Until moving to Auckland, the largest town I’d lived in had 15,000 people, the smallest… well, it was barely a village. Ever since I was little, I’ve dreamed of living in ‘the city’ so now and then when walking the streets I’ll think “whoa, I’m actually here”.
I visited Auckland a few times as a kid, but most of my memory of it revolved around being terrified of the glass floor up the Sky Tower and the sadly now retired articulated buses that used to roam the streets. Oh and lots of visits to Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium. So actually living here has pretty much been like rediscovering it.
There are five main reasons I liked Auckland enough to choose to move here; size, climate, quality of life, transport and the university itself.
While globally it is pretty small, to me, and to most of New Zealand I’d imagine, Auckland is huge. And that’s a large part of what made it so compelling. It’s about as far from the small towns I grew up in as possible, and I love it for that.
Here, you can be surrounded by dozens of people, and not know a single one. Or perhaps only know a handful.
It also has the advantage of being the commercial capital with a third of the entire country’s population living here, alongside many of its largest businesses. This was another important consideration when looking at where to study – what potential was there after uni? For me, international connections were vital and thanks to its size, Auckland has that at a level unlike anywhere else in NZ.
A motivation for me studying in New Zealand at all was escaping Australia’s at times unbearable climate. But I didn’t want to move somewhere that was just cold and miserable. Auckland strikes a balance, with almost hot summers and winters that are cold enough to be cosy. And there are actual seasons! Not just the ‘very hot and rainy’ and ‘hot and not so rainy’ that I was used to in Brisbane.
Sure it rains a bit, and you can’t really trust the forecast, but by and large, Auckland is incredibly liveable.
Quality of Life
Auckland is actually ranked third on the global quality of life index. It’s pretty easy to see why – it’s a modern, growing city with nature on its doorstep and a plethora of cultural activities just waiting to be explored. I can leave my building, and within 30mins I can be on top of Mt Eden, I can be jumping on a ferry downtown, getting breakfast in Parnell or exploring Auckland Museum, which is in the Domain.
Also, the people are amazingly relaxed and friendly – it’s really lovely.
Knowing I wouldn’t be driving here, I definitely wanted to live somewhere with good public transport. And after five months here I think my only complaint has been that the train doors take forever to open. Otherwise, the interconnected network of buses, trains and ferries, accessed with a simple tap of your AT HOP card, unlocks the entire city to explore.
Most the trains run on a 20-minute frequency outside peak times, and there are buses that run on even 5-10 min frequency. Slightly mind-blowing for me when my last town didn’t have a bus service, and the train only came through every 2 hours…
Left til last, but perhaps the most important aspect – the university. UoA is the largest, highest ranked university in New Zealand. But it wasn’t until I visited the campus for Courses & Careers Day last year that I was completely sold. The uber-modern OGGB Business School, the city centre location of the campus, the tree-lined Symonds Street – it just felt perfect.
If you’re feeling unsure on where to study, it is definitely worthwhile heading to the upcoming Courses & Careers Open Day on Saturday the 25th of August. It might just be what you need to make your decisions.