New Zealand is home to nearly 5 million people. The country is not limited to major cities – Auckland, Christchurch and the capital – Wellington. Here you can find small, cosy and, most importantly, no less developed cities where people move to study, work and immigration.
Kiwi Education founder Denis Vlasin shared his personal rating of the attractiveness of cities for living in New Zealand. This is a subjective assessment based on personal preference. A detailed description of all the main cities of the country can be found here.
10th PLACE – DUNEDIN
South Island. Population 104,500
Dunedin is the most Scottish city outside of Scotland. The city is located on the South Island in the Otago region and is surrounded by incredibly beautiful nature: rolling valleys, forests, fields, and incredible beaches. There are mountains for skiing in the vicinity. The climate here is quite cool, especially the ocean water temperature – in summer up to +15 C and in winter up to +8 C. The air temperature in summer is +17 C, in winter +10 C.
At the same time, Dunedin is the most architecturally beautiful city in New Zealand at the moment. Historical buildings such as the railway station building, Knox Church, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the City Hall, as well as modern street art and cosy streets create a very unusual and pleasant atmosphere.
One of the city’s attractions is Baldwin street, which is listed in the Guinness Book for its steepness.
It is a city of students. There are 2 large universities in Dunedin – the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic. Thanks to their students, they form almost half of the city’s population. Therefore, the city has a cool student atmosphere, many cafes, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, as well as a variety of events: festivals, music shows, and so on.
It is obvious that students in Dunedin spend very bright years of their lives, which will remain in memory forever.
9th PLACE – NELSON
South Island. Population 49,300
Nelson is the pearl of the South Island. Of all the cities on the island, Nelson is perhaps the most atypical in the region. Green mountains and hills, bright sandy beaches and the incredibly azure waters of the Tasman Sea, where you must ride sea kayaks. It is one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand and the warmest city in the South Island. Our people often compare it in terms of climate and nature with the Crimea.
The city is quite small, it lives off a large port, forests and agriculture, as well as tourism. When you come to Nelson, after a while you begin to understand the difference in attitudes towards the way of life between Russians, for example, and New Zealanders. Kiwis are more prone to leisure, comfort and a relaxed lifestyle, as well as a pleasant pastime in nature.
8th PLACE – HAMILTON
North Island. Population 169,300
Hamilton is located not on the sea coast, but only in 40 minutes by car to the nearest beach and the Mecca of surfers from all over the world – Raglan. This is good news. In addition, the country’s largest river, Waikato, flows through the city, which makes the region fresh and green all year round. New Zealanders always pay a lot of attention to a comfortable urban environment: the city has a large number of cosy parks and tracks.
The main attraction of the city is considered to be the local botanical gardens, divided into theme parks and representing the flora of different regions of the world. You must definitely visit this place.
Hamilton is conveniently located as a transport hub (only an hour and a half drive to Auckland), nearby the beautiful and inviting beaches of Tauranga, active pastime in Rotorua and Lake Taupo. It is also one of the most promising and fastest growing regions in the country, so it definitely deserves attention.
7th PLACE – ROTORUA
North Island. Population 54,500
Rotorua is a city of active sports and entertainment, as well as Maori culture and beautiful lakes. In the city, you can enjoy delicious food in cosy local establishments, ride a bike or walk in the incredibly beautiful Red Woods forest, take a natural SPA and relax in hot springs, as well as go kayaking on the lakes. In general, there is everything for an active or relaxing holiday.
There is also work for people since, in addition to tourism in the city, many people are engaged in logging and agriculture. Great place for family life on a farm.
True, due to geothermal activity, when entering the city, a pungent smell of hydrogen sulfide rushes into the nose. Surprisingly, the body quickly gets used to it and ceases to pay attention to it, so the local does not interfere with living.
6th PLACE – NAPIER & HASTINGS
North Island. Population 62,800 and 45,000
Napier and Hastings are 2 cities, but in fact, they are neighbours and are not far from each other. The region has a very sunny and pleasant climate, which is why Napier and Hastings are primarily famous for their wineries. There are 72 wineries with their own vineyards. According to many experts, the New Zealand Sauvignon is considered one of the best in the world. The region also has a port and well-developed agriculture.
Napier has a very beautiful Art Deco centre and a pleasant promenade with a pebble beach. It is important to note that it is impossible to swim in Napier because of the strong currents, but it is nice to just sit on the shore. There are beaches and waterfalls for swimming in the vicinity, and a very beautiful road leads to them. By the way, there is also one of our favourite places – Te Mata Peak, with a mesmerising 360-degree panorama.
5th PLACE – WELLINGTON
North Island. Population 363,300
New Zealand’s capital Wellington starts the top five. The city was recognised by international magazines as the coolest small capital in the world. Indeed, this is one of the few places where there is a city atmosphere. People here are also different, they dress better, spend more time in cosy local bars and restaurants, attend a lot of events, concerts, exhibitions and museums. In other words, it is not only the actual but also the cultural capital of New Zealand. But there is also a minus – frequent and strong wind, but you can get used to this climate too. In sunny weather, hilly Wellington is beautiful, especially its waterfront.
The capital is home to the government, Peter Jackson and his studio Weta Digital, James Cameron, as well as many headquarters of large companies. In general, it is a real city, relatively small, surrounded by beautiful nature.
4th PLACE – QUEENSTOWN & WANAKA
South Island. Population 41,700
Queenstown is the capital of extreme sports in New Zealand and the only city in the country that does not know days off and never sleeps. Ski resort in winter, mountain bike Mecca during the rest of the year, breathtaking beauty of nature – all this attracts millions of tourists to the region every year. Perhaps, in the beauty of nature, in our opinion, no city can be compared with Queenstown.
Wanaka is a small neighbouring town by the lake of the same name in 40 minutes drive through a picturesque pass. This is a place for downhill skiing, cycling, kayaking, jogging and trekking in the mountains. It is also one of the main places of power. The energy of this area pervades because of the Southern Alps and the incredible scenery.
3rd PLACE – AUCKLAND
North Island. Population 1,467,800
The bronze medalist is Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand. From the last fact, both all its advantages and disadvantages follow. A lot of people, work, traffic, traffic jams. But at the same time, you can find residential areas here that will satisfy the needs of almost any person: more active, crowded, multi-storey, and peaceful, quiet and green on the shore of a lake or ocean. The city’s landmark is the Sky Tower, which rises 328 meters from the ground and is the tallest free-standing building in the Southern Hemisphere.
Nature in Auckland itself and its surroundings also pleases with a comfortable climate and beauty. There are the spontaneous and turbulent waters of the Tasmanian Sea, with beautiful West Coast beaches and black sand, and the East Coast, with light beaches and azure waters of the Pacific Ocean.
2nd PLACE – CHRISTCHURCH
South Island. Population 377,200
Silver goes to Christchurch – the most English city outside England. The city is now recovering from the devastating earthquakes of 2010-2012 and will soon become the most attractive and modern place to live in New Zealand. At least it has everything you need for this: the atmosphere of the city, history and surviving architecture, a comfortable urban environment, beaches for surfing, mountains for skiing, beautiful nature around, as well as a decent ratio of income to expenses.
Unlike Auckland or Wellington, Christchurch is located not on the hills, but on the flatland, which makes it an ideal city for cycling.
1st PLACE – TAURANGA
North Island. Population 135,000
The city of Tauranga and, in particular, our favourite places Mount Maunganui and Papamoa are awarded the 1st place.
Golden beach, cosy clean streets, parks, warm climate – this is exactly what is needed for those who love the ocean and comfort. There is always work for good specialists, because in addition to tourism and agriculture, the city has the largest port in the country in terms of cargo turnover, and therefore everything that comes from this business area.
There are many people who leave Tauranga and move to other cities, but many more who move from other places to Tauranga due to its climate, sun, location and pleasant lifestyle, which is promoted by this ideal place, in our opinion.
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