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Thread: Christchurch v. Wellington v. Auckland

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Christchurch v. Wellington v. Auckland

    Hi all,

    I am anticipating a job offer within the next week with a CRI that has offices in Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington. As my OH and I have never been to NZ, we were hoping that the veterans in this forum could post come pros and cons of living in each of these cities to help guide our decision on where to move to. Here's a little info about ourselves that could direct the online conversation...

    - 30 y/o couple from USA with no children
    - Have lived most of life in snowy Northeast US but currently living in 30+ degree India so used to all weather types
    - Active outdoor people: Trekking (tramping), camping, biking, beach-going, skiing, etc.
    - Regular athletes: Cycle, run, or swim on a daily basis
    - Culture hounds: Seek international movies, diverse music and cuisine, etc.
    - Used to cities with 500,000+ population but can live in areas with less too
    - Do not necessarily need large house/land, but would like some outdoor space to garden and BBQ

    Any input on where you think we might fit in best is appreciated. Cheers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    1,417

    Default

    I am partial to Christchurch as we live here.

    We have a low population (350,000 I think) and a small city area. It's wonderful--no lines, no serious traffic issues, no parking hassles. I love this aspect of living here. (I grew up in Dallas and lived in LA for a couple of years so NOT a fan of all those "big city" nightmares--especially with children)

    We have the Southern Alps about an hour away and you can see them from the city. They are breathtaking.

    We have gorgeous (empty) beaches a few minutes away. And a harbor too. And rivers and lakes.

    I think the South Island has the WOW scenery and access to lots of outdoor activities. Christchurch city is gorgeous as well. The gardens and flowers are outstanding and Hagley park is amazing. (google for photos)

    Weather is pretty moderate--I moved from Texas and it took a while to adjust but now that I have--I have few complaints. It is 50-80 all year. The grey days are cold and hard to take but the sunny days do seem to make up. No harsh winters, no freezing besides some early morning frosts, it stays green all year, lovely warm summers but no real sweaty heat.

    Canterbury is rather flat and there are cyclists EVERYWHERE. In the Port Hills at the southern end of the city, there are loads of cyclists going up and down the mountains too. All terrains are available.

    Some culture here but not much. It will be interesting and new for a few months but after that, you will likely feel unfulfilled in this area.
    Restaurants are plentiful however.

    Housing is considerably less expensive in ChCh with the opportunity to live really close to the city on an affordable "lifestyle block" if you choose. Gardening and BBQ areas are reasonably available in the city as well.

    I also like Auckland (can't comment on Wellington--haven't been there) I found Auckland to feel more like an american city than it felt like Chch. So strange. It is hilly and crowded and very urban. But nice.

    I highly recommend Christchurch!! But your choice will depend on what kinds of things are most important to you!!

    Good luck with your choice!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    UK ---> Christchurch, NZ
    Posts
    121

    Default

    Have to echo everything that GG has said, we spent time in all 3 cities when deciding where to live and Chch was our first choice by a long way. Reasons for us:

    1) People were more friendly/relaxed
    2) Lots of space, easy access to trekking, cycling, kayaking
    3) Affordable accommodation (this does vary by area within Chch), availability of houses with land without needing to commute for more than 30 mins

    We love it here, the only downside for us was that finding a job took a bit longer because my field (IT Security) is predominantly based in Auckland or Wellington.

    Longer term we may move further south towards Wanaka or Queenstown but right now we are loving it. We live in Darfield, about 30-40 minutes outside of ChCh by the way.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Nrth Wellington from Tadley UK
    Posts
    1,605

    Default

    Well I'd give the to Wellington, can't say I do any of the activities you do (at the mo) but there are endless people around me all the time cycling & running (amazed me when I first arrived how many). scenery is amazing with tramping all around, beaches all over the place so quiet, the only downside is the wind but tbh I'm now used to it & although it still amazes me I don't find it a problem although I am trying to move up the coast a little I can't comment on Auckland as only ever landed there & my opinion o Christchurc was marred by crying kids (ours) but I did find it too big, to many traffic jams & the amount of graffiti was the worst I have ever seen, people who live there may comment on this more, we stayed in the Top 10 park so travelled from there to the city centre, got lost, got stuck in jams & managed to get home in time for a late dinner not the best experience but I would give t another go elsewhere maybe as the outskirts were deffinatley better

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    288

    Default

    I loved living in Christchurch. But Wellington is the culture capital. The only downside to Wellington is the weather - the summers are not hot enough, and it can get windy. It's not that bad though. If you like urban living, Auckland is hard to beat.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Canterbury to UK
    Posts
    2,755

    Default

    We add our votes for Chch too

    GG has summed it up pretty well also outdoor activities can be found at all points of the compass down here

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Great feedback! So, basically what I am hearing that Wellington and ChCh are both great places to live depending on how you rank weather, culture, etc. It does not look like we could go wrong either way.

    Not a whole lot of feedback for Auckland yet, but the bit that I got from GG was pretty positive too (maybe others will chime in soon).

    RJLink, how do you find living in NZ compared to DC? We lived in Washington from '06-'09 and enjoyed it for the most part (especially Rock Creek Park and hanging out with friends that were not part of the political scene), but were not big fans of the crime and cocktail parties where you constantly had to answer the question "What do you do and who do you know?"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    US / MO
    Posts
    63

    Default

    What a great thread! I've been wondering about these three cities as well (plus Dunedin). Anyone have any opinions on which would be better for someone seeking employment in Advertising/Marketing/Graphic Design? From what I've read thus far, it looks like Wellington and then perhaps Auckland.

    Thanks,
    Don

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    288

    Default

    Don, I think it would be Auckland, then Wellington.

    Daggy, you'd be trading one nation's capital for another...and get the better end of the deal here I think. There is zero crime in Wellington. And it's very down to earth. Of course it's only a fraction of the size of DC, so comparisons aren't that useful. I used to live in the Penn Quarter, where the streets are now literally paved with gold, so the built environment of other places took a second to get used to. But the riches of the natural environment here, right on your doorstep, far exceed what you can find in any of the major US cities.

    [N.B.: Statements about there being "zero" crime in Wellington and the streets of the Penn Quarter literally being paved with gold are hyperbole. But not by much.]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,404

    Default

    Auckland covers a lot of ground, and not all of it is built up and urban. Great cultural (and culture) diversity, easy access to sea and all water-sports. You hear some people complain about traffic/driving, but it is as nothing to urban areas in S England. Hilly - yes, and beautiful - the volcanic bones of the island there are close below the surface.

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