Last updated about 2 hours ago on 2 May 2024

How To Move To Australia From New Zealand

Tips to save you time, money and headaches - from someone who has actually made the move over.

Grace and Damien

In 2007 we moved from Christchurch, New Zealand to Melbourne, Australia. We had many questions when preparing for our move - and after we arrived - but couldn‘t find a lot of answers. We hope this guide helps make your move to Australia in 2024 a lot less stressful!

Grace & Damien

What Is Covered In This Guide?

We put a lot of effort into researching our move to Australia, and we want to share it with you to make planning for your move in 2024 as painless as possible.

If you are looking for help about a specific topic, your best bet is to search our articles and our forum to find help quickly. Otherwise, if you want a more structured approach to planning your move to Australia, please read on!

Here's a breakdown of what is covered in this guide:

  1. Frequently asked questions
    A good way to start might be to check out our list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) if you are just getting started with planning your move. The FAQ page will hopefully point you in the right direction(s) to find the answers you are looking for. Also, check out our discussion forum for help if you don't find what you're looking for elsewhere on this site (remember to use our site search).
  2. Visa requirements
    Most New Zealand citizens can live and work in Australia indefinitely - without having to apply for a visa. You do still get a visa, but it is automatic and known as an SCV (Special Category Visa). You cannot receive many of the social welfare payments, access student loans or do ongoing work for the Australian Government unless you apply for permanent residency or citizenship. Read this section to understand the differences between living in Australia under this temporary, unprotected SCV versus the rights you would have as a permanent resident or citizen.
  3. Becoming an Australian citizen
    Considering applying to become an Australian citizen? As of July 2023, it has become much easier for New Zealand citizens to become Australian citizens - especially older kiwis. Read about the changes in this section.
  4. Moving your money to Australia
    Naturally you want to get the best deal on converting your New Zealand dollars into Australian dollars. We share our experience of setting up an Australian bank account before leaving New Zealand, and how to get the most Australian dollars for your NZ dollars.
  5. Healthcare in Australia
    Find out how to ensure you are covered for both emergencies and less serious healthcare under the Australian public healthcare system.
  6. Shipping your stuff to Australia
    Should you sell your belongings or ship some of them to Australia? This might be one of the most uncertain parts of your big move. Not having done this before, it was for us. Learn from our experiences to make it easier for you.
  7. Getting an Australian driver license
    It’s usually easy for New Zealanders to convert their NZ driver license to an Australian equivalent. The process varies from state to state, but in most places it involves filling out a form, making an appointment to get a new photo, taking an eyesight test and proving your identity.
  8. Finding a job
    As a NZ citizen, you can look for work in Australia right away - no work visa is required. In this section, we look at tax and other aspects of starting work in Australia.
  9. Finding somewhere to live
    Renting a house in one of the major Australian cities is often very competitive - particularly in the housing crisis of 2023/2024 - so that's why you will want to read about our experience of finding a new place to live in Australia.
  10. Buying a home in Australia
    Looking to buy a house instead of renting when you get to Australia? Get a head start by reading our tips on buying a home.
  11. Taking your pets with you to Australia
    Taking your cat or dog with you to Australia? Coming from NZ, there is typically no quarantine period. We've got some great advice in this section to help you bring your pets with you.
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