New Zealand is one big natural playground – and you'll get plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
Working hard and then grabbing those opportunities out of office hours really is the Kiwi lifestyle. And there are so many options:
Hit the water
New Zealand is geographically long and skinny so wherever you choose to live you’re never more than 100km or so from the sea. Our beaches are usually sandy, the water quality is great, and there’s some seriously good surf to be found.
There are many rivers and lakes, especially in the South Island, and plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, kite boarding and canoeing. There’s great sailing too, especially in Auckland, our ‘City of Sails’. In some countries these sorts of activities are only accessible to those with deep pockets, but not in new Zealand.
If you enjoy being in, on or under the water, you and your family will be right in your element here in New Zealand.
Get into the countryside
You’re also never far from countryside and the New Zealand bush. Nearly a third of our land area is in national parks or other protected areas ideal for tramping (trekking), hunting, camping and family holidays.
Even the cities offer huge natural reserves ideal for walking, picnicking or mountain biking (New Zealand has some of the most spectacular cycling trails in the world).
New Zealand is famous for its mountains, especially the Southern Alps, and there’s good winter skiing in both islands, not to mention climbing.
There are so many ways you can indulge your favourite past time (or try something new).
Challenge your sporting instincts
Competitive sports are hugely popular.
People say rugby is our national sport, and there’s no denying the fierce loyalty we show our regional teams and the mighty All Blacks, current Rugby World Cup holders. But the fact is, any sport that provides a competitive spectacle finds a following here.
Football is increasingly popular, especially in schools, and particularly after a respectable 2010 World Cup (we were the only team to bow out unbeaten).
Rugby league is strong too, and we have our own professional team competing in Australia’s NRL competition.
For women, netball is far and away the most popular sport, enjoying strong support from grassroots level right up to our world-leading national team, the Silver Ferns.
In the warmer months, cricket takes the spotlight – men’s, women’s and the beach variety, a distinctive part of the typical Kiwi summer.
Many other sports are catered for year round – touch rugby, tennis, swimming and diving, cycling, rowing, horse racing and equestrian and motorsport to name a few.
If gardening’s you thing you’ll find you’re well served with good soils, a largely temperate climate (though wind can be a problem in some places) and a nation that loves growing things.
If you're keen to be involved, all of these sports are easily accessible and relatively low cost.
Try something new
Remember, we’re the people who invented bungee jumping, black-water rafting and zorbing.
Adventure is in our DNA. Literally thousands of red blooded everyday Kiwis, men and women, train for and compete in endurance events. They include our most famous triathlon of all, the Coast to Coast where competitors cross the South Island’s Tasman shore, race over the alps then down to the Pacific shore in Christchurch.
If you're keen to take part in a sport in New Zealand a great place to start is that sport's governing body. Here are just a few: rugby, football, netball, cricket, hockey, basketball, golf, and swimming.
For a complete list of national sports organisations, visit Sport New Zealand.