If you’ve clicked into this article, you’re probably considering moving to Australia. If so, good choice! Australia is a fantastic country to live in, and we should know – we were both born and raised in South Australia! We love living in Australia, and as a close favourite, right in front of Japan! But since you’re moving here, you’d probably like to know what the cost of moving to Australia is, right?

Cool. Because we’re about to share as much information as we thought was necessary, to help you out on your move to this wonderful, sunny country with its beautiful beaches, delicious snacks and laid back (for the most part) locals.


Here are some of the major things you should budget for, when it comes to 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

Naturally, your flight to Australia is the first expense you should budget for. Depending on where you’re traveling from, this can be one of the biggest expenses. Below are some examples of estimated costs for traveling to Australia from common international destinations.

Note: All prices are per person for a one way trip. They are accurate as of April 2018 from Webjet, and scheduled for six months from the time of booking. All costs are in Australian Dollars (AUD).

Los Angeles (LAX) to Melbourne or Sydney

One way from Los Angeles Airport with Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, Virgin Australia and United Airlines to Melbourne or Sydney – from $1,400 per person

New York City (JFK) to Melbourne or Sydney

One way from New York City (most airlines departing from JFK Airport) with Qantas, Virgin Australia, American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines to Melbourne or Sydney – from $1,600 per person.

New Zealand (Auckland) to Melbourne or Sydney

One way from Auckland with Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Qantas or Air New Zealand to Sydney or Melbourne – between $150 and $250 per person.

England (Heathrow) to Melbourne or Sydney

One way from Heathrow Airport in England with Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines and American Airlines to Sydney or Melbourne – from $1,100 per person.

Please 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 moving to Australia for work or study purposes, you’ll need a Visa. There are quite a few different visas available, and the one you’ll need depends on what you plan to do while you’re here. 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 for the Student Visa, you must:
1) Be over six years of age
2) Have been accepted to an educational facility in Australia
3) Have your own health insurance

The length of stay for the Student Visa is five years. You’re also 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.
To be eligible for the Work and Holiday Visa, you must:
1) Have a valid Passport
2) Be aged between 18 and 30 years old
3) Meet English ad education requirements
4) Have support from your home country and 5) it be your first Working Holiday Visa to Australia.

The Work and Holiday Visa allows multiple entries for up to five months.
You’ll also be able to:
1) Work for the duration of your stay with any employer, for no longer than six months
2) Travel as a tourist
3) Visit friends and family
4) 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 your situation doesn’t suit the above two common Australian Visas, click here to find one that does. You’ll probably be asked a few questions, depending on the visa you’ve selected. The Visa application process can cost up to $1,000 per person, depending on the one you require.

Housing in Australia

The cost of housing across Australia depends on the city you choose to live in. Some cities like Sydney will cost more, mostly because of its popularity and the fact that it’s Australia’s most well-known city across the world.

Note: The below prices are based on renting a unit or house in the CBD of each major city across Australia. The further away from the hustle and bustle of big city life you prefer, the cheaper the cost of housing and rent will be!

The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels

Housing in Melbourne (Victoria)

Melbourne is one of Australia’s most popular major cities. Being the home to Australia’s incredible coffee lifestyle, it’s a very sought after city to visit.

The cost of housing in Melbourne city compared 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 $400 and $800 per week. This price depends on the number of bedrooms and the location, and is in AUD (Australian Dollar). For more information about properties in Melbourne, click here.

Housing in Sydney (New South Wales)

Sydney is Australia’s most expensive city to live.

For the convenience of living in the Sydney CBD, it will cost between $600 and $1,700 per week. Again, this depends on the location and number of bedrooms. Choose a suburb further away from the City Centre, for a cheaper rental price.

For more information about properties in Sydney, click here.

Housing in Adelaide (South Australia)

Adelaide is one of Australia’s cheapest cities to live in.

A house or unit in the CBD costs on average, between $350 and $550 per week.

Being smaller than other major cities like Melbourne and Sydney, Adelaide is a lot less busy because there aren’t as any tourists. We were both born and raised here, and can definitely agree with the statement that Adelaide is one of Australia’s most liveable cities!

For more information about properties in Adelaide, click here.

Housing in Brisbane (Queensland)

Queensland is home to Australia’s famous theme parks and beachside towns. Being only a one hour drive from Surfers Paradise, Brisbane is the perfect city home base.

A house or unit in Brisbane’s CBD costs an average of between $430 and $850 per week. This price will depend on the number of bedrooms and convenience of location.

For more information about properties in Brisbane, click here.

The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels

Housing in Perth (Western Australia)

The cost of housing in Perth is very similar to Adelaide, because it’s also a much smaller major city and attracts less tourists. Both cities are very liveable, that don’t require you to be a millionaire in order to live comfortably.

A unit or house in Perth’s CBD costs an average of between $300 and $600 per week, depending on the location and number of bedrooms.

For more information about properties in Perth, click here.

Housing in Darwin (Northern Territory)

If you enjoy year-round hot weather, crocodiles and spectacular scenery, Darwin might be for you. The rent in Darwin city is quite affordable compared to bigger cities, so you could definitely live comfortable.

A unit or house in Darwin costs an average of between $300 and $600 per week, depending on the location and number of bedrooms.

For more information about properties in Darwin, click here.

The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels

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 too, so you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings without spending a fortune.

A unit or house in Hobart costs an average of between $260 and $600 per week.

For more information about properties in Hobart, click here.

Housing in Canberra (ACT)

The cost of housing in Canberra is a little on the expensive side.

A unit or house in Canberra’s CBD costs an average of between $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?

The amount of money you should have saved before moving to Australia, depends on what you plan to do once you arrive. If you’ve got a lead on a job or know that you can find one relatively fast, you won’t need to save as much.

If you plan to do some traveling before starting work or study, it’s best to have at least $20,000 saved per person. This will cover accomodation (renting a house in your chosen city), buying a car, food, set-up costs, furniture and house-hold essentials and some wiggle room before finding a steady job.


It can be hard to find a job in Australia, so being as prepared as possible is super important. Try to either have a job locked in or at least lined up before arriving, a steady online or freelancing income, or have enough money saved up to last you a few months.

The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels

Shipping your belongings to Australia

This is almost always going to be 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 spend.

As long as what you’re shipping meets Australian Customs important requirements, the process will probably be a lot easier than you’re expecting!


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

The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels

Buying a car

If you decide to sell your car before arriving in Australia, fear not. We have plenty of new and used cars available to buy at fairly decent prices from both private sellers and car dealerships. A good place to start is carsales.com.


Filter your search by make, model, price, year, location, transmission and other fancy car terms. If your budget for buying a car is $2,000, you’ll be able to find one pretty quickly once arriving in Australia. It won’t 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 car insurance, registration, petrol and any services you might need to have done once you’ve purchased the car.

Other costs once arriving in Australia

Mobile phone plan 

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


If you’d prefer a new phone: average plans cost around $80 per month (AUD). This cost normally includes unlimited text, unlimited standard calls within Australia, payment of the handset and between 10GB and 20GB of data.

If you’d prefer to keep 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 ton of included entertainment.

Home internet

If you’re moving to Australia by yourself or with your partner, and plan to rent a small unit or house, you can probably get away with using your phone data for internet access.

If you’re moving with a larger family, it’s best to look into home internet.

Optus have an unlimited data plan for $60 per month, which is a great deal if you spend lots of time watching videos online, researching your next trip or binge watching TV shows on Netflix.

Telstra also have some home internet packages and plans available.

Utilities (electricity, gas and water)

The cost of electricity, gas and water will depend on your location and the company that you choose. It also, of course, 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 each quarter.

The total amount of your bill will depend a lot on the time of year. During summer, electricity bills are much higher, because of that glorious invention we like to call an air conditioner. Winter bills can be a lot lower, if you choose to use extra layers and blankets to warm up, instead of a heater.

Food and alcohol

We talk more about the cost of food in Australia in this post, but it’s definitely possible to live on a food budget.

There are two major supermarket chains in Australia – Coles and Woolworths. Both have their own home brand products, which are always a lot cheaper (and generally as good as or even better tasting) than regular brands. This is a good way to save money on food staples, without having to sacrifice hunger to save money.

Alcohol is also super expensive in Australia, unless you drink wine. Lower your standards when it comes to quality and taste, and it’s definitely easy to drink on a budget!

The Cost of Moving to Australia | Rhiannon Travels

House supplies

Buying house supplies (that we don’t really need) is one of my favourite things to do. In Australia we have this wonderful store called Kmart. No, our Kmart is not like the one in America. It’s way, way better. Trust us – walk around and browse for 15 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 we’ve given you a rough idea about the cost of moving to Australia, it’s time to start setting your saving goals! This will ensure you aren’t stressing about money every day, and can enjoy the whole process a lot more. Australia is an expensive country, but with some planning and budgeting in place, it’s definitely easy to live comfortably without sacrificing on any of the most important things in life, like food and alcohol!


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. 


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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!