Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, regularly ranks highly on the list of the world’s most livable cities, making it the perfect destination for expats. With a population below the two million mark, Auckland is a comfortably large city, without being intimidatingly so.
Any expatriates who are considering moving to Auckland will find the cultural and leisure activities on offer in New Zealand’s most populous city very advantageous. The city plays host to a wealth of festivals every year, including the Auckland Festival, The New Zealand International Comedy Festival, and the New Zealand International Film Festival.
There are also a huge range of museums and art galleries to suit every taste, from the Auckland War Memorial Museum, to the Auckland Art Gallery, which houses over 15,000 works of art. The Museum of Transport and Technology is also popular, while the city also regularly hosts the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
Parks are also a big draw for the Auckland community, with Auckland Domain one of the city’s largest. Not only does it offer visitors beautiful views over Rangitoto Island, it is also located close to the Auckland CBD, making it a hotspot for office workers to relax in on their lunch break or after work.
Playing and watching sport is another major pastime in Auckland. Rugby Union and cricket are particularly popular in Auckland, and there are a large number of rugby and cricket grounds within the city. Tennis, netball, and football are also popular in the city and there are many opportunities to both watch and participate in all of these sports. Eden Park is the city’s biggest sports stadium and regularly plays host to rugby union and cricket matches, among other sports.
Although railway lines and trams used to dominate the city of Auckland and were one of the main reasons for the city’s rapid expansion in the early part of the 20th century, most Aucklanders nowadays do choose to travel privately, in their own vehicles. The road system in Auckland is therefore well maintained and has all the necessary infrastructure for frequents car users.
However, there are several public transport options for expatriates who don’t want to get stuck in traffic and are looking for a cheaper way to travel. Trains in the city operate across four separate lines, which service CBD, and west, south and southeast Auckland. There are also a number of cross-city bus routes in operation, though late night travel by bus is limited throughout the city.
In terms of national and international travel, Auckland airport is the busiest airport in the country, and for those wishing to travel overseas, the airport offers passengers frequent flights to Australia, as well as connections to many countries that are further afield, such as the United States, South America, and many parts of Asia.
As a coastal city, Auckland is also home to the second largest port in the country, and it is possible for expats to get ferry services from Auckland CBD to the surrounding islands off of the coast of the country, as well as sailing their own private boats around the stunning coastline.
Although Auckland is in many ways a car friendly city, the reliance of most of the people in the city on their own vehicles has caused a major congestion problem, particularly during rush hour. Many protest have also been made that the city is decidedly unfriendly to cyclists and pedestrians; something that the government is seeking to change with major investment in the public transport infrastructure, including bus services and new train lines.
If you are considering moving your family to Auckland, one of the most important things to consider is the education of your children. Auckland is the home of some of the largest schools and universities in the country, with one of its biggest secondary schools being Rangitoto College, which is located on the North Shore of the city.
Auckland has a diverse mix of primary, secondary, and composite schools, which are a combination of the two, as well as a range of highly respected universities, which attract a large number of foreign students every year, as well as the children of settled expatriates.
The main universities in Auckland are the University of Auckland, Massey University, Auckland University of Technology, and the Manukau Institute of Technology. Many overseas students come to New Zealand and to Auckland especially, particularly from East Asia, in order to improve their English and study for related qualifications.