Best Retirement Locations In New Zealand

Tuesday 1 December 2020, 6:24PM
By Brendan John Wilde

Once people stop working forty hours per week, most people have time and money to invest in the lifestyle they've worked so hard to achieve. For many retirees, New Zealand is the ideal place to realise their dreams.

The vibrant country is an attractive retirement place for locals and ex-pats alike. It's one of the more popular places for US retirees, and with an abundance of scenic beauty, rich cultures, and welcoming people, it's no wonder why.

But what is the best spot for a retiree? New Zealand may be a small country, but with a population of over 5 million, you can have your pick of different cultures and vibes. Whether you're into the big city, rural, or coastal living, here are the best retirement locations in New Zealand.

Bustling Big City Vibes

If convenience, restaurants, and entertainment are at the top of your priority list, consider retiring to one of New Zealand's main centres. It could be the best place to spend your retirement years. 

By purchasing a modern apartment located in the inner-city, you can be in the heart of everything. You won't have to worry about time-consuming gardening, home maintenance, and more. 

Auckland - The City of Many Cultures

Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, is home to one-third of the population. There are seemingly endless opportunities for entertainment, dining, and art. With many housing options to suit all budgets, Auckland is the perfect city for retirees who love the excitement of big city life. 

Wellington - The Artistic Capital

Wellington is not just the capital of New Zealand; it is the artistic capital. Film, art, and theatre are all very popular here. There is also a widespread culture of local craft breweries, high-quality coffee, and dining. 

Christchurch - A Mix of Modern and Historic

Christchurch reflects the lifestyles of today but with a historical twist. Rebuilt after the 2011 earthquake, it now features easy-to-get-around pathways thanks to pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalks. There is also an outstanding balance of history, theatre, and other entertainment around the city. 

Dunedin - Beautiful Views

For those that prefer cooler climates, Dunedin offers that and more. This harbour city is affordable when it comes to real estate, making it a great place to settle down and retire. Cycle trails, vineyards, and more are readily available to explore in breathtaking landscapes. 

Ocean Views and Water Fun

If relaxing walks on the beach, fishing, and boating are part of your retirement dreams, New Zealand offers the perfect coastal communities. 

Whangarei - The Subtropical Lifestyle

Whangarei is one of New Zealand's most popular destinations for retirement, in part thanks to its affordable real estate. The climate is also attractive to visitors since there is rarely cold weather. 

Tauranga - Bright and Sunny Beaches

Tauranga has beautiful beaches, a sheltered harbour, and proximity to lakes and ski fields. Over recent years, this New Zealand city has experienced significant amounts of growth. 

Hawke's Bay - Sunshine, Surfing, and Art Deco

Hawke's Bay features forest walks, fruit, and award-winning vineyards. The thriving theatre and art community make it the perfect option for those who want both entertainment and water in their retirement lifestyle. 

Nelson - The Great Outdoors

Nelson is famous for its delicious seafood, wine, and bustling arts scene. Sitting at the top of South Island, this city also offers craft breweries, gorgeous vineyards, and national parks to explore. 

The Quiet Country Life

Beautiful gardens, fields, and lifestyle blocks draw people into these cities in New Zealand for retirement. 

Kerikeri - A Northern Paradise

Kerikeri is a city rich in early European history, in part because it was a fruit centre many years ago. Now, residents of Kerikeri still love living off the fertile land, which grows the majority of citrus crops in New Zealand. 

Cambridge - Country Town with an English Feel 

This quaint city has historic trees lining the streets, contributing to the English feel of the community. If you love to garden or live on many acres of land in the country, Cambridge is the perfect retirement location for you. 

Waipara - Wine Country and Welcoming Communities

Waipara is about an hour north of Wellington and one of New Zealand's top regions for wine growing. There are many farming villages along the highway, such as Greytown, with exciting food and arts communities. 

Marlborough - Home of Award-Winning Wines

Marlborough is at the very top of South Island and another region known for its high-quality food and wine. Thanks to the Wairau and Awatere river valleys, there are ideal climatic and soil conditions to grow award-winning wines. 

For those looking for an idyllic lifestyle in a rural community, consider Marlborough. You'll be able to go for wine-tasting and lunch in the vineyards regularly. 

Waipara - Paradise for Foodies

Waipara is less than an hour north of Christchurch, which is perfect if you like to visit the city. This city is a paradise for foodies because of its organic food producers, fine restaurants, and breweries. It also has cooler winters and hotter summers, making it ideal for growing a large variety of produce. 

Central Otago and the Southern Lakes District - Snow Sports and Mountains

Central Otago and the Southern Lakes District is another area in New Zealand known for its beautiful landscape, year-round adventures, and high-quality wines. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. 

If you want to bicycle through the Otago rail trail, fish in crystal-clear waters, and hike near lakes and mountains, this is the perfect retirement location. You can still enjoy popular tourist towns like Wanaka or relax in landscapes of fruit orchards and vineyards.

The Takeaway

New Zealand had a diversity of landscapes, people, and cultures. No matter where you come from, you can find the perfect place to retire here. For more information about retirement visit