The Most Beautiful Places To Live in New Zealand [2024]

Are you considering moving to New Zealand? Confused about which city could be your dreamland? Don’t know how to figure it out? Well, we’ve got you! From Dunedin to Queenstown, Wellington, and Tauranga, we will help you make your decision.

Most beautiful places to live in New Zealand are:

  1. Queenstown
  2. Auckland
  3. Wellington
  4. Christchurch
  5. New Plymouth
  6. Dunedin
  7. Rotorua
  8. Tauranga

New Zealand is a huge, huge country with various scenic beauties and landmarks to offer. If you want to know which places are the most beautiful in New Zealand, hang on tight and don’t let go!

Also read: The best cities to live in New Zealand.

Most beautiful and desirable cities to live in New Zealand in 2024

Living in New Zealand is the ultimate dream. But first, you must figure out the best places to live in New Zealand according to your needs and demands.

From stiff peak mountains and snowy hills to sunny and warm beachside, oh and not to mention the vibrant nightlife cities, there is no such thing as impossible here.

Auckland, the major city; Tauranga, the harbourside; Rotorua, the geothermal land; Queenstown, the adventure capital — the choice is yours to make.

1. Queenstown

Known as the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown is an adrenaline rush adventure. It lies on the shores of the South Island against the backdrop of the magnificent Southern Alps. 

With an urban population of 15,800, Queenstown is the number one destination spot that people choose to live in. It’s a year-round adventure hub with fantastic outdoor water sports in the summer and skiing on the stiff slopes in winter.

With crime rates at the minimum, it provides a lovely, culture-induced environment and neighborhood to settle in. No matter how old or young you are, Queenstown welcomes all!

Although it is an exciting place to live in, considering that it is a land of water-based activities and tourism, the opportunities in the job market are limited to certain fields. But don’t worry, the average monthly income of NZ$6,000 is more than enough to keep you steady and happy. 

Also, house prices are considerably higher than in other cities of New Zealand, but you can opt for living in the suburbs if a good view is what you’re looking for!

Before you move to Queenstown, read our detailed guide about living in this city.

2. Auckland

Everyone has heard of Auckland at some point in their life. And, needless to say, everyone dreams of going to Auckland as well! This is just for the right reasons!

Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand, located on the North Island. It has a population of 1.6 million people and is a diverse land. Although it does indeed come with the highest cost of living, it also has the most career opportunities and a wide range of industries to choose from.

Auckland is the center of beauty and attention when it comes to New Zealand. The surrounding suburbs are just as well bubbling with natural beauty, culture, independent lifestyle, and a warm, temperate climate.

The neighborhoods are cozy and busy with shopping, dining, clubs, entertainment — you name it! Day by day, Auckland continues to develop and modernize more and brings to face an urban lifestyle that you could have never imagined.

With all this, there is no doubt that the crime rates index has significantly. There is only a slight difference between the crime and safety index now.  However, the security measures for most institutes and especially for apartments, are quickly strengthening to meet the requirements.

3. Wellington

The perfect city for families and cultural enthusiasts to live in, Wellington is the capital of New Zealand. Besides being located in the middle of the country and is the heart of it, let us tell you why you should consider this option!

All you need to know about the location of Wellington is that it is located right in the middle of the country, so access to it’s easier.

The city is full of opportunities with a rich history and cultural background. It boasts vibrant arts, soulful music, Michelin-star restaurants, local wineries, and top-class institutions.

We’ll be honest here — Wellington may be compact and small, but there’s never a dull day here! Being the second largest city and the capital, the infrastructure and institutions are of the highest quality.

It’s like living in New York, but safer, friendlier, and more beautiful. Compared to New York, Wellington is 22.8% less expensive, and at least 20% of the job opportunities are associated with government branches and associations.

An all-in-one offer, Wellington is home to New Zealand’s parliament, national museums, many beaches, stunning views, and hillside homes. It’s like a scene out of a movie but much more beautiful and affordable!

What are the worst cities to live in New Zealand? Find out here!

4. Christchurch

You know how they say old is gold? Well, with Christchurch, it’s true! Christchurch is the oldest city in New Zealand and is renowned for its heritage.

It’s situated on the east coast of the southern island of New Zealand. What makes the location scenic and unique is that it has a river, River Avon flowing through the city center.

Christchurch is a popular place for both foreigners as well as for people who settle down because of the lower cost of living than many other places. According to Numbeo, the average monthly net salary is NZ$5,000. 

The cost of living stands at NZ$2,000, which means that even if you earn an average salary, you can save at least some money and spend it on a lifestyle or save for your future home. Quality of life is at an index of 84 out of 100, which is the best you can get.

For a long time, it wasn’t considered a safe place to live because of the frequency of earthquakes; however, there are strict earthquake-strengthening requirements for all residential and commercial buildings now.

After the massive earthquake in 2011, the city has been rebuilt even better than it was once before. The cost of the houses is justified by their strong and secure structure.

On its banks, cycleways, and paths of about 60km have been built for people who wish to cycle to work, school, and to and fro.

The most beautiful view is the lush greenery of Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens, which is a favorite among kids.

Read more about living in Christchurch.

5. New Plymouth

New Plymouth is yet another great city to live in in New Zealand. It offers both, a good job market and stunning nature around.

Situated on the western coast of New Zealand’s North Island, New Plymouth is known for its perfect weather conditions and the coastal walkway going from Bell Block to Port Taranaki.

According to the International Awards for Liveable Communities, New Plymouth was named the most liveable city in terms of quality of life.

For a population of 87,700, it’s hard to achieve awards of this caliber, so if New Plymouth has made it to the list, then consider yourself lucky for living here.

It has rapidly become a city for families and hipsters due to its stable and affordable cost of living. Consider an example of apartment rents for families costing just NZ$1,200.

The job market is very diverse, with opportunities in teaching, commerce, business, management, oil and gas engineering, and food technology.

The city has a great sense of enjoyment and living your best life in every moment. From local music to festivities, a sparkly nightlife, access to beach views at all times and everywhere, and don’t forget the impressive Mt. Taranaki, it’s no mystery why so many people decide to live here.

6. Dunedin

Dunedin is like heaven on earth! It’s literally like God handed you the perfect and balanced combination of all things necessary. Whether it may be for wildlife, landscape, lifestyle, or studying, this city is the best choice you can ever make.

It’s situated on the southeast coast of New Zealand’s South Island, at the head of the famous Otago Harbour. 

Your chances of ever experiencing any sort of violent crime are one in 654, thus making it a safe and secure neighborhood for people of all ages. Furthermore, property crimes are recorded to be at a ratio of 10 per 1,000 residents.

One thing that sets Dunedin apart from other places is the quality of education it has to offer. It homes to the oldest university in the entire country, Dunedin University of Otago, and is indeed a student city hosting 25,000 students out of the total population of 130,000.

Adding to everything, if you like exploring and sightseeing, this is the place for you. The only castle in the entire country is present here, and the wildlife in the Otago Peninsula is diverse.

For culture lovers, it has roots in Scottish and Maori heritage as well as Edwardian and Victorian ancient architecture.

7. Rotorua

Most people are surprised that Rotorua is considered one of the most beautiful and best places to live in New Zealand. What makes this city unique is the numerous amounts of geothermal activities it hosts.

Located on New Zealand’s North Island, Rotorua is a very different place to live in. Summer to winter, all year round, this place attracts flocks of tourists and people who settle down. Landmarks include the Whakarewarewa Valley, Pohoto Geyser, Maori Villages, and Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.

Rotorua is a safe and somewhat less congested place to live in as it’s located a 3 hours drive from Auckland. With bubbling mud pools, bursting geysers, hot springs, and a multitude of geothermal activities, you might be wondering where the cost and quality of life go.

The cost of living is quite affordable at NZ$1,000 for one person and NZ3,000 for a family of four. Considering the monthly salary of NZ3,000, this is quite suitable for a comfortable lifestyle.

The job market is dynamic and flexible, with a lot of job vacancies available. You can land yourself a good job as a workplace administrator, customer service member, sales assistant, administration assistant, health assistant, bakery assistant, traffic controller, and the list goes on.

8. Tauranga

Living in Tauranga is one in all package deal. It’s like experiencing a lifetime’s worth of seasons in one. Tauranga is a coastal or harbourside city located in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand’s North Island. 

The weather ranges between 7°C and 24°C throughout the year, which makes both the winters and summers moderate. The rates of unemployment are less than 5% which means that job opportunities are plenty.

Any individual with a good, average salary will be able to accommodate accordingly. And, we’re not only talking about housing prices and rents here, it includes all the other factors making up the cost of living. 

The city is known for its rich music and heritage that brings it down the line. Bonfires and fireworks are also common practices during festivities at night. History is seen throughout the city in the structure and formation of buildings and old shops.

Lastly, Tauranga has a large population of Maori people, making it the best city to live in if you want to embrace the Polynesian culture.

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