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Retiring to Nelson

When putting together a plan for retirement, there’s more to consider than just your finance. One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is where to retire. One of the many destinations gaining popularity with retirees in New Zealand is Nelson, sitting pretty at the very top of the South Island — here’s why.

New Zealand’s Sunshine Capital

One of the many factors drawing retirees to Nelson is the weather — the city experienced over 2,633 hours of sunshine last year, officially making it New Zealand’s sunniest destination. Beautiful beaches, national parks, walking tracks, and other natural highlights make Nelson’s perfect weather even more enjoyable.

Strong communities

With a predominantly older population, Nelson is one of the quietest, most relaxing cities in the country. This is reflected in the statistics, as the Tasman region has the lowest rate of crime in New Zealand.

Another interesting statistic to note is that Nelson is the third most ethnically diverse location in the country. This helps to contribute to a city that’s historically been defined by its strong art and culture — Nelson is the birthplace of pottery in New Zealand, it’s the home of the famous World of Wearable Art event, as well as many popular galleries and museums like the Classic Car Museum.

Between the great weather, the safe neighbourhoods, the strong creative scene and cultural roots in the city, residents often report feeling an extreme sense of community in Nelson — not hard to see why!

Cost of living

Retirees are flocking to Nelson (mostly from Auckland) in droves — and it makes sense when you look at the difference in the cost of living between the two cities.

Compared to Auckland:

  • Consumer prices, including rent, are 13% cheaper
  • Rental prices are 39% cheaper
  • Local purchasing power is 26% higher
  • Price (per square metre) for a city centre apartment is 68% cheaper
  • Price (per square metre) for an apartment outside of the city centre is 33% cheaper
  • The general cost of groceries is much cheaper
  • The range of transportation is much cheaper

(Source: Numbeo)

As well as these factors, the average house price in Nelson is $567,767 compared to Auckland’s $1,239,086 (source:

Booming infrastructure

A recent report showed that an increasing number of retirees in Nelson are choosing to live in retirement villages — over 14% of the region’s population over 75 years old have made this decision.

To support this demand, there are world class retirement villages throughout the city, like the new $50 million Olive Estate Lifestyle Village, Summerset in the Sun (the largest of 20 Summerset villages in the country), and Ernest Rutherford Retirement Village.

In terms of health care services, the Nelson-Malborough District Health Board is one of the most recognised in the country. The main hospital in the region is Nelson Hospital, but there are smaller hospitals also located in Takaka and Murchison.

There are also a range of private hospitals in the region — you can check them out here.

Anything you need is at your fingertips in Nelson — from dentistry, mental health services, to after-hours medical care.

Thinking of settling down in Nelson?

If you’re ready to start the next chapter of your life in Nelson, we can help you take care of your belongings during this time, whether you need to downsize, or temporarily relocate your household goods.

For more information about moving to Nelson, find out how Crown can help you out by visiting our Moving to Nelson page. For a free no obligation moving quote call: 0508 227 696 or complete the quick quote form.

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