New Zealand as a lot to offer young families. If you’re considering moving to New Zealand you may be weighing up the pros and cons. Here I’m going to provide with a list of ten great reasons why New Zealand is a great place to raise children:
1) Relaxed pace of life
When people talk about what New Zealand has to offer, the lifestyle and pace of life is a big one. There is no denying that the lifestyle in New Zealand is a lot more easy-going and chilled out than other parts of the world. Coming from the UK we have found that things are just easier here and people are more relaxed. There is much more emphasis on the work/life balance and so people work hard but not too hard. In the summer, some people take most of January off to enjoy the good weather and everything New Zealand has to offer at that time of the year.
Kids here are catered for wherever you go. There are amazing play parks all around often with incredible views of beaches, lakes or mountains. People in shops are very welcoming to children and many shops and banks have a children’s corner with toys to keep them entertained while the parents are busy. There are also loads of great activities for children across New Zealand.
Coming from the UK this is a big one. It is generally a lot warmer and drier than the UK. While there is a fair amount of green, the reason the country is so lush and green, you don’t have many dingy, dark days. I call it the land of the rainbows because so often when it rains the sun is also shining – otherwise known as a monkey’s wedding apparently!
4) Great food and wine!
The New Zealand culinaryscene is not to be sniffed at. Auckland in particular has vast array of restaurants providing a wide range of cuisines. For the parents, the fantastic New Zealand wines are a big perk. Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is my absolute favourite wine and there are so many other great wines that New Zealand has to offer. All across the country there are fabulous wineries to visit for a tour or a meal. (see my guide on Waiheke island which is a beautiful island with around 30 wineries 40 minutes from downtown Auckland) Many of them are family friendly and provide play areas for the kids while parents can sample the local offerings. Finally, we can’t forget the coffee. Kiwis take their coffee very seriously and you don’t have to travel far to find a good barista made coffee in New Zealand.
5) Outdoors lifestyle
This is a big one. Even if you’re not a massive outdoors activity person there is still so much for you in New Zealand in terms of the outdoor lifestyle. There are so many beautiful walks of varying difficulty and so many that you can take pushchairs on or would be suitable for young children walking. Water sports and activities are abundant in New Zealand, either in the sea, rivers or lakes, there is so much you can do. We have recently got into paddle boarding and it is just an absolute dream here for that.
6) Rich culture
The Māori culture is an integral part of life in Aotearoa (New Zealand). From Te Reo Māori )the Māori language), cultural traditions and beliefs, folk tales, artwork to the famous Haka, Māori traditions are woven into daily life in New Zealand. The government has rightly been working to redress the social imbalance of colonial times and recognise Māori culture and traditions more and more over the past few decades. This year the government established a new public holiday to celebrate Matiriki, the start of the Māori new year. At school Māori stories and traditions are taught. My girls really enjoy learning the stories of the Māori gods, the traditions and learning words in Māori. If you want to learn some Maori word there are some great resources out there. The NZ History website is a good place to start.
7) Jobs and opportunity
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic cutting New Zealand off from the rest of the world for over two years the economy has weathered the storm and there are a wide range of job opportunities. As with other countries, the pandemic has increased the number of jobs offering remote working for at least part of the week.
New Zealand has abundant marine wildlife – dolphins, whales, penguins and seals can be spotted around New Zealand. There are many whale watching trips and boat trips to swim with dolphins – carried out in a safe and ecologically respectful way. Orcas can sometimes be seen around Auckland ( I am on a mission to spot one sometime soon!). Kaikoura, near Christchurch is the best place to see whales in New Zealand.
The birdlife here is unique. From Tuis, Fantails and Kakas to the infamous Kiwi there are so many incredible birds to see. There are lots of Kiwi conservation programmes across New Zealand where you can see Kiwis as they are notoriously difficult to see in the wild.
New Zealand is a melting pot of nationalities which results in a real mix of cultures, particularly in Auckland. This makes New Zealand an interesting and diverse place to live providing opportunity for children to learn about other cultures.
10) It’s just really beautiful!
There’s no doubt about it New Zealand is stunning. Pretty much everywhere you go there is a beautiful view. From gorgeous beaches, perfect lakes to spectacular mountains, there is just so much beauty to discover. The south island is known for the spectacular jaw dropping scenery but the north island has so much to offer too. It is all very worth exploring!
If you needed anymore great reasons then check out my blogs on travel in New Zealand.
To read all about our move to New Zealand here.