So you are moving to Australia?
We wanted to write this post as there is so many things you learn along your stay in Australia, from little working holiday visa things to just general stuff such as travel insurance, international money transfers, tax, etc.
Most of the services mentioned in this article can be found on our very useful resources page.
60+ Things you need to know before moving to Australia
So let’s begin, we got most of these from our Facebook page
- You will stop asking ” what’s the craic ” forever
- The Irish sense of humour doesn’t travel.
- You will say “No Worries” ten times a day.
- Australia is expensive
- Australia is very expensive
- Don’t buy a tax file number, sim card and bank account before you leave as they cost very very little over here and take about 5 minutes to get.
- Doesn’t matter how old you look if you are heading out to a bar or club you NEED ID, i.e., passport or a proof of age card Australia.
- Ozzie’s stick y and o to words and names like truckie bikie schoolie toolie foodie servo arvo muso smoko hughesy too name a few. Bottle O.
- Currencyfair is a really cheap way to transfer money from Irish to Australian accounts and visa verse. Used it ourselves and got a better rate than any bank would give! You can read our full money transfer guide here. Or sign up and get your first trade free with this link.
- Another similar money transfer company is OzForex, who offer great bank to bank transfer rates, well worth checking out. Sign up for your free account here and get free transfers over $1000 as an Irish Around Oz reader.
- Advisable to get some sort travel/health insurance before you get here.
- If you do go to A and E(accident and emergency) over here(hopefully not) the Irish government have a reciprocal Health care agreement with Australia and should not cost you a penny.
- There is plenty of drive through’s here. Including a drive through offy(they are called bottle stores over here or bottle O’s) and drive through coffee shops.
- Australia is really really big, seriously its not till you get here that you realise how big it is.
- Booking Hostels when you first get here or even later check out Hostelz has a great selection of hostels
- Book with an airline that has a 30 KG+ baggage allowance…, e.g., Qatar, Emirates.
ETIHAD Only allow 23kg, and that extra 7kg makes a huge difference! *Update ETIHAD have just updated there baggage allowance to 30 KG’s(yay) and have lowered some of their prices.
- Did you bring to much stuff to Oz? You can send a bag of stuff home quite cheap with SendMyBag. Or read our shipping article
- It is quite a bit of hassle getting health insurance, credit cards, income protection, etc. when on a 417 or working holiday visa. Mainly cause your temporary, Australia doesn’t like temporary!
- Important one! If you are coming on a working holiday visa(417) a lot of companies notably more so in Perth, do not like taking us on because of the visa! They need a guarantee that we are not going anywhere(FYI if you don’t already know a working holiday visa means you can only stay in one job for six months before being either sponsored or getting let go!).
- It can take 1 – 2 months or longer to acquire a job unless you are very lucky or pick up a job before you go. So prepare for the worst case scenario.
- If you decide to do farm work you probably won’t ever do anything like it EVER again, although you did enjoy the experience(NOT!). Check out our regional work guide
- Join one of our Facebook communities we have a full list at Irisharoundoz.com/groups
- If on a working holiday visa you can drive on a full driving license until your 12 months runs out, a few people say its only three months, but legally it is until you get residency according to the government website.
- If you are converting your license over after becoming a resident, it’s a bit of effort but be sure to read how to apply for a drivers license in Australia. Different rules apply for each state.
- You will have to wear sun cream every single day in the summer(it’s not that bad)
- Summer is very hot, and there is bush fires everywhere and flies(So many flies)!!
- Three quarter length tracksuit bottoms & trainers on men are not a good look.
- Wait until you get here to buy summer clothes, for god sake get some thongs (flip flops). Although it would be wise to pick up a few things in Penny’s before coming over.
- Moving to Australia for women: Stock up on Primark underwear/swimwear because even the cheap underwear here’s expensive & not as stylish.
- If you’re a bollix, stay at home enough over here giving us a bad name!
- Ambulances are extremely expensive if you don’t have healthcare or insurance. We made each state its own number. Our health agreement does not cover ambulances!
- Victoria Ambulance Fees
- NSW Ambulance Fees
- SA Ambulance Fees
- Capital Territory Ambulance Fees
- WA Ambulance Fees
- If you smoke be prepared to pay $18 – $22 a box. Hardly anyone smokes here.
- Everyone drinks on a Sunday, and it is known as a Sunday Session or Sunday Seesh
- When checking out farm work on Gum Tree be sure its a legit and has accommodation etc. There has been a good few regional work scams and a few people caught out by border security for ‘fake regional work‘ sign-offs.
- Use Seek for jobs/GumTree, one thing we would recommend which made a huge difference is adding your picture to your resume. A lot of Aussies do it here so it will make you stand out from the crowd.
- If you are in the hospitality, you need to do an RSA course if you shop around you can do the course for anywhere from $20 – $70. It is an online course you need to do so you can serve “responsible” people alcohol. Use our recommend one here.
- Superannuation(super) is money that your employer sets aside for you (in a Superfund) every time they pay you, and it’s usually about 9%. Your pension. Think of it as saving account for when you leave Oz and go home or continue your travels(although the government takes 35%!)! If you are leaving read our guide to getting your Super back when you leave Australia.
- Make sure to keep track of the companies super as you will need all the details when you leave, i.e., if you do farm work make sure you keep track of everything it will pay off in the end.
- Expect to pay 32.5% tax if you are a casual employee. Update all WHV candidates will have to pay 32.5% tax now, known as the backpacker tax! Read this
- At the end of each year, you can claim loads of tax back! If you are leaving you can also claim your superannuation back, but you must be leaving for good. A % of your super will be taxed. Read our working holiday tax guide.
- The rental market is crazy here if you’re looking to view a house prepare to view it with 50 other people. We recommend just getting a house share or getting a short term space if your travelling a lot. Corporate keys are super expensive, but you can get the occasional cheap three-month offer
- If you are in Brisbane and looking for a work space then Find My Workspace is a good place to look.
- You will probably need a car(mainly in WA) not so much in VIC or QL unless you’re living right next to the train or public transport.
- Cars are ridiculously overpriced here! Seriously you won’t get a car for under a $1000, and it will be a bucket. $2000 will get you an old old car. :sad face
- You will love the lifestyle! Australia has a great lifestyle. BBQ’s, beach’s, the sunshine and an overall healthy vibe. Remember to wear sun cream!
- If you are looking to bring you pets
which we wouldn’t advise expect to wait up to 3 to 6 months in quarantine.*Update the quarantine time for dogs from Ireland is only ten days now. FYI it is about $6000 per dog as well when you take everything into account! (Thanks Kevin for the update.)
- For those of you sitting on the edge debating whether to move to Australia. Just do it, what is the worst that could happen? You might as well experience it while you can!
- Aussies will constantly correct your grammar and the fact that most of us don’t pronounce our ‘TH’s. It never gets old with them, and eventually, you’ll find yourself pronouncing th’s properly – Thanks Alan
- A lot of companies will tell you that they will sponsor you after three months probation. However, a lot of these don’t end up doing, and you can end up working really hard to no success. Basically, they tell you that sure we can sponsor you with the main purpose being that you will work harder. Just be cautious that is all. If they promise sponsorship at least get it in writing or have some evidence.
- ***When filling out your TFN form with a new employer, the answer to the “Are you a resident for tax purposes?” question is quite often “Yes“. Answering “No” will result in higher taxes. There is a tool on the ATO website that you can use to determine the correct response. Take the time to do this; it will save you loads! – Also, you are not breaking any rules by selecting Yes you are a resident for tax purposes. Regardless of what visa you are on. – Thanks, Mark(*Update*) In July 2016 the backpacker tax is coming!
- Take Vitamin B1 to prevent from Mozzie bites. It usually takes about a month to kick in but definitely works as I get eaten alive. Oh and Vitamin is pronounced the American way. Also, the roll-on insect repellent is the best!! And one more thing beware of the little thugs at dusk and dawn, that’s their preferred time to come out to play :) – Thanks Sue
- We have also started these guides for the various cities around Australia! Very helpful for anyone just coming to Oz!
- 20 Things To Do In Perth – Covers a lot of the things you can do in Perth!
- We have a brilliant summary of useful services before you move to Australia here.
- Lastly, visit our resources page to get a list of loads of services you will likely need in Oz and same awesome deals on them
- If you liked this article, you would like our mailing list! Join it and connect with over 20’000 other members! Join our community in Australia!
Thanks for reading our tips to help you move to Australia, please share this with your friends or on Facebook, Twitter and any other social media you are on.
I am sure if you are living in Oz you will know most of this stuff, but hopefully, one or two things that you didn’t know are added.
Big shout out to Sunset Travellers, who came up with this guide on what they wish they knew before moving to Oz which covers a LOT more than us(well a bit more ;))
Enjoy moving to Australia
Thanks from everyone at Irish Around Oz