What it's like to live in Auckland NZ!
Auckland is by far the biggest city in NZ with ⅓ of the entire population living in this city.
To put this into perspective 1.6 million people live in Auckland, compared to Wellington (202k) or Tauranga (131k), Christchurch(381k).
Auckland is the only place in NZ to me that feels like a proper city, the other cities in NZ (except for Wellington which feels like a mini city) can feel more like towns.
I have to admit, I am not usually a city person so I wasn’t sure about what it would be like to move to Auckland but in this blog, I will share why I loved it!
I moved to a place called Milford which is a beach suburb on the North Shore of Auckland (around 20 minutes from the CBD).
There are some great beach walks you can do here; the water is flat in Auckland so it suits those that want to do sailing/paddle boarding/kayaking.
Auckland is known as the “City of Sails” and you can see why as the water is always full of sailing boats.
I had a go at learning to sail at Mad loop watersports school - if you like windsurfing/want to try a new sport Milford could be a great spot to be based as they are big on teaching wind foils (fastest growing water sport in the world).
On my first few weekends, I also explored the other nearby beach suburbs including:
Takapuna - I would say is the best place to live in the North Shore as there is more going on and closer to the CBD
Devonport - probably the most expensive/affluent area in Auckland as you can live by the beach and catch a 12-minute ferry to the CBD
Browns Bay - a little further from the CBD but there are some great cafes/shops/beachfront
The North Shore for me is the best part of Auckland - full of beautiful beaches and some great choices for cafes/restaurants but it is also a little further from the CBD so it suits those looking for a more relaxed lifestyle - if you have been to Sydney, it has a similar vibe to Manly.
If you want to be nearer to the action in the CBD/nightlife etc.
Mission Bay is a beach suburb nearer to the CBD than living in the North Shore, this is also popular with expats.
There is also Ponsonby which is full of great bars/cafes/nightlife so it could be good to live near this area if you like to go out on the weekends.
Auckland to me offers so much more than a normal city, yes, the CBD is similar to what you would expect with other cities.
However, you are surrounded by water/nature and you also have multiple islands you can visit by Ferry on your days off.
I visited Waiheke Island; this is a 40-minute ferry from Auckland CBD - one of the main attractions on this island is the wineries so it is popular for birthdays!
You take the ferry across, then a short hop on/hop off bus and then you can visit multiple wineries by walking or getting the bus between them - a very fun experience!
Rangitoto Island is also popular for kayaking from Auckland and/or hiking to the top.
There are lots of options for hikes/activities across lots of different islands near Auckland.
Auckland is also centrally located to see other parts of NZ with Tauranga, Rotorua, Lake Taupo, Northland, Raglan all within 2-3 hours.
It would be great to buy a car/van and visit these tourist places on your time off/weekends.
Overall, if you are not a city person, I would not be put off by Auckland, I would just recommend living in the beach suburbs.
And if you are a city person, you can't not love Auckland, it has everything you could want in a city with so much to do on your time off!