Moving interstate in Australia

Everything you need to know

Moving interstate in Australia can feel like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be a smooth transition. Planning and preparation are key to a successful move, saving you time, money, and stress.

In Australia, around 340,000 people move interstate each year, and those who plan ahead are often the most successful. To help you navigate this process, we’ve created the ultimate guide and a comprehensive moving checklist purely for your interstate move.

Our goal is to simplify your move and ensure you enjoy your new home without unnecessary stress. So, let’s get started on this exciting journey.

Air, rail or road?

Before we can dive into our interstate moving checklist, you have a big decision to make. Whether you are going from Perth to Brisbane or Melbourne to Darwin, you have to decide whether you move your belongings by air, rail or road.

The choice will depend on your budget, urgency, amount of stuff you’re moving, and the number of people moving with you.

To decide, start by getting quotes from moving companies for each option. Compare costs and consider the pros and cons of each mode of transport.

Moving by air

Moving by air is the quickest but most expensive option to move interstate in Australia. Getting all of your belongings in the air and adding your own tickets on top (even one way) can cost a lot. It is, however, ideal for those who need to settle in quickly. 

If you choose this option, book your flights early for the best prices and times and seek out the help of moving companies that can ship your furniture and belongings across the sky.

Moving by rail

Moving by rail is a less known but efficient option. Most interstate moves in Australia are done by rail, using high cube shipping containers. 

These containers are transported by freight trains between capital cities, with trucks used for the final leg of the journey. Usually, rail takes a week or two so you have to plan out your move in advance and know that you’ll be without your items for a while.

During the shipping process for your furniture, you can get set up in the new house or have a holiday while you wait for your things to arrive.

Moving by road

Moving by road is often seen as the most convenient and affordable. You can hire a professional moving company, rent a truck, or use your own vehicle to get you to the new place.. 

Sharing a truck with other movers can save some cash, but it’s important you choose a company that can move your things in the timeframe you need.

Do it yourself vs hiring the experts

For interstate moves, it’s not as common for people to choose to do it themselves. Do you really want to hire a truck and trek across the country? Probably not. The best option for an interstate move is to hire a company to help you out.

Hiring professional movers is going to cost you more than the pizza and beer you’d have paid family and friends to help you, but it’s a cost that’s absolutely worth it. Some of the services that removalists can help with include:

  • Offering packing supplies such as boxes and tape
  • Transporting your possessions safely to your new residence
  • Optional assistance with packing and unpacking
  • Additional cleaning services upon request
  • Storage solutions available if required
  • Insurance coverage for your items during transportation
  • Arrangements for transporting pets to your new home

Here are some steps to help you to organise a reputable removal service:

Research Australian interstate moving companies

Moving interstate requires a reliable moving company. Before choosing one, read reviews and compile a list of reputable options. 

Compare prices and prioritise companies with a strong reputation for customer service and care of belongings. Ensure the company is registered to avoid potential issues.

Get some quotes

Once you have your list, it’s time to talk numbers. Some moving companies will do more than just move all of your things: they’ll even come in and pack all your things for you if you want to pay the additional costs. 

Request detailed quotes from each company, outlining all services and costs and get them to come to your home if possible. Most over the phone quotes are only estimates and you have a budget to consider. Avoid verbal agreements and ensure everything is documented in writing.

Review the contracts they send you

After receiving your quotes and deciding on a mover, carefully review the contract or rental agreement. Verify the moving dates and look for any hidden charges listed. 

Registered movers should provide a move booklet outlining your rights in case of loss or damage.

Don’t forget insurance

Never forget to consider insurance for your interstate move. Moving is stressful, and insurance provides peace of mind. 

Some moving companies offer their own insurance but you want to make sure that should something happen to your things, you can get your money back. Safeguarding your belongings against loss or damage is a must.

What does it cost?

Moving interstate can vary greatly in cost depending on factors like how much you’re moving and how far. 

Typically, costs range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Peak periods, like holidays, may also increase costs.

Moving interstate in Australia can involve various costs, with estimates ranging from $5,100 to $11,550. This estimate includes expenses like interstate removalists ($3,000 to $5,500), flights and accommodation ($1,200 to $3,500), and storage facility fees ($200 to $400 per month).

However, your actual costs may vary depending on factors such as your specific moving situation, location, and timing. Some common costs to consider include:

  • Interstate removalists: This is often a significant expense. You can choose traditional removalists or consider alternatives like self-packing containers or backloading.
  • Moving boxes and packing materials: If you’re packing yourself, you’ll need to purchase moving boxes, tape, bubble wrap, or packing peanuts.
  • Personal moving costs: This includes fuel if you’re driving or the cost of airfare if you’re flying. You may also need temporary accommodation.
  • Moving insurance: Consider taking out a separate insurance policy to cover any damages during the move.
  • Storage: If your new home isn’t ready, you might need storage services, which could be provided by the removalist at an additional cost.
  • Rubbish removal: If you’re decluttering before the move, you might need to hire a skip bin.

Removalists are considered an essential service and can still move your goods interstate. However, it’s important to check the rules in the state or territory you’re moving to and discuss any restrictions with the removal company.

Top interstate moving tips

We’ve got a comprehensive list of tips in our ultimate moving house checklist but there are some additional considerations to make when moving interstate. These include:

Moving schools

Contact the children’s present school to get notes on your child’s progress and to organise a transfer certificate, before making contact with their new school. Contact the education department in your new state for further assistance.

Notify the electoral roll

Visit the website of the electoral commission in your new state to update your voting registration as well as the Australian Electoral Commission.

Shipping your pets

If microchipped, contact the database host to change address details. Ensure your animal is allowed in the state you intend to move to and make any interim care arrangements such as boarding accommodation. Request a vaccination certificate and medical history from your vet.

Connecting broadband and utilities

It’s a good idea to get your utilities sorted well in advance if you’re moving interstate. Consider a home moving service like Connect Your Home to help make the process easier. We can connect your electricity, gas, Internet, pay TV and more in one simple phone call.

Update Medicare and insurance

Contact your provider and access the Medicare website to let them know your new address.

Change your car registration

Make an appointment with the appropriate agency in your new state to organise a roadworthy inspection. Usually this must be done within three months of change of address.

The only state with specific rules relating to moving household goods over state borders is Western Australia, which requires a quarantine declaration.

Ready to move interstate? Why not call our experts today and start the process?

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