Moving to Wellington
The capital and second largest city of New Zealand, Wellington is situated on the south-western tip of the North Island. Wellington is arguably also the cultural capital of the country, as it is home to the Royal Ballet, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand.
With a condensed landscape, Wellington has a compact feel within a multicultural environment. The fact that the city is so compact makes it one of the easiest places in the country for newcomers to settle into. Wellingtonians are familiar with a diverse range of nationalities and cultures and often people who move to Wellington will find themselves feeling at home very quickly.
Living in Wellington
It is a good idea to rent a property when you first move to Wellington, so you can get a feel for both the area you want to settle in and the property market. School zoning areas are very strict and if you have children it is likely you’ll want to decide on a suitable school first and then find a property within that area.
- Central Wellington is a relatively expensive area, however the location is very attractive and there are a wide variety of apartments and homes available. The most popular part of Wellington City is Oriental Bay, due to its beautiful view of the harbour and its central location.
- A large number of expatriates live in the Thorndon, Khandallah and Northland areas. These suburbs are located relatively close to Wellington City yet away from all the hustle and bustle of city life, however property values are quite high here.
- The suburbs of Karori and Kelburn are also popular due to their proximity to the university. Another sought-after area is Eastbourne, where many beautiful properties are situated on the beachfront. There is also a daily ferry service into Wellington City from Eastbourne and many people commute to work this way.
Getting around the city
While most households in Wellington will own at least one car, the traffic into the city during rush hour can be very heavy and you might find using an alternative form of transport is easier. The public transport system is very good in Wellington and both trains and buses are a reliable and less stressful way of travelling to and from work. Many people also find getting a taxi to be the fastest way to travel around the city without any hassle.
It is possible to drive on an International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to a year after moving to Wellington, however during this time you’ll need to apply for a New Zealand licence. If you’re not planning to apply for a New Zealand licence straight away you would be wise to familiarise yourself with the road rules as there are several which will be different from those you’re used to.
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