Moving to New Zealand: North or South Island?

New Zealand is a beautiful country that has a wonderful amount of natural scenery, many activities and sights, and some pretty diverse weather that draws many expats to the country in search of a new life. If you are considering moving to New Zealand there is one further decision to make though – whether to move to the North or South Island. There are often many debates of the pros and cons of the North and South Island, and which is a better place to move to or settle in.

Tourists tend to spend more time in the South Island due to the famous natural beauty of the area, and for this reason the North Island sometimes get overlooked. However, for expats planning to relocate, the North Island is very popular due to the job opportunities and warmer weather. So, overall both islands have their benefits and drawbacks, and either island could end up being a perfect fit for you if you are planning on moving to New Zealand.

The North Island

The North Island is smaller in land size, but has almost three times the population of the South Island. It is home to the large cities of Auckland and Wellington, which are well-known to be lively and cosmopolitan. Though Wellington is the political capital of NZ, Auckland is where much of the money is, and is also the country’s main port of entry for goods. Many expats move to Auckland for the job opportunities and the good educational institutes available there. Additionally, the North Island is also famous for it’s Maori cultural history (especially in the Rotorua area) and abundance of geothermal activity. The North Island also boasts great swimming beaches and some excellent scuba diving, making it a particularly nice place in summer.

The South Island

The South Island has wonderful mountain scenery, and beautiful national parklands. Visitors can marvel at waterfalls, glaciers and fjords here. There are excellent snow sports in winter and Queenstown is a popular spot for thrill-seekers who want to engage in extreme sports such as bungee jumping or skydiving. This is a great place to relocate to for a fun and vibrant life with lots of outdoor pursuits available. The wildlife is abundant on the South Island, with many opportunities to see animals like penguins, dolphins and seals. The main industries on this island are it’s tourism and agriculture, making it a perfect location for expats who work in either of these sectors.