If you are planning to move to Christchurch, you are in the right place. Here we have collected all the vital information for anyone considering settling in the “Garden City”, including the cost of living, key industries, places to live, public transport options and education establishments in Christchurch.
If you’re seeking job opportunities in New Zealand and wondering where you’d like to base yourself, read on to find out what it’s like to live and work in Christchurch, the biggest city of New Zealand’s South Island. This might be the place to call home.
Christchurch Population and Demographics
Christchurch is the third largest city in New Zealand by population, and had around 388,000 residents as of mid-2018, according to the city council. While the Christchurch population dipped after the 2011 earthquake, it is on the rise again.
The city is becoming more and more ethnically diverse, although around 85% of the population still identified as “European or other” in the 2013 census. That census also showed the median age of Christchurch residents to be 38.
Christchurch Weather and Climate
Christchurch’s climate is classified as temperate oceanic, with mild summers and cool winters. The city can, however, experience sweltering days in January and February – as well as snowfall in the colder months. Average temperatures in Christchurch are around 20-25 degrees Celsius in the summer and ten degrees Celsius in the winter.
The city gets regular precipitation throughout the year. Annual average rainfall in Christchurch is 648 millilitres, which is lower than that of New Zealand’s other major cities—good news if you’re thinking of migrating to Christchurch and like staying dry!
Major Industries in Christchurch
One key industry in Christchurch is manufacturing – the second largest contributor to the city’s economy behind agriculture. Christchurch is a hub for the extensive farming and growing in the wider Canterbury region. Many agriculture businesses operate in the city, and a lot of meat and local produce passes through the port.
Another major industry in Christchurch is the strong IT sector, which attracts many skilled workers looking for jobs in New Zealand. As the gateway to New Zealand’s beautiful South Island, Christchurch has many tourism operators, and is also a point of departure for many countries’ Antarctic programs. Post-earthquake, there is a lot of demand for skilled construction workers in Christchurch, with many jobs in trades available.
Places to Live in Christchurch
Sprawling along the Canterbury plains and up into the rolling Port Hills, Christchurch is filled with quiet, safe suburbs which provide great options for places to live. Inner suburbs like Merivale, Fendalton and Sydenham are close to the urban action and the gorgeous Hagley Park, but are more expensive, with rent costing around $400-$500 dollars per week for a small house. Equivalent weekly rent prices in the suburbs farther from the city centre, such as inland Hornby or coastal New Brighton, are around $300-$400.
Geographical preferences can inform individual opinions on the best place to live in Christchurch. Some people prefer the slopes and views of the Port Hills in places like Cashmere, while others enjoy residing near the coast in New Brighton and Aranui.
Cost of Living in Christchurch
Apart from housing costs, the average costs of living in Christchurch are similar to those in the rest of New Zealand. You can find many providers for essential services such as electricity and internet, with a variety of pricing. You might expect to pay around $150 per month on average on power for a small house with a few occupants, and about $8-$100 per month for unlimited high-speed internet.
Getting around in Christchurch
Christchurch Airport is where many visitors and new residents arrive in the city, and the roading and public transport systems are how they get around. The roads in Christchurch are mostly flat and easy to navigate, and many streets have bicycle lanes for those who prefer pedal power. Taxis and Uber share-riding services are widely available.
Public transport in Christchurch mainly consists of the extensive bus network serving the city and suburbs. A Metrocard is ideal for frequent bus users, as it offers a discount on single-ride fares.
Education in Christchurch
Parents seeking to work in New Zealand will be glad to know that New Zealand’s primary and secondary education system is highly rated on the global scale. Christchurch has an array of public and private schools, so no family is ever far from a learning establishment.
Higher education is also available at the several tertiary institutes and universities in Christchurch. These include the Ara Institute, Lincoln University, the University of Canterbury and the Christchurch campus of the University of Otago.
Christchurch Entertainment and Things to Do
There are plenty of things to do in Christchurch for all tastes and preferences. Entertainment options range from urban to outdoor, and you needn’t stray far from the city to discover some more wonderful New Zealand destinations, too.
Downtown and in the inner suburbs, you will find Christchurch’s shopping opportunities and restaurants, interspersed with vast green spaces like Hagley Park and the Margaret Mahy Park – a futuristic, elaborate children’s playground named after the beloved children’s author. There are interesting historical and cultural attractions such as the ruins of Christchurch Cathedral, art galleries, museums, and the International Antarctic Centre. Events happen regularly in venues around Christchurch, as well as national and international sporting matches.