Growing up in Auckland, I spent a chapter of my life in the North shore suburbs, by the beach and a chapter of my life in North Auckland in the country side. A small portion of my time is now living in the city for the third year, which is the pros and cons I will touch on. When I asked a friend who had visited Auckland city for the first time from overseas, I asked what was their first impression. They said that it felt like a country side city, which I thought to myself may be the reason some people often call Auckland a town.
The beaches, lifestyle and outdoors. Auckland is a great place for people who love to be outdoors. There are a lot of places to go around the city and many beaches.
There is less advertising in your face. Every city has advertising and billboards everywhere, but it’s far less in Auckland. There’s less bright flashing lights, billboards or huge posters throughout the city.
Job opportunities may be higher. This depends on what sort of field you want to work in, but compared to other areas in NZ, there may be more job opportunities in Auckland.
Finding places to go and things to do. After living in Sydney, I always felt there was something to do in the city. I didn’t really need to search for it. However, Auckland does have its variety of things to do, but it’s just a matter of finding and discovering them.
There is less materialism and stress. It’s not a city where you’ll constantly hear cars beeping, loud noises and there is also far less materialism. That isn’t to say there isn’t any materialism, but it’s definitely a lot less.
The blue skies and oceans. A great day is when the skies are blue with a few clouds, and the sun is bright. The beaches are also some of the most beautiful places to visit.
Most people are willing to help. There’s always someone who’s willing to help you, whether you have a question or need directions.
Enjoying the simple things in life. You’ll see many people on the weekends out for a walk near the harbour and in the city.
More space, less people and better air. When I’m in the city at a busy hour, of course it’s going to be crowded. However, Auckland is already at a lower population, compared to most cities. That makes it feel more spacious. There’ll be the smoker walking in front of you from time to time, but the air is much less polluted and breathable.
A great place to raise a family. In terms of living in the suburban areas eg. North Shore or other areas a little out of the inner city. I think NZ in general is a great environment for children to have the freedom and peace to grow up well.
It’s less overcrowded and relatively safe. Statistically speaking, it’s a safer place to live than cities with high crime rates. There is also far less overcrowding and feeling as if you’re shoulder to shoulder with the person beside you.
People are mostly very friendly. There’s always the odd person that’s rude, but most Aucklanders are pretty friendly and easy going.
Most places can pay by Card. I don’t know if this is because in the last two years that I lived in Sydney, there were many places that only accept cash. You always need to have cash on you, as some places don’t have an eftpos machine or they will require a surcharge, which can be anything from $0.10 to $1.00. However, in New Zealand, pretty much most places will have a card machine.
A multicultural city. There’s quite a lot of diversity, and there are different cultures, foods and things to do.
The living prices are rising. Most of the rent prices are rising, and I feel that the living fees are higher than a few years ago. It can get quite competitive, and many people are chasing to get the best prices and location.
Four seasons in a day. One of the many reasons I temporarily moved to Sydney, was because of the Auckland weather. I don’t really like the city weather, during the colder months. However, it’s always good to have an umbrella on you and a layer of clothing during those times.
Most places require driving. Within the city you can get by on a bus or walk to your destination. However, if you are travelling outside of the city, you will need to drive as the Auckland is very spread out.
It’s an expensive city to live in as a student. Perhaps it may be expensive as well for those who are working, but in terms of my experience living in the city, I have only lived here as a student.
There is less individual style. This may be changing, but I used to feel that Aucklanders don’t embrace their individual fashion style as much. A lot of people dress very similarly. Most people aren’t as fussed about what they wear, but in cities such as Auckland and Taipei, I feel there are more people who just wear whatever they want, regardless of if it stands out or not.
There’s less competition and more at the same time. There are limited job opportunities, and many people may apply for the same opportunity and be more competitive to get it. At the same time, there’s less competition because there’s less people. Individually speaking, it’ll be different. In terms of sports, that’s a different thing entirely.
The cost of daily needs and other. The cost of dental care, groceries, travel and others can often add up to be quite a lot.
Parking and traffic hours. If you drive, the parking may not be the best in the city. Some of them may be far from the destination you need to be at, which means you may need to walk. During end of work there will be traffic on the way home.
Pros & Cons
You will often see people you know. This one is sort of a mixed feeling for me. What I really loved about living in Sydney was that I rarely saw anyone I knew. There was a feeling of anonymity.
There’s a no worries and laid back nature. It makes Auckland a far more relaxed and less stressed city to live in. It also gives most people a healthy work life balance. However, I find it can also cause there to often be a nature of doing things more slowly, or cause people to take their time.
The pace of life is much slower. Touching on the previous point, Auckland is at a slower place to live in, in some senses when you do compare it with larger cities that never sleep. It’s good in the sense that people aren’t always rushing through life, but it also means that individually you need to have that self motivation to push yourself.
Public transport in certain areas. Generally, New Zealand is a convenient place to travel around, if you have a car. The buses in the city are also easy to navigate. However, within the city there may be areas where there are much less frequent buses.
The city has its own feel and yet it doesn’t. This is a personal view, but I always felt that Auckland is the sort of place that has its own special things about it, but it also doesn’t feel like it does. Auckland as an area is scattered and it doesn’t have as much of a distinct and strong identity as some cities do.
You need to be self motivated, driven and passionate. These should be applied anywhere, but there are cities that naturally push you to succeed and do well, because of the culture and environment. But, because Auckland is much more laid back in contrast, there is an extra push in staying motivated.
Art by Yuliya