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New Plymouth, 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 New Plymouth, 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 Plymouth?

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

"Before retiring in New Plymouth, expats should know that the cost of living is relatively low compared to other major cities in New Zealand. The city offers a relaxed lifestyle with a strong sense of community, making it an ideal place for retirees. New Plymouth is known for its stunning natural beauty, including Mount Taranaki and the coastal walkway, so outdoor activities are plentiful. The climate is temperate, with mild winters and warm summers, which is perfect for those who enjoy spending time outdoors. Healthcare in New Zealand is of a high standard, and expats are eligible for free or subsidised health services if they hold a residence visa. However, it's recommended to have comprehensive health insurance to cover any additional costs. New Plymouth has a vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries, theatres, and festivals throughout the year. The city is also home to the renowned Puke Ariki museum and library complex. Public transportation in New Plymouth is reliable, but having a car can be more convenient for exploring the surrounding areas. Driving in New Zealand is on the left-hand side of the road, which may take some getting used to for some expats. English is the primary language spoken in New Zealand, but learning some basic Maori phrases can be beneficial as the Maori culture is deeply ingrained in the country's identity. New Zealand has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 15% which is included in the price of most goods and services. It's important to factor this into your budget when planning your retirement. New Zealand has a reciprocal social security agreement with some countries, which allows expats to transfer their pension. However, it's advisable to check the specifics of this agreement as it varies from country to country. Lastly, New Zealand has strict biosecurity laws to protect its unique environment. Expats should be aware of these laws when bringing personal belongings into the country," said one expat in New Plymouth.

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What do I need to know before moving to New Plymouth?

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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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