Work & Travel in New Zealand

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  • Overview

    Working abroad in New Zealand will give you the opportunity to embark on a cultural adventure with everything this country has to offer. From bustling cities to stunning mountains and landscapes, and all the ziplining, bungee-ing, and adventure sports in between – read more about why working in New Zealand is the program for you!

    Greenheart Travel’s program is ideal if you:

    • Are between the ages of 18-30 and want to live abroad in a country known for its outdoor activities
    • Looking for an adventure, and are open to working a variety of jobs
    • Ready to meet people from all over the world who are Work and Traveling in New Zealand at the same time!

    Program at a Glance:

    • Spend up to a year working and traveling in New Zealand
    • Assistance finding work in bars, restaurants, hostels, farms, and other short-term jobs
    • Sufficient salary to live and travel
    • Pre-departure and in-country support
    • Welcome Week in Auckland and the Bay of Islands with excursions and group activities
    • Friends, couples, and siblings are welcome!

    Have questions? Email us at

  • Eligibility

    You must meet the following requirements to apply

    • Citizen of one of the following countries: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, EU
    • Be between the ages of 18-30 years old
    • Must be outside of New Zealand for the visa application process
    • Be a native English speaker or have near-native fluency

    **Due to visa regulations for a Working Holiday Visa we cannot make exceptions to these requirements. These are put in place by the New Zealand government

  • Program Dates

    The following dates refer to the day you would actually land in Auckland. If you’re arriving earlier than these dates, you’ll have to arrange separate accommodation until the start date.

    Start Date Availability
    15-Jan 2024 OPEN
    29-Jan 2024 OPEN
    12-Feb 2024 OPEN
    11-March 2024 OPEN
    4- April 2024 OPEN
    23 – May 2024 OPEN
    25 – July 2024 OPEN
    8- August 2024 OPEN
    22- August 2024 OPEN
    5- Sept 2024 OPEN
    12- Sept 2024 OPEN
    19- Sept 2024 OPEN
    26- Sept 2024 OPEN
    3- Oct 2024 OPEN
    10- Oct 2024 OPEN
    17- Oct 2024 OPEN
    24- Oct 2024 OPEN
    31- Oct 2024 OPEN
    7- Nov 2024 OPEN
    14- Nov 2024 OPEN
    21- Nov 2024 OPEN
    28- Nov 2024 OPEN
    9- Jan 2025 OPEN
    16- Jan 2025 OPEN
    23- Jan 2025 OPEN
    6- Feb 2025 OPEN
    13- Feb 2025 OPEN
    20- Feb 2025 OPEN
    27- Feb 2025 OPEN

    If you have a specific industry that you’re interested in, arriving during peak hiring seasons can increase your chance of landing the right interview! Wondering when to arrive?

  • Costs and Inclusions


    2023 Program Fees:

    7 day welcome week – $1,840 USD*

    *Prices subject to change year to year.

    Packaged into Program Cost:

    • Welcome week full of activities and excursions upon arrival in Auckland
    • 6 months of international medical insurance
    • 6 nights’ hostel accommodation (shared room) and breakfasts
    • Group arrival orientation
    • 1-on-1 job assistance service, support, and advice
    • Bank account set up prior to arrival
    • Resources and support for finding permanent housing
    • New Zealand SIM card
    • Organized social events and activities
    • IRD tax number
    • International Youth Travel Card (IYTC)
    • Greenheart Atlas Program

    Our Support and Services:

    • Online logistical and cultural training before departure from an Experienced Travel Program Manager
    • 24 hour in-country emergency support for the duration of your program
    • Job and accommodation support for the full duration of your program, not just the duration of the welcome week!
    • Visa Assistance as needed
    • Assistance preparing tax paperwork upon arrival and before departure home
    • Opportunity to apply for a Greenheart Grant to give back to your community at home or abroad
    • Highly experienced team of in-country support staff members

    Additional Expenses to Consider:

    • Visa processing and fees
    • Flights and return transfers
    • Lunch and dinner during Welcome Week
    • Housing costs and living expenses (meals, utilities, etc.)
    • Personal expenses

    Wondering where exactly your program fee goes? Here is a breakdown.

  • Make it a Gap Year

    Work Abroad New Zealand is a spectacular gap year option! Our program is designed to have a structural component that assists our travelers with pre-departure and arrival logistics such as bank account setup, obtaining the equivalent of their Social Security number, finding accommodation, securing a job, and making friends! This work abroad program also allows for enough flexibility for travelers to experience self-discovery by choosing where they live, what jobs they secure, and when and where they would like to travel.

    This is a great gap year program for you if you:

    • Want a program centered around community
    • Are seeking guidance to help you navigate getting settled abroad, but desire the flexibility to work and travel on your own schedule
    • Enjoy outdoor activities
    • Are open to working a variety of jobs
    • Crave a travel abroad experience that lasts for 6-12 months
    • Are looking to add work abroad experience to your resume

    Skills and personal growth that our Greenheart Travelers have gained while on program:

    • Customer service
    • Cross-cultural communication
    • Agricultural
    • Interpersonal
    • Leadership
    • Budgeting
    • Problem-solving
    • Traveling know-how
    • Strong sense of self
    • Confidence
    • Independence
  • Startup Budget

    The cost of living in New Zealand, especially in big cities like Auckland, is likely more than what you’re used to in your home country. So, it is important to budget accordingly to make sure you are financially prepared upon arrival and until you begin to make a regular paycheck.

    Here is a rough estimate of your initial start up costs (in USD). Please note that the only amount you’ll have to pay Greenheart Travel is the program fee.

    Flight:                            $1,200

    Program Fee:               $1,340

    Visa:                                $280

    Savings:                         $2,590*

    Total:                             $5,410

    *this amount is a requirement of the Working Holiday Visa, however, it is a good amount to have to make sure you have enough money to live comfortably until you start working

  • Income

    Average Weekly Budget:

    Your salary will depend on how often you decide to work and what work you end up getting into. However, you are guaranteed to make the minimum wage for the type of work you’re doing ($15 – $25 NZD/hour), and as long as you’re working 25-35 hours per week, you’ll be making enough to live and travel on. Participants working in professional fields can generally expect to make more than this.

    Wages and rent are paid weekly which makes budgeting your paychecks much easier:

    These weekly costs will, of course, depend on your personal spending habits, where you live, how many hours you work, and if your job provides a higher pay/accommodation but you should expect to be able to save some of your paycheck every week.

    Although you will most likely spend any extra cash on travel opportunities, you have the potential to make back your start up costs:

    Monthly Savings =                               $508 NZD

    Yearly Savings =                                  $6096 NZD


  • Welcome Week

    During your first week in New Zealand, you’ll have 7 days of activities and excursions where you’ll get to know fellow travelers and enjoy your introduction to this gorgeous country!

    Welcome Week Itinerary:

    • Airport Pickup
    • 6-Night Hostel Accommodation + breakfast
    • Learn about Maori Culture!
    • Auckland City Walking Tour
    • Bay of Islands Tour
    • Cape Regina & at The Puketi Kauri Forest
    • Sandboarding
    • Devonport & Party Night
    • Job Workshop
    • Travel Planning Assistance
    • Bank Account Activation

    *Welcome week activities are subject to change based on seasonality. 

    Before you arrive, your bank account will already be opened – you won’t have to research New Zealand banks or finalize your account. Instead, the team will have prepared all of your paperwork in advance. They will also set you up for the New Zealand tax system and give you your IRD (New Zealand tax ID) so you can file taxes before you arrive.

    During the welcome week and orientation, you will meet the team and get all of the information necessary to start planning your time in New Zealand whether you want to start traveling or working right away. You will learn about life in New Zealand, when to work, where to work, where to travel and when to travel.

    During your welcome week, you will learn valuable skills essential to your stay in New Zealand:

    • Learn about New Zealand culture
    • Meet other travelers who have just arrived in New Zealand
    • Review the yearly job market; what jobs are abundant and where
    • Be introduced to online job boards
    • Format and review your resume/CV
    • Have the opportunity to meet with staff to discuss job prospects and what your expectations should be
    • Receive assistance in finding short or long term accommodation
    • Receive IRD and learn how to file taxes when you leave the country
    • Set up New Zealand cell phone
    • Discuss both solo and group travel opportunities
  • Jobs

    The most common jobs are low-skilled, entry-level jobs. These give you the freedom and flexibility to work part-time and for short periods of time, which will allow you to travel as much as you like! If you have little job experience or are just looking for work as a way to fund your travels, this is the best option.

    Hospitality, customer service, and office work are the most common of these jobs, as New Zealand companies report that the high level of service in the US and Canada tends to produce workers who are well-suited for these types of positions.

    Jobs in restaurants, bars, hostels, and hotels are widely available for shorter contracts in cities and jobs on farms and WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) are also popular among Working Holiday travelers who want to experience a different type of work outside of a city.

    While participants can work year-round in New Zealand, it is good to note peak hiring seasons for specific industries to help plan your start date.

    Skilled Professional Jobs

    Skilled laborers are in high demand in New Zealand, especially in these fields:

    • Construction workers
    • Welders
    • Plumbers
    • Electricians

    Please note that professional work tends to be concentrated in urban areas.

  • Why Greenheart Travel?

    There are advantages of applying for this program through us:

    • 33 years of experience with cultural exchange programs
    • Friendly, responsive, and professional support from your program manager!
    • We make our program fees as inclusive as possible. We include things like extensive medical insurance for the duration of the program, airport pickup, and extensive pre-departure and on-program support, so you’re not on your own for any part of your adventure
    • Our alumni recommend us! Reviews // Reviews
    • Exclusive access to the Greenheart Atlas, our interactive program that will guide you through your cultural immersion experience before, during, and after your program
    • Hands-on support and personal attention every step of the way
    • 24/7 emergency phone number to reach a staff member at any time
    • Pre-departure “Culture Shock and Adjustment” Webinar before you leave
    • Discounts for future Greenheart Travel programs
    • We are a non-profit, mission-based organization
    • Continued support throughout your program

    We also have some unique offerings to our Greenheart Travel participants and alumni!

    1. Greenheart Grants: Greenheart Grants are funds awarded to Greenheart Travel participants to use for community development projects in their host or home country. A Greenheart Grant is the opportunity to create, improve, or maintain an impactful, community-focused project abroad or at home. Grant funds could be applied to supporting women’s cooperatives, schools, community centers, or health clinics, for example. Grant winners will be featured on our website, social media, and blog. You can see our past winners on our blog here.
    2. Greenheart Alumni Program: We created the Greenheart Travel Alumni Program to provide resources and a community to support alumni in their advancement as global leaders, and a way to celebrate and reward our participants for being ambitious, inspiring catalysts of cultural exchange!

    Read more about why people are choosing Greenheart Travel: Why Choose Greenheart Travel? 

  • FAQs

    How will I find a job?

    With the support of our in-country partner, work in New Zealand participants will have a variety of ways to search and secure a position during their programs. Services include:

    • Introduction to finding work: an overview of the basic types of jobs that are available around the country, required skills, resources to find a job and listings of current jobs available for immediate start around the country.
    • Job board: Available in the Auckland office of the in-country partner, the board is updated weekly by staff that scans the job market each week for jobs that would be suitable for working holiday participants. All listings on the board are also listed online so participants can access this wherever they are in the country.
    • Assistance with certification of foreign credentials, if necessary.
    • Weekly newsletters: Unique and exciting job opportunities that come from local knowledge are emailed to participants weekly.
    How long does it take the get a job?

    This varies. During the busy season when lots of jobs are available, sometimes several job prospects are already awaiting you when you arrive and you can start work right away. Other times it can take up to six weeks. Usually, if there is a delay it is because you have rejected initial job prospects because they did not meet your expectations for some reason.

    Can I change jobs while I am there?

    Yes. You can choose to work in the same place for the full year, or to switch jobs.

    How much will I make?

    See the Budget page.

    Where will I live once I’ve been hired?

    Some jobs, especially those on resorts and farms, include housing or subsidized housing. Our in-country partner can provide guidance and resources to travelers to help them find other types of housing depending on where they are working. Sometimes the employer can provide assistance as well.

    In Auckland, you will probably pay $160-$200 NZD for a shared room (per week) if you are in short-term accommodation. If you want your own room, it is more expensive. If you are staying a while, think about renting an apartment with some friends or moving in with some Kiwis, as it is generally the cheapest option. However, some jobs will only be short term (1-2 months) and it can be difficult to find a short or open lease, so you may need to spend more towards $200 NZD/week to stay at a hostel.

  • Application Process

    1. Start Your Application HereYou will be sent more information as well as the link to our application portal to begin your formal application.

    2. Submit Basic Program Information: The first step in our application portal will be basic things like your chosen start date, etc.

    3. Submit your deposit: A $300 deposit is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your deposit in full.

    4. Complete Application & Documents: Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts. You will also submit your documents (below) within your portal account.

    5. Skype Interview: Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application deposit, you will be asked to schedule a video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.

    6. You’re Accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within 1-2 weeks of their interviews.

    7. Commitment Deposit: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment deposit within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program. Once you submit your commitment deposit you will unlock the acceptance portion of your portal, which includes things like pre-departure videos, travel and arrival information, the Greenheart Travel Atlas, and more.

    9. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to New Zealand!

    The above process can take as little as 1 week to complete, so it’s up to you how quickly you’re able to complete each step.

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