Finding somewhere to live in NZ

We’ve been very lucky in finding great places to live in both Auckland and Wellington. I did worry that we might have needed to spend weeks in a hostel, which may not have been so bad, but there’s nothing like being able to unpack after a few weeks on the road.

If you’re coming out to NZ and thinking about renting, these are some things to consider…

Do you want a room or whole place?

Are you happy to revisit your student days and go ‘flatting’ with others?

Happy to share:

  • Get an ad on Gumtree so people can find you. We did this weeks before we moved to Wellington and found a room that was never advertised.
  • Look on Trademe and set up alerts. Like NZ’s Ebay but they also list rooms and people looking for flatmates
  • Use any existing networks you have. We found our room in Auckland through a friend’s follower seeing her tweet of our Gumtree ad. LinkedIn could also be useful if you have made any professional contacts.

For us, this option has saved the hassle of contracts, bonds and setting up bills etc. but it isn’t for everyone. We found that the majority of people advertising a spare room wouldn’t consider letting it to a couple.

Own space:

If you need your own space, there are short-term options available such as serviced apartments. These are pretty pricey but might suit a stay of 1-2 months in the city centre.

For a more permanent stay, you may want to rent your own place.

Most places are let through agents but you may be lucky and find a good private landlord. Through agencies viewings are usually a set time when everyone looks round. If you like the place then you then need to fill out an application. Then it’s a case of if you are successful.

It’s pretty competitive in Auckland so you will need references, two weeks rent and the bond (usually 3 – 4 weeks rent) ready when viewing. Payslips or proof of employment can also be useful to have to hand.

Most places are unfurnished in NZ so you will need to buy most things including a washing machine.

Other options:

If you’re flexible while travelling, you can find yourself free accommodation:

Thanks to Auckland resident Ingrid of Keeping Up with NZ for her advice.

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