Last updated 26 days ago on 1 November 2023
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.
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 2023 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 2023 as painless as possible.
Here's a breakdown of what is covered in this guide:
- Frequently asked questions
A good way to start might be to check out our list of frequently asked questions (FAQ). This page will hopefully help point you in the right directions 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.
- 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.
- 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. Read about the changes in this section.
- 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.
- Healthcare in Australia
Find out how to ensure you are covered for both emergencies and less serious health care under the Australian public healthcare system.
- Shipping your stuff to Australia
Should you sell your stuff or ship some of it 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.
- Getting an Australian driver license
It’s usually easy for New Zealanders to get an Australian driver licence. 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.
- 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.
- 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 - so that's why you will want to read about our experience of finding a new place to live in Australia.
- 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.
- 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.