Moving to Christchurch

Christchurch also known as Ōtautahi, is one of the best places to live in New Zealand! with breath-taking landscapes, gorgeous beaches, safe suburbs, friendly locals, and a booming dining scene, we can see why.


Considering a move to Christchurch, New Zealand?

Christchurch also known as Ōtautahi, is one of the best places to live in New Zealand! with breath-taking landscapes, gorgeous beaches, safe suburbs, friendly locals, and a booming dining scene, we can see why.

Let’s find out more about life in Christchurch, New Zealand!

Geographical Information

Situated on the southeast coast of New Zealand, Christchurch is one of the most unique destinations in the world – where urban regeneration and innovation meet heritage and culture.

Built to the east of the Canterbury plains, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and beautiful rolling hills that offer spectacular views wherever you choose to call home.  With green leafy streets, beautiful gardens, and parks scatted through the city (over 700), Christchurch earned itself the coveted title of the Garden City.

The Avon River flows through the city centre providing a beautiful backdrop for all the shops, businesses, and restaurants in the area.


The rule of thumb is the further south you go the colder it gets. In saying that, Christchurch has an incredibly mild climate. In fact, compared to Auckland and Wellington, Christchurch has fewer rainy days than the other major cities.

While the climate might be dryer, Christchurch does have frosty conditions in winter with the average daily temperature between 3-14 degrees Celsius. At night it can even drop to below zero! However, generally, these cold days are met with clear blue skies.

In summer, the daily temperature ranges from 12-24 and daylight can last up to 9:30 pm.

What’s more, in the hilly suburbs of Christchurch snow can be expected once or twice a year.

Population and Demographics

Christchurch has seen rapid growth in the last few years following the rebuild efforts after the devasting 2011 earthquake.

Today over 360,000 people call Christchurch home, making it the largest city in the South Island and the third largest in New Zealand behind Auckland and Wellington.

The largest percentage of locals are NZ European (77.9%) followed by Asian (14.9%) and Māori (9.9%) and 27% of residents were born overseas with the majority from Asia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Europe.

Cost of Living

One of the main reasons many kiwis and expats are making the move to Christchurch is because of its lower cost of living. Compared to other major cities Auckland and Wellington, Christchurch is significantly more affordable.

For a family of four, the estimated monthly cost excluding rent is roughly $4,905 and $1,350 for a single person according to the Numbeo Cost of Living Index. That is 11.9% lower than Auckland and 5.17% lower than Wellington.

The average household income in Christchurch is roughly $86,405.


Are you looking for a smart inner-city apartment? Or a spacious family home with a big garden? How about a serene lifestyle block on the outer edge of the city? In Christchurch the choice is yours! Whether you’re looking to rent or buy you’ll find the perfect housing option to suit your needs.

The median house price is $783,764 and $480 a week renting; however, the house prices do vary based on the suburb.

According to Core Logistics, Christchurch’s most expensive suburb is Fendalton with the median house price sitting at $1.6m and Philipstown the most affordable at $428,200.

Some of the most popular Christchurch suburbs include:

Merivale is a popular spot with families and working professionals due to its close proximity to the city centre and array of facilities including great schools, medical centres, sports clubs, and a large shopping mall.

The seaside suburb of Sumner is another popular neighbourhood. The laid-back lifestyle and easy access to the beach are two of the major draw cards. Only 15 minutes from the city it has a charming atmosphere and beautiful homes with even more beautiful views.

If you prefer more cosmopolitan living then Riccarton is a great choice for you, with a range of apartments, townhouses, and character homes you can find the perfect place to suit your needs and budget. The booming dining scene is a large draw card for young professionals while families are attracted to the green space, good schools, and safety of the neighbourhood.

Useful resources if you’re looking for a home/rental:
Trade Me


There are roughly 145 schools in the Christchurch region, including a mix of public and private.

Some of the more popular private schools include St Andrews, a co-ed primary and secondary school, Rangi Ruru Girls School a girls-only secondary school, and Christ’s College a boys-only secondary school.

Popular state schools include Christchurch Girls High and Christchurch Boy’s High.

It is important to consider what your preferred schools are when choosing a suburb to settle in. Most schools are ‘zoned’ meaning that if you live in the catchment area your children are automatically offered a place in that school. If you live outside the catchment area it can be harder to secure a place.


Job opportunities are in abundance in Christchurch. The rebuilding efforts after the earthquake have seen sectors such as construction and manufacturing have an increase in demand for workers.

Christchurch is also home to a high number of start-ups, as is paving the way for global health, tech, aerospace, transport, food technologies, and high-tech solutions.

Other popular sectors include manufacturing, IT, hospitality, and tourism.

To see current job availabilities, visit:

Trade Me Jobs


New Zealand has a world-class health care system that is heavily subsided by the government and most hospital services are free or at a low cost if you’re a resident, citizen, or have held a work visa for more than two years.

The city’s main hospital ‘Christchurch Hospital’ is the largest tertiary, teaching, and research hospital in the South Island. In addition to this, there are 14 other specialist hospitals scattered across the region.

Things to do

Whether you’re an active relaxer, a history buff, or an adventure junkie, Christchurch has plenty of activities to keep you entertained all year long.

If you want to truly see the magic of the Garden City, then the Christchurch Botanical Gardens are a must! Over 21 hectares of colourful and fragrant gardens to explore.

If the weather is a little warmer, then a trip to New Brighton’s beach is a must. You can stroll the famous pier, have fun on the water, relax in the hot pools, or watch the kids in the playground with a coffee from a beachside café.

For the foodies in the area, you’re in luck… there are so many options you’ll never have trouble finding a delicious place to eat. Miss Peppercorn is a popular Asian restaurant while Francesca’s Italian Kitchen is popular if you’re craving homemade pasta. 

There is so much to do in Christchurch we’d simply be here all day. Here at 75 more things to do in Christchurch.

Quality of Life

Overall, Christchurch is ranked as one of the best places to live in NZ. 87% of locals say they have a high quality of life and 83% say Christchurch is a great place to live.

What’s more, a further 65% are satisfied with their employment and 62% are happy with their work life balance.

Make it Happen

Ready to make your home in Christchurch, New Zealand? Get in touch with us at The Moving Company for a free no-obligation quote. With over 35 years’ experience a dedicated fleet of purpose-built furniture trucks and a global network of accredited partners, we have helped thousands of kiwis and ex-pats move to Christchurch, New Zealand. Get in touch today: 0800 668 464

In addition to moving your household goods we can provide a complete range of moving services including safe and secure, short or long term storage, moving insurance, vehicle shipping, pet transport and much more.

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