NZ has about 5 million people living in it. The country is more than just Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington, which is the capital. People move here to study, work, or immigrate because of the small, cosy, and well-developed towns you can find here.
Dunedin South Island came in 10th.
104,500 people live there.
Even though it’s not in Scotland, Dunedin feels the most like Scotland. The city is in the Otago area on the South Island. It is surrounded by beautiful nature, including forests, fields, beaches, and rolling valleys. Skiing can be done in the nearby mountains. The weather here is pretty cool, especially the water in the ocean, which gets up to +15 C in the summer and +8 C in the winter. In the summer, it’s +17 C outside, and in the winter, it’s +10 C.
At the same time, Dunedin is right now New Zealand’s most aesthetically pleasing city. The mood is very unique and nice thanks to old buildings like the train station, Knox Church, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the City Hall, as well as new street art and cosy streets.
Baldwin Street is one of the city’s highlights. It is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the steepest street in the world.
The city is full of kids. The University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic are Dunedin’s two big universities. They are home to almost half of the city’s people because of their students. Because of this, the city has a cool student vibe and lots of cafes, bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. There are also lots of events, like music shows, fairs, and so on.
It’s clear that Dunedin students have some of the best years of their lives, ones that they will remember forever.
Neil South Island came in ninth.
About 49,300 people
Nelson is the South Island’s crown jewel. Nelson is one of the most unusual towns on the island and maybe even in the whole area. There are green mountains and hills, white sand beaches, and the Tasman Sea, which is so blue that you have to ride a sea boat through it. There is a lot of sunshine there, and it’s the warmest place on the South Island. People from our country often say that it’s like the Crimea in terms of weather and nature.
The city isn’t very big. It gets its money from a big port, woods, farming, and tourists. After living in Nelson for a while, you start to understand how Russians and New Zealanders, for example, feel about the way of life. Kiwis tend to enjoy ease, comfort, and a laid-back way of life, as well as fun activities in nature.
Hamilton North Island came in eighth place.
Hamilton isn’t on the water, but the closest beach, Raglan, is only 40 minutes away by car and is where surfers from all over the world go to cool off. It’s good news. The city is also crossed by the Waikato, which is the country’s biggest river. This keeps the area green and fresh all year. People in New Zealand always care a lot about making cities comfy. The city has a lot of nice parks and walking paths.
Many people think that the city’s botanical gardens, which are split up into theme parks and show plants from around the world, are its main draw. You really need to go to this place.
Hamilton is a great place to get around because it’s close to Tauranga’s beautiful beaches and the fun things to do in Rotorua and Lake Taupo. It only takes an hour and a half to drive to Auckland. Also, it is one of the most hopeful and fastest-growing areas of the country, so people should pay attention to it.
The North Island of Rotorua came in seventh.
A population of 54,500
In Rotorua, you can play sports, have fun, learn about Maori culture, and see beautiful lakes. Delicious food can be found in cosy local restaurants in the city. You can also walk or ride a bike in the incredibly beautiful Red Woods forest, relax in hot springs and take a natural SPA, or go fishing on the lakes. In general, there is everything you need for a vacation that is either fun or relaxing.
People can also find work in the city, where many people work in logging, farming, and the tourist industry. A farm is a great place for families to live.
Geothermal action does cause a strong smell of hydrogen sulphide to hit you as soon as you enter the city. The body quickly gets used to it and stops noticing it, which means that the local doesn’t get in the way of life.
The sixth place goes to Napier and Hastings North Island.
Between 62,800 and 45,000 people
Napier and Hastings are both towns, but they are very close to each other and live next to each other. It is very sunny and nice in this area, which is why Napier and Hastings are best known for their wines. Every one of the 72 wineries has its own farms. A lot of experts say that the New Zealand Sauvignon is one of the best wines in the world. The area also has a port and farmland that is very advanced.
The Art Deco heart of Napier is very pretty, and the promenade with the pebble beach is very nice. You should know that Napier has strong currents that make it impossible to swim. However, it is nice to just sit on the beach. In the area, you can swim at beaches and waterfalls, which are reached by a very pretty road. Besides that, Te Mata Peak is one of our best spots. It has a stunning view in every direction.
5. Wellington North Island came in fifth place.
Number of people 363,300
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is at the top of the list. Magazines from around the world named the city the coolest small capital in the world. In fact, this is one of the few places that feels like a city. The people who live here are also different. They dress fancier, hang out in nice bars and restaurants more often, and go to a lot of concerts, art shows, museums, and other events. To put it another way, it is both the physical and intellectual capital of New Zealand. There is one bad thing, though: there is a lot of strong wind, but you can get used to it. Wellington, which is hilly, is beautiful when it’s warm, especially along the water.
The government, Peter Jackson and his studio Weta Digital, James Cameron, and many big companies have their headquarters in the capital. In general, it’s a real city that’s pretty small and surrounded by lovely nature.
Queenstown and Wanaka in the South Island came in fourth.
About 41,700 people
Queenstown is New Zealand’s extreme sports hub. It’s also the only city in the country that never sleeps or takes days off. Millions of tourists visit the area every year because it is a ski town in the winter, a mountain bikers’ paradise in the summer, and a natural beauty that takes your breath away. From our point of view, there may be no place more beautiful than Queenstown when it comes to nature.
It takes 40 minutes to drive through a beautiful pass to get to Wanaka, a small town next door that is on the same name lake. In the mountains, you can ski downhill, ride bikes, go kayaking, jog, or go climbing here. It’s also a major hub of power. Because of the Southern Alps and the beautiful scenery, this place is full of energy.
Third place goes to Auckland North Island.
Number of people: 1,467,800
Auckland, which is New Zealand’s biggest city, won the bronze prize. All of the facts about the last fact lead to its pros and cons. A lot of people, work, cars, and traffic jams. On the other hand, this city has residential areas that are all different and will suit almost anyone’s needs. There are areas that are more busy, crowded, and multi-story, as well as areas that are calm, green, and peaceful by a lake or the ocean. The Sky Tower is a landmark in the city. It is 328 metres tall and the biggest freestanding building in the Southern Hemisphere.
Natural beauty and a pleasant temperature can be found in Auckland and its surroundings. The West Coast has beautiful beaches with black sand and the wild, rough waters of the Tasmanian Sea. The East Coast has calm, white sand beaches and the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Christchurch South Island came in second.
Number of people 377,200
Silver goes to Christchurch, which is the most English city that is not in England. After the terrible earthquakes of 2010–2012, the city is now getting better and will soon be the most modern and appealing place to live in New Zealand. At least it has everything you need for this: the city’s atmosphere, its history and remaining architecture, a comfortable urban setting, beaches for surfing, mountains for skiing, beautiful nature nearby, and a good ratio of income to costs.
Christchurch is not in the hills like Auckland or Wellington. Instead, it is on flat land, which makes it a great place for cycling.
Tauranga North Island got first place.
Thirteen thousand people
First place goes to the city of Tauranga and our favourite spots, Mount Maunganui and Papamoa.
For people who love the ocean and comfort, a golden beach, clean streets, parks, and a warm environment are just what they need. In addition to agriculture and tourism, the city has the busiest port in the country in terms of cargo turnover, so there is always work for good experts.
It’s true that a lot of people leave Tauranga and move to other areas, but we think that even more people move from other places to Tauranga because of its weather, sun, location, and easygoing way of life.