Moving to Australia

Planning on moving to Australia? Congratulations!

You’re going to love this laid-back paradise, where the wildlife flourishes, the sun shines all year round, and the beaches are beautiful.

Whether you’re moving to Australia alone, or moving to Australia with a family, we’ve got you covered – right through from healthcare to where you should live.

We can also offer you free quotes for shipping your possessions. By filling in this form, you can see how much moving your life to Australia would cost.

Uluru in the Northern Territory, Australia

The 550-million-year-old Uluru stands proudly in the Northern Territory

7 quick facts about Australia

  • The country contains 60 separate wine regions
  • Deep snow falls on the Australian Alps, where you can ski during the winter
  • There are five time zones – and only two observe daylight savings
  • More than 80% of the wildlife here is indigenous
  • Only three nations have a lower population density than Australia
  • There are between 200,000 and 300,000 animal species here
  • It’s the sixth-biggest country in the world

Cost of shipping to Australia

We’ve calculated the average international shipping rates for some of our most sought-after journeys from major UK cities to popular destinations in Australia.

Bear in mind these are estimates only. If you’d like a more accurate idea of how much shipping to Australia will cost you, just pop your details into this form, and our suppliers will get back to you.

RouteCost of shipping a 20 ft containerDuration
London to Sydney£4,69536.8 days
Liverpool to Melbourne£3,52035.2 days
Felixstowe to Brisbane£3,37037.8 days

Please note: these container shipping costs exclude typical add-ons such as door-to-door delivery, professional packing/unpacking, and basic insurance cover. Our shipping suppliers normally incorporate these services into their prices, so expect a discrepancy between the rates given here and the quotes you receive. These estimates should be used as an indication only.

The rates are sourced from cevalogistics.com, and are based on the port-to-port transportation of a 20 ft container of used furniture worth £41,056 – the typical value of the contents of a three-bedroom house (according to Admiral Insurance).

The durations are sourced from Searates.com.

This information was last updated in November 2021.

Cost of flying goods to Australia

While air freight is undoubtedly faster than other methods, it’s also typically 12-16 times more expensive than shipping your possessions, according to the World Bank.

RouteCostDuration
London to Sydney£2,1508 days
Manchester to Melbourne£2,0308 days
Glasgow to Brisbane£1,9108 days

These rates and durations are sourced from Shipa Freight.

They’re based on the airport-to-airport transportation of 250 kg of household goods, worth £41,056, from London, Manchester, and Glasgow to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The Illawarra coastline in New South Wales

The Illawarra coastline in New South Wales is stunning

Healthcare

Australia’s healthcare system incorporates both public and private offerings.

The country’s public health system is called Medicare – not to be confused with the US’s Medicare scheme.

It provides essential hospital treatment, appointments with doctors, and prescriptions all for free or a substantially reduced cost, and is funded by a form of income tax.

The private system offers additional hospital services, along with specialist care such as audiology, dentistry, nursing care, ophthalmology, and physiotherapy.

Australians usually take out a private insurance policy so that they can use a combination of public and private healthcare.

If you move to Australia and become a permanent resident, you will have to pay the Medicare tax on your income, and in return, you’ll get full access to its services.

If you’re moving to Australia on a temporary basis, you won’t need to pay the Medicare levy, and you’ll still be able to use a number of Medicare services, thanks to the UK’s Reciprocal Health Agreement with Australia.

Before your big move to Australia, it's wise to think about medical cover for when you're out there.

That's why we've partnered with Cigna for private medical insurance in Australia. With four levels of annual cover to choose from and extra modules for more flexibility, Cigna will sort you out with a plan that suits your needs.

Start building a customised plan with a free quote to protect your most important assets – you and your family.

Cost of living in Australia

Good / serviceAverage cost
A pint of beer£4.30
A monthly gym subscription£35.70
1 litre of gas£0.79
A bottle of wine £8.07
1 litre of milk£0.90
A loaf of bread£1.53
12 eggs£2.57
Single ticket on public transport£2.34
1-bedroom flat monthly rent£806
3-bedroom flat monthly rent£1,290

(Data sourced from Numbeo, and is correct as of December 2021)

Transferring money to Australia

If you’re about to move to Australia, you’ll probably need to convert some of your savings into Aussie dollars. 

However, it’s best to avoid using high street banks for this process, as you’ll usually have to pay high fees, and you won’t get the best exchange rate. 

That’s why we’ve done our research and compared all the major money transfer services on the market, so you can choose the right one. Check out our expert ratings and find the best money transfer provider today.

Working in Australia

Australia punches above its weight. The country has the 12th-biggest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the world, despite coming just 53rd in population size.

The work-life balance appeals too, with the promise of hours spent on the beach after work attracting many to these shores.

Getting a work visa for Australia

There are plenty of work visa options, whether you’re moving to Australia for a short time or forever.

If you’re 18 to 30 years old, you can visit the country on a working holiday visa, as long as you speak English and meet the other requirements on character, education, finance, and health.

Or you may want to apply for a temporary visa, which can provide a pathway to a permanent visa.

You can secure temporary entry in a handful of ways – for instance, by helping to alleviate a labour shortage, studying at an Australian university and then starting work, or by being a skilled worker with a relevant sponsor.

And you can also apply for a permanent visa straight away, which usually involves being sponsored or nominated by the government, and paying at least AUD$4,115 (£2,200).

You can learn about all your routes to a working life in Australia by consulting the government’s visa guide.

And if you want to know more, check out our page on visas for Australia.

Average salary in Australia

The average salary for a full-time employee in Australia is AUD$90,329 (£48,920), according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Income tax in Australia

Like so many countries around the world, Australia has a progressive income tax rate.

If you’re an Australian resident for tax purposes, here’s how it works, laid out in both Australian dollars and pounds.

If you received the average salary of AUD$90,329 (£48,920), these progressive rates would typically lead to you paying $19,824 in income tax – an overall tax rate of 21.9%.

Taxable incomeTax rate
Up to $18,200 (£9,860)0%
$18,201 – $45,000 (£9,861 – £24,380)19%
$45,001 – $120,000 (£24,380 – £65,013)32.5% plus a flat fee of $5,092 (£2,760)
$120,001 – $180,000 (£65,014 – £97,520)37% plus a flat fee of $29,467 (£15,964)
Over $180,001 (£97,521)45% plus a flat fee of $51,667 (£27,992)

Job hunting in Australia

If you need to find a job in Australia before you move, there are plenty of sites you can use to seek out a role you’ll love.

In fact, SEEK should be your first port of call, followed by Jora and CareerOne. All of these are excellent resources that help people to find jobs across the country.

Climate in Australia

When you think of Australia, you probably think of hot sunshine and clear, blue skies – and this is generally accurate.

Still, the climate varies across this gigantic nation, with its arid central desert region giving way to more bearable coastal areas in the southeast and southwest.

All the major cities in these areas enjoy mild winters, with average low temperatures that don’t fall under 7°C, and summers with average highs of more than 30°C.

The north is more tropical, so if you’re heading to Cairns or Darwin, you should prepare for humid summers and warm, drier winters. In Darwin, for example, the average high is above 30°C all year round.

Either way, you can say goodbye to endless rainy days, as Australia receives very little rainfall. Winters are wetter in the south than in the north, but not by a significant amount.

Just remember that Australia’s seasons all take place in the opposite months to countries in the Northern Hemisphere – so January is the peak summer month, for instance.

Does it snow in Australia?

It absolutely snows in Australia. The capital, Canberra, receives snow regularly, as does Tasmania.

You can also find plenty of snow in the Australian Alps, a 43,370mi² mountain range in the southeast where you can go skiing, hiking, and (of course) mountain climbing.

And if you visit Kosciuszko National Park in the winter, you may even see kangaroos hopping around in the snow.

The best places to live in Australia

Australia contains some of the best places to live in the world, with welcoming, fascinating cities scattered across the country. Let’s run through a few of them.

Melbourne: best for culture

Australia’s second-biggest city has long been its coolest destination. This gorgeous, multicultural, unerringly trendy area has creativity spilling out of every avenue.

From its independent shops and vintage stores to its artists’ markets and craft breweries, Melbourne has the hipster ambience down to a tee – and it’s glorious.

You can indulge yourself in the food heaven that is Brunswick, have a great time at iconic rooftop tapas bar Naked for Satan, and get lost in beautiful street art on Johnston Street.

Make sure you also throw yourself into the arcade glory of Pixel Alley and visit Lune Croissanterie, whose croissants may be the best in the world, and whose owners insist it “is not a shop. It's a combination of the passion, inspiration and complexity of the croissant.”

Melbourne is also home to more fantastic live theatre, music, fashion shows, and comedy performances than you could see in a lifetime – but you can have a lot of fun trying.

Brisbane: best for families

Brisbane is more affordable than Sydney and Melbourne – always helpful when you’re funding a family – plus it has tonnes to do for children and adults.

You can take your kids to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to introduce them to Australian animals, then show them everything else nature has to offer at Mount Coot-tha, which hosts the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

The mountain, which is also a suburb of Brisbane, is a great place to hike, cycle, and spend a couple of hours in a state of awe at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.

Make sure you also spend an evening at Eat Street Northshore, which features 70 traders offering delicious food from around the world, eclectic clothing, and themed bars for the adults – plus musical and dance acts for the whole family.

There are also lots of top-quality schools, and if anyone in your family ever misses the UK, you can go see the Wheel of Brisbane – which looks a great deal like the London Eye – or attend a match at Lang Park, a rugby stadium known locally as The Cauldron.

Sydney: best for work

When it comes to employment opportunities, there’s nowhere like Australia’s biggest city.

Sydney is a hub of finance and startups, meaning you could join a huge, established business like Google, Microsoft, Deloitte, or the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, or an innovative company that’s trying to disrupt the mainstream.

Life is more expensive in Sydney than in any other Australian city, but the salaries are usually higher too.

Next steps

You’re now prepared to enjoy all the wonders Australia has to offer, from its amazing weather to exciting adventures in the mountains and on the coasts.

You can take the next step by filling in this form for free shipping quotes from trusted specialists, who can move your belongings to your new home.