What is New Zealand synonymous with, for you? You might immediately think of its national rugby team, its indigenous Māori culture, or the breathtaking vistas that served as a backdrop to the Lord of the Rings movie. But there’s more to this land than that…Did you know that this country was the first to give women the right to vote in 1893? There’s so much to discover and be inspired by in New Zealand, a country that is as beautiful as it is diverse, literally having something for everyone. Whether you love the outdoors, cultural visits or even enjoy online gaming – this land of the long white cloud has it all!
Let’s zoom in on five locations we’d love to give you a taste of. Who knows, perhaps this will be the start of your journey to an eventual relocation!
This cosmopolitan city is New Zealand’s largest city, with a population of a little over 1.7 million. As the economic capital of New Zealand, it presents expats with plenty of opportunities in terms of job prospects, education and healthcare. In fact, there are multiple job opportunities in the hospitality, technology, and entertainment sector. And if you’re a creative, Auckland is the place to be, with half of all people employed in the creative sector in New Zealand being based in this city.
However, Auckland is not all work and no play. Since the north island city is located on the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean, you can enjoy stunning nature reserves and breathtaking beaches here. Moreover, Auckland is surrounded by picturesque islands and is a quick ferry ride away from Waiheke Island, which is just 40 minutes away from the downtown area.
Wellington is New Zealand’s capital, and is known as ‘the coolest capital in the world’. Although this city isn’t as big as Auckland and there are fewer job opportunities, it still has a lot to offer. For one, Wellington is less urban and built-up than Auckland, which means that there’s less traffic, so you can enjoy a peaceful lifestyle here. There’s also a great cafe culture and an abundance of events and festivals where you can get a taste of Wellington’s sense of community. Moreover, this city boasts gorgeous beaches, making it a perfect destination for beach lovers. So, if you’re looking for a combination of tranquility and a great sense of community, Wellington is the place for you.
You’ll never be short of things to do here! Despite being smaller than the former two cities, this town is fully alive all year round, with frequent events and festivals in the summer and a lively ski resort to enjoy in winter. If you’re the adventurous type, you’ll find some lovely heritage walks here, allowing you to feast your eyes on the stunning natural scenery. You’ll also be spoilt with opportunities for thrilling activities in Queenstown, namely the legendary AK Hackett Bungy jump and the Shotover canyon swing. And if you’re keen to learn more about the Māori heritage, you can avail yourself of the guided tours offered around the area, or you might want to learn more about it directly from the locals, who are known to be very friendly and welcoming.
Again, the Māori culture is very prominent here. It oozes out of every pore of this city. You can see this for yourself if you observe the architecture in the area, and if you mingle with the locals in the authentic traditional Māori villages in Rotorua. Other than that, the city is renowned for being the most beautiful city in New Zealand, with colorful flowers and native plants to marvel at. It is also the core for all things geothermal: from hot springs and boiling mud pools to spouting geysers, warm geothermal springs, and silica terraces. Therefore, if you’re looking to live in a place where you’re connected with nature and fully immersed in a rich culture, Rotorua is the place the be.
If you consider yourself an outdoorsy person, Napier is a place you might want to explore further. The city is situated near several rivers, making it an excellent destination for watersports such as jet skiing, kayaking, and rowing. Napier is also dotted with parks, gardens, city trails, and walkways waiting to be explored. And if the weather is something you take into consideration, you’ll be pleased to know that the climate here is often mild and sunny, making it an excellent location for outdoor activities.
Apart from its outdoor attractions, Napier is also a budget-friendly destination with a lower cost of living than many other parts of New Zealand. There are also many boutique wineries and restaurants scattered across the city for you to enjoy. Besides, the city is compact enough to navigate on foot, but there is also a reliable public transport system. Then again, the locals are known for being very warm and approachable, offering a strong sense of community, so don’t hold back from approaching one of them if you get lost!
So, Which Place Is Best For You?
Well, it all depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re after an abundance of outdoor opportunities, then Napier and Queenstown should be at the top of your list. On the other hand, Wellington is your go-to place if you’re all about beaches and watersports. If you prioritize connection with nature, then look no further than Rotorua, being the landmark for all things geothermal. And if you’re specifically looking for great job prospects, Auckland is your place. Finally, if a slower pace of life and a strong sense of community is what you’re after, Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, might be the perfect fit for you.