Moving Cities? The Difference Between Auckland and Wellington

Date Apr 5, 2021
Blog category Power
By Staff Writer

Key Contents:

Are you planning to move to Wellington or maybe start your own businesses somewhere in Auckland? There are several reasons why Kiwis move from one city to another. Some because of financial reasons, and those who just want to get a vibe of what it's like to live in one of the best cities in the world. 

Auckland and Wellington are two different cities with a booming economy and population. With over 2 million people in total — Auckland with around 1.5 million inhabitants, and Wellington with over 500,000 people — it’s no wonder that more Kiwis are considering moving to either city, whether by themselves or with friends. 

To get to know Auckland and Wellington better, here’s a quick guide to help you decide if ever you want to travel or move for good. 

Cost of rent in Auckland vs. Wellington

One-bedroom Apartment (monthly)



City Centre



Outside the city



Three-bedroom Apartment (monthly)



City Centre



Outside the city



Getting an apartment (monthly)



City Centre



Outside the city



Buying a house

(mid 2016 to mid 2020) 



5 bedrooms

$1,294,850 to $1,389,250

$743,750 to $1,044,990

3 to 4 bedrooms

$876,850 to $964,000

$492,150 to $719,700

1 to 2 bedrooms 

$641,550 to 729,000

$358,700 to $563,000


$810,700 to $814,550

$434,600 to $671,400

According to REINZ, median house prices in both regions have soared by 24% in Wellington and 24.3% in Auckland in the last 12 months to August 2020. 


Food prices in Auckland vs. Wellington

Dine Out



1 meal in a budget-friendly restaurant



Meal for two in a mid-range resto






Price varies based on the restaurant chosen. 










Local Cheese






Domestic Beer (per 0.5L bottle)



Utilities in Auckland vs. Wellington 

Basic Utilities (monthly)



Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage for a small apartment



Internet (with 60Mbps or more, unlimited data, DSL)



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Average Net Salary

The average salary of workers in both Auckland and Wellington has a difference of only less than a thousand dollars.



$4,592.286/month (after tax)

$5,065.04/month (after tax)

Auckland vs Wellington

Many Kiwi and foreigners find it more fitting to live in Wellington rather than in Auckland. One reason being the rental and housing prices are way more expensive than anywhere else in the country. They’re likely to find more peace and tranquility as well, and the more systemic transport system in Wellington with its many highways and entryways across the region. 

However convenient, Wellington is not much of a place for cycling since roads seem to be narrower and hilly, in contrast with Auckland’s safe and biker-oriented thoroughfares, one being the Pink Bridge that connects Auckland’s network of cycle lanes. If you like using your bicycle going to work, you’ll appreciate living in Auckland better. 

Geographic location 

Since New Zealand is within the ring of fire, occasional earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are experienced yearly across the country. Auckland alone has over 50 volcanoes, with 10 of which are active and scattered throughout NZ. 



Wellington is no exception. Several major faults are found parallel to each other, which includes the Wellington Fault.

Source: Wikipedia Commons 

Several factors come into play when deciding whether to move or not. What’s important is that you’re equipped with information to help you navigate through your new life in another city. You can research more about the location you’d want to visit or move into. Using a cost of living calculator can also ease your expenses and find which city or country suits you best.