Shelley and Adam are a Christchurch couple in their late 20s who moved to Brisbane in 2008. They’ve shared a few tips below on their move to help out fellow Kiwis moving to sunny Queensland.
How easy is it for Kiwis to find a job in Brisbane? How long did it take you? Any dos and don'ts?
It's not too bad really. They know we're hard workers! I got a job interview through Flight Centre before I came over so within 2 weeks was working but my husband joined a few recruitment companies and was working within a week.
Temp wages are very good and within a few months you are usually offered a permanent role depending on the job. I would sign up to recruitment companies in the months or weeks leading up to the move and also perhaps apply for jobs on Seek. Don’t be put off by any rejections as you will no doubt get half a dozen. There is work here if you want to work.
Did you stay in temporary accommodation on arrival in Brisbane? If so, any recommendations for other Kiwis?
It was actually one of the most challenging things about moving here as rental agencies require '100 points of identification' in most cases. This is made up of the usual passport copy, drivers license etc but also they like to have two previous rental references, and in some cases personal referees. It is always good to have a contract from a workplace but of course in some cases this is too early.
We were lucky as we stayed with family for 5 weeks, however we were most grateful to find a Kiwi couple running the 'Manhattan Apartments' at 436 Ann Street in the city. I literally knocked on the door and they had a place within 3 weeks. All they wanted was 2 weeks rent as bond plus a copy of passports and contract for work.
They are furnished, slightly older but well maintained Studios and 1/2 Bedrooms right in the city. We paid $340 per week furnished but saved on buses etc as both working in the city. Also check out the realestate.com.au renting section.
What is the cost of living in Brisbane like?
The city is convenient if working here but you get less for your money. If the city appeals, expect to pay around $300 - $380 per week for private apartments or $150+ for a room in one.
Nice handy areas not too far away include New Farm, Paddington, Milton, Spring Hill and across the river Kangaroo Point, West End, Morningside, etc. For a house/townhouse you would be looking at $250 - $500 per week, depending on age.
Out in the suburbs you can get a lot more for your money so it depends on where you will be working or if you don’t mind traveling a little. People in Brisbane travel up to an hour on trains and buses without flinching!
What are the biggest differences you've noticed between living in NZ and living in Brisbane?
The weather!!! It is always mild in winter and so warm in summer. The Sunshine Coast beaches and Gold Coast are 40 minutes to an hour and 45 minutes away, so there's plenty to do and see outdoors.
Brisbane has more of a large country town feel, so it has the best of both worlds and is pretty friendly really - except when it comes to sports! The things I miss from home are of course people, decent fish and chips and the landscape of NZ. It is a mere 3 hour flight back whenever you want to visit home and international travel is more reasonable from here as it is a much larger hub for airlines. But I digress!
Any general advice about moving to Brisbane from NZ that you'd give to people?
It is a very easy transition. Just get your paperwork/references/CV sorted and get looking online!
General Things To Consider When Moving To Brisbane
In addition to the discussion above, here are the general things to consider when moving from New Zealand to Brisbane.
If you are a New Zealand citizen, then this part is often very simple - you can usually just move to Brisbane to live and work without applying for a visa. Read more about visa requirements in our guide to Australian visas for Kiwis.
Moving Your Money To Brisbane
It's very easy to get a bad deal when you convert your New Zealand money to Australian money. Read our guide to moving your money to Australia to find out how to get a better deal and how to open an Australian bank account before you leave New Zealand.
Finding Somewhere To Live In Brisbane
Finding a place to live in Brisbane might be more competitive than you are used to in New Zealand. Our section on finding a place can help you learn about what to expect and where to start looking.
Finding A Job
It helps to know where to look when you need to find a job in Brisbane. Our finding a job section will help you get started with things like tax rates, job hunting sites, etc.
Moving Your Stuff
We also tell you about how to organise moving your belongings to Brisbane.
Make sure you are familiar with the Australian health care system by taking a look at our section on health care in Australia.