Moving to New Zealand is a big transition and there will be a period of adjustment while you get used to your new hometown. At first you won’t know much about your living surroundings, so it will take some time to become familiar with where you live and the area around you. However, this can be one of the most fun aspects of living abroad because you will get the chance to discover your new city and find out the charms it has to offer.
Whether you are moving to Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Napier or anywhere else in New Zealand, here are some tips and ideas that will help you to learn about your new surroundings:
Getting to Know Your New Home in New Zealand
- Set aside time for exploring. Allow yourself some time on the weekends for wandering the city and checking out new things.
- Seek out clubs and groups associated with hobbies that you are interested in. You’ll find yourself a niche group of people in your new location who have a shared interest with you and you might make some great friends.
- Don’t be afraid to be a tourist in your new city. Take a guided walking tour or visit the tourist information centre. Take a day off to see the main attractions, such as the local museum, aquarium or art gallery.
- Say “yes” whenever possible if someone invites you to a get-together or event. It’s a great opportunity to make friends and get to know your new surroundings.
- Ask the local you know for recommendations. What restaurants and coffee shops should you try? Which bars have the best atmosphere? Where should you go for a hike on the weekends? The locals know their city so they will be able to give you the best recommendations.
- If you are outgoing enough, you can even ask strangers for tips on what to do – such as the server at the restaurant or the friendly person you end up talking to on the bus.
- Do lots of online research! The internet can be your best friend when you move to a new city and it’s a great place to find tips on what to do and where to go.
- Use review sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp to get information about the favoured places for dining, drinking and shopping in the city.
- Save the locations of places you want to check out onto Google Maps. Then, when you are on the move you will be able to open Google Maps and see what starred locations are around you.
- Join Facebook groups that are related to your city, so that you will see updates about local events.
- Check out the website Meetup, which is a great way to meet people in a new city who share the same interests as you.
- Couchsurfing.org is not just for people offering a spare bed for free for travellers. It also connects you with locals who would love to meet up with newcomers to have a coffee and show them around the city. Make a profile and connect with some new friends!
- Take public transit! Riding the bus will give you a much better understanding of the layout of the city so that you can get your bearings.
- Become involved in your community in some way – such as joining a neighbourhood sports team, volunteering at a local soup kitchen or taking part in a community event.
- Read the local media, such as locally produced newspapers and magazines. They will offer you valuable insight into what is happening in the community around you.
- Here’s a strange but helpful tip: get a haircut! Your hairstylist will likely be very friendly and talkative and they will be able to offer you suggestions for what to check out around town.
These are just a few of the ways that you can learn about your new hometown when you move to New Zealand. When it comes to getting your New Zealand skilled visa you can get some help from the folks at the Emigration Group to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Have fun getting to know all of the pleasures your new city has to offer!