So, you and your significant other have decided to pack your bags, quit your jobs, hand your pets over to your parents, and head to New Zealand on an epic working holiday. Congratulations! You are now just one step away from the adventure of a lifetime. Stunning mountain scenery, powdery snow, rolling waves, and more adrenalin-inducing activities than you can handle await you!
However, that one step – figuring out what jobs you will do to help you fund your travels – is an important one. If you are travelling as a duo, you will likely both want to work in the same location and while it might seem like a difficult task to find work for two people instead of one, it’s actually easier than you think.
In New Zealand, there are lots of industries and employers that actually like to hire couples. This can be for a number of reasons. Couples tend to be more reliable than solo travellers. If accommodation is included, the costs are lower for accommodating two people in one room.
Perhaps one of you is more the physical labour type, while the other is an organisational whiz who likes to keep their hands clean? If so, there are often multiple job openings within single organisations that suit these different skill sets.
Now it’s time to put your holiday daydreams aside for a moment and think about the kinds of work you can do on your New Zealand working holiday. Don’t worry, this will only make the fun stuff even better, we promise!
1. Farm Work & Au-pair duo
The countryside of New Zealand is breathtaking. And one way to enjoy the picturesque surroundings is to get a farm job. Lots of farmers will offer combination positions for couples, where one person helps with outdoor farm duties and the other assists with housework. That might include cleaning, looking after children, and other chores. Searching Backpacker Job Board, you’ll find vacancies which offer just this. Live-in, hands-on experiences in farm environments and is very popular among backpackers when they first arrive in the country.
2. Live-in All-rounders
New Zealand is a foodie country – they are well known for their fresh produce, delicious wines, and premium livestock. Therefore, there is no shortage of pubs and restaurants offering up all types of cuisine for locals and tourists alike. Often larger pubs and restaurants will be looking for hospitality all-rounder couples who can share onsite accommodation. The job roles will often vary but could include kitchen handwork, waiter/waitressing and bar work.
There are lots of opportunities whereby people advertise house-sit positions and seek reliable travellers. This is, in many ways, a dream gig. You will be responsible for staying in your hosts home while they are away. Keeping it tidy and secure. Watering plants. And if you’re lucky, taking care of some cute fur babies. House sitting gigs are often quite competitive, and most hosts will ask for references, so make sure you put some effort into showing them that you aren’t going to throw parties and break their expensive crockery.
4. Hostel Work
Another place that you will always find backpackers working is in hostels. Afterall, who better to make a backpackers travelling experience awesome than someone who has been there themself, right?
Backpacker hostels are a hive of activity all year round, and staff are responsible for administration, organising tours, cleaning, security, and more. You and your partner might be a cleaner/security combo, or something else that works to your specific skill set. Often you will receive free accommodation as part of your pay package. Usually, these positions are snapped up fast – as soon as one staff member leaves on their travels, another guest will slide into the role.
5. Tour Guides
If you and your partner have good English and are bilingual, plus are confident and outgoing people, another work option for you is as tour guides. You will also need to be outdoor people, who are physically fit and can undertake a range of activities. Lots of tour companies like to hire couples and tours can range from city walks to multi-day treks. As an added bonus, you will need to learn a lot about New Zealand quickly, and you will get to see lots of iconic sites. This is a great way to travel while you work. Keep an eye on our Events & Promotions category as well as our Sports Jobs pages for tour guide jobs.
As you can see, there is no shortage of great work options available for couples with adventurous spirits. New Zealand is a popular backpacker hub, and the job market has lots of roles available to cater for this niche. Whatever you and your partner decide to do, remember to organise your visa first. You might like to organise work before you arrive, or start looking when you are on the ground. Both are possible, depending on the industry you want to enter. The most important part is to make sure you can earn the funds you need to make your working holiday as epic as possible!
Remember, when travelling in New Zealand, like any country, it is important to do things by the book. You don’t want to risk breaching your visa, which can have significant legal consequences and might impact your future travel plans.
To go on a working holiday, you need to apply for the appropriate working holiday visa for your country. Once you have this in your passport, you’re legally allowed to work in New Zealand. That means you can travel and explore to your heart’s content, supplemented by some part-time work to keep you going.