There are plenty of opportunities to find work for foreigners and backpackers in New Zealand, so as you travel you save money, meet new people and learn useful skills to take back home with you.
If you are on a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa, you can choose from a wide range of jobs – from short-term office work to helping out at major events. Below are the top 10 best industries to work in while you are backpacking in New Zealand.
1: Office Administration
Temporary office work is regularly available throughout the year in New Zealand’s major cities. Temping opportunities can range from a few days or weeks of work to contracts that last for two months or more. Working in administration can be a great way to utilise and build on your admin skills while earning a decent amount of cash to fund your travels.
2: Food & Beverage Industry
Cooking, waiting and bartending jobs are always in demand. Waiting and bartending is a great way to meet locals and get a feel for the vibe of the area if you are thinking about staying for longer in the country. Most employers will need you to commit to at least three months of work, especially in busy cities like Auckland and Wellington.
3: Hotel & Hostel Jobs
This is one of the key industries for backpackers looking for work in New Zealand. From cleaning hotel rooms to sitting at reception, there are always jobs available. Hostel jobs offer backpackers the opportunity to work a few hours a day in exchange for free accommodation, while hotels offer full shifts for a wage. These types of jobs are a great way to learn more about the region you are in.
4: Sales & Face-to-Face Marketing
When you have a confident personality and positive attitude, sales is a relatively easy industry to get into. Most sales and customer-facing marketing jobs offer a commission in addition to an hourly rate, so you could end up making a decent amount of money in a short time.
5: Ski Field Jobs
Working on a ski field is one of the best seasonal jobs you can get as a backpacker. You can have a unique chance to make the most of New Zealand’s amazing ski-slopes while also earning money to fund your travels. Jobs on ski fields include cooking, waiting, operating ski lifts, driving and cleaning. Skiing instructor jobs are reserved for people with the necessary experience. Due to high demand, New Zealand ski fields will expect you apply early and commit to the full ski season.
Construction is one of New Zealand’s most rapidly growing industries, and many building companies throughout the country are currently experiencing demand for skilled builders like never before. If you have the relevant skills and experience in building or carpentry, you can get a good short-term construction job in one of the New Zealand cities that need construction workers the most, such as Auckland and Christchurch. The length of time you will have to commit will depend on the type of construction project.
Tour companies often hire young backpackers as tour guides because they reflect their clientele age and market. Working as a tour guide gives you the unique opportunity to see all the destinations that paying clients are there to see. Plus, you get to meet interesting people from all over the world.
Retail jobs are a common choice of work for young travellers in New Zealand. It is a great way to meet new people while also learning all about stock management, customer service and cash handling.
9: Events Industry
There are loads of casual and temporary jobs available in the events industry. Work includes everything from setting up and packing up at major events to serving food and drinks to attendees.
10: Picking Jobs
Picking work ranges from harvesting fruits and planting vegetables to sorting and packing up. Casual fruit picking work is one of the most popular backpacking jobs in New Zealand, with jobs nearly always available in peak season. As you will work in a team, it’s a great way to get to know new people and enjoy the warm weather. The peak season for fruit picking jobs in New Zealand is from summer to autumn.