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Moving to Australia from New Zealand?

Get all the information you need here to make a successful and stress-free move across the ditch.

If you’re looking at moving to Australia (MTA) from New Zealand, you have just found all the information you need. We moved to Brisbane from Auckland over 10 years ago and wanted to share all the information we learnt with other kiwi’s. Learn from our mistakes and save yourself a lot of research time.

Find here all the information you need: set up a Australian bank accounts, foreign exchange, moving your personal effects to Australia, schooling, real estate and hundreds of other pieces of useful information about Australia. Whether you are moving to Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne or Perth, we are here to help.

So how can I help you? I’ve been answering kiwis questions for over 10 years, so am more than happy to help. If you don’t find what you’re looking for please email me on help@movingtoaustralia.co.nz or fill in the enquiry form on our contact page.

Recommended moving process to Australia

Relocating to Australia is a process a lot of kiwi’s do because we automatically get granted a Special Category Visa (SCV) and get to stay close to family and friends, while earning more and having a lower cost of living. The SCV will allow New Zealanders to live and work in Australia for as long as we like.

Below is what we recommend doing when planning your move:

  1. Visit Australia and make sure you like the city you plan to move to. This will save you a lot of money and stress, especially if you are planning on taking a family.
  2. Start looking for a job! While you are in Australia visit some recruitment companies and get the process going. You will generally earn more than you will in NZ and the costs of living is lower.
  3. Want to buy a home in Australia? Find out if you’re eligible for an Australian mortgage.
  4. Find a school for your children. You will need an approximate move date to register your kids.
  5. Find some short term accommodation. It is highly recommend to give yourself some time to find which suburb suits you and your family best before you buy or rent any real estate in Australian or sign a fixed term agreement (one year).
  6. Book a moving company to pack and ship your household items, clean your house, help you with documentation, find a school , even temporary accommodation… find out how to get more from your moving company.
  7. Setup a bank account before you leave. Then you can pick up your eftpos card as soon as you get there and start living.
  8. Register with a foreign exchange/money transfer provider. They have sharper exchange rates than the banks and lower fees (or none if you register using this link: https://xe.com or https://nz.ofx.com.
  9. Register with Medicare Australia after you arrive. You will need to apply in person in a Medicare Office. Please remember to take your passport.
  10. Get a TFN (Australian Tax File Number) after you arrive. You are not able to apply from NZ. You can apply online here: https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/tax-file-number/apply-for-a-tfn/foreign-passport-holders,-permanent-migrants-and-temporary-visitors—tfn-application/.

All the points above are explained in detail throughout our website.

Questions/Comments you have

You can ask me questions at the bottom of every content page in the comments section if there is further information you want to know. You may also find the answer you are looking for has already been asked. To find info on a particular subject simply use our search field, either located top of right column of a web page or scroll down and you’ll see it.

Requirements to move to Australia from New Zealand

What do you need to move to Australia? As a New Zealander your only requirements to move to Australia on an SCV is that you are a NZ Citizen, don’t have any criminal convictions that you have served a year or more in jail for and don’t have any outstanding fines. If you are not an NZ Citizen, you will need to apply for a visa.

You do not need to apply for visa as an NZ citizen, you will automatically get granted a digital Special Category Visas (SCV) on entry into Australia.

Special Category Visas (SCV)

New Zealanders automatically get given an SCV when we enter Australia. This allows us to live and work in Australia as long as we like. However, we do not receive social welfare payment, student loans, Newstart (unemployment) benefits, parenting payments and youth allowance.

We are entitled to family payments, including family tax benefit, baby bonus, childcare benefit and parental leave pay, and medical care under MediCare.

Find out if you need an Australian Visa or read the full list of SCV Visa Exclusions here.

Moving your money to Australia

When you relocate to Australia you will also need to move your money with you. There a few things you need to be aware of, that I wish we knew when we moved.

Opening an Australian bank account

Open an account online before you go! My husband opened an account online with Commonwealth Bank before we left. When he was picking up his eftpos card in our local Commonwealth Bank, I tried to open an account. I was unable to open an account because I didn’t have the right paperwork. I needed proof of address, which I didn’t have. When I got home I opened an account online (open a Australia Bank Account) and picked up my eftpos card a few days later.

Find out more… read our Australia Bank Account post!

Save money on your money transfer/foreign exchange (keep more of your money)

Transferring your money from New Zealand to Australia is a big deal. It is important to use a trusted foreign exchange partner and make sure you get the most Australian dollars for your NZ dollars. From our research, online money transfer companies give you the best rates with less margin and no fees.

Find out more… read our Foreign Exchange/Money Transfer post!

Renting and accommodation in Australia

Australian real estate is quite similar to New Zealand but Australia is so much bigger. There are positives and negatives to each city and each suburb and it is important to do research before you leave NZ and when you get there before you make any fixed arrangements. The tenancy agreement lengths are one year minimum.

The tenancy market is much more competitive than New Zealand. There are dozens of people going for the same apartment/house, you need to make sure you make a good impression and have all the documents you need.

Find out more… read our Renting and accommodation in Australia post!

Buying a house in Australia

Are you a New Zealander wanting to buy a house in Australia?

Yes you can! If you’re an NZ citizen buying property in Australia everything works the same as if you were an Australian citizen buying property in Australia. You may even be eligible for the first home owners grant.

Find out more… read our Buying a house in Australia post!

Australian Mortgage

Do you want to know if you’re eligible to buy a property in Australia from NZ? Do you want to move straight into your own home in Australia?

This is something I get asked a lot about and I’ve finally found someone to help answer all your questions. Find out if you’re eligible for an Australia expat mortgage… read more in my Australia Mortgage post.

Utility Connection

When I tried to connect our utilities for our new home in Australia I contacted all the major companies, Sky TV, power company, phone and internet. I came up against all the same road blocks, not enough paper work! We didn’t have proof of address, three months wages or bank accounts.

Then I came across On The Move and within minutes we had arranged for all our utilities to be connected. It saved us time, money and stress. They offered the same current deals that the supplier was offering, so we got exactly what we wanted without anymore stress.

Find out more… read our Utility Connection post!

Planning on moving your personal effects to Australia?

Should you take your belongings to Australia or should you buy new over there? Find tips and advice on moving your personal effects to Australia from New Zealand that will help remove a lot of the stress from this process.

On our moving company to Australia post  you can also get up to five free quotes from trusted international moving companies. This will allow you to chose a reliable mover for a competitive price without having to go through the details of your move with five different companies.

Moving to Australia Checklist

This is one of our most visited and helpful pages. Let us help you organize and plan your move. It includes what you need to do four weeks before you move, two weeks, on move day and helpful tips.

Find out more… read our Moving to Australia Checklist post!

Australian Health Care System

We have provided all the information and links to resources that you will need about the Australian Health Care System. The Australian Government funds three major national health schemes, Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and the 30% Private Health Insurance Rebate. These are funded via taxes and the income based Medicare Levy.

Medicare Australia

Medicare is a publicly funded universal health care scheme in Australia. Operated by the government authority Medicare Australia, Medicare is the primary funder of health care in Australia, funding primary health care for Australian citizens and permanent residents (except for those on Norfolk Island).

Residents are entitled to subsidised treatment from medical practitioners, eligible midwives, nurse practitioners and allied health professionals who have been issued a Medicare provider number, and can also obtain free treatment in public hospitals.

Find out more… read our Medicare Australia post!