Auckland is known for many things but one of the most prominent facts is that it is the biggest city in New Zealand. Filled with museums, restaurants, theatres, and more, it is no surprise that several people want to move to Auckland.
The city offers a lot of things for both visitors and locals. Dormant volcanoes are scattered all over the area and provides hiking opportunities. Auckland is also where the largest colony of penguins in the world can be found, along with the biggest Maori treasure collection. From wineries to diners to other interesting hotspots, there are plenty of reasons to move to the city.
About Auckland City
Auckland City takes up a large portion of the Auckland urban area. Right at the centre is the Auckland Central Business District (CBD), which is the city’s main location for financial and commercial dealings. Suburbs surround this particular area.
Auckland has the highest concentration of population in New Zealand. The region has more than 1.5 million people living in it. The estimate is that about one-third of the whole population in the country resides here. It is not a big surprise because the city was once declared as one of the top five best places to live on Earth according to a popular survey.
Those who plan to move to the city will discover its charm and peaceful pace. Its seaside community is highly praised with numerous yachts sailing between the Manukau Harbour situated on the Tasmanian Sea and the Waitemata Harbour, which is on the Pacific Ocean. It has resulted in Auckland being nicknamed The City of Sails.
Expats adore Auckland because it offers a great balance for those searching for business opportunities while keeping a healthy lifestyle. The Auckland region consists of four areas:
• Manukau City (south)
• Waitakere City (west)
• North Shore (north)
• Auckland City (centre)
However, it was only recently when this region was combined into one and is now known as the Super City.
Auckland is culturally diverse with different locals and expats, as well as Polynesian islanders. In fact, statistics confirmed that there are more Polynesian citizens living in Auckland compared to some of their own nations.
For those searching for a convincing reason to move to Auckland, the climate here is an excellent incentive. It has an oceanic climate, which means that it is warm in the city during the summer season. Temperatures normally average 20 degrees Celsius (equivalent to 68 degrees Fahrenheit). Although the numbers are not that high, the fact remains that Auckland is considered the warmest out of the main centres in the country.
On the other hand, winters do not get extremely cold. This season is moderate, averaging temperatures of around 11 degrees Celsius (51 degrees Fahrenheit). The average rainfall reaches 1,120 mm or 43.92 inches yearly. Although the city has a winter season, it rarely snows in Auckland.
Getting Around the Area
One of the things that expats have to know about Auckland is that it has the highest traffic congestion level in the entire country. Peak traffic times in the city are from eight to nine in the morning. In the evening, visitors and new residents should be aware of the heavy traffic from five to six PM.
According to statistics, there are approximately 40,000 cars that drive around the roads of the city every year. As for commuting, getting to your destination can add at least an hour to the whole journey, particularly when caught during peak traffic times.
That said, Auckland has numerous options for getting around. Those who want to explore the city will find that travelling in and around the area is both easy and inexpensive. Whether driving your own car or a rental, riding public transport, or simply cycling around, Auckland lets you choose your preferred method.
Public Transport: The city offers different public transport choices, namely bus, ferry, and train. The vast network allows everyone to get around Auckland and the nearby areas as well. There are inner city buses but you can always opt to travel by bus or train. These options are accessible from any suburb and people can get to their destination quickly. Whether it is to the schools, entertainment hubs, attractions, and work sites, it is easy to reach any place, thanks to the organised transportation methods.
Cycling and Walking: Another option is through cycling, which is great for everyone who wants to improve their health while enjoying the sights. Cycling and walking are two of the most popular ways to get around the city. There are numerous cycle paths that have popped up in just the last few years. They have surely made it simpler for cyclists and those who prefer walking to travel from one place to another. The city plans to have even more cycleways in the future.
Car Driving: People are allowed to drive in Auckland and other parts of New Zealand, including expats. If you have not exceeded 12 months during your visit, you are more than welcome to drive around the city. Drivers can utilise their current licence even if it is from their home country. An alternative is to present an International Driving Permit or IDP. If you are staying in the country for more than a year, you should be ready with the necessary documents, including a converted NZ licence. You can read more about driving in New Zealand.
It should be noted that Britomart, which is located in downtown Auckland is the primary transport hub in the city. Therefore, those who want to see where the buses and trains come and go should start here. Meanwhile, those who will take a ferry can also go to the mentioned destination where the boats arrive and depart. It only takes about two minutes of walking from Britomart to reach the ferries.
As for buses and trains, the stations have facilities for parking and riding. Some departure points for ferries also have the same facilities.
Auckland is proud to provide a world-class education for students of all ages. The city offers a supportive learning environment for everyone, starting from the younger generation to adults. Auckland has well over 400 schools, along with tertiary institutes. The city has three universities and several vocational training organisations.
Auckland remains as one of the top 20 cities in the world where students can get the best university education. For younger people, the city has more than 1,200 education options for children, including kindergartens. With such numbers, it is no wonder that Auckland is considered the most educated place in the country. It has 37% of the adult population with at least a bachelor’s degree.
In the urban area, there are approximately 340 primary schools, plus 80 secondary schools. As of February 2012, there have been almost 30 composite schools in the city. Nearly 250,000 people are studying in Auckland. Most schools are designated as state educational institutions with 63 of them as state-integrated. Meanwhile, 39 are private schools.
Auckland City has some of the most famous schools in the entire country. One is Rangitoto College, which is situated in the East Coast Bays area. It is currently the largest school in New Zealand and has more than 3,200 students.
Auckland is a peaceful city with many families choosing to move here for some specific reasons. For others, it is because they have to move for work. Others believe that it is the city where they belong. In Auckland, there are some employment opportunities, which make it easy for new residents to find a job.
The pressure of landing a job in a foreign country has immense pressure. If you have extensive experience in information technology, healthy, and accounting, you will discover that it is much easier to find work within these industries.
Most jobs in the city, as well as in the nearby parts of the country, require a job seeker to be proficient in both written and spoken English. A few positions may also need academic qualifications, which should be on par with the standards of the country.
Work visa eligibility depends on a variety of factors, including whether or not a person’s skills match the current necessity in the job market. Other factors are age, educational background, prior work experience, and others. To get a work visa, it is important to be prepared with all the needed documents before handing the requirements. Often, incomplete submissions will only result in delayed approval.
Cost of Living
One of the best traits of Auckland is that it offers affordable prices on homes. For those planning to purchase a property, they will see that it is mostly inexpensive in the city, compared to other big places, such as London and Melbourne.
The cost of living is not very high. In deciding whether to purchase a property or to rent one, a big consideration is the number of people who will share the house with you. It also helps to evaluate the length of your stay. Planning is necessary, whether you want to have your own house or just rent. The whole procedure can take at least three weeks, sometimes more than a month. Plus, you should expect to pay at least a million dollars.
The property rental market is thriving. There are numerous options available and many of them are affordable. Currently, the monthly rent is from $2,130+ to $2,700, which can be common for apartments. The location of the property can also affect the houses. If you are on a budget, it makes sense to opt for the area with lower prices on homes.
Living costs in Auckland can take you by surprise, especially if you have been thinking that this city is an expensive place to live in. It is not hard to think that way because it is an emerging city that continues to grow rapidly. Auckland also has a cosmopolitan hub that is vibrant and successful. These qualities alone make the city one of the most liveable places in the world.
Compared to Sydney, London, Singapore, New York, and Hong Kong, the cost of living in Auckland is much cheaper. It should be noted that some areas in the city are more expensive than others. Therefore, it is safe to say that the cost of living depends on the place where you choose to live. Your lifestyle can also affect your total expenses while in the city.
As with other cities, you need to work to get paid. In Auckland, most of the wages and salaries are paid directly and sent to the bank account of the employee. There is an income tax, which is based on the income level of the person.
Taxes are not a subject that most people would like to talk about. However, the New Zealand tax system offers a favourable environment for taxes and each individual’s assets and income. On the other hand, the goods and services tax (GST) applies to almost all products and services. The government imposes a 15% tax to several goods, including imported ones.
Neighbourhoods and Suburbs
Auckland has a number of suburbs, including Eden-Albert, Western Bays, Eastern Bays, and Hobson. The inner suburbs are among the sites that locals guarantee that visitors will have a great time. Mt. Eden exists here in which people can climb the volcanic cone. This suburb also has numerous shopping options for those who want to add a few items to their collection.
Some of the areas in the inner suburbs are Newmarket, Mt. Eden, Parnell, and Ponsonby. In the North Shore, the suburbs include Takapuna, Milford, Devonport, and Hillcrest. Devonport is situated at the southernmost part of the North Shore and is known as one of the oldest settlements in the city.
Right in the East is Mission Bay, along with Kohimarama, Orakei, and Saint Heliers. These areas are among the thriving neighbourhoods in Auckland with Mission Bay as a popular hotspot for tourists.
In the West, the neighbourhoods include Mount Albert, New Windsor, Waterview, and Western Springs. It is also where Kingsland is located, which is part of central Auckland and is known for its vibrant cafes and stylish restaurants.
With numerous things to offer, Auckland is indeed one of the best places to live not only in New Zealand but the rest of the world.