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Working Holiday New Zealand: Experience And Things To Know

Are you thinking about getting a working holiday visa in New Zealand but not sure where to start? You're in luck! This article will provide you with the essential information and tips to help you make the most of your New Zealand experience.

Read all about Adriana’s firsthand experiences from her working holiday in New Zealand. We’ll be discussing the working holiday visa New Zealand requirements, salary, the best working holiday jobs in New Zealand, general tips, and more. 

Let’s dive in!

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Working Holiday New Zealand experiences

(use the coupon code PHENOMENALGLOBE for a €100 discount) 

Work and holiday visa New Zealand: everything you need to know

Adriana and Matěj got a WHV NZ (Working Holiday Visa New Zealand) and spent a year in Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud, working different jobs as well as exploring the country.

They kindly agreed to share their work and travel New Zealand experiences to inspire other travelers.

If you've secretly been dreaming about getting a working holiday visa for New Zealand but are unsure what to expect, read along as Adriana and Matěj have loads of great tips and advice based on their personal experience.

Meet Adriana and Matěj


I'm Adriana, and together with my partner Matěj, we are bloggers behind blogs Czech the World and Svatbeni. As you can guess, we are from the Czech Republic and we started our blogging career in New Zealand during our Working Holiday.

We also participated in some other Work and Travel programs. For example, we’ve been to Yellowstone, Alaska, and volunteered in Malaysia. However, New Zealand was our favorite!

Why do a working holiday in New Zealand?

The Working Holiday Program in New Zealand is quite popular among young Czechs, so after hearing all those amazing stories from friends, we couldn't resist applying as well.

Why didn't we consider other countries? Well, at that time there were no Working Holiday Visas to Australia, and Canada choose participants randomly using a lottery system (luckily, this has changed).

We didn't want to risk that only one of us would be chosen and therefore opted for a working holiday in New Zealand. That being said, Canada was our Plan B, in case we wouldn't be able to get a New Zealand working holiday visa.

Queenstown New Zealand

Is it difficult to get a New Zealand work and travel visa?

It mostly depends on your nationality. There are some countries (including the Czech Republic) that have a limited amount of visas per year. Read more information and requirements below.

Check out Global Work & Travel which offers step-by-step guidance and assistance as you embark on your working holiday to New Zealand (use the coupon code PHENOMENALGLOBE for a €100 discount)

New Zealand working holiday visa requirements

Working holiday visa New Zealand age limit

In order to work and travel New Zealand on their special WHV, you must be between 18 and 30 years old, though some nationalities can apply until 35 years.

While the application process is fairly straightforward, it does require time, effort, and a lot of paperwork.

Other requirements for a working holiday in New Zealand

  • You can only apply for a Holiday Visa to New Zealand once in your life. Important: if you have successfully applied but didn't use your visa, you aren't eligible for another request.
  • You must have a clean criminal record.

When entering New Zealand, you must:

  • Have a return flight ticket purchased or have enough money to buy one.
  • Have a minimum of 4,200 NZD in your bank account (or another currency equivalent).
  • Have proper travel insurance (including medical coverage) for the entire stay.
  • Not bring children with you.

You can check the exact working holiday visa New Zealand requirements applicable to your home country on the New Zealand immigration website.

Looking for a complete New Zealand work and holiday visa package deal with ongoing support? Check out Global Work & Travel.

(you get a €100 discount with the coupon code PHENOMENALGLOBE)

How long is the working holiday visa in New Zealand?

The WHV New Zealand is valid for 12 months, though you may be able to extend if you meet certain criteria. We spent the whole year of our Working Holiday Visa period in New Zealand.

This time was split into 3 parts:

  • We had several jobs for about 3-4 months for different NZ employers
  • We have spent 6-7 months building our blog
  • We made a New Zealand road trip around the North Island and South Island for 2 months
Campervan in New Zealand

Working holiday New Zealand jobs

We did quite a few different jobs and temporary work there, so let’s have a look at each one of them.

Apple thinning

Apple thinning is a typical orchard job. Basically what you do is emoving small apples from the clusters, so the remaining ones can grow bigger.

There are many apple-thinning jobs in New Zealand (Hawke’s Bay, Nelson, Otago, Waikato, and Gisborne are home to many orchards), and finding work is easy. Check out the job board website Backpackerboard for current job offers.

Alternatively, you can call or text several orchards in the area you're looking to base yourself in and ask if there is an open position.

Usually, you'll have a reply within a day. For example, we started an apple thinning job just two days after we applied! Orchards usually pay the minimum wage ($20NZD per hour) for fruit picking. Some orchards offer accommodation, some don’t.

Plum picking

Plum-picking was another farm work job we tried. It was definitely harder than thinning because we had to carry those heavy bags filled to the brim with plums. Again, this was for minimum wage.

While fruit picking is one of the most popular backpacker jobs, I am not gonna lie, any job like this is extremely boring and hard work.

The good thing was that you're usually allowed to wear headphones, so you can listen to a lot of inspiring podcasts. From what we've been told, the best-paid orchard job is cherry-picking and blueberry-picking.

Keep in mind that most fruit-picking jobs offer only a couple of months of seasonal work (peak season for fruit-picking is December-April).

Bikeman (bicycle taxi service)

Another job we tried was a ‘bicycle taxi service' in Auckland. How did this work? Pretty simple!

We rented a bike taxi for a week for 120 NZD. All the money we made during that week cycling people around this big city was ours.

One ride was about 20 NZD and our earnings were largely dependent on cultural events and weekends. We made about 80 NZD per day from Sunday to Thursday.

Friday and Saturday were the best days and we could make about 250 – 300 NZD per evening/night. This job was a lot of fun! We both like cycling and talking to other young people, so this job was perfect for us.

IT programming

This was the job my boyfriend did, so here are a few words from him about it: it’s pretty hard to be accepted into an IT job and you must have previous experience.

Companies want long-term workers and because you only have a one-year New Zealand work and travel visa, they prefer to employ locals. So it's up to you to convince them you're the best of the best to get hired for an IT job.

For this kind of work, it’s a good idea to have a letter of recommendation or references from previous employers. Know that New Zealand’s employers will probably call your previous employer to inquire about you.

Is New Zealand expensive?

Lake Matheson New Zealand

Regarding finances, many people are afraid of the high cost of living in New Zealand. New Zealand can certainly be expensive if you are not a thrifty person, however, it doesn’t need to be

Housing will account for the main share of your expenses. One room in a shared flat is NZ$120-300 per week (highly depending on the neighborhood).

If you want a private flat, be prepared to pay around NZ$400 a week, and a private house is at least NZ$600 per week.

We highly recommend doing house sitting, because it will save you lots of money. We've heard that there are even many locals who house-sit full-time!

Grocery shopping is not that expensive. The cheapest supermarket is Pak n’ Save, followed by Countdown. New World is a little bit more expensive than these two.

Check out this New Zealand budget post for more info about the cost of travel in New Zealand.

What's the best thing about a working holiday in New Zealand? And the hardest?


The best thing about a New Zealand working holiday is the freedom you have. Visas are not tied to some amount of working hours or anything else. You are free to work (and travel) as much as you wish.

Another great thing is that New Zealand has great facilities all over the country for van life. And living in a van is what most of the WHV New Zealand participants do.

Finally, when you're working in New Zealand you're bound to make a lot of new friends who are on a similar adventure.

Check these extensive guides for more information about (free) campsites in New Zealand and New Zealand campervan tips.

The hardest thing for me was that I missed the wedding of my best friend where I was supposed to be the maid of honor.

This was due to the distance, New Zealand literally is on the other side of the world and a plane ticket costs a lot of money.

Plan your trip like a pro with these tools:
✈️ Find the best flight deals on
? Get the best car rental deal for your road trip on
?️ Find your dream accommodation on or Agoda.
? Book the best tours via Get Your Guide, Viator or Klook.
? Plan your journey with the Lonely Planet.
?️ Travel safely and get reliable travel insurance from Safety Wing.

Is it worth doing a working holiday in New Zealand?

Wanaka Tree Lake Wanaka South Island New Zealand

100% yes! It's an extraordinary experience. You'll meet amazing people, locals, a lot of backpackers and other working holiday makers.

You'll learn new things, try different types of jobs, and travel to an amazing part of the Earth. New Zealand is a truly beautiful and unique country that should be on anyone's bucket list…

How to make the most of your New Zealand work and travel experience

Buy a (camper) van

Buy yourself a self-contained car or van to live in. Having your own vehicle is the cheapest way to live and the best way to explore the country. You can sell it when you leave the country.

Be sure to download CamperMate, a free app that helps you find free campsites, showers, laundries, and everything else related to van life.

Lake Pukaki South Island New Zealand

Look for housesitting opportunities

Look for housesitting opportunities*, because it can save you a lot of money for accommodation. The most popular house-sitting site in New Zealand is KiwiHouseSitters. (*I've personally used Trusted Housesitters and they have lots of NW housesits available as well).

Join NZ Working Holidays groups on Facebook

There are a lot of people sharing job offers or other handy tips, plus you can anytime ask if you need help with something. Here are some helpful groups to join:

A final tip for all people interested in New Zealand's working holiday visa

My most important tip? Just go and stop making excuses!

Don’t have a lot of money? Traveling is cheaper than you might think and you can work during your travels.

Don’t know the language? There is no better way to learn than by living in a foreign country.

Don't have anyone to travel with? Travel solo! You'll have even more opportunities to meet amazing people than traveling as a couple.

Don't know how to arrange your NZ Working Holiday? When you book with Global Work & Travel you'll get a dedicated Trip Coordinator who provides step-by-step guidance and assistance and will even set up job interviews for you (use the coupon code PHENOMENALGLOBE for a €100 discount)

Work travel visa New Zealand: conclusion

I hope this post has answered your questions about the working holiday NZ visa. Check this page for more info about work and travel.

Read about teaching in South Korea or doing a work and travel holiday in Australia or Canada. Or check my extensive New Zealand page for more travel inspiration.

This post was updated in February 2023.