Danny Garrett and his partner immigrated in January 2005
from Austin, Texas. Many people have asked how to find
an apartment or house in Auckland so here are some points to
keep in mind:
Rents in NZ are quoted weekly, so don't get too excited if you see
what looks to be a fabulous villa for $500. That's $500 each
week, with rent collected fortnightly (every 14 days).
When we were looking for housing we were told to be aware that Auckland
has a 3rd dimension not seen on maps: height. Auckland is
very hilly, and as such, many houses are only accessible by stairs.
Keep this in mind if you have accessibility issues to consider.
If you haven't gotten a copy of NuKiwi's report on immigrating and
living in New Zealand, it is highly recommended. You
can get a copy at
http://www.nukiwi.com/299t7mFw.htm It's about US$50 and
well worth it, as it will help guide you on some of these decisions
everyone has to make when immigrating.
A good thing to do when arriving is to rent an furnished apt. by
the week for 2-4 weeks (or however long you need) to get the feel
of the city. Danny stayed at the Elliott Street Apartments
and if they are in your budget, they are centrally located and well
maintained. You can see them online at
http://www.elliottstapartments.co.nz/ If the Elliott
St. Apts. are not appropriate, there are other accommodations by
the week; you might check Lonely Planet Travel Guide for a good
backpackers or other temporary accommodation. Danny highly
recommends starting out in something temporary.
For permanent housing, your best bet is to check out the apartment/house
ads in the New Zealand Herald (
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/classifieds/index.cfm?pillar=5 ) and
make sure you ask about accessibility on each property. Most
of the older houses here are elevated and have some number of stairs
when entering. Newer properties (which you will find in out-lying
areas) will be more like typical American subdivisions, and will
offer attached garages, and fewer stairs.
Good maps to research where a house or business is located can be
http://www.wises.co.nz/ and at
Be aware that Auckland is divided into 4 "cities" and all addresses
are referenced by "Suburb" -- which is what Americans would call
a neighborhood. For example, Danny lives in Mt. Eden suburb;
downtown is known as the CBD (Central Business District) and other
popular, central areas are Parnell and Ponsonby.
PS: And when you get to New Zealand, on the South Island or the
North -- no matter, and ya get that craving for some cool, delicious
tunes, there's only one place to shop in Godzone for music of all
stripes and that's Real
Groovy Records. With locations in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch
and Dunedin, they truly have Everything Under the Sun in the world