Top 5 Reasons to Consider a Working Holiday in New Zealand

by Alyssa DeAngelis

When considering the options for experiencing another country, there are often many restrictions that can deter you from making it happen, with the most common reason being money. But what if there was a way you could immerse yourself in a new culture while getting paid, and even stay there for up to a year? Fortunately, there are many countries that allow U.S. citizens, between the ages of 18 and 30, to obtain temporary working holiday visas. New Zealand is one such country, offering a working holiday scheme for Americans who want to spend an extended period experiencing New Zealand.

A City Skyline in New Zealand

Kiwi City Skyline. Photo by Alyssa DeAngelis

Here are the top five reasons why New Zealand should be your number one choice for a working holiday abroad:

1. Finding work is relatively easy. If you are open to trying new things, there are many types of available jobs in New Zealand specifically for those embarking on a working holiday abroad. One of the most popular options is working in hospitality; if you have any experience in this field you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding work in New Zealand. Another popular option is working on a ski resort during the winter, where there are job opportunities as an instructor, a lift operator, food and beverage attendant, rental assistant, and many other positions, but be warned you need to apply months in advance to even have a chance at one of these jobs! Many people also choose to work in the agricultural field, because it is one working holiday job that is plentiful year-round. If you are looking for a more career-focused position, there are definitely professional jobs in New Zealand in specific fields, but make sure you come prepared with a great resume.

2. There are many options for housing. It is extremely easy to find a relatively cheap hostel virtually anywhere in New Zealand. Many hostels even offer “work for accommodation” opportunities where you can work for a few hours each day doing housekeeping, cooking, or even nightlife promotion if the hostel has an on-location bar to pay for your room. If that doesn’t sound like something you would want to do but you would still like to stay in a hostel to meet people and are fine with sharing a room, some hostels allow you to pay for a full week at a cheaper price than paying for one or two nights at a time. There are also job opportunities in New Zealand working on farms, which pay for worker’s food and accommodation, but most of the time there is no pay outside of food and work in these positions. If you have found a job and you are looking to find an apartment or house to rent, there are numerous websites where you can look for a place easily.

3. Kiwis are the friendliest people around. Moving to a new a country can be an intimidating experience, but immersing yourself in a culture where the people are more than willing to help you and are happy to get to know you can make a big difference. The people of New Zealand, or as they’re commonly called, “kiwis”, not only embrace travelers from other countries, but they go out of their way to learn about your culture and teach you about theirs. Kiwis are very proud of their country and love sharing their culture and history with outsiders, which is very evident if you are able to visit a Maori village. The Maoris are the native people of New Zealand and many of them still live in villages like their ancestors where they often allow visitors to come and experience their culture and traditions.

4. Whatever your preference of scenery, New Zealand has it. Just a quick search of New Zealand on Google Images will pull up some of the most breathtaking landscapes you have ever seen, and luckily this is not a façade. New Zealand has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and the most diverse. The North Island boasts a variety of beautiful sandy beaches with crystal clear water as well as the biggest city in the country, Auckland, and the capital, Wellington. The South Island is known for its stunning Fiordland, glaciers, and countless adrenaline-inducing activities. Both islands are also home to various temperate rainforests. So whether you are looking to settle in a city which is just a quick car ride away from some magnificent beaches, or you’d like to live somewhere with plenty of opportunities for adventure, you can find a job in New Zealand in the right location for you.

Piha Beach in New Zealand

Piha, one of the countless beautiful beaches of New Zealand. Photo by Alyssa DeAngelis

5. Traveling around the country is extremely easy. It can be hard to really experience a country when you are committed to a job in one place, but New Zealand makes it simple. Wherever you are in the country, you are only a few hours away from a complete change of scenery. So having only the weekends off, or just a day off here and there still leaves you plenty of time to experience all that New Zealand has to offer. There are many companies that offer deals on airline tickets, bus tours, rental cars, train tickets, and other forms of transportation, so you don’t have to spend all of your money to see somewhere new during your working holiday in New Zealand.

When choosing a location for your working holiday abroad, it is important to be able to go somewhere where you can earn money but also have time to travel, and working in New Zealand makes it easy to do both. As long as you are smart with your money, there is no reason why you can’t see and experience all of the country. If exploring only on the weekends doesn’t appeal to you, consider traveling when you first arrive and then saving up money while you work to travel at the end of your working holiday.

However you choose to spend your working holiday in New Zealand, the experiences you’ll have and the memories you’ll make with the people you meet will last a lifetime!