Good And Bad Suburbs of Auckland + Areas To Avoid

“Image made by Craig, Licence 1, 2

Auckland is so called the center of New Zealand, which brings everyone’s attention. The suburbs of Auckland are just as bubbling with good-looking homes, natural beauty, culture, an independent lifestyle, and an attractive lifestyle. But with the good comes the bad.

New Zealand’s largest city has various suburbs with different qualities and varied lifestyles. Whether you are going just for vacation or planning on relocating, you need to identify the good and bad suburbs of Auckland and the areas you would want to avoid.

Good suburbs are:

  1. Devonport
  2. Takapuna
  3. Ponsonby
  4. Orakei

Bad suburbs are:

  1. Otara
  2. Papakura
  3. Otahuhu
  4. Manurewa

If you want to know how to navigate your way through life in the suburbs of Auckland, take a look at this article. We describe in detail the good and less desirable areas of this city in detail.

Which areas of Auckland are bad or dangerous?

To most people, Auckland is just the largest city in New Zealand, or known as the “city of sails.” But Auckland is a lot more than just being magnificent for its sails. Its food, wine, art, music, and culture are what set it apart from the rest of the world.

However, the reputation of Auckland being a perfectly made metropolis city does not necessarily live up to its standards. Certain suburbs and areas are lying on the outskirts, which tarnish the image of a perfect Auckland.

Is Auckland unsafe or dangerous for visitors and people living there? Generally, you don’t have to worry about your safety here, as it’s a very safe city. There aren’t areas or suburbs where your life will be threatened.

Auckland only has some bad areas to live in in terms of location, renting prices, crime rates, and population. You might see some gangs and fights between them, but the crime level is overall pretty low.

What about the Eastern Bays of Auckland?

Best and worst suburbs of Auckland

If you are an expat or just shifting within the country, you need to know whether the new location you have decided on is going to be a good decision for you and your family in the long run.

Best suburbs of Auckland

North Shore

Northern Auckland is a great place to live. Look at suburbs like Takapuna, Torbay, Albany, and Browns Bay if you want to rent or buy a new modern home. Yet, prices can bite in that part of the city.

West Auckland

Green Bay, Riverhead, Hobsonville Point, Te Atatu Peninsula, Laingholm, Hobsonville, Oratia, Waitakeres, and Kumeu are some of the most desirable suburbs in West Auckland while Ranui, Kelston, Henderson, Royal Heights, Glen Eden, and Massey are some of least desirable.

East Auckland

East Auckland is also considered a nice and safe area to live in. Suburbs in this area include Orakei, Mission Bay, Howick, Kohimarama, St Heliers, Glendowie, St Johns, Stonefields, Meadowbank, Wai-O-Taiki Bay, Glen Innes, and Remuera.

Want to live near the stunning beach? Choose Howick.

In some neighborhoods, rent and houses are more expensive than in the West and South Auckland.

1. Devonport

“Picture by Bernard Spragg. NZ

Devenport is a historic harbourside suburb situated on the North Shore of Auckland, while the East of the suburb is located in North Head. The suburb is just a 12-minute ferry ride or a 20-minute drive from central Auckland city.

The area is well-known for hosting the naval base of the Royal New Zealand Navy. It prides itself on becoming a base for the country’s naval equipment and forces.

A lesson on history is offered by the museum at the base that holds the collections of navy artifacts. The best thing is that the historical navy atmosphere extends to a nearby location offering harbourside dining.

As of 2022, the population of Devonport has extended to approximately 3,230 people as of official estimates. With an increase in the population, an increase in crime rates comes hand in hand.

The overall crime rate recorded the highest at 11.2% in March 2022, which is way below the average for other suburbs of Auckland.

Although, the renting prices have increased over the years, renting a 3-bedroom apartment in Devonport as compared to main Auckland is going to save you a lot. Most 3-bedroom apartments cost between NZ$650 – NZ$850.

Devonport is the perfect location for residing – from the sandy beaches and walking along the harbourside to reaching the summit of Mount Victoria and booking a ferry ride, you will absolutely love it.

It preserves its heritage by being far away from Auckland and valuing its historical culture. It has several cafes, restaurants, shops, and pubs spread all around town.

2. Takapuna

“Picture by Sandy Austin

Takapuna is located on the North Shore of Auckland, which forms the northern side of Waitemata Harbour. All around, it’s surrounded by multiple suburbs and lies at a distance of almost 13 minutes from Auckland’s CBD.

What makes Takapuna unique are the commercial businesses it hosts – the area has a lot of potential in the business and commercial sectors.

The average price for owning poverty in Takapuna has been increasing yearly. The property price for a family home is almost NZ$1.3 million. As for the median sale price, it sometimes reaches NZ$1.5 million.

Takapuna is one of those areas which has a nightlife of its own. It’s well-visited by the locals as well as the tourists in the summer. Takapuna offers everything from pubs, shopping centers, boutiques, beaches, and entertainment areas.

The area has a population of 8,900 people as of June 2022. According to the 2018 New Zealand census, there were fewer males (3,933) as compared to females (4,410). After COVID-19, however, the crime rates have started to increase, which is a worrying factor.

3. Ponsonby

“Image by itravelNZ

Ponsonby is yet another extravagant, upper-middle-class suburb of Auckland situated just 2 km west of New Zealand’s North Island. The suburb is close to a ridge that extends north-south and is followed by the main street of the suburb, Ponsonby Road.

Even though the area is located pretty close to central Auckland, it’s known for its own essence. Dining, retail, and being a residential hub are what make Posonby one of a kind.

As of the 2018 New Zealand census, Ponsonby had a population of 5,730 people with about 2,080 houses.

The rental prices for a family home or a single-bed apartment vary a lot as the area is home to one of the most successful businesses in all of Auckland. The median sale price is $NZ2,625,000.

Ponsonby is a suburb where fashion and shopping meet dining. It’s full of art galleries, unique designer fashion, homeware markets, nightclubs, top-quality jewellery, and local arts and crafts.

Ponsonby Central and Ponsonby Road have it all — from street food to five-star restaurants. The area belongs to the upper-middle class people, and after Denvont, it is one of the best suburbs of Auckland you’d want to explore or live in.

4. Orakei

“Image from GPS 56

Orakei is a suburb that lies on a peninsula that is a distance of 5km from the East of the city center. All around, it’s surrounded by coastal areas of Hobson Bay, Mission Bay, Waitemata Harbour, and Bastion Point.

Orakei is a land of Māori culture and heritage, along with the beautiful beaches it has to offer. It is a suburb that lives off the water.

From sunny beaches, islands, and bays to basins and reserves — they’ve got it all. There are also multiple farming and fishing opportunities along the coastal areas.

Combining the populations of both East and West, Orakei has a total population of 5,740. According to experts, population growth and crime rates are going hand in hand for the first time.

The household prosperity rates for Orakei are at 9.8, which is even better than the Auckland average of 4.7. The median sale price for the property is down by 15.5% at NZ$2,000,000.

Worst suburbs of Auckland

South Auckland

Firstly, South Auckland isn’t a suburb, as a large area of Auckland city, it’s a conglomerate of suburbs, also known as Manukau city.

This area is prone to have a higher level of crime compared to other Auckland suburbs due to socio-economic-demographic issues.

This part of Auckland is populated mainly with Maori and immigrants from Asian countries, the income level of which tends to be low.

South Auckland has the most poverty and near poverty. Gangs and issues with the police are also common. Nonetheless, the even less prosperous South of Auckland is absolutely safe for an average individual.

1. Otara

Otara is one of the worst suburbs of Auckland, situated on the southern side. It’s located in South Auckland at a distance of 18 km from Auckland CBD. The area is surrounded by the suburbs of Tamaki, Flat Bush, Clover Park, and Papatoetoe.

The most noticeable factor of Otara is that most of its population consists of Pacific Islanders rather than locals. It’s known for its natural wonders, such as the Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland, Hells Gate, and much more.

The leading causes of issues in this are high poverty rates and poor housing & living conditions.

The population is estimated to be 24,300 as of June 2022. With an increase in population accounting for the rise in crime rates and a decrease in housing opportunities for people, Otara is moving towards decline.

2. Papakura

Papakura is a southern suburb of Auckland. The farther you get away from Auckland, the farther you go toward the South, and the situation and conditions worsen as well.

Located 32 km from Auckland CBD, Papakura lies along the shores of Pahurehure Inlet.

A rapidly growing population of 26,800 as of June 2022 has made an increase in the residential and business sectors. However, along with the good came the bad.

To welcome people, many different cultures and races intermingled, which caused a lot of disturbance in governing the suburb. At the household prosperity comparison, Papakura lies at 2.4, which is more than half below the average Auckland’s 4.7.

People here have been struggling with housing and assault cases a lot. The average household income compared to the Auckland average of NZ$76,500 falls to only NZ$66,000.

Papakura shows some bad numbers for injury count in all fields of work. In 2012, more than 13,000 Aucklanders had severe injuries, and the average per day count reached 37. Most of these were caused by car crashes, falling, getting struck, and over-exertion of laborers.

3. Otahuhu

Otahuhu is situated to the southeast of Auckland CBD at 13 kilometers. As it’s on the southernmost side of Auckland city and is now included in South Auckland.

Out of all the suburbs of New Zealand, this area is a developing industrial hub. It has easy access to ports, railways, and roads. Otahuhu is an ideal area for large and heavy industrial estates – but this means that it’s not a great residential area, nor is it the best living place.

Otahuhu doesn’t support family life as well as the northern suburbs of Auckland do. The household prosperity comparison of Otahuhu and Auckland has a vast gap between the rich and poor. It’s at a level of 0.9 compared to the 4.7 of Auckland and 9.8 of Orakei.

The area has an estimated population of 17,090. Due to population growth, shoplifting or theft is very easy without anyone noticing.

Begging is very common in crowded areas and during rush hours. Drinking in public is often seen as there are many pubs, bars, and clubs all around.

4. Manurewa

Manurewa is one of the major suburbs of South Auckland, located at a distance of 26 km from Auckland CBD and 6 km South of the Manukau City Centre. The suburb is separated and divided by the Auckland Southern Motorway.

The Rugby we all know to be associated with New Zealand has its origins in Manuwera. The place is also well known for its multicultural heritage and the renowned Auckland Botanical Garden.

The population has exceeded 20,000 and reached 21,590 by 2022. The household prosperity is just at a level of 1.8 on a scale of 1-10. As for the average household income, Manuwera lies at NZ$67,800.

With the population boom, Manurewa falls in the bracket of lower socio-economics. Gang crimes are among the most common disturbances that attack 38.8% aged 30-64. So, even if you are a rugby fan, try finding a house in another suburb.

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