Work & Travel in New Zealand

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  • Overview

    Working abroad in New Zealand will give you the opportunity to embark on a cultural adventure with everything this country has to offer. From bustling cities to stunning mountains and landscapes, and all the ziplining, bungee-ing, and adventure sports in between – read more about why working in New Zealand is the program for you!

    Greenheart Travel’s program is ideal if you:

    • Are between 18-30 and want to live abroad in a country known for its outdoor activities
    • Looking for an adventure, and are open to working a variety of jobs
    • Ready to meet people from all over the world who are Work and Traveling in New Zealand at the same time!

    Program at a Glance:

    • 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
    • Friends, couples, and siblings are welcome!

    Have questions? Email us at

  • Eligibility

    You must meet the following requirements to apply

    • Citizen of one of the following countries: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, EU
    • 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

    **Due to visa regulations for a Working Holiday Visa we cannot make exceptions to these requirements. These are put in place by the New Zealand government

  • Program Dates

    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.

    Start Dates Deadlines Availability
    August 19, 2019 June 1, 2019 Full
    September 9, 2019 July 1, 2019 Full
    October 14, 2019 August 1, 2019-extended Open-4 spots left!
    November 11, 2019 September 1, 2019 Open-6 spots left!
    December 16, 2019 October 1, 2019 Open
    January 13, 2020 November 1, 2019 Open
    February 17, 2020 December 1, 2019 Open
    May 11, 2020 March 1, 2010 Open
    June 15, 2020 April 1, 2020 Open
    August 17, 2020 June 1, 2020 Open
    September 7, 2020 July 1, 2020 Open
    October 12, 2020 August 1, 2020 Open

    ***We are accepting 2020 applications.

    Wondering when to arrive?

    If you have a specific industry that you’re interested in, arriving during peak hiring seasons can increase your chance of landing the right interview! 

  • Costs and Inclusions

    $1,460 USD*

    *Prices subject to change year to year.

    Packaged into Program Cost:

    • Welcome week full of activities and excursions upon arrival in Auckland
    • 6 months of international medical insurance
    • Airport pickup and transfer to hostel
    • 6 nights’ hostel accommodation (shared room) and breakfasts
    • Group arrival orientation
    • 1-on-1 job assistance service, support, and advice
    • Bank account set up prior to arrival
    • Resources and support for finding permanent housing
    • Cellphone setup
    • New Zealand SIM card
    • Organized social events and activities
    • International Youth Travel Card (IYTC)
    • Greenheart Atlas Program
    • Greenheart Club Membership

    Our Support and Services:

    • Online logistical and cultural training before departure from an Experienced Travel Program Manager
    • 24 hour in-country emergency support for the duration of your program
    • Job and accommodation support for the full duration of your program, not just the duration of the welcome week!
    • Visa Assistance as needed
    • Assistance preparing tax paperwork upon arrival and before departure home
    • Opportunity to apply for a Greenheart Grant to give back to your community at home or abroad
    • Highly experienced team of in-country support staff members

    Additional Expenses to Consider:

    • Visa processing and fees (currently Free for US citizens!)
    • Flights and return transfers
    • Lunch and dinner during Welcome Week
    • Housing costs and living expenses (meals, utilities, etc.)
    • Personal expenses

    Wondering where exactly your program fee goes? Here is a breakdown.

  • Startup Budget

    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.

    Flight:                            $1200

    Program Fee:               $1460

    Visa:                                $0

    Savings:                         $3000

    Total:                             $5660

    *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

  • Income

    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:

    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


  • Welcome Week

    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!

    Included in Welcome Week:

    • 4 Breakfasts, 3 Dinners. 1 Lunch
    • Auckland Skytower Pass
    • Auckland City walking tour
    • Frenzi Pub Crawl
    • Overnight Scenic Cruise of the Bay of Islands
    • Target shooting
    • Night Kayak or Swim
    • Star –Gazing Session
    • Sunrise at Sea breakfast (and swim)
    • Gathering Sea Food
    • Exploring WWII remains
    • Island trekking to see ancient Maori fortifications

    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 arrive.

    During the welcome week and 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.

    At orientation (2-3 days on top of welcome week), 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
  • Jobs

    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.

    Skilled Professional Jobs

    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
    • Welders
    • Plumbers
    • Electricians

    Please note that professional work tends to be concentrated in urban areas.

  • Why Greenheart Travel?

    There are advantages of applying for this program through us:

    • 33 years of experience with cultural exchange programs
    • Friendly, responsive, and professional support from your program manager, Zoe, who has lived abroad in several countries!
    • We make our program fees as inclusive as possible. We include things like extensive medical insurance for the duration of the program, airport pickup, and extensive pre-departure and on-program support, so you’re not on your own for any part of your adventure
    • Our alumni recommend us! Reviews // Reviews
    • Exclusive access to the Greenheart Atlas, our interactive program that will guide you through your cultural immersion experience before, during, and after your program
    • Hands-on support and personal attention every step of the way
    • 24/7 emergency phone number to reach a staff member at any time
    • Pre-departure “Culture Shock and Adjustment” Webinar before you leave
    • Discounts for future Greenheart Travel programs
    • We are a non-profit, mission-based organization
    • Continued support throughout your program

    We also have some unique offerings to our Greenheart Travel participants and alumni!

    1. Greenheart Grants: Greenheart Grants are funds awarded to Greenheart Travel participants to use for community development projects in their host or home country. A Greenheart Grant is the opportunity to create, improve, or maintain an impactful, community-focused project abroad or at home. Grant funds could be applied to supporting women’s cooperatives, schools, community centers, or health clinics, for example. Grant winners will be featured on our website, social media, and blog. You can see our past winners on our blog here.
    2. Greenheart Alumni Program: We created the Greenheart Travel Alumni Program to provide resources and a community to support alumni in their advancement as global leaders, and a way to celebrate and reward our participants for being ambitious, inspiring catalysts of cultural exchange!
    3. Greenheart Global Leaders Conference: Each August Greenheart offers full-ride scholarships to over 40 alumni to attend our annual conference in Washington, DC. Participants even get a chance to advocate for cultural exchange in a presentation to the US Department of State. You can see more about what GGLC is and what you could do at the conference here.

    Read more about why people are choosing Greenheart Travel: Why Choose Greenheart Travel? 

  • FAQs

    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 six 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 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.

  • Application Process

    1. Start Your Application Here: Greenheart Travel Application. This first step includes things like your name, address and chosen start date and should take around 10-15 minutes to complete. Once complete, you will receive a link to a digital Terms and Conditions form.

    2. Sign the Terms & Conditions (Approximately 10 Minutes): These are our basic policies like cancellation policies, deferral policies, etc.

    3. Submit your deposit (Approximately 5 minutes): A $300 deposit is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your deposit in full.

    4. Secondary Application Form (Approximately 30 Minutes): Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. Links to this part will be emailed to you. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts.

    5. Submitting Your Documents: Submit your required documents at the link provided.

    6. Skype Interview (Approximately 10-15 Minutes):  Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application deposit, you will be asked to schedule a video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.

    7. You’re accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within a 1-2 weeks of their interviews.

    8. Commitment Deposit: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment deposit within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program.

    9. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to New Zealand!

    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.

  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions or want to talk to the program manager, Zoe? Set up a time to have a phone call below.

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