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Moving to New Zealand: A Comprehensive Guide to Aotearoa’s Main Cities

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Moving to New Zealand: A Comprehensive Guide to Aotearoa’s Main Cities


Considering moving to New Zealand and contemplating where to call home?

Let’s look into three of the country’s most popular cities and their suburbs, helping you narrow down your options and find the perfect place to call home.


Auckland: Tāmaki Makaurau


Our journey begins in the North Island, in Auckland, also known as Tāmaki Makaurau.

If you’re in search of a city with a temperate climate year-round, a diverse population, great career opportunities, and the perfect balance between business and lifestyle, then Auckland is the city for you.

Recognised as the 10th most liveable city in the world according to the 2023 Global Liveability Index, Auckland is a great place to consider calling your next home.

Tāmaki Makaurau offers a variety of suburbs catering to different preferences. Let’s explore a few popular ones:




Nestled in the core of Tāmaki Makaurau, Parnell is often referred to as Auckland’s first suburb.

This suburb welcomes you with its historical architecture, tree-lined streets, boutique shops, and delightful cafes (Winona Forever, a must-try for those with a sweet tooth).

Situated just 2.5km from the central business district, Parnell provides a convenient residential option for professionals working in the CBD.

You may find residents visiting the Parnell Gallery and enjoying a pizza and Aperol Spritz at Non-Solo Pizza.

Parnell provides effortless convenience, benefiting a diverse range of people, from young professionals to families and older demographics.


View of Auckland City, New Zealand

View of Auckland City, New Zealand




Located just west of the central business district, Ponsonby stands out as one of the ‘coolest’ neighborhoods in the area.

Renowned for its multitude of fashion stores, vibrant bars, and diverse eateries, Ponsonby exudes a trendy and urban vibe.

On the weekends, you may find residents exploring neighborhood bakeries, such as the acclaimed Daily Bread, and indulging in evening cocktails along K Road (as the locals refer to it).

If this lifestyle resonates with you, Ponsonby might be the perfect suburb.

It is important to note that residing in Ponsonby comes with a relatively higher cost, presenting a potential challenge for some individuals.


Auckland City at Night

Auckland City at Night




Situated southeast of Auckland’s CBD, Epsom is one of the most family-friendly suburbs in Auckland and home to two of New Zealand’s top secondary schools, Auckland Grammar School and Epsom Girls’ Grammar School.

Only 5km away from the CBD, Epsom has excellent transport links, ensuring an easy commute for professionals working in the CBD.

For fitness enthusiasts and those seeking adventure, Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill Domain provide popular recreation spots.

Weekends for residents usually involve walks in Cornwall Park, coffee and bagel trips to Best Ugly Bagels, and relaxed evenings.

Epsom is an ideal choice for families looking to reside in a quiet and safe neighborhood close to the city center.

Epsom is a great suburb to consider if you are thinking of moving to New Zealand.


One Tree Hill, Auckland, New Zealand

One Tree Hill, Auckland, New Zealand


Wellington, Te Whanganui-a-Tara:


Now, we are journeying down the country to the capital of Aotearoa, Wellington, also known as Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

Welly, as Kiwis say, attracts creative minds with its cultural richness.

The city has been named ‘The coolest little capital in the world.’ Welly is known for its vibrant streets, love of fashion, and its epic food scene.

Te Whanganui-a-Tara offers a variety of suburbs catering to different preferences. Let’s explore a few popular ones:


Te Aro


Te Aro is nestled in the center of Wellington and is a fun, happening, and vibrant place to reside.

Living in Te Aro means you are surrounded by lots of bars, retail stores, and cafes; it is a busy area of Wellington, which means there is not a lot of privacy.

On weekends, you will catch residents brunching at local cafes like Customs, exploring the shops in Aro Valley, attending community yoga classes, and checking out the latest on tap at Garage Project.

If you enjoy living in the heart of a city and being around all the action, Te Aro may be the suburb for you if you are considering moving to New Zealand.


Te Aro, Wellington, New Zealand

Te Aro, Wellington, New Zealand




Newtown, a hotspot for young and creative individuals, is a fun neighborhood with lively markets, a social community center, and great cafes and bars.

On the weekend, the streets fill up with residents, primarily students, immigrants, and creatives, exploring vintage stores, grabbing coffee, and enjoying live music at Moon 1 in the evenings.

If you want a fun, creative, and social neighborhood to reside in, Newtown is worth considering if you are thinking of moving to New Zealand!


The Beehive, Wellington

The Beehive, Wellington, New Zealand


Oriental Bay


Oriental Bay is a coastal neighborhood, offering diverse real estate options, great dining options, and harbor views.

Located just minutes from the city center, it has become a sought-after spot for families seeking a balance between urban living and a holiday-like atmosphere.

This suburb has a beautiful, safe, and swim-friendly beach, along with historical Victorian Homes. Notably, a variety of top-notch educational options are available within a 5-kilometer radius, catering to academically minded or athletically gifted students.

These institutions include St. Mary’s College, Queen Margaret College, Wellington College, Wellington East Girls’ College, Wellington Girls’ College, and Wellington High School.

On the weekends, residents can be spotted strolling along the harbor, taking a swim during the summer, and catching up with friends and family at relaxed cafes.


Oriental Bay, Wellington, New Zealand

Oriental Bay, Wellington, New Zealand


Christchurch, Ōtautahi:


Christchurch is the biggest city in the South Island of New Zealand, an emerging destination with modern energy.

Despite ongoing construction from the 2011 earthquake, Ōtautahi radiates progress and a high quality of life.

Our Prospero Group New Zealand office is based in Christchurch, and within our office, representing various demographics, there is agreement that Christchurch is a great place to call home if you are considering moving to New Zealand.

Ōtautahi offers a variety of suburbs catering to different preferences. Let’s explore a few popular ones:




Merivale is located just north of Christchurch Central and offers a clean, safe, and family-friendly neighborhood.

Enjoy easy access to town life, cozy cafes, great restaurants, and renowned schools like Rangi Ruru Girl’s High School and Elmwood Normal School.

You may find residents shopping at Merivale Mall, walking around Hagley Park, and having a drink with friends at the popular local bar, Aikmans.

Eloise, our marketing assistant in New Zealand, loves to walk from Merivale Village to Hagley Park in spring to be around all the blossom trees.

If you’re seeking a friendly, convenient, and social community to live in, Merivale is worth considering.


Hagley Park, Christchurch, New Zealand

Hagley Park, Christchurch, New Zealand




Wanting a beachy lifestyle? Sumner, a suburb just 30 minutes from the CBD, it has a perpetual holiday feel.

Residents here have the luxury of a stunning beach at their doorstep, a relaxed atmosphere, an array of fantastic restaurants and bars, and all the essentials right within reach.

On the weekends, you will find the locals walking on the beach, surfing, swimming, and in the evening, meeting friends and family at the Sumner Social or Clink for drinks and nibbles.

As Georgia, our Branch Manager in New Zealand says, ‘You can’t beat Sumner on a good day!’


Sumner Beach, Christchurch

Sumner Beach, Christchurch, New Zealand




Wanting a city view? Cashmere is one of the most popular residential areas in the Garden City.

The suburb is just a 10-minute journey from the CBD and provides spectacular views, access to walking and hiking tracks in the Port Hills, and a top-notch high school, Cashmere High School.

On the weekends, residents can be found walking in the Port Hills, mountain biking in the Christchurch Adventure Park, enjoying a real fruit ice cream by the river in the summer, and strolling the Harry Ell to pause at the Sign of the Takahe for a bite.

If you are seeking city views and adventure activities right in your backyard, Cashmere may be the suburb for you!


Cashmere, Christchurch, New Zealand

Cashmere, Christchurch, New Zealand


Considering Moving to New Zealand?


Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch stand out as three highly sought-after cities for people moving to New Zealand.

While moving to New Zealand may feel scary, and perhaps even far from your home country, the extraordinary sense of welcome it offers defies geographical distances.

Rest assured, as a Kiwi authoring this blog, we genuinely believe that our country is an amazing place to live and explore!

Our experienced consultants are here to guide you.

Register today!