Thinking of moving to Auckland? We don’t blame you.
It’s brimming with natural beauty and friendly locals, and it was ranked the 8th most liveable city in the world in 2017. (Plus, they have a toast café.) What’s not to love about New Zealand’s largest city?
Well, there might be a couple of things. But we’ll get to that.
Before you hightail it to the North Island, read up on the pros and cons of living in Auckland.
Living in Auckland: Pros and Cons
They say you’ve gotta take the bad with the good. Lucky Auckland has plenty of good to outweigh the unsavoury side of the city.
Pro: It has postcard-perfect landscapes
It goes without saying that Auckland boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. But we’ll say it anyway: this place is epically stunning. If you’re into outdoor activities like swimming in the surf or hiking in the mountains – or if you’re just a fan of a good view – Auckland offers endless opportunities to marvel at Mother Nature.
Con: The weather can be unpredictable
Just like Melbourne across the ditch, Auckland is known to experience 4 seasons in one day. Locals have learned to live with it, opting for layers and arming themselves with a brolly, but it can be a bit of a downer when you’re not used to it. Auckland experiences a lot more sunshine than rain, though, and it’s warmer in winter than it is down south.
Pro: It has a laidback lifestyle
Despite being the biggest city in the country, Auckland maintains a pretty laidback lifestyle. It’s less crowded than a lot of other major cities around the world, and the locals have a friendly feel about them. You can expect a relaxed lifestyle and work-life balance.
Con: Housing is expensive
Living in Auckland isn’t cheap, especially if you want to buy a house. In fact, research reveals Auckland has the fifth-least-affordable houses in the world. So if you’re looking to buy, start saving now! In fact, the cost of living in Auckland in general is known to be a little on the high side compared to Wellington.
Pro: The food is amazing
With world-class seafood, lamb, wines, and cheeses at your fingertips, you’ll never eat a bad meal in Auckland. The café and restaurant scene is thriving, making Auckland a top spot for foodies.
Best Auckland Suburbs to Live In
If you’re wondering where to live in Auckland, this stunning city offers an array of suburbs to suit everyone’s tastes. These are some of our picks for the best places to live in Auckland.
Family-friendly but far from boring, Takapuna gives you a great combination of city and sea. This coastal suburb is home to a popular beach, shops, restaurants, and the Takapuna Grammar School. It also offers plenty of parks and play areas.
If you want front-row seats to trendy bars, cafés, live music, and boutiques, Ponsonby is sure to increase your cool cred in no time. Just a 10-minute drive from the CBD, this hip suburb is perfect for anyone who thrives on a lively social scene.
Another trendy little spot, Parnell is the city’s oldest neighbourhood, and this is reflected in its quaint old-time village appearance. Parnell is just minutes from the CBD yet offers a quiet, sleepy feel away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Dotted with boutiques and cafés, this upmarket suburb can be a bit pricey to buy in – but the beautiful surroundings and lifestyle make it worth it.
Auckland’s Dining Scene
As one of New Zealand’s favourite gourmet destinations, locals and visitors alike can look forward to the exciting flavours of Auckland. These are some of our favourite spots for tasty dishes.
Not sure what you’re in the mood for? Take a wander around Viaduct Harbour and you’re sure to find something you like. With over 20 bars, cafés, and restaurants to choose from, you can have your fill of fresh seafood, authentic French fare, your favourite pub meals, and more.
City Works Depot
The funky industrial-chic aesthetic isn’t all we love about this foodie hotspot. Pull up a chair at some of the coolest cafés and eateries in the city, or visit the local brewery for a cold one and some wood-fired pizza. Take your date or make a night of it with the whole gang – City Works Depot has something for everyone.
This bohemian residential suburb doubles as a popular dining destination providing hungry locals with everything from 5-star dining to cheap eats. Whether you’re craving Japanese, Italian, or slow-cooked BBQ, you’ll find it here.
Culture in Auckland
There’s more to Auckland than great food and fancy boats, y’know. It also has a pretty great arts and culture scene, making it easy to find entertainment any day of the week.
The Auckland Performing Arts Centre
The city’s most popular performing arts venue, The Auckland Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC) provides a full calendar of exciting shows for the community to enjoy. You can look forward to events across dance, circus, musical theatre, and more. It’s also host to the annual Fringe Festival, a must-see for your yearly culture fix.
Auckland Art Gallery
Not to brag, but the Auckland Art Gallery is the largest art institution in New Zealand. Hosting paintings, sculptures, and prints from local and international artists, this is your go-to spot to expand your cultural horizons and inspire ideas and conversations. Along with exhibitions, the Auckland Art Gallery offers educational programs for the whole family.
If you picture snow-capped mountains at the mention of New Zealand, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear Auckland welcomes a warm coastal climate without any extremes of temperature. Though it’s one of New Zealand’s sunniest regions, the weather is known to shift without warning – but you can be prepared for anything with these tips.
Warm and humid, summer in Auckland calls for sunscreen and a raincoat – just in case. The average temperature for summer is around 23°C, making it a pretty pleasant season in the city.
With temperatures ranging from 11°C to 23°C, autumn in Auckland is the perfect time to enjoy long, sunny days outdoors with beautiful orange leaves.
Mild and damp, winter welcomes an average temperature of around 14°C. Snowfall in Auckland is extremely rare, so if you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the white stuff, head to the South Island or higher altitudes in the North Island.
Spring in Auckland brings lush greenery, colourful flowers, and ‘waterfall season’, with temperatures ranging from 4°C to 18°C.
Getting Around Auckland
Auckland offers plenty of public transport services that are affordable and easy to use, so you can leave the car at home.
Auckland’s bus services are convenient and extensive, a great option for around the city and outer suburbs. If you’re a public transport regular, a prepaid AT HOP card is a must for use on buses, ferries, and trains.
Travelling the CBD quickly and comfortably is simple with the Auckland train service. It offers over 3,000 services every week, running regularly all over the city and outer suburbs.
If you want to pop across the harbour and explore nearby islands, the ferry can get you there in a flash. Ferries have been a part of Auckland’s culture for over 150 years, making a ferry ride a must for all locals and visitors.
Wherever you are in Auckland, there’s sure to be a taxi nearby. You can find them in taxi ranks in busy spots like shopping centres, or order one by phone or online.