Moving to Australia – All You Need to Know

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Moving to Australia

Australia has great weather, pays good wages, and accommodative. It is also possible to stay in Australia for more than a year. There are many reasons why Australia is a very nice place to be. Relocating to Australia has been a plan of many Britons.

There is some vital information needed if you are thinking of moving to there. Regardless of the reason behind your move to Australia – whether for business or to start a new life, you should be adequately informed about the place before you make the great transition.

The purpose of this guide is to help you have a smooth transitioning to Australia. Are you relocating to Australia but confused about where to begin? This might make you feel overwhelmed right now; however, with this guide, you will have a clear understanding of the most vital parts of planning your move which include discussion about how to apply for an Australian visa, and general talks on the current employment, economic status, and much more.

Australia Overview

Australia, which is popularly described as the “Land Down Below” or “OZ,” is one of the places in the world people like to spend their vacations or holidays. A great number of people travel to Australia annually for various reasons such as work, vacation, moving in with family or to study abroad. Let’s quickly glance through Australia as a country.

Quick Facts about Australia

Language – English

The population – 24.13 million

Capital City – Canberra

Largest City – Sydney

Currency – Australian dollar (AUD)

Time-zone – UTC+8:00, UTC+8:45, UTC+9:30, UTC+10:00, UTC+10:30

Dialing Code – +61

There are many uniqueness and diversity in Australia, which includes climate, history, culture, geography, and many more. The varieties in Australia can be seen in its lifestyle, experience, food, and culture; thus, making it an incomparable place to be.

Weather and Climate in Australia

The weather in Australia is the opposite of the weather condition in other countries located in the Northern hemisphere, and for this reason, be prepared for cold winter in the 6th month and hot Christmases. Winters in Brisbane, Sydney, and Perth are generally mild compared to the harsh winters in Melbourne.

The temperature during summer in every part of Australia is so hot, rising above 40 degrees. The air in Singapore is dry, so you need not worry about sweating immediately you leave the bathroom.

Housing

It can be exceptionally challenging for someone or families who have to put in a lot of factors into consideration while hunting for where to stay in a new country. These factors may include access to schools, childcare, work, distance to public transport, and while at the same time considering how affordable it can be in a different currency.

While house-hunting in Australia, below is a list of thing you should know:

  • Purchasing a Home

The housing market in the country is still competitive even though prices have been regulated because of the rapid developments in recent years up to 2010, and the property increase has been likened to that of Ireland before the crash. The huge prices on properties in the country have been suggested to be declining because the property prices reduced drastically up to a year in larger cities since May 2012. It will cost an average of A$720,433 to buy a property in Melbourne, an average of A$875,816 in Sydney and an average of A$464,238 in Perth based on statistics from May 2018.

Complex analytics and information about property in Australia are provided by www.corelogic.com, which was known before as RP Data, the information also includes tables that show changes in price per location and are updated each month.

  • Renting a Home

In major cities of Australia, it cost a huge amount to rent properties. Although the market enjoys stability and the national rental average prices drops with 1.1% in the first three months of 2018, the prices are still high because of the massive increase in properties. It may cost up to A$480 or more weekly to rent a house in any of the major cities in Australia.

It will cost an average cost of A$600 weekly to rent a house in Sydney and may even cost more to rent properties that are closer to the city, the average rental price in Perth and Melbourne very low at A$360 and A$420 respective on the same type of property.

Cost of Living in Australia

As stated by www.expatistan.com and www.numbeo.com, the average price of living in the central and outside the city is being calculated when rental prices are quoted. The type of home and the number of people to stay in it is also taken into consideration when giving the figure.

An assumption is also being made that you would like to save money so you will be cooking most of your meals at home as you will be eating out occasionally and hence, the cost of groceries will be tailored to this assumption.

The amount calculated for your eating out will be based on you visiting local restaurants for a few times within a month.

It is also assumed that you will be going around in public transport most of the time, even though the prices of gas are highlighted. In general, these prices are for those who want to save cost and not spend beyond their thin budget. The spending power varies from one person to another, so this is also noted.

This means that the figures given here are just to give you insight on what your budget should look like when contemplating the cost of living in the country. Expect a higher cost of living in Australia if you are the social type that is fond of drinking and eating out and also not considering living in a place like Melbourne.

Below are the costs of living based on cities:

Cost of Living in Melbourne per Month

The lower cost of living in Melbourne is the only difference it has when compared with Sydney, as they both have the same culture, the diverseness, the closeness to water, and the thrilling nature. Melbourne is located at the southwest of Sydney while Sydney is on the Eastern Coast of the country.

Living in Melbourne is very much possible. I decided to stay in Melbourne because I can enjoy the big city life here at a lower cost. It is highly impossible to save money when you consider the high cost of things in Australia, but in Melbourne, I did.

Consider the following average prices in Melbourne:

  • Rent will cost $1527.21
  • Groceries (per items) – Bread will cost $2.46, Milk per gallon will cost $4.93, Chicken Breasts will cost a $4.45 per pound
  • Eating out per individual will cost $15 – $30
  • Transportation – Monthly Pass will cost $147, Gas will cost $5.16 per gallon
  • Fun – Movie Ticket will cost $19, Cappuccino will cost $4.23, and Cocktail will cost $18

Cost of Living in Sydney per Month

Sydney is known to be green, dynamic, thrilling, sustainable, and thriving place like some places in the world. The population in Sydney is around 5 million people, and this makes it possible for you to meet different kind of people, varieties of the meal and a great cup of gourmet coffee.

Even though the cost of living here is the highest in Australia, the pay here can also make up for it. The city of Sydney has an intersection point with the beach just a couple of distance from the attractive nature. Most people don’t even bother to walk around in shoes, just a pair of flip-flops will do.

Consider the following average prices in Sydney:

  • Rent will cost $2299.20
  • Groceries (per items) – Bread will cost $2.56, milk will cost $5.55 per gallon, and chicken will cost $4.57 per pound
  • Eating out per individual will cost $15 – $30
  • Transportation – Monthly pass will cost $180, and gas will cost $5.11 per gallon
  • Fun – Cocktail will cost $18 in a club, movie ticket will cost $20, and Cappuccino will cost $4.30

Cost of Living in Perth per Month

Perth, a quiet city that stands afar from others but has a feel of a metropolis, can be found on the western coast of Australia. It is an outskirt on the beach. There are lots of things you can expect in Perth such as sunny days while at the beach, barbecues in the backyard, most moderate winters that cannot be compared with, and lots of eating in the summer.

When you are planning to relocate to Australia permanently, and you do not want to settle down in a remote area, then Perth is your destination.

Consider the following average prices in Perth:

  • Rent will cost $1320.75
  • Groceries (per items) – Bread will cost $2.44, milk will cost $6.16 per gallon, and chicken will cost $4.90 per pound
  • Eating out per individual will cost $20 – $50
  • Transportation – Monthly pass will cost $130, gas will cost $4.99 per gallon
  • Fun – Cocktail will cost $18 in a club, Movie ticket will cost $18, and Cappuccino will cost $4.89

Cost of Living in Brisbane per Month

Brisbane is a large city on the island that sits on the river and is also the entrance to the Gold coast and Sunshine Coast. Everything you need for your enjoyment can be found in this sunny city located in the Northeast region at a much-reduced price.

The access to this city gives to the artificial beaches across the path to Brisbane River and to the natural areas that are much closer to the concrete jungle is why most people love the city.

Consider the following average prices in Brisbane:

  • Rent will cost $1457.37
  • Groceries (per items) – Bread will cost $2, milk will cost $4.95per gallon, and chicken will cost $4.53 per pound
  • Eating out per individual will cost $17 – $30
  • Transportation – Monthly pass will cost $150, gas will cost $5.24 per gallon
  • Fun – Cocktail will cost $16 in a club, movie ticket will cost $14, and cappuccino will cost $4.62

Cost of Living in The Gold Coast per Month

When most people think of relocating to Australia, the kind of vibe they will get as a surfer on the beach town known as Gold Coast is what they focus on. The sun here is not as hot as it is at Perth on the western region of the country.

You can get more moderate weather here on the eastern coast. Among the things you can find in the Gold coast include cafes, brewpubs, festivals, and markets for farmers. The best part is that, there is so much you can do for free here.

Consider the following average prices in the Gold Coast:

  • Rent will cost $1479.82
  • Groceries (per items) – Bread will cost $1.94, milk will cost $5.08 per gallon, and chicken will cost $4.58 per pound
  • Eating out per individual will cost $15 – $35
  • Transportation – Monthly pass will cost $70, gas will cost $5.03 per gallon
  • Fun – Cocktail will cost $17 in a club, movie ticket will cost $16, and cappuccino will cost $4.65

Cost of Living in Adelaide per Month

Adelaide is a medium-sized city that offers Mediterranean feel to its residents. The locals are accommodating, the water is warm, the weather is nice, and the cost of living here is very low. Among the many things to do in Adelaide includes visits to beautiful beaches, fun pubs and eating fresh foods.

There is no answer provided yet to the question of what is the thing that is not to be loved in the city. You will only encounter a little hurdle when trying to get the latest fashion in Melbourne or Sydney, as they are not available here. But living in Adelaide means that you will be spending less due to the super low cost of living.

Consider the following average prices in Adelaide:

  • Rent will cost $1310.32
  • Groceries (per items) – Bread will cost $2.29, milk will cost $5.20 per gallon, and chicken will cost $4.57 per pound
  • Eating out per individual will cost $18 – $40
  • Transportation – Monthly pass will cost $121; Gas will cost $4.95 per gallon
  • Fun – Cocktail will cost $18 in a club, movie ticket will cost $15, and cappuccino will cost $4.78

Cost of Living in Canberra per Month

This guide would not be completed without mentioning Canberra, which is the national capital of the country. The presence of mountain ranges, wildness and much fresh air in Canberra makes up for the absence of beaches and big city life in it.

It is just 3hours drive to southern Sydney and more hours north of Melbourne. The prices of items in Australia are averagely distributed in Canberra, and most costs are not above the national average. Although the accommodating lifestyle that exists all over the country is also certain in this city; however, politics and a little bush are present here.

Consider the following average prices in Canberra:

  • Rent will cost $1543.02
  • Groceries (per items) – Bread will cost $2.19, milk will cost $4.73 per gallon, and chicken will cost $4.78 per pound
  • Eating out per individual will cost $16 – $40
  • Transportation – Monthly pass will cost $100 and gas will cost $5.18 per gallon
  • Fun – Cocktail will cost $18 in a club, movie ticket will cost $17, and cappuccino will cost $4.35

Cost of Living in Newcastle per Month

Newcastle was at a time a home to steel and shipping of industrial products. It can be found just a little hour drive to the north of Sydney. It is known to be a small city with a golden heart. This little city is fast developing, and most citizens from other parts of the country and immigrants are considering moving here, as it is a new place to start over; with standalone retailers opening up shops, there are weekend markets, café and art culture to enjoy.

You can spend your day working or enjoying the harbor and afternoon having fun on the beach, and then head back to your home in the evening with a bottle of beer in your hand, gazing at the city while you go.

Consider the following average prices in Newcastle:

  • Rent will cost $1403.60
  • Groceries (per items) – Bread will cost $1.65, milk will cost $5.44 per gallon, and chicken will cost $4.65 per pound
  • Eating out per individual will cost $23 – $45
  • Transportation – Monthly pass will cost $109, gas will cost $5.26 per gallon
  • Fun – Cocktail will cost $12 in a club, movie ticket will cost $13.50, and cappuccino will cost $4.14

Cost of Living in Sunshine Coast per Month

Among the top ten most attractive beaches in the world are some of the beaches in the Sunshine coast located in the north of the Gold Coast on the eastern region of the country.

Here you will understand all you need to know as pertain to the beach which may include swimming in pools full of tides, doing laps in still water and standup paddleboarding. Surf is up here while life is easy and lay back here. These are what people expect when they consider relocating to Australia.

Consider the following average prices in Sunshine Coast:

  • Rent will cost $960
  • Groceries (per items) – Bread will cost $2.38, milk will cost $6.31 per gallon, and chicken will cost $4.41 per pound
  • Eating out per individual will cost $24 – $40
  • Transportation – Monthly pass is not available and gas will cost $5.18 per gallon
  • Fun – Cocktail will cost $15 in a club, movie ticket will cost $18, and cappuccino will cost $4.68

Cost of Living in Darwin per Month

Cost of living in this place is no cheaper compared to the one in Melbourne even though it is a rural area. However, you will enjoy your stay here. Darwin is a small and beautiful town located on the northern region just a little distance to Papua New Guinea along the Timor Sea. The water is filled with crocodiles, meaning you can’t swim inside, but you can enjoy the view by sitting on the rocks.

Consider the following average prices in Darwin:

  • Rent will cost $1270.98
  • Groceries (per items) – Bread will cost $1.90, milk will cost $6.06 per gallon, and chicken will cost $4.08 per pound
  • Eating out per individual will cost $22 – $40
  • Transportation – Monthly pass will cost $80; Gas will cost $5.29 per gallon
  • Fun – Cocktail will cost $14 in a club, movie ticket will cost $19, and cappuccino will cost $5.16

Job Market in Australia

Whether you are a trader or a professional, to secure a job across any field in Australia, you can enlist the help of international recruitment companies such as Adecco, Hays, Robert Half, Manpower, Australia Wide Personnel and Talent International that have their branches in Australia.

Identifying the difference between the net income and the gross salary when considering the wage on offer is more important.  The tax rate for expats earning close to $87,000 is 32.5% and 32.5% to 34.8% for those whose earning is around $180,000. A reasonable and useful section where you can compare salary based on the job advertised, the salary per role or industry is made available by Hays on their website.

It is recommended to start job-hunting online before you move to Australia if you are determined to begin to work immediately you arrive regardless of the type of working visa you are holding whether a visa for non-sponsored skilled workers or the one for working holiday.

Over 10,000 jobs are listed based on industry, occupation, and location on the www.jobsearch.gov.au, which is being controlled by the government. Other widely known commercial job websites include www.careerone.com.au, www.seek.com.au, www.careerjet.com.au, and www.jobs.com.au.

You can get help from local branches of international recruitment companies like Manpower and Hays if you already choose a location to live.

List of Occupations in Demand for Skilled Migration in Australia

If you are working in one of the occupations listed below that are in great demand in Australia, you will easily get your application to approve and also secure a job.

  • Accountants
  • Automotive electrician, motor mechanic
  • Architect, building associate, surveyor, architectural draftsperson, construction project manager, urban and regional planner
  • Childcare manager, childcare worker
  • Air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanic, electrician, electronic instrument trades worker, telecommunications trades worker
  • Engineering professions
  • Baker, butcher, chef, pastry cook
  • Health and social assistance occupations such as dentist, pharmacist, radiographer, occupational therapist, midwife, medical laboratory scientist, medical radiation therapist, physiotherapist, optometrist, sonographer, nurse, etc.
  • Teachers

Average Salaries in Australia

Individual income tax in Australia vs. Singapore

Your individual income tax is $12,022 (check individual income tax calculation rules for Australia) if you are earning A$63,000 as a secondary school teacher in Australia in the year 2017. Secondary school teacher will be taxed $550 because they earn SGD$40,000 in Singapore.

Migrating from Singapore to Australia – people who are no longer students in Singapore relocate to Australia on a normal basis on these Australia visas:

  • Temporary Work or Skilled Visa: You have to make your employer sponsor you, but first you need to get a job in Australia.
  • Business Innovation and Investment or Permanent Visa: This type is for business individuals who have at a point in time live in the country on a temporary visa.
  • Skilled Independent Visa: If you’ve gathered enough points under Australia’s skilled points test, then you can move in. The points awarded to you will solely base on how fluent your English is, your educational qualifications, your age, whether you have at a time once studied in the country, and your professional qualifications.

Education System in Australia

Relocating to Australia will not hold back your children for one year, as the school calendar starts in January from the lower level to a higher level. It is reported that secondary school students who relocate from Singapore to Australia perform greatly in science and math compared to their peers. It is worthy to note that special provisions may be made in mainstream schools to students with special needs in Australia.

Concerning tertiary education in the country, Australian students are more likely to finish year 12 at age 17. This means your child can proceed to the university in January without delay. Bachelor’s degree is generally completed within three or four years in Australia or 4 years for those who may not need an honors year.

Healthcare in Australia

The healthcare system in Australia has been reported as the most efficient in the world. Permanent residents and citizens of Australia all get subsidized medical costs from the country’s major health scheme, which is known as Medicare, a universal healthcare system. Medicare levy, which is being included in the tax system in Australia, is used to finance Medicare.

Australian Culture

Living a relaxed life is popular among residents in Australia. In every part of the country, there is the notion of no worries. The locals understand and respect relationships, and are accommodating to every expat coming to stay in their towns and cities on a temporary or permanent basis.

It is normal to fall in love with the country the minute you arrive at the country, and you will also get to appreciate each Australians you meet, as they are very direct, honest and hospitable.

Australian Foods

There are many incredible and delicious foods in Australia, as it is a huge part of their culture. Invitation for barbecue in Australia is a popular thing, and it is almost impossible for you not to get invited for one.

The reason behind this is because the idea of eating is highly focused on community sharing in Australian culture. You are guaranteed of varieties of delicious foods in the country.

Australian Languages

There is no official language in Australia. Regardless of this fact, the most generally spoken language in the country is English. The Australian English is so much similar to British English; you can, however, notice some differences in how some words are being spelled. It is very important to state that expats will clearly understand Australian English. Other languages spoken by expats in Australia include Greek and Chinese.

Reasons behind People Moving to Australia

Among the reasons to relocate to Australia include the convenient education system and the good balance in its work-life. It is also an English speaking country just as Singapore and the cost of living are lower together with the normal salary. Considering the number of Singaporean living in Australia, such as in cities like Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane, one can easily say relocating to the country is not a difficult thing to do. This means that you can also enjoy Malaysian and Singaporean food as you settled in and enjoy the relaxed life in Australia.

Although Singapore is more crowded than Sydney and Melbourne, however, the duo still feels like big cities when you are in them. Perth is popular among Singaporeans as a place to visit for tourists even though it is known to be a quiet town.

There are a countless number of cafes and food trucks going up and down the city of Melbourne, as food and coffee culture are not something to joke within the city. You only have to decide if relocating to Australia will be affordable and at the same time, lead to improvements in your life.

Visa available to Immigrants

The type of visa you desire or need when it comes to relocating to Australia is one of the most important decision you have to make, as it is a key method of determining how long you plan to stay in the country.

Consider the following for your eligibility:

  • 3 Months to 2 years
  • Work and Holiday visa available as subclass 462
  • Working Holiday visa available as subclass 417
  • Temporary Activity visa available as subclass 408. This is perfect for people in the entertainment business over than two years
  • Skilled Independent visa available as subclass 189
  • Sponsorship andor Residency

You can source for more information on other available visas for diplomats, business people and others which are not covered in this article. Your current location and how long you will be staying are the two factors that determine your visa costs in Australia, as the prices may vary.

Moving Your Possessions

It is generally known that the concept of relocating yourself and all of your belongings to a new location is overwhelming. Fortunately, there are many available options for you to choose from while thinking of relocating your belongings to a new country to have a sweet and stress-free moving experience.

Having the full knowledge of all the options to choose is very important.  International moving companies offer to help you transport your entire possessions from your current location to another country either by sea freight or by air, helping you to start a new life in a brand new location with all your items.

It can be costly, as it depends on the size of your move; however, it is worth the pay if you are relocating with your large and highly prized items such as car, sofas or beds.  Another moving option which offers international service at a cheaper price is container shipping. You will save a huge sum of money if you decide to go with this option rather than the air option, although it might take a couple of months for your possessions to get to you.

Kindly note that some international moving companies will require you to arrange for transportation of your belongings to and from the ports, both at your location and your destination. Although air option is more costly compared to other options, it is, however, the fastest option of getting your items to your destination. The price is strictly based on the weight and volume of your belongings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Australia have multiple time zones?

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.

What laws in Australia should I be aware of?

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 I move to Australia, do I need to retake a driving test?

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.

Where does the name for Australia come from?

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.

How does public transport in Australia compare to the US?

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.

Final Words

Australia is a place almost everyone aspires to go at least one of their lifetimes. You now have everything you need to know so you can plan for your move to Australia. If you want to know more about how to move your belongings to Australia, you can use our online quote to get free no-obligation quotes from our reliable movers. Good luck!

Thomas Campbell
Thomas Campbell
He 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.
Thomas Campbell
Thomas Campbell
He 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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