New Zealand

So You Want to Do a Working Holiday in New Zealand

August 28, 2016
Pororari River

So you want to do a working holiday is New Zealand? Awesome! The process can seem a bit overwhelming so if you’re not sure where to start, I’ve put together a wee checklist for you.

  1. Apply for a visa.
    Before anything, you want to make sure you’re actually allowed in the country. You can check out my post on how to get a visa here. I’ve never heard of a person getting denied a visa but it’s smart to apply first to be on the safe side.
  2. Decide what city you want to live in. 
    After you are accepted for a working holiday visa, you’ll want to pick a place to live. Or not, I’ve known people who did a bit of traveling when they first arrived and picked the place they enjoyed the most. I lived in Nelson and you can read about my decision process here.
  3. Find a place to live.
    After you decide on what city you want to live in, you can start looking for a home. I originally searched on Airbnb for long-term stays. I found a couple of great options but was too chicken to actually book them. I ended up finding roommates through either EasyRoomate and Trade Me. Depending on what work opportunities you find, you might want to find a short-term place (1-2 weeks) if you are still looking for a job.
  4. Look for job opportunities in your field. 
    You can also look for a job beforehand, but many companies will require you come there first. They don’t want to invest time into someone who doesn’t end up coming to the country. When I decided I was moving to Nelson, I looked up PR agencies in the area and three came up in Google. I contacted each of them, two weren’t hiring and the one I ended up working for was looking to expand. You can read more about how I landed a job in New Zealand here. Even if you don’t find something ahead of time, it’s always a good idea to find possible opportunities before you move. Look at restaurants, resorts, ski lodges, tour companies, and hostels for open positions.
  5. Research the shit out of your questions.
    When I decided to do a working holiday I spent hours and hours just researching every tiny question I had. New Zealand Now is one of the best resources out there, it’s a complete guide to living, working, and moving to New Zealand. Two blogs I found helpful were Young Adventuress and Stoked for Saturday.

Questions about the process? Leave a comment below or send me a message. Make sure you’ve read through my New Zealand posts to ensure I haven’t already answered it. :)

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