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Picking somewhere to live in NZ

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Picking somewhere to live in NZ

1. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 10y

Hi everyone,

A question for the Kiwis, or any of you who have lived in NZ for a while - if you had to pick a city or town to live in in NZ, which would it be, and why?

Im off to NZ in a few weeks, and will probably live and work for a year there. I just assumed that the jobs would be in Auckland really, but everyone I meet is telling me to steer clear of it.

Advice anyone?

Thanks! ;)


2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4817 posts) 10y

The people who tell you to steer clear of Auckland are those kiwis who live outside of Auckland. Meanwhile, everyone who lives in Auckland likes it just fine there. Basically, there's the same kind of rivalry between Auckland and the rest of New Zealand as there's between for example Sydney and Melbourne.

Now, to be fair, Auckland is just a city - versus the gorgeous unspoiled nature that covers most of the rest of New Zealand; but if you have to pick a city to live in anyway, Auckland has a lot going for it (personally I stayed there for four months working). With a quarter of the population of New Zealand living in that one city, it's by far the busiest city with the most facilities and work available. You can go and explore a different neighbourhood away from the city centre every week, and you'll be kept busy for months. (And there's _a lot_ of these neighbourhoods which have worthwhile things going for them.) It also has the best weather, being nice most day even during the deepest part of winter. (I assume you wouldn't want to work during the summer, when the weather's nicest everywhere, so winter makes most sense for working (although do be certain to at least also visit the Southern Alps all glorious with fresh snow at some point during the winter)). Lots of green and parks in Auckland as well - much more so than in Christchurch, Wellington, Dunedin or Queenstown. (Not that those places don't have really pretty parks and green around everywhere; it's just that in Auckland with its dozens of volcanoes, there's more, and it's more apparent.)

My second choice would be Christchurch; nice, but somewhat plain (reece found it terribly boring though, iirc). Wellington is really nice on sunny days - but there's precious few of those around, and on its more usual grey, rainy and windy days, it's just not that appealing. (It has some really good used bookstores though; "bizzy bee" e.a., which were even more awesome than Auckland's "hard to find" ones. (Okay, so probably there's not many people who'd consider that an important criteria, but I did!)) :) Queenstown is not only very pretty, but also very touristy - definitely the place to be if you're going for the ski season though. Dunedin is a student city, and quite vibrant and fun because of it - but also on the small side, and definitely too cold for my tastes during the winter.

If I could really choose any backpacker-type job and location anywhere in New Zealand (instead of the programming I really did), I'd choose working at the YHA hostel in Lake Tekapo. As anyone who's read more than a few of my posts in this forum knows, I absolutely love that place with its ever changing light and unreal colors of the lake. Seeing the seasons change over a period of months there would be just... wow. Definitely not for the faint of heart though, as it's a tiny village, with hardly anything to do around.

Hope that help, and welcome back, btw! How's the travelling going? :) *goes read your new blog entry*

[ Edit: Edited at Jun 22, 2006 3:35 PM by Sander ]

3. Posted by Fern1 (Full Member 53 posts) 10y

Meanwhile, everyone who lives in Auckland likes it just fine there.

Is that why there was an exodus a while ago.. Too many aucklanders are still leaving,coming to the other cities, spoiling our wide open spaces. Down with them, I say.

4. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 10y

Thanks Sander! That´s a real help. And, in fact,you were spot on - most of those people telling me to steer clear of Auckland were Kiwis.

Okay, thanks....great help as usual! ;)

5. Posted by Fern1 (Full Member 53 posts) 10y

Believe what yu will, Auckland is ok to visit, but to live there is another thing. ask those who are not biased, however visitors would know more than those who live here.

[ Edit: Edited at Jun 25, 2006 2:56 PM by Fern1 ]

6. Posted by Jase007 (Travel Guru 8870 posts) 10y

I'd go for Cental Otago or somewhere on the West coast/Nelson bays area.
If you had to choose a city, Dunedin is great - mainly because it's just a big town and spread out.

7. Posted by JSW (Budding Member 13 posts) 10y

I would probably choose Taupo in the central North Island. It's a beautiful area and is big enough to have everything one would need to live comfortably but is also small enough to not be intimidating. You have access to Lake Taupo and the nearby wilderness of Tongariro National Park. It's a great location. I would look into it!

[ Edit: Edited at Jun 26, 2006 7:16 AM by JSW ]

8. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 10y

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! ;)