Looking at the possibility of moving to NZ (South Island) from Oz ...

Does anyone on here have any advice for someone considering the move across the ditch?
I haven't got the job yet, just considering the pro's and con's before 'pulling the trigger'.
I tick all the boxes for the role, and would stand a good chance of at least getting an interview.
The job would be in the south island (Otago region).
I have been to NZ once (5 years ago) on Holiday, and that was nice and i loved where we went to, but that's my experience in NZ to date.
For those that have made the move:
1) What is the standard of living like? Similar to oz? This includes things like cars, utilities and other such expenses
2) Has anyone lived in the southern part of the south island? Can anyone comment on what it would be like to live there (Otago region)
3) I have noted a lot of people return to oz from NZ. I was thinking this move might be a move to settle down. What are people's thoughts on the area?

Any other pertinent advice you could suggest, i would appreciate.




    Substandard rental homes can be very cold in the winter time. Other than that its comparably cheaper than anywhere else I've lived in the world. I grew up in the far south. Invercargill offers zero fees education. Queenstown a short trip away is good quality of life but as its a booming city housing can be quite expensive in that area. Great place to start as a young adult, save money, get educated. But there's nothing keeping them here certainly not the weather hence why I'm moving to California in the near future.


    Housing is cheaper (out of.auckland). Food. Cars and a lost everything else is more expensive here than oz.
    Lifestyle in nz is much better

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    I'm originally from Australia, moved to NZ 10 years ago (although it's been longer since I've actually lived in Australia).

    To answer a few of your questions (these are just my opinions and observations):
    1) IMO standard of living is on par with Australia - but food and general cost of living I've found is more expensive compared to the wages you get here. Internet however pisses over any crappy NBN being rolled out over there - I like to send screenshots of my gigabyte fibre speedtests to my Australian friends on a regular basis. There's lots of grey import cars here so getting yourself a decent second hand car is probably cheaper than in Australia. People are a hell of a lot friendlier here than in Australia. Dunedin in the summer is awesome, the students disappear and you get really long (and usually sunny) days.
    2) I lived in Christchurch until 2013 and I'm now in Dunedin, it gets pretty cold in the winters and there's lots of old houses with poor insulation & heating. Dunedin's a nice place to live, houses are cheap and there's lot of good schools - Chch's also nice but my wife was really badly affected by the earthquakes and doesn't want to live there anymore. With both Chch & Dunedin you're only a couple of hours from the ski fields if that's your thing and there's lots of other wilderness and outdoorsy things to do.
    3) I wouldn't move back to Australia, life's too good here and unlike the NZers in Oz we have a lot of rights here, if you're planning on living here for longer than 2 years we have the right to vote, health care etc. You can still get a house for a decent price in Dunedin.

    Some downsides:

    • Dunedin winters can be long, grey & only small number of daylight hours, although you'll get spells of sunny days
    • If you think the "Australia tax" on overseas products is high start trying to buy consumer electronics here, it's even more expensive.
    • 2 degrees of separation is a real thing in Dunedin, everyone knows everyone
    • If you move to Otago you'll have to get used to eating cheese rolls - these weird toasted bread things with runny cheese in them, I really don't get the appeal.
    • South Islanders don't seem to feel the cold - no matter how cold it is I'll usually see at least one person wearing shorts (I guess this isn't a downside if you like seeing people in shorts, no judgement here)

    The short of it is I have no regrets and wouldn't live anywhere else - you'll need to adjust to some changes but there's more similarities between Australia & NZ than differences. If you want any more info feel free to message me.


    I'm from Dunedin, living in Wellington, I'd love to move back down there but too hard finding jobs for my wife and I.
    Houses are definitely cheaper down there, except around Queenstown.
    What city/town? Queenstown and Wanaka can be expensive because they cater to tourists, but the little towns can be quite isolated.

    Small number of daylight hours in Dunedin?? Was never that bad when I lived there.
    Cheese rolls are amazing, it's more than just "runny cheese".


      Small number of daylight hours in Dunedin?? Was never that bad when I lived there.

      Compared to most places in Australia (except Tasmania) it's shorter, I'm from Perth and the shortest day is more than 1.5 hours longer than in Dunedin, I think the constant greyness in winter makes it feel shorter as well (1600 sunshine hours per year in Dunedin vs 3200 hours in Perth, although that gets zeroed out due to the huge number of bogans in WA)

      Cheese rolls are amazing, it's more than just "runny cheese".

      I stand by my comments on cheese rolls. I think it's like Marmite or Vegemite, growing up on it would give people a different opinion (my wife's a local and loves them)


    I'm a kiwi who moved to Sydney 5 years ago. Lived in Auckland but my hometown was Christchurch.
    Agree with all above comments. Housing (except for Auckland and the lake areas around Queentown) are much much cheaper than Sydney.
    The cost of living, groceries, clothing, electrical goods and electronics are more expensive in NZ. NZ is a low wage economy compared to OZ. Employment wise there aren't the same opportunities, most companies in NZ report to their Sydney, or other overseas head/regional office.
    The further South you go the colder the weather. Christchurch for example has a good six months of winter.
    If you are into the outdoors, and dress appropriately you'll find heaps to do.
    Outside of Auckland it is not as multicultural, In saying that NZ is more liberal, not as many people are into religion. When I first arrived in Sydney I noticed the higher profile religion has here, ie religious schools and as a result more conservative in some respects.
    If you can secure a good job in NZ it is a good place to live, people are friendly and pace of life is slower (with the exception of Auckland and Wellington). Aussies moving to NZ also have far more rights than Kiwis in OZ.



    Thanks so much for the great comments.

    I think the job's pay would be OK, it's hard to guage, what exactly is good pay at this stage, but what we are chasing after is a place where we can possibly settle down to.
    We are currently living in a country town in Australia, so Dunedin or Christchurch would be 'big' for us! :-)
    In saying that, i have come from cities, but just prefer smaller communities these days.

    Are Dunedin's winter's really cold? Where we currently are, we get overnight frosts and low's of about -2 to -7, but that's only for a few weeks.
    How are the summers? Or is there not a true summer? Does Dunedin get 4 seasons?
    Qusar, your comment on consumer electronics seems to resonate with others i have spoken to. Are deals that are offered for consumer goods also not very good? I note that choice cheapies is not nearly as active as it's australian counterpart, Ozbargain.
    Do people frequent the US or otherwise to go for a 'shop'? Or do most just pay the asking price in NZ and deal with it? I suppose that's personal choice and dependent on circumstances at the time.


      Dunedin gets the four seasons, sometimes in one day.

      I used to fly to Australia for shopping, but mostly because the Tourist Refund Scheme on the way out was handy for small electronics and pc parts (which gave me a deal and paid for my flights). Other than that we mostly pay the price, or order it on international websites if the shipping isn't too much of an issue.


      Christchurch gets colder than Dunedin, but Dunedin's average low is less than Christchurch. I don't think it's even gotten down -7 in Dunedin, the main problem is it stays in the early single digits during the day while being grey and overcast so it feels really cold, but the sunny winter days offset that a bit. That said the summers are awesome in Dunedin, lots of daylight hours and it rarely gets above 30 (I hate hot weather). The climate section of Wikipedia will give you an idea of what to expect: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunedin#Climate - it gets pretty damn cold in Central Otago though, it got down to -21C in Omarama a couple of years back.

      I usually buy stuff locally so that I'm covered by the CGA (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Guarantees_Act_1993) but cheaper stuff I'll buy from the US, Australia or China. The duty/GST free threshold for NZ is lower than Australia at $400 which make buying bigger stuff from overseas even less enticing, the GST rate here is also higher at 15% - they've also introduced GST for some overseas goods/services.

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