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City living transforms family's life

Life in Auckland's central city

Published: 23 July 2019

Auckland’s city centre is the beating heart of the region's economy and is rapidly increasing with the number of residents growing to more than 55,000. Our Auckland talks to residents about what it’s like to live in the central city.

Inner-city living has completely changed the lives of legal professionals and partners, Julia and James.

“It’s crazy how different life is now. We absolutely love it and it’s completely changed our lives,” Julia says of living in the central city.  “It sounds like such a dramatic thing to say, but it’s true.”

James and Julia were living in Epsom and commuting into the city daily, for work. With a two-year-old toddler, there wasn't a lot of free time during the week.

“We found that even living in Epsom, close to the city, it still caused a lot of coordination issues,” Julia says.

“We sat down one day and looked through our typical daily schedule and the time we spent travelling every day. We came to the conclusion living in the city was the best option for us. In terms of providing a work-life balance, it just made sense.”

It took Julia and James around four months to find the perfect apartment in Wynyard Quarter.

It had to have three-bedrooms as the couple are expecting another child in October. James’ 15-year-old daughter Niamh also visits often from boarding school.

For Niamh, there’s nothing she likes more than shooting off on an e-scooter to go shopping or meet friends.

“She loves it,” Julia says.

Spending more time as a family has been the biggest upside of the move, followed closely by a marked improvement in health - from walking. It’s not uncommon for the family to clock up over 10,000 steps.

James’ resting heart rate has dropped and (according to his Fitbit) he’s getting more sleep. They say the central city is only getting better with Auckland Council’s downtown development.

“I think any development in the city, providing it maintains the environmental aspect and natural beauty, is awesome.”

Julia says the time they would have spent on commuting, allows them to spend valuable time with Beth.

“The facilities around here are fantastic. There’s Silo Park, Victoria Park and three playgrounds.

“Everything is so close and within walking distance.”

They hardly ever use their car and prefer to catch a ferry.

“There are so many positives about city living. We love not having a garden to maintain or lawn to mow," Julia says. “We now have a chilled, relaxed lifestyle and the best thing is Beth has two present parents who aren’t stressed all the time.”

Wynyard Quarter is fast becoming a prime destination within the CBD with more development planned. By 2030, Wynyard Quarter will have as many as 3000 residents and 25,000 workers.

Read more: Future Auckland


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