As you’ve probably picked up, I’m a born and bred Wellingtonian so I’d say I know the ins and outs of Wellington culture and the city well enough. I definitely didn’t think about what the city really offered and its differences until I came up to Auckland (cliché sounding, I know, but true).
I’ve lived in Auckland for just over half a year now– I certainly wouldn’t call it home, I know a few that do already and I know a few that consider it far from. I think it’s because you get a really distinct feeling of difference in terms of living whether you’re from the South Island, Wellington, or Auckland, which is what I’ve noticed anyway. In my opinion, a lot of this comes down to the culture of the city. Wellington is a quirky little capital and a bit more alternative than anywhere in the country. You only have to look at the street style, the endless number of vintage shops and range of edgy, boutique brand start-ups around the city (e.g. Fix and Fogg– the best PB you can get… @pics lovers, sorry). Of course, just like with anything this isn’t reflective of the whooole city but I like to think it’s close enough! Playing the game of “Spot the Wellingtonians” in the hall and around uni is always pretty successful for me.
Previously when I thought about Auckland and living in the city I really just thought that was it. You get the high rise buildings, all your chain stores and that concrete jungle vibe. What a way to stereotype, eh! The thing about Auckland and what I’ve grown to love about it is that it is a huge hub where all the things are happening. Everything is on a much larger scale and you’re bound to find something of interest to you. Where in Wellington, everything is in one place, here, you get all your different areas that all offer something unique, whether that be the Britomart area, Silo Park or out of the CBD in the fancier suburbs of Newmarket or Ponsonby.
Weather is always a big issue for a lot of people. Those from sunny Nelson are always raving about their weather (well, the one I befriended anyway). You can’t really discuss Wellington weather without hearing about wind, wind and wind. Auckland weather is certainly erratic. Moving here at the start– it was scorching. You’d be envious of everyone who had a fan since they seemed to be sold out city wide. Pro Tip: Bring a fan with you if you can! Also, don’t forget lots of pairs of underwear as you’ll likely need to shower often– I don’t know why but I only brought 6 pairs at the start of the year because I thought that’d force me to do my washing but that wasn’t a particularly good idea at all! You’ll get week long sunny spells, a week of wind and rain or a day which alternates 235x between rain and sun. One thing I’ve had to work my way towards getting is an umbrella. I’ve found there’s no point in being a stubborn Wellingtonian, I no longer just have to don the trusty raincoat. It would be a lie to say there is no wind in Auckland though, when it does come I am certainly reminded of home.
A quick note about buses and StudyLink– public transport is quite cheap and easy in Auckland with an AT Hop Card loaded with a tertiary concession. You’ll want to get that sorted in O Week as it’s an annoyingly lengthy process so follow this closely. You’ll also want to know everything you can around StudyLink, such as the differences between your loan, living costs and allowance, as well as setting up your RealMe asap.
Hit the comments if you have any questions at all, always keen to hear ’em.