What Should You Know Before Moving to Australia?

Written By Thomas Curry | Updated: Oct 25, 2021

What Should You Know Before Moving to Australia?

There are many reasons to make a move to Australia for those planning a move. I know making a move can be scary, but Australia is a worthy place to go.

This is about a land of real variety, where you can surf and ski both on the same day. The wildlife, weather, and everything in Australia is colorful, inviting, and always a bit dangerous.

If you are moving from the United States of America, you will need a reputable international moving company to help you execute the move.

Australia is a location where everyone has something to offer unless they go about in the group.

So to assist you with the move, we’ve compiled this helpful guide which consists of handy information about moving down here.

With no delay, these are the 21 things you may not be aware of in Australia.

1. Australia is large

Moving from the United Kingdom where a move to London from Glasgow is considered a long-distance is a quick reminder that the world is larger than your backyard when flying from one side of the country to another takes hours.

The size of Australia is over 3 million square miles. From a perspective view, it is almost the size of Europe.

Yes, indeed. If you place a map of Australia on the map of Europe, it almost covers up the entire thing. The distance between Portugal and Ukraine is not up to the distance between Perth and Sydney. You can fairly say you need a lot of time and energy to see the entire country.

2. You need more money before you move to Australia but your income may be huge

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that full-time adults in Australia earn an average income of $1,634 in May 2019. If you are unemployed, however, you must allow the expensive cost of living in Australia.

Sydney and Melbourne have currently ranked 5th and 6th most expensive cities in your universe.

The average cost of living in Australia for a single person is $2,835 for each month, while the median living expenses for a couple are $4,118 monthly.

3. The weather changes a lot

People often think the weather in Australia is the same all over. Hot, sunny weather all through the year across the country. This is purely far from the truth. During summer in the south, the north is normally experiencing a wet season.

Brisbane is just blessed with a normal tropical climate, while Melbourne is popularly known for its ‘4 seasons in a month. It also snows in some parts of the country that making ski a possibility.

4. Internet speeds are not up to expectation

There are many beautiful things to consider about moving to Australia, but internet speeds here are a major concern.

This may be due to one huge desert or a giant Grammy. The fact that Australia doesn’t get much of the 21st-century offerings is indeed a thing.

5. Cos of living is fairly high

Ensure that you plan your budget accurately for your move. Australia is a costly place, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, and if you are unemployed, you need to save every penny. Make sure you have a minimum of AU$5,000 to cope for few months unemployed.

6. Australian ski holidays are real

The Australians experience more snowfall than Switzerland. This is a fact that Australians love to tell people, so don’t forget this one and you will enjoy it the more when you know it in advance.

When they begin to talk, just jump in by saying you already knew that. It will be so much important to become a welcome member of your new Australian neighborhood.

Most of the ski locations in the country are located in the Southeast, like the Perisher Resort. This can be found on the Snowy Mountains, in-between the Snowy Rivers and the Snowy Plain (real names, not a joke).

However, the Australian snow levels are dropping gradually, so these names will soon sound silly.

7. Australian food is a bit unique

You will have the chance to test some different and interesting foods in Australia. You will complete your working holiday trio by trying out Tim Tam (possibly the most known chocolate), Vegemite (a food spread prepared from remnant yeast of brewer with different vegetable and spice additives), Kangaroo, and Fairy Bread (white bread coated in butter and sprinkles). Australians also put beetroot on their beef burgers, so get ready.

8. I recommend you get an apartment with AC

You won’t find it pleasant to try and get asleep when the temperature is 420. That is true for southern cities like Melbourne, which can be excessively hot in the summer. 420 is too much!

9. Smoking is costly

The government of Australia wants to prevent their citizens from smoking, so they’ve made it so much costly. Smokers now pay $0.7 for each cigarette, which is one of the most expensive costs of tobacco in the world.

It’s projected to increase, too; the tax rate will rise by 12.5% every September until 2020, eventually making the price of a pack goes for about $40.

It’s effective, considering the rate of adult smokers in Australia slashed into halve since 1980.

Melbourne and Sydney were listed by Deutsche Bank as the two most costly cities for buying a pack of cigarettes in the world (at $20). If you are relocating to Australia as a smoker, this might be the time to forget about the habit.

10. You will see live music scene in Australia

The music scene here is filled with diversity with new artists rising to stardom all the time. You can appreciate Australia for the likes of Tash Sultana, Sticky Fingers, and Tame Impala. Some of the exports from here have become popular by busking. So, you may get the chance to see the beginning of the next big thing.

11. Research jobs in Australia before leaving

The economy in Australia may be good, but it might be tough to get a job than you think. If you are planning a working holiday visa, you will be limited to 6 months with each employer, so you need to make proper planning to save time. Ensure that your employer is registered as a working holidaymaker employer so that you are taxed at the accurate rate.

12. Road signs are different

Road signs in Australia are somehow different and you will encounter some signs you are new to from where you are coming from. Familiarize with them before you move especially if you are planning on driving while you get there.

13. Remember the wildlife

It is only natural to believe that Australia is filled with animals that are ready to get you. This is a stereotype about Australia that has come to stay. However, living here would make you worry about other things, like bushfires and sunburn.

There are some dangerous creatures all over the country, but the statistics present a very interesting reading. At first, there are just two species of deadly spiders in Australia and anti-venom is available for both of them.

There has never been a report of casualty report of Australians from a spider bite since 1979. Stingrays have killed just two people in Australia (Steve Irwin is one of them). There is just one unprovoked fatal shark attack annually on average.

If you don’t find these statistics soothing enough, there are other precautions to take immediately you get to Australia, like avoiding the sea.

14. The Australian birds are too loud

Birds in Australia are loud. Their annoying screeching and squawking are disturbing to the ear. When about 500 birds gathers to feed together in the field, it is disturbing when they take flight.

They seem to enjoy making such noise from the top of their lungs. Some of the species known for being too loud include a barking owl, Australian Southern Cassowary, and Little Penguin.

15. There is snow

Would you like to enter the snow with us? Affectionately referred to by my Australian friends as ‘the snow.’ There is SKI RESORTS a few hours from Melbourne. Despite my fear, it was indeed a great weekend away and after working through my formal fear of face-planting in the snow, I snow plowed successfully through several hills. 10/10 I recommend.

I recommend that you rent your Ski gear when you arrive at the resort because it wasn’t funny to drive up a mountain with skis and snowboards placed on our laps jutting through the window as the cold air beat our ears. Not to mention that it is likely illegal.

16. Healthcare is universal

Healthcare in Australia is free and you can see it immediately you have permanent residency. If you come from New Zealand or the UK, temporary visitor access will be granted to you. However. We recommend you take out ambulance insurance as it is not covered with Medicare.

17. Melbourne is indeed one of the world’s best cities

Melbourne has been voted consistently as one of the best cities to live in the world and I can affirm that having spent 24 months living there. It is indeed the dream. Yeah, it doesn’t have nice beaches like Sydney, but it does have culture and people and those constitute the beaches in spades.

18. You will discover that your friend group is filled with ex-pats

I thought my moving to Australia will get me more Australian friends but most of the friends I’ve made were from the United Kingdom. In some ways, you can find the backpacker culture insular here.

If you want to mix your friend group you need to try to make yourself available out there and meet the others outside walking around if it’s through the place of work or friendships started through social media.

19. Respect the workers

Australians are really careful about employee rights, and we think that is just great. Together with being one of the first countries to start the 40-hour workweek, Australia also pays the highest minimum wage in the universe.

Once you have paid taxes and the cost of living are also considered, minimum wage earners in Australia are earning $9.54 per hour. And with this, taxes for low-earners are not so much high when you make a comparison with other developed nations all over the world. Nice one, Australia.

20. Moving to Australia puts you far from everything

Understand that Australia is far from the rest of the world. However, that shouldn’t stop you from moving there. You will soon get used to friends and acquaintances chatting with you to inform you that they are moving there only for them to never come. But once you read this, I know you will possibly be one of those people.

21. When you more here, you will not want to leave

Firstly, it seems you are far from everything and everyone and are missing things and people you are used to. But when you start to realize that even though you miss everything from your old place, you’ve found yourself in love again.

So, before you book that flight, I hope you will take this welcome card from me and a potted plant for Australia, your new home.

Frequently Asked Questions

It does! Other than one or two countries, Australia has the most time zones for one nation. There are three major time zones you would need to know to tell time throughout the island country. There is Australian Western Standard Time (AWST), Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), and Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

  • AWST has a 12 hours difference from NY, (UTC+08:00)
  • ACST is +1:30 ahead of AWST
  • AEST is +2 ahead of AWST and is thus 14 hours ahead of New York (UTC +10:00)

Each of these zones is further complicated because daylight savings time is only used in the South and South-East states, making the time difference fluctuate throughout the year. It may take some time getting used to the new time zones if you come from a smaller country.

While the majority of Australia’s laws and legal system will be familiar to anyone from a British common law based nation (United States, England, Ireland, Canada, etc.), there are a few laws that have developed due to the country’s unique culture and history.

While you should take the time to read all legal statutes of your home area yourself, it is worth noting that in Australia, they have some rules like compulsory voting laws and anti-hooning ordinances you might find surprising.

That’s right, Australian citizens are legally required to vote! Make sure you understand all regulations you must abide by in your new home.

If you move to Australia, you will have to retake the driving test after a period of three months.  Those three months is a grace period for you to get set-up, situated, and to obtain the required paperwork. Failure to do so can be quite a burden on someone trying to work and start a new life in a new country.

Another aspect of driving in Australia worth noting for the US crowds is that they drive on the left side of the road (and the same goes for walking on sidewalks or footpaths). For many moving to Australia from the United States or Canada, this is one of the more awkward hurdles to overcome.

The name for Australia comes from the Latin word australis, which means “southern.” Originally the land was called “New Holland” by the Dutch (they had also named New York, New Amsterdam). The current name was first coined in 1794 to refer to the current landmass we know as Australia.

The name Australia itself was in use long before, however. In 1625 there is a recording of it being used in English when an explorer believed he had found Terra Australis “land of the south,” a mythical continent early explorers had hypothesized the existence of. Antarctica was also referred to with aspects of the word ‘australis’ many times in the past.

Due to the expansive nature of both countries, the public transportation systems are often compared. The truth is that although they are both large, the two countries are quite different, as are the ways people get around.

City centers like Sydney often have an older city layout with narrower roads in the downtown that makes getting around for personal vehicles difficult. At the same time, the interstate system in the US is much more developed. These two profound differences mean that public transportation is much more built up and utilized in Australia.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you now have a lot of clues about moving to Australia. There is certainly something for everyone in Australia, but it is so much nice for people who enjoy great barbecues, coffee, and free healthcare.

If you are yet to be discouraged by the magpies and the blistering heat, complete the form at the top of this page to obtain quotes from our reputable movers.

Thomas Curry

Thomas has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.

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