Taupo - the Kiwi town offering the best of both worlds

Destination Great Lake Taupo
Enterprise Great Lake Taupo is offering potential new residents the chance to come check out the fast-growing city at no cost. Photo credit: Destination Great Lake Taupo

With congestion charges on the horizon, Aucklanders are being urged to leave the gridlock in the rear view mirror and head south.

Not just for the traffic-free, leisurely lifestyle either. There are plenty of jobs on offer.

There's a perception Taupo's not the kind of place you can have a career - that's all wrong, says Kylie Hawker-Green from Enterprise Great Lake Taupo.

"Our economy is booming, town is thriving, we've got lots of new industries starting, we're growing at a great rate - and we're really struggling to find great people to fill the jobs we have on offer."

A wide range of skills needed

Tradies are particularly in demand in Taupo, as are farm workers and people skilled in engineering and mechanical industries, and the health and wellbeing sector.  

So many opportunities and so little traffic, as ex-Aucklander Jess Simpson found out.

"My husband was spending approximately 14 hours in his truck commuting every week," she told Newshub. "It just seems crazy to be spending that percentage of your waking hours on a motorway when you could be spending that with your children or your wife."

Destination Great Lake Taupo
There's not much traffic in Taupo so plenty of time to head to the lake. Photo credit: Destination Great Lake Taupo.

Now instead of getting up at 5am to drop the kids off at 7:30am, so she can be at work by 9am, from the moment she steps outside it takes her all of seven minutes. And the after-work commute is just as easy.

"When I get home from work we jump in the truck with the dog, the boogie boards, and we're down at the lake."

Destination Great Lake Taupo
With a strong economy, low unemployment and a thriving and diverse business sector, Taupo is the perfect place to advance your career and have a life outside of work. Photo credit: Destination Great Lake Taupo

Living is cheaper in Taupo

The pay's comparable to the big cities, but while a three-bedroom home in Auckland costs upwards of $800,000, the latest QV figures show the same place in Taupo would set you back less than half of that. Rents are almost as skewed, with rents in Auckland's Mt Albert about $100 a week more than a comparable suburb in Taupo.

It's not just Aucklanders that discovering the wonders of the Taupo region. Glazier Chris Hatton-Carr had no problems finding work when he ditched Tauranga for the Central Plateau.

"I just walked in, said here's my contact details, give me a buzz if you've got something going. The next day, A&T Glass got hold of me."

"Everything I want to do - mountain bike, ski, snowboard, hike, trail run, things like that, forests, mountains, lakes - it's all here."

Work and plenty of play

As not only a summer tourist destination for Kiwis and international visitors, Taupo also boasts of being the "Events Capital of New Zealand'. All year-round it's hosting events like the Ironman, the Taupo Winter Festival and the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, so even though its population is only about 32,000, it has the shopping and infrastructure to cater for double that number.

"The thing I love the most about being here is you've got all the things that come with being in a city, but none of the hassle," says Ms Hawker-Green.

Visitor numbers peak in January, but the "rest of the time, all of that great stuff is ours".

Ms Simpson loves how central Taupo is. Her family's driving up to Auckland for the Ed Sheeran concert in March - and back that same night - while Ms Hawker-Green's fond of spending weekends at the cricket in Hamilton and Tauranga.

Destination Great Lake Taupo
Taupo is known as nature's ultimate playground for a reason. Photo credit: Destination Great Lake Taupo

"You get the best of both worlds living here," says Ms Simpson.

Submit your CV on the website greatopportunities.co.nz before the end of March, and you might be one of five people to get an expenses-paid trip to check out what Taupo has to offer.

This article was created for Enterprise Great Lake Taupo.