Would you like to work and study abroad? Do you enjoy outdoor adventures? Thousands of travelers come to New Zealand every year to explore its beaches, volcanoes, and snow-capped mountains. Many who chose to stay are living in Auckland, the largest city in the island country.
Auckland, also known as Tamaki Makaurau in the Maori language of its indigenous people, is a busy and vibrant city. This large, urban center is a shopping hub for tourists and locals alike. If you enjoy the bustling city life with plenty of outdoor activities, living in Auckland may be a dream come true!
In this complete guide, you’ll learn everything about Auckland life, from job hunting tips to the best places to visit. Before you know it, you’ll be on a one-way flight to the city!
Quality of Life in Auckland
With a population of nearly 1.6 million people, Auckland has the largest population of all cities in New Zealand. Known for its multiculturalism and diversity, the city has a relaxed and tranquil lifestyle. Citizens of Auckland have a reputation for being generous and friendly, making you feel welcome and comfortable.
Auckland is famous for its fishing ports, having the nickname City of Sails. The ports contribute to the city’s thriving economy, which creates plenty of work opportunities. Auckland’s economic resources also make way for its excellent living conditions and quality of life.
Best of all, the city is very versatile. While living in Auckland, you can plan a relaxing day at the beach, a getaway up in the mountains, or a tour through its infamous museums and galleries. With numerous bars and clubs, the nightlife is also lively and social.
Auckland sits on the North Island of New Zealand, right on the harbor, creating a mild subtropical climate. Temperatures average 25℃ during the summer, which occurs from December to February. During the winter, from June to August, temperatures average around 11℃.
While the weather is generally comfortable, Auckland experiences a lot of rain. Make sure to pack a light jacket and water-resistant shoes if you plan to do a lot of walking and sightseeing.
Cost of Living in Auckland
Auckland has a higher cost of living than many other New Zealand cities, primarily because it is a popular tourist destination. Fortunately, the strong economy and job opportunities create a balance, as citizens of Auckland make higher incomes than those in other cities.
Excluding rent, the average monthly cost for a single person living in Auckland is 1,030 NZD. You can find an apartment rental for about 1,700 NZD and spend an estimated 260 NZD per month on basic utilities and the internet. Keep in mind that these estimates vary on the area of Auckland you live in as well as living habits. If the costs are a little steep to what you’re used to, don’t worry! This next section will walk you through tips on how to save.
Tips on Saving
After gaining insight from our ‘growers’ and GrowPro team members who spent time in Auckland, below are helpful tips on how to save while living in Auckland:
- Stick to your budget. Remember, accommodation that is outside of the city is generally much cheaper than in the inner city. Choose a location that you can afford.
- Avoid taking taxis. If you need to get around town, public transport is a more affordable option. Even better, biking is free!
- Get a roommate. Sharing an apartment can help cut the rental and utility costs in half.
- Consider getting a job. If it is still difficult to save money, making extra cash is beneficial. This topic leads us to the next section.
Work while Living in Auckland
Fortunately, there are plenty of jobs available for international students living in Auckland. The most in-demand jobs are usually within the service industry, such as restaurants and tourism. However, depending on your educational background and skills, you can find work in the following demanding trades:
- Computer programming
The work requirements in Auckland are the same as those to work in New Zealand, which we will explain in the following section.
Requirements to Work in Auckland
To work in Auckland, you will need to:
Have a Valid Visa
Not every visa permits you to work in Auckland. To view the full list of options, check out our Visa for New Zealand article.
Be of Legal Age
The legal age to work under any visa in New Zealand is 18.
Since English is the official language of New Zealand, you will need to have a good command of the language. If English is your second language and you plan to improve your language skills, there are plenty of classes from which you can choose through our GrowPro program. We will explain this more in-depth in a later section.
Tips on Finding a Job
Networking with resumes on-hand is a good strategy for finding work, but you can find job opportunities in Auckland easier and much quicker online. Job search websites such as WorkHere, New Kiwis, and Seek are based in New Zealand and can connect you with local recruiters.
Next, consider checking social networking sites. You can create an attractive profile on LinkedIn to showcase your work experience and skills to New Zealand employers, as well as search for job postings directly on the website. Facebook also has plenty of groups in New Zealand that post jobs, including Jobseekers New Zealand and New Zealand Jobs.
Best Areas to Live in Auckland
Now that you have an idea of the type of accommodation you want, the next step is to explore the liveable areas of Auckland. Below are the most popular neighborhoods throughout the city:
Central Business District (CBD)
If you like being in the middle of the action, the CBD is the place to live. Here, you will find endless businesses, bars, restaurants, and shopping areas. Additionally, there are plenty of art galleries, museums, and theaters in this area. While the CBD is the most expensive, it is also the most convenient.
A suburb that is close to the center city, Ponsonby is the preferred neighborhood for students who come to live in Auckland. Why?The neighborhood is bustling with bars, live music, cafes, and several other attractions.
If you are a history lover, Parnell is one of the oldest suburbs in the center and has an old town style. The atmosphere in this area of the city is fairly laid-back and accommodation prices are considerably lower.
Regarded as the fashion capital of Auckland, Newmarket is where you will find exclusive fashion stores, elegant restaurants, and modern art galleries. It is a tranquil area to take a stroll through for shopping and exploring the area.
A coastal suburb, Howick is another one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. It is home to some of the most important historic buildings in New Zealand as well as Auckland’s most popular bars and restaurants.
Accommodation in Auckland
Auckland has many accommodation options from which you can choose. Hostels, which are convenient and generally short-term, can cost just 29 NZD per night. Of course, if you are a student, you can move into student housing through your university. Rooms are usually furnished, and utilities and amenity fees are within tuition. If you would like to live independently, you can rent an apartment.
Tips on Finding Accommodation
We strongly recommend not to search for accommodation before arriving in New Zealand. Instead, consider staying in a hostel for a couple of weeks. This way, you can view the housing options in person and avoid online rental scams.
Second, to save money on an apartment, consider getting a roommate. By sharing your apartment with a roommate, you will split the rent and utilities, thus helping you save.
Transportation in Auckland
Public transport in Auckland is convenient and affordable if you need to take it daily. Bus tickets vary based on distance but are generally 1 NZD for a short trip. You can use the subway metro, which costs 3.50 NZD across one zone. If you want to visit one of the nearby islands, you can ride the ferry. Companies typically serve downtown, on the North Shore, and east of the city. Ferry tickets can cost between 5 and 20 NZD.
As a student, you can get a discount on public transport. You can buy an ATHop, a prepaid card, to use for trips. Last but not least, biking is an excellent way to stay fit and save a lot of money. If you don’t have a bike, you can rent it for about 1 NZD an hour.
Things to Do in Auckland
There is plenty to see and do while living in Auckland. If you like an adrenaline rush, you can go bungee jumping or sky-waking at the Sky Tower. If you are a fan of art, there are tours of the historic Auckland Museum to view many of its strong>art galleries.
For water lovers, you can spend a day at a local beach, sailing in the sea, or take the ferry to visit the islands that are close to the city. Also, New Zealanders are known for enjoying wine. When you come to live in Auckland, do not pass up the opportunity to join friends for wine-tasting or wine tours, such as at Matakana.
Places to Visit in Auckland
You cannot stay in Auckland without visiting its most famous attractions! Here are the top must-sees to tour while there:
>Located in the city center, the Sky Tower is a must-see when living in Auckland. From 328 meters high, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city and take incredible photos.
This volcanic cone, 196 meters high, has the highest natural point in Auckland. Locals can walk or jog trails to the top of Mount Eden to see the city and islands that surround it.
Auckland War Memorial Museum
This war memorial is another must-see in New Zealand. If you are interested in the history of this country, you can explore Maori artifacts, enjoy local art exhibitions, and more.
Auckland Botanic Gardens
With over 1,000 plants from all over the world, this natural paradise is a must-see. The best part is that admission to the garden is free and you can go almost any day of the year.
Study while Living in Auckland
According to IDP, New Zealand has quality education that maintains excellent standards across all major fields of study. If you would like to study in New Zealand during your stay, we have plenty of programs from which you can choose!
Do you plan to improve your English? The following English courses will help you grasp the language and strengthen your comprehension. Whether you are in Auckland for a short season or plan to immerse yourself for over a year, there are different course lengths from which you can choose:
English Exam Prep
If you need to certify your proficiency via an official college entry language test, the following courses can help you prepare:
As an alternative to higher education, vocational courses are specialized programs in which you can receive training and certification in a specific job sector. Below are the available courses we offer:
Live in Auckland with Help from GrowPro
Now that you have all the information you need, the only thing left to do at this point is to start planning your trip! Through GrowPro Experience, living in Auckland can be a dream come true!
We help thousands of young travelers like you every year to plan and successfully move abroad to the most popular destinations in the world. To get started on your journey to Auckland, the first thing to do is visit our experience page. From there, choose from dozens of programs we have available in Auckland and fill out the form. Each page has a helpful section to plan your budget and will connect you with our Student Advisors once complete.
If you have any questions or anxiety about your trip, we are with you every step of the way. Once you land in Auckland, our team can pick you up from the airport and take you to your accommodation. We also provide Welcome Sessions for all of our growers in the city to connect and receive helpful resources to get you adjusted to Auckland.