new zealander living in australia


It was mid 2014 when I was sitting in the music room, where I studied in Auckland. Three months later I was packing my bags and traveling to Taiwan for a month, then soaring off to Australia. There are some noticeable differences living in Sydney and some similarities too. I have been here for eight months now, and can only say that I love it here in Sydney!

Some of the top things I notice in Sydney:

1) People – There are so so many people and you see the best street styles. Everyone is friendly in general and there is less judgment in terms of being able to wear what ever you like. I found people in Auckland are more in their own friendship circle, and tend to keep many things private, but in Sydney everyone is super friendly and open (in general).

2) Cash – You always need to carry cash on you. The amount of stores that have an eftpos surcharge fee is crazy!

3) Fashion – There is a huge range of style in Sydney from corporate wear, street wear and anything in between! The shopping is insane and there are endless amount of shops and department stores in central city.

4) Living – It’s expensive. That’s the first thing I had to prepare myself for before moving here. You are going to spend a lot just on rent and the first month or so it will be not so cool, but then after a while you can’t help but fall in love with the city, then it’s not so bad. On the bright side, the pay is a lot higher in Sydney, compared to New Zealand.

5) Dogs – So, so many dogs. Pretty much everyone has a dog, except for me and people..who don’t have dogs. Dogs and parks are everywhere.

6) Opportunities – There are so many opportunities in this one city but it can also make it a lot more competitive. On the upside, it means more doors open. Sydney has many businesses that are international with overseas companies.

7) Tourists – Especially in the Summer time, tourists are every where. If you go to Darling Harbour or the Sydney Opera House, the beach…

8) Cultural Melting Pot – Similar to Auckland in some sense, it’s culturally diverse. Which means a lot of different cultural food restaurants, and areas such as Chinatown. Naturally with more people and different races – it’s going to be slightly more racist. But sadly that’s predicted in a multi-cultural environment.

9) Australian Accent – I definitely noticed the accent from the moment I arrived in the airport. I’m so used to it now that I get a bit surprised when people notice my Kiwi accent. It’s nice though, everyone is always positive when I say I’m from New Zealand.

10) Architecture – I love Sydney’s older buildings and modern ones. Their construction  and completion of buildings is so fast. The buildings here are beautiful, and you really got to admire Sydney’s dedication for aesthetics.

11) Beaches – The beaches are huge. Go to Bondi or Coogee beach. The beach, water, everything is so beautiful.

12) Weather – This one is so important to me, because funnily enough that was one of the reasons why I wanted to leave Auckland. The weather in Auckland is very unpredictable, and the saying that there is four seasons in a day couldn’t be more true. The weather in Sydney is great – maybe excluding the rainy moments in winter.

13) Work/Living – Everyone is either working or studying. People always seem to be busy in Sydney. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. Everything is very fast paced in the city, naturally as it is a industrial city. However, coming from Auckland where it is much more chill in contrast, it’s important to take time out to relax.

14) Arts Culture – One thing I love about this city, is there is always something to do. There are art galleries, cafes, museums, cinema, endless events and places to walk. It’s a true loves place for the day time introvert (like me) or the night time extrovert. Every Saturday night there are fire works at Darling Harbour for tourists and locals.

15) Transport – Very convenient. You will see anything from bikes, trains, bus, walking, driving, skooters, motorcycles, skaters..

16) Beauty – Sydney is beautiful in an industrial way, where as Auckland is beautiful in a country way. I also noticed a lot of people prefer to tan in Sydney (it’s normal in Summer to see people lying in the sun tanning), where as the Asian Katie me, stereotypically prefers to not get tanned.

17) Exercise – There are always people jogging, cycling, stretching, gyming.. I would say in general I find people have quite an active lifestyle.

18) Cafes – They are everywhere. There’s no escaping them! Although, I hear Melbourne has many cafes too. I’m keen to travel there someday.

I have to say, if you are prepared to pay for the living in Sydney, and you love discovering new things, Sydney is a great place to live. They say give it a year, so who knows. I do miss New Zealand at times, as nothing beats the friendly nature and certain atmosphere in New Zealand. But for now, Sydney you are great.


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