We know moving country is a big step. There are new customs and ways of doing things to familiarise yourself with.

Tips to smooth the way to your new Aussie life

1. Identity

Your identity is key to accessing services in Australia. You will need to provide a number of official documents which may differ between state and territory, and depend on what services you are wishing to access.

2. Mobile phones

Australia has a number of mobile phone providers and a wide range of plans available. Find out how to choose a plan to suit your needs.

3. Banking and finances

Find out about banking and managing your finances in Australia. The Australian Banking Association has a range of free easy to read guides.

4. Housing

For information on renting or buying a house in Australia, and for tips on working with real estate agents research the local state or territory authorities.

5. Driving

If you intend to drive, you’ll need a driver’s licence issued in the state or territory where you live. You may be able to drive for a short time with your valid overseas licence, but you’ll need to check with the state or territory transport authority. Find out how to apply for a driver’s licence in Australia.

6. Tax

You will need a Tax File Number (TFN). This is your personal reference number in the tax and superannuation systems. Find out how to lodge your first tax return.

7. Medicare

Medicare is Australia’s national health care scheme, providing free or subsidised health care services to Australian citizens and permanent residents. Find out how to enrol for Medicare.

8. Social security

Centrelink social security payments and services are available to Australian permanent residents and citizens. Find out about payments and services, setting up online accounts and making claims. You can access many government services securely online via MyGov.

9. Schooling

If you have young children you will need to find a school. If you have pre-school children you may want to find a child care centre.

10. Superannuation

If you’re an employee, you’re typically entitled to compulsory superannuation (super). Superannuation is money put aside by your employer over your working life for you to live on when you retire from work. You are entitled to super whether you are in full time, part-time or casual employment.

sunrise over the Great Dividing Range

It’s a big country

Australia is enormous, measuring more than 7.5 million square kilometres. That’s nearly as big as Europe. Travelling round Australia is always an adventure, best achieved by plane, train or by car.

a First Nations man painting a young woman’s face

First Nations people

Australia’s history dates back 60,000 years to the dawn of its first people. Our First Nations people, sometimes referred to as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, have a rich culture involving a custom, lore and value system based on the sustainability of their spiritual connection, belonging and responsibility to care for their land, their people and the environment. There is enormous diversity within the First Nations population, with over 250 different language groups spread across the country. Each language is specific to a particular place and people.

a rocky coastline in the morning sun

How's the weather?

You could be forgiven for thinking that Australia has one climate – hot and sunny. However, depending on where you live, the weather varies considerably. From the tropical weather of North Queensland to the cooler climates of Tasmania and Victoria, and the drier Outback expanse of South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, no 2 states or territories are the same. You can even go skiing in the stunning alpine regions of New South Wales and Victoria during the winter months.

having a barbecue on the beach

Australians enjoy socialising

Australians are generally very friendly, optimistic, outgoing and confident. People of all cultures enjoy getting together to celebrate milestones, achievements and occasions. And with a calendar full of events, you’ll always find an opportunity to socialise and make new friends.

driving on the left hand side of the road

Keep left

Many know that Aussies drive on the left, but did you know that we also walk on the left? In some countries it’s customary to walk on whatever side you choose. However, in Australia when you’re driving, walking and even swimming in a lap pool, the silent rule is to keep left.

a packed stadium for an AFL game

Sport brings everyone together

If there’s one thing that unites Australians, it’s watching and playing sport. Despite our relatively modest population of around 26 million, our sporting teams and players regularly shine on the world stage. If you love sport, you’re coming to the right place.