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 to seven nights of accommodation upon arrival 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.
Arrival and Orientation
Regardless of the date you want to arrive (you choose) we'll provide your airport transfer to a hostel in downtown Auckland where you'll have four nights of pre-booked accommodation, including breakfast. Orientation meetings are held several times each week and cover topics including job markets, housing options, travel and safety, and logistics like taxes and setting up a phone plan. The InterExchange partner office is within blocks of your hostel and the doors are open to you any weekday while you're in town. You'll also learn about any social events organized by our partner or the hostel.
Travelers interested in adding a few extra nights and group activities during their first week can join a group Welcome Week for an extra $200.
We recommend staying in New Zealand for at least six months if not the full year allowed on your visa. There's a lot to see! You get to choose where and when you travel and the hosting center in Auckland offers travel support during your program. Many people stay in hostels here and there, or do some WWOOFing (membership optional). Most people settle down somewhere at least once during their program, in which case there are a lot of weekly and monthly apartment listings to consider. In this case you'll have more of a "home base," can seek out work in that area and take regional trips during time off.
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
InterExchange Work & Travel New Zealand includes support before, during and after your program. We provide you with:
- Pre-departure guidance including visa assistance
- Arrival shuttle
- Four nights of accommodation to help you recover from the long flight and explore Auckland
- Help finding jobs and housing
- Event notices to meet new peeps!
- Comprehensive orientation session covering job searching, travel and logistics
- Resume support
- Support opening a bank account
- 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)
- Advice on all things related to living, working and traveling in New Zealand
- Alumni resources including the InterExchange Language Partner Program, events and more!
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.
With no obligation to move forward, you can get the ball rolling by signing up today. We’ll reach out to help you plan your adventure when you're ready!
Welcome Week Group Arrival Package
If you'd like seven nights of accommodation upon arrival instead of four, plus a range of awesome activities to maximize the fun during your first week, consider adding the Welcome Week. This includes everything from the standard Work & Travel New Zealand program plus a group trip up to the Bay of Islands including an overnight scenic cruise and a night kayak or swim, four breakfasts, three dinners, Auckland city tour, dune surfing or sandboarding and more! Learn more about the Welcome Week.
Participants on the Welcome Week arrival package must arrive on one of the following dates:
- September 4
- September 19
- October 3
- October 18
- November 7
- November 14
- December 5
Frequently Asked Questions
How does this program work?
Though working holidays aren't a widespread concept in the United States, they are a long-standing tradition for students and young adults in countries such as the U.K., Canada, and many others. With a New Zealand Work and Holiday Visa, U.S. citizens between 18 and 30 are able to take on seasonal work as a way to help fund travels in a new place. The InterExchange Work & Travel New Zealand program gives you a leg up and transitional support. It's generally not difficult to find short-term positions if you're pro-active, professional, and a bit flexible. You can read more on the concept of a working holiday or drop us a line - we're happy to guide you through the process!
How do you help me find a job?
Our partner agency 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, which offer job support of their own!
How long will it take me to find a job?
If you are proactive, professional, and open to various types of jobs rather than a 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 or second week.
Can I get a job placement before I get to New Zealand?
Generally, employers won't hire before your arrival 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 the U.S. Certain jobs, like farm work or resort work, also come with great perks.
The minimum wage is reviewed every year - as of April 1, 2017 the minimum was NZD $15.75 per hour before tax. You can expect to receive around $12.00 NZD after tax at the minimum wage rate, but many jobs pay significantly higher.
What are the dates of the program?
There is no set start or end date. You'll decide your exact program dates and you're permitted to stay in New Zealand for up to a year. Most participants purchase a one-way ticket initially. You'll appreciate the flexibility to plan one last camping trip or a stopover in Fiji before your flight home!
How does the application process work?
Our online application is free to start; with just a few forms and document uploads, it's easy to complete. We are always here if you have any questions. Sign Up.
What are the chances that I'll be accepted?
Our Work & Travel New Zealand program is more of an enrollment than an application. As long as you meet the general visa eligibility requirements, you're likely to be confirmed for the program.
What happens after I apply?
After you submit your application, we'll make sure your documents 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.
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 - this is 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.
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 six 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 your fellow travelers. You'll then choose an orientation time that best fits your schedule in those first four days. Generally, orientation sessions take place Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, but the hostel desk will be able to confirm all upcoming sessions.
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 on the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa, 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 suggest a few options if you need them!
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