What you need to do when

Below is our Moving to Australia Checklist (Pre Move Planner). Let us help you organize and plan your move. You can download a printable version here, ready for you to print and put on your fridge – MTA-MovePlannerChecklist.pdf.

Moving to Australia Process

If you are after a more general list of areas you will need to address when weighing up your potential move to Australia, then read my moving to Australia process post. That covers the big stuff you’ll need to organise when you are thinking and planning about the proposed move.

Moving to Australia Checklist

4 weeks before you move to Australia:

  • Ensure passports, visas and any travel bookings are finalised.
  • Contact Post Office and request change of address forms for redirection of mail.
  • Contact your doctors, dentist, schools and request all records be sent out to you.
    (Tip: Ask Doctors and Dentists for referrals to reputable Health professionals in your new location).
  • If you haven’t already started, now would be a good time to start discarding unwanted items.
  • Advise your bank and credit card companies to arrange transfer of funds and/or termination of your account.
  • Notify the following departments/groups letting them know of your move:
    – Department of Inland Revenue (IRD)
    – Electoral Registrar
    – Your local council
    – Police Department if you hold firearms licence
    – Your solicitors
    – Your church or clubs you belong too
    – Publications to which you subscribe (cancel or transfer subscription)
    – Friends or Family
  • Choose and confirm your furniture removal with your chosen international moving company. And any other aspects of your move packing, storage, insurance, documentation, your pets etc.

2 weeks before you move to Australia:

  • Ensure to discontinue the following:
    – Milk/bread delivery
    – Newspaper delivery
    – Telephone
    – Gas and electricity
    – Water services
  • You can’t take plants with you, so start giving them away.
  • Organise someone to look after your children and pets on the day of the move.
  • Return all items burrowed and collect items on loan.
  • Arrange for disposal of anything unwanted you have not got rid of.
    Dispose of items that cannot be moved, such as inflammable liquids.
  • Transfer prescriptions and be sure you have an adequate supply of medications on hand.
  • Assemble a file folder of information to leave for the new owner of your home.
  • Take animals to vet for immunization if necessary.
  • Personal accident and medical insurance arranged.
  • Inoculations for yourself and family done.
  • Power of Attorney arranged.
  • Collect any laundry from drycleaners.
  • Remove all food from the refrigerator, and defrost the freezer.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances.
  • Empty the fuel and oil from mowers and clean.
  • Empty gas bottles.
  • Clean out medicine cabinet and dispose in a safe way. I.e. via the chemist of unwanted medicines.
  • Arrange an easy meal for moving day with disposable utensils, or eat out.
  • Dispose of or arrange storage for unwanted furniture.
  • Return any borrowed items and garden tools
  • Set aside jewelry, money, valuable documents, travel documents, stamp collection, to take in your possession. Don’t forget to books and games for the children.
  • Lock up pets if required
  • Arrange for someone to mind the children on move day

On move day:

  • Be sure someone is at the old house to answer questions.
  • Anything left behind? Check prior to leaving the garage, under the house or in unused cupboards.
  • No clothes at the dry cleaners, goods at repairers
  • Keys surrendered
  • Has your new house been cleaned prior to moving in – its easier to do when its empty.

Handy Hints for your move to Australia:

  • Ensure fridge/freezer cleaned – wipe out using a damp cloth with vanilla essence, blow dry especially corners, put silica gel into fresh a compartment or four to five tea bags which will soak up any moisture and will ensure it won’t go mouldy.
  • Don’t place breakables, liquids or heavy items in drawers
  • Avoid overloading drawers with linen etc, and don’t forget to check that all items have been moved.

Good Luck!

Want to know how much it will cost to move your household goods to Australia?

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  1. Nicole

    March 14, 2022 at 2:28 am

    Hi there, thanks for a useful site. Do you think it’s worth shipping everything in the house over or would it be better to sell some things in NZ and buy over there. The cost of shipping is phenomenal at the moment.

    • JJ Smith

      March 14, 2022 at 3:40 am

      Hi Nicole,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Yes the prices of shipping are a lot higher than they used to be.
      I recommend you selling most, if not all, and only shipping things that are valuable to you. Most furniture items can be replaced easily enough in Australia.
      FYI Gumtree is the TradeMe equivalent in Australia: https://www.gumtree.com.au/.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  2. Edmund

    October 23, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Hi JJ,
    So I’m a 3rd-year university student in Auckland planning to move to either Darwin or Brisbane or Gold Coast (I prefer tropical climate lol) in about June/July 2022 (the earliest) after I finish up with uni but the thing is I remember reading something like having to stay in NZ for at least another 12 months after attaining citizenship or something (by the way I have just recently been approved of NZ citizenship by grant after 8+ years in New Zealand but I still need to wait for the ceremony to be an official NZ citizen), not sure if this is a correct statement or if I misread it? (I couldn’t really find the information online) I dare not ask this question to the Citizenship office as I’m fearing my NZ citizenship application process could be affected. Do you know anyone who has been through this process? Any help is appreciated. Kind regards.

    • JJ Smith

      November 22, 2021 at 1:11 am

      Hi Edmund,
      Thank you for your comment. Sorry for the delay in replying.
      Unfortunately I haven’t been asked this before and can’t find any info online either.
      I recommend you ask the question online with IMMagine and an immigration specialist will reply within 24 hours for the small fee of AUD$15: http://www.immigration.co.nz/ask-us-question/ask-us/.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  3. Debbie

    June 27, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    Hi there!

    We are a young family, nervously considering our move from Christchurch to Gold Coast. Things we have heard is it is hard for Kiwi’s to find jobs, and get into rental houses due to the lack of Australian references is this true? Any advice & also how much money do you think is a good amount to have behind you before you make the move over?

    • JJ Smith

      June 27, 2021 at 10:06 pm

      Hi Debbie,
      Thank you for your comment.
      It completely depends on your individual circumstances, qualifications and preparation.
      You do need to be realistic of how much the move is going to cost you and budget for a time period when you will not be earning, e.g. food, rent, general expenses. How much depends on your lifestyle choice and which suburb you plan on moving to. Personally three months is a good time period to cover.
      Kiwi’s have a great reputation in Australia as hard workers and the fact that we can’t rely on government support is preferred in some industries where they have problems with workers going on the dole. Truck drivers and trades especially.
      Getting all the paperwork together is an important step. Making sure you have quality references from landlords and employers really helps when applying for jobs and rental properties. If you can prove you are a good worker and reliable tenant, then being a New Zealander isn’t held against you.
      You also need to be able to prove you have enough money in the bank to cover rent until you get employed.
      It is a lot cheaper for one person to move over and then have the family join them, but this is dependent on your circumstances too. It is a good time to ask for support from family and friends.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  4. Luke Kim

    March 15, 2021 at 4:52 am

    Hi JJ
    I was wondering when moving to Australia do I have to close my NZ bank account
    And about the flight tickets is it alright to enter Australia with one-way ticket or has to be return tickets.
    Thanks 🙂

    • JJ Smith

      March 21, 2021 at 9:15 pm

      Hi Luke,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Most people leave their NZ bank accounts open for return holidays and anything else that pops up. However, you want to make sure you aren’t getting charged fees for an account your not using.
      If you currently are getting charged fees then I recommend you call your bank to go onto a fee free plan, which they should be able to give you.
      You do not need return flights to move to Australia.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.


    October 22, 2019 at 6:51 am

    Are there Cambridge learning and exam centers in Australia and Adelaide? For AS levels we are moving from South Africa.

    • JJ Smith

      October 23, 2019 at 11:00 pm

      Hi Caryn,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately I can’t find the answer to your question online and I don’t know anything about Cambridge AS levels.
      I recommend you contact schools or universities in Adelaide directly and ask them.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Good luck with your move.


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