Are you one of the many New Zealanders who are moving to Australia?

Australia is one of the main destinations for New Zealanders looking for a change of scenery, better climate, job opportunity/or the want to earn more, be closer to family/friends, 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.

Below is a general list of areas you will need to address when weighing up your potential move to Australia. It covers the big stuff you’ll need to organise when you are thinking/planning an international move.

Moving to Australia Checklist

After you’ve confirmed your fight to Australia and know your departure date, then you are going to need my moving to Australia checklist. It gives you a more detailed list of what you need to do 4 weeks before you move to Australia, two weeks, on move day and handy hints.

The 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.
  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. Save yourself time, money and stress.
  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: or
  7. Get your documentation/paperwork ready! You will need character references, 100 points of identification.
  8. One month out, print out our Moving to Australia Checklist (Pre Move Planner).
  9. Sign up for our monthly newsletter (scroll). We stay on top of all news relating to kiwi’s living in Australia and send you the things you need to know.
  10. 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 transferred.
    – 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. Get a TFN (Australian Tax File Number). You are not able to apply from NZ. You can apply online here:,-permanent-migrants-and-temporary-visitors—tfn-application/.
  3. Look for a rental property. Read this post to make sure you are prepared for the Australian rental market.
  4. Converting your NZ driving licence to an Australian licence. Find out how here.
  5. Buy a home in Australia.
  6. Look into becoming an Australian Permanent Resident and 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.

Looking for something in particular?

I think I’ve written a post about everything moving to Australia related. So if you’re looking for something in particular use the search field (scroll) and type in a key word or two.

In the list of posts you should easily be able to find the answers to what you’re looking for. And if you don’t, ask me a question in the comment field at the bottom of each post and I’ll get back you with the answer or the research I’ve done to help you out.

Some posts that might interest you

Below are my top 20 most visited posts:

  1. Buying a house in Australia
  2. Driving and Licences in Australia
  3. Can a NZ citizen get an Australian benefit or pension?
  4. Are New Zealand citizens eligible for Australia’s First Home Owners Grant?
  5. Moving to Australia FAQ (make sure you read the comments)
  6. Australian Tax – what you need to know
  7. Having a baby in Australia
  8. Moving money to Australia from New Zealand
  9. Which city to move to in Australia
  10. Medicare Australia
  11. Open an Australian Bank Account
  12. Moving to Australia Checklist
  13. Become an Australian Permanent Resident then Australia Citizen
  14. Foreign Exchange/Money Transfer
  15. Do you have to pay tax on money transferred from overseas?
  16. A better life across the ditch
  17. Australian Health Care System
  18. SCV Visa Exclusions
  19. Moving Company to Australia
  20. Moving back to New Zealand

Good luck with you move to the lucky country and remember, I’m here to help.


  1. Sharna

    March 2, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    Hi I’m Sharna& I’m moving to perth WA in May. I would just like to know if you know how I can get proof of the address that I am going to be living at in Australia.

    • JJ Smith

      March 2, 2022 at 11:33 pm

      Hi Sharna,
      Thank you for your comment.
      This is a common problem as you cannot get proof of address until you receive either a bill or bank statement at your new Australia address, which won’t happen until after you arrive.
      What did you need it for?
      I will be able to help you once I have more information.

  2. Nga

    January 31, 2022 at 8:26 am

    Hi JJ smith

    happy new years, i came across your site and i love how it has so much information about moving over to australia , loove it 🙂
    I am planning to move over to Brisbane in the middle of the year. I am wanting to know how do i go about with my life insurance that i have here in NZ and also with KiwiSaver as well. how will that work when moving over ?

    • JJ Smith

      February 11, 2022 at 2:48 am

      Hi Nga,
      Thank you for your comment and compliment. Sorry for the delay in replying.
      I recommend you talk to your current life insurance provider as a lot of them have offices in Australia and can advise how best to go about transferring it/getting a new policy in Australia.
      You can transfer your KiwiSaver funds to an Australian superannuation scheme. You do not have to transfer your KiwiSaver account to Australia though. Contact your KiwiSaver provider if you decide to transfer your KiwiSaver funds. They can take you through the process
      However, you do not have to do this and I recommend you wait until you are settled in and know you will be living in Australia forever.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  3. Phil Spence

    July 4, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    Hi JJ

    my name is Phil Spence and I’m thinking of moving to Australia in the next few years, Moving from New Zealand. (Then eventually gaining residency and citizenship)

    as I am not a New Zealand Citizen (I am a permenant resident of New Zealand; my parents are both citizens), yet hold a New Zealand passport, I am unsure of whether I need a work/family visa or if I can go in on an SCV (Special category Visa)

    do you have any advice about who to talk to in regards to that? (Immigration officer, NZ embassy in Au

  4. Grace

    June 18, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Hi there, my name is Grace and I came across your website after doing some pointless research, which of course has led me into something more serious. Im in my last year at high school and like most completely stuck at what to do, where to go next year etc. My dream years ago was to travel the world, but of course these things change. I saw you moved to Australia, I was just wondering what part and why? New Zealand is very small, and the closest place is Australia so its something that’s been on my mind a while. Im just so stuck at where I would go once I arrived, what job I would apply for and how etc? Did you know of anyone who could potentially help answer these questions or of course you! Im not saying I would move there for a life time, but definitely a decent chunk.
    Thanks so much, I hope I wasn’t rambling too much!

    • JJ Smith

      June 20, 2021 at 11:47 pm

      Hi Grace,
      Thank you for your email.
      I’ve moved to Australia three times in my life for different periods of time and to different places.
      The first time I moved to the Gold Coast, which is a fun city, and it’s easy to get a hospitality job. However, you either need to have money saved to cover living costs until you find a job or friends/family to move in with until you do.
      Start browsing through through Seek and check out the type of job you would be able to apply for, which gives you an idea of how much you would be able to earn/support yourself with:
      I moved into a room that someone I worked with was leasing. I would recommend checking out the below for rooms to rent, which would give you an idea of how much you will need to pay in rent per week:
      However, I recommend renting short term accommodation until you get a job:
      The above is where you need to start.
      Then you need to get all your paperwork ready, so that you can start applying for jobs as soon as you arrive. It’s hard to get a job while still in NZ, but you can always try.
      There are also many other cities in Australia with different lifestyles. So decide if you want sun all year (Gold Coast), a big city (Sydney and Melbourne) or outback adventures (Perth) and then start saving a researching. Here’s a good post for you:
      BTW the good thing about Australia is it’s not an expensive move to make and a cheap plane ticket home if it doesn’t work out. It does help if you know someone, but not essential.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  5. sameer shaikh

    May 24, 2021 at 10:22 am

    I am new Zealand citizen & I had moved to Australia Melbourne in 2013, My father is Permanent Residency of New Zealand. & now I want him to move Australia to live with us, can you please let us know, whether we can call him to Australia and what will be his status in Australia.

    I want to know, weather he will be entitled for Medicare?

    your earliest reply will be highly appreciated.

    • JJ Smith

      May 31, 2021 at 1:00 am

      Hi Sameer,
      Thank you for your comment.
      As your father is not a NZ citizen he will need to apply for a visa to move to Australia.
      If he gets NZ citizenship he would then be able to move to Australia on an SCV, as you would have done.
      I recommend you check out IMMagine: They offer a free preliminary evaluation to establish which Visa category may suit your father:
      Once in Australia he would be eligible for Medicare.

  6. Sue english

    February 19, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    I am a new Zealand citizen living in the UK at present, can I move to Australia to live from uk.

    • JJ Smith

      February 21, 2021 at 10:06 pm

      Hi Sue,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately I am not an immigration specialist so cannot advise you.
      I recommend you contact IMMagine, as they will be able to help you:
      They offer a free preliminary evaluation ( to establish which Visa category may suit you and whether it’s worth your while ordering a comprehensive full assessment ( Not many immigration companies do this. Next step is a full assessment where IMMagine will develop your detailed strategy, timeline and pricing structure in-person or on Skype. Naturally, a small cost applies for this full and comprehensive assessment.
      You can also ask them the question for the small fee of AUD$15 and one of the team will be in touch with your answer within 24 hours (usually same day response):
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  7. Mel

    November 25, 2020 at 1:22 am

    Hi! Thanks for all the useful information! just wanting to check….. Comm Bank website says you can apply for a bank account if you are expecting to arrive within the next 3 months. Just curious whether there is a reason you suggested applying 2 weeks before leaving for Aus? Thanks!

  8. Stacy

    May 3, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    Hi there,
    My husband is an Australia by birth and we would like to move back to Australia from NZ after being here on and off from Sydney the last 5 years. We have two children both born in NZ. I have my elderly grandparents (who are basically my parents after moving in with them as an early teenager) whom need to come with us due to their daughter/my mother having a huge fall out leaving them with no support or love. My grandparents have lived in NZ from SA for 25 years and have NZ citizenship.
    We would sponsor them 100% as we tend to buy a house big enough for us all.
    Is this possible????
    Thank you in advance for your reply.

  9. Freda

    December 5, 2019 at 1:13 am

    Hi there,

    Considering to make the big move to Australia from anew Zealand. Me and my daughters are all NZ Citizens but hubby is a NZ resident. What does he have to do to be able to move to Aus too? Also Would he be able to move there if he has a couple things on his criminal record from years ago? (Eg DUI and MAF).

    Thank you,
    Hope to hear from you soon

    • JJ Smith

      December 9, 2019 at 1:25 am

      Hi Freda,
      Thank you for your comment.
      You and your daughters will get the automatic SCV. However, your husband is going to have to either get NZ citizenship or apply for a visa for Australia.
      If he hasn’t spent more than a year in prison then his convictions should stop him from moving to Australia. Sorry but I don’t know what a MAF conviction is.
      Read this post if you if you haven’t already:
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  10. Gemma

    October 14, 2019 at 12:29 am

    Hi, I was sent the link to your page, was hoping you could help with my massive dilemma. Im moving from NZ to Geelong with my 6 children, I’m Australian by birth but been in NZ most of my life. I want to secure a rental before we get there but I keep being told you can’t without a current Australian address, and you can’t without viewing properties first.
    Im not sure how that’s possible when people are moving from elsewhere?
    I’ve been told temporary accommodation such as an Airbnb for a month or so is the best bet but the price of that for 7 of us is way out of my reach.
    Do you have the inside info on how to have a rental ready for our arrival?
    Thank you in advance

    • JJ Smith

      October 14, 2019 at 12:30 am

      Hi Gemma,
      Thanks for your email.
      However, unfortunately I don’t have good news for you. What you have been told is correct.
      The Australian property market is more competitive than NZ for both renting and buying. You do have to tick all the boxes and have all the paperwork you need.
      Most Australian rentals will require you to submit a tenancy application, accompanied with the following documents, so it is best to have all the information ready to go:
      – Your last 3 months bank statements
      – A written reference from your previous landlord
      – Your previous landlord’s contact information
      – Proof that your last bond was repaid in full (or an explanation as to why it wasn’t)
      – Provide and attach photocopies of documents required to meet 100 points of identification (
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  11. Karen

    October 14, 2019 at 12:24 am

    I am a nz born nz citizen along with my husband and we are wanting to move to Australia, Brisbane, I have 3 adult children and 3 grandchildren, father, two sisters, a brother, two step sisters and a step brother who live in Australia, I am 58 years old and my husband is 57 years old, will we be eligible for the old age pension? Looking at moving early next year.

    • JJ Smith

      October 14, 2019 at 12:26 am

      Hi Karen,
      Thank you for your message.
      Yes New Zealanders are eligible for the Australian old age pension. Read this post:
      Australian age pensions are asset and income tested, so any assets or income a New Zealander has will affect the amount payable. In addition, the rate of New Zealand Superannuation payable in Australia cannot exceed the amount of Australian Age Pension that would be payable if the New Zealander was entitled to receive an Australian Age Pension but was not entitled to receive New Zealand Superannuation.
      Read more about income test for pensions ( and asset tests (
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      • Karen

        October 16, 2019 at 10:28 pm

        Hi JJ..I rang the phone number off the work and income site services and was advised if I was on a pension now ….I would be eligible to continue getting the pension but if I leave nz now at age 58 by the time I am 67 if I am not eligible for any centre link payment nz would not pay the pension for me or any portion of the payment and to be entitled to any centre link payment I would to be on a protected SCV this stage i am only entitled to an unprotected SCV…have you checked out any of this i missing some..because at first glance i thought we were entitled but as i dig further i find we are not….can you advise any further

        • JJ Smith

          October 16, 2019 at 10:29 pm

          Hi Karen,
          Did you complete the income and asset tests?

          • Karen

            October 16, 2019 at 10:34 pm

            No but I’m sure we will be way under if we purchase a home we will still have a mortgage…a small car and our kiwi saver ..what I need to find is the latest agreement between Australia and New Zealand regarding the pension

            • JJ Smith

              October 16, 2019 at 10:38 pm

              Hi Karen,
              It isn’t easy to get to the bottom of this question and I can only advise on the information I can read on the internet.
              Have you read this article: It states that:
              Entitlements for non-protected SCV holders
              Pensions and Carer Payment
              Under Australia’s international social security agreement with New Zealand, New Zealand citizens living in Australia can apply for the Australian Age Pension (if over the age of 65), Disability Support Pension (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. There are certain residency and other qualifications applying to these payments. Reciprocal arrangements apply in relation to certain New Zealand payments.
              Therefore I am unable to confirm or deny.
              Have you asked Work and Income? Call them on 0800 777 227 or 04 918 0159.
              Are you eligible to apply for permanent residency and then citizenship? You may be able to get a Australian Resident Return visa if you visited Australia before 1 September 1994 and cleared customs, this is an easy and cheap visa to obtain as a New Zealand Citizen. Read this post:
              Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  12. Lisa

    October 9, 2019 at 1:51 am

    Hi there I have so many questions Sorry to bombard you with them all, hope you can help.
    So for 10 years we have been wanting to move finally we have bit the bullet and we are going to do it. Family of 5 with an extra daughter’s boyfriend.
    Putting house on the market and aiming for Jan 2020. Questions:
    1. What is the best process of beginning ie, job for hubby rental house wih 2 dogs etc?
    2. Schools how does the years differ from NZ, how do I enrol?
    3. Bank accounts?
    4. At the airport do we tell them we are going to be living there in Aus?
    5. How do we apply for family tax benefit?
    6. How do we do taxes, like here in nz end of financial we either pay back or get back.
    7. How do you get residency before citizen ship?
    Think that is it at the moment.
    Thank you

  13. Megan

    September 29, 2019 at 12:03 am

    Hi JJ
    Just wanted to leave a thank you post. Your site is amazing! You have completely made this process stress free. So thankful for you.

  14. 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:
      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:
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  15. 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:
      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.

  16. Hardeep

    March 12, 2019 at 1:11 am

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


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