If you've ever visited New Zealand you’ll know that whilst you were there the idea of staying forever and never coming back crossed your mind more than once. If you haven’t visited then you’ll hear stories of stunning landscapes, laid back attitudes and an unbeatable climate, and probably think it sounds like the kind of place you’d love to live.
It’s not just a pipe dream for hundreds of people we speak to every year, they are taking that dream and turning it into reality by finding a job, applying for a visa and moving themselves and their families to the land of the long white cloud. If you’re considering a change of lifestyle, or a change of work and New Zealand has crossed your mind, then here’s some ideas of what you can expect from a New Zealand life.
1. 5-9, not 9-5
Helped along by more daylight hours than the UK, and a sunnier, warmer climate, after work hours open up and you’ll find yourself actually doing things after work. Your job won’t be the only thing you achieve in a day, you’ll find that there’s actually time to enjoy your hard earned cash. Walking in the Coromandel, watersports on Lake Taupo, or perhaps visiting the beach. For families this is especially true as when school ends around 3, children tend to go and carry out activities for a few hours. It’s the fundamental part of the lifestyle change, literally turning the 9-5 routine on its head and becoming all about the 5pm-9am.
2. Experiencing the seasons
One of the common drawbacks cited by people who migrate to hot climates is that they miss the UK seasons – our UK bodies just seem to need a bit of variety in weather. Depending on where you are in New Zealand, you will experience seasonal weathers, including snow in the south. Generally speaking you’ll have sunny summers, cooler autumns which turn cold at night, rain and cold in the winter months and frost in the spring. In the winter, there’s plenty of activities to do, especially in the South Island.
3. Spending time outdoors
Whilst there’s thriving city life in New Zealand, the outdoors will play a big part in your lifestyle. There’s so much variety, and so much beauty, you’ll find that this is a major part of your weekend and evening activities. If you’re in the North Island you’ll find that within a few hours’ drive you can access beautiful, jaw-dropping coast lines, forests, fairy pools, caves, hills and lakes. In the south you’ll see more rugged coastlines, breath-taking mountainous landscapes, forests, farmlands, rivers and coastal walks that’ll make you think you’ve just woken up in heaven.
4. Tasting incredible food and drink
You will have likely tasted New Zealand lamb and their Sauvignon Blanc wines, but when you get a little closer you’ll find that all types of food and drink is exceptionally good. The cuisine has a European and native Maori influence, and in cities there’s a huge Asian influence. There’s also fresh seafood which is likely to come from sustainable sources, and the climate means a bountiful of fresh vegetables grow eagerly. New Zealand also have their own Marmite – a bit sweeter than the UK version. (Eat at your own peril).
5. Finding a more laid-back approach to life
If you’re coming from London you will especially feel the difference in cultures, as New Zealanders are naturally more laid back. Don’t misinterpret their casual approach as aloofness or laziness, they are super-friendly and motivated when you dig a little deeper. They embody a sense of calm and enjoyment that can only come from incredible weather, a stunningly beautiful surrounding, and a knowing that life is there to be enjoyed and celebrated. Given time, you too will become this mellow.
6. Your cost of living won’t change significantly
The New Zealand economy has been consistently strong for years, which means that the exchange rate, once extremely favourable against the UK pound, have lately been averaging around $1 for approx. £0.50p. Whilst the English pound will still go further in New Zealand, cost of living will differ – and will fluctuate depending on which part of the country you live in. Some foods are more expensive (milk, for instance, is approx. $3.75 vs £1.29 for 2L), and some foods are cheaper (NZ lamb is unsurprisingly half the price). Generally speaking, petrol is cheaper, renting is cheaper, but buying a house is about the same.
7. Shopping in a big red Warehouse.
The Warehouse. The Warehouse. Where everyone gets a bargain. This national network of bright red buildings contains a wonderful assortment of items at incredible value. There’s not a shop quite like it in the UK, a bit like a supermarket without the emphasis on food, or a TK max without the emphasis on clothes. If Argos had shops, it might come close. It will contain everything from household items to toys to music & books, to electronic, and everything in between. You’ll go in and come out 2 days later wondering what the hell happened.
To find out more about a New Zealand lifestyle, and whether you could qualify to live and work in New Zealand, take our free online evaluation form, attend an emigration seminar, or give us a call on 01483 550920.