Moving to Australia

Move to Australia from New Zealand with NZ's Premier Moving Company

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Are you moving to Australia from NZ? New Zealand Van Lines has been helping Kiwis ‘cross the ditch’ since 1986. We provide a range of comprehensive moving solutions to all destinations in Australia. It remains one of the most popular destinations for Kiwis moving abroad and relocation to Australia have truly become one of our specialties. We have consistently delivered quality removal services to all of our clients making the move to the ‘Land of Oz’. Request a free moving quote now.

Family Moving to Australia

More than 35 years’ experience in moving families to Australia

Thanks to more than 35 years’ experience we’re proud to able to provide a seamless door-to-door service. When you move with New Zealand Van Lines, a dedicated moving consultant will assist you with your international move every step of the way. Co-ordinating the packing and uplift, container loading, freight, export and importation documentation, container unloading and delivery to your new Aussie residence. Our accredited international packers, who also move the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet will pack your belongings to the highest standard. Therefore you know you’re in safe hands. Of course we know moving to Australia is not just about furniture, we can also help with your pets and vehicles.

Tailored options for shipping to Australia

We understand that no move is the same. Therefore we tailor options dependent on what furniture and possessions you have, with regular sailings for shipping furniture to Australia from all major ports including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

  • Sole-use container: A shipping container will be provided exclusively for your belongings, which means that you won’t share with anyone else. This enables us to provide you with a fixed sailing date. 20-foot or 40-foot containers are available, so if you have a lot of household items or wish to include your car or motorbike we have it covered.
  • Shared container: A great option if you’re moving only some of your household effects. Your belongings will be consolidated to ensure you only pay for the space your items occupy in the container. This is a very economical option for smaller consignments, part-house lots, and people on a budget.
  • Air freight: If you need your items urgently, air freight is your first choice.

Our Services

International packing
Our professional moving staff will pack all items in your home using materials purpose-designed to protect your valuables in transit. Fragile items such as china and glassware are wrapped in white paper and then packed in double-thickness cartons by our fully trained moving professionals. Having New Zealand Van Lines pack your effects ensures you not only benefit from our expertise but reduce the burden on your family significantly during the relocation process.

All hard furniture items as well as soft furnishings such as lounge suites and armchairs will be wrapped in preparation for transit in layered protective bubble international wrap.

New Zealand Van Lines has a commitment to sustain the environment, and as a consequence the majority of our materials are recyclable and our vehicles meet environmental standards.

Inventory listing
We will prepare a detailed inventory of your household effects on uplift, describing and numbering each item. This document is the key to ensuring the safe transit of your effects as it is checked and cross-checked while your shipment progresses from uplift through to delivery.

Loading of your effects will then be completed - either into a shipping container, purpose-built liftvan or airfreight pallet box, by experienced New Zealand Van Lines staff.

Vehicles / Boats
Cars, motorbikes, trailers, boats etc. are usually received at our depot for loading unless you have requested collection. For  vehicles a condition report will be completed on receipt at our store.

Cars, trailers and boats will be secured in the container and may be framed within the container when loaded along with household effects. Motorbikes will generally be crated.

Your consignment will be loaded into a secured shipping container for shipment by sea or a customised airfreight container for transportation to Australia. We will select the most cost-effective method of shipment based on our understanding of timing of your relocation and service requirements.

Transport to the departure terminal and shipment of airfreight to destination.


  • Preparation of all export documentation and arranging outward Customs clearance procedures
  • Payment of port or terminal charges at origin and destination
  • Payment of freight


Clearance of the shipment, excluding Customs duties or taxes or any subsequent treatments ordered as a result of inspection.


The safe delivery of your effects from the port of arrival to your residence. Please note this will be via store to meet local Customs and Quarantine inspection and clearance requirements. Cars, motorbikes trailers etc will be handed out to your from our partners store at the place of arrival unless you have requested delivery and we have included the cost for this.

 Unpacking and Unwrapping

  • The contents of cartons will be unpacked to available flat surfaces such as bench tops, table tops etc.
  • The unwrapping and careful placement of your furniture in your new home as required including re-assembly of any furniture dismantled at origin
  • Removal of packing debris

Australian Customs and Quarantine Regulations

The customs clearance services included are done so on the basis of your goods being able to be cleared as normal personal and household effects upon first presentation to the clearing authorities.

We would remind you that duty and/or tax free entry of your effects and/or vehicle into Australia is not an automatic entitlement. This will depend on a variety of factors including your status e.g. Citizen returning to resume permanent residence, entering on a work visa to undertake a work contract, entering on a visitor visa for a temporary visit etc., together with the length of ownership of the items being moved and, in some instances, the nature of the items themselves.

You are urged to ensure that you are clear as to your legal status and entitlements as we cannot accept any responsibility for delays and subsequent costs arising due to non-compliance with the import regulations in Australia. 

Vehicle Relocation NZ to Australia

In many instances vehicles entering Australia may be subject to Customs duty/tax. All vehicles (apart from returning vehicles that have previously been registered in Australia) will require a valuation on arrival. New Zealand Van Lines will be happy to arrange this for you at your expense. Charges vary but typically you can expect to pay AUD$300.00 to AUD$400.00 for this.

Apart from Customs requirements you also need to ensure your vehicle complies with current Australian safety standards and obtain an approval to import from the Department of Transportation in Canberra. It is important that you research these standards and ensure your vehicle will comply, and then obtain import approval prior to the vehicle being shipped. 

You can access further information here

Inheritance shipments

Beneficiary must supply a copy of the will naming them as a beneficiary, or alternatively a letter from the executor will be required.

Quarantine Regulations 

All household and personal effects entering Australia are subject to a physical examination by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). This examination is conducted at DAFF approved premises and will cause delays of up to 14 working days after the arrival of the consignment to Australia. The Quarantine examination also means that sole use containers cannot be delivered direct to residence in Australia.

Items of interest to DAFF include all items that may have come into contact with soil and vegetation such as gardening equipment, bicycles, scooters etc., sporting and camping equipment e.g. golf clubs and buggies, cleaning equipment, brooms, mops, vacuum cleaner waste bags and the like. These items should be thoroughly cleaned before shipping. Please note however  prior cleaning and other treatment (Fumigation, steam cleaning etc.) does not ensure automatic clearance. DAFF will order further treatment if in their opinion the items being imported present a quarantine risk.

Please also be conscious of festive decorations and wreathes containing dried vegetable matter, including pine cones and the like. If imported these items will be subject to further treatment or destruction.

Further information is available here

Please note all personal and household effects consignments are subject to Quarantine and examination fees. The fee cover DAFF inspector’s attendance and entry processing, removalist’s cost of licensing, software, administration, audit compliance, warehousing as well as the unpacking and repacking items designated for inspection. Fees will be provided in our quotation. 

Comprehensive Marine transit insurance

Protecting your possessions has never been easier with New Zealand Van Lines. Choose the option that’s right for you from our range of comprehensive transit insurance options, and rest easy in the knowledge that your household goods are covered. Our comprehensive cover is under written by Vero.

Secure storage solutions

Should you require storage before or after your goods leave NZ, New Zealand Van Lines has secure and affordable options in New Zealand or Australia. Please ask your moving consultant for rates and options.

FIDI accredited Australian partner

When your consignment arrives in Australia our fellow FIDI accredited partner will collect it from the port, customs and quarantine clear it and deliver it to your residence.  

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  • More than 35 years’ experience
  • Accredited international packers
  • Experienced Moving Consultants
  • Seamless door-to-door service
  • Sea or air freight options available
  • Hassle-free Insurance
  • Storage options available

Frequently Asked Questions

How much notice do I need to give to book a removal date?
This varies a great deal and depends on numerous factors, but typically we recommend providing us with 2 weeks’ notice. However, in the unpredictable world of moving house, we appreciate it doesn’t always work this way and we will always strive to accommodate your move even if we have just a few hours’ notice! As New Zealand’s largest privately owned household removals company we have access to a large pool of resources to ensure we can meet any last-minute requirements.

Are my possessions covered for loss or damage?
Yes, we can provide fully comprehensive insurance cover at reasonable rates to give you total peace of mind. Please refer to our section on moving insurance.  

I’m packing the boxes – but what about the furniture, appliances and large pictures?
If you have requested to do your own packing, you only need to concern yourself with the smaller items which fit into boxes. All other items will be wrapped for full protection.

What do I need to do in advance?
If we’re doing all the packing, - very little - we will pack directly from cupboards and shelves. If you are doing some or all of the packing yourselves, you need to have this completed by uplift date. Our Moving Consultant will prepare a quotation outlining what has been agreed to regarding dismantling and packing furniture, noting also any items which are not to be moved. However the following rules usually apply: 

  • Washing machines should be disconnected with drum-fixing brackets in place prior to moving day
  • Attics should be emptied unless we have specifically agreed to do this for you
  • Fridges and freezers should be emptied and dried. Placement of tea bags inside such appliances will prevent unpleasant odors
  • Items not to go with the shipment, such as important paperwork (especially passports!) and keys need to be placed out of the way to avoid inadvertent packing

Can I take alcohol to Australia?

You can import alcohol into Australia, however you will need to declare a complete list of all bottles, depicting alcohol type and style, size of bottle (ozs. or mls), % of bottle content if bottle not full, alcoholic content of liquor as a % of volume, country of production, value. All alcoholic beverages will be subject to customs duty and GST. Beer, Wine and Spirits all attract extremely high levels of duty and GST. (Recommendation – consume before you go!).

Do you offer storage in Australia?
Absolutely – all of all Australian locations offer clean secure storage facilities. 

Can I pack my own belongings?
You certainly can, however, it is important that you follow our Packing Guidelines to ensure that your effects are packed to an acceptable standard. A clearly labelled inventory listing will also be required. Please make sure that no banana or other fruit boxes are used for packing. 

Useful resources:

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