Top 5 Things to Know when Moving to New Zealand
8th June, 2019
If you’re moving to New Zealand from Australia, you can expect an easy relocation. There’s no need to learn a new language, deal with culture shock, or even apply for a work permit (so long as you’re an Australian citizen)! The pace of life is laid back, and New Zealand is one of the cleanest and most beautiful countries in the world.
However, as with any international relocation, there still some things you need to know to when moving to New Zealand:
- The cost of living is likely to be slightly less than in Australia
- The weather is unpredictable
- Rugby union is the national sport
- You’re going to need a car
- The scenery is impossibly beautiful
1: The Cost of Living is Likely to Be Slightly Less than in Australia
Overall, it’ll probably cost slightly less to live in New Zealand than it does in Australia.
Depending on where you live in Australia, the cost of living is likely to be cheaper. For example, according to Mercer’s 2017 Cost of Living survey, Sydney is the world’s 25th most expensive city to live in, while Melbourne came in at 46th. In comparison, Auckland came in at 61st and Wellington at 86th.
However, you should keep in mind that as an isolated island nation, many commodities have to be imported into New Zealand, which can increase the purchase price of some items. Plus, wages are typically lower in New Zealand.
2: The Weather Is Unpredictable
If you’re from Victoria or Tasmania, you won’t have much trouble adjusting to the moody weather of New Zealand’s major cities. The South Island can get very cold, but it’s certainly not a frigid place, and it rarely gets extremely hot on either island.
However, you will have to deal with the ‘four seasons in one day’ effect that plagues much of New Zealand. You’ll need to master the art of layering your clothing and packing wet weather gear whenever you go out. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a rainstorm – gamble on the weather at your own peril.
3: Rugby Union is the National Sport
Rugby union and the All Blacks are the national obsession. People of all ages follow the national team intensely, and they are arguably the best team in the world. Australians will need to swallow their pride and get used to a bit of All Black gloating.
Most Aussies will have AFL or Rugby League as their preferred sport, so it’s worth researching Union and watching a few games so you can join in on the conversation. The Bledisloe Cup is a three-match series between Australia and New Zealand that is held every year. The All Blacks have a healthy lead in the all-time wins category, but you may be lucky enough to see the Wallabies take out a game (and some gloating of your own!).
4: You’re Going to Need a Car
New Zealand consists of two large and sparsely populated islands. It also has no real national rail network, meaning you need a car to explore all that this beautiful part of the world has to offer. You can move between locales by bus, but this can be time-consuming, and services can be limited during off-seasons.
Luckily, New Zealand does have a fantastic road system, and most road rules are the same as they are in Australia, so you’ll have no problem getting on the road. You can even use your Australian license to drive for the first 12 months of your stay.
For more information, read our blog post on Transport in New Zealand.
5: The Scenery is Impossibly Beautiful
Australia is blessed with some stunning natural vistas, but the lush, green and dramatic landscapes of New Zealand are a real treat. New Zealand has thousands of kilometres of incredible coastline, dotted with fjords, beaches and sounds. It has an incredible set of alps that are the site for New Zealand’s snowsports, and the interior of the country is filled with untouched rainforests and natural oddities like hot springs and geysers.
New Zealand’s nature is almost in contrast to its closest neighbour. Flat, barren tablelands are replaced with green, rolling hills, white, tropical beaches are replaced by moody, rocky coastlines, and eucalypt forests are replaced by temperature rainforests. It really is a treat for Australians; while our cultures may be similar, the landscapes certainly aren’t.