Your Guide to Moving to Australia and Finding a House Once You Get Here



Come backpacker, international student, grey nomad or traveller, here’s what you need to know if you’re moving to Australia (and want to unpack).


At Flatmates we’re proud to welcome a Kaleidoscope of sharers from all walks of life. Use our guide below to help you make your best decisions about living in the right house for you in Australia.

Fill out your paperwork – Visas, Arrival Cards and more

In case you missed it, Australia’s borders are tight. Moving to Australia and living in Australia is tricky, lengthy, and expensive. But we’ve got the world’s best beaches and brunch menu so it’s all worth it right? You’re going to need a lot of docs, so we’ve started a list for you below:

Correct visas and paperwork

Failure to get the right visa might mean you’re turned around on arrival and we don’t want that. Make sure you read up on the correct visa and entry requirements for Australia.

Understanding visa conditions

Depending on your visa, you will and won’t be allowed to do certain things. We’re talking how many hours you can work, if you need to do any farm work and so on. Make sure you understand the conditions of your visa.

Border control

If you want to avoid a Johnny Depp and Amber Heard national fiasco around their dogs, then make sure you know what you can and can’t bring in to Australia

Vaccination Travel Pass

Like with any country, Australia has strict laws combining Covid vaccination and travel. If you want to avoid international embarrassment like that of Novak Djokovic, make sure you’re fully vaccinated before entering Australia.

For more information visit the Australian Home Affairs website.

What is the right type of accommodation for you?

When moving to a new country, it can be hard to know which accommodation is right for you. Do you want to live in a studio by yourself, in a large house with lots of new friends or is student accommodation more your vibe? Check out our article on which accommodation type is right for me to help find the right house.

Different types of accommodation to consider

image If you’re wanting to branch out and try a different type of share accomodation, try the scenarios below.

Home Share scenarios

A great response to the housing crisis. Rent is drastically reduced or free in exchange for 10 hours of work a week (this could be cooking, cleaning or just chatting). The most common scenario is matching elderly members who are in need of some help around the house with students who can’t afford to live inner-city.

Au Pair

Be a family’s live in nanny. Logistics change family to family but this usually involves free board and food in exchange for school drop off/pick up and after school care.


This is all entirely up to you. Do you want to be near the vibing, party suburbs of town and pay higher rent? Or would you prefer to live a little further out and to save money for more travel? Are you looking to live near your uni? For our traveller community, every city and state will have their “Backpacker Hot Spots.” These are usually fun areas with heaps of pubs, hostels, travellers and things to do. Be wary, this lifestyle isn’t for everyone. Rent is expensive, the suburbs are noisy and you might not get much in return for the high rental price.

Backpacker Hot Spots: In a state near you!
NSW: Bondi, Coogee, Bronte, Surry Hills, Byron Bay, Nimbin
VIC: St Kilda, South Yarra, Prahran, Fitzroy, Lorne, Torquay
WA: Fremantle, Margaret River
NT: Nightcliff, Parap
QLD: Fortitude Valley, West End, Surfers Paradise, Cairns
TAS: Sandy Bay, Battery Point
SA: Glenelg, Brighton

How long does it take to find somewhere to live in Australia

image Getty Images People looking for somewhere to live are usually on the platform for a maximum of 2-4 weeks, which means you might be looking a lot earlier than you need to. Whilst we suggest logging on early to get a feel for where you want to live, the type of accommodation, what’s available and how much to pay, you’re probably not going to lock anything in until a month out at the earliest. Check out our value my room feature to get a feel for average rents in your suburb of choice.

Also note that most people will want to meet you before you move in, which means you might have to wait until you’re in Australia until you find a place. Some share houses are happy to do Skype or Face Time interviews before your arrival Down Under.

Staying safe

Beware of scammers or of people who might try to exploit international people who are unaware of Australian tenancy laws. Stay safe online, never deposit money without seeing a property first and always get a bond receipt. We highly discourage paying a deposit before you’re in Australia.

Keep your landlord happy

Keeping your home life happy will be a key ingredient to ensuring you have a great time here in Australia. Be upfront with your landlord and head tenant from the beginning. If you only plan on staying for two months, let your flatmates know so that they can prepare for your departure. Always make sure you get your bond transfer in writing and always be open to talking about any issues you have with your flatmates. We suggest checking out our Flatmates pre-agreement checklist and to use our Flatmates Agreement for any share houses you enter.

Get paid

You’re going to need a way to pay for your new lifestyle. If you’re an international student, you might be lucky enough to be on a scholarship or to have family support during your studies, but if you don’t fall into this category, you’re going to need to get paid. Everyone be working for the man, even in “the lucky country.” Luckily for you, getting a job in Australia is easy and restaurants and retail stores love having “exotic foreigners” serving their patrons coffee to add to their establishment’s lack of chic (we’re not joking). If you need on how to make your coins go further, check out our hot tips on how to save money.

Who is moving to Australia

Here are some of the common groups of people moving to Australia. We hope you love it here as much as we do.

International Students
Did you know pre-pandemic, international students were Australia’s third largest export? Right behind good old iron ore and coal. Even now, during the pandemic and max exodus of international students from our shores, international students are still Australia’s fourth largest export. So thank you! With Australia’s borders opening up to international student arrivals in Dec 2021, we can’t wait to see more and more students make their way back home to the great southern land.


Ahh, the backpacker. It’s been a while since we’ve seen foreign travellers or working holiday makers here in Aus but the time is nigh! From Feb 21, Australia’s borders will be open to tourism once more! Just make sure you pack a hat and stock up on SPF 50 when you’re here.

Skilled Migrants

If you’ve got a skill and you want to move to Aus, you might be able to fall under one of our skilled occupation visas. Browse the list to see if your skills could result in a visa here - fingers crossed!

We hope you have a wonderful time in Australia! If you need more help, your flatmates friendly support team are only ever an email away at




Claudia is Flatmates' Associate Product Manager and looks after our Flatmates Community. She loves her share house, her plants and her side-hustles.