Moving to Sydney? Here’s an Insider’s Guide to Get You Prepared

Thinking of moving to Sydney? TAXIBOX can get you anywhere

Setting Sydney as your next destination? We don’t blame you — if any Australian city is worth raving about, it’s Sydney. Interstate moves on the other hand? Not so much. Moving to Sydney — and moving interstate in general — is an experience much less glamorous than your run of the mill move, which isn’t even glamorous to begin with. 

You’re about to get hit over the head with all kinds of paperwork, full of license transfers, change of address forms, new car registration details, the lot. You’re going to have to figure out how to get your stuff from point A, to point B, across the country, but hey — we’ll get to that later. Let’s focus on the fun stuff for now to get you excited about your new home, with an insider’s guide to moving to Sydney to get you started.

Why Move to Sydney?

If you’ve been wanting to switch things up with an interstate move, Sydney has a lot to offer. It’s Australia’s main character for a reason (sorry, Melbourne, it’s just that Sydney’s very pretty, it’s hard to compete with water that blue). Consider all the draw cards if you’re still weighing up your options.

  • It’s a big ticket city. As a city, Sydney steals almost every big ticket item away from the rest of the country. Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Bondi beach, Darling Harbour: If you’ve been wanting to feel like the main character, Sydney’s got that covered.
  • Business, business, business. Sydney’s the commerce capital for a reason. Think expensive real estate, high quality food, the biggest tourist destination in Australia. If a city is worthy of all your investments, it’s Sydney. If you’re after a high paying job, or you’re considering the lofty prospects of getting into finance, go for Sydney.
  • Views worth pulling over for. If all you want is a nice view to look at, Sydney has good views everywhere you turn. With Sydney Harbour at the heart of the city and scenic bush like Royal National Park a stone’s throw away, you’re never going to run short on a nice view in Sydney. 
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Get the Lay of the Land

Don’t get ahead of yourself. Figure out what suburbs you actually like before you start planning your move. Remember, just because you like the suburb when you’re a tourist doesn’t mean you’re going to like the suburb when you’re a resident. Be realistic. Spend some time in the area before you sign the lease (or God forbid, sign the $3 million dollar mortgage, you are moving to Sydney after all). 

If you’re looking for affordabilitywhy are you moving to Sydney? Just kidding, we get it: you have your heart set on being the main character of NSW. Totally understand. If you’re renting, try suburbs like Ashfield, Fairfield, Cabramatta. If you’re buying, you’ll have to move further out to areas like Emerton, Dharruk, and Shalvey. We know it’s far, but Sydney prices are what you’re signing up for.

If you’re looking for somewhere family-friendly… you’ve got nothing to worry about. Sydney is a big place full of suburbs that are perfect for raising a family. Where you look depends on what you’re after. If you’re looking for somewhere laid back with an easier drive to the beach, try the Eastern suburbs. If community, arts and culture is more your family’s speed, try the Inner West for you and your family.

If you go out a lot… and you want to fully experience Sydney at its best, stay in the heart of it. Try inner-city suburbs like Newtown, Glebe, The Rocks, Surry Hills, Paddington. The list goes on. The inner-city opportunities are endless, so long as you’re prepared for the price tag.

Count Your Pennies (Before You Pack) 

If you’re already this deep in your moving to Sydney plan, you would already know that Sydney is expensive (unless you’ve blissfully unaware, in which case, good for you… but you’re going to have to be a bit more of a realist when you’re paying rent that high, for a shoebox in the city). Now’s the time to write up your budget.

Things to include in your budget:

  • Rent: on average a 1-bedroom apartment in the inner-city will cost you $2500 a month, 3-bedroom places in trendier suburbs will set you back $4000 a month, roughly
  • Food: lunch in the suburbs will set you back $15, or $20 in the inner-city
  • Average bills per month: what you currently pay is a good estimate
  • Transport: Sydney uses Opal cards for train, bus, and ferry rides, as well as all light rail services. How much it will cost depends on when you travel, and how frequently. Off-peak travel will cost you less. If you’re planning on driving in Sydney, factor in parking in the city (around $30 day in a parking garage), toll roads (these charges can go up to $25 a trip in Sydney), and petrol (approximately $100 a month)
  • Treating yourself: a pint of beer in Sydney is typically $12+, need we say more

If you’re wondering how much the interstate move is going to cost you, you can get an instant quote on a TAXIBOX delivered to your new address across borders anytime. Try out our online instant quote calculator to get an idea.

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Here’s Your Must-Do List


Okay, you’ve budgeted. Now on to the fun stuff. How can you decide whether you’re ready to move to a city without being a tourist for a bit? Especially in a city as pretty as Sydney.

  • For art-lovers: Depending on the season, your trip to Sydney might line up with Vivid Sydney, their annual light festival, or Sculptures by the Sea, aka art in iconic Sydney locations. Get your art fix and your scenic fix, all on one beautiful coastal walk.
  • For swimmers: It’s a given for a reason, Icebergs in Bondi is a beauty. If you’re after something a little more lowkey, try Dawn Fraser Baths in Balmain (also beautiful, but not so crowded).
  • For reality TV spotters: you know the drill. Reality TV stars love to tan. Go for Bondi, Bronte, or Double Bay.

More Importantly, Your Must-Eat List

The real way to determine if you love a city or not: eating your weight in all the food the place has to offer. Sydney’s got some restaurants to write home about.

  • For cheap eats: Chinese Noodle House. Fondly known by locals as “Grapes on the Roof”. Get the special braised eggplant, thank us later.
  • For elevated eats: North Bondi Fish for fresh, good quality seafood, or Quay, if you’re after something a little extra (Quay’s held onto three chef’s hats for over 18 years, so if you want to treat yourself, you won’t be risking your bets here).
  • For sweet eats: Flour and Stone or Black Star Pastry. For all the baked goods of your dreams.

Don’t Forget What the Locals Love 

You’re soon to be a local, so don’t forget to live like a local on your trip to Sydney.

  • For dog watching: Camperdown Park to find every dog in Sydney’s Inner West.
  • For swimmers that want to avoid the Bondi crowd: Wattamolla Falls at Royal National Park, or if you really feel like a hike, try to find the Figure 8 Pools.
  • For market-goers: Go for Paddy’s (all-rounders), Glebe (for secondhand scores), or Carriageworks (for seasonal goodies). 

Avoid the Tourist Traps

All true Sydney locals don’t only know where to go, they know where to avoid too:

  • Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay Wharf, especially towards the end of the year
  • The CBD on the weekend (unlike Melbourne, Sydney gets congested quick)
  • Parking anywhere remotely near the city (it’s not only limited, but the streets are skinnnnnny)

Heart Set on Sydney? Get Moving

You’ve just read a city guide equipped to make you fall in love with Sydney, we don’t blame you for your heart eyes. Moving interstate can be a drag, but with TAXIBOX, it’s easy: stick all your stuff in a TAXIBOX and get it shipped straight to your new address. We’d do anything for you to live your dream (yes, that includes heavy lifting and crossing interstate borders, you’re welcome).

If you have time to kill in-between your move-out and move-in dates, you won’t have to worry about your stuff. TAXIBOX can hold onto your stuff for you, in one of our secure facilities, and redeliver it to your new address once you’re ready. In the downtime, why not explore your new city, without all your stuff weighing you down?

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