Moving to Australia from New Zealand?

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

Sydney is the most populous city in New South Wales, with some 5.3 million people living there.

Sydney is Australia’s oldest city and is famous for its harbour, beaches, and iconic landmarks (the Opera House, Bondi Beach, Darling Harbour).

Sydney is Australia’s most expensive city and often features on the list of the most expensive cities in the world. It has vast amounts of natural beauty, a huge cultural beating heart, and an epic entertainment scene. It hosts the famous Sydney Mardi Gras (Australia’s biggest LGBT parade). It’s been named the sixth-best city for students and has several world-class universities.

Its winters are reasonably mild, and its summers are pleasant, hot but not too hot. It’s renowned for its beautiful parks, well-maintained beaches, and sporting excellence—not to mention ranking 6th on the EIU’s list of the world’s most liveable cities.

Population: 5,300,000 people
Climate: temperate, humid climate with abundant sunshine.
First Home Buyer Award: $10,000
Top draw cards: largest Australian city with top job opportunities
Public Transport: buses, trains and cars

The Economy

Sydney attracts more immigrants than any other Australian city. Large numbers of relocating Australians are also drawn by career opportunities in Sydney. Around 40,000 new people move to Sydney annually, and around 15,000 new homes are built to accommodate them.

Current growth markets are information technology, education, health services, building trades, and engineering. The Reserve Bank and Australian Stock Exchange are located in Sydney, along with other big businesses, so it’s a big drawcard for professionals. In 2015, the unemployment rate was slightly less than the Australian average of about 6.1%.

Sydney Pros:

  • Weather is great
  • Wining, dining, shopping, and café-hopping
  • Beautiful beaches
  • Family-friendly
  • Great education and employment opportunities
  • Cosmopolitan, culturally diverse
  • Excellent health

Sydney Cons:

  • Expensive!
  • Notorious traffic

Every year, approximately 40,000 people move to Sydney, most of whom are immigrants from other countries. If you are also moving to Sydney, then you can be sure of an amazing time in this city. However, you must know the basics about the city below before visiting or moving, as knowing more about Sydney will help you with an easy and smooth move to this outstanding city.

Introduction to Sydney

Sydney, the most populous city in Australia, is undeniably one of the most gorgeous modern cities of the present times. This state capital of New South Wales has also been rightly labelled as the Harbor City. Its far-reaching harbour views, striking and exciting architecture, and year-round warm weather make this city a great place to visit or settle in. It is also Australia’s oldest, largest and most multicultural city, with a desirable reputation of being one of the world’s most sought-after destinations and livable cities.

Districts of Sydney

Eastern Beaches of Sydney

The Golden Eastern Beaches of Sydney extend from the relaxed Coogee Beach to the denser and lively Bondi Beach, which is one of Sydney’s best tourist attractions. The Eastern Beaches is located near the City Centre and boasts amazing swimming, surfing, shopping, Alfresco dining and walking avenues. Tamarama Beach, native to a delightful cove, is situated towards the south of Bondi Beach and is a popular destination in the city. The family-friendly Bronte Beach is adjacent to Tamarama Beach and has a lot of games and other outdoor activities, while Clovelly Beach is a quieter area and is popular among divers. The most famous Coogee beach is 2.5 miles south and has similar activities to Bondi Beach but is much smaller.

Darling Harbor and Chinatown

Darling Harbor and Chinatown is quite a charming area with its modern buildings and old-fashioned market centre that bestows the visitor with a thrilling experience. Chinatown is heavily concentrated with Spanish cafeterias and dining restaurants that cater to a busy nightlife. The Haymarket restored Paddy’s Markets, and Dixon St. Mall is all part of the Chinatown area, while Darling Harbor, a large water park, is located towards the northwest of Sydney and Cockle Bay that is quite renowned for its flourishing factories, shipyards and warehouses.

City Centre, The Rocks and Circular Quay

West of Sydney Cove is Sydney’s City Centre, regarded as the earliest non-Aboriginal settlement. It includes the Rocks and spherical Quay that starts at the heart of the city and was earlier the centre of the colony’s marine businesses, housing large factories and warehouses. As time went by, Sydney’s Circular Quay lost the establishments on shipping and other modern facilities that were taken up by businessmen, who yielded to building large mansions in the Fort Street area. Today, renovation and restoration of Circular Quay and the Rocks have re-started tourism and has become the main exit point for ferries en route from Sydney’s bus stations to the city circle.

Darlinghurst to Potts Point

Darlinghurst, situated between Oxford Street and William Street, is the most popular city, with nightclubs, shopping facilities, bars, and outstanding restaurants. Stanley Street is another key area in Darlinghurst, popularly referred to as Sydney’s Little Italy. Luxury hotels, fashion boutiques, and youth hostels are commonly seen on Kings Cross, while Potts Points is a hugely upmarket area.

Inner West

Amidst all of Sydney’s most enjoyable areas is the Inner West district, which was once renowned for its working class but houses historic buildings and real estate today. Darling Street, which is situated in the Balmain area of Sydney, runs through the entire length of the peninsula. World-class, genuine Italian cafes and eateries are located in the suburb of Leichhardt, and close to the University of Sydney is Glebe, which has middle-class restaurants, hotels, and shops. Newtown lies south of the University of Sydney and is known to have a bustling nightlife with its streets.

Surry Hills and East Sydney

The Surry Hills region is south of Darlinghurst. It is a flourishing area with lavish shops, cafes, boutiques, and restaurants.

Paddington and Woollahra

The Paddington area, located 2.5 miles from Sydney, occupies the city’s Oxford Street and has plenty of streets surrounding this area, such as the upmarket terraces, Saturday market bazaar and Victorian buildings. Located east of Oxford Street is Tony Queen Street, situated near the City’s Centennial Park; it is lined up with some of the most exclusive cafes, restaurants, boutiques, local gift shops and antique stores. The Woollahra area of the city is an ideal place to go walking, shopping and sightseeing.

Greater Sydney

Greater Sydney features housing developments and oceanfront suburbs (mainly the Palm Beach area) that meet the Pacific Ocean and towns such as Campbelltown and Liverpool. A large proportion of historical buildings and famous landmarks are located in the Parramatta area and the northern beach Curl, Bilgola, Freshwater Narrabeen and Collaroy.

Climate of Sydney

Sydney enjoys an amazing climate almost throughout the year. Summers can be hot, with the temperatures touching around 40 C for a few days, but nevertheless, the summer months from December to February are ideal for outdoor and beachside activities as the average temperature during Summer is around 26 C. March to May is autumn in Sydney. These months are mildly warm, and hence, you might sometimes need warm clothing, especially in the evenings. Winter, June to August, is pleasantly cool, with the daytime temperatures ranging between 14 C to 17 C. Spring is also pleasant in Sydney, thus making the months of September to November ideal for exploring attractions, cycling and bushwalking.

Must See in Sydney

As a visitor or resident of Sydney, you are thronged to the many delights of this amazing city. If you are on a trip to Sydney, you must not miss visiting the Circular Quay to observe the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. Moreover, if you are here in this magnificent, adorning Australian city, you must make sure to stroll around the eloquent harbour and its surroundings. Plan your trip and start in the morning by visiting the Sydney Harbor Bridge, which provides a picturesque bond between Sydney’s north and the heart of Sydney. For tourists who wish to be intimidated by this magnificent structure, free Pylon tour, walkways allow visitors to pass the bridge. The Sydney Opera House bestows visitors and residents with the opportunity to experience the restaurants, Opera Ballets, Plays and Orchestral Recitals. Overflowing with history, culture, nature, art, cuisine, fashion, and design, it is set subsequently to miles of ocean coastline and sandy beaches. There has been widespread immigration to Sydney, which has led to a multi-ethnic society.

What’s happening in Sydney now

Here are the main websites for Sydney, with information on what’s happening in the city right now. Enjoy the amazing array of events currently happening around the city.

Guide to Sydney: A city of iconic attractions and brilliant beaches, Sydney is a destination you’ll never forget. Sydney is home to must-visit icons like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, but this Harbour City is constantly evolving. New rooftop bars, theatre shows, and designer shops pop up at every turn, and the urban excitement is perfectly balanced by afternoons spent lying on the sand. Plus, with diverse destinations at its doorstep, Sydney is the perfect base for day trips and weekends away. Getting to Sydney, when to visit, and accessibility.
Destination Sydney: The Sydney side of entertainment. Sydney shines year-round with an action-packed calendar of events. Be swept away by a performance of a lifetime. Watch a blockbuster sporting event that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Find yourself drawn into the city’s stories at an exhibition that will open your heart and mind. And when the sun goes down, stay out late – there are laneways to explore, unique food and wine to devour, and live music to sing along to. Come out and play.

More Information on Sydney

As mentioned earlier, Sydney is one of the most amazing cities in the world to visit and settle in, especially if you like to be a part of an incredible multicultural society.

If you are looking for more information on moving to Sydney, you can visit This includes information on getting into Sydney, getting around, what to see, do, buy, eat, cafes, drink, sleep, contact, and staying safe in Sydney.

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  1. Deepa

    December 7, 2023 at 10:29 pm

    Hi There,

    I plan to move as a secondary teacher in maths next year from NZ. What is the situation in terms of job opportunities and is there any certification needed? Thank You.

    • JJ Smith

      December 12, 2023 at 11:25 am

      Hi Deepa,
      Teachers are in high demand in Australia and New Zealand citizens can live and work in Australia with no restrictions.
      The federal government projects there will be a shortage of 4,000 high school teachers by 2025.
      Your New Zealand teaching qualifications are recognized in Australia, however you will still need to get an assessment from the relevant Australian state education authority.
      You will need to check that your qualifications are recognized and complete the registration process, including providing evidence of your qualifications, work experience, and good standing, for the state you want to move to.
      Check out this post, which includes links to each states registration boards:
      Seek is a great place to look for jobs:
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck!

  2. Rohina Begum

    September 5, 2023 at 9:39 am


    Family of 4 moving up to Sydney end of year, myself and my kids all are NZ citizens only my husband has a Fiji passport with residence visa, he has a multiple visitors visa for 2 years but how can we change that so that he can also be work and be part of becoming a resident of Australia, please help and guide

  3. Vish

    April 2, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    Hi there, I am looking at moving to Sydney for work -wondering how people have found it to meet new friends there/build a network? Pretty scary to pack-up and move to a new place where you don’t know anyone!

    • JJ Smith

      April 7, 2022 at 9:54 pm

      Hi Vish,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Australians are generally very friendly and you should be able to meet people easily.
      Great ways to meet people are through work, hobby’s and activities.
      Check out this site: It that allows people to connect with locals and create or join physical activity groups (such as hiking, walking, running or sports). It’s for new migrants looking to connect with locals. Loneliness is a big issue in society and they are hoping by providing this free service they can help more people connect.
      Hope the above helps. Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  4. Renee

    August 20, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Hello there,
    I am moving to Sydney from New Zealand late next week and just want to know what or if I have any paperwork to fill out or anything like that once I have handed in my incoming passenger card to the person at the gate – what will happen once ive handed it to them? – just want to know how the process works and what will happen just to help ease my mind a wee bit to know what I should expect and if there is any important info or paperwork etc they may need or require. I cant find anything online and only just stumbled upon your site tonight and has proven to be very helpful with my other unanswered questions and concerns!
    Hope you are able to help!
    Kind regards,

    • JJ Smith

      August 20, 2019 at 9:57 pm

      Hi Renee,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Is there any personal circumstances that are adding to your concern?
      Moving to Australia for a New Zealand Citizen is the same process as if you were visiting. No extra paperwork needed, unless you have a conviction ( or untreated tuberculosis.
      Upon entering Australia you present your New Zealand passport for immigration clearance. Once done you are considered to have applied for a visa and, subject to health or character considerations, will automatically receive a Special Category Visa (SCV). The SCV is recorded electronically.
      Their New Zealand passports are stamped, showing the date of arrival in Australia. This is the only evidence provided or necessary to show they are holders of an SCV.
      Make sure you read the below post. There are things that you should do before you leave NZ and others when you arrive. Especially the bank account, as when you are physically in Australia most banks require more paperwork from you, e.g. three months bank statements and proof of your address:
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.


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