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Thread: Christchurch vs. Wellington

  1. #1
    peteyd33 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Christchurch vs. Wellington

    Greetings! My wife and I have the opportunity to move to either Christchurch or Wellington and were looking for a fair comparison between the two cities. My wife will have a paid internship and I am a teacher that would most likely be looking for a job when we get there. We both spent time in NZ several years ago and have been waiting for the opportunity to get back. Below is a list of things we think are important when we move.

    1) Access to outdoor activities (hiking, kayaking, climbing, biking)
    2) Costs of living (probably rent 1-2 apartment/house)
    3) Culture
    4) Nightlife (we are 26 and enjoy unique places with good music!)
    5) Transportation (we most likely will not be investing in a vehicle)
    6) Teaching opportunities (if you have any insight that would be greatly appreciated!)
    7) Any other general comments about the two cities

    Thanks so much for any comments! I appreciate the help.

    Peter

  2. #2
    zummerzet_lou's Avatar
    zummerzet_lou is offline your flexible friend
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    Default

    We only drove through a bit of Wellington, so am unable to offer you a comparison, but I can try and answer some of your questions from a Christchurch perspective.

    1) Access to outdoor activities (hiking, kayaking, climbing, biking)
    Huge opportunities here ... North Canterbury offers you Mount Grey, Mount Thomas, Hamner Forest with hikes from 1 hr through to 5 hours one way. Kayaking - plenty of rivers and coastline, and every weekend you see people with Kayaks on their rooftops
    Cycling is fab (yes, I'm biased) - Canterbury is flat, but loads of foothills, and port hills too if you are feeling a little more energetic

    2) Costs of living (probably rent 1-2 apartment/house)
    Cost of living is cheaper than Wellington - have a look on trademe for a comparison.

    3) Culture
    Supposed to be full of Culture here, although not sure why. There is an art museum, theatres etc ..

    4) Nightlife (we are 26 and enjoy unique places with good music!)
    In Central Christchurch loads of clubs, bars etc with loads of live music to offer

    5) Transportation (we most likely will not be investing in a vehicle)
    If you are staying the just Christchurch, there are buses although I wouldn't like to depend on those for my only transport. We live approx 20mins north of the city, and we are on a bus route, but to get to my work would be a nightmare.

    6) Teaching opportunities (if you have any insight that would be greatly appreciated!)
    There is a teaching college here which means it's harder to get teaching jobs as the area is flooded with teachers. You do see jobs advertised though, but I understand there is a lot of competition.

    7) Any other general comments about the two cities
    We love Christchurch (or rather Canterbury) ... has everything you could possible want within easy reach. Beaches are wonderful (10mins drive from our home), snow fields about 90min drive, city - 20mins .. I could go on.
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  3. #3
    rasin's Avatar
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    Hi,
    We're staying in southern part of Wellington city (near the airport). I've never been to Christchurch before.
    1) Access to outdoor activities (hiking, kayaking, climbing, biking)
    Yes to hiking, kayaking, biking. Climbing not too sure though.
    Beautiful beaches, seasports within 10-15min of drive

    2) Costs of living (probably rent 1-2 apartment/house)
    Wellington should be higher. You've a choice of staying right in the city or some nearby suburb.

    3) Culture
    Lots of plays, threater etc.

    4) Nightlife (we are 26 and enjoy unique places with good music!)
    Available in Wellington city but I'm not into nightlife hence can't comment much.

    5) Transportation (we most likely will not be investing in a vehicle)
    One the best in NZ. My bus to city has freq of 15min during weekday.

    6) Teaching opportunities (if you have any insight that would be greatly appreciated!)
    Not too sure for this

    7) Any other general comments about the two cities
    Serene and nice in our suburb (with good view of planes in sky) and by a short drive you could reach the city.
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  4. #4
    danielle s is offline Junior Member
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    I've lived in Wellington for three years and only visited Cch three times, but I'll tell you as much as I can. People in Wellington perceive Christchurch to be dangerous, and it has a reputation here for being "high crime" and having gangs. I've seen a guys with shaved heads, but honestly I believe NZ's perspective on crime is incredibly tame. I'd do a little research but take it with a grain of salt. Pro-Christchurch is that it has a nice "feel" - busy streets full of flowers and little squares, and their Botantical gardens are even better than Wellington - and the food is absolutely unbeatable.


    1) Access to outdoor activities (hiking, kayaking, climbing, biking)

    In Wellington it's great, but the best places for biking are mostly accessible by car. No reason you couldnt bike there, though. Also, bikes can ride the trains for free.

    Wellington is very small and everything is highly accessible. I'm pretty sure you could wake up and go for a great hike on beautiful Mt Victoria (which could be 2 minutes from your door if you live in Hataitai, Newtown, Mount Victoria, etc), then wander back home and bike down to the waterfront, do some indoor rock climbing down there, then rent a kayak less than a meter away. You could surf and sail in the same day too if you wanted to. :)

    2) Costs of living (probably rent 1-2 apartment/house)

    Most rental properties are wrecks. If you don't mind this you can find somewhere affordable anywhere. But if you want somewhere nice expect Wellington to be 10-20% more expensive.

    3) Culture

    Wellington is great - it's not New York, but it has a good sense of self and a present night life. It also has Sevens, World of Wearable Arts, and lots of film and art festivals. Unsure about Christchurch.

    4) Nightlife (we are 26 and enjoy unique places with good music!)

    Wellington stays up "all night" by New Zealand standards. Everyone goes home by 2.

    5) Transportation (we most likely will not be investing in a vehicle)

    Wellington has lots of buses but I think they're expensive. The trains are pretty affordable, but they are never on schedule. I'd give it a B+, and an A if you're not going anywhere you need to get to on time.

    6) Teaching opportunities (if you have any insight that would be greatly appreciated!)

    Sorry, no idea.

    7) Any other general comments about the two cities

    I love Wellington. If you want to go to a city for the city itself I think Wellington, despite it's incredibly small size, has a lot to offer, and the surrounding areas are very beautiful. That said, the weather has been awful this year (rain, rain, rain, wind, more wind, and rain) and Christchurch is sunny. And I think the land around Christchurch is even more beautiful, and more uniquely New Zealand, than Wellington. The weekend road trip potential is amazing.

    Thanks so much for any comments! I appreciate the help.

    I had to make the same decision, and I think you have two good choices. For what its worth, I am very glad I chose Wellington. Best of luck! :)
    Last edited by danielle s; 12-02-2010 at 11:01 PM.

  5. #5
    danielle s is offline Junior Member
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    I've lived in Wellington for three years and only visited Cch three times, but I'll tell you as much as I can. People in Wellington perceive Christchurch to be dangerous and a bit of a dive, and it has a reputation for being "high crime" and having gangs. I've seen a few skinheads but honestly I believe NZ's perspective on crime is incredibly tame. I'd do a little research but take it with a grain of salt. Pro-Christchurch is that it has a nice "feel" - it's very British with flowers and little squares, and their Botantical gardens are even better than Wellington - and the food is absolutely unbeatable.


    1) Access to outdoor activities (hiking, kayaking, climbing, biking)

    Excellent. Bikes can ride the trains for free. Wellington is very small and everything is highly accessible. I'm pretty sure you could wake up and go for a great hike on beautiful Mt Victoria (which could be 2 minutes from your door if you live in Hataitai, Newtown, Mount Victoria, etc), then wander back home and bike down to the waterfront, do some indoor rock climbing down there, then rent a kayak less than a meter away. You could surf and sail in the same day too if you wanted to. :)

    2) Costs of living (probably rent 1-2 apartment/house)

    Most rental properties are wrecks. If you don't mind this you can find somewhere affordable anywhere. But if you want somewhere nice expect Wellington to be 10-20% more expensive.

    3) Culture

    Wellington is great - it's not New York, but it has a good sense of self and a present night life. It also has Sevens, World of Wearable Arts, and lots of film and art festivals. Unsure about Christchurch.

    4) Nightlife (we are 26 and enjoy unique places with good music!)

    Wellington stays up later. But it's all by New Zealand standards.

    5) Transportation (we most likely will not be investing in a vehicle)

    Wellington has lots of buses but I think they're expensive. The trains are pretty affordable, but they are never on schedule. I'd give it a B+, and an A if you're not going anywhere you need to get to on time.

    6) Teaching opportunities (if you have any insight that would be greatly appreciated!)

    Sorry no idea

    7) Any other general comments about the two cities

    I love Wellington. If you want to go to a city for the city itself I'd say Wellington has a lot to offer, and the surrounding areas are very beautiful. That said, the weather has been awful this year (rain, rain, rain, wind, more wind, and rain) and Christchurch is sunny. And I think the land around Christchurch is even more beautiful, and more uniquely New Zealand, than Wellington. The weekend road trip potential is amazing.

    Thanks so much for any comments! I appreciate the help.

    I had to make the same decision, and I think you have two good choices. For what its worth, I am very glad I chose Wellington. Best of luck! :)

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