Popular Expat Locations in New Zealand

New Zealand has a wide multicultural society with many expats moving to the country from all over the world. In addition to this, the country lies around 1500 Km to the east of Australia and the culture has been influenced by the native Maoris who were the first people to reside in the country.

The Maori culture had a very different way of living, arts and tribes and some the traditional values and culture still exist within the residents of New Zealand.  The Maori religion is a pagan religion where the religious people worship different gods but with the other people coming from other countries there is now a wide range of communities and religions which are practised.

There are around 50% of Christians with different churches recognised from Anglican, Baptists and Roman Catholics. Other Non Christian religions include Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Paganism.

The welcoming approach from the country has encouraged expats to move here to create a new life with their family and majority of the expats are attracted by the opportunities there are in the cities. Auckland is a popular location where people move to, making it one of the highest ranking in the pacific area and other well-liked cities include Wellington and Christchurch.

On the northern and eastern parts of the North Island, expats will find sandy beaches with lots of swimmers and activities to take part in. It is quite similar on the South Island but the southern beaches are wild compared to the northern beaches. In addition to this there is a mountain range ‘Southern Alps’ which attracts many tourists.

With the stable property prices, education and tax systems expats won’t find it difficult residing in this country and the citizens are happy with their life and facilities that are provided by the local communities. New Zealand is a great place to move to for those individuals who enjoy the outdoor lifestyle with opportunities to take part in different activities, festivals and sports. This expats guide will assist you in making the big move abroad.

The climates on the islands of New Zealand are reasonable due to the seas around them as well as the mountains. Although, there is a lot of rainfall and sunshine

The seasons vary where spring is from September to October, summer is from December to February, autumn is from March to May and winter is June to August. Expats will find that the temperatures are lower the further south you go and the weather in the south is quite mild all year. There is also a high level of rainfall throughout the year with a dry period in the summer months and the average temperature ranges between 20 – 30ºC in summer and in winter between 10 – 15ºC.

The country has experienced recurrent earthquakes due to the country being located along the Pacific ring of fire and most of the earthquakes are weak so won’t be felt.

Some of the popular cities that expats move to are: Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, below is some more information about these popular cities to give you an insight on the area.


Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city in New Zealand which is home to 1.4 million residents. Expats move to this city because of the professional opportunities that are available as well as the varied activities to take part in, many tourist sites/attractions and the beautiful scenery. The city has a diverse mix of modern lifestyle, economic vibrancy and multi cultural society for expats to enjoy.

The city is also known as ‘The city of Sails’ for the reason of the large number of yachts which sail between the harbours – Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean and Manukau Harbour on the Tasmanian Sea. In addition to this the city is made up of four areas: Auckland city which is in the centre and joins up to the north shore on the Northland Peninsula, Waitakere city is on the west and then the Manukau City makes up the southern part of the city.

Any expatriates who are moving to Auckland can enjoy the enriching activities all year round and festivals that are held. There are many attractions that you can visit including a range of museums, art galleries and Auckland Domain Park.

With around 1.5 million residents the city has a mix of ethnicities and cultures which include European, Maori and Asian cultures. Most of this population was born abroad and moved to the city for a better lifestyle.

Auckland is the most expensive city for properties and accommodation but there is a selection of living options. The properties near the beach fronts are more expensive to those which are further than the shores; regardless of this the salaries are generally higher than other cities in the country.

With the different types of public transport expats are able to get around the city without any difficulty, there are trains and city bus routes available for a cheaper option and for those who don’t want to get stuck in traffic.  Many expats however do prefer to have their own car and the road system is maintained.

Expats moving to the city with their families will be thinking of education and school options for their children and a benefit of moving to Auckland is that it is home to some of the largest schools and universities in the country and there is a mix of primary, secondary school available.

Employment opportunities in Auckland are accessible for expats within International and local companies, however it is generally recommended to search for employment before moving to the country, this will make it much easier for expats to get a visa to move to the country by having a sponsor from a company. The residents working here have a high level of income compared to other cities which makes it a top destination for work but you will still be paying higher rents and higher house prices. The government usually puts out jobs for skilled works in areas to fill job positions within companies if they are unable to find residents who have the job skills needed. The sectors that skilled workers are required are in tourism, insurance and finance systems.


Auckland has a subtropical climate so in the summer months expats will enjoy warm and humid weather and in the winter it will be mild. It is one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand and temperatures reach up to 20 centigrade. January is usually the hottest month with temperatures being around 20°C and the coldest is July with temperatures ranging from 11°C. July also is the wettest month due to the amount of rainfall in the month. In the summer month’s expats should be prepared for heat and humidity causing the days and nights to be sticky

Popular Tourist Attractions in Auckland

  1. Sky Tower
  2. Waiheke Island
  3. Rangitoto Island
  4. Waitemata Harbour
  5. Auckland War Memorial Museum
  6. Auckland Domain


Wellington – the capital of New Zealand and the second popular urban area which is on the southern of the North Island. The urban area of Wellington has four cities: Wellington City, Porirua, Lower Hutt and Upper Hut. Wellington city is between Wellington Harbour and about half of the population reside here due to the business district. Wellington is a great place to live with affordable housing and properties available for expats to invest in; there are also a great number of jobs with big companies and the government.

The city is recognized as being energetic and creative with the outdoor lifestyle, native beauty and harbour side setting in the midst of many bars, cafes and restaurants to visit. It is home to 400,000 residents and many attraction sites, museums and galleries are here for people to visit. As well as this the film productions and technology sectors have built a good status in this part of New Zealand.

Expats moving here will discover that there are a variety of things to do, from mountain biking, relaxing at the beach, kayaking and walking around the harbour. In addition to this the nightlife in Wellington is well known for its trendy cocktail bars and an entertainment district providing live music, Irish pubs and dance clubs. It is said that Wellington has more dining areas than New York.

The work life in Wellington may be different from your home country as it is quite relaxed but professional and has an equal treatment for all. Whether you are transferring from another country or have found work to move here, you will easily be able to adjust to the Wellington life. For those expats who have not found work there are different recruitment agencies which can assist you in finding employment in IT, financial and other high professional career services.

Many individuals prefer to have their own private transport because of the well maintained roads and parking options that are available. However if you don’t drive there are other ways using public transport to get around which run regularly, but most people choose to travel by cycling or even by walking.

Whether you are moving with your children or coming to study in the country, it is important to consider the education for children. Wellington has many of the best schools, private training institutions and two of the main universities in this city are ranked in the QS world rankings of being in the top 500.


The weather in Wellington is quite mild and humid with a pleasant marine climate and a lot of wind. From the months of October to April the temperature ranges from 17°C and 21°C with February being the hottest month. Winter is quite short and the coldest month is in July with temperatures being around 10°C with occasional frosts. Wellington is identified as being quite windy in the winter so it does make it feel much colder than it is.

Popular tourist attractions in Wellington

  1. Wellington Cable Car and Kelbrun lookout
  2. Museum of New Zealand
  3. Museum of Wellington City & Sea
  4. The Beehive
  5. Wellington Botanic Gardens
  6. Zealandia


Christchurch is the second largest city in New Zealand which offers a unique vibe with many outdoor activities and natural scenery as well as an English heritage. This city is located on the south east coast of the island and in 2011 there was a devastating earthquake which killed over 100 people and destroyed the city. Many of the residents here are mainly European New Zealanders but it is also home to Maori, Asian and Pacific Islander communities.  As well as this the city has a coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the estuaries of two rivers: Avon and Heath cote.

‘Garden City’ is the nickname of Christchurch due to its botanic gardens and central park, in addition to this many services are subsidised by the government including the healthcare services and most tourism industries are well developed with a many popular attractions.

The economy in Christchurch is based on agriculture and Industry amongst a country side with some of the biggest farms. As well as this there are software businesses, national and international companies, local businesses and smaller corporations. Majority of the expats moving here work in senior, technical and practical positions in industrial or agriculture sectors. There are also a variety of ski resorts and national parks in the Southern Alps. Other tourist attractions include wildlife parks, art galleries and museums.

The healthcare system is funded through taxation and you should be living in Christchurch on a work permit for two years before you are permitted access to this. However, expats can sign up to public health organisation or can take out private medical care.

Christchurch has a great education system for families moving to the city and you may be required to pay some school fees to admit your child into a public school. For expat students moving here there are three main universities in the city which they can attend.


The climate in Christchurch varies from the other cities in New Zealand and expats will need to adjust to the temperatures. There is a mild temperature all the way through the year and you will find moderate rainfall. January is the warmest month with temperatures around 17.5°C – 22.5°C. Those who are living near the city centre will discover that it is warmer than those who are on the coast. July is the coldest month of the year with temperatures ranging from 6.6 C – 1.9°C. Rainfall is expected throughout the year but you July will have the most rain.

Popular Tourist Attractions in Christchurch

  1. International Antarctic Centre
  2. Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
  3. Orana Wildlife Park
  4. Tranz alpine
  5. Canterbury Museum
  6. Christchurch Botanic Gardens