New Zealand

An Overview Of New Zealand’s Biggest Cities

If you’re considering making the move to New Zealand, deciding where to base yourself is one of the first decisions you’ll make. Large cities make a popular choice for those moving to NZ, as there tend to be greater employment opportunities. 

Here are the biggest cities and a little about why you might love them.

1. Auckland – 1.5 Million People

Auckland is the first city on our list as the largest, both in terms of people and land area. In fact, Auckland has a population larger than the entire South Island! Along with Auckland’s cosmopolitan vibe and vibrant nightlife, it boasts a number of regional parks interspersed with bush, beach and lovely island getaways in the Hauraki Gulf.

2. Christchurch – 383,000 People

The South Island’s largest city, Christchurch, is a great place to live and work. Not only does it have plenty of job opportunities in a range of industries, but it’s also a great location for exploring more of the South Island. Christchurch also has an international airport, making trips abroad possible too.

3. Wellington – 215,000 People

Named the “coolest little capital” in the world, Wellington may not be North Island’s largest city, but it makes up for it in culture. In a creative city with multiple universities, you’ll never find yourself without anything to do. From the renowned Te Papa museum to the surrounding vineyards, Wellington ranks highly as a destination for tourists and residents alike.  

4. Hamilton – 177,000 People

One of New Zealand’s more affordable large cities, Hamilton is a melting pot of international students, ex-pats and those who have always called the area home. The Hamilton Gardens are a local treasure, while the mighty Waikato River makes up for the city’s lack of coastline.  

5. Tauranga – 151,000 People

Tauranga is fifth on our list of significant cities in New Zealand. A coastal city, it stretches along the shoreline, encompassing the popular beaches of Mt Maunganui and Papamoa. As more New Zealanders choose to escape the bustle of Auckland, Tauranga is rapidly becoming a more popular area thanks to its great location and lifestyle.

6. Napier and Hastings – 116,000 People

Positioned less than 20 kilometres apart, Napier and Hastings are popular cities for ex-pats who want to balance work and play. Residents of the region are surrounded by vineyards and have beaches, bike trips, and walks on their doorstep. Enjoy the art deco architecture that Napier is famed for, or rent a bike and ride around the Hastings area sampling wonderful food and wine.

Other large New Zealand cities:

7. Lower Hutt – 111,000 People

8. Dunedin – 107,000 People

9. Palmerston North – 82,000 People

10. Rotorua – 59,000 People

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