New Zealand is a nation that welcomes overseas nationals to live, work and invest.
Many expatriates, particularly those from Australia, U.S., Europe and increasingly China and Korea, are drawn to the largest city, Auckland, which has the country’s priciest housing stock. Also popular are coastal regions north of Auckland as destinations for second homes and vacation properties. The market for lifestyle properties--large country parcels--is in good shape, especially semi-rural estates close to main cities.
New Zealand is influenced by its British colonial heritage--the Queen of England is its head of state--and Maori culture. It is equally shaped by its landscape, which is one of stunning abundance.
The country is made up of two main islands. The more populous North Island is where Auckland and the capital of Wellington are located. At its northeastern edge is the Bay of Islands, discovered by a Maori navigator and named by Captain James Cook. Some call the subtropical climate the “winterless north.” The culture here in the sea of some 150 islands is one of boating, big-game fishing and beaches marked by coastal evergreens spiked with red blossoms. Open plan seaside properties offer up a show of ever-changing vistas.
On the South island, Queenstown is popular with vacation home buyers. It is ideally situated close to lakes, skiing and a premier wine region--the world’s southernmost-- with dozens of respected vineyards. It also has an international airport. Queenstown is the gateway to the Central Otago Lakes region, an invigorated market with holiday homeowners. The resort area lies in a glacial valley of uninterrupted scenery and is a playground for fishing, swimming, boating, skiing and fast-flowing river sports.
Between Queenstown and Christchurch is the Mackenzie District, named after New Zealand's most famous outlaw and sheep thief, James Mackenzie. It is a high country, low density area attracting buyers for its scenery, skiing and impossibly starry night skies. Aoraki/Mount Cook (incorporating both the Maori and English names), in the heart of the Southern Alps, is New Zealand’s tallest mountain, towering over the Mackenzie basin.
New Zealand is known for scenery that takes one’s breath away--a enormous bonus for those living in this little corner of the South Pacific.