New Zealand is a fantastic place to live. It boasts sandy beaches, snow-capped mountains, dramatic volcanic landscapes, glaciers and tranquil lakes – an incredible diversity of landscapes squeezed into a compact and easy-to-travel country. New Zealand also has friendly and laid-back people, a vibrant arts scene, several superb wineries and plenty of fun things to do.
If you move to New Zealand, one of the big decisions you will need to make is which city to live in. There are plenty of excellent places to live in New Zealand, so the answer will depend on what is best for your lifestyle. Here are some of the options of the best cities to choose from when you are making your decision.
Although it is not the capital, Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand, with just over 1.2 million people. You will love it here if you love city life and want to be in a vibrant, bustling, multicultural atmosphere. Also, getting a job in Auckland is easier because it is more significant than other cities in New Zealand, so there are more opportunities.
Auckland is nicknamed the “City of Sails” because there are more boats per capita than anywhere else. The views of the water from the harbors, beaches and islands are beautiful, and there are many opportunities for water sports, sailing, fishing, windsurfing and swimming. Along with the warm and sunny climate, an excellent food scene and great shopping, there are many reasons to love living in Auckland.
Another option is Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. It is a very picturesque city on a hillside with a sprawling harbor. Wellington has some of the best art galleries and museums in the country, so if you want to work in the arts and culture sector, this is a great place to start.
It also offers plenty of cute cafes, funky bars and microbreweries within its historic downtown. The architecture is some of the oldest in New Zealand, as this was the first time European settlers arrived. Wellington offers a great selection of live theatre, music and dance performances in the evenings.
The largest city on the South Island, Christchurch, is very scenic and has beautiful public gardens, the meandering Avon River and a few museums and art galleries. It was shaken by a massive earthquake in 2010, which caused a lot of damage to the city, and a lot of people have since moved away, but the city of Christchurch has been rebuilding and revitalising itself and looking toward the future. Christchurch is considered an excellent place for families to live – the education and social facilities are great, the climate is excellent, and there is an outstanding work/life balance. It is also close to the coast and many winter sports resorts, so when you want to take a short vacation, you will have many great nearby destinations.
This university town on the South Island has a population of 118,000, which shrinks significantly during the summer when school is out of session. It’s a great place to live for young people, as many of the residents are students, and there are plenty of cheap bars, restaurants, fun events, and things to do.
This small town on the North Island is a fun and laid-back place with a gorgeous lake, perfect for sailing, fishing, swimming and other water sports. It is also considered the “skydiving capital of the world” if your idea of fun involves jumping out of planes. It’s not a big town, so if you are looking for bustling nightlife and culture, you might want to stick with the bigger cities. However, if your focus is beautiful scenery and the great outdoors, then Taupo will be perfect for you.
Living in Queenstown will be a dream come true if you love skiing, hiking, snowboarding, and the great outdoors. It is a touristy town with mountains and a scenic lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks. You could go on a different outdoor adventure every day, then live it up with the great nightlife and cuisine in the evenings. Of course, since the primary industry in Queenstown is tourism, that is the most likely area in which you will find a job, so consider that depending on your work field.