Exploring the Best Places to Live in New ZealandNov 28, 2023
Ever dreamed of waking up to the call of exotic birds or perhaps having your morning coffee while gazing at a stunning mountain range? Well, in New Zealand, this could be your everyday reality.
Seriously, the bird sounds are absolutely amazing! I have lived in New Zealand for 8 years and seriously - the bird sounds are the best. I am not a “bird” person but it truly brings happiness
Living in New Zealand is unique because you can soak up the sun on beautiful beaches one day and hike through lush rainforests the next. City life buzzes with energy yet never loses its close-knit community feel. You can drive 20 minutes from the city and be surrounded by a different landscape.
Moving to New Zealand is more than just about relocating; it's about making a home amidst diversity and beauty unmatched anywhere else. But what are the best places to live in New Zealand where can you get some of everything it offers? Well, let’s dive in and find out!
Table of Contents:
Best Places to Live in New Zealand
New Zealand, known for its progressive leadership and effective handling of COVID-19, is a great place to consider if you're considering moving. The question remains though: where exactly should you live? Let's take a peek at some extraordinary locations.
Auckland: The largest city with over 1.5 million residents, is undoubtedly one of the best options. This vibrant metropolis offers ample job opportunities across various industries and features beautiful beaches nearby.
Wellington: Often referred to as 'Cool Capital'. Besides being the political hub, it also boasts an exciting arts scene and a more moderate cost of living than Auckland. It’s located on a beautiful harbour with suburbs nearby, making it perfect for families! (and the best coffee and cafe culture!)
Christchurch: After some devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, Christchurch has started rebuilding and is as beautiful and vibrant as ever! It is becoming the hub of the South Island with business and leisure opportunities in close proximity. What I like about Christchurch, is that the properties are much bigger and they get the really nice fall colours.
Hamilton: If big cities aren't your cup of tea but you still crave some action, Hamilton might be just what you need. Located an hour south of Auckland, this up-and-coming city has affordable housing while offering good connectivity for those who commute or travel frequently. Hamilton is in a great location but does have a reputation of being the “joke” place to live by locals. This is mainly due to the fact that it is not by a mountain range or on the water.
Rural Areas: Yes they are quite popular too. Rural regions provide tranquillity that can sometimes be hard to find in larger cities like Aukland and Wellington.
Auckland - New Zealand's Largest City
Ever dreamed of a city that harmoniously blends the buzz of urban life with serene natural beauty? That dream comes to life in Auckland, New Zealand's largest and most populous city. A hub for music enthusiasts, foodies, and nature lovers alike, it truly has something for everyone.
Diversity and Opportunities in Auckland
Boasting a diverse culture thanks to its 1.5 million inhabitants from around the globe, this cosmopolitan metropolis is alive with energy. This diversity isn't just reflected in its people and its wide range of industries offering many job opportunities.
No other place in New Zealand offers as many jobs across such varied sectors. Whether you're an artist looking to be part of the vibrant music scene or a professional eyeing that coveted job offer from one of the multinational companies based here, there are countless ways to make your mark. Here is a more in-depth look at where jobs are in high demand in New Zealand!
The cost can be slightly on the higher side though. To give you an idea about living expenses here, including housing, transportation, and groceries, check out this handy guide on the cost of living in Auckland.
With stunning landscapes around every corner and unparalleled career prospects – It’s not hard to see why so many choose this bustling big city as their new home.
Wellington - The Cultural Capital
For a unique blend of natural beauty and urban charm, start your New Zealand journey in Wellington - the country's cultural capital. Recognised as the cultural heart of New Zealand, this dynamic city offers a captivating combination of natural beauty and urban allure.
At the southernmost point of North Island, Wellington, or 'Welly' as locals affectionately call it, is renowned for its creative scene. From indie music gigs in hidden bars to internationally acclaimed theatre productions — there's always something happening here.
A standout feature about living in Wellington is its affordability compared to Auckland. With more moderate housing prices and overall cost of living expenses, you can enjoy life without breaking the bank. Find out how much is costs my family of 6 to live in Wellington New Zealand.
This cool capital isn't just about artsy vibes though; nestled between lush hills and a sparkling harbour, it’s also an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Whether you prefer kayaking across tranquil waters or hiking up Mount Victoria for breathtaking panoramic views – there's plenty to keep adventure seekers busy, too.
I have lived in Wellington for over 8 years and it is still my favourite city in New Zealand - but Queenstown is a close second. I love the coffee culture, the fact that I can walk from one end to another is 25 min, the stunning harbour and the beautiful hikes. If you are coming to Wellington and need some recommendation - don’t hesitate to reach out :)
Cultural Hotspot: Te Papa Museum
A discussion about Wellington would only be complete by mentioning Te Papa Tongarewa Museum. This national treasure showcases rich Maori culture alongside modern art exhibits—perfectly capturing New Zealand’s diverse heritage.
Film Lovers’ Haven: Weta Workshop Tours ( Lord of the Rings)
If movies are more your thing, check out where Peter Jackson brought Middle Earth alive with his Lord Of The Rings trilogy—a tour around Weta Workshop is simply unforgettable.
Christchurch - Rebuilding After Earthquakes
The people of Christchurch have shown remarkable courage and fortitude in the face of disaster. In 2010 and 2011, severe earthquakes struck this beautiful city, causing extensive damage. But instead of being defeated, Christchurch decided to rebuild.
In recent times, the transformation has been remarkable. Not only did they manage to repair much of what was lost in terms of infrastructure but also infused new life into their urban landscape with modern architecture and public spaces that celebrate community spirit.
New Zealand immigration visas have become more popular as many are drawn towards the revitalised energy and potential opportunities within Christchurch's resilient borders.
New Life Amidst Rubble
This vibrant city now stands tall against its past adversities showcasing a blend of heritage buildings restored with meticulous care alongside innovative designs from international architects.
An added bonus? The cost. Among other major cities in New Zealand like Auckland or Wellington, living here comes at a lower price tag, making it an attractive option for families looking for a quality lifestyle without breaking the bank.
Nature Bounces Back
Apart from structural rejuvenation, nature too, played her part beautifully. Parks bloomed back into lush green spaces offering serene getaways right within bustling neighborhoods, contributing significantly towards restoring normalcy after such devastating events..
My experience in Hamilton New Zealand (Great video to show you around the city!)
Hamilton - The Future Starts Here
If you're looking for a city that combines affordable housing, good connectivity, and promising job opportunities, look no further than Hamilton. Situated only an hour south of Auckland, Hamilton is a budget-friendly option with all the features you'd expect from a thriving city.
A unique aspect of Hamilton is its rapid development. Don't let the word "development" mislead you into thinking it's only about construction and traffic; it's like witnessing a butterfly emerge from its cocoon - alive with colour.
The affordability factor here is undeniable. Cost of living and housing costs are significantly lower compared to larger cities such as Auckland or Wellington. This gives residents more financial freedom to enjoy what New Zealand offers regarding outdoor activities and recreational pursuits—a key component in achieving that sought-after work-life balance.
Beyond cost considerations though, Hamilton shines brightly when it comes to connectivity. Its strategic location makes commuting hassle-free whether by road or rail. Plus with an international airport nearby (Hamilton International Airport), those weekend getaways become even more accessible.
In short, if your dream involves comfortable living coupled with dynamic growth potential – see what Hamilton has to offer. You might find it’s exactly where your future needs to start.
Rural Living in New Zealand
Rural living in New Zealand offers an unparalleled experience for those who crave peace and tranquillity. Far from the hustle of larger cities like Auckland or Wellington, country life lets you slow down and truly appreciate this beautiful country.
The Charm of Country Living
You'll discover an exclusive mix of amiability and communal enthusiasm in tiny towns spread across the nation. Imagine waking up to the sight of rolling hills or breathtaking coastlines instead of busy city streets. The serene lifestyle can be an excellent place for families seeking good schools within safe environments.
New Zealand's countryside is not just about quietness though. It also offers abundant outdoor activities including hiking trails through lush forests, boating on crystal clear lakes such as Lake Taupo during summer, or visiting charming vineyards in Hawke's Bay region.
Moving to rural areas might make some worry about accessibility, but fear not. Most places are well connected with major cities via roads. Plus there are always health insurance providers offering comprehensive coverage even outside urban centers, ensuring your family stays healthy no matter where you choose to live.
New Zealand immigration visas cater to those wanting this slower pace lifestyle too, making it easier to start your journey here.
Nightlife in New Zealand Cities
City life for young adults in New Zealand is anything but dull. Each city offers a unique blend of attractions and experiences, creating a vibrant nightlife that caters to different preferences and lifestyles.
New Zealand cities, especially larger ones like Auckland or Wellington, are popular destinations for working holidays due to their energetic music scenes. Whether you're into jazz, rock or electronic dance music - there's always something happening after dark.
City Life for Young Adults
In Auckland, also known as New Zealand's biggest city, one can enjoy an evening at Viaduct Harbour with its multitude of bars and restaurants overlooking beautiful yachts. The Ponsonby district is another hotspot offering boutique shops by day, transforming into trendy wine bars come nightfall.
Moving on from the busy streets of Auckland to our capital city Wellington. Known as "the coolest little capital", it offers an intimate atmosphere where everything feels within walking distance – including its thriving craft beer scene. Courtney Place is buzzing on Thursday-Sunday nights.
The smaller coastal city of Tauranga, located near Mount Maunganui, presents more laid-back options with beachside cafes turning into live-music venues during summer.
If clubbing isn't your thing then don't worry. There are plenty of alternative options such as comedy clubs or movie theaters showing films late into the night. You might even stumble upon pop-up food markets filled with mouth-watering local delicacies just waiting to be sampled under starry skies. New Zealand cities certainly know how to keep nights enjoyable for all tastes.
You've looked into the top locales to inhabit in New Zealand - and what each urban area brings to the table and how life in rural areas can be similarly attractive.
Auckland's diversity and opportunities await your discovery. Wellington's vibrant arts scene is a sight for creative souls.
You learned about Christchurch’s resilience and beautiful scenery waiting to greet you every morning. Hamilton could be the future with affordable housing and promising job prospects.
Rural living offered peace that bustling cities may not provide while nightlife gave young adults a taste of excitement!
The journey doesn't end here; it starts when you choose your perfect spot in this stunning country. If these places sound like somewhere for you, check out this ultimate guide to moving to New Zealand, with everything you’ll need to know!
Written by Tara Hulbert (Kiwiamericans)
FAQs in Relation to Best Places to Live in New Zealand
Which is the best place to live in New Zealand?
The "best" spot depends on your needs. Auckland has abundant jobs and diversity, while Wellington boasts a cool vibe and arts scene. Christchurch is better catered towards families and Hamilton offers a quieter lifestyle while still accessible to big cities.
Where do American expats live in New Zealand?
American expats often gravitate towards larger cities like Auckland or Wellington for the amenities and job opportunities. Christchurch and Hamilton are also up-an-coming cities that are also perfect spots to settle down! If you are looking for a beach town, Tauranga is nice!
What is the safest place to live in New Zealand?
New Zealand overall enjoys low crime rates. Small towns usually offer more safety, but even big cities like Christchurch are safe.
Where is the happiest place to live in New Zealand?
Happiness can be found anywhere, but Kiwis report high satisfaction in living rurally due to peaceful surroundings and close-knit communities.
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