South Island / Te Waipounamu

Doug McCall
12.05.24 06:00 PM Comment(s)

South Island Regions

The Nelson-Tasman region is in the northern part of New Zealand's South Island. It's renowned for its natural beauty, including the Abel Tasman National Park, famous for its golden beaches, turquoise waters, and lush forests. The population of the region is approximately 54,000. The climate in the Tasman region is generally mild, with warm summers and mild winters. Primary industries include agriculture, horticulture, forestry, and fishing. The area also has many small businesses and creative industries, such as design, arts, and crafts. Regarding housing costs, the Tasman region is usually more expensive than the national average. For immigrants, the Tasman region provides a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle, a strong sense of community, and a connection to nature. Overall, the Tasman region is an excellent place for those who prefer a slower pace of life.  Potential Locations:  Nelson and Motueka.

Marlborough is located in the northeast corner of the South Island. The region has approximately 49,000 people, with the most significant town being Blenheim. Marlborough has a temperate climate, with hot summers and cool winters. The primary industries in Marlborough are wine production, agriculture, forestry, and fishing. The region produces some of the best wines in New Zealand, which are exported globally. The housing costs in Marlborough are generally higher than the national average due to the popularity of the region and its high quality of life. Regarding lifestyle, Marlborough offers a relaxed and peaceful way of living, with access to outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and fishing. The region has a strong sense of community, and residents enjoy a high standard of living.  Potential Locations: Blenheim.


The West Coast is an extended, narrow South Island region between the coast and the spectacular Southern Alps. It is known for its rugged natural beauty, coastline, lush rainforests, and majestic glaciers. The region's population is relatively small, with just over 32,000 people living there. The climate is generally mild, with cool temperatures and high yearly rainfall. The region's primary industries include mining, forestry, and tourism, with many visitors drawn to the area's natural attractions. Housing costs on the West Coast are generally lower than the national average. The West Coast offers immigrants a unique lifestyle centred around nature and community. The region is known for its friendly communities and laid-back way of life, making it an ideal destination for those looking for a small community at a slower pace.  Potential Location:  Greymouth.

Canterbury is located on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island. It is known for its landscapes, including the Southern Alps Mountain range and the flat Canterbury Plains. Canterbury is also famous for its outdoor recreational activities like hiking, skiing, and adventure sports. The population of Canterbury is around 650,000, making it New Zealand's second most populous region after Auckland. The climate in Canterbury is generally temperate, with mild summers and cool winters. Canterbury's economy is diverse, with a strong focus on agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. The region is renowned for producing high-quality dairy products, meat, and wool.  Additionally, Canterbury is a hub for technology and innovation, with many start-ups and established companies operating in the region. The cost of housing in Canterbury varies depending on the location and type of property. Overall, housing costs in the area are slightly lower than the national average.  Canterbury offers a vibrant and welcoming lifestyle for immigrants. The region is home to diverse cultures and many opportunities to get involved in community events and activities. Additionally, Canterbury boasts excellent schools, healthcare, and public transport infrastructure, making it an attractive destination for families and professionals.  Potential Location: Christchurch, Ashburton, Timaru.

The Otago region is located southeast of New Zealand's South Island.  The region is known for its diverse natural scenery, including the Southern Alps, rugged coastlines, and picturesque lakes. The area has approximately 240,000 people, with the majority living in Dunedin. The climate in Otago is generally cool and temperate, with warm summers and chilly winters. The region has various industries, including agriculture, viticulture, tourism, and education. The University of Otago in Dunedin is a top-ranked institution and a significant contributor to the local economy. Housing costs in Otago are generally more affordable than in other major cities in New Zealand, such as Auckland and Wellington. However, they are still slightly higher than the national average. The region offers a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, including skiing, hiking, and surfing. Overall, Otago is a great place to live, work, and raise a family, with plenty of personal and professional growth opportunities.  Potential Locations:  Dunedin, Queenstown, Cromwell, Balclutha. 

The Southland region is located in the southernmost part of New Zealand and is known for its rugged natural beauty and remote wilderness areas. It borders the significant Fiordland National Park, the famous Milford Sound, and the important tourist destination of Queenstown. The region has approximately 100,000 people, with Invercargill being the largest city. The climate in Southland is generally cool and temperate, with mild summers and cool winters. The primary industries in the region are farming and fishing, making it predominantly agricultural. Housing costs in Southland are generally more affordable than in the other areas of New Zealand. For immigrants, Southland offers a relaxed provincial lifestyle with ample opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and skiing. The region is also known for the down-to-earth friendliness of its people, a strong sense of community, and a love of country music. It is an ideal place to raise a family.  Potential Locations: Invercargill, Gore, and Queenstown.

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Doug McCall

Owner and Recruiter

Doug helps psychologists transition to working and living in New Zealand. He has extensive knowledge of local psychology practices, international relocation, and the job market for psychologists.