More people than ever are being drawn to New Zealand as a place for a better quality of life. With low crime, awe-inspiring landscapes and friendly people, it is easy to see why. When searching for houses on New Zealand real estate websites, Invercargill consistently appears with the lowest prices, with four-bedroom homes in 2009 starting at NZ$70,000. With other great benefits like a fee-free college education, Invercargill is certainly the cheapest place to live in New Zealand.
Originally a settlement for whalers and fishermen, Invercargill was officially named in 1856 by the governor of New Zealand, Thomas Gore Browne. It was named in honor of William Cargill, an early pioneer who was instrumental in the settlement of the Southland region.
Invercargill is the southernmost city in New Zealand. It was built in the late 19th century and is known for its wide streets and historical buildings. Many of the streets are named after Scottish and English rivers. Surrounded by rolling pastures and close to the windswept beaches of the Southland region, Invercargill has some of the most breathtaking scenery right on its doorstep.
Invercargill is the main city in the Southland region and has a population of around 47,000. It is home to less than 2 percent of New Zealand's population.
Sports and leisure are a large part of life in Invercargill. As well as four golf courses, there are also an indoor swimming pool, bowls, cricket and a 4-kilometer fitness trail that runs through Queens Park in the city center. Close to Invercargill is Sandy Point, a haven for water sports and a popular place for swimming, sailing and kayaking among other things. For those less actively minded, the network of paths and tree-lined avenues of Queens Park are ideal for a leisurely stroll. At the edge of the park and close to the city center is the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, where hours can be passed looking at the historical pieces on display and wandering through the galleries.
In recent years, the city council has been actively working to encourage companies and people to call Invercargill home. With its stunning landscapes, diverse nightlife, abundance of leisure activities and low house prices, Invercargill has a lot to offer to its residents.
Although the cost of living is considerably lower compared to many other cities, other locations like Auckland have a higher average income. However, house prices are still lower than the country's average and the city council has incorporated some innovative schemes such as the Express Freebie, a public bus service that operates around the city and is free to use. Overall, with its affordable housing, low cost public transport and the city council's innovative schemes, Invercargill is one of the most economical cities in the southern hemisphere.
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