The Garden City – that’s what Christchurch is known as – and it’s a beautiful city in New Zealand dominated by attractive parkland and pretty gardens. It’s located on the South Island and is becoming increasingly popular with British expatriates emigrating to New Zealand who want to rediscover an old style England. The way of life in Christchurch really mirrors that found in the UK - but according to expats who have made the move - without the crime, the immigration issues, the poorer climate or the lack of basic personal respect now prevalent in British society!
If you’re wondering about moving abroad because you really want to get back to a better way of life but you’re worried about moving to a nation too foreign for you to cope with – consider New Zealand. And if you want to reside in or near a city that has a great deal going for it, this article will demonstrate why living in Christchurch in New Zealand appeals to expats who want the best of Britain without the worst of Britain.
The first thing to mention about Christchurch is that Aucklanders hate it!
It’s a very different city to Auckland in that it really does hang on to its colonial past and there are class and social status issues in Christchurch that you just won’t come across in Auckland! Christchurch is a city of about 350,000 citizens located on the South Island, it’s a location with four real seasons, it is a mild location with temperatures in the summer reaching an average of 22.5 degrees Centigrade and winter temperatures hitting around about the 11.5 degree Centigrade on average.
But one of the best things about the city is its physical location – you are close to the beaches of New Brighton and Sumner for summer time enjoyment and on the doorstep of the longest running ski resorts in the southern hemisphere such as Mount Hutt. So you have all the benefits of city living such as great employment and education prospects, masses of cultural and entertaining events, and yet you’re within reach of the best of the great outdoors.
If you move to live in New Zealand and you pick Christchurch you will be within reach of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, Arthur’s Pass National Park, Banks Peninsula, Hanmer Springs, Lakes Tekapo, Coleridge and Pukaki. You can go whale watching, ski, sunbathe, climb, trek, bike and sail – or if you prefer more sedate pastimes you can enjoy the museums, churches, the cathedral, galleries and theatres or you can take in the magnificent Christchurch Art Gallery for the best in terms of New Zealand art.
For expats requiring education for their children when they emigrate to New Zealand, Christchurch is an excellent choice. The schools are among the best in the country – although there is a British style snobbery going on relating to which school you choose to educate your children in – and there are two excellent universities not to mention a number of other tertiary level colleges. And after school and college the employment prospects in Christchurch are also excellent making it highly popular with younger expats who want to move to live in New Zealand well before they reach retirement age.
In terms of housing – prices are high because of the city status, but they are far cheaper than in the UK and they are even around 20% lower than in Auckland…and what’s more, if you step outside the city limits and are prepared to drive and commute to work, you can find landed real estate for more affordable prices. Most people in Christchurch aspire to own their own home so there is an active property market which means you will be able to find agents to help you secure the dream home for you and your family. But before you buy, why not spend some time renting a house in Christchurch to determine which areas suit you best – after all, moving to the other side of the world is quite a huge undertaking – expecting to find the perfect suburb first time around is adding a great deal more unwanted and unneeded pressure straight away. Rent a property, get to know the areas, the suburbs and even the nearby towns and villages and then you can make an informed choice about where in Christchurch you will feel most at home.