Moving to Australia? 5 Common Questions Answered!

01 Aug

Thinking of moving to Australia?


Did you know that each year, around 190,000 people make the move to Australia to establish a new life? Yes, one-hundred-and-ninety-thousand! Crikey!
High wages, sandy white beaches, endless sunshine and friendly relaxed people with endearing accents make for a pretty exciting and unique place to live, particularly if you hail from the Northern hemisphere where Australia seems more like a bucket-list item than a realistic option for beginning a new life.
Unfortunately, moving is never easy (which is also what makes it so rewarding),  so we have gathered our 5 most common questions for moving to Australia in order to help make the transition easier for you.


These are:
1. Which Australian city should I move to?
2. How much money will I need to move to Australia?
3. Where to find a job in Australia and what will I need in order to start working?
4. How do I find somewhere to live in Australia?
5. Which Australian phone company should I go with?


1. Which Australian city should I move to?

Are you the type of person who books a cheap flight on a whim and then decides what to do once you get here? Or are you more calculated and like to plan in advance with your partner or family in tow?
If you are the latter, you might find it helpful to know a bit more about some of the most popular Australian cities and the pros and cons of moving to each one, this way you aren’t jumping in the deep end when you decide where you want to base yourself.


The Pros and Cons of Moving to Sydney
Population of Sydney: Est. 5 million people
– Beautiful seasonal weather with mild winters and beautiful summers.
– World class beaches and coastline.
– Fantastic food and bar scene.
– Great career options due to it’s sheer size.
– Fantastic indoor/outdoor lifestyle.
– Very expensive, especially Sydney rental and house prices.
– Lockout laws meaning bars/pubs close very early and have very tight restrictions.
– Traffic and congestion is terrible.
The Pros and Cons of Moving to Melbourne

Population of Melbourne: 4.5 million people
– Lots of culture and things to do. Every pocket of Melbourne has something special and there is always something on to entertain you.
– Coffee. Melbourne is OBSESSED with it’s coffee and cafe culture.
– Melbournians love their sport and go stark raving mad for Aussie Rules (AFL), the Grand Prix and the Australian Open which are all housed in Melbourne.
– Voted most liveable city in the world 7 years in a row.
– The weather is not great. Think cold and dreary winters, and 40+ degree summers!
– It’s expensive (although rent is much cheaper than Sydney).
– Traffic and public transport aren’t great.
The Pros and Cons of Moving to Brisbane

Population of Brisbane: 2.28 million people
– Amazing winter weather.
– Close to some of the most stunning Queensland beaches.
– Cheaper than Sydney and Melbourne.
– Very high humidity in summer.

– There is no daylight savings so unlike the rest of the country, the summer nights are not very long.


The Pros and Cons of Moving to Perth

Population of Perth: 2 million people
– Fantastic weather.
– Beaches, beaches and beaches.
– A slower more relaxed lifestyle.
– Not as congested as other Australian cities.
– Incredible natural surroundings.
– Most of the Australian population is situated along the East Coast and Perth is on the West, making it very isolated and far from everywhere else.

– Very expensive due to the mining boom around there. Wages are high in the mines which pushes the price of everything else up.

The pros and cons of moving to the Gold Coast
Population of Gold Coast: 687,460 people
– Only 1.5 hours from Brisbane so you have the best of a big city close by and a smaller more relaxed place to base your life in.
– Like many of the places on this list; the amazing beaches.
– You can even commute to Brisbane for work if you want.
– The weather.
– Incredible nature both inland and on the coast. The vast hinterland behind the GC (the Gold Coast) is world-heritage listed.
– Like Brisbane, high humidity in summer.
– Not a huge amount of work.
– Not a lot of ‘culture’.
– Terrible traffic.

2. How much money will I need to move to Australia?

There is no pleasant way to say this, Australia is expensive. Like, really expensive. Which makes the set-up costs to move here pretty scary.
The good news however, is that even though Australia is initially very expensive, the wages are high too so once you get into work, you should be able to live relatively easily (if you don’t spend all your money on Avo Smash and lattes at the local cafe every day – yummo).
That being said, you will need to make sure you save enough money before coming that you are able to live for at least three months, pay bond (usually 4-5 weeks total rent plus one months rent upfront), rent and get by without having a job. It goes without saying, financial stresses place a huge burden on ones enjoyment of life so if you prepare in advance, you should avoid a lot of potential meltdowns and stress.
This Cost of Living in Australia list is from and has been updated as of July 2019.


Restaurants Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 20.00 A$ 15.0026.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 80.00 A$ 60.00112.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 11.00 A$ 10.0013.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 8.00 A$ 6.0010.00
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 8.00 A$ 7.0010.00
Cappuccino (regular) 4.36 A$ 3.805.00
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 3.30 A$ 2.204.00
Water (0.33 liter bottle) 2.76 A$ 2.003.50
Milk (regular), (1 liter) 1.47 A$ 1.002.25
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 2.63 A$ 1.304.00
Rice (white), (1kg) 2.65 A$ 1.755.00
Eggs (regular) (12) 4.27 A$ 3.006.00
Local Cheese (1kg) 9.07 A$ 6.0014.00
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg) 10.46 A$ 8.9514.00
Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 15.22 A$ 8.0025.00
Apples (1kg) 4.19 A$ 3.005.50
Banana (1kg) 3.39 A$ 2.504.90
Oranges (1kg) 3.72 A$ 2.505.00
Tomato (1kg) 5.06 A$ 3.508.00
Potato (1kg) 3.23 A$ 2.005.00
Onion (1kg) 2.53 A$ 1.704.00
Lettuce (1 head) 2.53 A$ 2.003.50
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 2.14 A$ 0.803.85
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 15.00 A$ 12.0020.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 4.68 A$ 2.637.50
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 5.71 A$ 3.339.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 30.00 A$ 25.0035.00
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 4.00 A$ 3.005.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 149.95 A$ 99.00200.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 4.40 A$ 3.506.00
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 2.00 A$ 1.623.00
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 49.20 A$ 34.2060.00
Gasoline (1 liter) 1.47 A$ 1.301.60
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 25,000.00 A$ 22,990.0030,000.00
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 23,900.61 A$ 20,000.0030,000.00
Utilities (Monthly)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 197.59 A$ 106.25325.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.23 A$ 0.110.60
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 73.96 A$ 60.0099.00
Sports And Leisure
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 63.88 A$ 40.00100.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 20.62 A$ 10.0030.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 18.00 A$ 14.9020.00
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 1,741.43 A$ 800.002,520.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 18,622.48 A$ 10,000.0029,000.00
Clothing And Shoes
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 96.20 A$ 60.00125.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) 60.25 A$ 35.0090.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 133.08 A$ 90.00180.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 140.05 A$ 90.00200.00
Rent Per Month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,683.98 A$ 1,100.002,500.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 1,279.03 A$ 850.001,950.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 2,662.84 A$ 1,600.004,333.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,889.44 A$ 1,213.002,900.00
Buy Apartment Price
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 7,764.08 A$ 4,500.0014,000.00
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 5,618.18 A$ 3,000.009,200.00
Salaries And Financing
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 4,351.22 A$
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 4.38 3.905.00

3. Where do I find a job in Australia and what will I need in order to start working? 

Luckily for you, finding a job in Australia is relatively easy as long as you have a tax file number (TFN) and a bank account, and both those things can be obtained once you land here.


The first thing you will need to do when you land (other than getting a phone sorted) is to get an Australian bank account.

We have four main banks here in Australia which offer a variety of different services and you will be able to open an account with any of them as long as you have sufficient identification.
These banks are:
3. ANZ
4. Westpac
You will find branches of these banks in almost every shopping strip, shopping centre and in most suburbs.

ING is also an online bank that many people use as it has low fees and high interest savings accounts.


The second thing which you will need to get sorted is an Australian tax file number (TFN).

How do I get an Australian TFN? I hear you ask.
You can apply for your tax file number online as soon as you arrive in the country. You can do this at or follow this link here.

You will need to have a valid passport and an Australian address where the ATO can send your tax file number.

Once you have these things sorted, you can begin looking for a job in Australia.
If you are really eager and have skills which translate well into specialist work, you may be able to sort something out before you arrive and start almost immediately. This depends on how eager you are to get settled into your new life.

There are some main Australian websites where a lot of employers and job seekers look, these would be a great place for you to begin your hunt.

These are:
– – This is by far the biggest job board and the most widely used in Australia.
– – Is a favourite for a lot of people as their service is free for employers to post jobs. – Gumtree Australia is a similar platform to Craigslist, it has loads of secondhand goods, jobs, cars and house-shares etc. If you are looking for something less formal, this could be a great place to start.
For smaller but still significant Australian job sites which you can also look on:
For specialist job sites in certain industries:
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a professional social network deliberately aimed at connecting people within career networks. It is best to look for senior roles or white collar jobs, or to connect with people who work in companies which you may be interested in. – this website is for jobs within the Australian Public Sector (APS). These are jobs within the Australian government. Usually the process for attaining an APS job can be quite arduous but the pay rates tend to be significantly higher than other industries since it is government. – For community jobs, not-for-profit jobs and more socially conscious jobs across the main centres in Australia. – For creative jobs and industries. The Loop provides a platform which you can upload your portfolio as well as apply for jobs within the creative industry. – Another creative job board website but this one requires you to have a membership to unlock the access. – For jobs within blue collar industries, these could be tradie jobs, mining jobs, manufacturing jobs or construction jobs.
It can also be really handy to register your interest with recruitment agencies as they may be able to place you in a job which would suit you. They also have large databases of employers and could help to give you temporary work while you are getting set up. Temporary and contract work is often paid at a higher rate than permanent positions and it can be a great way to get an ‘in’ which can lead to something more permanent.
Some really large temp agencies in Australia are:

How do I find somewhere to live in Australia?

Getting a job and finding a place to live are usually the two most stressful parts of moving to a new city, country or place.

Thank god for the internet which has transformed the once burdensome process of trying to find somewhere to live and made it relatively simple.

You will need to decide what sort of accommodation you want. Most people coming to Australia would prefer to get settled first before considering longer-term plans such as buying property and all the complexities which come with that.

For renters, you will need to decide if you prefer to live on your own or in shared accommodation. Both have their positives and negatives but the advantages of moving into a share house means you can meet other locals, the set-up costs won’t be as expensive and often it is easier to break a lease or find someone to replace you if you do decide you want to move on.
Some of the best places to find rental properties:


Facebook Groups are also a great way to connect with people and see what house shares are available. In some cities (like Melbourne), these Facebook groups could be your best option for finding somewhere to live (but be aware of scammers in these groups).
– Fairy Floss Real Estate Melbourne
– Melbourne – Houseshare/Flatshare/Room for Rent by Roompik
– Shared Flats, Rooms, Sublet, Accommodation Sydney
– Sydney Inner West Housemates (Newtown, Enmore, Marrickville etc)
A good tip for when you are applying for a house is to try to have everything organised and ready immediately. There can be a lot of competition for places to live and the more organised you are, the easier it is for people to be able to choose you.
Also, expect to pay bills on top of your rent. Unlike a lot of European countries, your rent doesn’t usually cover your utilities for the for the month as well. These are separate and are paid as they come in so make sure to factor this in when you are working out how much rent you can afford.

Which Australian phone company should I go with?

It’s pretty hard to do any of the above without the aid of a mobile phone and the internet so no wonder this is one of the first questions on anyone’s mind when they move to Australia.

Australia has a plethora of mobile phone networks which are pretty cheap by global standards and offer a great range of prepaid or postpaid plans with oodles and oodles of data to make sure you don’t run out of podcasts and Spotify halfway through the month (god forbid!).

We have three main players in the Telco (telecommunications) sphere. These companies all provide their own networks (which vary in quality depending on the region you are in) and have a variety of prices for mobile phone plans and/or sim cards.

These are:


A lot of other companies use the networks of these three but have their own phone plans and pricing which usually works out a fair bit cheaper.
Some of these are:
A really great comparison website is where you can choose what you need and then compares the best deals.

You will need to decide if prepaid or postpaid suits you and if you need a mobile phone with your plan.

To get a prepaid contract with a phone included, most phone providers will need proof of identity, employment and of your address too so perhaps look into getting a prepaid plan when you land until you get set up!

Once you have your phone sorted, you should be able to easily adjusting to Australian life, especially once you have the internet and the ability to Google things as they come up!

If you are seriously considering making the move to Australia and don’t know how to go about getting a visa, book a consultation with AHWC Immigration Law and we can help you to make Australia home!

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