Project Description

New Zealand’s North Island: What you need to know

New Zealand’s north island has a distinct identity from the south and is a popular place to live and work in the country’s largest cities. Here, Room in the Moon answers your questions about moving to the north island…

 

Where can I live?

The largest cities in the north island are the most popular places for people to live and work abroad.

Auckland, in the north west of the country, is New Zealand’s largest city. It is the economic centre of New Zealand, so most major international corporations have their Kiwi office here. It has a diverse local community and is located a short destination from tourist destinations such as Waiheke Island and the Bay of Islands, with black sand beaches that are popular in the summer.

Wellington, in the south of the north island, is the official capital of New Zealand. It is the centre of the country’s politics due to its central location close to the south island. Wellington is smaller than Auckland and is popular for its excellent arts and culture. Tourism is an important part of Wellington’s economy, with visitors from both New Zealand and other countries all year round.

The other major urban areas in the north island are Hamilton, just south of Auckland and Tauranga, on the north eastern coast.

 

How do I get there?

Auckland international airport is the largest airport in New Zealand, making it the ideal place to arrive if you’re going to be working on the north island. Wellington has an airport as well, but this currently only connects flights from Australia, Fiji and elsewhere in New Zealand. If you need to quickly travel between two cities in the country, or between the two islands, a cheap flight with a company such as Jetstar (http://www.jetstar.com/nz/en/home) may be convenient.

 

Rail travel in New Zealand (http://www.railnewzealand.com/) is quite expensive, with only a few main rail routes in the country. If you have more time to get between two cities, coach travel with a company such as Naked Bus (http://nakedbus.com/nz/bus/) will be the cheapest option. A coach journey from Auckland to Wellington will take around 11 hours and cost less than 30$.

 

Is it a good place to learn English?

Auckland and Wellington are New Zealand’s most international cities, with a lot of large language schools offering courses there. Facilities for language learning are more limited in the smaller cities on the island.

 

What else is there to do?

Unlike the south island it is the cities which are the centre of the north island’s attractions. Near Auckland you’ll find the Bay of Islands, as well as black sand beaches that are popular in the summer months between December and February. Outside of the cities, you can explore Mauri heritage at Rotorua or visit the Waitomo glowworm caves near Hamilton.

 

Famous Exports: Jonah Lomu, Sir Edmund Hillary, Peter Jackson, Russell Crowe

 

New Zealand’s South Island: What you need to know

New Zealand’s south island has a distinct identity from the north and includes some of the countries smaller cities that are popular places to live and work abroad. Here, Room in the Moon answers your questions about moving to the south island…

 

Where can I live?

The largest city in the south island is Christchurch. An earthquake in 2011 did a severe amount of damage to the city centre and many parts of the city are still not accessible. However, the community is beginning to recover, with projects such as the Re:Start (http://www.restart.org.nz/) mall, based entirely in shipping containers, trying to rebuild the local economy. Because of the continued damage, finding work in Christchurch remains difficult, although there is a lot of work currently taking place in construction to continue to repair the city centre.

Another popular destination on the south island is Queenstown. Though this is a small city, it is famous internationally for its extreme sports. It is home to the world’s first bungee jump and also a popular place to skydive and canyon swing. With a lot of tourists and backpackers staying for a short period of time, Queenstown has a reputation as a party town, but it is possible to live and work there for longer, especially if you work in tourism or have experience with extreme sports.

Nelson is another popular location on the north of the south island, with a lot of tourists from elsewhere in the country.

 

How do I get there?

Christchurch international airport is the largest airport in the south island, making it the ideal place to arrive if you’re going to be working on the north island. Queenstown has an airport as well, but this currently only connects flights from Australia, Fiji and elsewhere in New Zealand. If you need to quickly travel between two cities in the country, or between the two islands, a cheap flight with a company such as Jetstar (http://www.jetstar.com/nz/en/home) may be convenient.

Rail travel in New Zealand (http://www.railnewzealand.com/) is quite expensive, with only a few main rail routes in the country. If you have more time to get between two cities, coach travel with a company such as Naked Bus (http://nakedbus.com/nz/bus/) will be the cheapest option. The journey from Christchurch to Queenstown takes around 8 hours and cost around 50$.

 

Is it a good place to learn English?

The south island has smaller cities and a less international population than the north island, but there are still language schools that operate in Christchurch and Queenstown. The south island attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year, so your own language schools may help you find a job.

 

What else is there to do?

The south island of New Zealand is home to some natural wonders that are amazing to experience while you’re living there. Trips to explore the iconic Milford Sound can be booked in Queenstown, whilst beautiful lakes such as Wanaka and Tekapo offer a chance to relax. Kaikoura is home to native whales and the Abel Tasman National Park is one of the country’s most popular destinations.

During the winter months between June and August, the south island is a popular destination for skiing and other winter sports. On top of all this, you can visit sites seen in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

 

Famous Exports: Alan Dale, The Lord of the Rings