North Harbour’s Quick Guide on Moving to Australia

April 27, 2018

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So, you want to move to Australia? Well, why wouldn’t you? Blue skies, plenty of space, warm weather, laid back people…starting a new life in Australia is a dream of many, and whilst it can be daunting (not least to work out whether you’re immigrating or emigrating, or both*) it is also an opportunity to embark on a great adventure.

Luckily there are plenty of expats who are always willing to share their experiences. North Harbour is home to many expats who have moved from the UK for a variety of reasons varying from weather, to lifestyle, searching for new experiences and more. People arrive from all over the UK every year; some arrive as backpackers and stay long-term, some move for love, or family reasons and some travel for work.

”  Queensland has so many amazing places to see “

Rachel Wolfson and her family moved to North Harbour from Surrey. “We wanted a better lifestyle, which included better weather, a bigger house and be able to live more comfortably financially without the overcrowding in the UK. We chose Brisbane because it is more affordable (than Sydney and Melbourne) and is an exciting place to be with all the development happening. Plus, Queensland has so many amazing places to see.”


The starting point for moving to Australia as with any country is applying for a visa, so before you start planning your first beach BBQ, you’ll need to check the Australian Immigration website. There are many visa requirements and it can be a complicated process to go alone so it might be worth considering using an agent to help you navigate the red tape. If you are wishing to migrate permanently and do not have Australian family or an Australian partner, you will need to apply for a visa through ‘The General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program’ and pass the points test which is a system based on awarding points for age, skills and experience. The UK based company Visa Bureau’s website has an excellent guide to the system including the opportunity to take the points test to see if you will qualify.


Some people are lucky enough to be moving over for work, whereas others might be looking for work while they wait for their visa application to be decided. If you fall into the latter category, check out  Seek which is one of the most popular job websites in Australia. Certain skills are in higher demand than others, and you have a higher chance of being granted a visa if your occupation is included on the “skilled occupation list

Daryl Haines moved over with his family from Doncaster. As an IT Specialist he was on the Skilled Occupation list his visa application was a smooth process. He and his wife wanted a “better lifestyle and for our daughter to grow up in a nicer environment than we grew up in.  We looked at USA and New Zealand too but only fleetingly, not as seriously as Australia.”

”  We find it a far better work environment in Brisbane City than Sydney “

“My wife’s Godmother was already in Queensland, so we came here first.  Initially we thought we would need to go to NSW / Sydney for work, but I’ve never had issues finding work here in Brisbane.  We find it a far better work environment in Brisbane City than Sydney, more relaxed and slower paced. Although it is professional it’s not such a  mad rush.”


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Yes, it is as good over here as it looks, and if you like sunshine then moving to Queensland, the Sunshine State, is a good choice! While summer can be a bit extreme (investing in a pool is almost a must for expats), North Harbour’s average winter temperature is 22 degrees, which makes the Queensland outdoor living style very enjoyable.

Aussies tend to be an active lot, playing a lot of sport, socialising outside and yes, enjoying a lot of beer and BBQs! One of the benefits of emigrating to Australia for families in particular is having a lot of open space for kids to enjoy. It’s a big factor in the success of North Harbour, in fact our masterplan includes 1,000 acres of open space and parklands, an area which is bigger than Central Park in New York.

We also have free weekend activities, parkrun and yoga, we’re 35 minutes from the beach, 45 minutes from the centre of Brisbane and 45 minutes from the airport so you can greet all the friends and family who are sure to want to visit you in your Australia paradise! And yes…you can buy marmite here.

There’s even a TKMaax.

10 Important Social Facts About Australia

  1. We call “flip flops”, “thongs”, don’t confuse the two
  2. We bring our own alcohol to parties in an “esky” and only drink from our own esky (an ice box). Do not touch another person’s esky
  3. Our BBQs rival kitchens in capacity and expense but we don’t throw shrimps on them because our prawns are massive like everything else in our country
  4. When you walk into a shop people ask you, “how’s it going”. The correct answer is, “good”. This can upset Brits who do not like to be addressed in public, you’ll get used to it
  5. Soft furnishings are called Manchester. There will be signs in shops to Manchester, this refers to the colonial times when the cotton for the soft furnishings came from Manchester, not pointing you in the direction of novelty items from Manchester
  6. We shorten all names. If you have a name which gets shortened, we like you
  7. We say “good on ya” when you’ve done something good, and when you’ve done something bad. It will take time to work out which we mean
  8. Do not compare us to New Zealand. Ever
  9. We call sausages, snags
  10. We still have morning and afternoon tea but our Devonshire teas do not have clotted cream, do not be fooled

Contact me directly for a list of innocuous words which you must not say over here: they are many and varied, and can cause both alarm and hilarity – .

Good on ya!

*To emigrate’ means to leave your own country and go and live in another country, permanently. ‘To immigrate’ means to enter and settle in a foreign country, permanently. So yes, it’s both.

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