Moving to Australia from New Zealand?

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

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 organize 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 finalized.
  • Contact the Post Office and request a change of address form for redirection of mail.
  • Contact your doctors, dentist, and 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.
  • Set up an account with XE money transfers and get to know what is a good or bad exchange rate.
  • 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 a firearms license
    – 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.
  • Organize someone to look after your children and pets on the day of the move.
  • Return all items borrowed 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 the vet for immunization if necessary.
  • Personal accident and medical insurance arranged.
  • Inoculations for yourself and your family.
  • Power of Attorney arranged.
  • Collect any laundry from dry cleaners.
  • 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 the medicine cabinet and dispose of items 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 jewellery, money, valuable documents, travel documents, and stamp collection to take with you. Don’t forget books and games for the children.
  • Lock up pets if required.

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 – it’s easier to do when it’s empty.

Handy Hints for your move to Australia:

  • Ensure fridge/freezer is cleaned – wipe out using a damp cloth with vanilla essence, blow-dry, especially corners, and 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?

We have partnered with accredited moving companies all around the world to assist you with your international move. Simply select where you are moving to and from, fill out the quick form, sit back and let the moving companies do the rest. Save time and money by comparing reliable and trusted international moving companies.

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Still, got unanswered questions?

If you’ve read the above content and the answer to your question isn’t there, please write a comment below and I’ll research the answer for you. Please note, if the answer to your question is in the content above, I will not reply. Sorry, I just get too many questions these days and I can’t keep up.

Can I help you find something else?

If you need advice on moving to Australia from New Zealand, I’ve created a helpful little questionnaire to point you in the right direction. It takes less than 30 seconds, so give it a go!

20 Comments

  1. Miria

    February 9, 2024 at 10:54 pm

    Could you please explain the Kiwisaver moving to Australia general info please

    Reply
  2. Margaret Wade

    October 10, 2023 at 10:41 am

    Do you get the pension soon after arrival in Australia thanks

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      October 10, 2023 at 3:30 pm

      Hi Margaret,
      Thank you for your comment.
      My Australian Age Pension post should answer all of your questions: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/australian-age-pension/.
      You will receive the NZ pension for 26 weeks and then start the Australia pension. However, I have had feedback from my visitors that there can be a delay in receiving payments, so best to plan for that.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  3. Dave Haines

    June 17, 2023 at 7:45 am

    We are looking at moving. And have heard about the problems with houses over there, what the best way to get a rental when you have no Australian references or NZ references as I have my own house and haven’t rented in more 15 years?

    Reply
  4. Paul Thomsen

    May 10, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    Hi has anyone managed to find a way to send an ebike with battery from NZ to Australia? Seems most delivery companies don’t want to know, or ridiculously expensive

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      May 11, 2023 at 9:51 am

      Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your comment.
      This is the first time I’ve been asked about this and as an e-bike rider myself, I’m interested to know the answer…
      So what I’ve discovered is that you can ship your e-bike but you must ship the bike and battery separately:
      Shipping eBikes with Their Lithium Batteries Removed
      Removing the lithium battery from your eBikes before shipping them can make the process a bit easier because your eBike will then be able to ship like any other non-dangerous good – you may still have to deal with oversized package issues, though.
      However, you’ll still need to send the battery to the customer; you’ll just need to do this separately with a major courier that has the experience to handle these types of goods. In this case, you may have to deal with some of the same paperwork issues outlined above and take steps such as displaying a Dangerous Goods label on your shipment. You might also need to get P1965 certification, which states that your battery has been tested and deemed safe for transport.
      You’ll also need to pack the battery carefully. This may include covering the battery terminals with non-conductive materials; placing the battery in a sealed interior packaging; and using padding materials to ensure stability.
      Source: https://entrepreneur.indiegogo.com/education/article/how-to-ship-an-ebike-a-beginners-guide/.
      So now we know it can be done, let’s find a dangerous goods shipment provider: https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=danger+goods+shipment+provider+nz+to+australia.
      There are plenty of companies above that will ship your battery to Australia. I recommend contacting three so you make sure you get a competitive quote.
      If you are shipping other household goods, your moving company should be able to point you in the right direction.
      Sorry if you have already been through the above process, which is how you discovered it is expensive. If so, please let me know the cost so I can share it.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  5. Brij

    September 16, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    Hi JJS,

    Please take a bow, you are doing an absolutely fantastic service to Kiwis and humankind in general with sharing plethora of details. Many thanks in advance.
    Can a Kiwi with NZ citizenship start a business or enter into franchising business as a buyer?
    Ngā Mihi

    Reply
  6. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  7. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  8. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  9. 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 🙂

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  10. CARYN WILSON

    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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply

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