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Which would you choose and why?... Auckland, Sydney or Melbourne

(79 Posts)
Ohladedah Mon 08-Jan-18 09:09:40

I'm a NZer as have been in the UK for 14 years, my partner is English and we've decided that we're moving from London to NZ or Australia in about 2 years. Now that it's becoming more define we need to think about where. Any advice?

We have 3 kids, currently 7, 3 & 8 months. We're moving to have a change of lifestyle, obviously. We both commute an hour each way into central London and have relatively senior roles. I think I could get into the job market easily enough any of those cities, maybe at a lower level initially. My partner is in Finance in the property sector and might find it a bit more difficult initially. We will look to buy a house once we've settled (and assuming our house value survives brexit).

Priorities are good climate, access to beaches and outdoor activities, good schools, decent job prospects (both happy to take a step down for lifestyle resons), a decent commute, diverse culture as we love that about London, interesting events both family stuff and concerts etc.


urbannomad Mon 08-Jan-18 15:47:01

As a former Sydneysider, it's a great place to live with great weather and lots to do, but my pick would probably be Melbourne. It's less expensive and crowded, has great food and culture and is just a great place to live. Of course the weather isn't quite as good, but overall it's a great city.

Chanelprincess Mon 08-Jan-18 15:56:30

I would choose Sydney for the lifestyle and climate, followed by Melbourne. DH is an Aussie and I would happily live in either as some point in the future. Auckland is absolutely dire in my opinion, but I'm not a fan of NZ in general and could never consider living there.

IvorHughJarrs Mon 08-Jan-18 16:03:59

Don't know Auckland so can't comment there but would pick Melbourne over Sydney any day. We have friends in Melbourne, emigrated from the UK, and they have a fantastic life.

Ohladedah Tue 09-Jan-18 03:37:36

princess why do you say Auckland is dire? It's my least preferred of the 3 but apart from the terrible traffic I can't explain why.

DoItAgainBob Tue 09-Jan-18 03:52:43

I would choose Auckland. NZ offers a better quality of life IMO.

TheDowagerCuntess Tue 09-Jan-18 04:04:28

I can't comment on Sydney or Melbourne, but would say avoid Auckland if at all possible. And I say that as a kiwi.

We lasted a year before fleeing.

Houses prices are beyond ridiculous - they're crazy anyway, but when you factor in what you actually get for your money, it's boggling.

The commute issue is massive.

I dunno - we couldn't get on with it at all, and we were living in Devonport, arguably the nicest suburb there. Park Rd (the single lane road in and out) is hell on earth, and single-handedly a deal-breaker for even considering living there.

Every time we found ourselves on the southern motorway we fantasised about just driving on and not returning.

One day, a year after we arrived, we were lucky enough to be able to do just that.

If you're actually from Auckland originally,you would no doubt (well, possibly) have a different experience.

HeadDreamer Tue 09-Jan-18 04:24:09

I was from Auckland and it seems the traffic hasn’t improved. It used to sometimes take me an hour from the car park at the university to get to the Epsom/Remuera side of Newmarket where we lived. This was either via Khyber Pass Road or SH1. A hour commute each way was typical for Auckland.

House prices looked so expensive too according to friends still there. One moved back a few years back and couldn’t afford to be near her parents in One Tree Hill. A lot of the posts here I saw linked to houses miles from Auckland. That would mean a very long commute, which doesn’t sound like something you want.

RumerGodden Tue 09-Jan-18 04:30:31

Melbourne. Auckland is poor man's Sydney - just as expensive, but less good housing stock, weather, amenities, beaches.

Sydney is great but very busy, expensive, hot, cliquey. It's a hard place to move to.

Melbourne has great lifestyle, still pricey but not like Sydney, better municipal attention so public transport, parks, events etc better. Great schools for kids. No good if you are a beach person but otherwise it's the pick. Easier to settle/make friends too.

By the way, what about Wellington? It's a gem in NZ, compact, lovely, high AB demographic, punches above it's weight in terms of cafe, bar, culture, gorgeous outdoors in every direction, still access to the fab kiwi way of life and attitude....lived there for years as an aussie, v difficult to come back. Lots of movement of people so v easy to make friends.

LionsTigersBeers Tue 09-Jan-18 04:32:19

Sydney if you can afford to live somewhere where your commute is not too bad (Manly and catch the ferry to the city would be my pick), and Melbourne is truly lovely too. Both have more going on in terms of culture than Auckland and, incredibly, I hear that the house prices in Auckland may be even worse than Sydney!! All three are terrific cities though, maybe see where your best job prospects are?

I would also throw Brisbane into the mix if you like Auckland. Your money goes further, the traffic is not nearly as bad and it's a great lifestyle.

Fatso1978 Tue 09-Jan-18 04:40:41

Auckland. NZ is a country you want to live in if the world goes to hell. I'd move there if I could and I live in Australia.

Sydney is just one big city now. Overpriced and blah. Good for visiting, not living.

Melbourne is also overpriced and has the lovely Apex Gang terrorising the city now. Yeah..... lovely gang of thugs that is.

Why not Brisbane? Or Perth? Lots of English move to Perth.

LittleKiwi Tue 09-Jan-18 04:40:45

What do you like to do in your free time?

Sydney has the best climate, I guess, Melbourne the best lifestyle of the three. There are other cities in Australia/ NZ, but I presume you’re thinking about the best job opportunities?

RestingGrinchFace Tue 09-Jan-18 04:42:30

Both in Melbourne and Sydney you will most likely be commuting an hour plus, bare that in mind. I've never been to Auckland but I would always choose Sydney over Melbourne. Melbourne is just about souless.

Fatso1978 Tue 09-Jan-18 04:46:50

Brisbane is lovely. I live here. Perfect weather year round. Housing is pricy but still cheaper than Melbourne or Sydney. Traffic here on the north side is nothing compared to Sydney or Melbourne. It is much safer than those two other cities as well. Don't move to the crappy Southside near/in Logan City or the crappy Gold Coast. But still nothing like crappy council housing areas of Sydney.

The north side nearer to the city is one of nicer more middle class areas. I don't fear walking to work at 10.30pm.

Winter is warm and yet Summer isn't as hot as Melbourne or Sydney.

SilverBirchTree Tue 09-Jan-18 04:47:42


SilverBirchTree Tue 09-Jan-18 04:51:11

Oops hit post too soon.

I’ve lived in Sydney and Melbourne. You should definitely choose Melbourne over Sydney.

Lifestyle, culture, affordability, liveablity all runs rings around Sydney.

The weather and beaches are better in Sydney, but that’s it.

The poster above who writes about gangs has been taken in by a media beat up. Statistically Melbourne is very safe and has low crime rates. The ‘gang’ activity has been vastly exaggerated and mischaracterised.

Kotare Tue 09-Jan-18 05:00:44

I'm an Aucklander. I used to tell people looking to move here to bring a million dollars for a house. Now I think you'd need more like 1.5-2.

We're lucky to have been here a decade now and managed to buy when prices were doable-crazy rather than totally cray-cray. Prices are easing which is brilliant.

But I think we have better weather - top temp will be 30ish this year unlike the 40C+ which is going to become the norm in Aus as climate change begins to bite. I also like the cultural mix here. I'd struggle to cope with the politics in Australia - what they are doing on Manus Island is horrific.

And we have Jacinda. :-)

Would you be going to Aus using your kiwi passport? The relationship has changed a bit recently. Kiwi's are no longer able to pay lower Uni fees for example. It's worth double checking your status with regard to visa's and benefits.

HeadDreamer Tue 09-Jan-18 05:17:19

2 million gasp

Amber0685 Tue 09-Jan-18 05:23:50

As an ex Perth girl I would choose Melbourne. Lots of culture and a little less busy than Sydney. NZ doesn't really rate for me. My sister moved to Melbourne nearly 10 years ago, from Perth and loves it. Good Luck what an exciting adventure.

HoppingPavlova Tue 09-Jan-18 05:41:18

Why not Brisbane? I'm in Sydney but over the past few years it seems most people from the UK are heading to Brisbane or Perth if their jobs permit. Much better value for money and great lifestyles. If weather and beaches are important then Brisbane would be my pick.

I would happily move to Brisbane but am stuck in Sydney due to work (no opportunities outside Sydney/Melbourne in my profession and whilst they exist they are limited with no potential to advance in DH's) and also my kids are teens and there is no way we could get them to leave their school/friends at this point.

My experience of commuting in Brisbane is that certain roads to/from do get commuter traffic. They moan about it but absolutely nothing compared to Sydney. Perth does not actually understand the definition of traffic. I have been 'stuck in traffic' in Perth with locals who complain bitterly - oh, how I laugh.

Sydney would be heaven if not for the prohibitive cost of living and traffic (aka car parks). And a public transport system that seems as if it was designed by a 3yo who had a brief to make it as complicated, onerous and time consuming as possible. Most public schools now bursting at the scenes, heavily over subscribed, govnt generally deaf to the need for additional schools. Similarly before/after school care also now oversubscribed in a lot of areas with huge waiting lists so if both working with primary age kids at public school factor in private care (nanny) for before/after school care. Govnt does not believe in any expansion of infrastructure relative to expansion of population in any regard (roads, public transport, heath, schools etc). Does have exceptional weather and great beaches.

Melbourne is great. Housing and traffic high but not at Sydney levels. Culturally, very very nice. Have no experience with schools there. Not sure on how their infrastructure is generally holding up to population expansion these days or whether their government aims to align it with population or not. Weather terrible. Beaches unspeakable.

Canberra good in regards to housing, traffic and living conditions. Great schools. The place to be if looking for government jobs. Weather okay (hot summer, cold winter). No beaches.

LastAnni Tue 09-Jan-18 05:54:31

OP we were in a similar-ish situation to you and chose Melbourne. We've been here a year now and it was THE BEST DECISION EVER. We are unbelievably happy and can't believe how well it's all worked out. The quality of life just can't be beaten (we've lived in six cities in three countries over the last decade, so can make a fair comparison). We love: excellent eating out; beautiful bike riding trails; my DC's school is out of this world; excellent public transport; friendliness; progressiveness; culture and media - always something interesting going on. We both work in the CBD and have a commute of around 20 minutes, have made friends easily - gosh, honestly I could gush for hours about how great it is. I do miss London, but Melbourne really does feel like a proper grown up city, only with a much easier lifestyle. Very happy to answer any questions.

CappuccinoCake Tue 09-Jan-18 06:00:20

If choose Melbourne over Sydney (haven't been to NZ so can't compare.) We decided not to move in the end (partly financial reasons but I don't think yo I'll have those issues.) We moved elsewhere in the UK to lower the commute. Melbourne is lovely though.

TheDowagerCuntess Tue 09-Jan-18 06:11:32

Ha, Rumer - that's where we fled to.
Love it.

The weather isn't the greatest, although we're having an amazing summer right now, but everything else makes up for it.

StUmbrageinSkelt Tue 09-Jan-18 06:14:14

I agree that looking at Wellington is a good idea. It's a lovely city.

Before moving here as an NZ citizen I would look very closely at the risks. There's effectively no safety nets. You do get access to medicare but no social welfare or even the NDIS. Wouldn't your partner need a visa to move to Australia? I don't think you can bring him as your spouse.

Saffronwblue Tue 09-Jan-18 06:32:44

I live in Melbourne and love it. Lots to do both indoors and outdoors, culturally rich, good schools, great environment. The Apex gangs are a complete tabloid/right wing beat up.
Sydney is gorgeous but shockingly expensive and always feels as if people are just obsessed with their house values and brands etc. Auckland is lovely but my friends there say it is really expensive and the traffic is bad. All three cities suffer from poor traffic and congestion.

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