Danielle Young left Taranaki for Perth almost four years ago, seeking a lifestyle change. Now, with partner Scott Rathgen and baby Rory, she has returned to New Plymouth where it “just feels right” to raise their family.

"We both came to the conclusion that we wanted to return to New Zealand, but it took some negotiation to convince Scott, who is from the South Island, that Taranaki is the place to be!”

“The hardest part of the move was breaking our lease in Perth and organizing a shipping container. There’s a difference in salaries available, but quality of life is more important,” Danielle says.

While Danielle is relishing life as a professional mum, something that is more manageable given the lower cost of living in Taranaki, Scott quickly found work as a diesel mechanic through family connections.

Scott now works just round the corner from their Bell Block home, which the family are renting with a view to buying in the near future.

“We’ve got a nice little house with a good sized yard for Rory to explore, and I really like our neighbourhood. Renting is so much cheaper in New Plymouth.”

“Beyond that the environment is totally different to Perth, which just doesn’t compare to New Zealand. Rory definitely seemed happier instantly, everything is so much greener and it’s easier and more reassuring to let him play outside.

“The landscape here is perfect for family activities – on weekends we go for picnics or head up the mountain to check out the snow, and that sort of thing.”

While Danielle was over-prepared for the winter, which wasn’t as bad as she had expected, she has been able to take up snowboarding once again, and continue to teach at Rampage Fitness Gym.

“The scale here is smaller than in Perth, but it’s enough. New Plymouth is a very family friendly city that has a good sense of community,” says Danielle.

“It’s a fantastic place to settle down in!”