The Four Best Places to Live in New Zealand

Examining where New Zealanders prefer to live in New Zealand!

By Rhiannon Davies Published on 26th March 2008 .

The Four Best Places to Live in New ZealandThe majority of immigrants who move to New Zealand end up living and working in and around Auckland – and yet speak to New Zealanders and they’ll quickly tell you that among their own, Auckland is actually one of the locals’ least favourite places to live because of high property prices, high costs of living, higher than national average crime figures and also because of the increase in the number of international migrants making the city home!

So if you want to know where the four best places to live in New Zealand are, ask a New Zealander.  Following the trend among local migrants it’s clear that the most attractive places for lifestyle reasons are Christchurch in Canterbury, the Bay of Plenty and in particular Tauranga, Waikato and Otago.  You may have head of the first on the list, but if you want to know more about all of these destinations, read on.

Christchurch is the second largest city in New Zealand and so it is a viable option for those considering emigrating to live and work abroad rather than those just looking for a retirement paradise.  It’s considered an excellent place to live for families in particular as there is so much going on, the climate is excellent, the educational and social facilities are fabulous and among the majority of residents, a perfect blend of working and relaxing is achieved.  Christchurch is close to the coast, it is close to winter sports resorts, there’s a wealth of activities available throughout the year for all the family to enjoy, and Christchurch is famous for its culture and history as well, making it a really lovely place to consider living in New Zealand.

The Bay of Plenty and in particular the region’s largest city of Tauranaga have been increasing in appeal among New Zealanders who have been escaping the Auckland experience!  The coastal areas of this region enjoys a stunning micro climate meaning that it’s a perfect area for fruit cultivation and a perfect place to retire.  The region experiences an average summertime temperature in the mid twenties and enjoys 2260 hours of sunshine every year.  If you’ve been thinking about retiring abroad and New Zealand is one of the nations on your radar – look more closely at the Bay of Plenty and see if its climate and laid back lifestyle would suit you.

Located in the central North Island, the region of Waikato is a very fertile one in agricultural terms and also a fertile ground for recent city migrators going in search of more affordable housing options.  Property in New Zealand in Waikato’s towns such as Hamilton continues to be far more affordable than in its main city of Auckland.  What’s more, there are increasing employment prospects across the region as well as decent educational facilities, making it a good area to consider for families interested in relocating abroad and starting a brand new life overseas.

And finally, you might like to consider living in or near Dunedin in Otago which is on the lower South Island.  Whilst the climate in this part of New Zealand is not the best, there are still huge variations all across the region.  The city of Dunedin is great for employment and education – but if you’re not reliant on New Zealand’s employment landscape and you’re moving to the other side of the world to retire perhaps, you’ll find cheaper housing, a laid back lifestyle, friendly local citizens and picture postcard beauty in landscape terms. 

If you are moving to live in New Zealand and you’re really not sure where you want to settle, Auckland can be a great place to begin, you can rent accommodation easily within the city and it has fantastic transport links for the rest of the nation.  But be sure to use these transport links, explore the North and South Islands and find the location that best suits you before you buy a home or even commit to living in New Zealand full time.  Whilst the nation is not vast or overpopulated, it does encompass such an impressive array of geographically different regions that it would be a crime not to explore far more of the country than its leading city before you settle on a place in New Zealand to call home.

Rhiannon Davies's photo

Rhiannon Davies

Rhiannon is the Publishing Director at Shelter Offshore. With extensive experience as a technical author, Rhiannon's expat life began in Frankfurt with Deutsche Bank. Later as a freelance writer she was able to realise her ambition of living in some of the World's most beautiful locations.

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