When it comes to moving abroad, there are few more-popular countries to emigrate to than New Zealand.
We’re a proud melting pot of cultures, which generally makes for progressive, friendly attitudes and a high quality of life. The astonishing vistas across the country become the cherry on top of an unbeatable offering.
So, once you’ve made the obvious choice, there are a few things to know before you land…
Four seasons in one day
When it comes to picking a place to make your home in New Zealand, there’s a wide range of choices on the table, though the vertical nature of the country can have a significant impact on what the seasons hold for you.
South Island temperatures drop into the negative during winter and it can rain frequently, which comes from clouds forming off the distinctive mountain range of the Southern Alps.
The North Island, however, can reach tropical temperature levels during the summer.
However, as all locals know, no matter what part of the country you’re in, always be prepared to experience all four seasons in a 24 hour period.
When we do get those beautiful sunny days, or even if it’s overcast, we have to be careful. New Zealand is sitting beneath a sizeable hole in the ozone layer, which means proper skin protection is an absolute must during summer.
New Zealand is located on fault lines between the Earth’s plates, which means the country is prone to earthquakes. The last significant quake was in 2011, in the city of Christchurch. Rebuilding efforts have been ongoing since then and earthquake-proofing is a top priority across the country.
Shoes are optional
It can be customary in some households to remove shoes, although this is by no means a universal practice across the country. In fact, it’s normal to leave the house with none at all! Head to any residential street, café or supermarket, especially beachside, and it probably won’t be long until you spot someone shoeless. You can thank our super laidback nature, plus the Māori belief that being barefoot brings you closer to nature.
Rugby is a religion
Think New Zealand, think rugby. We’ve been a country of fanatics since 1870. It also helps that our national team, the All Blacks, has dominated the sport since the team was formed over 100 years ago. Our advice would be to pick up a jersey as soon as you land – it won’t be long ‘til you’re sporting it.