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Household Goods

Household Goods & Car


FAQs for Kiwis Moving to Australia

As New Zealand’s only international moving company exclusively packing and shipping household goods and personal effects to Australia you can imagine we get asked a lot of questions.

While we welcome your calls and have an amazing team of Ausmove experts ready to answer enquiries, there are some questions that are asked more frequently than others. Here’s a selection of these frequently asked questions (FAQS) and some quick-fire answers, to get the ball rolling. If you have additional questions or need further clarification, please don’t hesitate to call us on 09 360 4777 or email

We look forward to being of service.

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Is it worth sending my household goods to Australia?

Yes, it is worth sending your household goods and personal effects to Australia. We’re not just saying that because we’re in the moving business.

For starters, you will be quite surprised at how inexpensive it actually is. As pricing is volume based, the more you take the less you pay. In many instances it’s cheaper than moving long distance within NZ. We recommend you look at the big picture. If you sell up before you leave it’s unlikely you will get anything close to the cost of replacement in Australia. Then there’s the sentimental attachment we have to many our personal effects, they aren’t just things they are our memories and part of who we are.

If you’re still not convinced, we recommend you ask Ausmove to tailor an option that works for you. Maybe you take out some big items and let us price the rest of the shipment accordingly.

Where is Ausmove based, do you cover all of NZ?

Ausmove is based in Auckland. We are situated in Pavilion Drive, very close to Auckland airport. From here we have quick access to all major airlines and shipping services.

Our modern offices are attached to a large warehouse, housing hundreds of purpose-built wooden storage modules and indoor shipping containers. It is also a customs licensed and MPI approved transitional facility. From here we also clear, store and deliver shipments arriving into Auckland from all parts of Australia. While we are Auckland based, we do service the whole upper North Island and other parts of NZ.

Is Ausmove a budget mover, what do you charge?

In comparison to other international movers, we are inexpensive but not a cheap or budget mover.

We have a hard-earned reputation for the quality of our service, fair pricing, and fast transit times. Having high volumes enables us to negotiate with shippers and airlines to keep the price down. Our frequency of service can also take weeks off the transit time for our customers. This means less cost and inconvenience. As a specialist mover to Australia, we have perfected our processes and operate to strict productivity guidelines. These factors allow us to pass on additional savings to our customers.

Our Australian service partners are hand selected. Each is regularly visited by Ausmove management and either meet or exceeded our criteria for pricing, customer service and quality.

Is your service door to door and are all costs included?

Yes, our standard service is door to door, although we also have options for door to door via a period in storage, in either NZ or Australia. In tandem with our service partners, we provide a seamless service that includes all standard customs and quarantine clearances and delivery to your new home in Australia.

Our service partners place items in the correct rooms, unpack to a flat surface and clear any left-over packing materials, as long as this is part of the same delivery journey. While there are no hidden costs it’s very important you read up on the rules and regulations around importing goods into Australia. Our staff will provide you with all the information you need for a successful door-to-door service, and check that you’ve completed the correct documentation. If you haven’t followed the regulations your goods may be subject to unexpected additional costs and delays.

For more information visit the website for Australian Department of Water and the environment.

Do I really need to take out marine transit insurance protection?

We know that many of our customers are concerned about the cost and need for taking out insurance protection for their international move to Australia. We consider this a necessity rather than a ‘nice to have’ The reason marine insurance seems expensive is because of the risks, not because we’re careless or excessively profiting from your premium.

These risks include damage due to extreme weather events, container movement during transit, container handling or vehicle accidents and other unforeseen circumstances leading to loss. It is a one-off cost, and not a recurring cost like your health, income, property, and motor vehicle insurance costs.

At the end of the day, we recommend you take out insurance because we want to sleep well at night, knowing that your personal effects are fully protected.

What is the transit time for my relocation to Australia?

There are lots of factors influencing door to door transit times, these can include changes to shipping schedules, port delays, backlogs during holiday periods and industrial action in Australia. Here are some guidelines that allow for delays in Australian customs and quarantine clearances. They include the full transit time from the arrival of our packers in NZ to delivery day across the Tasman.

Sole use container shipment
Generally 4-6 weeks but longer for Perth bound shipments.

Groupage or shared container shipment
Depending on freight availability allow 6-8 weeks. In most instances Ausmove can give you a sailing date, as we have a lot of volume.

Airfreight Shipment
This is the fastest option and usually takes up to 2 weeks.

How much notice do you need to pack up my things?

We know you could have been thinking about moving to Australia for months, so the answer to this question is that we need to be booked in as early as possible. 2 weeks notice would be considered a tight timeline. If you plan your move from when you want to take delivery in Australia back to when you first ask us for a quote, you can set up a timeline.

Here’s how that can work if you are planning for a sole use container relocation from Auckland to either Brisbane, Sydney, or Melbourne;

  • From delivery in Australia back to pack out day in NZ is 6 weeks. (transit guidelines)
  • You then need to give Ausmove two weeks’ notice, which makes 8 weeks
  • You should allow another 4 weeks to get your quotation organized

Using the above example, the timeline from your first contact with Ausmove to taking delivery in Australia is approx. 12 weeks.

Of course, this is a rough guideline only, as everything depends on your personal circumstances, shipping timetables and other uncontrollables, like port delays and the workloads of border control officials.

Can Ausmove provide safe storage on both sides of the Tasman?

Ausmove routinely provides safe and secure storage in licensed transitional facilities on both sides of the Tasman.

A popular option is for us to internationally pack and store your effects in Auckland, until you’re ready for us to ship them. It could be that you want to take a holiday before looking for permanent accommodation, still looking for a job and uncertain of where you’ll end up or just not 100% sure of your final plans. This way there’s no pressure or stress while you do your own thing for a while.

Importantly you can just pay for the domestic portion of your move and the balance when you call for your goods.

Can I pack my own household goods?

While some companies encourage customers to pack their own shipments, this is not something Ausmove agrees with. There are only 2 reasons for a moving company to provide a Pack by Owner quote. The 1st is to give the appearance of a cheaper service and the 2nd being a lack of confidence in their packing skills.

For customers this is not a money-saving idea. That’s because getting the quote only gets you to the start line, there’s still a race to be run. For starters insurance companies and Australian border officials do not like pack by owner shipments. There is a strong possibility of insurance issues, additional costs at the border and significant clearance delays. Most of our competitors have pack teams that don’t specialise in international moving. Here at Ausmove our crews are not only packing and stowing professionals, they are also experts at getting their inventories and documentation right.

Every mistake in either packing, stowing, process, inventory preparation or paperwork becomes an additional cost to the customer when their shipment arrives in Australia.

Can I take my outdoor items to Australia?

Yes, there’s no problem with taking outdoor items to Australia. To avoid additional border costs and delays all your outdoor items must be thoroughly cleaned. This includes anything that has been in contact with the outdoors. Mud and dirt on bikes, garden tools, golf clubs, garden furniture, sports equipment, outdoor shoes, and children’s play equipment, amongst others.

We recommend you wash everything with soapy water and then disinfectant. If you are taking a toolbox, the same applies to each item. Lawn mowers and anything with fuel must be cleaned and also drained of fuel. Your vacuum cleaner should be thoroughly cleaned and the bag disposed of, prior to shipping.

What items shouldn’t I take to Australia?

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) is responsible for protecting Australia from unwanted pests and diseases. The importation of some products is subject to specific conditions, while some products and items are not permitted entry into Australia.

Ausmove recommends you do everything possible to follow the regulations and be aware of anything that may be denied entry or incur additional costs; for example, fresh fruit and vegetables, live plants, cane and wicker furniture, soiled goods untreated wood items and many others. Our staff are experts in their field so please ask them for advice and ensure you do your homework and get across the regulations.

This website is recommended reading on the regulations and process for importing goods: Importing goods - DAFF (

Is every shipment subject to quarantine inspection?

Yes, an Australian Quarantine Service (AQIS) inspection is mandatory for all household goods and motor vehicle import shipments into Australia.

Inspections are conducted in quarantine approved facilities, generally owned, and operated by our Australian service partners. They will make all the arrangements and facilitate the process. If the shipper has followed recommended guidelines, got the correct paperwork, and followed procedures this is a straightforward process. However, additional costs will be charged if further treatment is required or there are prohibited items in the shipment. This could include steam cleaning, fumigation, heat treatment or the seizure and destruction of prohibited items.

Can I take my motor vehicle or motor bike with me to Australia?

Yes, we regularly ship our customers private cars, motorcycles, caravans, trailers and other vehicle types to Australia.

The shipping process is pretty straight forward and they can be sent across the ditch in both sole use or as part of a shared container, depending on your situation and budget. The complex part is to work through the regulatory processes to decide if your vehicle is eligible and if the shipping and compliance costs make it worthwhile. In general, all vehicles are subject to duty and/or GST. This is calculated by the Australian Customs Service on the value of the vehicle, in some instances there may also be an additional luxury car tax.

To view the Australian governments import requirements click on this link.

Can I also relocate the family cat or dog?

Yes, we partner with New Zealand’s leading pet relocation specialists, to ensure all of your family members receive a VIP (Very Important Pet) service.

We would do this ourselves but it’s really a job for the experts. After all we are generally packing, moving and storing inanimate objects not your fluffy four-legged friends. Although there’s a lot of preparation involved the actual process of moving your pets is very straight forward. New Zealand is a rabies free country so there is no quarantine period in Australia, and your pets can fly directly into most of Australia’s major airports. After being cleared at the airport they can travel straight home or be further transported to their eventual destination. In some instances it’s even possible to be on the same flight as your pet so you can all leave the airport together.

Here's a link to the Australian government’s step by step guide for importing cats and dogs from New Zealand;

New Zealand – step by step guide for cats and dogs - DAFF (

What about Customs?

Your possessions must be cleared for entry by Australian Customs. We'll let you know when your container has landed in Australia and our Australian partner will let you know of the estimated dates for quarantine and customs clearances and delivery of your goods.

Your shipment will then be checked by Australia's Quarantine Inspection personnel and released for delivery by our representatives in Australia.

How should I prepare myself for the move?

Read our tips for moving overseas for some tips to help you settle in to a new country!

How much does it cost to move to Australia?

The cost depends on the way you ship (or fly) your goods, how much you have and where you are going.

To make it easy we can provide you with a free quote - just fill in this form!