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Tips for Moving to Sydney

Sydney is one of the most popular and liveable cities in the world. Culturally diverse, Sydney is a melting pot of nationalities who welcome new neighbours regularly. Although there are rules and regulations set down by the Australian Government which pose restrictions on moving to Sydney, it doesn’t have to be difficult to navigate your move.


Quarantine matters in Australia are among the strictest in the world. When relocating to Sydney from overseas, it’s important to remember that what might seem like a completely harmless object to you, might be what holds up your entire shipment of household effects.

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is interested in items that originated from an animal or plant, contains part of an animal or plant (including timber), or has been in contact with animals, plants, water, food or soil.

When entering the country from overseas, you will not be able to bring the following:

  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • live plants and bulbs
  • prohibited and restricted seeds
  • unidentified seeds (including spices)
  • live animals (including pets) that require an import permit
  • biological products including some plant based, herbal medications
  • unprocessed goods of plant or animal origin
  • soiled goods, or goods containing organic residues
  • goods knowingly infested with pests or a disease

For more information regarding the import of personal and household effects into Australia, please visit the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

Domestic quarantine within Australia concerns the restrictions that are placed on pests, diseases and weeds travelling across and within interstate borders. These pests and diseases can travel with you as you visit different parts of the country, sometimes without you even realising it. Each of Australia’s states and territories have restrictions in place to prevent the spread of disease and pests across the country that may affect the natural environment and wildlife. These laws also help to minimise the risk to the country’s valuable agricultural land.

Quarantine and biosecurity zones are determined by their risk factor and vulnerability, they do not follow the boundaries of the states and territories. For a list of the quarantine zones in Australia, visit the Australian Interstate Quarantine website.

When moving across state and territory borders, you may not be able to bring the following:

  • animals and animal products
  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • live plants and bulbs

Moving Trends

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016 Census, almost 60 per cent of Sydneysiders live in separate houses while 14 per cent live in semi-detached or townhouses and almost 30 per cent live in apartments.

Dwelling types vary from suburb to suburb and there are a range of styles to choose from right across the city. These range from high density, high rise apartments in the city centre, to terraced houses in the inner west and housing estates and separate houses in the north and west.

The most popular time to move in Sydney is in summer during the festive season and school holidays in December and January.

Finding a place to live

When searching for a home in Sydney, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest property listings. You can do this through a local real estate agent but there are also many useful websites to help you find a home to buy or rent. These websites list properties currently on the market, as well as recently sold properties to help give you an indication of their value:

Moving Tips

Moving to Sydney is an exciting time but it’s hard to be prepared for a big relocation when daily life often gets in the way. There are many things to consider before you move. Getting a head start on the packing can help make the process of moving to Sydney more efficient and less stressful.

Prepare for your move by sorting and packing your household goods as early as you can. Try to declutter as you go, and remember that Australian quarantine laws will restrict certain items from entering the county and state. For more information on how to pack to move house, read our eight handy packing tips.

Stay organised throughout the move process with our helpful moving checklist that starts from eight weeks out to move day itself.

On move day, prepare the kids and your pets properly and well in advance and let the children get involved in the packing and moving process. Read our blogs on managing move day with kids and transporting pets overseas for more information on how to handle moving to Sydney.

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