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Thread: Which South Island cities offer a good mix of hiking, ocean, and jobs?

  1. #1
    trimprover is offline Member
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    Default Which South Island cities offer a good mix of hiking, ocean, and jobs?

    My partner and I love hiking, especially in alpine areas. We are trying to find a place that is within an hour or so's drive of great ridge hiking, so that we can take nice long day-hikes every weekend!

    Meanwhile, we want to live within walking distance of the coast, so that we can walk near the water every evening after work. The ideal living location would be right near some sort of bay or inlet, so that we can see boats, animals, kayaks, etc. If the water is warm enough (part of the year) to swim, then that would be even better!

    We also need to be near decent job options (IT, accounting). I don't think we can "strand" ourselves in a tiny west coast town where there's no possibility of earning a living. For that reason, we're probably going to need to stay in one of the larger cities in order to be near the jobs.

    Which South Island cities do you think are the best match for what we want?

    Thanks!
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    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
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    I don't know if you can find anything in here. Christchurch/Canterbury seem to offer a good combination. Queenstown is very sport/activity oriented, but I doubt there would be many good job opportunities outside of the tourist industry.

    In your quest for info about NZ, you could read thsi to pick up some general tips. There are a lot of hiking tours available in this area, but once you find out where to go, you could find your own way there and save yourselves some money.
    Mother Bear

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    tick tock is offline Junior Member
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    You'll be surprised at the jobs that come up in out of the way towns. So dont give up on places like QT and Nelson (you'd Love Nelson)

    But CHCH is the best bet. You could live in Lyttleton/Governer Bay etc and drive to CHCH in under 20mins ( not sure at rush hr)

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    trimprover is offline Member
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    Nelson indeed sounds really cool. However, it also seems more expensive than Dunedin (and possible Christchurch), though I don't know if that's mostly for buying houses or renting.

    I can see Lyttleton on Google Maps. Big ships in the harbor, kinda cool! Is that little peninsula to the east scenic, good for hiking or biking? And how about that huge peninsula to the south (with Akaroa, etc.)?

    How long does it usually take to drive from Christchurch to the alpine hikes (e.g., Arthur's Pass)?
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    tick tock is offline Junior Member
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    All those places have expensive place to live and cheap......I dont mean grotty either.

    You'll find somthing where ever you go.

    That peninsular is called Banks Pen. Its the play ground for CHCH.Its beautiful anf full of alternitive life guys....ie Little River.

    We take the dog for walks. at the weekend The one problem is its A small twisting road...[note ROAD} to Akarao so the traffic can be hell....not really somewhere to comute from each day...but you will find people who do it and have no problem.

    Approc 1.5-2 hr to Arthurs pass.

    FYI This last weekend was a bank Holiday...Mt Hutt ski field opened....door to door it took us 1.2 hr.....................

    From CHCH driving...4hrs Nelson...5 hrs Wanaka

    Its easy to get out and do things

  6. #6
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    Another Christchurchian here ...

    Have to say, we have a little of everything on our doorstep.

    The "city" is 20 mins drive, and to be honest is more of a large town than a city! All the usual gubbins one offer - shopping, tourist things etc.

    We have the port hills on the far side, which offers fantastic mountain biking, road cycling and walking tracks.

    Littered around the outskirts of Chch are loads of walking / cycling areas. Bottle Lake Forest, and Spencer Park are 2. Fab beaches ... most of which are surf beaches so grab a board in the summer!

    Approx 1.5hrs is Hamner Springs - jet boating, bungy, qaud biking, cycling and walking country ... and thermal hot springs for after.

    1.5 hrs is slightly different direction is Arthurs pass which is tramping country (and Kea land, so watch your car!)

    Also in reach is Akaroa, Mount Hutt, Tekapo etc etc ... the list goes on and on ....

    Hope that helps?

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    whale is offline Junior Member
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    I am going to put in my plug for Timaru - lots of accountants because it is the home of South Canterbury Finance and other firms servicing the agricultural sector - the only safe bathing beach between Christchurch and Dunedin - only two hours from each of them and yet only an hour from Lake Tekapo. Lots of walking within very easy reach and at least four ski fields within 90 mins. House prices good, scenery fantastic, population 28,000 (42,000 if you include surrounding areas).

  8. #8
    tick tock is offline Junior Member
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    Are you getting the picture..........the south island is paradise

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    trimprover is offline Member
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    Yes, it sounds great! The challenge is finding a way to live in the heart of paradise without having to worry about jobs or prices.

    I've started building a spreadsheet which shows how many IT and accounting jobs are available in Nelson, Dunedin, and Christchurch. According to www.seek.co.nz, Christchurch has more than 10 times as many IT jobs as the other 2 cities. Does that sound like a realistic difference, or is there a more representative job-searching site out there?
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  10. #10
    tick tock is offline Junior Member
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    CHCH is the largest town in the south island so I guess so....

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