Life as an F3 Doctor in Griffith, Australia
Moving abroad as a junior doctor can be scary, so knowing what to expect before you make the move is really important. Here, we’ll take a closer look at Griffith, New South Wales in Australia, to help you decide if it’s a good fit for your F3 year.
Where is Griffith?
Griffith is a small rural city in New South Wales. While Griffith’s population is only just over the 20,000 mark, New South Wales is Australia’s largest state, and contains the country’s most populous (and famous) city, Sydney.
Unlike coastal Sydney, though, Griffith is based inland, in the Riverina region of New South Wales, known mostly for its agriculture and its production of top quality food and wine.
It’s also worth noting that the inland lifestyle should be something you’re comfortable with if you’re thinking about moving to Griffith. Travelling to Sydney takes over six hours by car, making day trips a little tricky. Similarly, if you’re heading down south to visit the beach in Melbourne, you’re looking at a five-hour drive.
Of course, due to the size of the country, trains, buses, and even flights are always readily available and often reasonably priced for domestic travel, and Griffith does have its own airport with daily flights to Sydney.
Things to do in Griffith
Despite its humble size, Griffith still has plenty to offer young doctors in need of things to do and places to unwind away from the busy hospital environment. There’s an abundance of natural attractions to choose from, including walking trails, parks, and lookout points, so the area will be well-suited if you’re a fan of outdoor activities.
The Cocoparra National Park is a mesmerising place to explore, and is just a 30-minute drive out of town. Visiting other local landmarks such as the beautiful Lake Wyangan, and the fascinating Hermit’s Cave, will also make for great days out.
The Griffith Regional Theatre and the Griffith Regional Art Gallery are both interesting options when you’re looking for ways to spend some of that valuable down-time outside of your busy work schedule, and the city also has a number of museums making for a well-rounded cultural experience.
Additionally, Griffith has seen strong commercial growth in recent years, and is now home to plenty of shopping centres, a local cinema, a fun bowling alley, a near-by golf club, and even a racecourse.
And don’t forget, a quick weekend break down in Melbourne or over in Sydney is always a possibility. With either one not too far away, you’ve got the chance to find a change of scenery whenever you need it, spend some time on the beach, and get a taste of the best social scenes Australia has to offer.
Places to Eat and Drink
By all accounts, Griffith is a vibrant multicultural community, playing host to an eclectic range of festivals and other annual events, including the popular Taste of Italy Festival.
In fact, it’s widely reported that around 60% of the city’s population has Italian heritage, adding further weight to the claim that its food and wine is up there with the very best in Australia. Lonely Planet even describes Griffith as “Little Italy in the heart of New South Wales,” and calls it the “food and wine capital of the Riverina.”
Unsurprisingly, then, the area is home to a number of fantastic vineyards, offering countless opportunities for some much-needed (and well-deserved) relaxation away from your shifts at work. And thanks to the prowess of its local produce, the city also boasts an excellent selection of cafés and restaurants.
Calabria Family Wines
De Bortoli Wines
Cafés and Restaurants
Café 2 Sixty 2
The Southside Griffith Leagues Club
What's the weather like in New South Wales?
Another major benefit of a move to Griffith is that you’ll enjoy a significant upgrade on weather conditions from life in the UK. Because of its inland location, Griffith also has a much warmer climate than Sydney and is hit with less rain than its coastal neighbour.
In Australia’s summer months of January and February, Griffith experiences an average high temperature of around 33 degrees. Residents will also relish cool winters for a nice balance all year round, with average low temperatures in the winter sitting at four or five degrees.
How does the cost of living compare?
Rent in Griffith is also favourable to bigger cities like Sydney and Melbourne. The average rent for a house/unit in Griffith will only cost roughly $340 per week, which equates to about £175. That’s particularly appealing when you realise it’s a whole $110 lower than the median rental cost in New South Wales.
So doctors moving to Griffith for their F3 year will be able to make significant savings, especially when considering the cost of living in Australia is typically lower than the UK anyway.
Having said that, you might also find it necessary to own a car in Griffith to get around more easily, due to the remote nature of the city, and that would of course add another expense which would need to be budgeted for.
Hospitals in Griffith
Griffith Base Hospital is the city’s main hospital, providing public health services to people across the Riverina, Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, and the South West Slopes.
This hospital is a busy 119-bed facility which includes a 24-hour emergency department, an ICU, and a small maternity ward. For junior doctors, the Griffith Base Hospital offers a vast range of services and specialities, giving you plenty of options to pursue for your F3 year and beyond.
Griffith also has a private medical facility, St. Vincent’s Private Community Hospital, which opened in 2016 and works closely with Griffith Base Hospital to ensure the region is served with the best possible healthcare.
St. Vincent’s offers a wide selection of services as well, but is only a 20-bed facility, so working there is likely to be a different experience to working in a large NHS hospital.
With a rich heritage, unique culture, and stunning natural surroundings, the city of Griffith, New South Wales can certainly provide UK-based doctors with a wonderful change of pace, and could prove to be an ideal option for you to spend your F3 year abroad.
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At Messly, we help doctors like you make your next move in healthcare. We are working with hospitals and clinics in Australia and New Zealand, helping trainees from the NHS make their dream F3 year a reality.
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