A working holiday is a perfect way to fund your trip to New Zealand and meet lifelong friends from around the world. And if you are going to sacrifice some of your freedom to work, you want to find the perfect job.
Globe trotters and adventure seekers have no shortage of thrilling jobs in New Zealand. Thanks to our biodiversity and burgeoning tourist industry, you’ll find yourself working jobs you never realized where possible.
Do you want to work in New Zealand without sacrificing your adventure? Here are nine jobs for foreigners in New Zealand.
1. Ski and Snowboard Instructor
Do you love mountains and thrive in the winter? Head to Queenstown or Wanaka for the ski season and become a certified ski or snowboard instructors.
New Zealand ski resort jobs are plentiful and filled with backpackers and working holiday travelers just like you. Plus, there are 24 ski areas in the country. You’re sure to find a job near your preferred area.
Ski season runs from June to September on the South Island and July to October in the North.
Not an expert skier? Skip the ski fields and get a job in another part of the resort. You’ll get all the benefits (like a free season pass and great co-workers) without needing a certification.
2. Adventure Guide
See the country while you hone your adventuring skills with local Kiwis as well as other tourists.
Pure Exploration offers a 12-week adventure guide program based in Queensland. While it isn’t technically a job, it does provide you a considerable number of qualifications that open up roles such as:
- NZ Outdoor instructor association leader qualifications for sea kayaking and hiking and rock climbing
- Pre-hospital emergency care qualification
- Certificate of adventure guiding
- Swift Water River Rescue Level 1 Certificate
Once you complete your program, you have access to paid work placements and employer networking opportunities.
3. Farming and Agriculture
Looking for something more casual and less daring? Hunker down on one of New Zealand’s farms for a season.
Farming jobs are incredibly diverse. You might work as a picker on a commercial kiwi farm, or provide free labor on a small family farm as a WWOOFer. The sky is the limit, and you’ll be contributing to a small community.
Bartending positions are always available in New Zealand. You’ll find them in the big cities and the small towns, and they love to hire temporary working holiday employees.
Do you have a particular passion for the beverage scene? Consider applying to a temporary position at one of New Zealand’s 160-plus microbreweries. You can work in any non-permanent positions including front of the house, tour guides, or even as a trainee brewer.
5. Au Pair
An au pair is a classic working holiday job, and it’s a great way to see parts of New Zealand the typical tourist misses. You’ll become part of a small community and build a lasting connection with a local family.
An au pair agency will set you up with a fixed contract that will include room and board and a small stipend.
6. Tour Guide
Are you already an experienced tour guide or a natural storyteller? Do you have a full driver’s license? New Zealand tourism companies want you.
Tourism jobs in New Zealand pay incredibly well, and they are often seasonal. They are also perfect for bi- and multi-lingual applicants because they prioritize language skills.
If you have other special skills, like a spectacular knowledge of astronomy or adventure sports leadership, then you’ll fare even better.
Pro Tip: Star gazing guides are incredibly popular in and around Canterbury!
You can check out local authority tourism agencies or apply directly with tourist destinations.
7. Surf Camp
Live your best life at one of New Zealand’s famous surf camps.
Surf lodges operate on the nation’s famous coastal destinations. People who work at the camps typically need to be competent in leading surf lessons, but the roles are multi-faceted.
You may also be asked to run other programs like a yoga class or sports training for school children. Then there are the housekeeping and maintenance jobs in the lodge.
You’ll live on site, and the camps typically ask that you come in with most if not all of the full qualifications:
- Competent surfer
- Som experience in surf lessons/coaching
- Lifesaving qualification
- First Aid and CPR
- Full drivers license
- Yoga instructor qualification
Expect to dive head first into the job, but you’ll come out with new skills, amazing friends, and a new appreciation for surf.
8. Campervan Relocators
Do you fancy a job that doesn’t feel like a job?
Campervan tours are incredibly popular in New Zealand (and Australia). But because people tend to take one-way trips, someone needs to bring the vans back to the depot.
That someone can be you.
If you are at least 19 and have a full drivers license, you can see the country and get paid. It’s casual work, and you get paid by the drive, so it’s perfect for anyone who wants some cash but doesn’t want to give up months to a full-time job.
Do you work in the healthcare field at home? Maybe you are a registered nurse or a qualified sports massage therapist. With a few phone calls, you can use your skills in New Zealand. Not only will you make a difference in the lives of New Zealanders, but you’ll get top market pay rates.
Find Adventurous Jobs in New Zealand
Are you in New Zealand on a working holiday visa? Take your adventure to the next level by getting a job in one of these fields.
Whatever job you choose, be sure it complies with your visa rules. And don’t forget to have the time of your life!
Do you have more questions about getting a job in New Zealand? Check out our FAQs here.