Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Most liveable?

Auckland has been voted the fourth most liveable city in the world. Equal fourth with Vancouver and beaten by Zurich, Geneva and Vienna.

I look at the Mercer list every year. How could I miss it?  The Australian newspapers always argue the toss about whether Melbourne beat Sydney or vice versa.  In New Zealand they crow about their win over Australia.

It's really a list about expats and how liveable it is for them in each city.

This year I realised I've lived in four of the top cities - a bit of an expat expert.

Sydney is 10th. Melbourne is 18th and my beloved London is way down at 39.
The city I would love to live in, New York, is at 49 out of 50. Clearly my liveability index is way off.

I don't mind Auckland but it doesn't set my world on fire. Maybe it will take time. Have I just lost the friends I have managed to make here?

I do think it is incredibly easy to live here (if you don't try to drive too much) and the suburbs and villas are gorgeous. And it's very, very easy to get to places like this. You know how I love a beach.

When we moved from Melbourne to Sydney, my very Melbourne aunt was horrified, "They can't MAKE you," she said. Even the local drycleaner had an opinion. He was pretty dismayed too.
Interestingly when we got to Sydney nobody much cared about the great Melbourne/Sydney debate. "Ah Melbourne, oh yeah, it's nice there. Good coffee. Great shopping."

When we moved here most Aucklanders we met said "Why did you leave Sydney?"

Everyone loves their own place with a passion, hates the bigger city and treats the smaller with disdain.

In Melbourne they're pretty scathing about Tasmania. I met a Melbournian in London once who was a little shocked a Tasmanian had managed to adjust to city life. Ah yes I told her, "Thank you, we've had traffic lights down there in Tassie for a while so I managed." Then I muttered something about bloody mainlanders.

Me? I don't know if I have one city I love enough to stick with. I can see the pros and cons of them all and one day I'll have to choose.  I hope my husband chooses the same one. He's as hopeless as I am.


  1. But for now Ann, at least you can enjoy the best of what each city has to offer. Sounds like fun, especially while your kids are young. Meanwhile, we'll enjoy your posts from wherever you are! K xx

  2. Hi Ann. Thanks for your advice, particularly since it led me to your blog! As to which city is the most liveable, you should try Brisbane...

  3. hi Ann every year these lists come out and I laugh and laugh about the Sydney Melbourne thing. I think the fact is that expats like cities which are safe, and relatively boring with good schools and not too expensive in terms of real estate and that is why Switzerland and Canada do well. Personally I think Auckland is divine, although I also like Wellington. xoxo

  4. We've lived in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and my very favourite Hobart. I was born in NSW but I would go back to Tasmania tomorrow if I could just convince my children they should also return. They like London, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne so I think I may have a wee problem!!!!

  5. Julienne I think you're writing the next liveability list...! And Jane you're right - expats with families are no doubt seeking the comfortable option. I was so relieved it was Auckland and not Beijing for the boys - a much easier move...

  6. I'm surprised that the rainfall doesn't affect either Auckland or Vancouver! (I was planning on moving there recently, but the rain just put me off).


Thanks for taking the time to write, Ann x


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