Trusted Experts and Services

I’ve created a directory of professionals to help you move to Australia – these are my Trusted Experts. These are a mixture of services I’ve used myself and also services and businesses that I know and trust. I sometimes receive a referral fee if you choose to follow my recommendation (at no extra cost to you).

“I really appreciated knowing that any recommendations from Karen were not commission based but a genuine tip to try & help. Several times we found the service we were using unsatisfactory so referenced Karen’s advice & had much more positive experiences.”

– Helen

Migration Agent

Veronika Hurbis

Veronika Hurbis

Migration Agent

I’m really excited to introduce you to Veronika Hurbis of Sort Out My Visa. I spoke to lots of different agents and struggled to find somebody I could trust with our application, until I found Sort Out My Visa.

Although our situation was complicated, Sort Out My Visa made it smooth and simple and it took just a few weeks to get our visa approved.

I honestly can’t recommend Veronika’s service highly enough – she gives great advice without any pressure to part with money until you’re ready, and she’s one of those rare agents that goes above and beyond to help you start your new life abroad.

Veronika is a Registered Australian Migration Agent (MARA: 0301155) based in the UK so she’s on the same timezone as you which makes everything a lot easier. And as she’s from Australia, she can answer lots of your lifestyle questions too.

I’ve referred many people on to her over the last few years and have heard great feedback from each of them, so I know that she’ll look after you.

>> Click here to read reviews & testimonials for Veronika Hurbis <<

Contact Veronika today for a FREE visa assessment
(Initial inquiry will be cc’ed to Smart Steps to Australia)

Mortgage Broker

Anish Prasad

Anish Prasad

Mortgage Broker

Like all good services, it’s good to appointment people who’ve been recommended to you. Anish Prasad was recommended to us by some UK friends who’d just bought their first home in Australia. He’d been recommended to them by an Australian friend. We were nervous about buying a house in Australia as we didn’t understand how it worked, but Anish was great at explaining it all. He helped us work out the best mortgage for our needs and was always at the end of the phone, plus he responded quickly to emails whenever we had questions. He’s the person I’ll call if ever we’re looking to buy another property.

Anish has access to over 700 products across 35 lenders, and he knows them well so can match you to the deal and lender that suits you best. He was APF Mortgage Broker of the Year in 2014 and 2015, and he’s experienced at dealing with clients all over Australia, including those who have recently moved from overseas.

He doesn’t charge you for his service or advice – his earns commission from the lenders if and when you take out a mortgage through him. It’s well worth touching base with him now if you’re wondering about your eligibility for a mortgage when you land in Australia.

You can read a guest post on my blog by Anish here>.

Contact Anish today for a FREE mortgage review
(Initial inquiry will be cc’ed to Smart Steps to Australia)


Go Walkabout

One Way Travel Insurance

One way travel insurance banner

When we moved to Australia, I decided to take out one-way travel insurance to ensure we were covered for our journey to Australia, and for our first few weeks in the country. I knew we’d be so busy and wouldn’t have time to think about whether we needed private health cover when there were issues like schools, cars and houses to sort out. I also wanted to be covered for our belongings and things like flight cancellations, luggage delays and any emergencies that came up. Regular travel insurance doesn’t give you cover for moving abroad. Read this blog post for more information about emigration insurance.

Taking out one-way insurance gave us peace of mind, it was really easy to organise and it was surprisingly a lot cheaper than I expected. We didn’t use Go Walkabout ourselves but their system is easy to use, their customer service is fast and efficient and I’ve read lots of Go Walkabout travel insurance reviews so feel confident in recommending them to you for one-way travel insurance.

Contact Go Walkabout for a quote.

Pet Migration Insurance

One-way Insurance for Your Pet

One way pet insurance banner

If you’re bringing your beloved pets to Australia, you will need pet migration insurance. Be sure to get a number of quotes and don’t just go with the one recommended by your pet shipping agent.

Contact for a quote.

Currency Exchange

Currency Fair

Currency Exchange

I’ve tried a lot of different currency brokers over the last few years. The first time was to move our money over to Australia after our house sale, and I still regularly move money between my UK and Australian bank account to pay bills or transfer income from my freelance work and book sales. I tried a number of different companies before I discovered CurrencyFair. Trustworthy companies that are also easy to use are difficult to come by – I’ve previously had all kinds of issues with my money transfers. Currency Fair are now the only transfer company I use because their system is so straightforward, it’s cheap and it’s reliable– the most important things!

The three expat bankers who set it up wanted to create a user-friendly system that gives ordinary people access to the same great exchange rate usually reserved for banks and those transferring millions. If you’re looking to move your money to Australia, definitely take a look at them. I personally love how jargon-free their website is – moving money doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to spend ages on the phone like I did with my first few transfers with other companies. It can all be done online in a few clicks.

Read this blog post to learn how easy it is to set up a Currency Fair account and start transferring your money abroad. 

If you use my link you get your first three transfers for free: >> Visit the Currency Fair website.


Private Health Insurance


Private Health Insurance for Temporary and Permanent Residents

Bupa health insurance logo

Whether you’re moving to Australia on a temporary visa and need private health insurance to satisfy your visa requirements, or you’re moving on a permanent residency visa and feel you want to take out private health insurance, Bupa Australia is a name that you recognise and can trust.

We took out a Bupa Australia policy soon after arriving in Australia and were really happy with the service we received. We only switched because when my husband secured a permanent job it came with a health insurance deal with another company, otherwise we would still be signed up with them.

If you are moving to Australia and need private health insurance for your visa requirements, you can check out this leaflet for more information on Bupa Australia

If you need cover for your temporary visa, check out the Overseas Visitor section on the website. If you are already in Australia and looking for cover, or if you want to get a quote for your family for when you arrive, you can go to the Health Insurance section.

Get a quote from Bupa here.

Temporary Accommodation in Australia


Accommodation Website

Airbnb is the ultimate home-booking website. Find a private rental with all the space you need for a great price by booking direct with the owners. All Smart Steps to Australia friends booking through my link will get $50AUD off their first booking too!

Check out prices on Airbnb  and grab the $50 discount!


Car hire in Australia


When you arrive in Australia, you’ll most likely need to hire a car for a period of time while you get Car hire in Australia advert settled. You can arrange to collect your vehicle from the airport when you land, or if you think you’ll be too tired to drive and would rather get in a taxi to your temporary accommodation, you can usually find pick up points all over so you can arrange to pick it up a day or two after you arrive and have got over the jetlag. Usually, two or three weeks car hire will give you enough time to buy your own vehicle.

Don’t forget to hire your car seats if you are travelling with babies or children.

Check out prices on DriveAway now!




Experiences in Australia

Experience Oz

Travel Experiences in Australia

Experience Oz logoWhether you’re moving to Australia and looking to explore your new home, or you’re planning a recce to decide whether moving to Australia is right for your family, Experience Oz offers all kinds of trips, tours and attraction tickets all over Australia.

Keep your travel plans simple and in one place. From theme parks to zoos and wildlife parks, day tours to short sightseeing trips, Experience Oz offers it all on one handy website which is especially handy if you’re planning a roadtrip.

Fancy checking out the powder white sands of Whitehaven Beach or the burnt red landscape of Uluru? Maybe you want to tour Sydney’s iconic harbour or taste fine wines in Margaret River? From scenic flights to boat tours, gourmet food experiences to animal encounters, Experience Oz has so many inspiring things to do in Australia. Don’t take a trip without checking it out.

Australia is waiting to be explored! I know I can’t look at this website without being inspired by something new.

Check out Experience Oz now and plan your dream trip.

Deals on Travel, Attractions and Eating Out


Deals on Travel, Attractions and Eating Out

Incredible Memories 300x250

If you’re used to using Groupon in the UK, then you’re going to love discovering the discounts that are available in Australia!

Groupon is packed with everything from attraction deals, hotel discounts, holidays, restaurants and spa treatments through to practical things like pest control, air conditioning cleaning services and lawn mowing.

It’s a fabulous way enjoy yourself without feeling guilty about splurging your cash!


Start shopping at Groupon Australia.

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