If you’ve clicked into this article, you’re probably considering a move to Australia. If so, good choice! Australia is a wonderful country to live in, and we should know – we were both born and raised in South Australia. I personally love living in Australia, and coming in as a close first, right in front of Japan, it’s definitely my favourite country. I’m sure you’re wondering what the cost of moving to Australia actually is, right?

The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels

Good! Because we’re about to share as much information as we can, to help you in your move to our wonderful, sunny country with its plethora of beaches, as easily as possible. Unfortunately, the rumour of Australia being an expensive country, is actually true. That being said, I definitely believe that living in Australia is worth the cost. Here are some of the major things to budget for in the cost of moving to Australia.

The Cost of Moving to Australia

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Traveling to Australia

Your flight to Australia is the first expense you’ll need to budget for. Depending on where you’re traveling from, this can also be one of your biggest expenses. Below you’ll find a few rough guides on the cost of flights to Australia from some common international destinations.


Note: All prices are accurate as of January 2018 (from Webjet), and are scheduled for six months from time of booking (booking in January, departing in June).

Los Angeles (LAX) to Melbourne or Sydney

Virgin Australia, American Airlines or Delta Airlines (with one stop in Sydney) – from AUD $600 per person
Non stop with Qantas – from AUD $1,100 per person

New York City (JFK) to Melbourne or Sydney

Most flights from New York City to Melbourne or Sydney have a stop over in Los Angeles (LAX).
American Airlines, Qantas or Virgin (via LAX) – from AUD $1,400 per person

New Zealand (Auckland) to Melbourne or Sydney

Non stop with Virgin Australia – from AUD $160 per person
Qantas or Jetstar – from AUD $180 per person
Air New Zealand – from AUD $300 per person

England (Heathrow) to Melbourne or Sydney

Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airlines or American Airlines – from AUD $1,000 per person
Note: Depending on the airline you choose and the amount of stops you make along the way, travel time from England to Australia can take over 30 hours.

Applying for an Australian Visa

If you’re planning to move to Australia for work or study purposes, you’ll need a visa. There are a huge range of visas available, and the one you will need depends on what you plan to do while you’re in Australia. Below are a few of the most common types of visas.

Student Visa – From AUD $560

The Student Visa (subclass 500) is for international students who are in a registered, full time course. To be eligible, you must be over six years old, have been accepted to an educational facility in Australia and have your own health insurance. The length of stay for this visa is five years.  With the Student Visa, you are able to work part time while studying your course.

Click here for more information on the different types of Student Visas that are available.

Work and Holiday Visa – From AUD $440

The Work and Holiday Visa is for international visitors who want to work and travel in Australia, and allows multiple entries for up to twelve months. To be eligible you must: have a valid passport, be aged between 18 and 30 years old, meet English and education requirements, have support from your home country, and be your first Working Holiday Visa to Australia.


With the Work and Holiday Visa, you will be able to work for the duration of your stay (but no longer than six months) with any employer, travel as a tourist, visit friends and family and study for up to four months.

Click here for more information about the different types of visas available for people who want to work and travel as a tourist in Australia.

All other Australian Visas

If you’re after a different type of visa for entry into Australia, click here to find the one that you need. You might be asked a few questions, depending on the visa you select. The visa application process could cost up to $1,000 per person.

Housing in Australia

The cost of housing across Australia depends on the city you choose to be based in. Some cities such as Sydney may cost more, typically because of their popularity and it being Australia’s most well-known city.

These figures are based on renting a unit or house in the CBD of each major city across Australia. Naturally, the further out from the hustle and bustle of big city life you decide to live, the cheaper the cost of housing and rent will be.

The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels

Apartments in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

Housing in Melbourne, Victoria

Melbourne is one of Australia’s most well known major cities. The cost of housing in Melbourne city, as opposed to suburban Victoria is going to be a little more expensive, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for an apartment within walking distance of the CBD.

The average cost of a rental in Melbourne city is between AUD $400 and $800 per week, depending on the number of bedrooms and the location. For more information about properties in Melbourne, click here.

Housing in Sydney, New South Wales

Sydney is the most expensive city to live in Australia. For the convenience of living in the CBD, you’re looking at between AUD $600 and $1,700 per week. This depends on the location and number of bedrooms, and of course the cost of housing is going to become less the further out from Sydney city that you choose to live. For more information about properties in Sydney, click here.

Housing in Adelaide, South Australia

Adelaide is one of the cheaper cities to live. A house or unit in the CBD costs an average of between AUD $350 and $550 per week. We were both born and raised in Adelaide, and can definitely say that it’s one of Australia’s most liveable cities.


Being smaller than other major cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, it’s a lot less busy with no where near as many tourists rolling through. For more information about properties in Adelaide, click here.

Housing in Brisbane, Queensland

Queensland is home to Australia’s popular theme parks and beachside towns. Therefore, Brisbane is a great place to live if you’re looking for both an adventurous or relaxing lifestyle. Being only one hour by car from Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast’s awesome theme parks, Brisbane is the perfect home base.

The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels

Ocean Vista on Alex apartments in the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

A rental unit in Brisbane’s CBD costs an average of between AUD $430 and $850 per week, depending on the number of bedrooms and location. For more information about properties in Brisbane, click here.

Housing in Perth, Western Australia

The cost of housing in Perth is very similar to Adelaide. Both are highly liveable cities that don’t require you to be a millionaire in order to live comfortably. A unit in Perth’s CBD averages between AUD $300 and $600 per week, depending on the location and number of bedrooms. For more information about properties in Perth, click here.

Housing in the Darwin, Northern Territory

If you enjoy year-round hot weather, crocodiles and beautiful scenery, Darwin might be for you. The rent in Darwin city is quite affordable compared to bigger cities, averaging between AUD $300 and $600 per week. Just like the rest of Australia, the cost of rent depends on the location and number of bedrooms. For more information about properties in Darwin, click here.

The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels

The beautiful scenery in Alice Springs, Northern Territory.

Housing in Hobart, Tasmania

Hobart is one of Australia’s most underrated cities. Although seperate from the mainland of Australia, Tasmania is filled with beautiful scenery and plenty of things to do. The cost of living in Hobart city is quite affordable, with an average of between AUD $260 and $600 per week.

Depending on the specific location and number of bedrooms, this will vary on either end of the scale. For more information about properties in Hobart, click here.

Housing in Canberra

The cost of housing in Canberra is a little on the expensive side. Rentals in Canberra’s CBD averages between AUD $400 and $700 per week, depending on the number of bedrooms and specific location. For more information about properties and other costs of living in Canberra, click here.

How much money should I save before moving to Australia?

This depends on what you plan on doing when you arrive in Australia. If you have a lead on a job or know you can find a job relatively fast, you won’t need to have as much saved. If you plan to do a bit of traveling before you start work or studying, it’s a good idea to have at least $12,000 per person.

The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels

Tamborine Mountain in the Gold Coast, Queensland.

It can be hard finding a job in Australia, so be as prepared as possible and either try to lock in a job before arriving in Australia, have a steady online/freelancing income or have enough money saved up to last you a few months.

Shipping your belongings to Australia

This is almost always an unavoidable cost of moving to Australia. Unless you’re selling everything you own, you’ll need to ship your belongings to Australia. There are a few different companies that offer this service, it all depends on your location and how much you’re willing to pay. As long as what you’re shipping meets Australian Customs import requirements, the entire process will more than likely be a lot easier than you’re anticipating!

This is also a good chance to have a deep clean of your house and get rid of anything you don’t need or want anymore. Clothes tend to take up quite a bit of space, so decide whether you really need that dress you wore to a wedding five years ago. If not, sell it. You’ll make some money and save some space at the same time!

Buying a car

If you decide to sell your car before arriving in Australia, fear not. We have a huge selection of both new and used cars, at fairly decent prices. You can pick up a used car in pretty good condition from both private sellers and car dealerships. A good place to start is by visiting the Car Sales website and beginning your search!


You can filter your options by make, model, price, year, location, transmission and other fancy car terms that I don’t understand. If your budget for buying a car is $2,000, you’ll easily be able to find one shortly after arriving in Australia. It may not be brand new or sparkling clean, but if it gets you from A to B, that’s all that matters!

Note: Don’t forget to factor in the cost of insurance, registration, petrol and any services you may need once you’ve purchased the car.

Other costs once arriving in Australia

Mobile phone plan 

There are a lot of options when it comes to phone plans in Australia. The cost of the plan depends on your current device and if you’re willing to upgrade your existing phone to a brand new one with your new Australian phone plan.


If you would prefer a new phone, average plans cost around AUD $80 per month. This cost usually includes unlimited text, unlimited standard phone calls, payment of the handset and between 10GB and 20GB of data.


Another option is purchasing a SIM only plan to use in your existing phone. Optus have a $50 per month SIM only plan that includes 30GB of data, unlimited calls and text, 400 international talking minutes and a ton of included entertainment.

Optus and Telstra are the most popular phone companies in Australia, and are generally the most reliable in most places across the country.

Home internet

If you’re moving to Australia by yourself and plan to rent a small unit or live with a roommate, you can probably get away with using your phone’s data for internet access. But if you’re relocating with family or even as a couple, it’s better to look into home internet.

There are a few options when it comes to home internet. Optus have an unlimited data plan for $60 per month, which is a fantastic deal if you spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos, researching your dream holiday or binge watching eight TV shows on Netflix. Telstra also have some home internet packages and plans.

Utilities (electricity, gas and water)

The cost of electricity, gas and water all depends on your location and the company you choose. It also depends on how much you use during your billing cycle. For example, we live in a small unit in Adelaide and generally pay between $200 and $500 on electricity, quarterly.


The total amount on our bill varies depending on the time of year. During summer, electricity bills are naturally going to be a little bit higher, because of the glorious invention we like to call, an air conditioner. Winter tends to be a little lower, since it’s easier to warm up when it’s cold, than cool down on a hot summer’s day.

Food and alcohol

We talk more about the cost of food in Australia in this post, but it’s definitely possible to survive on a food budget while here. There are two major supermarket chains in Australia – Coles and Woolworths. Both have their own home-brand products, which are always a lot cheaper than regular brands. This is a good way to save money on food staples, and not have to sacrifice hunger to save money.

Alcohol is also very expensive in Australia. But if you’re a wine drinker, you might be in luck. Lower your standards when it comes to taste, and it’s definitely easy to drink on a budget!

The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels

Enjoying a glass of wine from our Beachfront Apartment room at Chateau, Surfers Paradise (Queensland)

House supplies

Buying house supplies is one of my favourite things to do. When I’m not traveling, of course. In Australia we have this fantastic store called Kmart. No, our Kmart is not like the one in the United States. It’s way, way better. I’m telling ya, walk around and browse for fifteen minutes, and you’ll be hooked.


Kmart sells everything from towels and linen to cutlery, kitchen appliances, decorative pieces, photo frames and all sorts of other awesome things to put in your house. They also sell clothes, make-up, pet food and supplies, stationery, sporting goods, movies, TV shows, music and toys. You know, just incase you feel like buying everything you need (except food) from the one store.

Conclusion

Now that you have a rough idea about the cost of moving to Australia, it’s time to set a saving goal. Including everything listed above, plus unexpected issues that might arise upon arrival in Australia, it’s best to have at least AUD $12,000 per person saved. If you’re traveling as a family with kids, aim for at least AUD $30,000.

The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels

The beautiful Surfers Paradise Beach at sunset.

This will ensure you aren’t stressing about money, and can enjoy the settling in process a lot more. It also allows wiggle room for a a bit of travel throughout Australia early on, if you are able to lock down a job quite quickly.


We hope this guide about the cost of moving to Australia has helped you to plan and organise your own relocation to this beautiful country! Good luck with your move and please don’t forget to head out and explore as much as possible while you’re here. Australia has a lot to offer, and we truly believe that you will fall in love with this beautiful country.

Have you visited Australia before? Do you know someone who has moved here? Tell us your story in the comment section below! We would love to read about your travels in Australia. 


Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to follow along with our travels. You can also find us on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram! And if you know someone who is planning a move to Australia, be sure to share this article with them! It could help them solve that last cost of moving to Australia riddle, that they can’t quite figure out.

Did you like this post? Pin it for later or share with friends!

The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

rhiannontravels

Rhiannon is a travel blogger from Adelaide, Australia. Together with her partner, they have been traveling the world for around two years, and hope to not only visit every country in the world one day, but also live in Japan. Rhiannon started this blog back in September 2016, and has been helping people just like you, travel the world with ease!