Escape to New Zealand – Top Tips for settling into the Rugby nation
From rolling green hills to cinematic mountain backdrops, New Zealand offers an opportunity to experience the wealth and breadth of the planet’s geography within one location. As well as boasting one of the world’s most dynamic landscapes, New Zealand’s urban life is bubbling with culture, industrial innovation and business opportunity, making it an ideal setting to relocate for families, couples, or the twenty-first century entrepreneur.
David Hollins has provided some practical tips to help you smoothly transition into life overseas.
Choose your location wisely
There are approximately 4.5 million people currently living in New Zealand and one quarter of the population live in the nation’s capital, Auckland. The country is divided into the Northern and Southern island and each location offers its own unique personality, so choosing the area that suits your lifestyle needs is paramount to utilising what the country has to offer.
Auckland sits as the business capital and is perhaps one of the only places in New Zealand where you may experience traffic. Other towns, such as Wellington and Queenstown, offer a calmer form of city life. Since the earthquake in Christchurch in 2011, the city is having a major re-birth. Whilst much of the outskirts are habitable, the city centre still has major work to be done and is predicted to be finished by 2030. If you’re seeking a more tranquil setting, the Bay of Islands in the North island is ideal or, if you prefer a more dramatic setting, the town of Wanaka sits in a valley surrounded by a horizon of mountainous ranges and ice blue lakes.
Enjoy extra curricular activities
From a gentle ramble along the coast to scaling a glacier, New Zealand offers a plethora of outdoor activities to suit every ability and price range. With some of the world’s most beautiful scenery on offer, the most popular activities are hiking, climbing and kayaking. If the outdoor lifestyle doesn’t quite suit you though, the country’s larger towns and cities boast an eclectic entertainment industry, including theatre, galleries, museums and street art.
Understand local customs and cultures
Whilst New Zealand has a 67% European population the country has a strong Maori heritage that has been revived in recent decades. There are pockets of New Zealand dedicated to preserving the Maori culture and language, whilst these locations are a brilliant opportunity to experience New Zealand’s history, they may not be suitable for someone accustomed to a more westernised lifestyle.
Prepare for a seasonal flip
The weather in New Zealand is fairly similar to the UK – moderate temperatures with an all too unpredictable chance of rain. However, the vital difference is that the New Zealand summer falls over the UK winter. The chillier weather falls from June to August, and summer falls December to February. Whilst your family and friends will look on you with envy in your shorts and t-shirt over Christmas, it may feel strange pulling a cracker over a barbeque. A Christmas day beach trip is a must for locals. Generally the weather is sunnier and clearer on the South island.
Enjoy your new lifestyle
New Zealand is a country of contrasts, where the social hub of bustling cities meets the untouched beauty of sweeping rural settings. Commercial locations are juxtaposed against mountainous skylines, mirror lakes and golden beaches. New Zealand locals of all nationalities embrace the relaxed pace of living and the culturally vibrant ethos of the cities which sets the country as a leader of innovation and diversity.
About the Author: David Hollins works for Crown Relocations, a division of the Crown Worldwide Group. Crown Relocations operates from more than 200 locations in almost 60 countries, providing end-to-end relocation services.