Moving to Perth – a relocation guide for your removal to Western Australia
What to expect from this removals guide
Moving to Australia is exciting but the thought of bringing your belongings to the other side of the world can be stressful! Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
We’re going to take you through the key information you’ll need for moving to Perth – from packing to shipping to what it’s like when you actually arrive.
This guide will cover:
- Why use Nomad International?
- How shipping to Perth, Western Australia works
- Customs and quarantine in Australia
- Cost of moving to Perth
- Transporting pets to Perth
- Shipping a car to Perth
- About Perth Australia
There’s a lot of information here so we recommend saving the page and coming back to it for future reference. Also please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about moving to Perth or moving anywhere else, we’re happy to help.
Why use Nomad International?
We’re the right choice not only because we have the skill and experience to safely transport your belongings – but because we care about doing a good job for you and helping to take the stress out of the process. Here’s why Nomad International is the ideal partner for your removal to Perth, Western Australia…
You’ll benefit from more than 16 years of professional moving experience when you move with us. We’ve moved thousands of happy customers in that time, so we know all there is to know when it comes to moving overseas. There isn’t a road too narrow, a hill too steep or another hurdle we haven’t been able to overcome. We understand the process might seem overwhelming, but don’t worry – we’re here to guide you through it, step-by-step.
We have a specific focus on a small number of countries, and Australia is one of them – a conscious decision which means we can provide a better, more comprehensive service for each of our specialist locations. As mentioned on our Removals to Australia page, we chose Australia because of the background of our team (two are from Perth!) and our local knowledge. With such a specific focus it is really important that we do a great job every time, because word of mouth is so important for us. All of which means you can have even more confidence in using us for your move to Perth.
We’re a small, dedicated team which means you’ll receive a personal service throughout – all our customers know us individually by name. We care about your experience and this will be evident from the moment you first get in touch with us, right the way through to when the final item is unloaded at your new home.
You’ll have your own Move Manager who’ll communicate with you every step of the way so you’re always in the loop. We’ll treat your possessions like they’re our own so you can rest assured they’ll be well looked after. And there’s nothing our trained team of removals experts don’t know when it comes to packing, moving and problem solving!
As the old saying goes – “you get what you pay for”. It’s true – we offer a premium service to give our customers a premium experience. It’s as simple as that. Another mark of quality? We’re members of the British Association of Removers (BAR), the trade body for removals in the UK. We also hold the British Standard BS 8564 in Overseas Moving, which is one of only two internationally-recognised standards in international removals. We had to undergo a rigorous application process to attain these, and we are audited every year to make sure our standards are very high, so you can be confident you’re in expert hands.
Don’t just take our word for it – here are a selection of testimonials kindly written by our fantastic customers. You’ll also find lots more reviews on our Facebook page, on Google and on our other website.
Get a quote for your removal to Perth
How shipping to Perth, Western Australia works
Here’s an overview of the moving process in five simple steps.
- Packing – we’ll pack everything for you with our professional packing service, or you might prefer to pack some (or all) of your belongings yourself. If we’re packing for you we’ll conduct your collection (Step 2) at the same time
- Collection – we’ll collect your goods ready to be shipped! We’ll do all the lifting of course and our expert team will load everything securely for the journey
- Shipping – your belongings will be safely transported by sea container to your nearest port of arrival in Australia
- Customs clearance – your belongings will go through customs and quarantine on arrival (don’t worry – this is standard procedure for all goods entering Australia)
- Delivery – our partners will deliver your belonging to your new home, placing items safely in their designated rooms. Don’t worry about the location of your new property either. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an apartment ten floors up or if your house is on a road with tight access – we’re used to problem solving and will find a way to deliver your items. Just let us know in advance so we can plan for it
Sea container sizes
There are two ways to transfer your items to Australia – by sea container or air freight. For shipments larger than a few boxes or items of luggage, sea container shipping is the way to go. The most common container sizes are 20ft or 40ft. There is more detail about this on our Removals to Australia page, but in short the practical volume of a 20 foot container is 1060 cubic feet or 30 cubic metres, and a 40 foot container holds double this volume.
How long does sea container shipping take?
The most common UK ports for departure to Perth are Felixstowe, London Gateway and Southampton.
Fremantle is Perth’s deep sea container port. Depending on the route of the vessel, shipping to Fremantle typically takes between 39 and 45 days, but some routes can take up to 55 days.
You’ll also need to factor in the type of shipment (more on this in the next section), the time from collection until departure (a few days usually), the time required for customs clearance and quarantine on arrival in Fremantle and the time for delivery to your home. While there can be delays at ports or out at sea, Australian customs is the most important variable in determining the overall duration.
Overall we recommend allowing approximately 8-10 weeks from door-to-door.
Full container versus part load shipping
Full Container Load or “FCL” is when you have an entire shipping container to yourself – i.e. your goods only. “Part load”, also known as “Less than Container Load,” “LCL” or “groupage” means your belongings are combined with other people’s goods.
Which shipping container is right for you?
FCL shipping tends to be quicker. That’s because no-one else is sharing the container with you, so you aren’t waiting for the space to “fill up” before it can depart. LCL shipping takes longer (because you have to wait for the container to be sufficiently full before it can go). You can expect it to take an extra couple of weeks compared to FCL container shipping. Shared containers can also cause slightly longer delays on arrival in Australia because of the risk that someone else in your container causes a problem with customs or quarantine, thereby delaying clearance of the whole container.
LCL shipping also tends to be the more cost-effective option, but it’s not always significantly cheaper versus FCL shipping, because it depends on the volume of your belongings. We can provide a quote for both options so you can make a fully informed decision.
If you’d like to talk through the above, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
Packing for your move to Perth
Your belongings have a long journey ahead of them – they’ll be travelling by road, by sea and by road again. So, it’s particularly important they’re packed properly – good packing is the most important factor in ensuring your goods arrive safely.
Given the nature of travelling such a long way and the necessity of handling the goods several times, it’s standard practice for all furniture and large appliances to be “export wrapped” for transport. This means wrapping them in a heavy-duty version of bubble wrap (called Furniguard of Furnisoft) to protect them on the journey.
Our professional team can wrap and pack everything for you, saving you the time and effort of doing all of this yourself. It also gives you the peace of mind that everything has been professionally packed. From an insurance point of view as it gives insurers more confidence that everything will be safe in transit, which means they won’t impose the same insurance limits they impose if you’re packing and wrapping yourself.
We regularly handle fine art and antiques too, and we can custom-build crates for items that need to be crated for shipment.
Many people do still choose to do their own packing though, and if this is the case we are happy to give you as much advice as you need – don’t hesitate to ask! We can even show you some videos we made a few years ago on our other website about how to pack for yourself.
If you do decide to do the packing yourself, it’s important (for Australia in particular) that you don’t use second-hand boxes that have previously contained any kind of food. Also, don’t use any wood-related products (like sawdust, wood shavings or any other plant-based material) as filler for your packing because of quarantine restrictions (we cover the reasons behind this in the next section).
If you need any packing advice please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’re more than happy to help.
Get a quote for shipping to Australia
Customs and quarantine in Australia
Australia is particularly strict with customs and quarantine, so you do have to take this seriously and prepare for it. This is because Australia’s ecosystem is vulnerable, so these strict measures are in place to protect and preserve the environment. Any goods coming into the country pose the risk of carrying pests and diseases and must undergo biosecurity control before they can be released.
Generally, you can’t take:
- Live plants
- Flammable products, like lighter fluid and gas canisters
- Perishables, like food
You also need to make sure you’ve thoroughly cleaned and dried any items that have come into contact with food, plants (including soil), water or animals before you pack them. This includes:
- Any used equipment, machinery, outdoor furniture and camping equipment
- Animal and pet care items
- Waste items including vacuum cleaners, brooms and bins
- Kitchen items including appliances
- Sports equipment, especially if it’s been used outside or on fresh water
- Any farm-related items
- Carpets, mats, etc.
The more prepared you are, the better. Unfortunately, any problems at customs could significantly delay the moving process. For full guidance on how to prepare take a look at the Australian Government website.
Cost of moving to Perth
There are lots of sources on the internet that provide a table of approximate costs for shipping to every destination around the world. But these lists have a few problems:
- They usually only refer to the cost of the sea container movement, while ignoring the costs of:
- Road haulage of the container to and from the ports
- Customs clearance and quarantine
- Packing and wrapping
- The removal team to do the carrying, loading, unloading and carrying again into the right rooms at your new home
- Even the container shipping prices are often incorrect
Costs can vary enormously depending on the quantity of goods and the nature of the removal. While smaller shipments will be in the region of hundreds of pounds, full container load shipments will be in the mid-thousands of pounds.
Generally, complexity adds cost – so if your removal is straightforward (in terms of access, packing, distance from the ports in both countries, and the distance our removals team are carrying everything) then the price will be lower. Increasing the volume of the removal, increasing the distances, and increasing the complexity of the packing and crating will naturally increase the cost.
The important thing is that you choose a removals company who won’t let you down. From small baggage shipments to the relocation of large country homes, Nomad International will take the greatest care in moving your goods to Perth and making the process efficient and stress-free. Get an accurate quote today.
Transporting pets to Perth
It’s natural to have concerns about your pets’ wellbeing when it comes to transporting them safely to your new home, especially when it’s such a long distance. We work with specialist pet transporters who organise the process by air freight, keeping pets’ best interests at heart. We can put you in touch, or we’re happy to manage the process on your behalf. It’s up to you. Please get in touch for more information.
Shipping a car to Perth
We regularly get asked – “can I ship my car to Perth?” The basic principles are that you can import a car into Australia as long as:
- You’re migrating (or returning) to Australia
- You’ve owned the car for at least the last 12 months and used it for your own personal transportation during this period
- The car is safe and roadworthy
- You haven’t already done this with another car in the past 5 years
Because British cars are right-hand drive like Australian ones, there’s far less hassle than there would be for left-hand drive cars.
We’ve got a lot more detail on this topic on our Removals to Australia page!
But in summary we can collect your vehicle from anywhere in the UK and ship it to your home in Perth for you. As long as you follow all of the Australian government’s rules you won’t have any problems.
You might not be ready to receive your belongings straight away. No problem, we can store your belongings in our secure warehouse for as long as you need and ship them when you’re ready. You can store any quantity of items with us for any length of time, both in the UK and Perth. Just ask us for a quote for storage and we’ll be happy to help. Find out more on our storage page.
About Perth Australia
If you’re moving to Perth you already know about the amazing beaches; you don’t need us to tell you about Rottnest Island or Garden Island; you might already know about Karanjini and Coral Bay, about Margaret River and Dunsborough and Denmark. We’re here to provide more practical advice on what it’s actually like to live in Perth.
Life in Perth
Perth is a beautiful city of just over 2 million people (2.06m at last count) located on the Swan river and right on the beach. Australian cities are large and sprawling – Perth is the fourth most populous city in Australia but to put it into context it would be the third largest city in the UK (only Birmingham and London are larger, although if “greater Manchester” and “Leeds-Bradford” are each counted as one city they would knock Perth down to fifth). So although Perth is isolated, being on the west coast of Australia, it is far from a small, rural outpost. It is a bustling city with a powerful economy.
People say the pace of life in Perth is slower than Melbourne and Sydney, and in general they’re right. People do seem to devote more time to leisure than they do in the UK, and although it is possible to work around the clock if you want to, most people don’t. And with such amazing weather (Perth has a Mediterranean climate, meaning lots of sun and not much rain) who can blame them?
Australians spend a lot of time playing (or watching) sport, and the beaches are very popular. Western Australia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and Perth itself is lined by golden sandy beaches from north to south. Access to the beach and to the city are the main factors that determine property prices in Perth – if you’re close to the beach and close to the city (or at least close to one of the train stations that will take you to the city) property in your area will be more expensive.
Besides the outdoor lifestyle, you’ll notice a strong coffee culture in Perth, like all Australian cities. But watch out for Perth drivers, who are notoriously bad! Other than not merging very politely on the freeway though, people in Perth are generally considered very laid back and friendly.
Where to live in Perth
- The northern coastal suburbs are very popular with British expats. From the marina at Hillarys to the marina at Mindarie, in most of the suburbs in between this stretch of coastal land you will find a lot of British accents.
- A similar corridor in the far south of the city is also popular with Brits. These distant suburbs have a lot of what British people enjoy about Aus: lots of space and proximity to the beach.
- Mandurah is further south and is not actually in Perth, but it is also popular with Brits. A train line links Mandurah to Perth in under an hour. Also on the beach, it is even more relaxed than Perth and property prices are lower for the same size property
- If you’re younger or don’t have children yet, the central suburbs of Leederville and Mount Lawley are really vibrant and close to the city, with a lot of trendy cafes, shops and night life. But properties will be smaller for the same price compared to further out in the suburbs
- Perth’s most expensive real estate is in what they call the “Western Suburbs” along the north side river from Nedlands to Claremont, including Dalkeith and Peppermint Grove. Every city has its Beverley Hills and this is Perth’s.
- The port of Fremantle is nicer than it sounds (as a “port”) and has a lot of pubs and amenities within walking distance. It also has more history and character than the suburbs further from the city, where everything looks “new”
- Perth doesn’t have an extensive public transport network. If you don’t mind driving everywhere this won’t bother you. But if you would prefer to be able to catch public transport, choose a location close to one of the four branches of the train line (of the above locations, Fremantle and Leederville have their own train stations and there are train stations in selected points in the northern and southern suburbs, as well as in the glamorous Western suburbs).
Healthcare, education and cost of living in Perth
Australia has an excellent healthcare system and British nationals are entitled to free healthcare here. There are some important differences to keep in mind, and we cover these in detail on our Removals to Australia page. In particular, while healthcare is free in Australia there is a dual public and private system, so most GP surgeries will charge for appointments, for example. But overall it is considered one of the best healthcare systems in the world.
Education standards are also very high in Australia generally, and Perth is no exception with excellent schools and internationally recognised universities. We cover this in more depth on our Removals to Australia page, but with schools the key differences to the UK are that private schools are less expensive in Perth (because they are all operated as not-for-profit foundations rather than businesses), and there is not as much variation in the quality of public school education as there is in the UK. Choosing the right school still matters, but the difference between best and worst is nowhere near as great as in the UK. Nurseries (called “day care” centres in Australia) are expensive, just as they are in the UK. The Australian Government subsidises the cost of childcare, but the system is quite complex so the calculation of how much you will receive is on a case-by-case basis, and you do have to be a permanent resident to receive it.
The cost of living in Perth has risen over the last 20 years as Australia has been through a “mining boom”. Perth is the closest city to the enormous mines in Western Australia and a lot of mining companies have their global head offices in Perth. At the peak of the boom, demand from mining companies drove wages in this sector through the roof, and this had a knock-on effect to rents and property prices. Thankfully the “overheating” effect of the mining boom has subsided substantially and Perth is now less expensive than Sydney and Melbourne, but it is not what you would call “cheap” any more.
Compared to the UK’s larger cities and towns, the cost of buying or renting a home in Perth is similar (depending on which suburb etc of course), but in Perth most people find their home is larger than it would have been in the UK, and with much better weather of course!