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Category Archives: Living in Australia

June 27, 2023

Starting from July 1st, you can apply for “tax back” or “tax return” in Australia. Whether you live in Australia with a Working Holiday Visa, sponsor visa, or permanent visa, you will need to file an Australian tax return. In this article, we explain what tax back is and how to do it.

What is tax back?

Tax back in Australia refers to the process by which an individual requests a refund of excess taxes paid to the Australian government. This can happen when an individual has paid more taxes than owed due to various factors, such as errors in the tax return, overlooked deductions, or improperly applied tax deductions.

Tax back can be requested through the “Tax Return” or “Income Tax Return” process, which involves filing a tax return with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The tax return includes reporting income, eligible expenses, and deductions to calculate the exact amount of taxes owed or refundable.


You can do this by calling 13 28 61 and requesting the linking code to connect ATO services to your myGov account. Alternatively, you can independently verify your account on the myGov website (you will need your Tax File Number, account number, date of birth, and other personal information provided previously, such as superannuation number).

When to do tax back?

It is important to note that you can complete this process during the “tax window,” which runs from July 1st to October 30th.

Why do tax back?

During the working year, employers make tax contributions on behalf of employees. However, it is possible to have been overtaxed. To verify if the tax paid was appropriate, a process called Tax Return can be initiated. If the taxes were correctly calculated, there will be no refund or payment owed to the government.

In the case of overtaxation, individuals have the right to claim a refund. Conversely, if one has been undertaxed, the difference must be paid.

For Working Holiday Visa holders earning up to $45,000, the tax rate is 15% (source: https://www.ato.gov.au/Rates/Individual-income-tax-rates/).

Who is required to file a Tax Return in Australia?

Working Holiday Visa holders who did not work under an ABN and earned less than AUD $45,000 are not required to file a tax return. All other individuals are obligated to file a tax return.

Tax return for Working Holiday Visa

It is important to note that Working Holiday Visa holders find it challenging to claim significant amounts of money since they are not eligible for the tax-free threshold on the first $18,200 earned, which applies to other visa types such as Student Visa, Post-Graduate, Sponsors, PR, and citizens.

If I have a Working Holiday Visa and I’m not obligated to file a Tax Return, can I still do it? Is it worth it?

Absolutely! You can still file a tax return even if you are not obligated to do so. The possibility of getting a refund depends on various factors such as income level, amount of taxes paid, and work-related expenses – these expenses should be included under the “deduction” category.

How to do tax back?

Find here a step-by-step guide to lodge your tax return autonomously!

  • Log in to the myGov website – https://my.gov.au
  • Click on Tax > Lodgment > Income Tax
  • Lodge a Tax Return and follow the instructions.

During the tax back process, you will be asked to review all payment summaries for activities conducted in that financial year and whether you incurred expenses for work equipment, training courses, or fuel (keep in mind that you may be asked to provide proof of these expenses in case of audits, so avoid inflating these costs).

  • Provide your contact information, including phone number, address, and email address.
  • Enter your banking details, including your name, surname, BSB (Bank State Branch) number, and account number.
  • Declare yourself as a backpacker (if you are in Australia with a Working Holiday Visa) and specify your employment status as casual, part-time, or full-time.

Specifically, answer the following questions:

  • Were you a resident in Australia during the last financial year?
  • Were you married during the last year?
  • What type of income did you have (derived only from work in Australia or from overseas as well)? Tick the relevant boxes that describe your situation.

During this stage, some options may already be automatically filled in. Make sure to verify their accuracy.

This is where you actually perform the tax back. First, select the type of activity from which you earned the highest income, and then proceed to enter any applicable deductions.

Tax back with a tax agent:

If you wish to entrust the process to a professional, whom can you turn to? To obtain professional assistance in preparing your Tax Return, it is advisable to consult a tax agent. A tax agent will provide expert advice and ensure that the process is handled correctly.

We hope this information has been useful in understanding the concept of Tax Back in Australia and how to benefit from it. Remember to take advantage of the ‘tax window’ to complete your tax return. If you have further questions, feel free to reach out to our infopoint at infopoint@atlasmigration.com.

February 23, 2023

Atlas Migration’s purpose is to help you live in Australia and migrate to Australia; however, for those who want to leave Australia, here is what to do before leaving the country.

Usually, at Atlas Migration we take care of guiding people in all those bureaucratic procedures useful for those who want to stay in Australia forever. The following article goes therefore a bit against the trend, but often, by choice or necessity, it happens that you have to put an end to the ‘Australian chapter’ of your life.

Leaving Australia, in general, requires far less paperwork than initial upon arrival or renewal. For convenience, we have decided to divide them into two categories: those that can be done when you’re still in Australia, and those that are only possible once you have left the country.

What to do before leaving Australia?

Transfer Australian savings to a foreign account

As trivial as the advice may seem, remember that an international wire transfer is weighed down by less favourable exchange rates and higher transaction fees. Using a platform like Wise, it will be easy to optimise the costs and times of recovering your money.

Regularise your tax situation with the Australian Taxation Office

It must be kept in mind that not everyone is required to submit a tax return at the end of the tax year or at the end of the experience. For example, Working Holiday Visa holders who have only worked in TFN and earned less than AUD $45,000 are not required to submit it. (ripetizione dell’espressione ‘fare un esempio’) On the contrary, everyone who has earned this threshold or who has worked with an Australian Business Number have to. Regularising your tax position prevents you from the possibility of having contracted debts, and it can often result in sums of money to be recovered.

Atlas Migration does not deal with taxes but we recommend the expert Massimiliano Bigone who you can reach at the following email address: mb@jpntax.com.

Send excess baggage to Italy

Have you reached the limit allowed by your airline but have other things to take home?

Here are some solutions:

  a) Australian Post. To give you an idea, a package with a maximum weight of 20kg can travel from Sydney to Turin with a budget ranging from $50 to $200 based on the desired weight and means of transport (therefore also arrival speed).

Here is a useful tool to accurately calculate costs and times: https://auspost.com.au/parcels-mail/calculate-postage-delivery-times/#/

  b) Transport Management Worldwide Express. Specialised in routes to Europe, it deals with shipments by sea or by air

  c) Jetta Express. Company operating since 1994 and according to recent comparisons they could have the most competitive prices

Things to do once you leave Australia

Apply for repatriation unemployment

There is a period of time as soon as you return to obtain the so-called repatriation unemployment.

What is due is calculated on the basis of what was received in the previous year.

Cancel your visa (or let it expire)

For safety and to avoid complications, this phase is either skipped or performed when in Italy. It doesn’t necessarily have to be like this: actually, it is possible to cancel one’s visa while in Australia and, if your request is accepted, the Department grants you 28 days to leave the country. However, canceling your visa once you’re in Italy, avoids complications that can arise from delays or change of intentions. It is also possible to wait until the visa expires, however, to connect us to the next point, it would not be possible to recover your superannuation if your visa is active. Your visa can be canceled as follows:

  a) Login to your ImmiAccount

  b) Select the tab relating to your visa

  c) Click on the left side menu (‘Update Details’) 

  d) Select ‘Request to cancel a temporary resident visa’

  e) Fill in the form with the requested personal information

Request the superannuation 

Your employers have paid you an amount equal to 10% of your salary into your superannuation account (that is the corresponding of our pension fund). Once your visa has expired or been cancelled, you will be able to complete the process to recover that money.

Some facts to keep in mind:

  • If you’ve ever had even just a Working Holiday Visa, the total amount will be taxed at 65% (you got it right, just a bit over a third is recovered).
  • If you have never held a Working Holiday Visa, you will be taxed 35%
  • If the amount to be recovered is more than AUD $5,000, and the filing requires a longer process
  • It’s not true that once you’ve recovered your superannuation you can’t go back to Australia, it’s simply a legend
  • It is possible to commission this practice to a tax agent
  • It is possible to receive this compensation in an Australian bank account, but not overseas. If you have already closed your account, your only option is to receive a check.

Close your Australian bank account

We have insert this point among the last just for those who, before closing it, want to still have a valid account in their name to recover the refund of taxes and the pension fund. However, closing it in Australia, after having moved your savings, is easier, you just have to go to the branch. From abroad, it is more complex, as the tariffs to call Australia are expensive. A good solution is to search for the bank’s official Facebook page, which, via chat or app, is often able to help you close your account remotely.

Transfer your residence to the new municipality of residence

If you have been in Australia for more than six months, at least in theory, you would have had to transfer your residence from the municipality to the Registry of Italians Resident Abroad (AIRE). Return to the municipality again, this time, for the reverse process and with a unique story to tell the very bored employee.

February 21, 2023
February 21, 2023


One of the questions we hear more often when getting ready to move to Australia is: Do I need an international driver’s licence to drive in Australia?

Yes. If you wish to drive in Australia, you must hold a valid international driving permit accompanied by the driver’s licence issued in the country you live in.

Driving in Australia – State by State

Here some links you may need to get info to drive in Australia.

Australian Capital Territory

You can drive with your foreign or different Australian state driving license for the first three months, then you need to get an ACT license.

New South Wales

In New South Wales – while holding a temporary visa – you can drive with your international driving license as long as you have a NATI translation.

Northern Territory

You can drive with your foreign or different Australian state driving license for the first three months, then you need to get a NT license.


In Queensland è possibile utilizzare la propria patente estera finché si risulta ‘visitatori’ dello stato, ma una volta residenti stabili é necessario ottenere una patente dello Stato.

South Australia

In South Australia – while holding a temporary visa – you can drive with your international driving license as long as you have a NATI translation.


In Tasmania – while holding a temporary visa – you can drive with your international driving license as long as you have a NATI translation.


In Victoria you can drive with your foreign or different Australian state driving license for the first six months, then you need to get a Victoria license.

Western Australia

In Western Australia – while holding a temporary visa – you can drive with your international driving license as long as you have a NATI translation.


Driving in Australia – road safety and regulations

  • School Zones: watch out for school zones and for the fines you can get in these areas! What are the school zones? “A school zone refers to an area on a street near a school or near a crosswalk leading to a school that has a likely presence of younger pedestrians. School zones generally have a reduced speed limit during certain hours”.
  • Drive on the left hand side: di Australia you need to drive on the left hand side which means you overtake on the right. If you are not used to this pay special attention to leaving car parks or secondary roads especially in remote areas where the traffic is super light.
  • Speed limits: speed limits in Australia can be a bit odd, make sure you comply with them to avoid penalties.
  • Drink driving: “you’re breaking the law if you drive and your blood alcohol concentration equal to or more than 0.05. If you’re on a learners or provisional licence, your BAC must be zero.”

Do you need to translate your driving licence? buy it in our shop.

NAATI Driver’s Licence Translation 

February 21, 2023

When one decides to go and live in Australia one is always undecided between Sydney and Melbourne. Living in Australian cities is in fact one of the most common experiences for Italians in Australia. However, for those who are not fans of city life, the option of living on the coast should be considered.

During the first year of the Working Holiday Visa, many end up living in the regional area for the renewal of the visa (in fact, in order to renew the first Working Holiday Visa, you need to complete 88 days of regional work, you might be interested in: renewing the Working Holiday Visa).

What not everyone knows is that since 2018 the whole Australian territory has been a regional area, with the exception of the metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane: that is, it is possible to obtain permanent residence with a long list of professions in almost the whole country.

Living on the Sunshine Coast has become a rather important phenomenon especially during the pandemic: in fact, many Australians and those not stuck in big cities during the lockdown have decided to move to the coast in search of a healthier and more relaxed lifestyle.

To this date, the population of the Sunshine Coast has soared resulting in an absurd increase in home prices for both purchase and rent.


The Sunshine Coast is an area on the Queensland coast about an hour and a half from Brisbane and stretches from above Maroochydore to Noosa. In the past the Sunshine coast – and above all Noosa – was a destination known mainly by surfers and camping lovers, in recent years it has become the last frontier of luxury holidays in Australia. This area, in addition to being bathed by crystalline waters and being lapped by kilometre and kilometre of white beaches, is in fact characterised by a predominantly sunny and mild climate for most of the year.

It may interest you: Living in Queensland


  • Noosa is not the Sunshine Coast

The costs of living on the coast, as in the rest of the country and the world, have increased exponentially during the pandemic. However, a distinction must be made between Noosa and the rest of the coast.

Life in Noosa is much more expensive than on the rest of the coast!

Rentals cost an average of 20% more than in other locations; petrol costs at least AUD0.20 more than in other neighbouring cities, the same food inside the supermarkets is more expensive in Noosa than for example in Nambour; going out to dinner is more expensive in Noosa than in other cities.

  • How much do rentals cost on the Sunshine Coast?

Renting a single room costs between 250 and 350 dollars a week (250 inland and 350 or more near the sea); renting a one-bedroom furnished apartment on the coast costs at least $500 a week.

How much does it cost to travel on the Sunshine Coast?

Unfortunately one of the main flaws of life on the coast is the lack of reliable public transport which involves a necessary expense: the purchase of a car that allows you to move around in total autonomy.

Relying on Uber or other carpooling methods is not possible both due to problems relating to prices – around 20 dollars for the shorter journeys – and due to the actual lack of means: in fact, demand is much higher than supply.

You may be interested: can I drive in Australia with an Italian driving licence?


The Sunshine Coast used to be a remote part of Queensland known only for its white beaches and perfect waves; today the Sunny Coast is considered Australia’s Silicon Valley and job opportunities have grown hand in hand with its demographic expansion.

Although working in hospitality represents one of the major job opportunities today, working in the Sunshine Coast also means much more:

  • the recent opening of the hospital in Birtinya has created many jobs in the medical field as well as guaranteeing adequate care to the population of the area previously forced to travel as far as Brisbane in search of specialised medical assistance (you may be interested in: working as a nurse in Australia)
  • the growing tourist activity on the coast allows a constant growth of tourism with consequent job opportunities for workers in the sector
  • Sunshine Coast Airport is expanding its routes at a staggering pace ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics while also creating tons of jobs
  • towns like Maroochydore or Mooloolaba continue to grow steadily providing diverse jobs
  • attention to personal care and fitness are equally growing sectors so do not be surprised by the amount of job offers in sunshine coast in this sector



The Sunshine Coast is undoubtedly one of the most touristic areas of Australia and the reason is quite obvious: crystal clear waters and white beaches as far as the eye can see. Here are a few ideas for your trip to the Queensland coast:

  • Fraser Island: the largest sand island in the world is famous for the sighting of Humpback Whales and the iridescent coloured lakes, absolutely not to be missed
  • Noosa: comparable to our Capri in terms of prices and things to do, Noosa has become a rather exclusive destination in recent years, however what makes it truly unique is not the shopping street and renowned restaurants as much as the National Park and its perfect waves – if you pass by a surf is a must
  • Kondalilla National Park: waterfalls, green paths, fairy-tale atmosphere. Do not miss a trip to the Kondalilla National Park followed by a trip to the neighboring towns of Montville and Maleny (a visit to the Mapleton Public House is not to be missed in this area: an old pub converted into a zero km restaurant)
  • A sunset on Mount Timbeerwah look out
  • An aperitif at the Mooloolaba wharf
  • Climbing Mount Coolum
  • A visit to the Eumundi Market (the largest market on the coast is held in Eumundi every Wednesday and Saturday)


Did you know that Noosa is considered to be the best city to live in when on a Working Holiday Visa? In fact, from here it is possible to reach numerous farms in neighbouring areas where you can complete the 88-day renewal!

For any other questions, do not hesitate to contact our infopoint, our Marta will be happy to help you!

Remember to follow us on Instagram @atlasmigration and on our Facebook page!

February 15, 2023

Moving to Australia: Yes but where? Can’t you choose between East Coast and West Coast of the country? Here is a simple guide to help you decide

Have you just found the courage to apply for your Working Holiday Visa and are you ready to leave to Australia but can’t decide where to land as soon as you arrive? We will help you!

If you follow our live on Facebook you will know about our corporate war between East and West, some of us are in love with Perth others could never live there. Why do we tell you this? Because the choice of the city where to arrive in Australia is extremely subjective and depends on the lifestyle you would like to have once you arrive here and on your personal tastes.

What do you expect to find in Australia?

How to choose the most suitable city for you

The first step in deciding where to move is to ask yourself what you expect to find once you get Down Under; What characteristics would you like the city where you will try to build your new life to have?

You have to know that life on the East Coast, in cities like Sydney and Melbourne, is very, very different from the life you can find in Perth.

What do you want to do in Australia?

Are you looking for a city with a vibrant nightlife? A place to go out at any time of the day or night, always finding something to do or an open restaurant to eat? A place where the lifestyle is reminiscent of London? Great, stay away from Perth and book a ticket to Melbourne! Alternatively, you can go to Sydney, Gold Coast or Brisbane.

Are you looking for a quiet city, one that doesn’t know crazy traffic jams, a city where a glass of wine by the sea knocks a rooftop bar off your wish list? Do you dream of semi-deserted beaches, breathtaking sunsets and many days of bright sunshine make you happy? Then welcome to Western Australia, Perth is probably the best city for you!

We have so far analysed the lifestyle and the amount of things to do in one or the other city, now is the time to talk about the climate and what you want to do as soon as you arrive in Australia.

You may be interested in: What to do as soon as you arrive in Australia – a practical survival guide

The climate in Australia

Sorry… it’s not always summer in Australia!

Discover the Australian weather region by region

Did you know that Melbourne is considered the London of Australia? Did you know that you can ski “nearby” Sydney and Melbourne in winter? Did you know that Perth is one of the sunniest cities in the world? And did you know that in Darwin, Northern Territory, there is a minimum temperature – on annual basis – of 21°C?

This is just to give you a vague idea of how much the myth that it is always summer in Australia is anything but true.

There are areas with a tropical climate – the northern part of the country – where temperatures NEVER drop below 20°C but there are also areas – the southern part of the country – where temperatures drop below zero in winter.

Why so much attention to temperatures?

Living in Australia – the distances

There are only 60 cities in Australia with more than 20,000 inhabitants.

And did you know that in addition to the previously mentioned cities and a handful of others, the rest of the Australian continent is practically deserted?

Why so much attention to Australian demographics?

Perth: most isolated city in the world 

Because if you decide to move to Perth you will also have to consider the fact that the only cities that can be reached in less than a day’s travel are Bunbury (about 90,000 inhabitants, two hours from Perth) and Geraldton (about 20,000 inhabitants, five hours from Perth); to find a city with over a million inhabitants you will have to drive about 2000 km and reach Adelaide. Well, this should give you an idea of the isolated state of the western part of the Australian continent.

Living on the east coast of Australia 

Instead, you will find a completely different situation in the east where almost 90% of Australians live and where you will have the opportunity to organise Sunday trips out of town, where it is possible to see something different, where mountains, sea and woods mix with the city ​​life.

Moving to Australia yes but where, our advice

If you are deciding to move to Australia and would like to make the most of your time here, perhaps to find a sponsor or a solution to stay, don’t waste your time with useless waitering jobs or washing dishes. Make farms now, NOW. Once your visa has been renewed, you will have over a year and a half available to decide what to do, to understand if you really like Australia, to realise if you really want to stay. And of course book a consultation with an immigration agent who can give you an overview of your situation.

And remember, for any question we are here, ready to help you!

For more content from Australia:

Instagram – Atlas Migration

YouTube – Atlas Migration – Living in Australia

Email – infopoint@atlasmigration.com

February 15, 2023
February 15, 2023

Dealing with some initial paperwork is essential for you to set yourself up in Australia. Opening an Australian bank account is one of the most important things. 

Money change when you get to Australia

You can surely change some money before leaving for Australia or once you get to the airport and you can withdraw with your Visa or Mastercard. However, all of this methods have pretty high exchange rates and fees. The best option is to withdraw a little amount for the first days and open your Australian bank account as soon as possible, you can then transfer money into your account and start using the Australian card.

Opening a bank account in Australia 

Opening an Australian bank account is one of the first things to do when you arrive to Australia! Finding a job is pretty easy and in order do get paid you need a local bank account.

Can I open a bank account before arriving in Australia?

Many people would love to start this process before arriving in Australia; the answer is kind of, you can start opening a bank account before getting to Australia with Commonwealth Bank of Australia: https://www.commbank.com.au/moving-to-australia/banking.html Please note you will finalise it once you get to Australia and you visit the bank with your ID.

Our advice is to wait until you get here to open it.

How to open a bank account in Australia?

The answer is simple: you just visit the nearest bank with your passport and your visa.
Once you are there you just need to let them know you want to open a bank account; if you already have it, bring along your TFN, if not you can add it later on from your home banking.

How to transfer money to your Australian bank account? Come spostare i soldi dall’Italia all’Australia? 

The best way to transfer money into your new Australia bank account is using Wise https://wise.com/it/send-money/ a cheap and quick service that allows you to pay both through a bank account and a credit card.
How many bank account do I need?
You may need two different bank accounts: Everyday Accounts e Saving Accounts.
Our suggestion is to open them both.  The ‘everyday’ account has lower interest rates and has a connected debit or credit card.
The Saving account is not associated to a credit or debit card and you receive interest rate for your savings.
The ideal situation is to have a saving bank account to save up money and a everyday account associated to a debit card for your daily expenses.

Where to open an Australian bank account

There are plenty of available options, these are the main banks in Australia and the relative options:

  • Commonwealth Bank
    One of the main pro for this bank is its presence all around Australia.
  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)
    ANZ doesn’t have any management cost and its app is super user friendly.
  • National Australian Bank (NAB)
    It’s an historical bank and it doesn’t have any management cost.
  • ING Direct
    It usually has higher interest rate. Please note you can’t use this bank to deposit cash because it’s an online bank.
  • Westpac
    Their website mention special bank account for whoever has just arrived in Australia and for those who want to open a new business. ù
These are not the only options but they are the most popular in Australia.
Things you may be interested in when you arrive in Australia

If you have any other question our info point is here for you, email us @ infopoint@atlasmigration.com

February 15, 2023
February 15, 2023

Activate an Australian Sim card is one of the first things to do when arriving in Australia in order to be able to stay in touch with family and friends back home but also to be ready to start the job research.


Buying a SIM card can be tricky: there are so many options and choices that it can be hard to know which one is right for you.  The good news is that there are plenty of prepaid SIM cards available in Australia, which means you can use your phone as normal but won’t have to pay expensive international roaming charges. And if you don’t know where to start, we’ve got some tips on how to choose the best SIM card for your needs.

Where to buy your SIM Card

You can buy it practically anywhere. You can either buy one at the airport as soon as you arrive in Australia or in one of the Australian supermarkets (Woolworth, Coles, 7Eleven, convenience stores, etc.) or phone stores.

How to choose the right phone provider

When you arrive in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa getting an Australian phone number is essential to start your life down under, you need it to look for a job as well as for engaging an appropriate social life.

How do you choose the right phone provider?

Telstra is by no doubt the best phone provider in Australia when looking at coverage however, Aldi is the best provider when looking at costs. If you are planning to travel around the country and spend time in the outback having a good coverage is going to be a factor to take in good consideration, if you are aiming to live in a big city and do a little traveling then the provider you pick isn’t that important.

Telstra is the best phone provider in Australia

Here are some of the other companies:
Traditional Companies
Low Cost Companies
Most of the plans include calls, messages and data.

What is included in the Australian packages?

Usually Australian plans cost around $30 and include:

  • illimitate calls within Australia
  • 100-300 minutes of international calls
  • illimitate messages 
  •  30-40 GB of data 



February 15, 2023
February 15, 2023

How much does it cost to live in Australia: detailed list of costs

When talking about life in Australia, the question that comes up more often is ‘how much does it cost to live in Australia?’ and the question becomes even more interesting when it comes to Australian salaries.

But let’s go in order, in this article we will make a real estimate of the costs of living in Australia, we will analyse how much it costs to live in Australia: rent, car, bills, food, outings, various and possible travel.


How much is rent in Australia?

The rent is undoubtedly one of the most substantial items to take into consideration to regulate your weekly-monthly budget.

  • Single room: starting from $180 in the suburbs to $350 in the most luxurious apartments in the best areas
  • Double room: starting from $200 per week in the suburbs to $450 in the center in luxury condominiums with swimming pool and gym in the city center

For the rooms, two weeks of deposit, one or two weeks of advance rent and a couple of weeks notice for cancellation are generally sufficient.

  • Apartment/Unit/House: depending on the budget available, you can opt for a unit (or granny flat), a mini-apartment with only one bedroom and rather limited space, a real apartment (therefore in a condominium) or a real house (a detached house)

When renting an entire property, you must be ready to sign a leasing that is a rental contract of variable duration, generally from six months to a year, comply with the requirements by the agency (payslips and letters of reference) and have sufficient disposable income.

In case you decide to rent an entire house, the deposit is of four weeks plus two weeks’ rent.

You may be interested in: How to rent a house in Australia?

How much does it cost to own a car in Australia?

The good news is that insurance is not mandatory (simply if you cause damage you pay or go to jail!).*

The bad news is that you have to pay the REGO (registration) every three/six/twelve months.

The other good news is that petrol costs a little less than in Italy, today it costs around $1.80 per litre but the price varies daily (generally it costs less at the beginning of the week and more during the weekend).

The other bad news is that you have to keep your car in good-excellent condition otherwise you risk a yellow sticker, literally a yellow sticker affixed to the windshield whose meaning is: scrap your car.

Another good news is that in Australia you can find cars even for $1000.

The bad news is that an hourly wage for a mechanic is of at least $40-50 per hour, so think carefully before buying a scrap with the idea of “fixing it little by little”.

So, in principle, we can say that having a car in Australia costs a little less than in Italy but we would not go so far as to say that it is necessary to have one. If you decide to live in the city, it is probably not advisable to have a car, primarily due to the cost of parking and then because you can easily get around by public transport. Having a car is necessary if you want to move outside the city or if you have to work on a farm.

You may be interested in: working on a farm in Australia – complete guide to renewing your visa

*insurance: although not mandatory, it is highly recommended not only for any damage to third parties but for roadside assistance coverage.

In fact, if there is a breakdown in the vehicle while traveling in the most remote areas of the country, receiving assistance could be really expensive, so we strongly advise you to take out a policy that includes road assistance.

How much does it cost to shop in Australia?

This is one of the thorniest aspects of budget management, grocery shopping in Australia can be extremely cheap or absurdly expensive and how much you spend is entirely up to you and the quality of food you want to include in your diet.

  • The same fruit-vegetable can cost $15 a kg in a fancy supermarket or $5 a kg in a market.

Grocery shopping in Australia is not a drama itself, but it becomes when you realise that to get all the products you want at decent prices you have to go back and forth between three or four different shop-markets.

  • Meat is generally cheaper than in Italy.

Furthermore, Australian meat is famous for its rather high quality levels – also thanks to the possibility of supporting extensive farming given the vastness of the Australian soil.

  • Cheeses – especially imported ones – are expensive. Good cold cuts as well.

And on this point there is little to say.

Unfortunately, the culture of cheeses and cold cuts is not so rooted in the Australian tradition as in the European one; it goes without saying that cheese is often imported (therefore more expensive) while to get cold cuts worthy of the name you need to find your trusted retailer.

  • Good bread is a luxury good.

Good bread, with a crunchy crust, cooked properly, bought at the bakery costs between $8 and $20 per kg depending on the type of flour or seed added to the dough. The alternative is to buy Coles sandwich bread for a few dollars.

  • Fish is quite expensive if bought at the fish market while it is quite affordable at the supermarket.

Fish and seafood are often of excellent quality however the price varies greatly by location (e.g. tuna fillet costs $80/kg in Noosa and just $62/kg in Mooloolaba just 40km further south!

It may interest you: Living on the Sunshine Coast – all you need to know

  • Alcohol, which is not sold in supermarkets but in special bottle shops, can be very cheap or very expensive according to your tastes.

Obviously, local wines and spirits cost less than imported products but the costs are much higher than what we are used to in Italy.

A bottle of Gin or Tequila costs $45 and up.

How much does it cost to go out in Australia?

This is the sore point, so painful as to heavily affect the progress of your finances and so influential that it can make the difference between “I put something aside” and “I drag myself through the end of the week”.

How much does it cost to drink in Australia

A cocktail is hardly under $18 and more likely $20 or more (barring special offers and the like), a beer costs between $10 and $12 and an unpretentious glass of wine costs between $13 and $15 while a good glass of wine at a restaurant costs more than $20.

How much do cigarettes cost in Australia?

Obvious premise: we report this data only because it is particularly requested.

20-pack cigarettes cost between $25 and $40.

20 gram tobacco costs around $25.

How much does it cost to eat out in Australia?

If you are satisfied with McDonald’s or any other fast food, then you might as well eat out often without go bankrupt!

If, on the other hand, you hate junk food and when you go out for dinner you want to eat something special, possibly something you don’t know how to cook yourself, perhaps eating in a sophisticated or at least nice place… Well then get ready to spend.

A dinner for two with a couple of courses each and a glass of wine each easily exceeds $150.

Just think that the classic fish & chips take away costs between $20 and $30 while a main course at a restaurant costs between $30 and $50 on average (and can exceed 50 in fine dining restaurants).

How much do you earn in Australia?

After all this cost despair you can breathe a sigh of relief: Australian life is quite expensive but Australian wages are very high.

How much do you earn in Australia?

  • Your hourly wage depends on your age and above all on your skills
  • Casual workers pay higher than full-time workers – on an hourly basis, as the latter get paid vacation and sick leave
  • The minimum wage for an adult is nearly $25 an hour
  • The salary is received weekly or every two weeks
  • Every week the employer pays the superannuation (the closest there is to our pension) which amounts to around 10% of the salary
  • A specialised job is easily paid even more than $150 per hour (and not only of surgeons and scientists, even more practical jobs such as plumber, mechanic or carpenter win such high salaries)
  • If you work casually and work on the weekend, the employer must pay you the penalty rate, therefore they pay you more
  • If you work on public holidays you receive double pay or at least one and a half times the normal pay and if you are full time you accumulate days in lieu (extra vacation days)

You may be interested in: Australia’s highest paying jobs

Have more questions about the cost of living in Australia? Ask us:

February 15, 2023
February 15, 2023

If you want to work in hospitality in Australia in a position that requires the administration of alcohol you must obtain an RSA – responsible service of alcohol – certificate. It is possible to obtain the online certificate for each Australian state though a cheap course that you can take whenever you want.

You may be interested in: moving to Australia with a Working Holiday Visa

Who needs an RSA for Australia?

Whether you decide to work as a waiter, runner, manager or employee of a bottle shop, if the business in which you are employed serves alcohol then you are required to have RSA.

If you want to work in hospitality in Australia, find the complete guide in the article below.

How to get RSA certificate?

You can get your RSA online or by taking a short course.

Below are all the useful links to request it.

WA: Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor WA (P/P) – Home (page not found)

NT: Department of the Attorney-General and Justice (page not found)

NSW: OLGR > NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing > (page not found)


VIC: Welcome to the VCGLR website – VCGLR

SA: Office of the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner (page not found)

ACT: Liquor | Office of Regulatory Services (page not found)

CAS: Liquor and Gaming – Home (page not found)

How much does RSA cost?

Although many online portals will try to make you believe that the RSA costs hundreds of dollars this certificate costs just $30 (https://www.eot.edu.au/online-courses/RSA).

Is the RSA valid throughout the country?

Each state has different alcohol regulations.

However, it is possible to take the RSA course that is valid in all states, it costs $64 and is the best solution if you want to travel around the country working in different locations.

On the contrary, making one for each individual state could be expensive both in terms of money and time.

Can I get the RSA if I’m on a Student Visa?

Yes, contrary to what happened a few years ago, now it is possible to request the RSA certificate also when you are on a Student Visa.

Did you know that it is now possible to renew your Working Holiday Visa by working in hospitality? One more reason to apply for your RSA as soon as you arrive in Australia!


For any other questions related to working in hospitality in Australia, do not hesitate to contact us at infopoint@atlasmigration.com

September 12, 2022

In Australia, there are many different accommodation options, according to each one’s budget, lifestyle and needs. Have a look and go for the one that suits you best.

One of the most important things when it comes to living in another country is accommodation. Fortunately, Australia has several different options for you to choose from. We talk about each one, for you to make the best decision.

Let’s dive in!

🏠 Student accommodation

In this kind of accommodation, you may have an apartment to yourself or share with other students. Rooms are fully furnished and usually offer facilities such as gym, pool, BBQ area and study areas.

You might be interested: Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane: Which one is best for you?

🏠 Private accommodation

A private rental means renting a house, flat or apartment from a private landlord or real estate agent. You can rent by yourself or with other people, and rooms may be furnished or unfurnished. Private accommodation rent does not include utilities and you will have to buy and cook your own meals.

🏠 Homestay

Looking to live the Aussie experience to the fullest? If so, that’s the best option for you! Through homestay, you live with a family in their home. The host family will provide a furnished room with a study space and access to communal spaces and facilities such as washing and drying machines.

🏠 Shared flat

This is one of the most common options for international students in Australia. You have the opportunity to live  with people from different nationalities and cultures. Also, you can choose either to share a bedroom or rent a private one.

🏠 Hostels

Youth hostels provide cheap temporary accommodation, in either private or shared dormitory rooms. In a hostel, you have the opportunity to meet international travellers and students and make friends. 

Generally, facilities are shared and that’s the ideal way to meet others, have fun and make friends.

How to find my ideal new home: Useful links 


🏠 Renting or getting a lease

Real Estate: https://www.realestate.com.au/rent/

Domain:  https://www.domain.com.au


🏠 Living with an Australian family

Homestay Network: https://www.homestaynetwork.org

Oz Homestay: https://www.ozhomestay.com.au


🏠 Shared or private accommodation

Flatmate Finders: https://www.flatmatefinders.com.au

Flatmates Australia: https://www.flatmates.com.au

Facebook Marketplace: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/


Source: Study New South Wales


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