Family: Auckland

We had such an amazing time in Australia, I recall thinking, oh New Zealand (NZ), it is just going to be a continuation from Australia, but that was truly an understatement.  New Zealand was even more amazing than Australia. So many amazing memories, but let’s start with Family.

I did a bit of research and did find a few interesting facts about New Zealand on, including:

  • Expats think New Zealand is a great place to bring family, ranking it second overall on this measure in HSBC’s indepth 2018 Expat Explorer survey. A resounding 76% of expats reported an improvement in their children’s health and wellbeing from living in New Zealand.
  • NZ also rank second for ‘community’ on the OECD’s Better Life Index covering 40 countries. “In New Zealand, 96% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in a time of need,” they report.
  • New Zealand offers an excellent education system. For example, in what’s been called the “biggest ever global school rankings”, the OECD in 2015 put us comfortably in the top 20 nations for the quality of our schools.

Here’s are my research findings:

  • As for work-life balance, New Zealand was rated sixth in the world for work-life balance in HSBC’s 2017 Expat Explorer survey. 
  • The parks most always busy in the evenings and weekends. We lived very closes to another little beach town called Takapuna. It was right on the water and it had the most amazing little downtown area with a beach playground. It was packed – day and night, every day of the week.
  • Coffee shops were casual and low-key.  During the week we often saw people enjoying a morning coffee and reading the paper — and often had a range of open / closing times.  
  • A sense of “community” in New Zealand would be most aligned to “friendship.”  To me, it was more than just family, community included the extended-family, friends, and sometimes even strangers. Everyone was friendly, kind, and so very welcoming.

Here’s my final thought on New Zealand:

  • New Zealanders are some of the nicest, kindest people in the world. They are friendly, helpful and truly want to ensure you are enjoying their country. However, they are just fine if you don’t ever tell your friends or family about your trip.  New Zealand is such an amazing country and I think it is largely in part to how off the radar it is and after visiting, I totally understand. New Zealand is like this little hidden gem that you want to keep to yourself only to preserve how special it is.
  • Take your shoes off and stay awhile. If you ever travel to NZ, you’ll quickly notice that many people don’t wear shoes, like at all. No shoes is extremely common in most all public places. Grocery stores, restaurants, walking down the street, it’s just how they role.
  • I think the house had a lot to do with it, but Auckland, New Zealand felt like home. The house gave us space to enjoy just being home. We did take a few trips to other cities in New Zealand, but we also thoroughly enjoyed just hanging at the house making dinner, playing outside, and snuggling on the couch to watch TV or read a book.     

Don’t forget to check out our @brownatw Instagram, we have so many amazing photos from New Zealand.

And now as always, some of my favorite pictures:

^Helicopter ride in Queenstown.

^We landed in the snow in the helicopter, it was incredible.


^We made a mud pit for Nolan’s monster trucks.



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