Opportunities Abound in ROTORUA
No more traffic jams, pollution or stress. Now its trout fishing, walking in beautiful scenery and a laidback lifestyle.It wasn’t a hard choice for five former Auckland residents.Moving to Rotorua from the North Shore has been the best decision Rebecca Gudmundsen and her husband could have made.
“We had lived in Auckland for 14 years and finding that we had to work all the time to be able to afford to live there,” says Rebecca, who moved to Rotorua 18 months ago.
Making the decision to move was purely a lifestyle one for the couple, but they chose Rotorua because of its good infrastructure, cleanliness of the streets and politeness of the people.
Rebecca says the cost of living in Rotorua is less and she is now working part-time with plenty of time to enjoy the great activities on offer such as spa baths, trout fishing and feeling safe walking the streets.
For Simon Duff, Rotorua was a work move but after four months he loves the lifestyle changes compared to his life in One Tree Hill.
“I only have to drive for five minutes and am already surrounded by stunning natural landscapes.”
He says since moving he has been taking part in running, tramping and getting out on the lake – a lot more than when he was in Auckland.
“Everything is so accessible. It’s very easy to get things done as everything is in the centre of town.”
Work also brought Mandy Williams from Glenfield to Rotorua three years ago after 20 years in Auckland.
“One of the best things about Rotorua is getting used to no traffic.”
She says the slower pace of life has also been a welcome change.
“The layout of the city is great and because of its central location it is also really easy to get to other regions relatively quickly.”
Mandy says she has noticed that common expenses such as car and house insurance, AA, rent and house prices are a lot cheaper than in Auckland.
“I have been able to get into walking here, around the lakes and in the Redwoods (a popular local bush walk) and that just wasn’t really possible in Auckland. It wasn’t really safe or I would have to drive somewhere.”
Safety is also a positive feature of Rotorua for Carrol Govan.
Carrol moved to Lake Rotoma about a year ago.
She says her house was broken into four times and her car stolen three times in a three year period in Auckland but there just doesn’t seem to be those sorts of problems in Rotorua.
“It seems like a much safer environment.”
Carrol moved to Rotorua for her daughter’s education. Carrol’s daughter has a cyst on the brain as a result of an assault when she was at school. She also has a hearing impairment and a heart condition which results in syncopal episodes or collapsing without warning.
The 20-year old is now in her second year of a three-year early childhood diploma at Rotorua’s Waiariki Institute of Technology.
“Rotorua was initially a bit of culture shock but we definitely have a more peaceful lifestyle and have slowed down a lot."
“We were so used to the pressure of time in Auckland – we now have a new ethos on time and its stress free.”
Carrol says initially she was concerned about getting work in a “hick” town but this has been no problem. Although, she says there is a bit of a hidden job market there are plenty of opportunities for employment just as in the bigger cities.
“We love Rotorua and plan on staying here and retiring here."
After many years in the corporate world as a partner in one of Auckland’s “big four” accounting firms, Jack Shallard decided to carve a new career for himself in Rotorua.
Twelve years on, Jack says Rotorua has a real life about it.
“This seems to come from the adventure activities, visitor industry and events that keep coming here.”
He says there is always heaps to do in Rotorua.
“It is the real home of mountain biking, and this brings lots of visitors and is getting growing recognition worldwide.”
One thing Jack was expecting that he would get involved in was trout fishing but he says with so much to do other leisure options always take precedence.
Being able to get around and to work quickly are definite positive benefits for Jack. And he says Rotorua is surprisingly central as well as clean and tidy.
Every year Rotorua attracts many people from Auckland and around the country. With a population of almost 70,000 Rotorua has plenty to offer without the strain large populations place on amenities.