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Three Helpful Tips When Moving From America To Australia

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Moving to the other side of the planet is a massive adventure, and it is also one that takes a lot of planning. The decision of which belongings to take or leave behind is never an easy chore. Use these three helpful tips to guide you towards the final decision before the moving company arrives to pack up your home.


Do you have a beloved coffee machine that you cannot wait to start your day with? Or a television that is so large it takes pride of place in your living room? The bad news is that if you wish to take electrical devices with you to Australia, it is not as simple as plugging them in when you arrive and off they go.

The purchase of a step down transformer will enable you to use anything electrical once you arrive down under. The transformer is needed because Australia's electricity runs at 240 volts, and uses 50 cycles per hertz, but American electricity is 120 volts, and 60 cycles per hertz. 

While you may be tempted to simply take along an adapter that allows you to plug your American shaped electrical plug into an Australian shaped outlet, adapters do not change the electricity voltage that will run into your appliances. Without the transformer, you will fry your device on its first use in Australia.

Personal Belongings

Bringing your personal belongings to a new country is the fastest way to help you settle as you are surrounding yourself with the familiar. However, be mindful that Australia does have strict quarantine laws when it comes to bringing some items into the country. For example:

  • You will have to leave your house plants behind. Live plants and their bulbs are on the prohibited list. While you could apply for an import permit to bring your plants with you, the amount of effort attached to meeting the import conditions will probably not make this a cost effective exercise for you.
  • If you choose to take your gardening equipment with you, it must be completely free of dirt. A pressure washer is the fastest way to get these items clean enough to pass a quarantine inspection.
  • Animal bedding needs to be clean and free of fur. It is a better option to throw it away, and purchase new bedding once you reach Australia. This way you are not paying for shipping on an item that could fail a quarantine inspection.

The strict quarantine laws are in place to help Australia protect its reputation as being a country that is free of exotic pests, and environmental debilitating diseases. If you are in doubt about whether your favorite belonging is prohibited, a more extensive list is available on the Department of Agriculture website.

DVD Collection

While you may have decided to sell your television, and plan to buy a new one upon your arrival in Australia, your DVD player and collection of DVD discs is not going to be much good to you either!

The United States uses the NTSC picture format when displaying images on your television. Australia uses the PAL format. The main difference is the frames per second that appear on your screen. NTSC appears as 30 frames per second, but PAL is only 25 frames. When you put an NTSC DVD into an Australian player, it will not play. Put your collection into storage if it means a lot to you. If it does not, sell it, and buy your favorite movies again in the PAL format.

As you can see there is a lot to think about when it comes time to pack up, and head down to Australia. Speak to your moving specialist from a place like Hollander Storage & Moving about other helpful hints they have before the moving boxes are delivered. While you may not take everything that you own with you, you will now be confident that you are taking items of value that will work properly.