Back in 2009, I had the travel itch and I had it bad. I wanted to live in another country for a long time, long enough to get to know the people, the geography and the culture. I knew I didn’t have the funds to travel long term, so the perfect solution was a working holiday visa.
With a working holiday visa I could spend longer abroad, taking short-term jobs to fund my travels. I looked at everywhere which had a working holiday visa scheme with Canada and out of a fondness for the Lord of the Rings films I chose New Zealand. I didn’t realize at the time what an excellent choice I had made.
After nine months of traveling and working in the Land of the Long White Cloud, I believe that New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to take a working holiday. Here’s why:
An Abundance of Backpacker Jobs
When it comes to finding temporary jobs as a backpacker, New Zealand is ideal. A huge component of the Kiwi economy is agriculture, as this lush and green island is teeming with fruit orchards, vineyards and sheep farms. Seasonal labor jobs are everywhere in New Zealand and any backpacker can make their way around the country picking fruit, pruning vines or harvesting vegetables.
Another large industry in New Zealand is tourism and many hostels, hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes are looking for outgoing travelers with customer service experience and the right attitude to join their staff. They also used to dealing with people on a working holiday visa.
Cheap and Plentiful Accommodation
Of all the countries I have traveled in the world, New Zealand is one of the best when it comes to selection of cheap places to stay. From hostels, to budget motels to holiday parks with self contained accommodation, you will never be stuck looking for a room for the night. My recommendation: stay in a funky backpacker hostel as they are always filled with interesting travel-types who are up for spontaneous adventures and great conversation.
A Network of Other Travelers
Speaking of interesting travel-types, this is one of the other reasons working holidays in New Zealand are so much fun. Perhaps they are influenced by the laid back kiwi attitude, but travelers here seem to be so friendly and when you are new someone will always be happy to give you tips on what to do and where to go. You will come home with offers to visit 10 different countries to stay with all of the travelers you met along the way.
As well as the friendly travelers, you will love the welcoming New Zealander attitude as well. Down here everything is “Sweet As Bro” and nobody seems to worry about much. In my experience, Kiwis love their beautiful country and enjoy showing it off to tourists. During your working holiday you are sure to connect with a few locals who will do their best to make your experience as great as possible.
These are just a few of the reasons why New Zealand is an ideal setting for a working holiday. If you have the travel itch, what are you waiting for? Apply for a working holiday visa today!