Living in Auckland – some observations

I haven’t written in a while as have been submerging myself in Auckland life! We have been living in an apartment in Auckland city centre for a week now and I thought I would jot down some quick observations of life here. Note – this are mostly generalisations because we only have a week to base things on!:

  • In our view the weather has a big impact on our relationship with Auckland. It is one of those cities that is much nicer and lovelier when the sun is shining!
  • The harbour front is pretty and it is nice to get an ice cream (on a hot day) and sit on one of the many benches situated along the long harbour front.
  • Auckland is big! It seems to be quite a sprawling city, with lots of different suburbs and you need public transport to get anywhere outside of the city centre. The buses and trains can seem quite baffling, as it is quite a complex system but we have used them a few times and you quickly adapt.
  • It is easy to get to lovely nearby beaches – we have only visited Mission Bay so far but it was very nice.
  • It is very multicultural – with a large and very present Asian population. Very varied food places cover a huge array of international foods too.
  • There is an apparent real mix of rich and poor – right next to each other. You see lots of ‘suits’ wandering the streets and having champagne in bars, but there are also tramps (we met one when we was eating out of the bin next to us).
  • The crossings all over the city are annoying!! I don’t know why – but they just take so long to go green and they are literally everywhere! There are lots of roads and very few car free areas – hence a lot of crossings. So despite currently living right in the city centre, we still cross about 5/6 crossings to get to some of the central streets!
  • It feels like a big ‘city’ in that you don’t always feel safe and do have to have your wits about you. You do see a few gangs wandering the streets and we also witnessed a woman stealing some things from a local supermarket and being chased by security. We did also see police stopping traffic on a main road (causing chaos!) to randomly test every car for drink drivers. Plus we have to walk past the very nicely named ‘Showgirls’ (you work it out) on our short walk in to town.
  • The Sky Tower is tall! I know it is the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere but you really can see it from pretty much anywhere in the city!
  • When events are on in the city it can be hard to find accommodation. And generally most of the cheaper accommodation is either backpackers or tends to be suited to longer term stays.
  • Takeaways are cheap (this is probably true of most of NZ!). You could probably feed a small family here with the cost of just a Dominos Takeaway pizza back home.
  • Everyday groceries (bread, milk etc.) are very expensive compared to the UK. This makes cooking for yourself probably as expensive as getting takeaway! Not as unhealthy though!
  • Pizza Hut restaurants don’t exist here – only takeaways!! This will be a shock to those of you who know me and you may well ask yourself how has Nicola survived for nearly 6 weeks in a country without proper Pizza Hut?! But yes I have 🙂 I have just eaten pizza elsewhere – my favourite in Auckland being at Jack Tar.
  • And finally, for all those of you in the UK who have been missing proper Woolworths (not the food chain they have over here and in Oz) – they have a very similar shop here called ‘The Warehouse’ – it is cheap and feels like Woolsworths, so I plan to spend time in the lead up to Christmas because I used to love doing this in good old Woolies 🙂
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Categories: Accommodation, Activities | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Living in Auckland – some observations

  1. The Warehouse is the best lol Good luck in Auckland! Spent about nine months in NZ myself and had an amazing experience. Would go back any time!

  2. Definitely on the list for places to see. Is the water warm? I like a good open water swim, every now and then. Lovely looking place! Thanks for visiting my blog!

    • We haven’t been swimming yet as the water is only starting to get warm enough! Mission Bay is a lovely beach if you like swimming though. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. As a newby to NZ, I can relate to all of this apart from the not feeling safe point you mention, but we have been living on the North Shore and it feels VERY safe. We landed 9 months ago, looking forward to your adventure, ours has been fab so far (TwohoomansandaspanielinNZ http://2hoomansandaspanielinnz.wordpress.com)

    • Thanks for visiting. I have had a look at your blog and it is really interesting! On reflection we have walked the streets more at night since I posted this and don’t feel as unsafe as I initially thought, but there are still some undesirables and tramps around at night – as with most cities! Hope you are enjoying living on the North Shore. If we were staying in Auckland longer we would probably plan to move there – but are planning to head back to the South Island after New Year, as are missing it!

  4. Hi Nicola,
    Thanks for visiting Roadtripworms and liking one of the posts. It seems like you and your husband are in the same situation as me and mine. We are also on a working visa here in Auckland and have been here for over 5 months. Personally I feel that living in Auckland CBD doesnt do “true” Auckland any justice. If you consider moving away from the CBD, you could explore Titirangi village. We’ve been living there for the past 5 months and we absolutely love this amazing place. French bay is only 2 minute walk from our place. Numerous parks and hiking trails are all around (the Waitekere range). People are friendly and it’s completely safe. And there’s a “dine-in” Pizza Hut at Lynn Mall which is only 5 min drive away. :). Hope you will have an amazing time in New Zealand!

  5. Thanks for returning the visit. We are in a similar situation! We completely agree that living in Auckland CBD doesn’t do justice to Auckland or NZ for that matter! We are just living here for convenience at the moment as my husband has a well-paid IT contract in the CBD until Christmas. We then plan to move elsewhere for a bit to explore some more of the country in-depth. We would like to head to South Island and hopefully Queesntown, depending on work. Thanks so much for the tip about Tititangi village as we had never even heard of it before and if we do find ourselves back in the Auckland area it sounds perfect! And that must be one of the only dine in Pizza Huts left too! 🙂 Although we have found Crust Pizza (not sure if you have tried it – they only have two locations so far, in Parnell and Hamilton) and that is delicious too! I hope you continue to have a great time and I look forward to your future posts 🙂

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