Top 6 Cities to Move to in New Zealand!

Top 6 Cities to Move to in New Zealand!

Moving to New Zealand? With picture-perfect mountain ranges, breath-taking glaciers, vast forests, and golden beaches all within easy reach it’s understandable why New Zealand is a popular destination for ex-pats to move to.

And it’s not just the beautiful landscape that draws people in New Zealand has a rich culture and unmatched quality of life.

Whether you’re looking for a lively city or seek the serene countryside, wherever you choose to live you’ll be met by friendly locals and a dose of laid-back charm. Here are the top six cities to move to in New Zealand.


Moving with kids? Looking to retire? Wanting to further your career or education? Or just looking for an exceptional lifestyle? Whatever stage of life you are in, Auckland, New Zealand has a place for you! As New Zealand’s most populated city, Auckland is a multi-cultural metropolis bursting with life. Home to over one-third of New Zealand’s population (1.5 million) it’s no surprise that Auckland is one of the most diverse cities in New Zealand.

It’s not just the people but the landscape that is also incredibly diverse, with beaches, harbours, mountain ranges, and forests decorating the city.

As an international city, Auckland is an economic powerhouse contributing to 36% of the nation’s GDP and is connected to global business hubs from all around the world. Popular industries include professional services, manufacturing, healthcare, business, and hospitality.

Better yet, Auckland is an incredibly safe city and the perfect place to raise a family. With world-class education facilities from pre-school to post-graduate studies and strong community ties, with plenty of community events, clubs, and sports teams.

Did we mention that Auckland also has first-rate dining, shopping, entertainment, and outdoor activities?

Need more convincing? Find out more about life in Auckland here.


Wellington, aka the ‘Coolest Little Capital’ in the world, is a quirky, culture-filled city known for its world-class coffee, award-winning film industry, and wind!

Situated on the bottom of the North Island, Wellington is surrounded by magnificent wildlife, nestled between rolling hilltops and a breath-taking harbour, in fact, the CBD is located on the Wellington Waterfront – making your lunchtime views that much better.

Over 370,000 people call Wellington home, with the majority working in government, arts and culture, and business services. As Wellington houses New Zealand’s Parliament and all the head offices for government ministries and departments there are plenty of job opportunities in a range of sectors.

Wellington is also the Cultural and Film Capital of New Zealand, home to Weta Workshop, famous for Lord of the Rings, Avatar, and The Hobbit, Te Papa – The Museum of New Zealand, and the Headquarters for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Royal New Zealand Opera and The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Education in Wellington is outstanding and is home to Victoria University of Wellington which is ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world as well as plenty of award-winning public and private schools.

Due to its proximity to the cook straight (the section of water that separates the North and South Island), Wellington has a windy climate, earning the name Windy Wellington. In Summer, the average temperature is around 20 degrees and in winter it drops to around six degrees.

But don’t let the weather put you off – as locals say, “You can’t beat Wellington on a good day.”

Find out more about life in Wellington here.


Surf, sand, and sun are three of the best things about life in Tauranga. In fact, Tauranga has over 2200 hours of sunshine every year, boasting one of the best climates in New Zealand.

Situated in the Bay of Plenty, on the east coast of the North Island, Tauranga is home to over 140,000 people and is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing cities. This is reflected in the economy as the city is experiencing significant growth as a hub for entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Industries including construction, agriculture, healthcare, education, retail, and hospitality are all in high demand.

Families, young professionals, and retirees are all drawn to Tauranga due to its stunning surroundings (260kms of beautiful coastline) and laid-back lifestyle.

What’s more, Tauranga has plenty of world-class education facilities both public and private.

There is no shortage of things to do in Tauranga with plenty of activities from water sports, to shopping, to experiencing the fantastic dining scene, and if you do feel like escaping for the day Tauranga is perfectly positioned only 90 minutes drive from Auckland and Hamilton – perfect for a day of exploring.

Find out more about living in Tauranga here.


The gateway to the South Island, set against a backdrop of stunning coastline and mountain ranges Christchurch is a truly spectacular place to live.

In 2011, Christchurch was hit by a devastating Earthquake and since then the city has undergone extensive changes. It’s a modern city with plenty of green spaces, parks, and community areas. In fact, due to the- gorgeous botanical gardens, vast number of parks (over 700!), and reserves scatted throughout the city, Christchurch has earned the coveted title of The Garden City.

The major rebuilding effort has seen a massive increase in demand for workers in the construction area as well as manufacturing, agriculture, IT, hospitality, and tourism.

And we can’t, not mention the world-class education children living in Christchurch receive. With over 150 different public and private schools to choose from you can find the perfect education facility for your children. Plus, if you want to further your studies, Christchurch is home to Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury.

Find out more about living in Christchurch here.


Located on the east coast of the South Island is the small city of Dunedin. Often called the Edinburgh of New Zealand, Dunedin is famous for its internationally renowned education facilities, student culture, untouched natural beauty, and rich history.

Kiwis and international students from around the globe flock to Dunedin because of its world-leading education facilities, including the award-winning university, Otago University. In fact, 45% of locals are under 30 years old making Dunedin a student city.

However, that doesn’t mean Dunedin isn’t the place to raise a family. It is! The primary and secondary schools are second to none and there are plenty of family-friendly activities to keep the whole family entertained all weekend long.

And it’s not just the education that’s top tier, Dunedin has earned a reputation as a place for commercial excellence and is deemed as one of the top cities in New Zealand to grow a business.

Popular industries include education, healthcare, retail, construction, professional, scientific, and technical services.

What’s more, Dunedin is a UNESCO City of Literature and the Wildlife capital of New Zealand.

It is no wonder 87% of locals rate their quality of life as high! Find out more about living in Dunedin here.


Last but definitely not least, Hamilton is another great city to consider when moving to New Zealand.

Hamilton is New Zealand’s largest inland city situated on the Waikato River in the North Island and is home to over 170,000 people. Much like Dunedin, Hamilton is an up-and-coming city with a youthful population – over half the residents are under the age of 30.

One of the biggest draws cards about Hamilton is its affordability with houses being cheaper than in Auckland, Wellington, and Queenstown. Hamilton offers a range of different housing types to suit all needs, whether you’re a university student, family of four, or an empty nester.

The city has a strong demand for workers in the primary industries as the centre of New Zealand’s agriculture and dairy area – responsible for 25% of NZ’s milk supply! As well as healthcare, education, manufacturing, construction, logistics, IT and finance.

Find out more about living in Hamilton here.

If you’re sold on moving to New Zealand, get in touch with New Zealand Van Lines, NZ’s premium worldwide moving company. For over 35 years we have been moving individuals, families, and corporates from the United Kingdom, Australia, the USA, Canada, South Africa, Asia, or any other country to New Zealand.

Request a free, no-obligation moving quote today.