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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I am new to the site and have for many years wanted to migrate from the UK to Australia. I have just had a new baby but am hoping to undertake my masters in social work in the near future and in a few years plan to attempt to migrate.

However my partner prefers the idea of New zealand! I was just wondering if anyone had a good or extensive knowledge of both countries and could give me a brief outline of the good and bad points in relation to each other, i.e, cost of living, lifestyle, work opportunities etc?

Any info would be good to help with the decision, many thanks
 

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My wife and I were contemplating a move a few years back and have actually bought some real estate there, so we did approach being serious, though the property purchases were more opportunistic than planned too much.

There are a lot of similarities between the two countries in culture and lifestyle though some quite distinct differences too, biggest one being that NZ does not have the snakes or poisonous spiders Australia has.

Reason for that is quite possibly the other significant difference and that being Australia is the driest continent on the planet and quite a bit drier than NZ which is usually more lush and green akin to the UK, though with some more rugged country like Scotland is in comparison to England.

Australia has the majority of people living on eastern seaboard where climate ranges from temperate without being so cold to the tropical north and some drier areas in between, the vast inland being low rainfall country tending to desert like and actually a huge % of it being desert.

New Zealand, though quite a bit further south in terms of latitudes does not miss out on tropics completely and the upper half of the North Island is somewhat sub-tropical the further north you travel and Kiwis like to call the region their winterless North.
In terms of topography and climate, New Zealands North Island is very much like the South East corner of Australia with one exception and that being because of prevailing weather underdownunder [the southern parts] largely comes from the west and south and thus whereas the south east of Australia is in the lee of prevailing weather, NZ can really cop it and you'll know about it more in winter.
Wellington is not called the Windy City for nothing and it is said with some of the steeper streets about the harbour you can nearly be horizontal leaning into the wind when walking up a slope [ perhaps more possible walking down!]

The South Island is where it gets cold generally but again most settlement is on their East coast and so you have the spine of mountains the length of the SI giving protection, and the SI is renowned more for its rugged alpine country, mountain lakes and glaciers [ melting away], the population of the SI being a fraction of the total but inflated come summertime with NI and interstate visitors [ a bit like Scotland in that respect] and areas like Nelson and the spectacular northern coast of Marlborough Sounds has a more moderate year round climate.

In general terms you could say if you're a colder climate person, NZ and particularly the SI is ideal, but if you're looking to get away from a climate more akin to some of the UK, you might head for the NI or more particularly Australia.

With cities, there is nothing the size of the greater London for instance and NZ's largest Auckland is not much above 1M though any size city can seem crowded and it's just that you can only experience very little of any city at any particular time.
Sydney and Melbourne in Oz with 5M and 4M are much larger with associated traffic congestion and pollution.

Both countries have some sizable regional cities/areas of largish populations and Australia many more and thus Australia probably offers more in way of alternatives, there also being other State Capitals of Adelaide and Brisbane more Aucklands size, not to mention Perth way over on West coast and smaller capitals of Hobart and Darwin [very tropical and humidly harsh] or Canberra for colder winters and hot dry summers.

Another key difference to the two countries is that Australia has far more disastrous bushfires and whether or not you believe the cause of climate change, the Ice Age cycles of the planet will likely have us getting a bit warmer downunder before and even while the NH is freezing over again and subsequently more bushfires likely.
New Zealand meanwhile is oft referred to as Land of the Long White Cloud or the Shaky Isles and thus with warmer temperatures causing our planet to attempt expanding, that big molten ball that is probably 99.9% of our planet [ and which we normally pay little attention to] might well give NZ more earthquakes and volcanic eruptions

Cost of living wise, real estate in NZ would I suspect be on a par in general terms with Australia though Australias upper range is probably considerably higher.
Food costs in NZ are a bit higher and fuel significantly so and salary levels are a bit lower. Facilities wise, both countries have what you would expect of developed countries re schools, shopping, hospitals etc. and New Zealand has a health system more akin to UK national health whereas Australias' is the part subsidised Medicare.
Very little in way of a suburban train network in Auckland and the country is very reliant on buses and air, more so than Australia.

There is a significant nett migration of Kiwis to Oz. and that is offset to some extent by the NZ immigration program though there is at times mention of some immigrating there using an eventual NZ citizenship as an entry means to Australia.
One way or another it is likely that there'll always be a demand for skilled people and in the Social Work area Australia and NZ again have similarities, both having indigenous peoples and also the typical problems of communities that occur with many western societies.

There are Kiwis I've met from some areas of Auckland who have moved to Australia because of ehat they view as problems they would rather not deal with.
Likewise, I know of people who'd rather not live in some areas of Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane if they had an alternative to choose.

I know that even visiting NZ for a couple of weeks at a time from Australia, there was a sense of isolation, there being comments I've heard from travellers re NZ beeing too quiet and I've even seen UK immigrants comment on differences re Australia but then they have more often than not been in Perth.

So whichever country you might choose, there'll no doubt be an adjustment period and for some it can be years or never.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your time & the extensive info, all v helpfull, I think my heart still lies with a move to Oz and this as reassured me. Now to convince him!

Once again many thanks
 

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Hi all,

I am new to the site and have for many years wanted to migrate from the UK to Australia. I have just had a new baby but am hoping to undertake my masters in social work in the near future and in a few years plan to attempt to migrate.

However my partner prefers the idea of New zealand! I was just wondering if anyone had a good or extensive knowledge of both countries and could give me a brief outline of the good and bad points in relation to each other, i.e, cost of living, lifestyle, work opportunities etc?

Any info would be good to help with the decision, many thanks
I would love to hear any advice on New Zealand as well! My friend Stacey and I are thinking of moving from Australia to New Zealand (our visa will be up) for just under a year. I hear nothing but amazing things about New Zealand and a lot of people have actually told me that it is even more beautiful then Oz.....if that is even possible!!!

The downside to NZ might only be the colder weather....supposedly their summers don't get that hot....mid 20s max....so I hear...

Another attractive factor of NZ to me is that it is supposedly A LOT cheaper then Australia....which I don't think would be that hard as we have found Oz to be extremely expensive.

Any advice from others who have been to NZ would be appreciated :)
 

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That''s a bit of a furphy re NZ getting to only mid twenties max., as whilst you'll likely get a fair bit of summer like that down south on the SI and even some days considerably cooler, nights colder still, the northern parts of SI and the NI can have summer max temps in the thirties, but just not as many of them as Australia.

You'll not find NZ much cheaper than Oz and many things dearer though the exchange rate does tend to even costs out some.

And sure there's some great areas of NZ too, beauty always in the eye of the beholder and they certainly have higher mountains than Oz. but no outback nor the real tropics.
There's a higher rainfall more evenly spread throughout the year and so countryside looks greener for longer if that appeals.
Then if you're looking for beaches and beach weather, you cannot beat Australia.
 

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I have to agree with you there....Australia has some of the most beautiful coastlines I have ever seen! My favourite so far being (keep in mind i have only been here almost 4 months lol) Noosa National Park, Byron, 1770, Bondi (up on the cliffs), Coffs Harbour (up at the lookout), Yamba, and Tallebudgera/Burleigh....the national park walk there has some amazing look out spots and a beautiful panoramic coastline

in a couple months stacey and i will be heading out on a 2nd roadtrip from gold coast to perth....we CAN'T WAIT to see the great ocean road and WA! and then in july we are hitting up the Outback....i have seen my friend's pictures and it looks so amazing!! :D
 

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For a lifetime? then Id say to go for Australia. its all packed jobs, adventure, desert, beaches, rainforests, hills valleys and all the landscapes.

undeniably, NZ has better scenery especially the Sounds. But you dont wanna go spend too much for airfare (or another transportation) at times when you want more aside from pretty landscapes.
 

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May a Kiwi have a say?

Oz or New Zealand? An orange or a kiwifruit. It depends on your taste and what you want from life.

Yes, NZ has a slower pace. They used to make jokes like"We're now approaching NZ. Set your watches back 20 years". But that's no longer true.

If you want to live at a frenetic pace with clubs and bars and restaurants and cafes then settle for Austrlaia. Bigger cities, more night life.

If you want to raise a family in peace and quiet and safety NZ is your best bet.

Certainly a lot of NZers move to Australia because, especially for skilled people, the wages are higher. But so are the taxes. When you compare tax rates in NZ v Oz remember they have an extra layer of officialdom - the state governments - that have to be paid for.

Cost of living? It's very hard to compare apples and apples because the places are so different. After you allow for the difference in currency there's not much in it.

Food? NZ is blessed with an abundance of fresh, wholesome, locally grown/caught/raised food. Ask any world class chef - he'd rather be cooking with NZ ingredients any day.

NZ is more laid back, less aggressive. We tend to focus on quality of life rather than chasing the BIg Bucks. Aussies are more assertive. It's more about "getting ahead", "winning is not everything, it's the only thing". Thats's wehy they excel at sport.

The climate here is much more temperate. Some of the comments are a bit awry. In winter of course the South Island is colder . . . it usually is at ski resorts. Ski resorts? Now there's something Oz really can't do. Tnredbo and Perisher? Yeah, right! Mt Ruapehu has more skiable area than the two of them put together - and that's only one of over a dozen major fields.

That South Island cold, however, is dry as. I live in Auckland where the climate is more humid and in winter its not as cold as the SI but it feels like it because of the dampness. On the other hand we have warmer summers and especially warmer summer nights. What we don't have is the scorching summer heat of Aussie. Despite what was claimed by one poster the temperature only gets above 30deg on a very few days a year. Moreso in Central Otago which has the hottest summer days and the coldest winter days in the country.

So if you want a hot dry climate, Aussie is your bet. If you want something more moderate go to NZ.

Then there's the wine. No matter what an Aussie will tell you our wines beat the bejeesuz out of most Oz plonk. Sure there are a few Australian reds - Penfolds Grange for instance - that are in the very best of world class, but we have dozens and dozens of wines, mostly whites, that are capable of taking out "best in show" at world wine competitions.

So if you are looking for a faster pace of life, go to Oz. If you want a good life - and a great place to raise kids -then it's NZ all the way.
 

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It is too easy to over generalise too David especially when trying to sell particular features of a location;
eg. you can find assertive in NZ just as you could in Australia even if less to go with the lesser population concentrations and by the same token you want laid back in Australia you can get that too.
 

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It is too easy to over generalise too David especially when trying to sell particular features of a location;
eg. you can find assertive in NZ just as you could in Australia even if less to go with the lesser population concentrations and by the same token you want laid back in Australia you can get that too.
Of course they are generalisations. How else do you describe populations of 4million and 20million. I know for certain you can find assertive in NZ . . . you should meet my wife. And I have some seriously laid-back Aussie mates. But the original poster wanted a feel for the difference between the countries.

I think it's a fair generalisation to say that Australians are more "go-getters" than Kiwis. It's one of reasons they are richer.
 

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Of course they are generalisations. How else do you describe populations of 4million and 20million. I know for certain you can find assertive in NZ . . . you should meet my wife. And I have some seriously laid-back Aussie mates. But the original poster wanted a feel for the difference between the countries.

I think it's a fair generalisation to say that Australians are more "go-getters" than Kiwis. It's one of reasons they are richer.
And you do not think they were not getting a good feel for differences!

I would say it was a very fair description given with no NZ bashing involved which you got close enough to on the other thread re Oz and thus the edit.

Re wealth, that comes with company and market sizes as well as the natural resources in Australia but you have wealthy Kiwis too and even quite a few who have done well enough here in Oz.
 

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And you do not think they were not getting a good feel for differences!

I would say it was a very fair description given with no NZ bashing involved which you got close enough to on the other thread and thus the edit.

Re wealth, that comes with company and market sizes as well as the natural resources in Australia but you have wealthy Kiwis too and even quite a few who have done well enough here in Oz.
Sorry, Wanderer, if - as I take from your latest message - that I was close to Kiwi bashing. Far from it. I love NZ and I live here by choice. For me and my family this is the greatest country in the world - and I've seen every other country I might consider living in permanently.

But that doesn't make it right for everyone, which was the point of my original post. It very much depends on what you want from life.

I enjoy the sophistication of Melbourne and the frenetic hustle-bustle of Sydney when I visit, but I don't want to live there. That may, of course, be because the typical four or five day visit doesn't really give one a true feel for a city. Who knows.

Similarly your comment about wealthy individuals misses the point. There are, of course, some very rich NZers. But it's a simple statistical fact that incomes in Austrlaia are higher - and it's not just because you are digging the place up and selling it to China. I believe that it's because Australians have a positive, go-get-'em, belief in themselves. Kiwis don't seem to have that same self-belief and positivity. On the other hand, that can also make Australians pushy and assertive. My point was that Kiwis are less so - they are more "laid back".

Either and both of these traits are admirable. It's not that one is better or worse than the other. We are just different. That's all.

But, perhaps, in generalising - which seems to worry you - I'm failing to give a fair representation. Which means that for someone considering settling in one or other country, they have to spend time in each to find out whixch feels right.

That's a very personal, ungeneralisable, experience.
 

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Sorry, Wanderer, if - as I take from your latest message - that I was close to Kiwi bashing. Far from it. I love NZ and I live here by choice. For me and my family this is the greatest country in the world - and I've seen every other country I might consider living in permanently.

But that doesn't make it right for everyone, which was the point of my original post. It very much depends on what you want from life.

I enjoy the sophistication of Melbourne and the frenetic hustle-bustle of Sydney when I visit, but I don't want to live there. That may, of course, be because the typical four or five day visit doesn't really give one a true feel for a city. Who knows.

Similarly your comment about wealthy individuals misses the point. There are, of course, some very rich NZers. But it's a simple statistical fact that incomes in Austrlaia are higher - and it's not just because you are digging the place up and selling it to China. I believe that it's because Australians have a positive, go-get-'em, belief in themselves. Kiwis don't seem to have that same self-belief and positivity. On the other hand, that can also make Australians pushy and assertive. My point was that Kiwis are less so - they are more "laid back".

Either and both of these traits are admirable. It's not that one is better or worse than the other. We are just different. That's all.

But, perhaps, in generalising - which seems to worry you - I'm failing to give a fair representation. Which means that for someone considering settling in one or other country, they have to spend time in each to find out whixch feels right.

That's a very personal, ungeneralisable, experience.
I left out the Re Oz David which you may have got the gist of re the other thread post edit.

And re
Similarly your comment about wealthy individuals misses the point. There are, of course, some very rich NZers. But it's a simple statistical fact that incomes in Austrlaia are higher - and it's not just because you are digging the place up and selling it to China. I believe that it's because Australians have a positive, go-get-'em, belief in themselves. Kiwis don't seem to have that same self-belief and positivity. On the other hand, that can also make Australians pushy and assertive. My point was that Kiwis are less so - they are more "laid back".
I'll agree to disagree on part of that David for whereas there used to be a saying from half a century and more ago that Australia rode on the Sheeps Back, that did change somewhat post WW2.
. First there was industrialisation/manufacturing which Australia had a population to support more so than what NZ had.
[it is always going to be populations and market that drives most economies].
Nothing to do with more get up and go, more self belief or being pushy or assertive.
As you say, look at your white wines, the yachting successes, Rugby even but little in NZ re industry.

. And now with more and more automation and the development of much larger cargo ships bringing transport costs down, not to mention the far cheaper offshore labour in manufacturing, even Australia's industry has been on the decline over the past few decades.

Sure, figures may show the average wages/salaries are higher here and we have a huge number more of larger companies with CEOs getting mamoth multi million $$$ salaries and a fair bit of that filters down to a few and so averages are high.
At the same time the population increase of Australia far outstrips that of NZ and thus the demand/supply equation will also put wages up for some but that is also nothing to do with the general population being more assertive and in fact you would find here that the ratio of easy going take it as comes Aussies to the ultra motivated may even be similar to what NZ has if a study was possible.

The one significant difference could come from cultural differences for whereas you have indigenous New Zealanders supplemented by Pacific Islanders making up a % of population, I've never bothered to see what the comparable figure is for our indigenous nor to appraise the levels of lay back, but would not surprise me if there was a weighting factor.

But contary to your belief on wealth, if there was not such a huge resources export market in Australia, our economy would not be looking so good.
 

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Out of those two Australia has more work opportunities but New Zealand is a calmer place. It is really up to the one's expectations which of these two countries turns out to be a better choice. If you are after work and higher life level, Australia would be your first choice.
 

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Go for Australia mate!
Nothing against New Zealand, it's a beautiful country and I have plenty of friends there!
You can always go there for a vacation or a holiday!

Well, I'm sorry, I'm not being imparcial, I really love Australia! :)
 

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If you ask an Aussie they will tell you Australia is best, ask a Kiwi and they will tell you NZ is! I think they both have their own pros and cons, though if you will be living there, I think that Australia is generally warmer and drier than NZ, so depends if you would enjoy 43 degrees in summer for extended periods! (here in the west at least)
 

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I can only speak for myself but I find Australia much more exciting. Bigger, more different climates and types of areas to live in, and... bigger? I don't know, maybe it's because I'm from a small country (The Netherlands) but a big country just screams more options to me, in many ways. Especially if they are so similar apart from climate and wildlife, I'd always go for the bigger country. More to explore!
 
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