Expats moving to Auckland can look forward to living in a modern, developed city, with the charm and relaxed pace of a seaside community. Situated on the north side of New Zealand’s North Island, Auckland is based around two harbours and has been nicknamed the 'City of Sails' because of the large number of yachts that sail between Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean and Manukau Harbour on the Tasmanian Sea.
With a population of just under 1.7 million, Auckland is made up of four areas, including Auckland City at the centre, North Shore on a raised peninsula to the north, Waitakere City to the west and Manukau City to the south.
Living in Auckland as an expat
Auckland is a culturally diverse city with a mix of expats, locals and Polynesian islanders. In fact, some nations in Polynesia have more of its citizens living as expats in Auckland than at home. This variety adds to the city’s charm and ensures a large number of cultural events and festivals throughout the year.
Although accommodation in Auckland is the most expensive in New Zealand, there are a variety of living options available to expats. Expats will find that houses situated further from the shore are generally cheaper than those in beach areas.
Auckland has a broad selection of public and private schools, as well as free, or low cost, state healthcare facilities and private hospitals available throughout the city.
The city has a number of public transportation options, such as ferries, buses, trains and taxis, but a car is still the easiest and most convenient means of navigating the city.
As the economic capital, Auckland is the obvious choice for expats moving to New Zealand. It produced almost a fourth of New Zealand’s GDP in 2020, which is nearly double that of the entire South Island. It is also the largest commercial centre in the country. The average salaries in Auckland are significantly higher than elsewhere in New Zealand.
Cost of living in Auckland
The general cost of living in Auckland remains higher than in other parts of the country, even if it's relatively low on a worldwide scale. Most expats relocating to Auckland will find that they are able to live comfortably and even enjoy a few luxuries that they might not be able to back home.
Climate in Aukland
The weather and climate are perfect incentives to choose Auckland as a new home. Summers are warm and the temperature averages 68°F (20°C), while winters are moderate, with an average temperature of 51°F (11°C).
Auckland is an ideal expat destination, offering the perfect balance between maintaining a healthy lifestyle and pursuing business opportunities. Expats moving to Auckland will soon become hard-pressed to leave New Zealand's beautiful 'City of Sails.'
►Learn more about the ups and downs of living in this city in our Pros and Cons of Moving to Auckland page.
"It is crisp, clean and beautiful here. Our money goes a lot further, so we have a more comfortable home and a far better view. In general I would say New Zealand presents a more relaxed and healthier lifestyle." Rhonda Albom relocated to Auckland in 2003. She shares her experiences of Auckland here.
"As far as cities go, Auckland is pretty mellow. The people here have been fantastic and welcoming, and I can drive for just half an hour to an hour and be out in the wops again. It’s really great." Read American expat Jimmy's interview about his experiences of Auckland.
Are you an expat living in Auckland?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Auckland. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.