Russell, New Zealand
Russell, New Zealand
Russell, New Zealand

Living in New Zealand

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Dec 02, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in New Zealand. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

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What do I need to know about living in New Zealand?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to New Zealand, they said:

"There are tons of unspoiled beaches and bush walks. With all the beach property available, unless you want to live directly on the water, you'll find homes within walking distance of the sea cost about the same as homes further inland. Housing is a lot chepaer than in Wellington, so you have access to a big city but more affordable property (although if you commute to Welly, gas prices are about 5 times the cost in the US). Health care is extremely cheap even with no insurance. The pace of life is slower. Children are still able to play out in the streets and walk from school. It's a bit like the US many years ago. Drawbacks include the relatively high cost of general goods and food. The houses are often very poorly insulated and get quite cold in the winter," commented one expat who made the move to Kapiti Coast .

"It's a great place to live. It's beautiful and interesting. I would stock up on all the products you love. You won't be able to buy them here, or they will just be too expensive to purchase. New Zealand is an island. The cost of shipping goods in, is pricey," remarked another expat living in Wellington, New Zealand.

Need health insurance in New Zealand? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a Quote

Need health insurance in New Zealand? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

How do I meet people in New Zealand?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Russell, New Zealand
William Russell Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
Get a Quote

Living in New Zealand GuideLiving in New Zealand Guide

Guide to Living in New Zealand covering expat life, local culture, finding a home, diversity and more.

New Zealand Forum New Zealand Forum
Meet other expats and talk about living in New Zealand.

Best Places to Live in New Zealand Best Places to Live in New Zealand

Expats share some of their favorite places to live in New Zealand from laid back cities to beautiful beach towns.

Moving to New ZealandMoving to New Zealand Guide

Expats share tips for people moving to New Zealand from housing to banking, healthcare to what to bring.

Real Estate in New ZealandReal Estate in New Zealand

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in New Zealand.

Retiring in New ZealandRetiring in New Zealand

Advice for people retiring in New Zealand.

Contribute to New Zealand Network Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in New Zealand.

10 Tips for Living in New Zealand10 Tips for Living in New Zealand

Expats are drawn to New Zealand's astoundingly beautiful scenery, laid back lifestyle, safe cities and towns and low cost healthcare. For some, life in New Zealand is a dream come true.

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