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Auckland v Wellington

Auckland v Wellington

Old Nov 29th 2015, 9:47 pm
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Default Auckland v Wellington

My Kiwi husband is pushing for us to make the move to NZ after he has spent 25 years here in the UK. I am still undecided whether this is a good idea or not and my decision changes from one day to another.

Hubby is from Auckland and is fairly keen to return here, but having spent a week there back in August I am really not sure this is for me. We have 2 sons in their early twenties and a 15 year old. I always imagined we would go for the lifestyle block but realistically we should be very close to or good transport links into a city.

I have never been to Wellington and always thought the wind there would put me off, but looking at the alternatives around the country this is standing out as a front runner. I liked Christchurch and loved the South Island but wonder whether it would be too quiet for us.

So if any peeps here are in Wellington is the wind just hideous? Are you looking to escape to other parts of NZ, or is the coolest little capital in the world a great place to live?
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Old Nov 29th 2015, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: Auckland v Wellington

Let's just say I didn't realise I was wind phobic until I came to Wellington, Even now being up on Kapiti coast it gets a bit much at times. But now being in a brick clad house and not a raised wooden house it is much better. So advise would be get a home that is not raised and is brick clad.
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Old Nov 30th 2015, 8:38 am
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Default Re: Auckland v Wellington

Don't like Auckland, its soulless.
Been to Welly twice and got bored with the wind after a couple of hours
Only had brief visit to Chch and thought it was nice. I actually preferred the more rural area just south of Rollerston

Where are you currently in the uk
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Old Nov 30th 2015, 9:39 am
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Default Re: Auckland v Wellington

Originally Posted by jayne333 View Post
My Kiwi husband is pushing for us to make the move to NZ after he has spent 25 years here in the UK. I am still undecided whether this is a good idea or not and my decision changes from one day to another. Hubby is from Auckland and is fairly keen to return here, but having spent a week there back in August I am really not sure this is for me. We have 2 sons in their early twenties and a 15 year old. I always imagined we would go for the lifestyle block but realistically we should be very close to or good transport links into a city. I have never been to Wellington and always thought the wind there would put me off, but looking at the alternatives around the country this is standing out as a front runner. I liked Christchurch and loved the South Island but wonder whether it would be too quiet for us. So if any peeps here are in Wellington is the wind just hideous? Are you looking to escape to other parts of NZ, or is the coolest little capital in the world a great place to live?
We initially arrived in Wellington and I'd kind of decided that the wind wouldn't be an issue, when in fact it was. It grinds you down slowly. It got a whole lot worse when after 6 months I wanted a motorbike again and the wind was sometimes a major issue bordering on just plain dangerous and that was just for a 10 minute commute from the CBD to Tawa.The wind just spoilt it in Wellington for us. Without it we would have probably settled and stayed but it affected everything from the home life to the commute to days out golfing or the beach / playground.Seldom could we sit outside alfresco dining, even on a beautiful day because the wind not only made everything blow about the table but it dropped the ambient temperature enough to make it feel like cold and also make us feel we were back in the UK suffering the typical UK summer. You'll need plenty shelter from the wind to make a habit of eating al fresco. We lived in a cracking spot in Tawa with a garden and massive raised deck looking virtually directly North with a superb view over the whole Tawa valley and the hills over Colonial Knob etc. Unfortunately though we often got the wind.
We longed for less wind, better beaches and much better weather in general. We managed 2.5 years in Wellington before moving to Tauranga and we love it here. It is bliss. Excellent weather. Much better climate that Wellington and much less wind. I live in shorts from September through to May with only the odd day where I feel the need for jeans but then have to swap back to shorts in the afternoon as it's just too warm for long pants.
Another thing we didn't like about Wellington was the hype. Yes it can be a cool place and yes I'd say on a beautiful day with little wind you won't find a better place to be if it's a city that you want, but those days are very few and far between and it is very much a place that is bigged up that just doesn't deliver. Many a time we went to events on the waterfront or in a park etc and they just weren't anywhere near as good as we were led to believe they would be from the advertising. We were disappointed often. Probably the nail in the coffin so to speak for us was New Years Eve. Made it down there late evening to see the new year in with party and fireworks etc. Loads of people and bars with the doors open but with like 1hr to go the fireworks were cancelled due to the wind and there wasn't even a proper countdown in the centre were everyone was stood next to Te Papa Museum. It was like an afterthought. After that "event" I put in for a transfer at work and we moved up to the BOP a while later when our rental contract ended.
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Old Nov 30th 2015, 9:48 am
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Default Re: Auckland v Wellington

I lived in Auckland and visited Wellington. I personally liked Wellington better than Auckland. But the weather was always bad in Wellington when I visited - not sure if that has something to do with my choice of dates or if the weather is just bad in Wellington ...

Just a thought: Are the "kids" coming with you? Have you considered that you might end up with a son or two returning to the UK, working there, living there, starting a family there. Would you and your husband be OK with that?
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Old Nov 30th 2015, 10:50 am
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Default Re: Auckland v Wellington

Well I'd better chime in here with some words of support for Wellington. In answer to your question, yes, the wind can be hideous. I grew up with it and accepted it as part of Wellington. It wasn't till i moved to the UK that I realised the wind in Wellington is quite extraordinary, even given the last few days of very strong wind here in London!

Like any place new I recommend giving it some time, if you can. Visit for a week to see how the good things balance out the wind. Wellington is a marvelous place if you like a compact city that's easy to get around. It's very egalitarian because of its compact nature - everyone comes into the city to mix. This doesn't happen so much in large, spread out cities. I don't know what part of the UK you are coming from, but a couple of the big wins for Wellington include the easy of getting around, the friendliness of the locals, the sheer selection of eating and drinking opportunities in such a compact downtown area, having nature and the outdoors on the city's doorstep, and the overall lack of traffic. Oh, and way less bureaucracy than the UK - god I miss that!

Hope you get to spend some time in Wellington to check it out for yourself!
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Old Nov 30th 2015, 11:54 am
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Default Re: Auckland v Wellington

Originally Posted by jayne333 View Post
My Kiwi husband is pushing for us to make the move to NZ after he has spent 25 years here in the UK. I am still undecided whether this is a good idea or not and my decision changes from one day to another.

Hubby is from Auckland and is fairly keen to return here, but having spent a week there back in August I am really not sure this is for me. We have 2 sons in their early twenties and a 15 year old. I always imagined we would go for the lifestyle block but realistically we should be very close to or good transport links into a city.

I have never been to Wellington and always thought the wind there would put me off, but looking at the alternatives around the country this is standing out as a front runner. I liked Christchurch and loved the South Island but wonder whether it would be too quiet for us.

So if any peeps here are in Wellington is the wind just hideous? Are you looking to escape to other parts of NZ, or is the coolest little capital in the world a great place to live?
Again it probably depends where you currently live in the UK and what sort of life you have, or are looking for. Don't forget that when you are in New Zealand, that's it. It's not like the UK where everything is close, be it other European capitals for culture, shopping etc. You might need work or maybe not and what about house prices? Wellington will obviously give you more house for your money, compared to Auckland.
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Old Nov 30th 2015, 5:29 pm
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Default Re: Auckland v Wellington

Originally Posted by escapedtonz View Post
Another thing we didn't like about Wellington was the hype. Yes it can be a cool place and yes I'd say on a beautiful day with little wind you won't find a better place to be if it's a city that you want, but those days are very few and far between and it is very much a place that is bigged up that just doesn't deliver. Many a time we went to events on the waterfront or in a park etc and they just weren't anywhere near as good as we were led to believe they would be from the advertising. We were disappointed often. Probably the nail in the coffin so to speak for us was New Years Eve. Made it down there late evening to see the new year in with party and fireworks etc. Loads of people and bars with the doors open but with like 1hr to go the fireworks were cancelled due to the wind and there wasn't even a proper countdown in the centre were everyone was stood next to Te Papa Museum. It was like an afterthought. After that "event" I put in for a transfer at work and we moved up to the BOP a while later when our rental contract ended.
agree with this, very quickly the mantra was "lower your expectations"
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Old Nov 30th 2015, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Auckland v Wellington

Thank you for all your replies.

The decision to go, stay, if we go, where do we go is massive! You can see that I joined this forum in 2006 so the issue is always with us.

I liked Taupo and Tauranga and they could be an option. I always thought I would choose the North Shore in Auckland, but the houses were crammed together, and if you go for a run it seems like you are just going around large cul-de-sacs. I think I would also miss footpaths!

The house prices in Auckland seem crazy, and we would have a budget of around $1,000,000.

The whole family would be coming at this stage, including the dog (already through the rabies shot/blood test), just can't quite bring myself to commit, and this was after a wonderful trip when we kayaked under blue sky in the sea at Kaikoura, skied in both islands and had a general blast.....
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Old Nov 30th 2015, 10:29 pm
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Default Re: Auckland v Wellington

Originally Posted by MrsFychan View Post
agree with this, very quickly the mantra was "lower your expectations"
Yup, some people find the refrain, 'it is what it is' infuriating, however, it is what it is.

We were in Wellington on Saturday to see Gin Wigmore in concert at the Opera House. Excellent show.

We stayed at a budget hotel at the top of Willis Street and I was surprised how easy it was to walk to Cuba Street from there. (Down the pedestrian part of Abel Smith Street, keep walking on the pavement until you reach the corner of Cuba Street where the converted bus sells burgers and burritos for you to eat in the contrived funkiness of their courtyard. Yes, the chicken burritos, tasty but not hot chilli sauce, chips and fried cornbread were yummy.) A bar called, 'Laundry' is on the opposite corner if you want to ramp up the funky still further.

We carried on walking down Cuba Street, 'Bad Grannies' bar doesn't sell Speights but 'Bristol Hotel' does. OK pub food at 'The Bristol' too.

We walked past the night market stalls at the, 'Manners Street' end of Cuba Street. Lots of stalls selling nice food. As the, 'Wellington Opera House' is on Manners Street, we were there before we knew it.

Great show then back to 'The Bristol' for afters. I thought the pub would be heaving by then. Nope. The door staff didn't ask us for i.d. At our age ? How very dare you ! I also wondered if we would be denied entry as we were wearing jeans. My husband remarked it was no longer the 1980's !

However, a bloke who was with a couple of others outside the pub made a lunge for the open door just as I was about to enter. The door staff asked him for i.d. as we walked in and I didn't see either him or his party enter the pub.

Once inside, I was amazed how empty it was which was, by then, 10.30pm. There must have been about 15 people in there, 20 if you include the amateur band on stage plus serving staff. We had our Speights and a small portion of warm peanuts.

I don't know what the door policy is for pubs in Wellington, but it must be ruthlessly enforced !

We left the pub and got coffee and cake to go from Midnight Espresso on Cuba Street and walked back to our hotel. The roads around the hotel were surprisingly quiet at night.

The full moon was just beautiful. I don't know if it's a super moon just now but it was big and bright. It was rising which also makes it seem bigger and brighter. As it was rising through the clouds it had created it's own halo, very ethereal. At one stage the moon was directly under a construction crane, making it look like it was hanging there ! Wistful person that I am.

On Sunday morning we drove home. Just like we did last Sunday morning after the Elton John concert. Surreal.

Wellington will always be, 'what could have been' for me. Moving there now from Whanganui would just be to much. To get something decent to live in we wouldn't be getting much change out of $500 per week rent. Even then that would be for a flat in Mount Cook. We had been to the 'oldest cottage in Wellington' museum earlier in the day in Nairn Street, Mount Cook. That was a short walk from the hotel too.

I accept there are better value areas of Wellington. However, there's no point running very fast to stand still when we already own a house that's been much improved to our taste anyway.

No point living in the Hutt Valley or Kapiti coast as we came to NZ to get off the commuting treadmill. No point getting back on it.

I couldn't really entertain the idea of leaving our house as we've done so much to improve it. Why leave it for something not as good for more money ? Renting is dead money anyway. It just doesn't make sense.

Wellington is on a fault line, anyway. Having lived in Christchurch we would be fools to willingly and gladly move back into a known earthquake zone. Once we've sold our house in NZ, we won't be buying again in NZ. We could probably afford a soulless new-build in Wellington. The majority of the housing stock that's within walking distance of the CBD really is breathtakingly ugly or just dull and predictable. The houses resemble wooden beach shacks. Some of them very big and very ornate but they seem to remind me of houses on the Isle of Wight for some reason.

I doubt that Wellington would be a permanent move for us anyway.

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Old Dec 1st 2015, 7:44 am
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Default Re: Auckland v Wellington

Sorry to echo many of the others sentiments, but again Wellington would be too windy for me. Been only a couple of times, both in middle of summer, but you'd have barely known it.
Auckland's pricey for sure, but with a budget of around $1m should be able to land a decent place.
Mentioning kayaking, Auckland's excellent for that (East Coast certainly, West Coast is generally too wild with the waves and swell), I love it that after finishing work, with a couple of hours kayaking I can camping on a Island (Motuihe).
That said, depends the line of work you're in and whether big cities are your thing, if it wasn't for the former there'd be numerous places I'd prefer than Auckland, Welly or Christchurch.
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Old Dec 7th 2015, 8:17 am
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Default Re: Auckland v Wellington

Wellington is windy but also the only region i can get a job and afford a house
I'd prefer Auckland (and even CHCH after recently going) but will never afford it so Welly will do

Not a bad place...can't beat it on a sunny day as they say haha! People are generally quite nice and i can either drive or train in from the coast

I do miss living in Welly City now i'm out in the sticks but go in each day for work so not a million miles away
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