Chess Blog

Moving Interstate: Knowing What to Quarantine

Preparing for an interstate move? Relocating across state lines means you may have to quarantine, or even leave certain belongings behind. The rules vary, depending on which state you are coming from or travelling to, but this guide will give you a general idea of what might be involved for a trouble-free cross-country move.

Plants, seeds, timber and planting materials

The entry of plants, wood and soils are heavily restricted in all states, as in some cases their importation can encourage a rapid spread of unwanted insects or damaging botanical diseases.

You may not be able to take your household or outdoor pot plants with you, because of their soil – so always check the specific restrictions before you pack. Some cut flowers and seeds may be allowed on an interstate move, with appropriate certification.

Treated timbers are usually fine, but again you should check the regulations to be sure. Note that weeds and their seeds are pretty much considered taboo when crossing any quarantine lines.

Food Items

Always check for the specific state-wide restrictions around foodstuffs, particularly fruit, vegetables and nuts, as these are always on quarantine lists in different variations. If you don’t check the rules, you may be liable for on-the-spot fines before disposing of food on the road.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are generally restricted or not allowed without a permit, so it’s a good idea to eat (or bin) these items before you travel. For example, grapes are not allowed into Queensland, and cucumbers and tomatoes aren’t permitted into South Australia.

Items like dairy, processed and canned or packaged foods are usually fine, but double-check the rules regulations for your destination state, just to be sure.

Nuts have a variety of quarantine requirements in different states, so either consume them all before moving or, if you really want to take them with you, find out which types are cleared for transport.

Fish, honey and rice are three specific items you may need to either obtain a permit for, or leave behind, depending on your place of origin and destination.  

Livestock and pets

If moving your furry or scaly friends across state lines, you need to carefully research the quarantine limits on pets. While dogs and cats are usually fine as they are, other pets and animals might require further attention, such as:

  • Live or pet fish – eg. goldfish are not allowed into Tasmania
  • Reptiles – most will require a permit; some are completely restricted
  • Rodents – eg. rabbits and ferrets are not permitted in Queensland
  • Livestock – specific permits are required before their relocation  
  • Live worms and insects used for fish bait or any other means may also be restricted
  • Dogs moving to Tasmania need to be treated for hydatid tapeworm before arrival

Know the restrictions

For detailed information about quarantine rules and regulations applying to your interstate move, visit Australia’s domestic quarantine website:

Getting ready to move interstate?

Chess Moving has the experience to help you navigate all the complications of state-wide quarantine across Australia. Talk to one of our friendly consultants to learn more, on 13 14 69.


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