As you know Auckland is the largest city of New Zealand and is a lot of people’s first choice when considering relocation. The total population of Auckland is now over 1.5 million which is almost 34 percent of the country’s overall population! Auckland has been ranked by numerous media outlets (Most recently the Telegraph) as one of the best city to live in New Zealand for its diverse culture, lifestyle and job opportunities.
When we were reading about Auckland I realized we had done a lot of reading about what to do in Auckland, what there was to see, what job prospects the city had but had no real research into where we may want to live when we arrive. So we have created a brief insight about some of the most preferred places in Auckland to live in based on the history of the areas and my personal opinion of the areas from exploring the city during my last six month stint in the city.
The CBD – If you want to be right in the mist off all the action then the Central Business District is the place. This basically consists of Queen Street and it surrounding streets. Here you will be close to all the best bars, restaurants and clubs within Auckland and very close to the Ferry Terminal for quick escapes to nearby islands Rangitoto and/or Waiheke Island. There always something to do here and if you work here you won’t have to worry about transport costs!
Parnell – Parnell came into existence in 1841. This is also a comparatively expensive area and normally it’s “rumoured” that only BMW owning professionals lives here! The prices of property have risen drastically over the last 3 years. Parnell is also known for is famous Rose festival every year which attracts a lot of tourists from far places. It is very central, to the west lies the Auckland Domain and to the south Newmarket. Very commutable as it has a direct train link to the CBD.
Ponsonby – This is one area accessible by the middle class as well. Property prices are high as over the years it has become THE place to live. It is considered as a lively and trendy area in terms of night life as the place has many cafes, restaurants, nice bars etc. Herne Bay is a few km’s down the road, to launch your kayak but the area doesn’t have a train link! Cyling would be your best option to get into the CBD each day or there is a very good bus link that operates every 15 minutes.
Remuera – A bit further down the train line you will find a quiet suburb of Remuera. It is a very beautiful and scenic area but again damn expensive! It is an area primarily for the elite class with properties value excessively high. Not far from the beaches of Mission Bay but does have a train link into the centre.
Mount Eden and One Tree Hill – East of Newmarket and Parnell, and if you look at a map the only decent parks around that are very central, therefore a very deseriable place to live! Both suburbs are very green and have a community even amongst the tourist’s climbing Mt Eden to view the volcano, a extinct volcano we may add!
Mission Bay & St. Heliers – This area is personally one of my favorite spots in Auckland but I must have expensive taste as it is one of the most expensive areas of New Zealand with multimillion dollar mansions! It’s a great weekend hangout spot with every other person jogging along the bay. It definitely has become a place to be seen with lovely niche cafes lining the road near the beach. There is no train line going this way so if you work in the central business district (CBD) you will have to commute by car or bus (around 3 dollars a day one way).
Botany – The area of Botany in Auckland was built in the last decade with numerous large housing estates. For shopaholics Botany Town Centre has the largest shopping mall of New Zealand. The living standard of Botany is considered as one of the best in Auckland but it is also considered as one of the most expenses place to live in New Zealand. It is a lot further out than Mission Bay and St.Heliers there public transport is limited, but if you want amentities closeby this could be the area for you.
Buckland’s Beach – Buckland’s beach is a suburban area which is east of Auckland about 13 kilometres from central Auckland, not far from Botany. The area is known for having some of the best schools in the city. There are also a couple of nice tennis courts, golf course and bowling clubs. I have fellow friends from the UK how live in this area and love this area they tell me the houses hes and properties. The place has small cafes, restaurants, bars and a shopping centre. The place has the Whitford Country Club which has a scenic 18 holes golf course. The Whitford Bird garden is a huge tourist attraction and a must see place in Whitford.
Beachlands and Pine Harbour –This beautiful coastal area is quickly developing with construction of many new housing estates and commercial areas. It has a very small population of about 4500 people and the locals commute with the mainland Auckland via Ferry.
Pine Harbour – Pine Harbour is one of the newly developed areas in terms of building new housing society and commercial centre. This is the place known for boating, surfing etc. Almost all the water sports can be done at the Pine Harbour.
All of East Auckland doesn’t have a train link and buses are not that great either, so if you choose to live here expect to use your car a lot!
Titirangi – It is located in Western Auckland and most of its area is in the forest of Waitakeres. Forest lovers can buy beautiful houses here all surrounded by trees. It is a hilly forest area and it also rains here a lot as compared to the rest of Auckland. Again no train link, bus or car to get around!
Devonport – This area is a suburb of Auckland. It is the harbour side which is also home to the New Zealand Naval base. The harbour also houses the Royal New Zealand navy ships. This harbour is famously known for the traditional harbour side dining, drinking and the cultural heritage charm. If you decide to move here it requires the use of road transport or ferries to get into central Auckland, which in itself is a very scenic and breathtaking experience. Note: There is no cycle ways or walk ways across the harbour bridge!
Whangaparaoa – It is considered as one of the most congested areas as there is surprisingly just one road that goes in and out of the area. The beaches here are very scenic and the houses at the beach are really admired – boats in the driveway kind of place! It is much further out than Devonport so not ideal if you are commuting from the CBD everyday.
Off shore (You can dream!)
Great Barrier – Great Barrier is the largest island off New Zealand. The life here is totally different from rest of the country. It is at a distance of about 8 hours by ferry or about a 1 hour via air. I have never been here personally so I can’t comment on the island much. If you want to head there the Great Barrier Airline is the only airline service connecting it to the mainland Auckland or the rest of the world! This island has a population of less than 1000 and surprisingly the island has no electricity. The residents use their own generators to produce electricity.
Waiheke – Waiheke is the second largest island after the Great Barrier Island. It is comparatively a densely populated island with almost 8000 residents. However, it doesn’t feel overcrowded and it has a great chilled atmosphere. It is estimated that nearly 3500 of population has holiday homes in this island. Waiheke is considered as one of the most easily accessible island by air and as well as by ferry. The property in this island can be a bit expensive but not as much to wealthy overseas visitors (instead of boats in the driveway we are talking helicopters in the drive way here!). Read my article here to find out more about this beautiful island!