After just one week of living in Palmerston North, Sharleen Brown posted in a community Facebook group "I feel like I'm truly at home".
Sharleen, her partner David and three children have moved to a dairy farm at Tiakitahuna, near Longburn.
They were living in West Harbour in Auckland when David starting searching for dairy farming jobs.
"We've been wanting to get out of Auckland the last five years. It's expensive living, it's really hard, and my partner got a job dairy farming. That was the ticket out."
They moved on January 8 and already Sharleen has become something of a promotions officer for Palmerston North.
Sharleen wrote on the Palmerston North Community Facebook page it was "such a great feeling being away from the crazy chaos of Auckland".
She also said she has come across "some lovely people here so far".
Her post generated many positive comments.
"I couldn't believe how many reactions I got."
Sharleen has two girls, aged 6 and 15, and a 10-year-old son.
The Victoria Esplanade playground is already a hit with her family - her younger children have never seen a mouse wheel before.
"They have really cool parks and playgrounds here for kids," she says.
"Auckland is just basic swings and seesaws, no flying foxes."
Sharleen says her children are happier here, which she attributes to them being able to play outside more. A lack of space in Auckland forces many children to stay inside on their consoles and watching TV.
Sharleen says she can't believe how welcoming everyone is.
"Even when you're at the petrol station people just walk by and say 'hi, how are you going?'."
"Everyone is just friendly and so chatty and so welcoming. You just don't get that in Auckland at all."
She thinks this could be due to Palmy's more relaxed lifestyle compared with the stress and busyness of Auckland.
She finds it amusing when people comment that something is on the other side of the city.
"It still beats being stuck in traffic for three hours."
Sharleen is from Blenheim and moved to Auckland 13 years ago to be near family.
"I've heard people say there are bad drivers around here but not compared to what Auckland has."
"Since I've been here I don't feel like I'm rushing in traffic, I'm doing the right speed for once."
A Pak'nSave shopper, she had found the Palmerston North store not only cheaper but it has a wider range including items she has never seen before.
The only downside she has experienced so far is Palmy's wind.
"That wind is definitely blasty."
While the family has the space for a trampoline she is not sure how it would cope in the wind.
Sharleen is a lifestyle photographer specialising in photos of families and children. She gives her subjects fun activities to do to overcome any initial shyness and capture candid shots.
"I love it, I just love working with people and I'm very creative so editing the photos is quite fun to do."
"Since I've got my own children I can relate to working with other families."
She started photography about seven years ago as a hobby and in 2019 launched her business.
Comments on Sharleen's Palmy post included:
"I've gotten more tanned too from being more active, so much to do around here, our dogs and cat are more happy, our kids love it, so lovely being on a more quieter street too." From a woman who moved from Papakura a month ago
"Palmerston North, Aotearoa's best-kept secret."
"Welcome. Another Auckland refugee here. Much better pace of life in Palmy."
* Sharleen Brown Photography is on Facebook.