10 Best Working Holiday Visa Jobs in New Zealand

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What Jobs Can You Get in New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa?

New Zealand is the perfect country for doing a working holiday. Due to the work culture commonly having a high turnover of staff compared to what you find in other countries, finding seasonal work on your working holiday visa is a breeze. Just follow our steps of How to Quickly Find a Job in New Zealand, How to Create a New Zealand CV and How to Nail a Job Interview in New Zealand and getting working holiday visa jobs in New Zealand will be “easy as”.

New Zealand employers often see a working holiday visa as an advantage, as people on working holidays are commonly seen as hard workers. With that, working holidaymakers have a huge range of job opportunities open to them. The only area you may experience difficulty in is office work, which is seen as more of a “career” where employers look for a long-term commitment. Otherwise, with an open mind during your job search, you are bound to find some awesome working holiday jobs in New Zealand. A working holiday gives you the opportunity to try something new and add more arsenal to your CV.

1. Horticulture (Orchard and Vineyard Work)

Let’s begin this list with one of the easiest working holiday visa jobs to get in New Zealand. Horticulture, working with crops, is a huge industry here in New Zealand with a wealth of fruit orchards and vineyards covering the country. Horticulture offers many entry-level jobs, especially during the picking season. See Working a Fruit Picking Job in New Zealand for more details. Working in horticulture is also a way to extend your working holiday visa.

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2. Farm Work

As well as it’s horticulture industry, New Zealand has a bigger agricultural industry, especially in dairy farming. Although the jobs in dairy and sheep farming are not as abundant as in the horticulture industry, farmers still require more sets of hands during the calving and lambing seasons. These jobs also cater to those who want to further a career in farming. Find out more in Seasonal Work in New Zealand’s Dairy Industry.

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3. Hostel Work

The great thing about hostels is that the best people to employ are often the backpackers who use them! While some hostels offer paid positions to work on reception, others offer “work for accommodation”, which usually requires housekeeping for a couple of hours a day in exchange for a free bed in the hostel. Find out more at How to Find Work for Accommodation in New Zealand, as well as What Visa Do You Need to WWOOF in New Zealand.

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4. Retail Work

Working at a shop is usually an easy job to get when you have a working holiday visa in New Zealand, especially if you are good working with customers and have a little bit of past experience. Shops in New Zealand often experience a high-turnover. Plus, they often require more staff in the busy seasons, such as Christmas, so working for only three months, for instance, is not usually an issue for the employer. Your best shot at finding retail work is in New Zealand’s cities, such as The 10 Biggest Cities in New Zealand.

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5. Hospitality

Similarly to retail work, there are plenty of hospitality jobs available around New Zealand for those on a working holiday visa. Hospitality covers the work of serving in restaurants/bars/cafes and bar-tending, for instance. Although this work exists pretty much anywhere in New Zealand where there is some sort of urban area, particularly tourist areas need the most staff during the busy summer season (December to February). Think Queenstown, Wanaka, Auckland, Kaikoura, Te Anau, Wellington and Picton, for example. Be aware, that barista jobs require a lot of experience and bar manager positions require duty manager qualifications.

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6. Fundraising

Although you have to be a certain kind of bubbly charmer to walk up to random people on the street and ask for money, it can really be a rewarding job for the right person. Although this job is limited to New Zealand’s largest cities, charities mostly hire 18-31 year-olds (working holiday visa age) to help raise funds for their charity. Make sure you pick a charity you can trust in and give it a go for a base salary plus commission! Find out more in the 9 Reasons Why Charity Fundraising is an Awesome Backpacker Job.

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7. Tourism

No doubt, you have come to New Zealand to experience the awesome activities and the great outdoors! Working in tourism, i.e. with a tour company, is a great way to make the most of your working holiday in New Zealand. However, you will need a solid CV, kick-ass in your interview, and often require some past experience. Tourism job opportunities exist all around New Zealand.©

8. Ski Field Work

The great thing about working on a ski field is that it is seasonal. You only need to work from the end of autumn to the beginning of spring, then you are free to move onto your next New Zealand adventure. What’s more, working on a ski field comes with many perks from free lift passes to free ski lessons. While there are lots of entry jobs on a New Zealand ski field, like hospitality, lift operators and parking wardens, many other jobs do require qualifications, such as ski instructors and ski patrol. Find out more in What it is Like to Work on a New Zealand Ski Field and What’s the Right New Zealand Ski Field Job for You

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9. Au Pair

Au pair, or childcare, is a popular job for young people on a working holiday visa in New Zealand. This is a great opportunity to experience Kiwi family life and have food, accommodation and a wage provided usually for about six months to a year. Past childcare experience is usually required. Check out Being an Au Pair in New Zealand.

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10. Construction Work

With a huge amount of building development across the country, as well as the rebuild from the Canterbury and Kaikoura earthquakes, helping hands on construction sites are badly needed. Therefore, construction work is one of the easiest jobs to get for people on a working holiday visa in New Zealand. The easiest way to find construction work is through recruitment agencies. Find out more in What You Need to Know About Recruitment Agencies in New Zealand.

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Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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