We've put together the ultimate moving to Auckland guide for anyone interested in, or moving to, the City of Sales from overseas or other parts of New Zealand!
Boldly stretching between two harbours and dotted with 50 or so volcanoes (great for your vegie garden) plus a bordering rainforest, Auckland really is a city like no other. Aptly nicknamed the City of Sails, the vast array of sparkly waters beckoning from almost every viewpoint make it the perfect playground for boaties and water-lovers alike.
Auckland has long been known as Tamaki Makaurau – the spouse desired by a hundred lovers. Pretty saucy stuff! All who saw it for its fertile volcanic slopes, sheltered fishing sites and access to the greatest waterway in New Zealand, the Waikato River, desired it.
These days there’s plenty more to add to the appeal and is frequently ranked within the world’s Top 20 most liveable cities. Growing in size and stature, Auckland offers international attributes while retaining local untouched beauty. If you ever wanted the best of both worlds, then moving to Auckland might just be the ticket!
In 2010 Auckland’s four official cities became one supercity, managed by Auckland Council. This new structure is ensuring a unified approach to services, making it easier to get things done. But local areas still have their own personality – so consider a visit to one of the local libraries, shopping villages or community centres to get a feel for that local flavour and sense of community spirit.
Get ready for glorious warmth, backyard BBQ’s, sport and summertime swimming. The average daily temperature in Auckland during the summer is 23°C (74°F). While winter temperatures are on average 14°C (57°F). Auckland is one of New Zealand sunniest regions with 2060 annual sunshine hours. The region is also very lush, with a mean annual rainfall of 1240mm. Due to the changeable Auckland weather conditions, it is recommended that you prepare for 'four seasons in one day'.
Auckland hosts around 1.5 million, which makes up about a third of New Zealand’s population. Auckland’s cultural diversity began with the first Māori waka (canoes) and colonial ships, and has since attracted people of many cultures from far and wide.
Today, Auckland is the world's largest Polynesian city and one of the great cities of the Pacific. Aucklanders come from all corners of the world – around 56% of its residents are of European descent, 11% are Maori, 13% are of Pacific Island descent and there is a growing Asian population of around 12%. One of the things that is so special for anyone moving to Auckland is the vibrant and alluring mosaic of cultures. The colours and flavours of diversity boom here!
There’s a number of public transportation options such as ferries, buses, trains and taxis, and the city’s Auckland Transport website is helpful when planning specific public transportation routes. However, owning a car is the easiest and most convenient means of negotiating your way around the city.
MovingPros tip! Auckland is big. Huge. Google maps is your best friend and regularly checking the tyre pressures in your car will improve your mileage considerably.
Auckland has a large number of schools and tertiary institutions, including some of the largest universities in the country. Established in 1883, The University of Auckland is ranked #1 in NZ for graduate employability.
There are 55 libraries and membership is free to everyone living in Auckland. Every library provides free computer, internet and Wi-Fi access, with computer training available for people of all ages. Auckland Libraries has something for everyone, from children’s story times to book clubs, cultural celebrations, adult learning opportunities and homework help for teenagers.
Almost half of New Zealand lives and works in or near greater Auckland, so there are jobs in most industries. Most public businesses in New Zealand are headquartered in Auckland, whereas government departments tend to have their central headquarters in Wellington.
There’s always something going on for folks moving to Auckland. You can head around the world without leaving home. Cultural festivals to internationally acclaimed stage shows and live performances, Auckland is a celebration of all the foods, languages, histories and traditions of people with different backgrounds who are happy to share their culture and come together. Some may say, “These celebrations of culture and religion have become an important way to learn how we can transform living with diversity from the superficial 'I eat ethnic food', to something dignified, mutually respectful and worthwhile.”
Boutique or bargain, central city boasts a shopping mecca that satisfies a shoestring or a splurge budget. Britomart is the new kid in town and home to shops like Tiffany & Co, Trelise Cooper, M.A.C Cosmetics and more. Go vintage at Tango on High Street or check out iconic Karangahape Road. A diverse and unique mix of cultures and fashion - and with their stores and workrooms based on the iconic strip, these designers celebrate their surrounds with some of the most directional fashion designed in New Zealand today. A variety of malls and local shops can be explored in the outer suburbs.
Auckland is a foodie's delight. The food here is dangerously good. Venture out compass and review free, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Ponsonby Central alone can solve your ‘what to have tonight’ food dilemma. Keen for a Thai take out? Take your pick. Looking to impress? Downtown is your place. Satisfy your inner vegan one day at Little Bird Organics, then release the carnivore the next at the delicious Jervois Steakhouse. There’s always something to match your mood and eating preference.
MovingPros tip! Grab an Auckland Entertainment Book for stacks on stacks of money saving offers.
Why not venture out into the suburbs and stroll the Otara markets in the weekend? It’s a mix of all of Auckland's cultures, offering authentic food and fresh produce, clothing, Pacifica treasures, flowers, arts and crafts and more. The energy here makes you feel good to be alive. Great food and aromas, live music and cultural performances from time to time, it’s a Nano tour of the Pacific in an hour! Or go a little European and pick up some local fresh produce and cheese from La Cigale Markets.
The city of sails hosts many fun attractions and well-known landmarks. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline pumping adventure, roller coaster rides, a food and wine tour or a relaxing day out, you will find something to suit any age, interest and budget in Auckland. Auckland has volcanos. Real volcanos. That’s not all, it has sharks and penguins too. Oh, and the tallest free-standing building in the Southern Hemisphere. The largest city in New Zealand has it all – a casino, farms, theme and leisure parks, urban and scenic attractions, zoos, an aquarium, eateries and cafes galore, spa resorts and even thermal hot pools. It’s certainly safe to say that this grand city has a huge swag of attractions based around its 2 very large harbours.
Smack bang in the heart of Auckland’s CBD you’ll find the iconic Sky Tower. Check out views of Viaduct Harbour filled with superyachts and take in sweeping 360 degree sights of Auckland. Sky Tower is a world class entertainment complex featuring two hotels, a Casino, over 20 bars and restaurants and a 700 seat theatre.
Also in the heart of Auckland city is the Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park. Auckland Domain is a tranquil oasis set amongst an urban big city environment. This grand landmark is based around an extinct volcano and home to the formal Wintergardens. The Auckland War Memorial Museum is a good 'time-out' place to absorb a bit of culture and provide a mental break! Built in 1929, the Auckland Museum is fondly considered one of New Zealand’s finest heritage buildings. The Museum tells the story of New Zealand, its place in the Pacific and its people. The Museum is a war memorial for the province of Auckland and holds one of New Zealand's top three heritage libraries. It has pre-eminent Māori and Pacific collections, significant natural history resources and major social and military history collections, as well as decorative arts and pictorial collections. There’s also plenty of hands on and interactive fun to keep the whole family entertained.
Immerse yourself in art and culture at the Auckland Art Gallery. It’s said that with multiple exhibition spaces spreading across three levels of our award-winning building, Auckland Art Gallery is the largest and most inspiring visual arts experience in Aotearoa New Zealand. And best of all, It’s free!
Near Downtown, Mission Bay Beach has a seaside promenade that is a popular spot for some traditional kiwi ‘fush n chups’ or a wander with an ice-cream.
Auckland is not just about what’s on land either, there’s a fascinating world on the water that’s dotted with over 50 islands. Choose between Waiheke, Motuihe, the infamously shaped Rangitoto, or journey a little further to Tiritiri Matangi, Kawau or Great Barrier. Discover the most incredible vineyards on a wine tour on Waiheke or hire a bike for a ride around the island.
Auckland Zoo is home to over 126 species and over 1,000 animals. With special events, exhibitions and animal encounters, Auckland Zoo is constantly changing and a fun day out for both families and couples.
At Butterfly Creek see the tropical butterfly house, Dinosaur Kingdom, meet Scar and Goldie - NZ's only salt water crocodiles, farm animals, alligators, bugs, monkeys and a bird aviary. Enjoy a fun and educational experience at this unique attraction.
In Auckland, families enjoy free and excellent playgrounds. Point Chevalier, Birkenhead, New Lynn, Okahu - they're worth venturing around and give you that "this is why we live here" feeling watching your kids out playing in the sun.
If nature is your thing, take a stroll across the rolling green farmlands or a trek through a dense native rainforest. In fact, Auckland is one of the only places in the world where rainforest exists outside of the tropics.
From short walks to day walks, Auckland has some amazing walking tracks. There are few places in the world where one can walk from one ocean to another. In just four hours, this unique coast to coast walkway takes you from the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea through a huge variety of landscapes, from the city to the suburbs, urban parks and volcano cones.
You’ll be spoilt for choice with so many beautiful beaches waiting to be explored. Relax under the shade of a sprawling pohutukawa tree, or go swimming, surfing, kayaking, snorkelling or diving in one of the many beaches ranging from Auckland's North Shore to the Eastern bays.
Head to the unique black sands on the West Coast and visit Muriwai Beach to see the clifftop gannet colonies, walk from the cosy Te Henga (Bethells Beach) to the enormous sand dunes at Lake Wainamu, or bring your board to Piha Beach, a popular surf and picnic spot watched over by majestic Lion Rock. Magnificent Karekare Beach's more secluded shores were made famous as the backdrop for the Oscar winning film The Piano.
With a genuine cosmopolitan flavour, Auckland has a great sense of civic pride. Some would say that Auckland has everything to offer. Others would say what’s even better, is having everything a big city has to offer, along with everything a small town can too.
“Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day.”