Anyone who is looking to take a career break, go on a grown-up gap year, or wanting to travel without a dime to their name should consider going on a working holiday.
New Zealand is the land of working hard and playing harder. However you stack your cash while traveling, it’s the life that happens around work that you will remember for years to come. This magnificent country has SO MUCH to explore and adventure, the moments of working will only make up a small percentage of your time. And you can always consider backpacking New Zealand once your employment is up to see even more of it!
When the workday is done there is no more vegging out and watching Netflix. Instead, there are whole new cities to discover, and fresh surfing trips to plan!
Top 5 tips for a Working Holiday in New Zealand
Rightio, what do you REALLY need to know about cashing checks and hiking mountains in New Zealand?
I found that planning a working holiday can get over complicated when really it can be simple! I mean sure, it’s an epic adventure that breeds crazy stories for years to come, but you’ve got to K.I.S.S (keep it simple, stupid).
Here are the top 5 easy tips for a successful working holiday in New Zealand:
- Work out the best visa for you. If you’re 18 – 30/35, then chances are the designated working holiday visa fits the bill. This visa allows you to travel the whole of New Zealand while finding work along the way.
- Know the length of your stay. The longer that you want to stay, the more a working holiday visa makes sense. Although, if you only have time for a quick visit to New Zealand to help out with a volunteer project, then a working holiday program may not be for you.
- Make a budget. I mean, all work and no play makes this just a dull, regular job. It’s a working HOLIDAY, after all. Find out how much you want to spend each month on fun activities (like bungee jumping!), and how much you’ll need to be earning from your job!
- Find accommodation and transport. New Zealand’s only fault might be that their housing is pretty expensive! Keep a lookout for something both comfortable and affordable – and be clear about your budget from the get-go. I’d recommend getting your own vehicle if you’re going to be in New Zealand for more than three months. Even though the country is small, it’s cheaper and logistically easier to have your own transport! Plus, you can usually sell your car or van for almost what you paid for it when you leave the country.
- Find the right job. Remember that if you don’t like this job, you can always find another. Especially when on your working holiday adventure, don’t settle for a job that makes you miserable! And take the opportunity to try out different fields. Maybe hospo, or farm work, or even a call centre job will turn out to be more enjoyable than you think. We help you in this.
- BONUS! Make sure to smell the daisies. This is a sneaky bonus tip, but in all your planning and working hard, don’t forget to enjoy your time in New Zealand. It’s truly a one in a million place that will have you in awe.
New Zealand Working Holiday Visas
The working holiday visa requirements and availability vary depending on your passport’s nationality. The best way to stay up to date with the changeable visa information is to visit the New Zealand Immigration website.
Typically though, those between ages 18 and 30 can apply to stay for 12 months in New Zealand. You’re able to work and travel, as well as leave and return to the country in this time period. Generally, you need to have $4200 in your bank account and return tickets out of New Zealand to be considered eligible.
The visa typically costs around $245 – again, this depends on the nationality of your passport. For example, those from the US are lucky and only have to pay the administrative cost of $24 for their visa!
For Canadians and UK folks, you can apply to stay for up to 23 months on a working holiday visa, but you will be required to submit chest x-rays and other medical records. You’ll also need to have $350 NZD for each month you intend to stay in your bank account.
As I mentioned earlier, the New Zealand working holiday visa covers internships and volunteering, so if you’re on a gap year in New Zealand – regardless of what you intend to do – this is probably the best visa for you.
Most of the time, you’ll need to have some kind of insurance to cover your stay, as well as a ticket out of the country. But you don’t need to have a job lined up before you arrive. It’s such a flexible way to get your foot in the door of a country, and start an epic experience.
If you don’t qualify for a working holiday visa, it’s well worth checking out the jobs and skills shortage lists for New Zealand. While other work visas are not as straightforward to obtain, they can lead to residency. If you’re truly looking to change the direction of your life, and you have skills that are in demand in New Zealand, you could consider this option.