gold Coast is an hour's drive
south of Brisbane and renowned
for sun-kissed beaches.
The Saunders wouldn't be able to afford a waterfront property,
which can run into millions, but if they are prepared
to move inland, they could snap up a three-bedroom house
within their £225,000 price range.
However, there wouldn't be work here for Robin,
so he would have to commute at least an hour into the city.
That all looks very inviting.
But what about the third option?
Queensland's national parks
are some of the area's hidden gems -
perfect for families like the Saunders
who love the outdoor lifestyle.
Properties in Brisbane's outer suburbs are much cheaper.
You can also buy a plot here and design your own house.
So the Saunders could create a home to suit their taste and budget.
However, Robin would face a 40-minute commute to work.
Three very different options there, all of them life-changing.
So where did we decide to send our family?
We've decided the rural option is the most suitable for the Saunders.
It will provide them with the larger house they're desperate for,
within their budget. We've set up some properties for them to look at.
Wow. This is quite impressive, isn't it?
And we've arranged a trial day at a job for Robin.
-Get stuck in.
But this trip proves a lot harder than the Saunders ever imagined.
This is the toughest decision they'll ever have to make.
Once you're here and the bullet's between the teeth,
it's really difficult. It's really tough, actually.
It's a long trip for a family with young children.
The Saunders' journey covers 10,000 miles between London and Brisbane, and takes 23 hours.
The family touch down at 7.30pm local time.
It's the furthest they've ever been from home.
They're excited to have finally made it.
It's our first time here, yes.
We looked and we couldn't see obviously because it's night time
and we could only see the lights, saw the skyscrapers and the river but that was about it.
Lauren's feeling the effects of the flight.
Aw, she's tired!
Oh, bless. See? It's always the teenage ones, isn't it?
Tina's always been the one driving the move but she's worried about getting cold feet.
I'll be horrified if I hate it, really.
That's my worst fear - that I don't like it as much as
I thought I would - if it's not up to my expectations.
Robin's very aware of the one thing that could get in the way of everything.
The job situation, that's a big worry.
Without a job, then you obviously can't come. Financial-wise.
If I like it that much and I can't get a job here, then it's a bit of
a downer then. That's the thing I'm worried about.
Robin has his family's future in his hands.
But is he going to embrace the change?
The Saunders will be able to sample everything that Brisbane has to offer.
But first, they need to reach their rental accommodation
to catch up on some sleep.
They're staying in a single-storey three-bedroomed house
in a family-friendly northern suburb of Brisbane.
It should have more than enough space for the kids to run around
and the master bedroom is a far cry from the box room
Robin and Tina have at home.
Gracie, what d'you think?
It's already ticking all the right boxes for Tina.
Definitely bigger than our house. I like this open-plan thing, which is what we wanted.
Lauren's room! Oh!
Lauren's got a double bed.
Come on then, oh!
The children are making themselves at home and are loving
the spacious interior, which they don't have in their house in the UK.
Look, Gracie's sorted herself out.
All right, Jack?
This is why we have to go out and do stuff.
-We want a bigger garden...
-You can't keep them indoors.
You can see how they run around all day.
You have to chase them all day - you can't have things out on the side.
They just love to do stuff.
But Tina's already thinking what might go wrong.
I'm expecting him not to like his job.
I don't think he'll like his job.
Even if they offer twice the money for half the amount of hours,
he won't like it because he doesn't do change.
And, so, that's been my concern. And I think it's his concern.
Robin is becoming aware of the significance of the potential move.
Tomorrow, it'll probably really hit home that you are that far away
-and it could be life-changing, couldn't it, for us?
I didn't think we'd ever get here. Now we are, that's quite shocked me.
It's a bit overwhelming in the sense that we've finally made it here.
For me, anyway, because I'm the one always going on about it.
Will Tina's dreams come true?
In the UK, the Saunders live in a small terraced house in south London.
The two youngsters have already forced Robin and Tina into the smallest room,
but they can't afford properties in the area with more bedrooms and space to hang the laundry.
They want to buy a four-bedroomed house in Australia and have a budget of up to £225,000.
They hope they'll be able to afford space for all their washing.
We've arranged some viewings in the suburb of Springfield.
Property one is a four-bedroom house on the market for about £195,000,
which is well below their budget.
It's owned by British expats, Fran and Martin Dicks.
Straight into the kitchen.
-The whole thing's open-plan here, isn't it?
You can see the kids the whole time and you can still entertain and see everybody all the way round.
That's pretty cool.
But the best is yet to come.
A laundry room.
It's probably about as big as our kitchen.
Look! This is the main room.
-Look. Look, Jack.
-Put all your clothes in there.
-It's big, isn't it?
It's just handy to have an extra toilet and stuff.
I like that as well, where you can just go out onto the patio.
You'd have to keep your room very tidy
because when you have visitors, they can look straight in.
Tina knows what she wants from a house.
I like that because I can get my nice clippy hangers for the trousers.
This lady's good, she's got matching hangers - they're all wooden.
-I'm sad, I know, with the hangers, I know.
-No, it's nice.
I like the idea of it being new, no work to do.
To be honest with you, yes, I do. You can come in here, and all you
-can do, quickly, looking round, is paint.
-It's strange as well.
There's loads of angles going on.
We're so used to square rooms, rectangular rooms. And it's all so angular.
That puts me off though.
You don't like the angles?
It's just...it messes up your brain.
I look in here and I'm seeing a room, and I'll look in here and I'm seeing another room.
I'm looking there and I'm seeing outside and I'm looking there,
and I'm seeing outside.
Apart from Lauren's angular headache, even this low-end property seems to be a hit.
But Tina's already thinking about her family back home
and takes the opportunity to ask Fran how she coped with the move.
We came here 23 years ago with four kids - two, four, six and eight.
And my dad said to me, "You're only a plane ride away."
And he never did that kangaroo hop. He actually died when he was 60.
Did you have any regrets about that?
Yes, it was hard.
We have concerns. It's a long way.
It is a heck of a long way but...yeah.
-It's worth it, because of the lifestyle.
-Thank you. Bye-bye.
It looks like Robin and Tina have already made friends.
But it's time to head round the corner to property number two.
The second house is in the newer end of Springfield
and offers more salubrious living.
Estate agent Paula McKee is keen to show it off.
Welcome to 11 Neptune Street, Springfield Lakes.
This is a four-bedroomed property, two bathrooms, en suite,
it has ducted zoned air-conditioning, guys,
and that offers temperature controlled heating and cooling, OK?
-So if you'd like to come on through...
-All right, then!
It's on the market for £235,000.
It's just over their budget
but is it the kind of house they're looking for?
It's so weird. I can't get my head round it.
Having a bedroom. As soon as you walk in, there's like, a bedroom.
Wow! This is pretty impressive.
-Nice big cooker for you, Robs.
-Lovely big kitchen.
-This is really big, isn't it?
-This is really nice.
First impressions are good but what about that all-important laundry room?
Seriously, look at the size of this! It's massive.
Jack hasn't spotted this one, has he?
It's just weird, there's like loads of things that I can't get used to.
Like having a bedroom as soon as you come in the front door.
And fences outside.
And, yeah, there's a couple of things that
are a bit strange, aren't they? Very Australian.
That's your dinosaurs!
Yep, Gracie's sorted...
The kids are getting into the swing of things
but is there enough space to play outside?
-They'd like that.
-Yeah. It kind of is a bit too small, though.
I know they have got toys but it's a grown-up's house, isn't it?
Despite the luxurious finish, Robin has reservations about the garden.
I wouldn't really call it a garden. More like a backyard to be honest.
I'm being honest!
I know. This is a wow factor house. You come in and you're like, whoa!
But would we buy it? No, it wouldn't.
It's got a four-person Jacuzzi in the garden!
I'd rather have a bigger garden than a Jacuzzi.
The front garden's quite big.
But they can't play out the front.
They'll get run over.
-Put a fence up.
-Lauren, you'll live where we tell you to live.
The Saunders have only seen two properties and already, tempers are frayed.
Hi, so what did you think, guys?
-We love the house.
But we think the outside space is a bit small.
Lets it down. Yeah.
You will find with most of the properties in Springfield Lakes,
you'll find smaller yards and then they built all the parkland
and things for the families.
You spend more time not staying in, really.
You mowing the lawn and all that - you go where everyone else is,
and they've got barbecue areas there, and it just saves you having to mow it.
If we haven't got the big yard, as you called it,
we'll have to take the kids down to the park
and then maybe we'd meet people and make friends.
I suppose we're not used to going to the park and socialising.
We like to invite people round and socialise in our garden.
You could make the house slightly smaller this way and not so long and maybe a bigger back garden.
Then I'd be well happy.
Robin's still hung up on the garden.
If they're going to find a property that suits them all,
perhaps the only thing to do is design one themselves.
Springfield offers people the chance to buy a plot of land
and design a house to go on it, so you can create something for yourself.
We took the Saunders to an example of this.
A four-bedroomed property in the newest area of Springfield Lakes.
Wow. This is quite impressive, isn't it?
I like this. This is fantastic.
-Look how big this is.
-I could chill out so much, I would be...
This is as big as the second house
but because it's laid out at a different angle, it seems bigger.
Tina can't wait to check out the home's most important feature.
Oh! Laundry room!
-A laundry room with...
-If you spilled water...
-That's a bit posh for a laundry room.
-It's got patio doors!
-I've even got a washing line.
-It's a bit posh for a laundry room.
We could put the visitors in here.
And on to the master bedroom.
-This is nice, isn't it?
-I like the windows.
It's really weird because it's dark.
You wouldn't choose this colour. But it looks quite nice.
I like it. I really like it.
Because we don't do dark colours. But it looks nice.
Look at the size of the shower!
We've got to have a go. Oh!
That's too big. Who needs a shower that big?
Well, you know. Save water. Everyone can shower together!
At a price of £270,000, this property is over their budget,
but the Saunders could always design something more affordable.
You get to change everything. You can have less living space, more garden.
This is a big size of a plot. Or you can shrink it.
And obviously that changes the price.
So it can be cheaper, if you have less build.
With a bit bigger land and a bit bigger garden, this would suit me down to the ground.
Robin's impressed with the property but is it enough to sway him?
He can see the benefits now and the fact that there's no DIY to do
is my key selling point to him, I think.
Will he vote for coming to Australia?
I'm still not convinced.
Lauren is coming.
-Lauren's coming, whether we're all coming or not, aren't you, Lauren?
Robin and Tina have seen three very different properties.
On the whole, they have been impressed with what they might be able to afford.
Robin's never looked at moving beyond south London before
and his eyes have been opened by the opportunities in Australia.
Good day. Changed my mind a bit. Seen a few things that have changed my mind.
The third option was definitely the best.
I'd never thought about that, new-build, so that's thrown me.
But Tina's expectations are high and even though she loves the houses,
she's torn about the area itself.
I feel a bit like in a Disney studio
kind of thing going on.
It's all laid out a bit nice and you can imagine them doing
Desperate Housewives or something in this road.
It's all a bit too nice, really.
And it's almost a bit fake, it's bizarre.
I can't quite get my head around it.
So, will they agree when it comes to the vote?
Now's the time to vote on the housing.
Are we going home or are we going to Australia?
Ready, steady, go.
Well, the property was a hit.
But it's Robin's job that's key to making this move happen.
If he doesn't like what's on offer in Australia, then the Saunders family are staying at home.
Back in the UK, Robin earns £25,000 a year as an orthopaedic shoemaker.
But he's only ever had one job.
In Australia, we've set up a trial day with a family-run orthopaedics company. The boss is Brad George.
We've got a very happy team.
We enjoy each other's company.
Robin, if you make it, give us a call, and we'll catch up.
Robin's on his way to meet Brad but with his highly specific skills, he has no idea what to expect.
It's a bit of an unknown for me.
I'm nervous for two reasons.
I don't want to get there - because I know that I can do my job -
I don't want to get there and look a complete fool
because I don't know what I'm doing.
On the other hand, I don't want to get there and think, "This is too easy for me,"
and then feel a bit big-headed. I'm really nervous. Really worried.
Tina's aware how much this means to the whole family.
It is make-or-break for him, really.
If the job is not good and he doesn't like the people and he's got a bad vibe, that would be it.
If the work doesn't go good today then we can't come anyway.
I've been in my job now 25 years last week.
I like it. I like the people there more than the job.
I socialise with a lot of people.
It's only a small firm. Because I'm such a long way away from home
it would make a big difference if I don't get on with anybody.
This Australian company specialises in medical braces and footwear.
Robin would be on a salary of around £25,000, similar to what he gets back home,
but this is the only company of its kind in the whole of southern Queensland.
If Robin does not fit in here, there really is nowhere else.
Robin, welcome to Australia, and GB Orthopaedics, I'll show you through.
Thank you very much.
Brad is keen to assess Robin's skills.
Today, we'd like to take you through our facility
and see if you can do some of the stuff that we do here.
I see you've come prepared.
I wasn't sure what to bring so I brought a couple of knives
because you get used to your own things...
-Absolutely. Let's get stuck in.
-This is Andrew.
-How are you, mate?
Robin. I will leave you in Andrew's capable hands.
-Thanks very much.
Are you OK with lasting the shoe?
-There we are. The bench is yours.
Robin's going to have a go at lasting a shoe -
that's moulding the leather upper onto the insole,
but will his skills be up to Aussie standards?
-I'll leave you to it.
I'll be back.
Already, he's noticing the small differences with work back home.
They tend to do it up on the bench there,
which is something I've not done before.
I've seen it done before but the person that showed me
was like a really old shoemaker.
We tend to do it in our hands, sitting at a bench, which is a lot lower than here.
It's the same principle but slightly different technique.
As Robin attempts to impress the boss with his up-to-the-minute techniques,
Tina's trying to forget her concerns by taking the children out in Brisbane's New Farm area.
Lauren's buying a present for her nan, who will think of anything to keep them in the UK.
She's like, "You shouldn't go to Australia. You shouldn't go and stay because it's so dangerous."
My mum's still not very keen on us coming.
I think she's trying to... That was the other one.
Box jellyfish. Don't go in the sea because the box jellyfish will sting you.
Like Dame Edna Everage.
Tina's increasingly concerned that Robin will find it hard to commit to a move.
He just doesn't do change, you know, he just doesn't do it, so I don't know how he's going to get on.
I'm really... This is our stressful moment because I don't think he's going to like it.
Whatever the job is, whatever they're like, whatever the pay is,
he's still going to say, I don't like it, it's not for me.
But before he can decide, Robin's first got to impress his boss.
How you going with it, Rob?
Hopefully OK. I've just done it the way I'd do it, we do at home.
You'll probably undo it all and do it again,
but that's how we would do it at home, but it's obviously
slightly different from what you're used to, so...
That's pretty good, eh?
-Slightly different, but...
Looking good. Very nice job. Done very well.
He seems to have passed the test but will he fit into the team?
This is our plaster room. I'll just leave you with Gary.
-I'm sure you'll pick up some good traits.
-OK, thank you.
-I'll come back.
Hi, Gary. Robin. Nice to meet you.
Robin suffers from a fear of spiders and the team here just might have got wind of it.
If you wouldn't mind just going over there, getting enough plaster in the bin.
A bit more. A bit more.
Watch out for that thing there.
Yeah, you're funny(!)
Yeah, you BLEEP.
-I wasn't going to say anything!
-We just had a little joke there with Robin that's backfired on us.
OK, that's fine, I just thought, I won't say nothing.
It's called initiation...
-That's all right.
-..in the Australia way of life!
-Sorry about that, Rob.
-It's all right.
Thank you. Yes, lovely. I don't want to hold that one too long.
Yeah, they're worse in my workplace because they'd put a real one on my bench.
Robin seems to be settling in just fine.
-So, what's it like, to work here?
-We all go on camping trips together,
do different things together.
-OK. There's plenty of banter going round.
-Oh, yeah, yeah.
After the stress of worrying about the job, it seems the day couldn't have gone better.
I think you did exceptionally well here today.
Learned some new things as well.
There's a possibility of a job if you get your visa and come back.
-Definitely look me up.
-OK, will do.
Thank you. All the best. Thank you very much. Cheers. Thank you.
But it all means Robin has a lot to think about.
It's not a decision to make lightly.
I really need to talk to Tina and tell her how I feel and how I got on today.
It's not easy. It's a big, major thing to leave, you know, a permanent job that's
secure, basically, because I've been there for so long.
He won't come back and say he likes it.
He might say there's like a little bit that he likes but he won't say,
"I like that job, I'm going to work there, that's it, we are coming to Australia." It won't happen.
I'm convinced it won't happen.
Do you want to do this now?
No... I can't.
I want to talk to Tina first.
Robin's job is really important to him because it's not just work.
It's his friends, his life.
You can't imagine him going anywhere else.
The job situation for him would be make-or-break,
and I just don't think that he's able to change.
I can't do this.
I was very emotional...because it could potentially lead to us
coming here, leaving everybody, leaving everything.
I didn't think I'd be like this but I am now.
Robin knows his decision may change his family's destiny
but he's ready to vote.
It's been a very emotional day today. Very nervous this morning.
Had a great time this afternoon with everybody.
It's bigger than I thought this would be. This is quite a hard decision
but I think I need to make the right decision for me and my family,
so I'm going to vote Australia.
So how is Tina going to react to Robin's monumental decision?
-It was all right.
-It was all right?
No, it was good. I was really nervous but it was good.
They go camping together. It's really sociable.
Not only do they socialise but they do things we do - go camping.
That's quite shocking.
Most of the people that work there, families as well - they take family and children.
-Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!
-I voted Australia.
Did you?! No!
I did! Cos it's so much like our firm.
It's gone well for him.
I take it all back because I said I didn't think he'd vote for Australia.
I think he'll probably vote to stay in Australia now, even though
two years ago, he wouldn't even discuss the subject.
Transfixed by a dream life down under, Tina Saunders was always desperate to emigrate.
But she feared husband Robin would thwart her plans.
I like routine. Tina doesn't like routine. She likes a change.
I don't know how he's going to manage.
But to everyone's shock, he enjoyed his work day and voted...
But, when Tina faces up to harsh financial realities...
and hears heart-breaking messages from her mum...
I'm abandoning my only living parent. That's a tough decision.
Will she be the one to crumble under the pressure?
For me, the person who wanted to come here is now thinking maybe not.
It wasn't down to me, it was down to Tina, but now I think she's feeling guilty that I've got here
and I quite like it, and she's having second thoughts.
Once you're here and the bullet's between the teeth, it's really difficult.
It's really tough actually.
Robin may have been won over by the job but whether they can afford their dream home
will depend on the price they can get for their house in the UK.
Robin and Tina's home is a three-bedroom terrace
which they bought in 2002 for £137,000.
They think it's worth a lot more now, so we sent in
two estate agents to give them an up-to-date valuation.
Oh, dear. There's our house.
Had a few kids.
Needs tidying up a little bit.
Decking, lawn, flowerbeds, fencing to the side and rear. Great.
Again needs general tidying up.
There's too much stuff to tidy up!
OK, kitchen units, narrow galley.
Sometimes they come up a bit small to people's liking.
Bog-standard for this type of house.
Front bedroom - if this turns out to be the largest, which it is -
the kids' bedroom. Nice fireplace.
Shame they've painted it, but...
It's to blend in with the sand.
You're going to get first-time buyers and people looking for a family home.
For a quick sale, if you were to put it on at 195,
you could quite easily achieve 190.
That's quite good. Quick sale, 195.
-More than we paid for it.
They look a little disappointed but there may be worse to come.
If a really quick sale was required,
then I'd put the property on at around 180.
Then people tend to know exactly what your bottom line is.
That's a lot less than they'd hoped.
She doesn't know what she's talking about.
Bit bizarre, that one.
Robin and Tina just don't want to face up to how much their house
may have depreciated but, with Australian house prices
relatively buoyant, it's certainly made them contemplate the reality of moving.
You don't come to Australia, sell your house, get a house over here for £100,000.
It's not going to happen. If that's what people are thinking, the bubble's burst on that one.
But seeing what they could aspire to down under
has really whet their appetite.
Looking at the houses we've seen, and looking at that, it just puts it so much into perspective.
We're looking at it now and it's just pretty awful really.
Do we have to go home to it? Can we stay here?
Don't want to go back to that!
If they really want to stay in Australia, the Saunders family will
need to take a closer look at their finances to see if they can afford to make the move at all.
Let's have a look in here, then.
We've prepared a breakdown of their potential Australian expenses
to help them work out if they can afford to live there.
I'll get the calculator.
The one cost we haven't got in England is air conditioning.
If you have a big house and it's £400 a month
for air conditioning, that's loads of money.
That's like our food bill, pretty much.
The price of keeping cool is just one thing they didn't expect.
Even the weekly grocery shop has some surprises.
Let's have a look at this. Radish is like three times the amount. Oh, gosh.
I'll have to give up my salmon.
Double. 75% more or something.
So, fruit and veg, meat, fish - these are all more expensive.
Groceries, 104 a month.
Hang on. That's another £1,248 a year, just on food!
The idea of Tina living without some of her luxuries is giving her second thoughts.
I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.
It was all going really well until we started looking at this.
Looking at this list, Grace can't have any more nappies.
And you can't do no washing!
-It's going well so far!
-No nappies and no washing.
New life in Australia - poor child will be wetting herself but I can't wash her clothes. You're so funny!
It's good to sit down and do it, otherwise you just come out here and think, "It'll be fine.
"Everything will be the same," and it's not. Wow!
In the final reckoning,
will a move down under make them better or worse off?
Basically we'd be £5,330 worse off in Australia
than we currently are in the UK.
In the UK, we have £5,998 spare every year after everything.
Over here, we'd be in the red £332.
And it all has some worrying consequences.
That would mean no studying for me.
I'd need to work basically full-time or more hours to make up that difference.
-That would be the give.
-That's quite a big, major thing.
For me, it is, because... I couldn't study here, really.
I couldn't do my degree.
The Saunders' finances could really jeopardise their move down under,
but they're not giving up that easily.
They came to Australia for the outdoor lifestyle
and they're not leaving until they've tried it.
Back home, Robin and Tina love being active
but the great British weather makes getting outside a rare luxury.
We do a lot of outdoor stuff.
We go camping and cycling but last year, we could hardly
go away because the weather was just too bad.
We like to go outside and do stuff.
We think if we went to somewhere like that where we could go outside
it wouldn't be so stressful being indoors all the time.
It's not good for them to be cooped up indoors all day long.
So now they're down under, we're taking them to get a taste of the real Australian bush.
They're going camping in Lamington National Park, an hour and-a-half south of Brisbane.
National parkland is one of Australia's best-kept secrets.
A whopping 21% of Australia's total land area is forest, home to
more than 2,800 native species,
so places to see the country's flora and fauna aren't hard to find.
There are over 2,000 national parks in Australia
and many of them are in Queensland.
Lamington National Park is the largest area of sub-tropical
rainforest left in Australia, so it's a very special place.
It's got fantastic scenery and on a winter's day like this,
it couldn't be better. It's just absolutely perfect.
What sort of things might you expect to see and do when you're out in the bush?
There are 160 kilometres of walking tracks out here.
You can go to all the main features.
There are waterfalls, cliffs, fantastic views and, of course, magnificent forest.
If you're thinking of an overnight stay in a national park, it's wise to plan ahead.
Some camping spots need to be booked as much as a year in advance. But it does have its benefits.
Once you're there, there aren't a lot of people, because the booking system is to restrict the numbers.
They're wonderful places to go and you're not overcrowded,
and you can just get out and enjoy the serenity and peace and the beauty of the park.
This kind of outdoor adventure could be right up the Saunders' street.
So, what do they think?
Here, it's a whole adventure.
There's trails and wildlife to see.
It's wild, it's the middle of nowhere. There's hardly anyone here.
It's way better.
I love it.
It's getting late. So, Rachel Allen from Binna Burra Lodge shows them to their luxurious accommodation.
Follow me and I'll show you down to your tents.
-Have you been here before?
This is your safari tent.
There are beds in here for everybody.
You can choose one of your own bunk beds.
You've got all of your bedding there, duvets and sheets and blankets. You should be warm enough.
It's winter, so there won't be any snakes or anything.
They're all hibernating. You don't have to be scared of anything.
It's like a tent, it's got wooden poles.
Ours has got fibreglass or aluminium poles.
As the sun goes down, the Saunders attempt to settle in to their new home.
But, it's a lot less luxurious than they're used to.
When it's dark here, it's dark.
There's no lighting anywhere. It's really out in the outback, if you like.
It's in the middle of nowhere.
-You a bit chilly?
-No, I'm freezing!
It's definitely a little bit chilly this evening. I have a few reservations about sleeping here...
in the cold.
Their Australian outback dream is starting to turn into a nightmare.
Tina decides enough is enough, and the family retreat from under canvas.
They relocate to a carpeted lodge with heating.
I'm just feeling a bit stressed at the moment, because I got
really cold and we had to kind of abandon the camping element.
Which, we do back home and really look forward to,
and I'm really disappointed.
We've got a nice room and it's lovely, but...
It's not actually what I wanted to do today, to try out what life would be like in Australia.
Tina is in a reflective mood.
She's started to think that the move down under won't get her everything she wants.
If we come here now, I pretty much don't get to do my degree, finish my degree. So...
Basically, I think, I don't want to come right now.
That's how it's panning out for me.
For me, the person who wanted to come here is now thinking maybe not at the moment, because of myself.
Which is a bit of a...
You know, if everyone wants to come and it's only me...
That's it. I don't know.
The Saunders are still getting to grips with the rigours of camping Aussie style.
If they want to emigrate, they'll need a close circle of friends to give them encouragement and advice.
We have arranged for them to meet hardened ramblers and campers, Pete and Deborah Easton.
Lauren is quick to make friends with their son Matthew and his friend
Jared, as they gear up to try the ultimate Aussie adrenalin rush - the Flying Fox.
-Are you ready for this?
I'm going to start organising people.
It looks fun. It's like something out of Jurassic Park a bit.
ALL: Three, two, one...go!
I love it when they disappear into the trees, never to be seen again.
Lauren is having a whale of a time, and it gives Robin and Tina
a chance to quiz Pete and Deborah about camping in Australia.
The thing about Australia is that you've such a diversity of places to go camping.
We're going to Carnarvon next holidays, which is like an oasis in the middle of the desert.
-How long does that take?
12 hours! In a car, to go camping.
That's a bit far for us.
Five is bad enough.
You can drive one side of Europe to the other in 12 hours, you guys.
12 hours is just...
The size of the outback is still a culture shock for Robin and Tina.
At last, they get a chance to enjoy a few beers round a camp fire with their new friends.
-I brought you a beer.
-Thank you very much.
It's an old Australian custom!
I like it already.
Robin seems to be getting into things at last.
This is great. This is lovely to sit outside.
-Couldn't get this in England.
Most UK camp sites, you're not allowed to have fires
because it's too confined. You'd set the whole tent on fire.
This is a complete change for us.
The British like a little bit of uniformity.
Here it's more random and seems a bit more back to nature.
After worrying about leaving his friends from home, Robin's eyes are being opened to new possibilities.
It's great to meet someone on one day I get on so well with.
You were really friendly. You don't really get that in England. You get a lot of grumpy people in England.
Yeah, fitting in would probably be easier than I'd anticipated.
The pull of home is ever present. So, how will they vote?
It's a bit of a toughie, really, because you can't just up and leave everybody.
Clearly, that's what we'd have to do, so it's going to be down to the wire I think for me on this one.
This is quite a hard vote, this one.
This basically means that we stay at home with our old friends,
or do we take the chance to come here and make new friends?
So, are we ready, family?
OK, ready, steady, vote!
-Because I don't mind dumping my old friends and making new friends.
-So, you're not bothered at all?
-No, not bothered.
It's Australia all the way.
Tina and Robin are still undecided about their move down under.
Will hearing messages from friends and family help them reach that final decision?
Or will it make things tougher?
Hi, Robin and Tina, Lauren and the little ones.
Hi, Rob and Tina, kids, hope you're well.
Hope you're having a really good time and really enjoying it,
and you're down on the beach having good fun.
She likes to go to work, I think.
Everybody has got to work too hard to gain anything.
Robert is definitely a family man, definitely.
He'd do it for the kids, really.
..He just loves his children. Loves Tina, Lauren.
Yes, he's got a nice way of being a dad.
He's settled down, he's taken Lauren under his wing.
He's two young children.
I think, really, it's a great opportunity.
I just hope there aren't too many big spiders there.
Lauren and I are particularly close as grandparent and granddaughter.
More so than probably normally would be.
She lived here for over five years. And...
it was one big happy family!
If you could call it that!
Jack's scatty and looking for granddad all the time.
He's always on the phone to me.
"Come to my house, Granddad."
Or, "Can I come to your house?"
It's always Jack and Granddad.
Obviously, if they go, I'll miss them like hell.
I can't just pop round when I need to.
It's a long way to go.
We won't stand in their way, if they want to do it.
We'll miss them, there's no doubt about it.
Perhaps not going to their first day at school and picking them up.
That will be hard.
-You'd just have to save your pennies and go over.
That will be hard, but...
No...they still need to do what they need to do.
I'm going to miss them.
You can't let that influence their decision, can you?
You've got to do what you've got to do.
I'd miss them, obviously. But they could always come visit.
-They're only a plane flight away.
-Your nan says she'd never get an aeroplane
to go to Spain for two hours.
Even though she missed you, or Jack and Grace and Tina,
as much as she's going to,
she'd never jump on an airplane. You have to accept that.
-She'd never get on an aeroplane.
-She loves having the kids round.
I pop in a lot and I take it to whatever, places.
So...I'm abandoning my only living parent.
That's a tough decision.
I think my mum is thinking, "I've got to say this but I don't mean it."
I don't know if that's true or not, but that's the impression I got - that she wanted us to try.
Deep down, she doesn't.
It doesn't matter what they've said, really.
They're mouthing the right stuff, like, "You should go if you want."
Clearly, you can see that's not probably what they're thinking.
In a way, it's a message - verbally, one thing, but actually seeing them, you're getting a whole different
set of signs.
I'm the person who said, "Come out."
It was all me. Rob wasn't interested.
And, for lots of reasons, I'm weighing it up...trying to weigh it up more methodically.
I have a lot of reasons that I'm doubtful.
Everyone knows that it wasn't to do with me - I didn't want to come in the first place.
I've come now, I've changed my mind a bit. I've changed my mind a lot.
You wanted to come, I didn't.
Now, it's kind of changed, you're not so sure. I'm a bit more.
If one of us picks England, we can't go.
And then I'm going to feel angry with the person who picks England.
I keep changing backwards and forwards. I didn't want to come.
Now I have come, I think it's great.
We could make a life for ourselves here, I think, if we really tried hard enough.
I was the one that wasn't interested in coming.
I think now I've got here, I don't know. That's really upsetting.
Seeing their loved ones back home has forced the Saunders
to rethink their position yet again.
Their week in Australia really has been full of ups and downs.
Tina Saunders was always desperate to emigrate to Australia.
I'd always had it in the back of my mind, I'd possibly want to go away.
She imagined a brand new start in a fantasy setting,
with the ultimate washing facilities.
But husband Robin wasn't convinced.
I like routine. Tina doesn't like routine. She likes to change.
I can't foresee him adapting...
Robin was inspired by the lavish Australian properties.
I like this. This is fantastic.
After an emotional day at work, he shocked everyone by voting for...
But, revelations about the high cost of living had drastic consequences for Tina.
We're £332 in the red.
I'd need to work basically full-time.
I couldn't do my degree.
And with her dreams turning sour, Tina is going off the whole enterprise.
For me, the person who wanted to come here is now thinking maybe not.
Daughter Lauren has always wanted to come, but with her mum backtracking, her future hangs in the balance.
I really, really want to move over here.
I just kind of hope my parents say, "yes".
Can Robin take charge and pull his family together?
You can't get in, you'll get wet!
It's the end of the week, and there has been a complete role reversal.
It's not Robin but Tina who has her doubts.
This week hasn't gone anything like I thought it was going to go,
because I thought we'd come here, it would be fabulous and an easy decision.
It is fabulous but it's not an easy decision.
I've had a great time. There's more highs than lows.
There's hardly any lows for me. I've had a great time.
I've seen things I never knew anything about. Met some lovely people.
For me now, it's been a bit of a nightmare, really, I think.
Personally, it's been quite stressful.
Now she's feeling, because I like it, she might just go along with it.
I don't want her to do that. I want her to want to come.
Personally, I'm struggling, quite big time.
But then, my family seem pretty happy here. Personally, for me,
it's a tough one, actually.
Is there a dinosaur in there? OK...
Robin's been on an empowering journey of self-discovery,
and is even ready to leave the job he loves.
I've been there over half my life. I've never known anything else.
I know everybody there - it's part of me.
It would be the end of a chapter in my life,
and it's been a big part of my life, all of my working life.
But it's not the end of the world.
I didn't think I'd say that
but now I've come to round to the idea of maybe leaving...
Come on, guys.
Not for me, not for Tina - it's for all of us to come.
Robin's finally made a decision but is it too late?
Once you're here and the bullet is between the teeth, it's really difficult.
It's really tough.
I don't know what she's going to say.
I'm kind of hoping she's going to say, "yes."
Mum is very unpredictable.
It's time for the final vote.
Personally, this is a really tough decision for me.
I'm really struggling and I'm finding it very difficult.
I'm finding it difficult because it wasn't really my idea to come
but we're going to vote.
I'll go first.
It's been a no-brainer from the start for me - Australia.
Because I think it's best for the family,
I'm going to vote Australia.
What a week! Tina and Robin have decided to put aside
their problems and vote with their hearts, to do what's best
for their family. Let's hope it works out for them.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [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.
The Saunders family from South London experience life in Brisbane for a week. It doesn't go smoothly. The family try out camping in the bush, but it ends in tears. Robin Saunders is a specialist shoe-maker - he's been with the same company all his working life. When he samples a similar job in Queensland, his loyalties are torn.