Finding Home Where do expats live in Auckland

Finding Home: Where do expats live in Auckland?

One day, as I strolled through Auckland, I noticed how many expats are in the city. It made me wonder about a lot of things. Why they chose this place as home, for instance, and what they thought of it. How long they’d been here. Where exactly “here” was for them. 

This eventually led me to explore the topic further: Where exactly do expats choose to live in Auckland, and what factors influence their choices?

Where do expats live in Auckland? 

Expats in Auckland often prefer to live in Eastern Auckland suburbs such as Howick, Bucklands Beach, Mellons Bay, Cockle Bay, and Half Moon Bay. These areas are highly popular among expats due to their safe environment, suburban atmosphere, and proximity to the beach. 

East Auckland, including these suburbs, has a significant expat population, particularly consisting of South African and Chinese immigrants.

Let’s discover why Howick, Bucklands Beach, Mellons Bay, Cockle Bay, and Half Moon Bay are the go-to choices for expatriates in Auckland.


Expats choose to live in Howick in Auckland due to its peaceful environment and family-friendly atmosphere close to the city. Howick provides a calm escape just 30 minutes away from the busy city centre, making it an attractive option for those who prefer a quiet suburban life.

Additionally, Howick is known for its diverse community. Newcomers, including expats, are warmly welcomed, and the area is home to a significant Asian population, particularly Chinese residents. 

This cultural diversity is reflected in the presence of numerous Asian restaurants, adding to the area’s vibrant atmosphere.

The Howick Community Center serves as a central hub where people from diverse backgrounds can connect. It offers a space for socialising and learning about the local community, making it easier for expats to integrate into their new surroundings.

Bucklands Beach

Besides Howick, expats are also drawn to Bucklands Beach for its unique blend of safety, education, and convenience. This seaside suburb provides more than just a place to live. It also offers a reassuring sense of security, making families feel right at home.

One of its major attractions is the presence of reputable schools like McLeans College, Pigeon Mountain Primary, and Bucklands Beach Intermediate. 

For parents, ensuring a good education for their children is a top priority, and Bucklands Beach delivers on that front, providing a solid foundation for young learners.

Moreover, its proximity to shopping hubs like Pakuranga Plaza and Botany Town Centre adds to its appeal. Beyond the classroom, families can easily access shopping and leisure activities, enhancing their overall quality of life. 

So, it’s not just about the convenience of nearby stores; it’s about the vibrant community life that revolves around these centres that makes Bucklands Beach appealing to expats to live in.

Mellons Bay

Mellons Bay is like having the best of both worlds. It’s a cosy little community that feels like a small town where everyone knows each other, making it a perfect fit for expats seeking a friendly and welcoming neighbourhood.

One of the highlights of Mellons Bay is its lively main street. Here, you’ll find charming cafes, local art, and friendly faces, creating a vibrant atmosphere. Expats love hanging out here, socialising, and soaking in the lively community vibe.

What’s more, Mellons Bay offers great convenience. It’s close to major shopping spots like Botany and Sylvia Park, giving residents easy access to various shops and restaurants. 

The nearby ferry terminal adds to this convenience, providing a hassle-free way to explore the city whenever residents want a change of scenery.

And let’s not forget the natural beauty around Mellons Bay. With nearby beaches and scenic walking trails, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. 

From relaxing walks to beach adventures, expats and their families can make the most of the picturesque surroundings.

Cockle Bay

This friendly suburb, although small, provides a warm welcome to people from all corners of the globe. This diverse environment creates a sense of belonging, making it an attractive destination for expats seeking a community that embraces various cultures.

Cockle Bay offers a peaceful lifestyle. Residents can enjoy leisurely strolls along the beach, spend quality time in the local park, and conveniently shop at nearby stores. 

While it may not boast the hustle and bustle of some other Auckland areas, expats appreciate Cockle Bay’s tranquillity and the genuine connections they can form within the close-knit community.

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay in Auckland also offers a particularly inviting environment for expats and their families.

Firstly, Half Moon Bay boasts top-notch schools such as Half Moon Bay School, catering to primary students, and St. Patrick’s College, a well-regarded private Catholic secondary school. 

These schools provide a strong academic foundation, making Half Moon Bay an appealing choice for families.

Safety is another major draw. Half Moon Bay is renowned for its low crime rate, offering a secure environment for residents, especially for those raising families. 

This peace of mind is invaluable for expats seeking a safe place to live and nurture their children.

Moreover, Half Moon Bay provides ample recreational spaces, including parks and playgrounds, enhancing the suburb’s family-friendly appeal. These areas offer opportunities for outdoor activities and play, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle for both children and adults.