Moving to New Zealand: What you need to know
New Zealand is a very popular place for people from all over the world to live and work abroad. Whether you’re just starting to think about it or you’ve already booked your flights, there’s a few important things you need to know. Room in the Moon can help you with everything you need to move to New Zealand!
New Zealand is divided between two main islands, the North Island and the South Island. The North Island is home to the largest city, Auckland and the capital city, Wellington. Outside of the cities are a lot of rural areas with small populations, as well as popular tourist destinations such as Rotorua. The North Island is home to the majority of New Zealand’s Mauri community and is known for its arts and culture.
The South Island’s main cities are Queenstown and Christchurch. This island is less heavily populated, with the landscape dominated by mountains, including Mt. Cook, the largest mountain in the southern hemisphere. The South Island is known for extreme sports and winter sports, with skiing popular during the winter and Queenstown home to the world’s first ever bungee jump.
New Zealand’s weather can be very unpredictable, so make sure you’re prepared for all temperatures whenever you arrive! There is a lot of variation in climate between different parts of the country.
New Zealand’s seasons are the opposite of those in the northern hemisphere. During summer, between December and February, temperatures are usually warm throughout the country. It is warmest on the north island, particularly around Auckland. In the winter, between June and August, you can expect snow on the south island and sometimes in the north as well.
Rainfall varies around the country. The north has a sub-tropical climate, with Auckland being New Zealand’s wettest city. The south is much drier, with less rainfall in Queenstown and Christchurch experiencing less rainfall than any other city in the country.
New Zealanders, or ‘Kiwis,’ are proud of their heritage. The island was first discovered by the Polynesians, now known as Mauris, in the 13th century. British and European settlers arrived around 500 years later. There is still a strong Mauri community in New Zealand, with tourist locations such as Rotorua celebrating Mauri history and culture. The national anthem, ‘God Save New Zealand,’ is sometimes sung with alternating English and Mauri verses.
New Zealanders in general are relaxed and welcoming to new people in their community. Outdoor lifestyles and activities are encouraged in order to make the most of and protect the natural beauty in the country.
The Food & Drink
Traditional Kiwi meals include local ingredients grown and harvested in New Zealand, such as Kumura (sweet potato) and beef. Restaurants around the country serve a mixture of local meals and international cuisine. You’re never far from fresh water in New Zealand, so seafood of all kinds are extremely popular both in restaurants and home cooking.
You can buy alcohol in most supermarkets in New Zealand as well as smaller convenience stores. Wine produced in New Zealand has an excellent international reputation.