Find out how much it costs to live in Auckland
Find out about average salaries for key roles and Auckland’s cost of living. You’ll find some items and services cheaper and some more expensive.
As New Zealand’s largest city, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s cost of living is higher than elsewhere in the country, however it has a lower cost of living than other major cities such as London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney. For many people who move to Auckland to live and work, it’s the things money can’t buy that make the difference — a more relaxed lifestyle, better work-life balance, safety, quality schools and easy access to beaches, forest, parks and islands.
All costs are approximate, subject to change, and shown in New Zealand dollars.
These are likely to be your most significant costs. Housing costs will differ depending on whether you buy or rent, what kind of home you want, how many people live there, and the area you live in. The average weekly rental cost for a three-bedroom house is $753 and $500 for a one-bedroom apartment. The average monthly power bill for a typical household is $190 and a weekly household grocery shop is up to $427 for a couple with two children.
Auckland has a mix of free and subsidised healthcare and education, as well as private options. Check your eligibility when you apply for your visa. A personal or family doctor, known as a general practitioner (GP), visit averages $45-$65, with many offering free visits for children. Hospital care is free for most visa types, including under New Zealand’s no-fault injury scheme Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Public primary and secondary schools are free to attend, and some visa holders can receive 20 hours free early learning a week for 3–5 year olds.
Public transport is generally cheaper than a car, due to the costs of petrol, parking and maintenance. An AT HOP card offers cheaper fares and can be used across buses, trains and ferries. Fares are calculated by zones; a one-way trip to the city centre from a suburb two zones away is $4.20 with an AT HOP card and $6 cash. Monthly passes are more cost effective, at around $107 for buses and trains and $86 for ferries. Downtown parking is around $20 a day, with average petrol prices ranging from $2.40 to $2.90 a litre.
Everyone has different priorities, whether it’s a good coffee in the morning or a night at the theatre, fine dining or family movies. As well as the guide below, places like cinemas, theatres, restaurants and attractions all have prices on their websites. Consider joining a Facebook group for migrants who have moved to Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland for advice. The good news is many of the wonderful things to experience in Auckland are completely free.
Aucklanders love their food (and coffee!) and there’s a wide variety of restaurants, cafés and bars, from cheap and cheerful to gourmet cuisine. Dinner for two in a casual pub or bistro could range from $60 to $80, while a three-course dinner with wine at an upscale eatery from $135-$180 or more. One beer or a glass of mid-range wine averages $10-$13, coffee from $4.50 to $6, and a light lunch such as sushi, a sandwich or a salad, ranges from $8-$13.
Top international concerts vary from $80 to $200 or more, while smaller local acts range around $20. Theatre tickets for international Broadway shows are priced similarly to concerts, and local theatre shows start at $20. An Auckland Blues’ rugby match can cost $20-$60, with higher prices for premier international competitions. Most bars and nightclubs have no admission fees. Movie tickets average $20 per adult, with discounts available.
Luckily, there are countless things to enjoy in Auckland that don’t cost anything. Swim, surf, paddle or picnic at the beach (we have hundreds to choose from), enjoy a day in the park, take the children to the playground, hike or stroll through native bush, or walk to the top of one of our maunga (volcanic cones) for amazing views. Public libraries, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and Auckland War Memorial Museum are all free for residents and some visa holders.
Work and salaries
Salaries in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland vary depending on your industry, job type, and level of experience. When you’re looking for a job, or if you receive a job offer, consider the big picture. Research salaries for your role and measure this against your expected living costs, income tax, and perks that may make the offer more appealing, such as a phone, company car, or flexible working. To impress employers, be well prepared for interviews, and highlight your skills and experience. It’s also acceptable to negotiate in New Zealand, whether you request a higher salary or other benefits.
As well as your salary, some jobs will come with perks such as a mobile phone, laptop, car park, company car, or health insurance, so take these into account when looking at your overall salary. Check what taxes you’ll be paying too, as rates differ by individual income. If you have a visa that allows you to live in New Zealand permanently, you may be eligible for KiwiSaver, New Zealand’s voluntary retirement savings scheme.
Auckland’s highest paid sectors are tech, legal, C-suite roles, finance, property, construction, and engineering. For example, in tech the average salary for a senior front-end developer is $130,000, an IT manager $145,000, a senior test analyst $110,000 and a cyber security architect $170,000. Your salary will depend on your skills and experience, and job sites such as Trade Me Jobs and SEEK provide helpful guides and insights.
Many Auckland employers offer flexible working arrangements, including flexible start and finish times and hybrid or work-from-home options. This has increased following the pandemic as more employers recognise employees’ needs for a better work-life balance and the ability to work around other commitments. While not suitable for all jobs and employers, it’s worth asking potential employers whether a role offers these options.