Working Holidays

New Zealand

For adreneline junkies and outdoors enthusiasts, New Zealand is an obvious choice for a working holiday. With every possible type of terrain crammed onto two relatively small islands, you've got lots of activities to choose from and not too far to go between them!

New Zealanders are a very hospitable bunch who love their country and love for people to visit it. Tourism is a huge part of the economy and there are lots of opportunities for working holidaymakers in the hospitality industry. Farming is also huge and harvest work is available all over the country at different times during the year.

Lots of tourist might think that New Zealand is pretty much the same as Australia but don't tell that to a Kiwi! It would be similar to saying that Canada and the USA are the same and we all know that just ain't right! Many people hop over for a few weeks while on a working holiday to Australia, but New Zealand is a destination unto itself and spending a year here will really give you a great feel for the country and it's culture.

From Maori culture to the All Blacks rugby team to sheep to amazing landscapes, New Zealand has lots to offer a traveller in a small space and is a very popular destination.


From Maori culture to the All Blacks rugby team to sheep to amazing landscapes, New Zealand has lots to offer a traveller in a small space and is a very popular destination where they can stay a night in Wellington or any major city for a cheap price. New Zealand is a long way from anywhere and staying at any of the Auckland hotels for a few nights or more is a good way to unwind after a long flight.

Hostels in New Zealand are pretty cheap when compared to Western Europe and Australia. A dorm bed will cost anywhere from $12-20NZ a night. Weekly rates are cheaper and you will be able to get a dorm bed in Auckland for $100/week and possibly less in smaller towns. Buying a membership to Budget Backpacker Hostels (BBH) will save you a fortune and their hostels are usually good quality. Camping is popular and cheap. If you want to save a bundle, get off the beaten path and meet some locals then Help Exchange or WWOOFing are fantastic options.


Eating in New Zealand is expensive even if you head to supermarkets. Some things might be cheaper, but on the whole your grocery bill will take a noticeable chunk out of your savings or your earnings if you're working in NZ. Things like bacon, green beans and red onions were all stupidly expensive and even lambchops were pricey! Pak N' Save and Countdown are pretty cheap but generally busy and nasty and New World and Wolworths are nicer places to be but more expensive. You can get good deals by buying fruit and veg from roadside stalls which are very common in agricultural areas.


Getting around New Zealand is pretty affordable because of it's relatively tiny size. Buying your own car and driving around is by far the best option for saving money while being able to go where you want, when you want. If you time things well, cars can be bought for as cheap as $500 or less if you're really lucky. Cars will be harder to come by and more expensive at the beginning of the NZ summer in December. Buses are affordable and the network is extensive with Intercity. If you want to head to all the usual stops with a busload of drunken 18-30 year olds then Kiwi Experience might be for you. It gets mixed reviews depending on what you want to get out of your trip. If you're short on time it might be a good option though. Hitchhiking in NZ is common and easy and so is arranging rides with other travellers by posting ads on hostel bulletin boards. Check out Interislander Ferries for prices for getting between the islands.


No matter how careful you are with your money with food, accommodation and transportation you're bound to blow any savings on throwing yourself off a cliff, down a hill or out of a plane among other things. New Zealand might be the extreme sport capital of the world and all these wacky things you're bound to get up to will add up and put a big dent in your bank account. But isn't that why you're in NZ in the first place?


Getting a bank account in New Zealand is very easy. I marched into an ANZ, went to a specfic desk dedicated to dealing with requests from travellers (and students too, I think), had a chat and had things sorted in no time. All I needed was my passport and an address to have my card and other bank things mailed to. You can either give them the address of a hostel or use a mail forwarding service from Travellers Contact Point for $15/month or $60 for a year.



You will need an IRD Number (tax number) to work in New Zealand and getting one is pretty straightforward. Just print off the application form, fill it in, attach copies of the relevant documents, sign it and send it to either the North or South Island Insland Revenue office. You will be sent your IRD number within 8-10 working days so make sure you'll be able to pick it up from whatever address you give them.

North Island
Inland Revenue
Northern Processing Centre
PO Box 1454

South Island
Inland Revenue
Southern Processing Centre
PO Box 3752

Getting a tax return isn't impossible but they don't make it easy!




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