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 Oz. 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 [email protected] or fill in the enquiry form on our contact page.

Recommended moving process

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. Find a school for your children. You will need an approximate move date to register your kids.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. Setup a bank account before you leave. Then you can pick up your eftpos card as soon as you get there and start living.
  7. 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.
  8. Register with Medicare Australia after you arrive. You will need to apply in person in a Medicare Office. Please remember to take your passport.
  9. 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.

Special Category Visas (SCV)

New Zealanders automatically get given an SCV when we enter Australia. This allows us to live and work in Oz 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.

Planning on moving your personal effects to Australia? Trust Grace Removals!

Your moving company can do more than pack and ship your belongings. They can help you with many areas of your move with additional and destination services, e.g. cleaning your old home, filling in documentation, finding a school, even temporary accodation.

If you want to understand the moving process better read our moving company page or you can simply get a free no obligation quote here and tick another thing off your to do list (or 5 if you use Grace).

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!

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 Commonwealth Bank Account) and picked up my eftpos card a few days later.

Find out more… read our Australia Bank Account page!

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 page!

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 page!

Private Health Insurance

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 health care options and more comprehensive cover, which you will also get a rebate for.

Do you have health insurance in NZ? Then you should get in Australia too.

Find out more… read our Private Health Insurance page!

Real Estate 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 Australia Real Estate page!

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 page!

Finding a job in Australia

We highly recommend you finding a job in Australia before you leave New Zealand. Kiwi’s are highly sort after all over the world including Australia. Australia is well known for paying higher wages than kiwi companies and the cost of living being a lot lower. Moving to Oz gives you a better quality of life if planned properly.

Find out more… read our Jobs in Australia page!

NZ Student Loan? Find out your student loan requirements when living in Australia.

First serious point is if you’re going overseas for 6 months or more your New Zealand student loan won’t be interest free. When you go overseas you need to let the IRD know if you’re going to be overseas for 184 days (about 6 months) or more. The easiest way to do this, if you also want to apply for a repayment holiday, is to complete the form in your myIR Secure Online Services account. However, you’ll become an overseas-based borrower if you’ll be overseas for 184 days or more. This means you’ll have different repayment obligations and your loan will no longer be interest-free. Interest applies to your student loan from the day after you leave New Zealand.

Find out more… read our NZ Student Loan page!