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Haere Mai – welcome to New Zealand, the emerald jewel of the South Pacific. The main islands of this lush archipelago, whose land mass is roughly the size of the US Colorado state, are the North and South Islands. New Zealand’s spectacular glaciers, picturesque fiords and rugged mountains give way to vast plains, rolling farmland, subtropical forest, volcanic plateaus, and over 15,000 kilometres of stunning coastlines.

Fantastic vineyards, arresting scenery, a pervasive spirit for adventure and thriving cottage and local industries make this small country a delightful place to call ‘home’. New Zealand is also a great place to do business according to the World Bank, which ranked it third (behind Singapore and Hong Kong) in its ‘Doing Business 2013’ report.

With a population of 4.4 million, New Zealand is at once gloriously uncrowded and culturally beguiling. The Maori, New Zealand’s tangata whenua, or indigenous peoples, comprise 15% of the population. Today, Maori history, language and tradition remain pivotal to this nation’s identity.

New Zealand has long been a popular destination for people looking to pack up and start a new life overseas. 

It might be located at the bottom of the world, but this doesn’t stop thousands of people relocating there every year.

So what makes New Zealand such a popular choice?

For starters, the culture is fairly similar to that of Britain–not surprising since New Zealand was colonized by the British in the 19th century. 

Starting a new life here isn’t as difficult as it might be in other places, especially as there aren’t any language barriers to overcome on arrival.  Newcomers just need to take a breath, have a sip of one of the world-famous wines and become accustomed to the laid-back lifestyle the country is famous for.

Of course, New Zealand also has a reputation for its clean, green, outdoors lifestyle, which is more than justified. The scenery is stunning, the cities aren’t crowded, and the miles of beaches have to be seen to be believed. 

Understandably, Kiwis spend much of their free time outdoors exploring, playing sports, having picnics, and making the most of everything the country has to offer. 

Deciding on where to live will be depend on what is important to you and what you’re looking for. Whether you’re after rural life on a farm or you’re more of a city-slicker, you should be able to find somewhere to suit you. Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Christchurch and Dunedin are the most popular spots for expats, but there are plenty of other locations that would welcome you.

Find out more about moving abroad

Continue exploring the site to find more detailed guides to all of New Zealand’s largest cities.  These guides should help you to see some of the differences and begin to plan your move abroad, but be sure to do your own research and seek the views of others who have been before.

Auckland

Auckland

Auckland, City of Sails, is so-named for boasting more yachts per capita than any other city in the world. One in three households owns a boat in...
Christchurch

Christchurch

Cradled between hill country and the Pacific Ocean, toeing the Canterbury Plains that stretch to the Southern Alps, is Christchurch. New Zealand’s...
Dunedin

Dunedin

Dunedin, the farthest city in the world from London, perches on the Southeast coast of New Zealand’s South Island. This southernmost town may well...
Hamilton

Hamilton

Bounded by lush, verdant pastureland, cleaved in two by the majestic Waikato River, is Hamilton, New Zealand’s fourth-largest city. Hamilton lies at...
Hawkes Bay

Hawkes Bay

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand’s oldest winemaking region may well produce some of the world’s most relished wines, but its attributes extend well beyond...
Nelson

Nelson

Resting on the eastern shores of Tasman Bay at the northern tip of the South Island is Nelson, the biggest fishing port in Australasia. Curved around...
Palmerston North

Palmerston North

Palmerston North, halfway between Wellington and Rotorua, is the southern heart of the North Island. The sophisticated, provincial city lies in the...
Tauranga

Tauranga

Tauranga, the bubbly "Western Bay" city in the Bay of Plenty, straddles a sandy peninsula flanked by a sheltered harbor on one side and a fantastic...
Wellington

Wellington

Wellington/Te Upoko-o-te-Ika-a-Maui ("head of Maui’s fish"), New Zealand’s capital city, leans out from the Rimutaka Range into the roaring forties...

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