Ponsonby is great - loads of restaurants, bars and shops. Lots of backpackers live around there so there's loads of options for house shares. You could walk to the cbd from ponsonby in around 20 minutes. herne bay and freemans bay are close to ponsonby and are nice areas but i'm not sure about prices. Mt Eden is also lively and is cheaper than Ponsonby, but is a little bit further out. Newmarket is where all the shops are, and is around 15 minutes on the bus to town (I lived there too).
Christchurch is smaller than auckland and is a nice city with some beautiful areas close by; if you want something even smaller Nelson is lovely and is a couple of hours away from Abel Tasman national park which is stunning.
Hope all this helps.
I liked Auckland, nice city. I especially like its location and the fact that its got so much water around it. Its also quite hilly which is nice. I stayed with a friend, who lived in Ponsonby. Very nice area but I expect its a bit expensive, full of posh coffee shops and designer boutiques, that kind of thing. Its close to the city.
Auckland, being a big city, is probably going to be the best place for finding work.
I think i'll try to get somewhere in ponsonby, it sounds like a nice spot to settle into for a bit.
I heard that almost everybody owns a boat.....does that mean that boats and permits are really cheap, or is everyone really rich.
I'd love a boat. How mint would that be?!
We were in Auckland only on Sunday! We flew in and out of it twice over our trip - l didnt get a great impression of it on the first visit but it was better on the second. I found it a bit quite for a city (although to be fair we visited in January during the Kiwi holiday period!).
I liked Christchurch though!
Just reading what you guys had to say about my homeland auckland NZ. Being an keen travler would be happy to answer you questions. Especially if your in Europe and can help me out in Europe!!
My overview of New Zealand:
-If you only like living in big citys you probally wont like living New Zealand
-Its far away from everywhere, except Aus. so dont travel there for a week or two from Europe(24hours+in the air) - it will kill you trying to see everything in a short time not to mention the jet lag.tho tacking a month onto aus. wont be to bad
-for a basic overview of New Zealand id spend 3 weeks in South Island (more views,nature) and perhaps 2 in the north (bit more to do).of course more time is allways better!
-Our public transport is bad-really bad. i.e Auckland -Wellington by car is about 8 hours,by bus is 10 hours,by train is 12 hours. not all that cheap aswell. the best way to get around is by car (not a campervan-expensive) and stay at camping grounds,B&Bs we rented a near new car in south island for 3.5 weeks for $700nz (about £250) petrol inst to bad at $1.6 litre (.60p)There is a super cheap place to rent a car near the airport if you dont mind an older car(from £6 a day!!)
-Accomadation is very reasonable from £5-£8 backpackers , £10-£15 for your own room. hotels £25+ .you shouldnt have any problems finding a place on arrival to stay unless you are traveling in the two weeks eather side of New Year,cause its summer and thats when we have our Holidays!!
-People will always be happy to help you - just ask!!
-Internal flights are OK but best booked well in advance.
-Hitching is considered safe ,unfortunatly a German girl was killed a year ago (the guy was caught and is in jail now) but dont let thet put you off, alot of long haul truck drivers love having someone to chat to!!
Its best If you can travel in Febuary - March ,most of us will be back at work and you can enjoy the sun (be warned its brutal!!) Unless of course you enjoy the snow then you should come in july to October -youll probally need to book accomadation in advance around ski fields.
Let me know if i can be of any help
As a kiwi and former Auckland resider I can say that people who have lived in London, New York etc will probably find auckland small. As one of the 10 largest cities in the world spatially it can take time to get to the centre if you choose to live in a lovely suburb like Howick or Somewhere on the North Shore.
While Ponsonby and Parnell are central, well populated etc etc they are also considered ponsy areas - very metro, expensive rent, great cafes! Mt Eden isn't that far out of the city centre and is fairly direct as is Newmarket. However as has been pointed out or at least hinted at - everyone owns cars which means our roads are seriously clogged at rush hour. Being a cyclist is also a bit like taking your life in your hands so I highly recommend seeing what areas the jobs you want would be (I'll make an educated guess that they will all be quite close to each other and the centre of the city) and then looking for housing within walking distance. The apartments in the city centre are no worse to rent than a house in Ponsonby!
There was also a comment on the sun - we have a thin if not non-existent ozone layer in NZ which means the news publish burn times in summer rather than pollen counts because you can get badly sunburnt in 15 minutes at lunch time if you are not careful. At some points in the year it can get down to 4 minutes for average toned skin types. People wear hats and put on sunblock as a matter of course (something I have found they don't do in the UK) so it is worth taking note to invest in a hat and some sunblock if you are arriving in Summer.
If you find you actually want to be out of the immediate centre you can try Epsom - the old posh area (in say the 1930s)- Remuera (super posh) Ellerslie, Penrose, Davenport or other north shore places like Takapuna, Browns bay etc. Be careful to note that the North Shore is not the city centre and has its own business centre that you may find work in - crossing the harbour bridge at rush hour is not fun so consider that when searching for work/home combos!
Boats (Sorry - going on a bit) - if you have money you have a boat moored in the harbour. If you have a mortgage you probably have a boat on your drive. If you have neither you probably don't have a boat! Its one of those 'I've settled down' things people do in NZ. If you want to buy one remember in most cases they cost more than a new car - even a little dingy will run to a couple of thousand dollars. However you can probably find boats to hire if you want to go out. I recommend talking with your local coast guard for info on what you should and shouldn't do/go etc before going out.