Cost of moving to New Zealand from Australia

Written by Christina & reviewed by Shveta
Cost of moving to New Zealand from Australia

Moving from Australia to New Zealand is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning and consideration of various factors.

Whether you are relocating for work, lifestyle, or other reasons, understanding the costs involved is crucial for a smooth transition.

In this blog guide, we will delve into the various aspects of the cost of moving to New Zealand from Australia, covering everything from shipping your belongings to potential expenses in buying property or even transporting your car.

Cost of Living Differences:

When contemplating a move from Australia to New Zealand, one of the crucial factors to consider is the cost of living. Understanding the disparities in expenses between these two countries is essential for effective financial planning and ensuring a smooth transition. In this section, we will delve into various aspects of the cost of living, providing a detailed exploration to give you a comprehensive understanding.

Housing Costs:

  • Rentals: In both Australia and New Zealand, the cost of renting a property can vary significantly based on location. While major cities tend to have higher rental prices, New Zealand is generally considered more affordable in this regard. Factors such as the size of the property, proximity to amenities, and local demand can influence rental costs.
  • Property Prices: If you are considering purchasing a home, New Zealand, on average, has more affordable real estate compared to Australia. However, it’s important to note that property prices can vary widely within each country. Conduct thorough research on the housing market in your desired region to make informed decisions.

Utilities and Services:

  • Electricity and Gas: The cost of utilities, including electricity and gas, is generally comparable between the two countries. Prices may fluctuate based on your location and the providers available in your area.
  • Internet and Phone Services: New Zealand offers a range of internet and phone service providers with competitive pricing. Research different plans and providers to find the most suitable and cost-effective option for your needs.
  • Transportation:
  • Public Transport: Public transportation costs in New Zealand can be lower than in Australia, depending on the city. Many cities offer well-developed bus networks, and commuter trains are available in larger urban areas. Research local transportation options and costs in your chosen destination.
  • Vehicle Expenses: If you plan to own a car, fuel prices in New Zealand are generally higher than in Australia. Additionally, vehicle registration, insurance, and maintenance costs may differ.
  • Groceries and Dining Out:
  • Grocery Prices: The cost of groceries in New Zealand is influenced by factors such as location and availability of local produce. While there might be some variations, overall, grocery prices are comparable between the two countries.
  • Dining Out: Eating out in New Zealand can be slightly more expensive than in Australia. Restaurant prices, including meals and beverages, may be higher, so adjusting your dining habits accordingly is advisable.


  • Medical Costs: Both Australia and New Zealand have robust healthcare systems. Australians moving to New Zealand can access some healthcare services under the reciprocal healthcare agreement. However, it’s recommended to have comprehensive health insurance to cover additional medical expenses.


  • School Fees: If you have school-aged children, understanding the education system and associated costs is vital. School fees in New Zealand can vary, and some schools may charge additional fees for extracurricular activities.

Miscellaneous Expenses:

Cost of Living Differences

  • Entertainment and Leisure: Costs associated with entertainment, leisure activities, and cultural events may differ. Research local offerings in your chosen destination to gauge potential expenses.
  • Personal Care: Prices for personal care items, such as toiletries and cosmetics, may have slight variations. Consider budgeting for these everyday necessities.
  • Shipping Belongings:

One of the primary expenses when moving from Australia to New Zealand is the shipment of your belongings.

Moving across the Tasman Sea from Australia to New Zealand is a significant undertaking, and one of the key considerations is the cost of shipping your belongings. The logistics of transporting personal items over such a distance involve careful planning, and the associated expenses can vary based on several factors.

1. Choosing Between Sea and Air Freight:

The first decision in the shipping process is whether to opt for sea or air freight. Sea freight is generally more cost-effective but takes longer, while air freight is faster but comes at a higher price. The choice often depends on your budget, the urgency of your move, and the volume of belongings you plan to transport.

2. Container Options: Full or Shared:

Within sea freight, the next decision involves container options. You can choose between a full container or a shared container, each with its own cost implications.

  • Full Container: If you have a substantial volume of belongings, a full container might be the most suitable option. This provides exclusive use of a shipping container, ensuring that your items are not combined with those of other individuals or families. While this option offers privacy and security, it can be more expensive.
  • Shared Container: For a more cost-effective solution, you can share a container with others moving to the same destination. This shared option divides the costs among multiple parties, making it a budget-friendly choice for individuals with fewer belongings. However, the drawback is that shipping schedules may be less flexible, and the arrival time could be influenced by the schedules of other shippers.

3. Obtaining Multiple Quotes:

To ensure that you get the best deal and to understand the full scope of potential costs, it’s highly advisable to obtain quotes from multiple international moving companies. These quotes should include details about the type of service provided, shipping options, and any additional charges or fees. This competitive approach allows you to compare offerings and make an informed decision based on both quality of service and affordability.

4. Additional Considerations:

  • Insurance: While shipping companies take measures to ensure the safety of your belongings, it’s prudent to consider additional insurance coverage for added protection. Insurance can provide financial compensation in case of damage or loss during transit.
  • Customs Duties and Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the customs duties and regulations of both Australia and New Zealand. Some items may be subject to duties, and adherence to regulations ensures a smoother clearance process at the destination port.
  • Delivery to Your New Residence: Understand the delivery process once your belongings arrive in New Zealand. Some moving companies offer door-to-door services, while others may require you to arrange for local transportation from the port to your new residence.

Buying Property in Newzeland

Buying Property in Newzeland

Purchasing property in New Zealand as an Australian citizen involves a comprehensive set of documentation to comply with local regulations. Here’s a detailed guide outlining the necessary documents needed for a seamless property acquisition in New Zealand:

  • Passport
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • New Zealand Bank Account
  • Sale and Purchase Agreement
  • Property Title and Certificate of Title
  • LIM Report (Land Information Memorandum)
  • Building Inspection Report
  • Valuation Report
  • Insurance Details
  • Overseas Investment Office (OIO) Approval
  • Transfer of Ownership
  • Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) Approval
  • Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Proof of Finances
  • Sale Contract
  • Conveyancer or Solicitor
  • Transfer of Ownership
  • Work Opportunities

Understanding the employment landscape is crucial when moving between countries. Fortunately, Australians generally have the right to work in New Zealand without needing a visa. However, it’s essential to verify your eligibility and explore job opportunities in your chosen city or region. Consider potential differences in income, tax rates, and employment benefits.

Australia and New Zealand offer diverse work opportunities, but there are notable differences in income and employment landscapes.

Australia, with its larger population and economy, provides a broader range of job options across various industries. Salaries in Australia tend to be higher on average than in New Zealand, reflecting the country’s robust economy.

Key sectors such as mining, finance, and technology contribute to competitive wages in Australia.

On the other hand, New Zealand boasts a high quality of life and a thriving job market, particularly in agriculture, tourism, and healthcare.

While incomes in New Zealand are generally lower than in Australia, the cost of living is also more moderate.

The decision between the two countries often involves balancing job opportunities, earning potential, and lifestyle preferences.

Transportation of Vehicles:

Transportation of Vehicles:

If you own a car in Australia and wish to take it with you to New Zealand, you’ll need to consider the logistics and costs involved. Shipping a car across the Tasman Sea can be expensive, and it’s essential to comply with New Zealand’s vehicle import regulations. Research the required documentation, taxes, and compliance standards to ensure a smooth process.


  • Provide proof of vehicle ownership with a valid registration certificate or title.
  • Present a valid passport or identification for the owner.

Compliance Standards:

  • Ensure the vehicle complies with New Zealand safety and emissions standards.
  • Obtain a Certificate of Compliance from a recognized New Zealand compliance center.

Customs and Quarantine:

  • Complete a customs declaration form detailing the vehicle’s specifications.
  • Prepare for a mandatory quarantine inspection upon arrival in New Zealand.

Taxes and Duties:

  • Pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the vehicle’s value upon entry to New Zealand.
  • Confirm if the vehicle is subject to import duty.

Customs Valuation:

  • Provide a valuation of the vehicle for customs purposes.
  • Ensure compliance with New Zealand’s customs valuation standards.

Vehicle Transport Logistics:

  • Arrange shipping documents, including the bill of lading.
  • Consider obtaining transportation insurance for the vehicle.

Vehicle Inspection in New Zealand:

  • Be prepared for potential inspections upon arrival to ensure compliance with New Zealand standards.

Registration and Licensing:

  • Apply for vehicle registration in New Zealand.
  • Comply with licensing requirements for drivers and vehicles in the destination region.

Professional Assistance:

  • Engage a licensed customs broker for expert guidance.
  • Consult with professional vehicle transport providers to ensure compliance.

Healthcare Considerations:

Before making the move, familiarize yourself with the healthcare system in New Zealand. While Australians have access to some healthcare services under the reciprocal healthcare agreement, it’s advisable to have comprehensive health insurance to cover potential medical expenses.


Moving from Australia to New Zealand involves various considerations and costs, from shipping your belongings to understanding the differences in living expenses and potential property transactions. By thoroughly researching and planning for each aspect, you can ensure a seamless transition and minimize unexpected expenses. Whether you’re chasing a new job opportunity, seeking a change in lifestyle, or embracing the beauty of Aotearoa, careful preparation is the key to a successful move across the Tasman Sea.


Share the article


writer's bio

Picture of Christina

Christina, a highly productive writer with a half-decade of experience in the realms of moving, transportation, and logistics, stands out for her ability to create content that goes beyond mere information—it genuinely helps! Her writing not only delves into the complexities of the industry but also serves as a valuable resource for readers seeking accurate and insightful perspectives. With a commitment to staying current on industry trends, her versatile portfolio includes blog posts, articles, and technical guides, showcasing a passion for bringing the dynamic world of logistics to life through words.

Table of Contents


Enter your e-mail to get a copy of free house moving tips. We promise not to bother you often!

    Related Posts