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Where to Live (Auckland)

We spotted our house on the internet and had signed up within 35 hours of landing and moved in within a month, but we knew the area quite well and had relatives in the same area so knew what to expect. I would not recommend this way of buying a house, book in a hotel or rent for starters. Get a feel for the area you want to live in and if required what the schools are like. Do not be overawed by the house size, most are larger here, also read our articles about leaky houses NZ Housing (What to look out for) and lack of central heating What no central heating. For the latest Mortgage and Exchange Rates see: Money and Banks and House Prices and Mortgages and Rents. To have a look round Auckland New Zealand Wises Map

For house buying info:

Government House Buying Guide

Average Auckland House Prices
2002 - $367,036
2003 - $414,742
2004 - $439,215
2005 - $476,916
2006 - $507,470
2007 - $546,364
2008 - $500,840
2009 - $550,217
2010 - $535,000
2013 - $584,715
2014 - $695,300

See also Areas to live outside Auckland, also Buying land (section) and planning a house

I suppose the best way to start this are suggestions where not to live:

South Auckland

This covers a large area and really it is not fair to tar all this area with the same brush. We do not really know South Auckland apart from passing through, but the media tend to equate problems with gangs and crime and South Auckland, But further south there are small towns with a train service to Auckland CBD, I have just listed parcels of land for sale, so you can design your own home or take a builders standard package, or a bit in between. Remember homes built in the last few years are a lot warmer and better built.

Karaka Harbourside, or or on the North ShoreNorth Shore

Areas within Auckland or very near

East Auckland


The Botany area was built in the last ten years and has several large housing estates, the nearest I know to UK suburbia. The estates though have a much greater variety of housing design and have greater size of living area. This area had a large influx of Hong Kong nationals in the early 2000's, most were quite wealthy and had a passion for pillar entrances. There is plenty of industry in the local area, mainly East Tamaki, but to get to Auckland CBD involves the bus or a slow drive, unless you use the Half Moon Bay ferry.

The main shopping complex for the surrounding district is based in central Botany, we use and can recommend it

Bucklands Beach

is a penisular butting out into the Hauraki Gulf, with good schools, a couple of Tennis, bowling and golf clubs, the latter positioned with sea all around, really scenic, (the course can be seen right at the end of the peninsula). The housing starts at the cheaper end just on the penisula and gets more expensive the further in, but still affordable to UK expats (its like little Britain). The local schools teach the UK syllabus see

Half Moon bay ferries travel to Waiheke (car and passenger), CBD and Rangitoto (in summer).


Howick has history, well for NZ it has. The village was founded in 1840 and has the second oldest church in NZ. The centre of the village is cafe culture with some decent bars. For the young Thursday night is the night. Howick has nice clean beaches (in the long past it used to be a holiday resort for Aucklanders) and parks (domains) etc. The housing is across the range and age, reasonably priced. Our 20 year old son has a house 150 metres from the centre. Recommended.

Travel to work is on par with Botany, although the ferry is nearer, have a look at the Bucklands Beach map.


If you prefer to live in a small town (village by UK standards) then these two places might be up your street. Both are a few miles from the sea, but quite pretty. Clevedon is the larger of the two and more touristy, especially on Sundays (farmers market and nice restaurants etc.).

Clevedon is located on the Wairoa River five kilometres from its estuary and outflow into the Tamaki Strait, an arm of the Hauraki Gulf. It is 14 kilometres from the centre of the city of Manukau, which lies to the northwest. To the south of Clevedon rise the rugged hills of the Hunua Ranges (where Auckland gets its water). Several popular beaches are located on the coast close to Clevedon, including Duders Beach and Kawakawa Bay.

Clevedon was named from Clevedon, England, in 1866. It was previously known as Te Wairoa (Māori: 'the Long River'). Clevedon is near the Duder regional park Auckland Parks and Domains


The village is a service centre for the surrounding farms and life-style properties, while supporting a cafe, restaurant, service station, florist, speciality gift shops and, depending on the weather, the third Saturday of the month sees the “Whitford Market” bursts into life. The Whitford Country Club offers a picturesque 18 hole golf course where visitors are very welcome, the “Whitford Bird Garden” is a must to visit, as is one of New Zealand's best known private gardens “Ayrlies”.

Beachlands and Pine Harbour

A little further to the east is Beachlands, now rapidly expanding with major housing developments at Pine Harbour and Spinaker Bay. The village is located on the Pohutakawa Coast and in close proximity to the adjoining village of Maraetai. The two areas have a combined population of around 4422 people. Commuting to Auckland is by the Pine harbour ferry

There are two areas of Beachlands, traditional and new, think, a very very small Milton Keanes

Natural attractions in the immediate area include Sunkist Bay Beach, Shelly Beach and Snapper Rock. The Domain is the small park in the centre of Beachlands. Offshore, Motukaraka Island (also known as Flat Top Island) is located near the entrance to Pine Harbour Marina and is accessible at low tide. It is a short walk from the shore.

Well worth a look!

Pine Harbour Pine harbour is all new properties based round the marina, definitely for boaties, plus good cafes and restaurants. Prices are reasonable for the size of house.

Our friends have just moved into their new house in old Beachlands, a traditional kiwi one


Maraetai is not really Auckland and is 30 minutes drive from Howick. It is possible to commute into CBD if you use the Gulf Harbour ferry which is about a 10 minute drive. The reason for including this area is that it may appeal, if you fancy a country / beach setting near to Auckland and Manukau. The village has mains electricity, but is off mains water as is Beachlands, so tanked rainwater is the norm. Maraetai has a couple of shops, a garage, boat club, 3 beach-front cafes and a chip shop. It is a beautiful area with Omana domain on the outskirts as an added attraction. The place is expanding at the moment with new sections up for sale near the domain. The downside is its popularity and the beaches get quite crowded (for NZ) on weekends in summer.

Power Boat Racing at Maraetai (annual event)

Maraetai beach in winter

Central (ish) Auckland

Mission Bay, St. Helliers

Definitely one the nicer areas of Auckland and quite expensive, Orakei, having some of the costliest houses around. Generally, the nearer the sea the more expensive. The only dodgy area is around Glen Innes.

Mission Bay and St Heliers are where the “beautiful people” gather on Sundays, jogging, walking or posing along the promenade. Commuting into CBD is easy along Tamaki Drive


Parnell, has existed since the settlement of Auckland in 1841. To the west of Parnell lies the Auckland Domain, to the south Newmarket, and to the north the commercial area of St Georges Bay with mainly office-space. This area is expensive and tends to house the BMW owning professionals.

Parnell Rise and Parnell Road together make up the main road through Parnell. Parnell Rise leads to the central business district to the west; Parnell Road runs from Parnell Rise uphill to the top of the suburb, and then bends almost 90 degrees and continues towards Newmarket in the south-east where at the intersection with Davis Crescent it becomes Broadway. Early European settlers knew Parnell Road as “Manukau Road” until well after the formation of Khyber Pass (or Khyber Pass Road) in 1845.Parnell has become one of the preferred places to live in Auckland, with house-prices rising rapidly over the last three years. Parnell hosts its own rose festival each year at the end of October, free to attend but always costs.

Mount Albert

We have relatives who live in Mount Albert, they chose the area mainly because of the schools and living style.


Again extremely nice but very expensive. Traditionally occupied by the higher-income bracket, especially on its “Northern Slopes” (a term that refers to the part of Remuera north of Remuera Road) the suburb has become regarded as the stereotypical retreat of the rich in popular New Zealand


is a middle class area with a leaning to the arts and gay section, but still a very desirable area, with good access to CBD. The houses are attractive early Auckland and its a nice area to wander around, as there are many restaurants, cafes, art galleries, up-market shops and nightclubs located along Ponsonby Road.

West Auckland


Titirangi is on the west side of Auckland, largely in native forest of the Waitakeres. Here you can buy a house completely surrounded by trees. This side of Auckland has easy access to the wild west coast beaches, famous for surfing and surf racing, the best known being Piha. Commuting into town can be lengthy for NZ but not for ex-Londoners.

The Waitakeres are very hilly!

The weather on the west side is of course wetter getting up to third more of rain compared to the east (the weather always comes from Australia!), but living there is a completely different experience.

North Shore

First a warning, travel from North Shore to Auckland requires the use of road transport or ferries, there are no cycle ways or walkways across the Harbour Bridge.

We find the roads in North Shore very busy, but it seems to be the area of choice for quite a few people. There are plenty of attractive areas to live.


Devonport is a harbourside suburb of Auckland. The suburb hosts the Devonport Naval Base of the Royal New Zealand Navy, the main facility for the country's naval vessels, but is best known for its harbourside dining and drinking establishments and its heritage charm.

It has a short and very regular ferry journey to CBD.


This is an attractive peninsular about 20K road wise from one end to the other and is about 30K north of CBD at the mainland side. This area has become quite built up and there is only really one road in and out, making it congested. On the positive side it has a regular ferry from Gulf Harbour to and from CBD. We have expat friends who bought a wonderful house with their own private steps down to the beach, and of course great views.

The ferry to Tiritiri Matangi travels from Gulf harbour. This island is worth a visit, it has eradicated all imported wildlife and is now a reserve for NZ life Tiritiri Mantangi


There are only two islands which have a resident population:


The island is the second-largest, after Great Barrier Island, of all the gulf islands. It is also the most populated with just under 8,000 permanent residents plus another estimated 3400 who have second or holiday homes on the island. Waiheke in the sixties was the hippy island, where the locals did not worry too much about taxes and such trifles, but it is now part of suburbia. What happened to the hippies? Well they got older and most sold up when prices shot up, some moved to Great Barrier Island, and some drive the Tourist coaches around Waiheke.

Waiheke is the most accessible offshore island in the Gulf, due to regular passenger and car ferry services and some air links, so commuting is practical for the residents, though house prices are high, but affordable to ex pats. Waiheke has about 26 wineries and 14 olive plantations! See Waiheke Wine Tour

Great Barrier

If you really want a different lifestyle then Great Barrier may be for you. To get there entails a 8 hour ferry journey or a flight with Great barrier Airlines. There is no electricty, the 850 locals use their own generators, or use off grid power (several NZ companies supply these for remote farmers etc, cost around $30,000),comprising solar cells, batteries, and inverters. The 2007 BBC program Castaway was filmed there. See: Living off Grid


New Zealand Interactive Map

Look at:Google Map

Auckland Houses for Sale

auckland/where_to_live.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/04 11:10 by art
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