For anyone who loves spending time outdoors, New Zealand is paradise. Bring your backpack and hiking boots because the InterExchange Work & Travel New Zealand program lets you experience the best of both islands for up to a year.
The InterExchange Work & Travel New Zealand program is geared towards those looking for more of a "freestyle" journey with more independence and less structure, but support in the background. Start off with an airport transfer, four nights of accommodation and an orientation session in Auckland, and enjoy a leg-up with job search guidance throughout your program. String together seasonal jobs to fund your travels in one of the most gorgeous places on the planet.
About two weeks before you travel you will receive log-in details for your member profile and access to our jobs database. Once in New Zealand our partner's friendly staff will be available to consult with you about your job goals and travel plans. Most of the positions that participants on a Working Holiday program find are low-skill and temporary in nature (hotels, resorts, restaurants, fruit-picking, unskilled labor, office temping, etc.), allowing you the freedom to work for a few weeks or months and then take time to explore New Zealand!
If you have specific skills or career interests we encourage you to pursue related positions, but the work that's easiest to find is low-skill and seasonal in nature. It's all about trying new things (and making a million friends as you go!).
Jobs posted this year have included
- Tourist/Resort Jobs in the Bay of Islands, Taupo, and Queenstown
- Fruit Picking in Hawkes Bay and the Nelson regions
- Kayak guides
- Jobs at ski resorts
- Wilderness lodge assistants and cooks
- Baristas, wait staff and kitchen hands
Check out this video below created by Rachel, one of our Work & Travel New Zealand participants:
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the dates of the program?
There is no set start or end date. You'll decide your exact program dates and can stay in New Zealand for up to a year. Most participants purchase a one-way ticket initially. It's nice to have the flexibility to plan one last camping trip or perhaps a stopover in Fiji on the way home.
How does the application process work?
Our online application is free to start and easy to complete. Just a few forms and documents and we're always here if you have any questions. Sign Up.
What happens after I apply?
After you submit your application, we'll make sure you've got everything in order and reach out to you for an informational call.
Once you've been accepted into our program, we'll advise you on getting your visa and set you up with our international partner, who will be there to support you on the ground throughout your adventure in New Zealand.
How will I be supported on the program?
Moving to the other side of the world can be stressful. InterExchange Work & Travel New Zealand includes support before, during and after your program.
We provide you with:
- Visa assistance
- Four nights of accommodation to help you recover from the long flight and explore Auckland
- Comprehensive orientation session covering job searching, travel and logistics
- Resume support
- Bank account opened on your behalf
- Assistance obtaining your tax ID
- SIM card with local phone number
- Mail holding and forwarding
- Inexpensive luggage storage in Auckland (about $1 NZD per day)
- Help finding jobs and housing
- Advice on all things related to living, working and traveling in New Zealand
- Alumni resources once you've returned home
- WWOOF New Zealand membership
What does orientation cover?
During orientation, you'll meet other travelers in New Zealand on Working Holiday Visas and our in-country support team and learn how they can help you during your travels. Orientation will cover:
- How to find a job, including CV advice
- How to find short- and long-term housing in New Zealand
- Best places to travel in New Zealand
- Renting, buying, or selling a car
- Mobile phone service in New Zealand
- How to set up your tax account, including applications for IRD (tax numbers)
How do you help me find a job?
Our partner posts job leads from businesses seeking short-term, temporary employees in its online jobs database. They also have relationships with recruitment agencies seeking temporary office workers. You'll join a members website that keeps you up to date on job opportunities throughout your time in New Zealand. If you need extra help staff are available to speak with you in person, through email or by phone. They can also help you locate other resources like working hostels.
How long will it take me to find a job?
If you are proactive, professional and open to various types of jobs (rather than aiming for one specific position), you can find a job quickly! There are many jobs available and most of our participants land their first position within their first one or two weeks.
Can I get a job placement before I get to New Zealand?
Generally, employers won't hire before you arrive in New Zealand.
How much will I earn in New Zealand?
The amount of money you earn depends on the type of job you do, but hourly pay is often much higher in New Zealand than compared to the U.S. job market. Plus, certain jobs (like farm work or resort work) come with great perks.
The minimum wage is reviewed every year, and for 2016 is NZD $15.25 per hour before tax. You can expect to receive around $12.00 NZD after tax at the minimum wage rate and many jobs pay significantly higher.
What else should I know about the Work & Travel New Zealand program?
Can I travel with friends or family?
Absolutely! We often have friends, relatives or couples travel together on our Work & Travel program. If you go solo, you're bound to meet other working holiday participants from around the world, one of the best parts of the program. Your orientation will take place in an upbeat office in the heart of Auckland, where there are many participants connecting with each other about travel plans, jobs and apartment hunting, and of course using the free internet.
Can I leave New Zealand and re-enter?
Yes. The Working Holiday Visas is a multiple-entry visa, which means you can leave the country and come back during the 12 months your visa is valid.
Do I have to stay in New Zealand for 12 months?
No. You can stay as long as 12 months, but there's no minimum stay. We recommend staying for at least 6 months in order to get the full experience.
Can I extend my Working Holiday Visa?
No, U.S. citizens are only eligible for the Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand one time.
Can I take classes while on a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand?
Yes, you can study or train for up to six months.
What happens when I arrive in New Zealand?
You'll be transported from the airport to your hostel in Auckland, where you'll get four nights to recover from your journey and connect with fellow travelers. You'll then choose which of the 2 orientation times would best fit your schedule during your first 4 days.
Can I work for the same employer the entire time of my stay?
Yes. You can work for the same employer for up to 12 months but many jobs are very short term.
How much does housing cost in New Zealand?
It depends on where you live, but you can expect to pay at least $150 NZD per week for a shared apartment/room in a house.
What other costs are there to consider?
- Airfare (most participants buy a one-way ticket initially)
- Support funds of NZD $4,200 is a visa requirement. It's important to have savings especially during your first month in New Zealand.
- Travel medical insurance (we will gladly name a few options)
What our participants are saying
I went abroad with InterExchange to Australia and New Zealand. I definitely would recommend it! My sister and I did a lot of the WWoofing program because we wanted to experience the full culture of the country. You stay with very friendly people and it is definitely a phenomenal experience. Bonnie I know if I need anything I can send a quick email and be assisted right away. I feel secure with [InterExchange] staff and am grateful for the extensive information that has been provided. Keirsten