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How to Get a Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand


Piha Beach North Island New Zealand

Piha Beach North Island - Photo Credits: Laura Oxley

From tropical beaches, to incredible mountain tops, skydiving, and so much more, New Zealand really does have something for anyone. If an extended trip abroad while making some cash to fund your travels is what you’re after, then you may want to consider applying for a Working Holiday Visa! Here is a basic guideline:

First of all, what is a “Working Holiday Visa?” Cathedral Cove North Island New Zealand working holiday visa tips for women


“New Zealand has working holiday scheme agreements with many countries, allowing you to work in and explore our great country.” These holiday visas allow you to travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months, or 23 months if you’re from the UK or Canada. You need to have a return ticket, or enough money to pay for one, and be coming mainly to holiday, with work being a secondary intention.

Laura Oxley from “She Who Wanders” spent a year in New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa. She writes: I’ll give you a breakdown on the “Working Holiday” Visa. These guidelines may be different depending on what country you hail from. Check out the New Zealand Immigration page to be sure. I’m Canadian so what I’ll be giving you are details about the process I completed in order to obtain my WHV.

Applicants must be between 18-35 years old (some countries have the age limit set at 30) and once granted the visa is good for 12 months upon entry into the country with an option to extend 11 more months with appropriate documentation. This visa can only be applied for once in your life (sadly) and can be applied for online. You’ll need to have your personal information as well as 5-10 years of travel history ready to complete your application. Once done you’ll hear back anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks on whether or not your application was successful. This visa is electronic and when you arrive at the airport it will already by electronically visible to airport staff from your passport.

Once you’ve been approved it’s time to decide where you want to start this grand adventure!


North Island vs South Island - The South Island boasts insane scenery that rivals that of any Canadian province, lakes blue as can be stretching on for miles & just about the most adventurous activities you could want in a place.

Then there’s the North Island which is home to incredible black sand beaches, tropical towns along the ocean, amazing surf and the one & only Hobbiton. If you’re keen on mountain life, adventures sports & laid-back attitudes then try Queenstown. If you prefer tropics and the beach (summer) or quiet storm catching (winter) check out The Bay of Islands.

Jobs vary depending on location and your preferences. If you’re looking for a chilled vibe and working behind the bar at night and hitting the slopes during the day (winter) then try Queenstown. Wanting to keep your passion for adventure flowing then maybe a raft guide job in Rotorua or Taupo is for you. If you’re looking for more office related work then I would suggest registering with recruitment agencies to find temp office work to build up your travel fund.

A few job ideas can include:

Tourism, Farm Work, Working in Hostels, Horticulture, Ski Instructors, Retail and more!

Minimum wage in New Zealand:

Currently $15.75 (NZD, as of April 2017), however depending on the type of job & level/location you can be making more than this.


No matter where you end up, New Zealand has enough on offer to keep your jaw on the floor & your camera trigger finger clicking!

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