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North and South islands - Climate Advice & wher to live for lifestyle

North and South islands - Climate Advice & wher to live for lifestyle

Old Mar 23rd 2019, 4:29 am
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Default re: North and South islands - Climate Advice & wher to live for lifestyle

Originally Posted by JaneRiley View Post
Forget the weather outside and look at the accomodation. In the hot weather you can find shade, get air con or a fan. However, in the winter you may find yourself in a damp, uncomfortable freezing house that seemed ok in the summer. There's no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing and in NZ that extends to bad accomodation. Drafty uninsulated sheds are not easy to keep cosy.
Based on that theory there would be no one living south of Whangarei !!
or you could use just a modicum of common sense and take that into consideration when looking at houses to rent or buy, I know I always have
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Old Mar 24th 2019, 11:42 pm
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Default re: North and South islands - Climate Advice & wher to live for lifestyle

I do get this is very true of some houses and accom but it is certainly not true of all and most houses and accom.
Our cedar clad house is 40+ years old. It had insulation. It is cool in summer and warm in winter yet has just a log burner to heat it. We have doors and windows open year round.

It may be the OP will be looking to build their own home. Who knows.

Further south will give more options really as real estate is not as dear .....except for Nelson that is.
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Old Apr 14th 2019, 8:53 pm
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Default Rainbow74 -where to live in New Zealand. Climate/Temperatures

Originally Posted by vicejw View Post
Interesting reading all the comments here. We've been in NZ for 9 years, have 2 girls 11 and 14 and came for exactly the reasons cwilkes84 lists. It has been a great experience which I don't regret but I would go home (UK) tomorrow if I could. Not that there's anything wrong at all with NZ it's just no longer for me. It's hard to leave though when the kids are settled.

I think though it's really important to realise that if you do come, there are things that are better than the UK and there are things that are not - just like any other place. We have been happy with some aspects of the education system here - kids have more freedom to roam (bare footed) which suits my youngest who is a wild spirited kiwi and for my eldest the small rural school she started off in gave her room to become more confident. However, that said if your child is not sporty (eldest is not) they can quickly feel left out as competitive sport is a huge deal in schools. Since we arrived we've watch class sizes grow and grow - last year youngest was in a class of 33! The education system is less focused on training kids to pass tests which is a positive and on the whole we feel more comfortable with our kids having a degree of freedom outside of school (we're in Nelson) more so than we would of if we're in the UK. However, girls are still bitchy, social media is still an issue, bullying goes on everywhere (as I'm sure it does in other countries) so please don't imagine you'll necessarily escape those things. I think it just depends on your personal experience - as it would in any country.

The cost of living is high here - we were a bit naive and believed all the hype about it being a cheaper place to live and having a better work life balance. Neither are true. We have both had to work longer hours, harder and for less reward (less leave and pay) than in the UK and without family support that has at times been crippling hard. On the flip side it is a beautiful place to live with great weather and stunning beaches. However, as hubby says beaches and sunshine only get you so far in life.

I would always say if moving is something you want to do and your family are in agreement then it's better to give it a go than live a life of wondering 'what if' but be cautious and don't expect a necessarily 'better' life but a different life.

In terms of teachers - my sister and bro in law are both teachers (were in NZ) due to low pay etc they now live in Brunei. Primary teachers pay is pretty poor.

Good luck with your decision
Great post by the way!

We are considering the Nelson area. We are in our 40s and if we did make the move it would be in a few years time. For us we are looking for a better climate and the ability to do more outdoors ( we tend to holiday a lot more in the winter months to help with the ever nagging low mood that the dark months bring) . We plan to be mortgage free beforehand so we can rent for a while in NZ before selling our property in the UK. I think because it's later in life for us we don't want the stress and worry of starting again financially and this will act as a comfort blanket so to speak.

Can I ask if the weather in Nelson gets really hot in the summer or does it maintain mid 20s? I've researched weather apps etc but think they may not be as accurate as asking a person who actually lives there (We have written the North Island off for this particular reason as we are looking for an improvement in climate but not necessarily extreme heat).

​​​​​​Do you find the area friendly and are there plenty of coffee shops \ restaurants, things to do etc in suburban areas?

We are travelling to NZ in November to see if it's somewhere we would like to live in the near future, so I'm trying to obtain as much information as possible, both positive and negative.

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old Apr 14th 2019, 10:06 pm
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Originally Posted by Rainbow74 View Post
Can I ask if the weather in Nelson gets really hot in the summer or does it maintain mid 20s?
I live in Nelson and Tasman.
The past two years it has been stonking hot during summer. This region recorded the highest sun hours. Note that I wrote sun hours not sunshine hours. Sunshine has people thinking of lazy hazy european type summer days . I'm talking burn time of minutes. Slip, slop , slap ; Cover up ,stay in the shade.

We are in mid-autumn now and last week we were hitting early 20s during daylight hours. During January we were regularly hitting 30 and over. The area was in severe drought . This means water cuts of course. No flushing the loo until absolutely necessary . Incredibly short showers. No watering gardens unless by bucket and preferably grey water. The public swimming baths in Richmond was emptied ( water used elsewhere) and remains empty even now. Restrictions are now off but we are councilled to still conserve heavily & use wisely.
There were several worrisome bush fires this summer. Domains, walking/cycle tracks and a beach or two were closed for public safety and rightly so. A village was evactuated. It was no fun . My husband volunteers with Civil Defence here.
There were concerns for heat stroke in the new airport terminal

We have seen a change in the weather since we have been here. Summers are definitely hotter and windier. Hopefully writing that will put the mockers on another summer like the last one.

Don't get me wrong here & I am aware that might paint a bleak picure in a way. It is not doom, gloom, hard. People were still doing 'stuff'. Going to the beaches that were open like Tahunanui . They were cycling and kayaking etc . Just maybe not so much so during the main hottest parts of the day & being careful as to where & what. Being sensible.

It will be Autumn and Spring which may feel the better , more settled weather for this area really. Although we do get rains. For winter one gets snow out on The Ranges but no snow on the ground. There will be a nip to the air but there will be sun. It can still be shorts weather on occasions . One does not need a coat for instance. A fleece will suffice.

I am not really sure what is meant by ' is the area friendly'. Nelson and Tasman is a widely spread out area. City, suburbs, villages. Yes there are restaurants and cafes just like there is anywhere. What is meant by 'things to do'. There is a cinema, swimming baths, a few small galleries and a little museum. There is a small theatre , a venue <---- not much seems to go there though, and a sports stadium <--- though not much seems to happen there either these days. They have fayes, fetes and little festivals etc.

It is a 30 min flight from Wellington. An hour flight or 4/5 hour drive from Christchurch . Hanmer hot springs is 4 hours away. Rainbow ski field and The Lakes is about 2 hours drive away. Blenheim which seems to attract more performing arts & shows for some reason is a couple of hours drive. Golden Bay over Takaka Hill is a good hour drive into a quiet pastoral area with plentiful beaches and scenery. Hippies get lost over there.

When it comes to friendly, it really depends what you mean by that. Store and shop staff for instance are trained , American style , to ask 'how's your day been'. I suppose that PR could seem friendly. I think like anywhere you will get friendly people that may become a friend and those that will be friendly enough in passing but already have their own family/friend circles. Horses for courses and all that. A village may give more community spirit . Or if you are a church goer. That's is quite big really here. If you join a sports club. Go hunting. Get involved in local volunteer groups. All the sort of stuff one does or did before emigrating.

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Old Apr 14th 2019, 10:33 pm
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Would totally agree with BEVS post. Don't be fooled by the temperature listed on metservice - the sun is fierce and makes it feel like you're standing in front of an oven at times. I find the summer heat (at its height in Jan / Feb usually but can extend Dec and March) quite wilting and being pale and English am continually paranoid about sunburn (not to mention wrinkles haha). The heat is less tropical and humid than the far north but do not underestimate the strength of the sun. I fear we'll have more droughts in the future (hopefully no more fires as that was certainly a very stressful experience - we live in that village that was evacuated!).

It is a beautiful area for outdoor pursuits and there are a lot of very active people here. As BEVS mentioned there are clubs you can join to meet people. As we're in a bay the sea is calm which is perfect for paddle boarding, kayaking and swimming. There are some lovely walks with stunning scenery - however, for me doing these walks in the summer feels impossible. The national parks get very busy with tourists and the heat makes me just want to lie on a beach. Also I avoid the Lakes in the summer as the sandflies are vicious (goodness I sound a bit pathetic now!). Spring, winter and autumn are great for walking though.

Nelson it a nice city more boutiquey (if that's a word). Richmond is a suburban sprawl (realise that's slightly contentious and likely to be disputed by anyone who lives in Richmond - which we used to) but it's true - there are the necessary shops and leisure facilities but no character. I suppose it depends what lifestyle you want. When we moved here 9 years ago it was relatively quiet, it's got a LOT busier since then. I commute to Nelson everyday and spend more time commuting than I did when we lived in SE England!

Finding work can be a challenge - depending on your profession - there's an article in the Nelson Mail today about lack of skilled employment opportunities in the region.

Excellent cafe culture - if we moved away the coffee would be high on the list of things I'd miss. There are a lot of other expats - Brits, Europeans, Americans, South Africans. Weirdly we seem to have more expat friends than Kiwis. Which is not to say kiwis are not friendly it's just a bit of a cultural / understanding type thing.

Check out housing when you come over - it's expensive and you don't want an older house unless you like to freeze in the winter and boil in the summer - or are prepared to add insulation / double glazing etc (all of which are very expensive).

It's hard to get a true measure of a place from a holiday - November can be amazing - warm and sunny without the crush of summer tourists. I'm sure you'll be wowed by the scenery which is stunning but my advice would be to dig a little deeper. Consider the price of groceries if you were spending an NZ wage not UK pounds. Go to some open homes on the weekend and check out houses. Look at the job market - although annoyingly job adverts never tell you the salary here - however, Nelson is known for 'sunshine wages' and there is an over reliance on the fact that people will take a job because it's Nelson i.e. sunny lifestyle.

I suppose it's important to think carefully about what you are hoping to achieve out of a life lived down under compared to what you have now in the UK. It's a long way away from anywhere and for us that is something we'll never come to terms with (I realise that's a fairly obvious point but somehow it has become more apparent with each passing year). Oh and Christmas in the sun sucks (after the first couple the novelty wears off).
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Old Apr 14th 2019, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Meant to add this link.

Time and Date Nelson weather graph . I set it to January 2019 so you could look. To me this shows more realistic temperatures. Of course it doesn't take into account humidity , wind ( which can be warm/hot also) Sheltered , coastal. All the usual sort of stuff that effects temps .


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Old Apr 15th 2019, 8:07 am
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

vicejw Rainbow74

Bit concerned we both sound a bit damning in a way. It isn't actually like that really. It is simply different.
If I were to move UK to NZ again. I would forget worrying about snow on the ground in winter and likely move to Dunedin. Much more my style. Where I come from in the UK we did not often have snow on the ground in winter. It was not eternal rain and the long summer evenings more than made up for the short wintery nights. My life there was more outdoors there TBH than it is now.

Dunedin still has lovely summer days. It has good changes of season . It is still not anything like the south coast of the UK nor the Med but it is less isolated in terms of getting anywhere and seems to have a bit more go overall.

If it was me and it is not, I would focus right away from weather and sun. Sun is not a good thing here at all. Focus on what you want from a lifestyle . The weather and the sun you can work around.
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Old Apr 15th 2019, 9:47 am
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Thank you both for the in-depth responses.

I really want to avoid 30* heat so maybe I need to focus further down south. You have definitely given me something to think about it terms of what I want from the move too.

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Old Apr 15th 2019, 10:22 am
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Originally Posted by Rainbow74 View Post
Great post by the way!

We are considering the Nelson area. We are in our 40s and if we did make the move it would be in a few years time. For us we are looking for a better climate and the ability to do more outdoors ( we tend to holiday a lot more in the winter months to help with the ever nagging low mood that the dark months bring) . We plan to be mortgage free beforehand so we can rent for a while in NZ before selling our property in the UK. I think because it's later in life for us we don't want the stress and worry of starting again financially and this will act as a comfort blanket so to speak.

Can I ask if the weather in Nelson gets really hot in the summer or does it maintain mid 20s? I've researched weather apps etc but think they may not be as accurate as asking a person who actually lives there (We have written the North Island off for this particular reason as we are looking for an improvement in climate but not necessarily extreme heat).

​​​​​​Do you find the area friendly and are there plenty of coffee shops \ restaurants, things to do etc in suburban areas?

We are travelling to NZ in November to see if it's somewhere we would like to live in the near future, so I'm trying to obtain as much information as possible, both positive and negative.

Thanks in advance for your input.
You say it will be in a few years time but if it's really just about the climate, I certainly wouldn't move to the other side of the globe at your age (sorry about age:-) but you say: I think because it's later in life for us we don't want the stress and worry of starting again financially and this will act as a comfort blanket so to speak.
Even if sunny, you will still have the shorter days in winter, it still rains and life is life. It's far easier to downsize in the UK and with that money you can easily afford a holiday pad in Portugal /Spain, be it renting or buying. Around Porto you'd roughly have the same amount of rain and sun as Nelson and the sun isn't as aggressive, even though it might be hotter. Then you have the Costa Brava in Spain, which can still offer cheap housing in parts and with 2400 hours of sun 500mm rain per year + they don't see the really hot temps. And even after that, you will still have enough cash to go on holidays.

Last edited by Moses2013; Apr 15th 2019 at 10:30 am.
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Old Apr 15th 2019, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
You say it will be in a few years time but if it's really just about the climate, I certainly wouldn't move to the other side of the globe at your age (sorry about age:-) but you say: I think because it's later in life for us we don't want the stress and worry of starting again financially and this will act as a comfort blanket so to speak.
Even if sunny, you will still have the shorter days in winter, it still rains and life is life. It's far easier to downsize in the UK and with that money you can easily afford a holiday pad in Portugal /Spain, be it renting or buying. Around Porto you'd roughly have the same amount of rain and sun as Nelson and the sun isn't as aggressive, even though it might be hotter. Then you have the Costa Brava in Spain, which can still offer cheap housing in parts and with 2400 hours of sun 500mm rain per year + they don't see the really hot temps. And even after that, you will still have enough cash to go on holidays.
Excellent response from Moses2013.

The "comfort blanket" thing worries me a lot. Moving country is one of the most challenging and difficult things a person will ever do in their lives. New Zealand is not a tropical South Seas England. It is its own country with its own culture, traditions, and way of doing things. Brits do not just slot right in, and the migration failure rate is relatively high compared to other countries (for a combination of reasons).

You may find that for your "comfort blanket," you throw hundreds of thousands of Pounds down the sinkhole and end up isolated and cut-off from your family and friends in your golden years, without much recourse except to throw a whole lot more money at trying to move back. By no means a remote or uncommon scenario. NZ is not the low-risk option in the scenario you outlined.

Porto or South Spain should be the "comfort blanket," for the reasons mentioned by Moses2013.

That's without even getting into the cost-of-living, or what happens when you get bored with Nelson. Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are 11 hours away. Melbourne is four hours away from Auckland - also not right around the corner.

NZ suits specific personality types and not others, and the financial aspect needs to be planned especially carefully. If you don't go in with your eyes wide open it can end up disastrous for you.
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Old Apr 15th 2019, 5:34 pm
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Excellent response from Moses2013.

The "comfort blanket" thing worries me a lot. Moving country is one of the most challenging and difficult things a person will ever do in their lives. New Zealand is not a tropical South Seas England. It is its own country with its own culture, traditions, and way of doing things. Brits do not just slot right in, and the migration failure rate is relatively high compared to other countries (for a combination of reasons).

You may find that for your "comfort blanket," you throw hundreds of thousands of Pounds down the sinkhole and end up isolated and cut-off from your family and friends in your golden years, without much recourse except to throw a whole lot more money at trying to move back. By no means a remote or uncommon scenario. NZ is not the low-risk option in the scenario you outlined.

Porto or South Spain should be the "comfort blanket," for the reasons mentioned by Moses2013.

That's without even getting into the cost-of-living, or what happens when you get bored with Nelson. Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are 11 hours away. Melbourne is four hours away from Auckland - also not right around the corner.

NZ suits specific personality types and not others, and the financial aspect needs to be planned especially carefully. If you don't go in with your eyes wide open it can end up disastrous for you.
Thanks for your feeback, the comfort blanket is merely a phrase of knowing we have a home in the UK should we decide to return. Not huge fans of European countries so would never invest there.

We always spend our holidays in the USA, Florida in particular is our ' go to' every January where we hire a villa, car and explore, we are not resort kind of people to be honest.

It's also interesting to know what type of personality types it takes to make the move? Grateful for your feedback.
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Old Apr 15th 2019, 10:56 pm
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Default Re: North and South islands - Climate Advice & wher to live for lifestyle

Note:
I have merged the two threads so that Rainbow74 discussion on assorted NZ areas are all in the one place.

So a bit like Location, Locatin, Location style and to recap. Emigration is not imminent although they are in their mid 40's. Rainbow74 can correct on that one.

Her husband is a waste water electrical engineer who can deal with high voltage.
Her occupation is with the civil service
She does not want hot weather in summer - 30c.
Fishing is a hobby.

They want a slower pace of life.
Better or a change in the weather from where they are now . Less rain I think.

North Island may not now be the ticket nor Nelson/Tasman due to summer heat.
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Old Apr 16th 2019, 1:40 am
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Default Re: Should we move to NZ?

Originally Posted by Rainbow74 View Post
Thanks for your feeback, the comfort blanket is merely a phrase of knowing we have a home in the UK should we decide to return. Not huge fans of European countries so would never invest there.

We always spend our holidays in the USA, Florida in particular is our ' go to' every January where we hire a villa, car and explore, we are not resort kind of people to be honest.

It's also interesting to know what type of personality types it takes to make the move? Grateful for your feedback.
I grew up (well, the majority of it) in Florida. If Florida is your thing, New Zealand won't be.

New Zealand is a small, isolated, and remote country a long way from anywhere, including Australia. It has relatively low wages and a relatively high cost-of-living.

All of which are routinely and frequently dismissed by intending migrants as obstacles easily navigable around, if they just "have the right attitude" - until they actually arrive in-country.

To do all the outdoorsy things you want to do, you will need buckets of cash, which the majority of the locals don't have and you won't necessarily earn at local income levels.

If you are socially self-reliant, don't need your cafe culture or occasional top restaurant, and are quite happy to go fishing for 8 hours on your long weekend - and have a reliable high income flow - it can work.

I felt Wellington offered a high quality of life - if you had money - and I was on an American income at the time. So that worked, though I still felt claustrophobic and like I was at the end of the Earth . . . in ways I never do in the Australian bush, which is where I live now. Going back is not an option, even if we wanted to, because the Australia-NZ financial disparity is enormous and if we went back we would be on a local NZ income now and I know what that would mean for us.

It is a complex move and you may find you are better off just adding NZ to your regular holiday circuit rather than migrating. This isn't to be a "downer," but you do need to come with your eyes wide open, put down the tourist literature and make good use of your calculator to see what works and doesn't.

Last edited by carcajou; Apr 16th 2019 at 1:58 am.
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Old Apr 16th 2019, 1:48 am
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Default Re: North and South islands - Climate Advice & wher to live for lifestyle

This will be of interested to Mr Rainbow74

It is good fishing on the South Island.

Fish and Game licenses

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Old Apr 16th 2019, 2:36 am
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Default Re: North and South islands - Climate Advice & wher to live for lifestyle

I emigrated to NZ last year Auckland.
Iv travelled round most of the North Island so far.
Enjoyed it past year and NZ has been good to me and my wife.
We both have good jobs and everything sort of fell into place for us out ere.
Can't see me and my wife going back to the UK.

Everyone is defo different thou and I can see why so many people go home. It's completely different from the UK in every aspect.

It depends what sort of person you are or what will make you happy for areas to live.
Me and my.wife went where the work was and its worked out good.
You have to understand when places in NZ are called cites you automatically think big and busy like back home. These places are really small places and you can't just nip into Cardiff to go shopping or coffee or out for dinner on evening.
I'm not moaning as I like small towns and enjoy quiet places. I'm just trying to make you aware these places like New Plymouth, Nelson Blenheim and places like that are really small towns and very isolated. would be like 3 hour drive to nearest city.





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