Most Liveable City In New Zealand

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[updated Sep 22, 2021]

Choosing the most liveable city in New Zealand is getting harder every year. It seems that as more of the world turns its attention to the stunning natural environment and thriving cultural life throughout the country, more great destinations seem to emerge. While the larger cities such as Auckland and Wellington consistently sit atop the desirable destination lists, stunning spots like Nelson and Tauranga are beginning to capture the imaginations of those looking to resettle. Whether you’re looking to move inter-island or heading here from abroad, there are so many great options to choose from. With locations all across the country, Allied makes moving in New Zealand simple. We’ll even help you decide where to live with our list of the 10 most liveable cities in New Zealand for 2021.



Queenstown has recently shot to the top of many lists of liveable cities due to its spectacular scenery, bustling social life and title as the ‘Home of Adventure’. From winter through to spring Queenstown bursts with excitement as the hub of world-class skiing and snowboarding. People travel from all over New Zealand and the world to soak up the beautiful sights, enjoy the social scene and dive into the range of snow sports and activities on offer. However, with other adrenaline sports and outdoor activities like bungee jumping, skydiving, mountain biking, jet boating, river rafting and horse trekking, Queenstown remains a popular destination all year round. It’s important to remember that this beautiful part of the world isn’t just for holidays and adrenaline junkies. Queenstown boasts a thriving array of industries that support a strong job market that is luring professionals from a wide range of fields and backgrounds. This has even led it to overtake Auckland for the highest house prices in the country.




As the fastest growing city in the country, it’s clear that the word has gotten out about Tauranga. While it is no longer one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets, it is certainly one of its most desirable locations. Tauranga is the largest population centre in the Bay of Plenty, one of the most picturesque spots in the whole country. Many enjoy the city’s proximity to the country’s most popular beach towns, Mount Maunganui, but there is so much more to Tauranga’s appeal. Downtown Tauranga is dotted with marvelous architecture and historically significant sites. The beautiful stretch of coastline on which it sits offers some of the best sailing, fishing and dolphin watching in the world. Its vibrant harbor and port scene draw both visitors and investors from around the world. This has kept Tauranga integrated with the world and a rising hub for commercial activity. Whether you’re looking for a sea change, or business opportunities, Tauranga is an ideal choice for your move.




Up in the central North Island, easily accessible to a range of other major cities and sitting within the Pacific Rim of Fire, lies the beautiful city of Rotorua. It is known as a volcanic wonderland as the region has one of the world’s most active geothermal fields. This creates exquisite landscapes, rare flora and fauna in addition to thermal waters, bubbling mud pools, colourful hot lakes, streams and waterfalls. However, it’s not just the extraordinary landscape that makes Rotorua so beautiful. The city is rich in Māori history and today maintains its unique traditions, cuisine and culture. This culture is embedded in the town of Rotorua and sharing of the local history, food, art and knowledge forms a major part of the tourism industry, economy and essence of what makes the city such a desirable place to live.




Auckland is New Zealand’s most populous city, but with a population well below 2 million it still maintains a high quality of life and beautiful mixture of urban and natural environments. The city sits between a stunning coastline, lush rainforests, rolling hills and iconic volcanoes. The 48 volcanic cones scattered around the wider Auckland region provide incredible views of the city and rich, fertile soil that has allowed for the growth of beautiful vineyards and olive groves. With a moderate, subtropical climate, Auckland offers beautiful temperatures most of the year, averaging 25 degrees celsius in the summers and 11 degrees in the winters. While the city has many great attractions for visitors, as the country’s metropolitan hub it also draws professionals from far and wide for its thriving commercial industry and strong job market.




Wellington earns its place as one of New Zealand’s most liveable cities due to its energetic mixture of quirky, creative spaces, artistic offerings and world class cuisine. Lonely Planet dubbed Wellington the “coolest little capital in the world” for its unassuming layers of culture, history, nature and excitement packed into a place with less than 300,000 people. Located at the bottom of New Zealand’s North Island, the nation’s capital is teeming with museums, craft breweries, unforgettable food options and natural experiences ranging from bushwalks to eco-sanctuaries. If you’ve been wanting to relocate somewhere with all the perks of a city without all the crowds, then moving to Wellington is a great option.




Christchurch is a city of contrasts, with some of the oldest buildings in the country sitting alongside innovative new architecture while offering both thrill-seeking experiences and peaceful retreats. Christchurch was ranked among TIME’s world’s greatest places of 2021 due to the ingenuity and creativity that it has demonstrated in its recovery from the earthquake that devastated the city a decade ago. Since then the city has been experiencing a transformational comeback that has seen the emergence of new hotels, restaurants, public spaces and creative innovations. Even as the recovery continues, vacant lots are regularly filled with interactive installations such as coin-operated dance floors and hammock forests arise as reminders that the heart and spirit of the city is very much alive.




Nestled on the banks of the famous Waikato River is the beautiful city of Hamilton. The city is known for its natural environment, bustling arts and social scene and of course the passionate sporting culture. Hamilton is New Zealand’s largest inland city, though it resides beside the nation’s longest river. With a population just under 200,000, the community is young, welcoming and innovative - with around half of all residents under the age of 30. The Hamilton economy is supported by one of the richest agricultural and pastoral areas in the world, with a world class dairy industry and home to cutting edge agricultural biotech and a number of science research facilities. Moving to Hamilton is easy as it is within two hours drive of New Zealand’s main harbours and airports in Tauranga and Auckland.




Dunedin is a small, thriving city that offers a high quality of life within a prosperous and safe community. Modelled after the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, Dunedin has a Victorian and Edwardian architectural influence that has mixed with the beautiful local environment and people to create its own unique character that is inviting and distinct. With a small population of less than 150,000, a youthful demographic, short commuting times and a thriving business culture supporting the emergence of new opportunities, Dunedin is a strong contender for one of the country’s most liveable cities. In fact, thanks to its clean public spaces, natural environment and commitment to sustainability, Dunedin won the title of most beautiful city in the 2018 ‘Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards’. Whether you’re interested in moving to Dunedin for its high quality of life, rich cultural scene or thriving business sector, Allied can help make your move smooth and easy.




Nelson has a welcoming, innovative community supported by a growing regional economy. On top of strong commercial sectors and business opportunities, Nelson also boasts the highest annual sunshine hours in the country, making it New Zealand’s ‘sunshine capital’. Located in the North West region of the South Island, Nelson City is the largest city and commercial centre across the top of the South. With a stunning combination of coastal landscapes and alpine environments, Nelson is highly accessible to a wide range of incredible national parks and attractions. With a new world-class airport, the city is now more accessible and connected to the rest of the country and the rest of the world.




Napier is famous for its architecture, with streets full of Art Deco buildings that reflect and celebrate the styles of the 1930s. Rocked by an earthquake in 1931, the city rebuilt and embraced the popular architectural movements of the time, with Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission and Art Deco designs bursting to life on every corner. Napier also boasts an assortment of fine wineries, restaurants, bars and cafes. Along the restored Marine Parade you can enjoy scenic views of the city and the Pacific Ocean while enjoying endless options of family-friendly activities. Located on the east coast of the North Island, Napier’s population of 66,300 enjoys low population density and high quality of life. With a domestic airport, a bustling sea port and efficient road connectivity, moving to Napier is easy.

Thinking of moving to somewhere in New Zealand? Get in touch with the expert moving consultants today at Allied to find out how our range of moving services can help make your move as smooth as possible.