The Expat’s Guide to Living in Auckland

Moving to Auckland, New Zealand

If you’re thinking of choosing life in Auckland, there’s so much in store for you. You’ll never be bored in this vibrant New Zealand metropolis. Also known as Tamaki Makaurau and the City of Sails, Auckland is set on the sweeping Harauki Gulf, which explains why one-third of Aucklanders are boat-owners, providing the city with a deep maritime heritage.

It may be a big city, but with rainforests, emeral waters, thermal springs and islands nearby, nature never feels far away. While away days on beautiful beaches, hiking in the volcanic hills, or island-hopping. It’s fair to say you’ll be living an outdoor life.

However, there are a few things you may want to consider before making your move, so take a look at this guide to help you.

Key facts

Set on New Zealand’s North Island, Auckland’s total population currently stands at around 1.6 million, consisting of various cultures. For example, 28 per cent of settlers are Polynesian. This could be down to how easy it is to travel to the city, with the Auckland airport being approximately 20km from the centre and offering direct flights to Australia, North America, South America, and Asia.

Auckland frequently ranks within the world’s top 20 liveable cities. There are lots to see and do when you arrive, such as their 50 volcanoes, 328-metre high sky tower, or the four-hour walk from the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea. 

Climate and geography

If you like to be at one with nature with a perfect climate, there’s no doubt life in Auckland is for you. The ocean entirely surrounds the city, which has a great influence on the climate. You’ll never find it hot or too cold as the warm coast prevents any extremes. Summers tend to be warm and humid at around 24 degrees, and the winters remain mild with an average of 16 degrees. You may experience a few short-lived dry spells in the summer, but this will always be solved with their plentiful year-round rainfall. You’ll also be excited to know that Auckland will provide you with 2,000 hours of beaming sunshine each year.

When it comes to location, Auckland is found on a small tongue of land, with the Tasman Sea to your west and the Hauraki Gulf to your east. There’s plenty of access to water, whether it be at a beach or by a harbour. The city is actually one of the few places in the world that has harbours on two separate bodies of water. You’ll have easy access to almost anywhere in Auckland, whether you want to sail to an island, head to a vineyard, and hike up a volcano in roughly half an hour.

Visas, jobs, and opportunities

Visas can get complicated because there are different rules for whether you’re only visiting or settling in Auckland. If you’re looking at permanently living in Auckland, you will need to apply for a work or resident visa. The easiest way to do this is to ensure you have a job secured before you start making your move. There is also the option of working holiday visas for young people aged 18-30, which allows you to live and work in New Zealand for up to 12 or 23 months if you’re from the UK. You can apply for a New Zealand visa via the government’s website.

So, to get a visa, you’ll have to think about work. Lucky for you, Auckland is New Zealand’s economic powerhouse, making up 38 per cent of the country’s GDP. The city has also been ranked first in the world for ease of doing business. There are many skills in demand in Auckland, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a position that suits you. For example, some industries on the lookout are agriculture, construction, education, engineering, finance, health and social services, and trading. The city is innovative in its approach to sustainable business modules and is highly creative. Therefore, there really is an opportunity for anybody.

Where to live

Although Auckland may seem small in comparison to major cities in other countries, it actually consists of many different suburbs. Finding the right place to fit your needs and your budget is essential when planning your move. On average, Auckland’s price for a three to four-bedroom home to rent in 2018 was between £303 to £430, generally far cheaper than in the UK. However, prices do vary depending on location.

You may want to go more central in an area like Parnell, with excellent commuter links and various smaller and larger homes. For a one-bed property, you’re looking at between £194 – £214 or £393 – £398 for a three-bed. There are also areas like Takapuna, which is perfect for families with lots of quiet green spaces and parks. You’ll be looking at around £252 for a one-bed and £375 for a three-bed.

Cost of living

Properties and where to live aside, the cost of living in Auckland is made up of many factors. You’ll have to think about rent/mortgage, groceries, transport, and many other essentials. Auckland is New Zealand’s most expensive city to live in, but bear in mind that it’s far more affordable than London. In Mercer’s 2020 Cost of Living Survey, London ranks the world’s 19th most expensive city, and Auckland ranks 103rd. Therefore, although it’s New Zealand’s biggest and most expensive city, you’ll be able to get a high standard of living with a New Zealand wage and stable job.

What is Auckland life like?

When you’re living in Auckland, you’ll never be bored, and there’s always something new to try. The food and coffee are to die for, and there are many different restaurants to visit with fantastic cuisine. There’s especially a huge choice of Asian delicacies due to the large number of students and workers from the continent. If you’re a fan of wine, then you’ll find yourself sipping on New Zealand’s signature Pinot Noir whenever possible. You also have the wildlife and fauna surrounding you each day when you’re out doing something new. Whether it’s visiting their cultural markets, beaches, waterfalls or going for a hike, you’ll constantly be content.

On top of the endless activities and great culture to experience, New Zealand’s rates of violence are extremely low compared to anywhere else in the world. You can feel safe travelling solo, but there are still things you need to be vigilant about. Try to avoid secluded areas at night to avoid alcohol-related shenanigans and rowdy teenagers. You also have to watch out for pickpockets and theft from your car. However, this is the same for most countries.

International Removals to Auckland, New Zealand – When it’s Time to Move

When you’ve got all your visas sorted, and you’re ready to move, you may wonder how you’re going to get all your precious belongings over to Auckland. Finding the right shipping company can be stressful, especially since you want everything to arrive in one piece. Luckily, 1st Move International can help you with all your moving needs and ensure everything you care about reaches you safely. So, don’t stress and contact us to do all the heavy lifting for you or find more information on international removals to New Zealand.

About 1st Move International

1st Move International are a specialist international moving and shipping company offering packing, shipping and insurance for shipping household goods and personal effects overseas. We have a global reach covering over 80 countries and 6500 worldwide destinations. You can get an international removals quote here or find more information on our international removals UK to New Zealand service here.

Avatar for Mike Harvey
As the Managing Director of 1st Move International, Mike Harvey brings more than two decades of logistics expertise and three years of specialised experience in international relocations to his role. His comprehensive knowledge spans the intricacies of overseas shipping, secondary yet crucial areas such as visa application processes and immigration requirements, and the wider topic of moving abroad including topics such as comparative analyses of cost of living, healthcare and educational systems worldwide. This expertise allows 1st Move International to equip people with the information they need to not just move overseas, but to make informed decisions about whether, and where, to relocate.