A city built by volcanoes, Auckland came to life when some 53 of the rumbling mountains were created between 60,000 and 140,000 years ago, and the vibe of New Zealand’s largest settlement is every bit as exciting as you might expect from a town born this way.
Auckland has practically everything to offer the skilled professional, with every street, nook and cranny offering something new to discover. With more boats per head than anywhere else on Earth, Auckland is known as the City of Sails – and you’ll be sure to sail through the city’s finest delights when you arrive.
Awesome Auckland in a nutshell
As New Zealand’s biggest city, it will come as little surprise that Auckland has some of the broadest wealth of opportunities for skilled professionals across a range of sectors. Finance, IT, media, construction, marketing – Auckland is often the first port-of-call for those looking to live and work in New Zealand.
It’s not just the choice of jobs in a host of industries on offer. The city’s economy has grown year-on-year for the past five years, at an average rate of 3.3 per cent since 2010. That growth is reflected in the average Auckland wage, which is typically higher than most other places in the country, save for the capital, Wellington. Let’s take a look at just why you should consider Auckland when making the move to New Zealand.
Living in Auckland
In Auckland, there’s something new to discover on every street – and on the water. That’s right – there are more boats per head here than anywhere else on the planet. Not for no reason is Auckland nicknamed the ‘City Of Sails’!
Auckland is home to some of the most prestigious schools in New Zealand. Whether you are looking at early childhood or tertiary education, the city has an option for whatever you’re looking for.
The city’s list of education institutions includes the country’s three largest high schools: Rangitoto College, Avondale College and Massey High School. A number of New Zealand universities headquartered outside Auckland also choose to have a campus in the biggest city, alongside with the prestigious University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology.
Rugby and cricket are the most popular sports in Auckland – and the same goes for the rest of New Zealand. Eden Park and Mount Smart Stadium are just two of the several sporting venues in the city. If you want to make friends among Auckland rugby league fans, we suggest you have kind words to say about the Warriors, New Zealand’s premier rugby league team. The aforementioned Mount Smart Stadium serves as their home.
With regards to leisure, Aucklanders have a never-ending list of ways to enjoy their time. Have a stroll along the waterfront and you will find a harbour filled packed with sails – boating is a big Auckland obsession.
As New Zealand’s biggest city, it goes without saying that Auckland is home to a fine selection of cafés, bars and restaurants, as well as a vast range of upmarket shopping areas. Parnell, Ponsonby and Newmarket suburbs are where you’ll find the boutique shops, but if cheap and cheerful is more your thing, head on over to Otara, Takapuna or Avondale.
Awesome art scene
The Auckland War Memorial Museum is not only one of Auckland’s most impressive buildings, but it’s also the home to a rich cultural collection, ranging from Maori artefacts and geological lessons on the city and the country, to an historic journey through Auckland’s last few decades.
Auckland Art Gallery is the city’s main gallery, but it’s far from being the only one. The City Of Sails has a number of smaller galleries with ongoing exhibitions, which will ensure you never run out of cool stuff to look at.
The practicalities of housing are hugely important when it comes to your Auckland move. As you can imagine being a big city, there is a whole host of different housing options for you to choose from. A sprawling city, Auckland is constantly expanding, and with a multitude of suburbs, each with a different cultural flavour,
Of course, where you decide to live is entirely up to you, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the closer to the CBD you choose, the more expensive housing is likely to be, whether you choose to rent or buy. Where you choose to settle down might also depend upon your job, so be sure to take a look around before putting down your roots.
Aucklanders enjoy a warm temperate climate. Summers are usually warm and humid while winters are mild and wet. The city boasts an average of 2,060 sunshine hours per annum – plenty to go around!
Did you know that when it comes to diversity, Auckland is fourth in the world? That’s right – more than 200 ethnic communities live and work in Auckland, and of those, approximately one-third were born overseas. That means that it’s easy to make friends here, and mixing with people from all creeds and cultures is an absolute cinch.
Working in Auckland
As you might expect, as NZ’s largest city, Auckland boasts the biggest economy in the country. It’s here where many of New Zealand’s most innovative companies set up shop, including multinationals and national brands. As a settlement area, Auckland is by far and away the most populous in New Zealand – around one-third of the country live and work in the area, or nearby,
It’s a city in which there is huge growth in a great many sectors, the employment options are greater here than pretty much anywhere else in New Zealand. Construction, technology and IT are all booming right now, alongside media, communications and everything in between.
Auckland is a global city, and that means outstanding connections to a vast array of business hubs from around the world. Despite its size, making good connections with other professionals is pretty easy – in Auckland, the business community is tight-knit, and you won’t become a faceless number as you might in other large cities.
What to do in Auckland
If there’s one building that truly conjures fond imaginations of Auckland, it has to be the Sky Tower. At a height of 328 metres, this iconic structure can be seen from practically anywhere in the city. A visit to Auckland is never complete without travelling up the Sky Tower, which you can do in one of its speedy, glass-fronted lifts. From the viewing decks, you can see up to 80 kilometres in any direction on a clear day – perfect for planning your next move!
Built in 1959, the Auckland Harbour Bridge crosses the mighty Waitemata in an effort to quell the city’s congestion. Though it may not have fully realised its initial goal, the bridge remains a landmark well worth visiting. Carrying just shy of 200,000 vehicles a day, the span can also be climbed, granting excellent views of the city, sailed under, or even jumped off – with a bungy cord attached to your feet, of course!
For a truly unique dining experience, head back up the Sky Tower and take a table at Orbit 360. Aptly-named, this restaurant features broad, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, offering unrivalled views of the city and its wonderful surrounds below. That’s not all, though – the restaurant itself actually rotates, so you don’t need to worry about where your table is situated. You’re assured of the best view, wherever you are!
If steaks are your game, Angus Steak House is the name that you should be looking out for in Auckland town. Serving the finest cuts of cow for over 40 years, the Angus Steak House is unique in that you have the option of actually cooking your sirloin or rump yourself – the staff will deliver a miniature grill so that you can cook it just to your liking. This way, you can’t complain to the chefs that your steak is overdone, as you’re in charge!
One of the hippest bars to open its doors in the competitive Auckland hostelry arena is The Glass Goose, tucked down an alleyway behind the Sky Tower and up a flight of rustic stairs. You’ll find yourself in a classy rooftop bar, replete with fairy lights, the Sky Tower looming overhead and, if you’re lucky, a sumptuous full moon. Head inside to the ambient covered section of the bar if the weather takes a turn for the worse, sit back, and enjoy a drink or three.
For an authentic Friday night experience, be sure to pay a visit to The Fiddler, just across the way from The Glass Goose. Featuring a range of craft ales, lagers and all manner of spirits for you to sample, this pub really captures the spirit of a hedonistic night on the town. With live bands and solo artists regularly performing, as well as a pool table and popular balcony, there’s never a dull moment at The Fiddler.
The highest point in Auckland isn’t actually the tip of the Sky Tower’s antennae, it’s the summit of Mount Eden, or Maungawhau, to give it its Maori name. Rearing to a height of 186 metres, this extinct volcano is actually pretty easy to climb – a long but gentle scenic route circles the mountain, with another path that leads directly to the top. It goes without saying that you’ll again be treated to expansive, panoramic views of the city, but you can also gaze in wonder at the 50 metre-deep, sacred cone.
Laid out in the shadow of One Tree Hill, Cornwall Park is a fine space to spend a few hours lounging in the sun. Sheep, horses and cows roam free throughout, minding their own business as people relax by picnicking, jogging, birdwatching or simply walking. Be sure to visit the obelisk at the summit of One Tree Hill – a Maori pilgrimage.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the CBD, you’ll come across Ponsonby Road. This bohemian strip of swanky bars, boutique shops and charming cafes make for a vibrant Auckland experience, and the road itself features many side streets where you’ll happen across a myriad of quirky shops selling goods that simply cannot be found anywhere else. The road also hosts the annual Pride festival each February.
At the southern end of Ponsonby Road, you’ll find Karangahape Road, known locally as the ‘K-Road.’ This long stretch is chock-full of independent shops, cafes and licensed premises, and especially comes alive in the evening.
If you thought that the days of the outdoor cinema were over, think again. During the spring and summer months, the operators of Silo Park project a mixture of classic and new films on the great grey wall of the disused monolith. Stretch out on a bean bag, lay back with a beer and hotdog from one of the numerous vendors and watch the action unfold as the stars twinkle overhead.
Auckland should be the first place on anyone’s list when they jet into New Zealand – and it probably will be, as it’s here that most international flights touch down. In Auckland, you can be and do anything – what will you choose to do?