A lot of kiwis are moving to Australia at this time of year.

Are you moving? If so check out the below ‘To Do List’ to know what you need to do before you leave and what you can leave until your there.

Moving to Australia Process

Before you leave for Australia:

  1. Start looking for a job! Check out recruitment companies and get the process going.
  2. Find a school for your children. You will need an approximate move date to register your kids. Grace Removals will be able to help you with this if you get stuck.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Setup a bank account before you leave. Then you can pick up your eftpos card as soon as you get there and start living (apply two weeks before you leave for Australia).
  6. 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.
  7. Sign up for our monthly newsletter (right column of site). We stay on top of all news relating to kiwi’s living in Australia and send you the things you need to know.
  8. Let everyone that you deal with in NZ know you are moving to Australia:
    – Doctor: advise you doctor you are moving and that when you find a new doctor you will request for your records to be transfered.
    – IRD: they will talk through you individual circumstances and obligations with you.

After you arrive in Australia:

  1. Register with Medicare Australia. You will need to apply in person in a Medicare Office. Please remember to take your passport.
  2. Register for private health insurance. Read here why you should look into this.
  3. Get a TFN (Australian Tax File Number). 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/.
  4. Look for a rental property. Read this post to make sure you are prepared for the Australian rental market.
  5. Converting your NZ driving licence to an Australian licence. Find out how here.
  6. Buying a home in Australia? Get the first home owners grant.
  7. Look into becoming an Australian Permanent Resident then Australia Citizen.

Good luck with you move and please feel free to ask any questions you have in the comment section at the bottom of each post.


  1. Stella

    July 1, 2019 at 12:08 am

    Hey JJ,
    Im a yr 13 at school and have been considering moving to Yamba or Sydney next year where I will live with family and hopefully get a job. I am currently 18 years old and on my restricted licence and was wondering if I will be aloud to drive with it there. I know some countries you have to have your full licence to drive but yeah if you could help me with this it would be very appreciated. Australia is like a second home to me, I am quite familiar with certain areas as I have spent a lot of time there and have many connections, so hopefully everything will work out! thanks so much!

    • JJ Smith

      July 1, 2019 at 12:12 am

      Hi Stella,
      Thank you for your email.
      You will be able to drive on your NZ restricted licence for 3 months and then you will need to change it over to a Australia licence: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/driving-and-licences-in-australia/.
      When you go to the appointment to apply for a NSW licence, you must attend a service centre or registry in person and bring your overseas licence with you.
      – Provide proof of your identity
      – Provide proof of your Australian permanent residency
      – If you can’t provide this, you will be issued with a Temporary Overseas Visitor licence
      – Complete the Licence Application form (PDF)
      – Pass an eyesight test
      – Pass a knowledge test for each class of licence you require, unless you are exempt
      – Pass a driving or riding test for each class of licence you require, unless you are exempt
      – Pay the relevant licence fee
      Your NSW licence card will be posted to you and you’ll receive a temporary paper licence to drive or ride with until your new card arrives.
      View post: https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/licence/moving-to-nsw.html.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  2. Priscilla

    June 18, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Hi JJ!

    Trust you are well.

    I will have to apply for radiation licence in Queensland and one of the requirements, in order for me to apply is to provide “current identification card issued by the Commonwealth or State as evidence of the person’s entitlement to a
    financial benefit—examples include seniors health card, health care card, Medicare card, pensioner concession
    card or entitlement card issued by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs”

    Do you much about that? I will have to apply from NZ hence Medicare card is hopeless. What is the card they mean issues by the Commonwealth?

    Thank you.

    • JJ Smith

      June 26, 2019 at 10:38 pm

      Hi Priscilla,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I’ve researched and read how to apply for a radiation licence in Queensland and what proof of identity documents they require.
      I recommend you either fill in the contact form on the Queensland Government website or call them on +61 7 3022 0001 and ask them, as it does come across that they want one of the identity documents to be Australia issued: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/comments.
      You will be able to use your NZ passport as the primary identity document, but you need to enquire if they will accept an NZ secondary identity document.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  3. Hardeep

    March 12, 2019 at 1:11 am

    I want to move from New Zealand to Australia and need tips.


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