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How much does it cost to move to Australia?

By April 7, 20233 Comments
How much does it cost to move to Australia?

Moving to the land down under should be a time of excitement, not dread. But how can you deny that moving to Australia is a big undertaking that can get costly and confusing?  Here you will find the cost of moving to Australia and money-saving tips!

There are a few things you’ll need to get sorted out before pulling the trigger, but the most significant is cost. So, how much does it cost to move to Australia? 

Before we get into it, you should know that we’ve built this cost guide to help you plan, budget, and prepare for unexpected outcomes. It’s always best to speak directly with an international moving company with experience moving people from the US to Australia

How much does it cost to move to Australia from us

How much do I need to save to move to Australia?

Various factors will determine how much money you’ll need to save before moving to Australia, but a good rule of thumb is at least three months’ worth of expenses before pulling the trigger. For example, renting a two-bedroom home in Sydney for $1000 per month requires at least $7000 in your pocket to cover move-in costs and basic expenses. Below is a list of items to consider when moving to Australia: 

  • International moving company (if you’re shipping household goods)
  • Parcel shipping costs
  • Visa fees
  • Airfare and travel expenses 
  • Accommodation 
  • Move-in Costs
  • Healthcare
  • Cell Phone
  • New clothes for new climate
  • Miscellaneous (food, entertainment, etc.) 

Keep scrolling to learn more about the cost averages for the items mentioned. 

Cost of shipping stuff to Australia by ocean

Ocean shipping is the cheapest way to get your goods to Australia from the US. You can expect to pay anywhere from $2500 to $12,000. The size of your move will have the most significant impact on price. The more stuff you ship, the higher the cost. Below are the average costs for shipping household goods to Australia from the US.

*** Below are shipping rates for door-to-door moving services. Costs may vary***

Size of Home

Approximate Moving Cost



Two bedroom


Three bedroom


Four bedroom


Five bedroom


Additionally, service can majorly affect the overall cost of moving to Australia. You’ll have the option of professional packing, insurance, storage, customs clearance, and more. 

knowledgeable international moving company can walk you through different cost options to help you make the best decision for your situation and budget. 

Know More Here: How to Save Money on an Overseas Move

Cost of air shipping furniture to Australia from the US

If you’re looking for the fastest way to get your stuff to Australia, air shipping is the way. However, it comes with a heavy price tag. Shipping by air freight can set you back anywhere from $3500 to $15,000. But if you need your stuff quickly, there’s no better way to get it there. 

Consider ocean shipping if you have a three- or four-bedroom home. Although it may take longer, it will be significantly less expensive than air shipping. The good news is most international movers offer air shipping options. 

cost of moving to Australia

How much does it cost to ship a car to Australia from the US? 

Shipping a car to Australia from the US can cost you $1500 to $4000. The most significant cost factors are the year, make, model, and service. Below you will find the different shipping options, from least to most expensive. 

  • Roll-on Roll-off: RORO is the best bet if you’re looking for the cheapest way to ship a car to Australia. Your vehicle is loaded on an open vessel and sent to the port of your choice. 
  • Shared container: Another good way to save money is to share a container with others shipping to Australia. It’s a standard service that most international moving companies offer. 
  • Single container: Although getting an exclusive container can be costly, it makes sense if you’re shipping household goods and a car.

If you need help determining the route, speak with your international mover. They can shoot you some options and help you find the most cost-effective shipping route. 

Read Here: Top International Car Shipping Companies of the Year

Free moving quote

Shipping boxes to Australia 

If you’ve decluttered and want to ship boxes to Australia, you can choose a parcel shipping option similar to what Fedex and DHL offer. The average cost of shipping boxes from the US to Australia is $900 to $2000. The box count and sizes will be the most significant cost factor. 

Parcel shipping is transported by international air freight with an average transit time of 5 to 7 days. It includes a complete door-to-door service with customs clearance.

moving to Australia

Most international moving companies, like International Van Lines, offer parcel shipping services to Australia. CLICK FOR QUOTE

Know More Here: Best time to start your International Packing

Getting a work visa for Australia

The cost of visa and legal fees when moving to Australia can widely vary based on a few factors. The type of visa you’re applying for and whether or not you’re using it for yourself or your family will impact costs. However, you can find some general costs below. 

  • Working Holiday visa (subclass 417): You can expect to pay around AUD 485 for a working holiday visa. The Working Holiday visa is the most popular amongst expats. To qualify, you must be between the ages of 180 and 30. 
  • Student visa (subclass 500): The visa application fee is AUD 630. 
  • Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189): The visa application fee is currently AUD 4,045 for the primary applicant. You may also need to pay for skills assessments.

These are some general costs of moving to Australia, but it’s always best to speak with an immigration attorney to learn more about the costs and process of securing a visa. 

moving cost to Australia

Plan for possible accommodations

If you’re moving to Australia, you may need a hotel room or Airbnb accommodations. According to Kayak, the average night of a hotel in Sydney, Australia, is $100 per night. A two-bedroom AirB&B will range from $150 to $250 per night. 

Cost of airfare and travel to Australia

The cost of airfare to Australia will vary based on a few factors, including the time of year, departure and arrival cities, and the airline. However, you can expect to spend $1500 to $2500 for a single ticket. 

cost of moving to Australia from the USA

You’ll also want to consider travel expenses like car rental, taxi, or Uber, which can cost you a few hundred bucks. It’s always best to plan for the worst-case scenario and have extra cash.

Move-in costs

Something to consider when moving to Australia is move-in costs. Move-in costs will vary based on where you’re moving, if you’re renting, or if you’re buying a home. Below are some things to consider when moving to a new home in Australia:

  • Downpayment 
  • Furniture and household goods 
  • Towels, blankets & sheets 
  • Food 
  • Home repairs
  • Electric, water, and Internet 

These are a few things to consider, but it’s always best to plan for the worst-case scenario, so have a few extra bucks. 

Top  International Moving Companies to Australia

Here is a table of the top International Movers to Australia from the US. Ratings are based on Years in Business, Reputation, and Customer Reviews.

Best Overall

Corporate Relocation

Great Reputation

Ad-on Services



How is the healthcare system in Australia? 

Australia’s high-quality healthcare system mixes with public and private providers. The Better Life Index, which has an excellent score of 9.3, puts Australia’s healthcare system at the top of the ranks. 

Their Medicare system, established in 1984, covers all Australian citizens, permanent residents, and some temporary residence. 

If you’re an expat moving to Australia from the US, we recommend looking into private healthcare insurance. You’ll be able to find the highest quality insurance with quicker access in an emergency. 

Before the big move, you should get some costs from companies like Cigna, which offer excellent international health care insurance coverage.

international moving insurance

Know More Here: International Moving Insurance – Do you need it?

Cell phone costs

It’s easy to change your cell phone when moving to Australia. Follow the below steps for a smooth and easy transition: 

  • Find compatibility: Research their cell phone network standards before moving to Australia. Ensure your current phone is compatible with Australia’s networks. You can typically find this information on your provider’s website. 
  • Decide on a plan: You can start by contacting the network providers in Australia. You will have the choice of Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone. Like the US, Australian providers offer pre-paid phones or month-to-month service plans. 
  • Change your SIM card: You may save money by keeping your current phone and changing the SIM card when you arrive in Australia.

New clothes for new climate

Australia is the driest of all the inhabited continents. There’s considerable rainfall and a variety of temperatures years round. Depending on where in the US you’re moving from, you may have to stock up on new clothes for a new climate. 

Australia is a diverse country with many cultural influences. The type of clothes people wear can vary based on the region. 

australia weather

Australians tend to be more casual and comfortable, especially in warmer weather.

What’s the cost of living in Australia vs. the US?

According to the cost of living in Australia is 10.6% more expensive than in the US. Transportation, childcare, entertainment, and clothing are higher in Australia, but housing is 18.8% less than in the US. 

Moving to a major city like Sydney or Brisbane, you can expect to pay big bucks for a house. The median price of a unit in Sydney is now at $1,413,658. The average one-bedroom apartment in Sydney costs a whopping $2550 per month. 

Before pulling the trigger, you should figure out your finances to ensure you can afford Australia’s slightly higher cost of living. 

People also ask: 

How much does it cost to ship a car to Australia? 

Shipping a car to Australia from the US costs $1500 to $4500. Your shipping service and make and model will be the most significant cost factors. 

Read Here: Best International Car Shipping Companies of the Year

What’s the average cost of pet transport to Australia? 

The average cost of shipping a pet from the US to Australia is $3300 to $5000—freight charges, import permits, and quarantine fees make up the cost. 

Read Here: International Pet Transport – All you need to Know

Can an American citizen live in Australia? 

Yes, as long as you meet the requirements of one of Australia’s visa subclasses.

Is it less expensive to live in Australia than in the US? 

The cost of living in Australia is similar to the US, with a few variations. For example, gas and utilities are slightly higher, but groceries and restaurants are marginally cheaper. Generally speaking, you will experience similar costs. 

Know More Here: Compare International Living Costs

Does it cost a lot of money to live in Sydney, Australia? 

Sydney is Australia’s most expensive city, with Melbourne and Brisbane following right behind. 

Who are the best international movers that service Australia? 

International Van Lines offers weekly ocean and air shipping service to and from Australia and are considered the best. However, Allied Van Lines, Atlas Van Lines, and Mayflower are all good companies that offer international moving services to Australia. 

How much does it cost to move to Australia: Conclusion 

Moving to Australia is a big venture that requires a well-thought-out plan. Costs can vary based on many factors. For example – are you moving your whole family or by yourself? Are you buying or renting? Whereabouts in Australia are you moving, and are you shipping household goods? 

Considering everything, it’s essential to research, plan, and budget accordingly. Here at International Van Lines, we offer various shipping and moving services to Australia. You can complete our online form or call us for a quote. We wish you the best with your new and exciting venture. 

 More about International Van Lines

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Container destuffing says:

    Moving to Australia might be expensive, but this blog post from International Van Lines should give you a good idea of what to expect. Shipping services, customs taxes, and other elements that influence the cost will be disclosed to readers. People who are preparing to relocate abroad may find this post useful.

  • Lavender says:

    Thank you for clarifying this

  • Lavender says:

    Thank you for explaining the costs

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