New Zealand’s epic landscapes need to be seen to be believed! Add in quaint hillside houses, a literal shitton of sheep, and a bunch of friendly folks in gumboots and jandals, and you’ve got yourself a totally dreamy destination. Being a tad on the expensive side, a working holiday in New Zealand is an amazing way to explore this isolated island in the South Pacific without watching your bank account dwindle. Goodbye, Northern Hemisphere—Hello, fully-funded travel!

What is a working holiday?

What may sound like an oxymoron (work on your holiday?!?) is actually a opportunity to learn critical life skills, make some moolah, and explore a new corner of the world. #cha-ching! The idea is simple enough: a visa that allows you to travel and be employed for one or two years. That could mean working your butt off for the first month, and then traveling cheap on what you earned. It could also mean 12 months of big earning and big spending. For the particularly work averse, it could even mean doing very occasional odd jobs while focusing on traveling the country.

  1. New Zealand working holiday visa jobs are fun and plentiful. Finding a job and accommodation in New Zealand are both fairly straightforward, especially in entry-level industries. Not having experience isn’t a deal-breaker, so long as you have a good attitude and hearty work ethic. Once you nail a New Zealand working holiday job, count on plenty of time to chill and discover all this beautiful country has to offer. Work-life balance is mui importante to Kiwis; they don’t just want to enjoy the scenery from their office windows!
  2. Everybody loves Kiwis (the people, the fruit, and the national bird). Most New Zealanders (lovingly called “Kiwis”) are also travelers, so they know just how to welcome you to their homeland and are eager to share what makes New Zealand so special. Manaakitanga (the spirit of welcome) runs deep in Kiwi hearts.
  3. PENGUINS! Yes, there will be penguins on your working holiday in New Zealand.

New Zealand work visa requirements:


  • Proof of finances to live off of while in New Zealand. This amounts to a statement showing at least $4,200 NZD (roughly $3,000 USD) in your bank account. For help raising funds, check out GoFundMe or GoAbroad’s Travel Scholarship resources.
  • A return ticket or additional finances to buy one. As a remote spot at the end of the world, the Kiwi government wants to make sure you won’t get stuck Down Under.
  • Proof of English language proficiency. If you’re from an English-speaking country, like the US or UK, this is proof enough. If English is not the first language of your home country, you’ll need a passing score from internationally-recognized ESL exam. #CsGetDegrees No worries if your English isn’t perfect; a working holiday in New Zealand is a great way to sharpen your language skills.
  • Higher education. New Zealand work holiday requirements dictate that you should either be enrolled or have completed a secondary school degree at the time of application.
  • A medical exam and chest x-ray. If you have been in a country with tuberculosis (most of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe), New Zealand requires a chest x-ray from an approved physician.

There are a number of costs associated with traveling to New Zealand on a working holiday visa: flights, medical exams, in-country cost of living, and of course the visa itself. New Zealand working holiday visa price visa depends on the passport you are applying with, but generally ranges from $20-$200 USD.