Work & Travel in New Zealand
With its spectacular landscapes, lively cities, and peaceful countryside, New Zealand is a vibrant place to work and travel!
- Spend up to a year working and traveling in New Zealand
- Assistance finding work in bars, restaurants, hostels, farms, and other short-term jobs
- Sufficient salary to live and travel
- Save up to $500 NZD/month after living expenses
- Pre-departure and in-country support
- Welcome Week in Auckland and the Bay of Islands with daily excursions and group activities
Have questions for a program manager? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You must meet the following requirements to apply
- Must be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa
- Be between the ages of 18-30 years old
- Must be outside of New Zealand for the visa application process
- Be a native English speaker or have near-native fluency
The following dates refer to the day you would actually land in Auckland. If you’re arriving earlier than these dates, you’ll have to arrange separate accommodation until the start date.
2018 Start Dates
|August 20||June 20|
|September 24||July 24|
|October 8||August 8|
|November 12||September 12|
|December 3||October 3|
*Prices subject to change.
What’s Included in the Program Fee:
- Week of activities and excursions upon arrival in Auckland
- 6 months of international medical insurance
- Pre-departure support and orientation from an experienced Greenheart Travel Program Manager
- Bank account set up prior to arrival
- Airport transfer upon arrival
- 6 nights’ hostel accommodation (shared room) and 6 breakfasts
- Arrival orientation with in-country staff
- 1-on-1 job assistance service, support, and advice
- Resources and support for finding permanent housing
- Assistance preparing tax paperwork upon arrival and before departure
- Assistance with setting up an New Zealand cell phone
- SIM card
- Organized social events and activities throughout program
- International Youth Travel Card (IYTC)
- 24-hour emergency support and service
- “Culture Smart!” guide to New Zealand Customs and Culture
What’s not included in the program fee?
- Visa (currently FREE for US Citizens!)
- International airfare
- Lunch and dinner at hostel during orientation
- Housing costs and living expenses (meals, utilities, etc.)
- Return transfers
- Personal expenses
The cost of living in New Zealand, especially in big cities like Auckland, is likely more than what you’re used to in your home country. So, it is important to budget accordingly to make sure you are financially prepared upon arrival and until you begin to make a regular paycheck.
Here is a rough estimate of your initial start up costs (in USD). Please note that the only amount you’ll have to pay Greenheart Travel is the program fee.
Program Fee: $1450
*this amount is a requirement of the Working Holiday Visa, however, it is a good amount to have to make sure you have enough money to live comfortably until you start working
Average Weekly Budget:
Your salary will depend on how often you decide to work and what work you end up getting into. However, you are guaranteed to make the minimum wage for the type of work you’re doing ($15 – $25 NZD/hour), and as long as you’re working 25-35 hours per week, you’ll be making enough to live and travel on. Participants working in professional fields can generally expect to make more than this.
Wages and rent are paid weekly which makes budgeting your paychecks much easier:
Pay ($20 NZD/hour): +$600 NZD (30 hours/week)
Rent (+gas/utilities): -$200 NZD
Food: -$95 NZD
Phone and Internet: -$35 NZD
Transportation: -$43 AUD
Entertainment/Going Out: -$100 NZD
Leftover: +127.00 NZD/week
These weekly costs will, of course, depend on your personal spending habits, where you live, how many hours you work, and if your job provides a higher pay/accommodation but you should expect to be able to save some of your paycheck every week.
Although you will most likely spend any extra cash on travel opportunities, you have the potential to make back your start up costs:
Monthly Savings = $508 NZD
Yearly Savings = $6096 NZD
During your first week in New Zealand, you’ll have 7 days of activities and excursions where you’ll get to know fellow travelers and enjoy your introduction to this gorgeous country!
Day 1: Arrival, welcome dinner and drinks
Day 2: Orientation and walking tour of Auckland
Day 3: Moari culture and history event, then Auckland bar crawl
Day 4: Travel to Paihia in Bay of Islands
Day 5: Trip to Cape Renga and 90 Mile Beach
Day 6: Overnight cruise through the Bay of Islands
Day 7: Return to Auckland
Upon your arrival to orientation in Auckland, you will meet travelers from all over the world. Before you arrive, your bank account will already be opened – you won’t have to research New Zealand banks or finalize your account. Instead, the team will have prepared all of your paperwork in advance. They will also set you up for the New Zealand tax system and give you your IRD (New Zealand tax ID) so you can file taxes before you leave.
During orientation you will meet the team and get all of the information necessary to start planning your time in New Zealand whether you want to start traveling or working right away. You will learn about life in New Zealand, when to work, where to work, where to travel and when to travel.
Orientation starts every few days and will last 2-3 days. At orientation, you will:
- Learn about New Zealand culture
- Meet other travelers who have just arrived in New Zealand
- Review the yearly job market; what jobs are abundant and where
- Be introduced to online job boards
- Format and review your resume/CV
- Have the opportunity to meet with staff to discuss job prospects and what your expectations should be
- Receive assistance in finding short or long term accommodation
- Receive IRD and learn how to file taxes when you leave the country
- Set up New Zealand cell phone
- Learn how to buy a car, should you need one
- Discuss both solo and group travel opportunities
- Have the opportunity to sign up for any group excursions before you start working*
- Sign up for additional inclusions such as BBH Club Card or WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) membership
Most of your job opportunities will be in cities, although there are more rural options available as well.
What are the most common job types?
The most common jobs are low-skilled, entry-level jobs. These give you the freedom and flexibility to work part-time and for short periods of time, which will allow you to travel as much as you like! If you have little job experience, or are just looking for work as a way to fund your travels, this is the best option.
Hospitality, customer service and office work are the most common of these jobs, as New Zealand companies report that the high level of service in the US and Canada tends to produce workers who are well-suited for these types of positions.
Jobs in restaurants, bars, hostels and hotels are widely available for shorter contracts in cities and jobs on farms and WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) are also popular among Working Holiday travelers who want to experience a different type of work outside of a city.
While participants can work year round in New Zealand, it is good to note peak hiring seasons for specific industries to help plan your start date.
Start dates for June – October*:
- Positions working at ski resort
- Working in hostels and hotels
*July and August tend to be the slowest months of the year
Start dates for December – May:
- Harvesting and fruit picking
- Working in hostels and hotels
If you have experience in a specific line of work or profession, you might be able to find year-long, full-time positions in that field, depending on your qualifications. Licensed teachers and RNs especially have an easy time finding work.
If you have a professional certification in your home country, you have two options for working in that field.
- You can apply to have your foreign credentials certified in New Zealand. This will cost $1,500-$2,500 NZD, but it will open up the possibility of getting a longer-term work visa. With your New Zealand-certified credentials, you’d be able to get a job like any you’d get at home (teach in a public school, work in a hospital, etc.)
- You can also work in a related job without getting your credentials certified. For example, if you’re a licensed middle school teacher, you’d be able to get work in early childhood education. If you’re an RN, you could work in a nursing home where you don’t have to administer medication.
If you have extensive office experience in a specific industry, some jobs will offer as much as NZD$40/hour.
Skilled laborers are in high demand in New Zealand, especially in these fields:
- Construction workers
Please note that professional work tends to be concentrated in urban areas.
How will I find a job?
With the support of our in-country partner, work in New Zealand participants will have a variety of ways to search and secure a position during their programs. Services include:
- Introduction to finding work: an overview of the basic types of jobs that are available around the country, required skills, resources to find a job and listings of current jobs available for immediate start around the country.
- Job board: Available in the Auckland office of the in-country partner, the board is updated weekly by staff that scans the job market each week for jobs that would be suitable for working holiday participants. All listings on the board are also listed online so participants can access this wherever they are in the country.
- Assistance with certification of foreign credentials, if necessary.
- Weekly newsletters: Unique and exciting job opportunities that come from local knowledge are emailed to participants weekly.
How long does it take the get a job?
This varies. During the busy season when lots of jobs are available, sometimes several job prospects are already awaiting you when you arrive and you can start work right away. Other times it can take up to two weeks. Usually if there is a delay it is because you have rejected initial job prospects because they did not meet your expectations for some reason.
Can I change jobs while I am there?
Yes. You can choose to work in the same place for the full year, or to switch jobs.
How much will I make?
See the Budget page
Where will I live once I’ve been hired?
Some jobs, especially those on resorts and farms, include housing or subsidized housing. Our in-country partner can provide guidance and resources to travelers to help them find other types of housing depending on where they are working. Sometimes the employer can provide assistance as well.
In Auckland, you will probably pay $160-$200 NZD for a shared room (per week) if you are in a short-term accommodation. If you want your own room, it is more expensive. If you are staying a while, think about renting an apartment with some friends or moving in with some Kiwis, as it is generally the cheapest option. However, some jobs will only be short term (1-2 months) and it can be difficult to find a short or open lease, so you may need to spend more towards $200 NZD/week to stay at a hostel.
Schedule a Call
Have questions or want to talk to the program manager, Savannah? Set up a time to have a phone call below.
- Select the orange APPLY NOW button on this page to fill out the first part of your application. This includes things like your name, address and chosen start date.
- Sign our Program Terms and Conditions, which will be emailed to you immediately and can be signed online. These are our basic policies like cancellation policies, deferral policies, etc.
- Submit your $300 deposit. A deposit is required in order to interview for the program and is subtracted from your total program fee. We only have the resources to interview serious applicants for this program, which is why we require this deposit ahead of the interview. We wish we could meet everyone, but interviewing takes a lot of time 🙂 If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your deposit in full.
- Submit more information to us, like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts.
- Submit the required documents (listed above).
- Schedule your interview! Once you have submitted your online application and paid your deposit, you will be asked to schedule an interview with a Greenheart Travel representative. This will be done online, via video chat, and we will send you the link to join us at your scheduled time.
- You’re accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within a few days of their interviews.
- After acceptance, you will be asked to submit a $300 Commitment Deposit to secure your spot and start date on the program. This will be due within 14 days of being accepted onto the program. This also goes towards your total program fee as well, and the rest of your balance is due 6 weeks before departure.
The above process can take as little as 1 week to complete, so it’s up to you how quickly you’re able to complete each step.