Our family of five travelled across the Tasman Sea from Australia to make a new life in New Zealand almost six years ago.
Time flies when you’re having fun, and it certainly has for us. My husband Scott, and I and our three sons are now very much settled in Narrow Neck on Auckland’s North Shore, and we would whole-heartedly recommend the move to anyone thinking of relocating to this beautiful part of the world.
Goodbye g’day, hello kia ora
When Scott was offered a job in New Zealand which included a relocation package, it seemed like the ideal time for us to start a new adventure. As a family, we wanted the opportunity to live in another country and immerse ourselves in a different culture but also have easy access to go back to Australia to see our family and friends. Auckland is only 3 hours and 40 minutes by plane to Sydney, so it really didn't seem like a big leap to make.
From what I knew of Auckland, it is a cosmopolitan, exciting and vibrant city that could offer us everything we had in Sydney but on a smaller scale with a slightly slower pace of life. Scott had previously lived in Auckland for a year and reassured me that its reputation for being very safe and family-oriented made it the perfect place for us to live.
Making a smooth move
The move went according to plan, with very few challenges to deal with. Our relocation package took away any financial concerns and as Australians, we are fortunate that visas are not required to live and work in New Zealand. We were granted a residence class visa at the airport, to enter and stay, work and study in New Zealand.
We were extremely lucky to have Scott’s insider knowledge of the city, which helped us when it came to exploring suburbs we wanted to live in. He moved to New Zealand a few months before us so he could get everything sorted for the children and I to move in.
While the rental market can be competitive in certain areas, Scott was able to find us a house that suited our criteria and budget. Getting off the flight and knowing we had a home in a suburb Scott knew was incredibly reassuring for me. Overall, it was a mostly stress-free experience for us.
Security, safety and scenery
There are many reasons to love living in Auckland. We especially enjoy the relaxed, carefree down to earth vibe the city offers. It very much reminds us of our own childhood, so we’re pleased our kids will get to experience this chilled out atmosphere as they grow up.
We live in Narrow Neck which is over the Auckland Harbour Bridge on the North Shore. We have a very friendly and supportive community that has helped us Aussies feel at home. Our boys’ attend local public schools, which are fantastic with dedicated and caring teaching staff. This is all topped off by Auckland’s breath-taking scenery, great local amenities and services, and the wonderful selection of restaurants and entertainment.
One of our family’s favourite places on the North Shore is the Devonport peninsula. It offers beautiful architecture, old-world charm and a beach lifestyle with an abundance of green space. It's also a safe environment where our kids can explore on their own without us having to worry about their safety. We also love visiting and exploring Rangitoto Island and North Head Historic Reserve for the beautiful views and walks.
Throughout the year we walk our dog at Cheltenham beach and around our local community. Our other weekend and spare time activities include hiking, sailing, skiing and exploring what the North and South Islands have to offer. All these activities are easily accessible to us without costing a fortune, while offering a better work-life balance and carefree lifestyle for our kids.
Escape the rat race
Our life in Auckland has proven to be a lot less hectic and doesn’t have the same exhausting, competitive, relentless, rat race feel that our Sydney life often had. I still love and miss Sydney, but our family and work-life balance is better now we live in New Zealand. Yes, petrol and food are more expensive here but on the upside, we pay less tax and we love ACC, the country's universal no-fault accidental injury scheme.
New Zealand does amazingly well for such a small country, while remaining loyal to its culture, heritage and relaxed Kiwi character. We all love living here, and I don't see us returning to Australia anytime soon.
Laura Taylor moved from Sydney, Australia to Narrow Neck on Auckland’s North Shore with her family in 2013. She runs her own business from home, providing technology to Uber Eats Restaurants. Her husband Scott works in the telecommunications sector and is based in Newmarket, central Auckland.
Auckland is a great place to live and the job market is booming, follow us on LinkedIn for more information and job opportunities