Moving to Australia

Moving to the other side of the world is a huge decision to make and there are so many things to think about and arrange. One of the hardest choices to make is deciding what to take with you for the big move. Hiring a respectable global removal firm is strongly advised as sending a lifetimes worth of stuff is a tricky business.


Timing is all important when planning a move to Australia as you have to get many things done before a deadline. The following checklist is designed to make this task easier and help prevent a nervous breakdown:

Check that you and your family’s passports are valid. The process of applying for a visa may take several months and some countries require at least six months of passport validity to issue a visa, so be careful.

Find out if you and/or family members need a visa and make the application as soon as possible if you do.

Buy your tickets and make any necessary reservations for your trip.

Check if you need an international driving license (remember that it is valid for only one year and it cannot be renewed, you must apply for it again).

Make sure you and your pet have all the vaccines required to travel abroad. It may be required to put your pet into quarantine.

Arrange your travel insurance and your health insurance abroad; do not forget all family members.

Check whether your contributions towards your pension are recognized in the country you are moving to.

Make sure that you and your family get medical and dental examinations, take a copy of the results. Also take documents that prove and describe your insurance cover.

If you are renting a house, tell your landlord. Under many contracts you are required give notice several months in advance.

Sell anything that you are not taking with you (cars, furniture, property, etc). Otherwise you can ask friends to take care of it or put it in a deposit.

If you are leaving for a long period, perhaps you should give “powers of attorney” over your financial affairs to someone you trust while you are absent.

Cancel your utilities in advance: electricity, gas, oil, water, telephone (also your mobile) and internet.

Cancel your subscription to any clubs, associations, courses, newspapers, etc.

Close your bank accounts unless you think that you will use them.

Inform the tax authorities that you are leaving.

Give your new address to your friends, family and business associates.

Redirect your mail through the Post Office.

Pay all outstanding bills and loans before you leave the country. Give back any money you borrowed from friends.

What to take and what to leave

Here’s our handy guide on what to take with you hen emigrating to Australia.

Electrical goods.

Electronic goods such as toasters, kettles and stereos are fine to take with you as Australia uses the same electrical voltage as that found in the UK. If you’re planning on emigrating from places such as the US it’s a good bet that none of your American bought goods will work without an adaptor. Australia and Britain use the PAL system whereas the US uses the NTSC system of voltage.

TV’s are slightly different however. Because the sound signal used by Australian TV is different to that of the UK you may get a picture but no sound, it’s advised you invest in an Australian video or DVD recorder so that the signal is fed through your TV, otherwise it may be easier to buy a new Aussie TV. Satellite decoders and dishes are more than likely not going to work in Australia so it is a good idea to do some research before you pack it up.

Items that use batteries will work fine, however to be on the safe side it may be an idea to invest in a plug adaptor.

DVD players will often only work if it is designed for the right region. For example the U.S is region 1, Australia region 4 and Europe region 2. It may be possible to purchase a region free player from an electronics store.

Mobile phones are likely to work if you’re bringing it in from Britain. If it’s an American cell phone then there’s a good chance it won’t, due to different signals. Before moving you should ask your phone company to check if it will work, if not then just get a new SIM card when you arrive.


Generally it’s not worth the hassle to bring any vehicles to Australia. A combination of import duties and taxes are very expensive. Unless, the vehicle is very special or vintage it’s probably easier to rent or buy a new vehicle upon arrival. All imported vehicles have to comply with the Australian customs rules and this can also be very expensive.


Don’t take any food with you. Most likely it’ll go off or be seized by customs upon arrival.

Household goods

Before sending your household goods into storage and transportation it is strongly advised that you clean each item thoroughly, preferably steam clean. This enables them to pass customs and quarantine quicker and easier. Good quality furniture is quite expensive in Australia so it is a good idea to bring as much of your own as possible.

Aside from the items listed you can bring every else over, moving into your new home on the other side of the world with your furnishing and goods makes it a home away from home easier.

Links for Professional removal firms:

Here’s a list of some reliable firms to assist you in your big move.