So many of our friends want to know our top reasons for moving to New Zealand. Well my mum is a Kiwi and still wishes she lived there. She constantly says that her heart and soul are still there and she still cries every time she flies in and out of Christchurch. I completely understand her passion for her homeland. I have been to New Zealand I would guess at least 35 times and there are still some parts that I have not seen. I have covered a fair amount of the country but even the parts I have seen I don’t think you would ever get sick of seeing them all over again…and again. The beauty is without a doubt amazing and the thing is that you could go back to the same place the next day and it would look completely different. Nature is amazing and New Zealand showcases that very well.
We have traveled many places around the world and loved every minute of it. There are so many wonderful places with amazing vibes. From Europe through Africa so many places give you a feeling, a sense of belonging and spirit among the people. It changes you, puts things into perspective, and it makes you realise what a tiny speck you are among it all. Most of our travelling was done before children. I have not been adventurous enough to fly 24 hours in a plane with two ratty kids who ask after 15 minutes in the car how long til we get there. There are some big cities that ooze vibe, you know the big ones like London, New York, Rome, Sydney but there are also quaint villages and towns that also ooze something amazing as well. I will never forget an American lady talking to me in Spain saying “my gad, you come all the way to the other side of the world, what for?”. I don’t even think I need to answer that, you already know.
What creates that emotional state in our heads?
It’s that feeling we feel from the moment we arrive, something about the atmosphere. It’s the people you meet as you make your way through the town on your first days there, how they make you feel, the way people walking past you act that you don’t even talk to. It all relates to the experiences that you have with the people and of course with the land. It’s hard not to feel emotional anywhere in New Zealand, flying into the country you see the raw beauty and so many untouched areas in between small towns and then the larger cities. The scenery is dramatic, the distinct seasons are beautiful, the people are friendly and extremely proud (and very patriotic) of their country. People enjoy the outdoors, everyone rides bikes or hikes and everyone seems to have more of a balance in their lives.
So why Queenstown, why do we want to move to New Zealand? I’m not an adventure enthusiast. You won’t catch me bungy jumping or hang gliding or jumping out of a plane but Queenstown has so much more going on than just the adventure. If we are going to move anywhere out of Sydney I still need a bit of heartbeat and that, Queenstown has. I am not talking about all the tourist hot spots and night life, I am a bit old for all that stuff. But I am talking about the remote location of the place and the attitude of the people who live there and the general feel when you are in a mountain town. It is a very vibrant town with lots of wonderful festivals and community activities and I really hope that the family and I can dig our heals in to being part of that community too.
We analysed so many places in rural NSW and what towns we could see ourselves living in. There are pros and cons to everywhere but I wanted a teeny tiny bit of culture and life but somewhere that had community and people were proud of where they lived and put that back in. I want that for me and for the kids too We also love the attitude of the people in regards to the great outdoors. It’s encouraging to see people engaging in sport or hiking and just generally spending their spare time in nature. I think it is very important. So after travelling many times through New Zealand we found ourselves gravitating back Queenstown (duh), we started thinking well what about here?
There is no denying that it is one of the most beautiful places in the world and there is a huge tourist population a lot of the year round but there is such a vibe and enthusiasm about the place. Over many years we have tried to talk to as many people as possible, particularly people who live there and there is no question that Queenstown has its cons but most people seem happy enough and had lots of great things to tell us about living there. So we thought about the pros and cons to living in New Zealand.
- No one can deny that the distinct seasons are wonderful and the overall climate is favourable (with some rain) and not living with the humidity we currently do is a huge plus.
- New Zealand has been ranked by the Global Peace Index as one of the safest places in the world, so you can’t argue with that.
- The work/life balance and the healthier outdoor living attitude. This should probably be number 1 but I think kids don’t need all the pressure they are under these days to perform but get a balance of great outdoor adventures and experience nature more than we do here in Sydney
- There is an amazing array of beautiful food and wine. Okay so this one is for me but hey it can’t be all about the family!
- The people are friendly, outgoing and enthusiastic. I have met many great Kiwis who are very welcoming and genuinely great people
- As an Australian, moving across the ditch is relatively easy with no visas required for us or the kids and availability to health care and other resources makes it favourable
Not Top Reasons to move to New Zealand, just things to think about:
- There are earthquakes. I have experience a few small ones over there but never a large one. That would always be an ongoing concern with something you have no control over
- The winters can be cold and Queenstown in particular can be wet and windy a lot of the time This would take some getting use to
- Queenstown is quite isolated. If you look on the aerial map it is obviously surrounded by huge mountain ranges many of which have never seen humans so this may also take some getting use to
- Because most things need to be imported into New Zealand it can make many things very expensive and during winter the quality of produce may not be as good due to the cold
- The job front may be hard to get into. In smaller communities I am sure people hire people who know people. It may be difficult to get your foot in the door as a new comer.
- The Cost of Living. We do know that Queenstown is not the cheapest place to move in regards to many things and that will take some budget adjusting and analysing
I would be really interested in hearing anyone else’s thoughts on moving to New Zealand or other places and their top reasons to live there. Have you felt a desire to move somewhere else and has it turned out well or ended with disappointment?