Shifting to the sticks can provide you with many things: closeness to nature, a better financial situation, peace and quiet. It lets us get away from the hustle and bustle of city life that can get overwhelming, tiring, and not to mention, ever so expensive. Property in the city is becoming ever further out of reach for the average Kiwi, leading to many New Zealanders switching their dress shoes for a pair of Red Bands. This trend is growing, with more and more Kiwi’s looking towards lifestyle block living or buying in more remote areas.
We think we know what this shift means: longer trips to the supermarket, early drop-offs at school, and no Uber Eats. But do we really understand what life will be like in the country?
Rural living seems pretty self-explanatory. Your real estate agent or property manager will likely have mentioned some changes, but lots of what we assume is the norm for “townies” is far from it in the country. Water, electricity, rates and internet are not as simple as on/off buttons and paying the bill at the end of the month.
Let us cover off some tips and tricks to help you ease into rural living.
There are over 29 lines companies in New Zealand that charge different prices for power. Put simply, the less populated an area is (especially mountainous areas), the less households there will be sharing the cost of the power lines. Your bill will most likely be a little more expensive than your bill in the city. You can view the average cost per kWh by location here.
Depending on how far out of the nearest township is, you may be required to use a septic tank. A septic tank is needed if you cannot connect to a towns sewage system. There will likely already be a septic tank installed if you’re buying an older property, but you’ll still need to do maintenance, inspections and consents if you wish to change anything. This of course, can come at a price.
It’s 7pm on a Friday and you’re scrolling UberEats with countless different cuisines to choose from… Unfortunately, this is going to be a luxury you’ll have to forget. The visits to the supermarket will take longer because there is a very slim chance you will be receiving a takeaway delivery when you move out to the sticks.
This may seem like a bad thing, but the lack of convenience can help you explore your creative side. Using the vegetables and herbs from the garden you now have the space to grow may encourage to learn and excel at cooking. It might even help you save some coin too!
there are some pitfalls to living rurally. Living far away from the closest police station, and in some cases far from your nearest neighbours, can make you an easy target for opportunists.
Create a neighbourhood watch system with your community, lock up any “starter kit” items for criminals, such as chainsaws, mowers and anything that can easily be traded in for cash. Your best bet to avoid these scenarios is to invest in a comprehensive security system. Find out what type of security system will suit your needs here.
A decent lawnmower
If you have bought a large section, it may still look like you could tackle the garden… but trust me, you will want to consider a ride-on mower.
You’ll need to consider the size of your grass. For example, for anything up to a hectare you might want to consider a 20-24HP engine with 48” cutting width. But for anything larger than a hectare, you’ll need greater than 24HP and the largest cutting width possible.
The slope of your land will have an impact on what mower you choose as well. If you’re on a steep section with lots of slopes, you won’t want a mower with free spinning front wheels or else you’ll be flying down the grass bank very quickly. if this is the case, make sure you get an all-wheel drive mower.
To get a free guide on choosing the right mower, click here.
Poor cellular connection
you might find that using 4G and 3G in ruralareas can still be very flaky. If making calls via your mobile is proving difficult, you always have an alternative options to use a VoIP based Lightwire Landline solution.
The Lightwire landline uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which means that the phone line is connected via your Lightwire internet connection. Lightwire can also bring your number over. Learn more about Lightwire Landline here.
The ability to access the internet won’t be as easy as it is in the city, there are still large pockets of New Zealand that don’t have access to quality fibre, copper or 4G internet options.
However, if you like fast speeds, unlimited data, low latency and top-shelf support from your internet provider, Lightwire Rural might be a great option. You can check your address for coverage here or call 0800 12 13 to talk to one of our friendly staff about getting you connected!
Another one of our customers gave us a tip that makes the move seem all the more worth it, despite the new responsibilities involved: