Since finishing school and leaving home which was in a small country town, I’ve moved from and between Invercargill, Auckland, Hamilton, Perth, Auckland, Hamilton, London and yup, you guessed it, back to the Tron. I don’t really know how THAT happened, I just kept being drawn here for one reason or another.
I’ve always found the whole Auckland taking the p*ss out of Hamilton thing as weird – but just shrug it off while rolling my eyes. While I would love to experience living in a couple of other cities around the world, I am happy here.
Wanna know why Hamilton is the best place to live?
- We (my husband and I) paid $280,000 for our house 5 years ago. While house prices have nearly doubled – it is still valued at HALF the median price of buying a house in Auckland. That’s HALF the mortgage. When your mortgage is this low you have OPTIONS, flexibility and breathing space. It has allowed us to turn our back on the 40 hour working week to enjoy a better lifestyle.
- It takes me 10 minutes to drive into the Hamilton central city if I have a meeting or want to go to David’s emporium (every creative Mumma’s favourite shop). It costs $2 an hour to park. (Strangely this $2 charge is high on Hamilton’s list of things to complain about). I can get to Auckland or Tauranga in 1.5hours… I can be in Raglan in less than 30 minutes.
- We have an awesome creative arts scene. Due to Hamilton’s size, it’s as simple as driving 10 minutes to support a gig at Nivara Lounge, check out an exhibition at Creative Waikato or check out new and vintage books at Browsers (I’m including a book shop because it is THAT cool). We also have a music station, the Hum – dedicated to local music which I think is great.
- Hamilton Gardens. Seriously. The BEST in the world, FREE and it changes all year round. If you have any visitors from out of town – of any age, it’s Hamilton Gardens for the Win. Everyone loves it and crowd pleaser.
- The Chiefs – I’m no rugby fan (at all… bores me) BUT the Chiefs are not a bad team to back if you have to choose one. The Stadium is easy to get to – and a good (sobering) walk into our central city restaurants and bars for some “Living on a prayer”, “Brown girl in the ring” or “Why does love do this to me?” – songs which ring out on Hood Street every Saturday.
- Doing the Time Warp at Embassy Park is pretty damn cool. Okay that happened once, on Hamilton’s 150th birthday but it’s a highlight of my Hamilton life.
- No earthquakes, major storms, mini-tornados or other significant weather situations that would f**k up your day.