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Rotorua, New Zealand

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Jul 10, 2023

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Rotorua, 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 before moving to Rotorua?

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

"Rotorua is known for its geothermal activity, Maori culture, and outdoor adventures, making it a unique and exciting place to live. The cost of living in Rotorua is relatively low compared to other parts of New Zealand, but it's still important to budget carefully. The city is small, so while it offers a relaxed lifestyle, it may not have all the amenities of a larger city. Rotorua has a strong Maori presence, and understanding and respecting their culture is important for anyone moving to the area. The city is also a popular tourist destination, so it can get busy during peak travel times. The weather in Rotorua is mild, with warm summers and cool, wet winters. The city is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, including lakes, forests, and geothermal parks, providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. The healthcare system in New Zealand is of a high standard, but it's advisable to have health insurance to cover any additional costs. Rotorua's economy is largely based on tourism, forestry, and agriculture, so job opportunities may be limited in other sectors. The education system in New Zealand is well-regarded, and Rotorua has a range of schools to choose from. Public transportation in Rotorua is limited, so having a car can be beneficial. English is the main language spoken in Rotorua, but Te Reo Maori is also commonly used. Finally, it's important to be aware of the city's geothermal activity, which can cause occasional earth tremors and has resulted in certain areas having a strong sulphur smell," explained one expat living in Rotorua, New Zealand.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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