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Thread: Wellington - good places to live?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Default Wellington - good places to live?

    Hi all

    We have now got our research mission booked (1st to 19th March - soooo excited!! ) and one of the places we're going to is Wellington, as we think thats where we'll live when we come over for good. We've got a few days there to explore and we particularly want to drive round some of the suburbs to get a feel for where we might like to live. Can anyone recommend which area's are nice and which (if any) to avoid? We'll be looking to start a family when we get over so somewhere with good primary schools would be ideal.

    Also, if anyone has any recommendations of where within the city itself is a good idea to visit, to get a feel for the place, all suggestions very welcome.

    Thanks all

  2. #2
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    Oct 2004
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    Following this one with interest coz I reckon we may end up in Welly with the work situation although anything is possible!

    Kandallah is supposed to be nice, but a bit pricey, but best bet is to get the guys on the ground to give you the heads up.

    Good luck.

    Steve

  3. #3
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    Feb 2006
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    Currently we live in Hataitai which is a really nice area if you want to be near the city but just far enough away. It's a 30 minute walk to CBD and a 5 minute walk to Evan's Bay. I am quite fond of all the suburbs on this side of town: Hataitai, Kilbirnie, Mt. Vic, Roseneath, Lyall Bay, Miramar and Seatoun. We stayed in Brooklyn for a few weeks when we first got here, and I thought it was ok. At first I thought I wanted to live out in the suburbs on the other side of town: Khandallah, Ngaio, Johnsonville, but they felt just a little too far out for my liking. Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2005
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    It really depends on what you guys are used to. If you're used to city living then the inner suburbs will probably suit you as tchelseat has mentioned, all are quite pricey as they're close to the city. If you're more quiet country people then you may want to come out further to Upper Hutt, Kapati, Wairarapa. Depends on how long you want to commute as well.

    Just walking around the CBD in Wellington will give you a good feel for the place. Lambton Quay through to Courtney Place, there's 5 quarters in all and all worth a visit. A drive around the coast from Oriental Bay, Miramar, Seatoun is also great, a visit to the Chocolate Fish Cafe is a must

  5. #5
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    Sep 2004
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    Wellington, NZ - Yay!
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    It all depends on exactly what you want out of where you live...

    Do you want to be very close to the city or a little bit outside? Do you want to live by the sea or or are you not worried? Do you need to be walking distance from shops & schools or do you not mind a little drive?

    Haitaitai is a nice family suburb that is near to the city. Haitaitai is close to the water & some good sporting facilities - cricket pitches, badminton centre etc. Easy access by bus & if you're fit walking to the city.

    Island Bay is another family suburb but you may find that the subdivisions there (where people took their original garden & divided it into 2 plots and built another house on the plot & sold it off) make it feel a bit small garden-wise for kids, but it has a villagey feel, a beach & play park & good access by bus to the city. 10 mins drive.

    Khandallah is nice & has a good primary school but is expensive because of the city views & you're right on the top of the hill so the wind can be quite strong up there. There's a train line & I'm guessing busses service it too. Its probably a 10 minute drive to the city off peak.

    I'm going to avoid the Hutt sure someone else has better experience than us - we avoided it when we saw the traffic on the motorway going that way - apart from Eastbourne/Days Bay area - fab family beaches, fantastic views of Wellington city, good for water sports, lovely feel - again expensive to live but really a small holiday village type feel with a nice family pub & some good restaurants (the Cobar immediately springs to mind mmmmm!) as well as fish & chip shops & butchers & a small supermarket. Petone & Lower Hutt 10 mins drive away has pretty much everything shop-wiseyou will need - 30-40 mins drive from the city in rush hour.

    Then if you go North on the SH1 you come to Johnsonville - lots of shops, restaurants & takeaways (very good large supermarket Woolworths!) and swimming pool etc. it is in-land so no beaches but is a good family suburb - house prices are reasonable. About 15-20 mins drive to city rush hour. Train line from J'ville.

    Further up is Tawa - again, good family suburb - Carol may be able to give you more info but there are a good mix of shops in the highstreet & some nice restaurants. The senior school there has a good reputation - not sure about primaries though but someone else might be able to help there. About 25 mins drive to city in rush hour. Train line from Tawa.

    Then further up you get Whitby, Plimmerton, Paremata, Papakowhai, Pauatahanui all around the Porirua area (avoid Porirua itself) & all sitting around a beautiful inlet from the sea - all close to/on beaches. These areas are all nice, we've lived in Whitby (which I loved) and we're currently living in Paremata (again I love it). Whitby has a little shopping centre with supermarket, pub/restaurant, pharmacy, newsagent, Plunket (nurse for under 5's), library, couple of churches, vets,drs dentists, beauty salons, couple of takeaways, cafe, video rental & a few good primary schools. Pauatahanui has a very good primary school (there's also a couple of good Kindys in the area) but is an expensive area to live in. Papakowhai hasn't got a lot there apart from nice housing & views - I believe there's a school there but haven't heard much about it other than it is setting a zone for where you can live to go to it - it tends to either rely on Porirura or Paremata for shops etc. Paremata has lots of takeaways, vets, good Dr's, petrol stations as well as pharmacies etc. Plimmerton is lovely, its again expensive because of the fantastic views & their beach is nice half of it is sandy & half is rock pools (which is my favourite bit for a walk). Its about 40 mins in rush hour to the city from here. Train line from Plimmerton & Paremata.

    Further up is Kapiti Coast which is lovely for weekend visits although some people live there & commute.

    The only way you'll really find out is by doing drive-through's - funny we drove all over the Welly area when we first came out & I remember commenting 'now I could live here' when we drove through Paremata & here we are!

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Mar 2005
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    Kapiti Coast NZ (formerly US)
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    The Lyall Bay area is lovely as tchelseat said, and so is Eastbourne. Khandallah is very nice. I actually really like Korokoro which is on the Hutt side, but right near the city. Unfortunately I don't know about schools, but this thread has some info...

    Family areas in Wellington

    When we first did our reccy trip on '05, we found driving through different suburbs we thought might be nice very helpful. I'd suggest taking pictures up the streets. They don't make for great photos, but it helps to keep all the suburbs in your head when you're looking at so many. (If you can remember which picture was from where). We actually took our video camera and took a brief clip saying on the video where we were. Helped us sort it out later, when we were saying, "Which one was the place with the row of cute cafes?" or whatever.

    Also, if you are here on Sunday and you have narrowed down your search at all by then, go to a couple of open houses in your price range to get an idea of what's for sale. And if you've really narrowed it down, try doing a drive into the CBD from your chosen place during rush hour. Fun vacation things to do!

    After all our careful surveys of Welly suburbs, we ended up moving to the gorgeous Kapiti Coast which is about 45 minutes out (without rush hour).

  7. #7
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    Sep 2004
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    north of Wellington
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    Cant add anything to Sarah's post.... other than we lived in Whitby for a while too and loved it.
    Moved to Tawa only to get the kids into the High School zone - which was our main driving force at the time for where we lived.
    I know you are a little way off that at the moment - primaries are great too though - lots of choice - We have just moved out daughter to the central school.
    We never really intended to stay here - we just wanted the kids a place in the High School - but...
    I must admit I do love to use the shops on the main street - and to be actually recognised - and spoken to with genuine interest is wonderful.
    THere are a LOT of churches here!
    Also - we live bang between two train stations making it very easy to commute into Welly - it takes about 10 mins I think. (2 stations and you are there)
    It's not the flashest of suburbs - but it is tidy, much cheaper than those nearer Wellington, has a genuine community feel to it and basically has everything we need at the moment.
    As everyone says - it really depends on what your priorities are.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Hi all,

    Thank for you for the wonderful advice - everyone on here is helping us no end with our move and we can't say how much we appreciate it

    We'll print off all of the info you guys have given us and then plan a bit of a route around so we can check out all the places. We're so excited because we booked a nice hotel for the bit of our trip in Wellington and it has a seperate lounge which we're turning into Research HQ so we can plan the day the evening before. Yes, I know its sad, but we can't help it

    We're more country than city people so thank you to everyone who mentioned how city-like or country-like each area is, thats such a help to us. We're not fans of commuting (who is!!) but we know we may have to drive a bit more in order to live in a less busy area so thats OK. Open space is what we crave, which I know will ring true with a lot of people who have made the move as its one thing the UK now seriously lacks. We keep looking at houses on line and being amazed that our entire ground floor in our UK house would fit into a single lounge in the NZ houses!! Thanks to Jess for the open house idea - we'll be in Wellington on a Sunday so we might just have a look around some places - its a brilliant idea for a good nose, or should I say 'proper research'

    We have 6 days in Wellington so we have loads of time to explore, which is what we really wanted to we can get a proper feel for the place. We can't wait - we know we won't want to come back!!

    Thanks again everyone

    Take care,
    Kim and Gareth

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Frozen North
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    One quick qu for all those who have written so well about various burbs here. When you say house prices are reasonable, what does that mean in $ terms? And same goes for the expensive. Now I do realize this is totally upto the individual to define these terms. But just so that people (and idiots like me)can better understand, could you please throw some numbers for house prices that are seen as reasonable in these areas (e.g. Haitaitai, Johnsonville, Whitby, Paremata,etc). Thanks for your help

  10. #10
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    Mar 2005
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    Kapiti Coast NZ (formerly US)
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    I think the last median house price statistic in Wellington I saw listed recently was $333K NZD. That doesn't mean you could get a decent house in a sought after area near the CBD for that though. If you go to open2view's welly search and choose "prices" as the price type, you can see houses for sale with prices listed in different suburbs. (They often are hoping for up to 10% percent more than a listed number when it says BBO or BEO -buyer bids over or buyer enquiries over - before a price). I don;t have specifics for the neighborhoods you mentioned, but others might...
    Last edited by jess; 13th January 2007 at 08:07 AM.

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