10 Safest Cities in New Zealand

Updated On October 10, 2023
New Zealand

Located in the Southwest Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is a bastion of beauty, natural wonder, balanced socio-economic structuring, and relative safety.

As an island nation, New Zealand’s somewhat remote location helps it to maintain its beautiful outdoors as well as thriving flora and fauna. 

As a society, New Zealanders strive to maintain a safety net for any citizen who’s economically, mentally, or socially needing help.

In turn, maintaining a healthy and happy population benefits society as a whole by exhibiting fewer health problems, fewer financial setbacks, and a much lower crime rate.

Let’s look at which New Zealand cities are considered the safest, along with some other highlights of this gorgeous country.

Hamilton, New Zealand
Hamilton, New Zealand

1. Hamilton

When considering your safety during your stay in New Zealand, there are two things to consider – the region’s crime rate and the risk of natural disasters.

Volcanic activity, earthquakes, and tsunamis are common in many parts of the country.

In terms of natural disasters, the small town of Hamilton is the safest city in New Zealand.

Due to its inland location, Hamilton and its 130,000 residents face low threats when it comes to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis. 

Just because Hamilton is safe doesn’t mean it’s boring.

The city boasts several open green spaces, including a large themed garden.

Hamilton’s warm climate makes this region even more inviting. Its residents welcome all cultures and support a strong art community. 

Hamilton’s crime rate is a bit higher than other regions, and it has seen a significant jump in the last 3 years.

The violent crime rate is low, but there have been instances of drug abuse.

Residents advise visitors to take the same safety precautions they would at home.

Be aware, lock up your valuables, and don’t walk alone at night. 

Wairarapa, New Zealand
Wairarapa, New Zealand

2. The Wairarapa District

The Wairarapa District is a quiet region, most famous for its wine.

The cities in this district are known for their low crime rates.

The Wairarapa city of Carterton has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.

This largely rural region is known for its stunning views.

Its mountain ranges sparkle perfectly on Wairarapa’s many bodies of water.

The name Wairarapa means “glistening waters.” 

This district is at risk of rising sea levels and earthquakes.

To reduce the risk, select accommodations situated in the region’s hills. 

Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

3. Queenstown 

Queenstown is one of the most popular cities in New Zealand.

The Remarkables, one of New Zealand’s most famous mountain ranges, offer dramatic views.

Backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts travel to this region for its abundance of hikes and adrenaline sports. 

Queenstown is geologically stable and has a low crime rate.

Like most cities around the world, it has seen an uptick in crime over the last 3 years.

Sex crimes account for most of this increase.

Queenstown police are working hard to eliminate this threat.

They encourage travelers to keep a close eye on their drinks and follow the buddy system, particularly when intoxicated. 

Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand

4. Wellington 

New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, is the safest large city in the country.

It consistently makes the list as one of the safest cities in the world.

Shoplifting and robbery are the most common offenses.

Travelers are encouraged to remain aware, particularly when in crowds.

Despite being the capital of New Zealand, Wellington is a relatively small town.

Because it is a valley bordered by hillside regions, this area delivers some of the most spectacular views in the country. 

It’s important to note that Wellington is on a geographic fault line.

While rarely severe, earthquakes do happen on occasion.

Residents are encouraged to keep an emergency kit on hand. 

Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand

5. Christchurch 

Located on the South Island, is considered one of the best and safest places to visit.

In fact, it is a top choice for ex-pats moving to New Zealand.

Christchurch has a low crime rate and a very high safety rate.

This safety rate drops for walking alone at night.

Keep this in mind when wandering the area after dark.

Christchurch’s geological location has both positives and negatives.

It is located in a flat region, leaving room for growth.

It is prone to earthquakes and has been hit hard in the past.

Parts of the city are still recovering from the 2011 earthquake. 

Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand

6. Auckland

With a population of over 1.5 million people, Auckland is New Zealand’s most populated city.

Centered around 2 large harbors, this port city is known as a melting pot of cultures.

Travelers can enjoy delicious food, learn about the region’s history, or choose from a variety of entertainment options.

If you prefer the outdoors, Auckland has much to offer.

Its oldest park, Auckland Domain, is home to the infamous Wintergardens.

Designed in the early 1900s, this stunning formal garden features a variety of rare plants and flowers.

Due to Aucklands’ unique location on a narrow isthmus, you can also explore the region’s abundance of beautiful beaches. 

Despite Auckland’s large population and the blend of cultures, the town boasts a very low crime rate.

While its safety index is a bit lower than Wellington’s, it has an unusually high safety index for walking alone during the day.

While Auckland boasts a high safety rate, travelers should always use caution, particularly when walking alone after dark. 

Wanaka, New Zealand
Wanaka, New Zealand

7. Wanaka

Located on the South Island, Wanaka is perfectly situated between the Southern Alps.

Lake Wanaka and nearby Mt. Aspiring National Park are the icings on the cake.

They offer stunning views and tons of outdoor activities year-round. 

This laid-back town scores a very low crime rate in every category.

It did score an average safety rating.

This means that guides, residents, and tourists do recommend taking some safety precautions. 

Dunedin, New Zealand
Dunedin, New Zealand

8. Dunedin

Dunedin is a lively, friendly community located at the head of the Otago Harbour.

It features dramatic landscapes and is the gateway to the country’s top destinations.

Residents and visitors enjoy a wide range of outdoor sports activities, both in the city and adjoining regions.

It is home to rare wildlife, including endangered yellow-eyed penguins and royal albatross birds.

While Dunedin is a college town with nearly 130,000 people, crime is not a major issue.

As long as you use common sense and are aware of your surroundings, you should feel safe in Dunedin, day and night. 

Napier, New Zealand
Napier, New Zealand

9. Napier

Napier is a small city on North Island.

Rebuilt after a catastrophic earthquake, it is often referred to as the art deco capital of the world.

Like most New Zealand towns, Napier offers a variety of outdoor activities, dining experiences, and arts entertainment.

The residents of Napier have a reputation for being friendly and accepting.

It is a very strong community that is proud of its heritage and New Zealand’s history.

Despite being a safe place to visit, do not let your guard down, especially when walking the streets after dark.

Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand

10. Mount Maunganui

A suburb of Tauranga, this relaxed city is home to New Zealand’s most beautiful beaches – Maunganui Beach.

It is close enough to larger cities, yet just far enough away to escape the big city hustle and bustle.

When visiting this region, you can rest assured your family is safe and your belongings are secure.

While Mount Maunganui does have a higher safety rating for walking alone at night, residents are cautious against doing so.

5 Safety Tips for Traveling to New Zealand

New Zealand welcomes over a million tourists annually.

While it is voted one of the safest countries in the world year after year, there are some strategies every traveler should implement to ensure their safety. 

  1. Protect your belongings – Keep your valuables, particularly your cash, close at all times. This is particularly true when using public transportation or in large crowds. 
  2. Be prepared – Millions of tourists visit New Zealand each year. One of the biggest draws is the country’s vast wilderness. Before heading out, make sure a loved one knows your route and that your safety gear is in working order. An SAT phone is also a great idea. 
  3. Let someone know where you’re going – Whether you are headed out on the town or going for a bike ride, it’s important that someone know where you’re going. Whenever possible, take a buddy with you. 
  4. Park safely – If you have a rental car, make sure to park it in a well-lit area and stow away your belongings.
  5. Learn earthquake and tsunami safety – In the event of an earthquake, it’s important that you know what to do and where to go. Get Prepared has a wealth of information for you to peruse.

New Zealand Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: New Zealand Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

What City Has the Highest Crime Rate in New Zealand?

Rotorua has the highest crime rate and the lowest safety index in the country.

Despite its relatively high number, Rotorua still has less crime than major cities like New York City and Chicago.

Are There Dangerous Animals in New Zealand?

New Zealand does not have any major wild predators.

They have two types of venomous spiders and zero snakes.

Even the water is free from predators, as the water is too cold for predators.

Is New Zealand a Safe Place to Live?

New Zealand is considered one of the safest countries in the world to live in.

Crime is not an issue in most regions and tourists typically report feeling safe.

New Zealand does have natural disasters that tourists should be prepared for.

These include volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

3 Comments on 10 Safest Cities in New Zealand

  1. C
    Cannon Cook says:

    I always wanted to move to NZ and I am planning to do that next year, thanks for putting up this post about the safest cities there, I am down to 2 cities to pick where I can live next year.

  2. New Zealand is a beautiful country with friendly people and stunning landscapes.

  3. A
    Anthony says:

    crime in new zealand has gone up significantly since covid lockdowns ended and since australia sends us their hardened gangs (501s). unfortunately the country is not the same any longer as most murderers and rapists receive LESS than 7 years prison and are released early.

Leave a Comment

Facebook Pinterest Comment Comment