A lesbian couple loving free, learning anew, and living in Melbourne

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: To Buy or Not to Buy


I was in a shopping frenzy two weeks prior to my flight for Australia. I was thinking, what clothes do I need? What was worth buying here that was cheaper? Do I need to bring my books?

I am a bargain shopper and I want nothing but a good deal with every peso or dollar that I spent. So, what is it that I just had to pack in my luggage and had to have shipped? And what makes sense to just leave behind? Read on and find out.

1. Bed sheets
Philippines is a textile manufacturing and garment producing nation, so if you look really well, you’d be able to find lots and lots of good sales and deals on items from something as small as socks to as big as bed sheets.

I had brought with me two sets of queen size bed sheets with a 500 thread count, both of which I had bought on sale for around $40 equivalent. If you were to buy bed sheets here, it would probably go for $39 that barely has a 300 thread count. It’s one of the luxuries you can afford.

2. How cold is cold?
I kept asking everyone as to what the weather is like in Australia. It differs from state to state, but it can be agreed upon that it can be quite chilly. And even though the temperature doesn’t go below zero in winter, you can gauge just what winter clothes you need.

I, for one, bought thermal inner wear, and a thermal lined jacket. Many may laugh at me but I can’t stand walking out on a windy, 14C evening. It’s summer here and that temperature is but normal at night. So you can imagine how cold it’ll be by winter time when it goes down to 2C.

3. If you’re going to ask, “Can we find tabo in Australia?” As a Melbourne resident, I can say that yes, you can buy one but finding it is not easy. We went to Queen Victoria’s Market and entered an Asian Grocery, I think it was Minh Phat Supermarket and bought one for around $2.50. So go get your tabo now or later, your choice.

4. Buy new shoes. Sanitize and disinfect old ones.
Buy new shoes and pack it with you. Old shoes means you have to wash them, wait for them to dry, and then put it in your luggage.

It is much cheaper to buy shoes in the Philippines. Even a pair of boots in Payless Philippines has much better quality than a pair of boots, on-sale, at Rubi Shoes on Bourke St.

5. Toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner can be quite heavy to add to your luggage. And you can’t have liquids shipped by air or sea freight, to the best of my knowledge. So, keep them to a minimum. Purchase what you need for a couple of weeks and not more than that.

6. A pair of denims is a great investment, now and forever. One that fits really well gives anyone that tailored look. That way, you can wear it for a casual stroll along the city or dress it up on a Friday night out. Splurge and find a good tailored pair or two to bring with you.

7. Jackets. You can never have too many jackets, I think. You wear one over a dress, you wear one for the office, you wear one for the movies, and you wear one for winter.

8. Underwear, lots and lots of underwear. A good pair of briefs, on sale, can cost $5 each.

9. Buy something for your skin, especially if you have the sensitive type. Weather or temperature changes can be rough on your skin and you are best prepared to handle it with products you know and can rely on.

10. A month’s worth of over the counter medication is more than enough. Don’t forget to declare them, if or when you are in doubt.

You can also read:
10 Tips on Moving to Australia: The Necessary Preparations

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: All About Packing Up for Down Under

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

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3 thoughts on “10 Tips on Moving to Australia: To Buy or Not to Buy

  1. Pingback: LezGoMelbourne Guide – 10 Tips on Moving to Australia: The Necessary Preparations | LezGoMelbourne

  2. Hi! Any tips on how to send out personal items as well? I believe even at 40kgs for each passenger (my husband, toddler and myself) is still not enough. We also plan to buying whatever we can from here rather than buy in Melbourne but the question is, how do we send it over. Excess baggage is expensive. Do we have to declare duties and taxes if via sea freight?

    Thank you!

    • Hi there!

      I can’t give a definite answer to this, but I did find some resources online regarding unaccompanied personal effects via http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page5889.asp/ and http://www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/travel/moving-emigrating

      I haven’t had any experience shipping items via sea freight. But one thing you have to verify is if they will deliver your packages directly to your address or if you need to claim such packages from the port. The latter may mean you have to acquire clearance from customs, present identification and maybe even drive yourself there, among others.

      Air freight is faster but more expensive as we all know. You have to judge whether you will be spending more money having items shipped than buying them here. After all, you have to stuff everything that you can in a box and that doesn’t mean you could maximise the 20-25kg allowance, given the space of one box.

      Regarding duties and taxes, there are some rules noted in the customs website. You need to study them so you know if the items you want to bring in may be subject to taxes or quarantine.

      Hope that helps. Thanks for visiting!

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