If you’re looking at moving to Australia from New Zealand, you have just found all the information you need. We moved to Brisbane from Auckland over 15 years ago and wanted to share all the information we learnt with other New Zealanders. Learn from our mistakes and save yourself a lot of research time.
Find here all the information you need: set up an Australian bank account, foreign exchange, move 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 visitors’ questions for over 15 years, so am more than happy to help.
You can easily find information on the subject you are looking for by scrolling through my posts below or you can use the search function below to display posts that include the information you are currently searching for:
Good luck with your move to Australia.
Answering visitor’s questions, updating the content, adding more content and constantly improving.
Moving to Australia has grown organically over the years and I honestly love my job.
By nature, I love to get the best deal available for any product or service and always research thoroughly any product or company and evaluate all my options. So trust me, I’ve done the research for you.
Moving across the ditch permanently? Though Australia’s capital cities are pretty well covered with public transport, you really need a set of wheels to get around effectively. Doing the weekly grocery shop catching trains and buses isn’t any fun! That and the cost of taxis or Ubers can add up pretty quickly.
Even though you can hit the ground running when it comes to work in Australia, it’s not the same with loans and finance. Find below the process of car ownership in Australia from whoa to go. That means a smooth experience, no hassles, and you get to explore the land Down Under quicker than you can say g’day, mate!
New Zealanders have been moving to Australia forever, but since mid-2022 and into early 2023, the exodus has been considerably higher. And with the New Zealand housing market being the slowest it’s been in 40 years, New Zealanders aren’t waiting to sell their homes before they make the move.
With Australia offering higher wages, lower rents and only four years until Australian citizenship. Australia’s grass is definitely looking greener!
The new direct pathway to Australian citizenship has been motivation for a lot of these Kiwis moving to OZ. You can read more about the new direct pathway to Australian citizenship in my post.
Transferring your hard-earned 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 a great exchange rate and pay as little in fees as possible.
From our research, online money transfer companies give you the best rates with less margin compared to banks and no fees. Save money. Find out why and how…
On the 22nd of April 2023, Australia announced a new direct pathway to citizenship for eligible NZ citizens who have been living in Australia on a valid visa for 4 years immediately before the day they apply. They must not have been absent from Australia for more than 12 months in total in the past 4 years, including no more than 90 days in total in the 12 months immediately before applying.
The new law will apply to Kiwis on temporary, special category visas (SCV) who have arrived since 2001 and lived in Australia for four years and meet the standard criteria for citizenship – such as an English test, demonstrating “adequate knowledge” of Australia, and including character checks and intention to reside in Australia.
There is no income threshold or health check required.
You will not have the paperwork you need to connect your utilities direct, e.g. electricity, gas, broadband, pay TV and more.
Save yourself research time and stress by filling out one online form.
When I tried to connect our utilities for our new home in Australia I researched all the major companies for each of our main services: Foxtel/Sky TV, power/electricity, phone, and broadband. I weighed up all the different packages on offer and made my decision on what were the best deals.
When I went to set up my accounts I found out we didn’t have any of the paperwork the companies needed! We didn’t have proof of address, three months’ wages, or three months’ bank statements from an Australian bank.
In Australia, you can drive on your NZ license for up to 3 months. Then you will need to transfer your New Zealand driver’s licence to an Australian licence in order to drive legally. Find out how below, state by state…
When you first get to Australia you will probably need to utilise Australia’s fine public transport while you are looking for a car. Uber is available in Australia. You can easily rent a car when you first get there, and pick it up from the airport, which makes exploring your new city easier.
It is a mandatory contribution that is made by employers on behalf of their employees, and it is designed to help individuals save for their retirement.
Medicare is Australia’s main healthcare government-funded scheme. New Zealand citizens can enrol in Medicare immediately (recommended a week after you arrive) if they provide proof that they’ll be living in Australia for the next 6 months (see below). You can enrol any time in the 6 months after you first arrive in Australia.
Until you enrol, you can get healthcare under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement. This covers essential treatment in a public hospital. You can’t enrol or get a Medicare card until you prove you live in Australia.
I found it quite hard to find information on Australian schools online and it wasn’t until I had kids I figured out how it all works. The below will definitely help you find your child a good school to move to in Australia.
Below you will find Australian school term dates, which vary from state to state, where to find schools in the area you’re moving to, top-ranked schools and what paperwork you need to get from your child’s current school to give to their new school in Australia.
Workers must have a construction induction card (White Card) before starting any work on a construction site. Workers must show their white card to the PCBU on the site and to any inspectors who ask to see it.
White cards are recognised Australia-wide.
As a New Zealander, you have a unique opportunity if you’re considering a move to Australia. New Zealand and Australia have a Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement that allows their citizens to visit, study, live and work in either NZ or Australia for as long or little as they want.
Australia announced on 22 April 2023 a new direct pathway to citizenship for eligible New Zealand citizens who have lived in Australia for at least 4 years immediately before the day you apply.
The changes will come into effect from July 1 this year and be retrospective.
Read more on my direct pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders in Australia post.
As an NZ citizen, you will be automatically granted a non-protected Special Category Visa (SCV) when you process through Australian border control, subject to meeting the health and character requirements. There is no mention of this at border control. It all happens electronically. The SCV is automatically cancelled upon departing Australia.
Are you a New Zealander thinking about buying property in Australia? Getting a mortgage in Australia isn’t always easy and trusting someone to get you the best deal possible is important.
UNO home loans, Australia’s Online Mortgage Broker combines Unparalleled Service with technology to streamline the entire process of getting and having a mortgage so you save time, hassle and money for the entire time you have a home loan.
Generally, New Zealanders on an SCV are not able to get an Australia student loan, known as a HELP loan, unless they have been living in Australia for 10 years. Read more below.
Regarding your NZ student loan, if you’re going overseas for 6 months or more your New Zealand student loan won’t be interest-free. Below is all the information you need, including repayment amounts and a student loan repayment calculator.
The Australian tax system works pretty similarly to New Zealand. The Australian Tax Office/Department is the equivalent of the IRD in New Zealand.
Your employer will pay tax to the Australian Tax Department/Office on your behalf. If you are self-employed you will need to file your own tax returns, so you will need to get an Australian tax accountant to help you file everything correctly.
New Zealand citizens with a valid New Zealand passport are able to move to Australia from New Zealand without having to apply for a visa. We apply and get granted a Special Category Visa 444 (SCV) simply by processing through border control. You must meet the character requirements, see below.
After you have been living in Australia for four years, you are able to apply to become an Australian citizen. We no longer need to apply for a Australian permanent visa (permanent resident) first.
I’ve thoroughly researched your options to take your beloved pet safely to Australia with you. Below is a step-by-step guide outlining the eligibility and requirements for your cat or dog to move from New Zealand to Australia.
To move your pet to Australia from New Zealand, you will need to follow the guidelines set by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Cats and dogs coming to Australia from New Zealand do not require an import permit. There is no Australian post-entry quarantine period.
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 homeowner’s grant.
However, if you are not an NZ citizen there are some restrictions for foreigners wanting to buy property in Australia, depending on your visa and residence status.
Find below some advice on how you can buy your dream home in Australia and some smart tips to avoid paying more than you need to in fees and charges.
If you are a New Zealander with a criminal history then you will need to get written confirmation of your criminal history from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) before you travel to Australia. If you have been imprisoned for over a year, you will need to apply for an Australian Visa.
New Zealanders who are 66 and 6 months or older and live in Australia should be eligible for an Australian age pension. As long as they meet the resident, income, and asset eligibility criteria.
Under Australia’s international social security agreement with New Zealand, NZ citizens living in Australia can apply for the Australian Age Pension (if over the age of 66 and 6 months), Disability Support Pension (DSP) (if they are severely disabled), and Carer Payment (if they are caring for a partner on DSP), irrespective of whether they are protected or non-protected SCV holders.
Australia is one of the main destinations for New Zealanders looking for a change of scenery, better climate, job opportunities/or they want to earn more, be closer to family/friends, a new lifestyle or simply a change because we can move to Australia so easily from NZ.
Check out the below ‘To Do List’ to know what you need to do before you leave and what you need to do once you’re there.
If you are making plans to move to Australia, applying for health insurance is an important part of the process. Aside from that, it’s always a good idea to prepare for the unexpected.
In Australia, the public health system Medicare covers most Australian residents for health care. However, Medicare does not cover everything and you can choose to take out private health insurance to give yourself a wider range of healthcare options and more comprehensive coverage.
The First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) in Australia is designed to encourage and assist home ownership across the country, and for eligible borrowers, it’s a great start to life as a property owner.
The grant differs in each state and territory and in most places it applies to new homes only.
The Australian government’s First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) and other benefits are available to permanent residents as if they are citizens of Australia. Because NZ citizens are considered to be permanent residents of Australia they are eligible for the grant.
FHOG does not take into account NZ property for eligibility, only property you’ve owned in Australia.
It will cause you a whole lot of stress, time, and worry!
Australia can be really competitive when it comes to jobs, apartments, and rentals. You might end up in a position where everyone wants the apartment you want and you need to stand out (references).
You will need to prove your identity when applying for a property rental, driver’s licence, a white card or Medicare card, or setting up a mobile or superannuation account.
The cost of having a baby will vary depending on whether you give birth in the public or private system. In Australia, pregnancy care in a public hospital or birth centre is free because it is covered by Medicare, which covers New Zealanders on an SCV, Australian citizens, and some visitors to Australia. And we can receive some Government payments.
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.
As an NZ Citizen, you are eligible for Medicare Australia. However, you do need to either be living in Australia for 6 months or provide proof that you’ll be living here for the next 6 months.
It’s tough landing in a new country without somewhere to go from the airport, especially if you have a family. I get a lot of enquiries about where to stay when you first arrive before you can get a rental in Australia because it’s almost impossible to get one before you leave New Zealand.
The Australian rental market is quite similar to NZ but Australia is so much bigger, so it’s more competitive than New Zealand for both renting and buying.
Like New Zealand, there are positives and negatives to each city and each suburb and it is important to do research before you leave New Zealand, especially before you make any fixed arrangements.
Moving is one of the most stressful things we do. Moving to Australia wants to make your move easier. Here you will 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.
If you are a New Zealand citizen, you are legally able to work in Australia. If you are not a New Zealand or Australian citizen, you may need to apply for a work visa.
Hunting for jobs in Australia is very similar to looking for a job in New Zealand. The majority of jobs are advertised online, mostly by recruitment companies but also by individual employers.
The Australian Government provides funding to all states and territories to ensure all children have access to early childhood education, particularly in the year before they start school (4-6 years old). There might still be a fee, especially for kids under four.
There are a number of exclusions to government help that you should be aware of when moving to Australia on an SCV (special category visa).
Moving to Australia is a big step and choosing a city is not an easy task, because Australia has many amazing places to live.
They all have their own unique opportunities and the below will help you choose which city suits you and your family best.
The eight states have individual characteristics and climates. Do you want to live in tropical Queensland, cooler Canberra, laid-back Darwin or right in the hustle and bustle of Sydney?