Field report: One year Work and Travel in New Zealand

Experience Report Work and Travel New Zealand: One Year Working Holiday in New Zealand

My epic and entertaining experience report Work and Travel New Zealand gives you many impressions and suggestions for your work and travel trip through New Zealand.

When I traveled through New Zealand on my working holiday visa, I got to grips with the local situation without much preparation after arriving in Auckland and slid from one job to the next.

How everything went exactly and what I experienced in New Zealand, you can read in the following experience report "Work and Travel in New Zealand" and at the same time collect a few ideas and get inspired for your job search in New Zealand.

Field report: Work and Travel in New Zealand, one year on the road with the Working Holiday Visa

Get the experience report "One year work and travel in New Zealand" as an e-book.

Chapter 1: The Job Hunting Marathon

My favorite trips are the ones where you don't have a plan, because they are so terribly spontaneous and end up doing really amazing things. And so it was with my trip to the other side of the world.

I arrived in Auckland, New Zealand one hot summer day in January and had no idea what I was going to do there. Well, one thing was clear: I wanted to stay for a year. And one more thing was clear – that there was no way I had enough money to make this happen for me. There was only one way to change that, sooner or later I had to work. How I wanted to do this, however, I did not know yet, after all, I had no plan.

Somewhat awkwardly and extremely uninformed, I made my way to Queen St. This is the main shopping street in Auckland, which runs through the middle of the city to the harbor. There I just wanted to stroll the street a bit, conquer my jet lag and get my bearings a bit. At the bottom of the street, my eyes brushed a sign that read "Travellers Point". I stopped and read more closely. Jobs, visas, travel, simply everything that moves the heart of a traveler. I went in and asked naively: "What do I have to do to find a job here??"

I received a somewhat surprised "how-can-one-just-be-so-uninformed" look from the lady behind the counter.

"Ehm, do you have an IRD number yet?"

No, of course I had nothing like that – after all, I had no idea about anything. She handed me a form and assured me that I absolutely had to apply for this number, which was for the tax office. Also, having a bank account in New Zealand was mandatory to get a job.

All right, now I was at least informed. When the jet lag had slowly subsided, I struggled through the application form and opened an account at a bank. After I had done that, however, my ambition began to wane again. I just waited for them to send me my IRD number, that's all I did. That one could meet so many nice people while doing nothing, had not been clear to me until then. In any case, doing nothing quickly turned into an extensive fun program with many interesting people from all over the world. As a result, I stayed in Auckland at the Brown Kiwi Backpackers when I finally got my number.

Chapter 2: The first job

Actually, I had no ambitions to find a job at that time already. I was just glad that I finally had everything sorted out so that I would only have to strike in case of emergency. But since as a Traveller it is obvious that you suffer from a constant lack of money, I was already a regular at the Brown Kiwi and everyone knew me well, one day the manager Peter asked me if I wouldn't like to earn a few dollars on the side. They urgently needed a housekeeper. Housekeeper – that sounded awfully spectacular to me. In reality it was more like a cleaning lady. But anyway, what could 10 Kiwi dollars an hour hurt and the cleaning only lasted four hours. So I had enough time to spend the rest of the day doing more exciting things.

So I let them show me what to do: make and unmake beds, vacuum, clean bathrooms, do the kitchen, tidy up, let other people spoil me with lunch, listen to loud music, quickly watch the news on TV and have entertaining talk shows running in the background. And in the end I picked up my $40 each time with a big smile on my face. My first job in New Zealand!

I didn't work there very long, after about three weeks I bought a bike and said goodbye to my friends at the Brown Kiwi.

They stood in front of the entrance door and watched me waving as I got on my bike and rode towards Wellington.

Two weeks, about 700 km and two flat tires later I was in Wellington. I waited for a week for friends from Auckland, with whom I wanted to meet up. In the meantime I had a good rest and had a look at New Zealand's capital city. A beautiful little town, situated on the water and surrounded by mountains – beautiful.

Again, the hostel staff didn't miss the fact that I obviously had time and wasn't in such a terrible hurry like some others. Alan wanted to know if I needed a job, because in the restaurant down the street they were always looking for help, especially on the weekends. Thanks for the offer, but no, I preferred to go to the South Island. It was going to be beautiful, that's what everyone said. I could hardly wait.

Chapter 3: Adventure South Island

After spending the weekend with the friends from Auckland, I let them take me to the ferry and started my journey to the South Island. With bike, bus and nice people who gave me a ride, I made my way along the east coast and then turned inland to Queenstown. I had my heart set on finding work there. It was autumn and I really wanted to spend the ski season there and snowboard hard.

The job search in Queenstown

I got free newspapers with job ads, walked through town and looked for signs in the shop windows to see if they were looking for people there. I rattled the bulletin boards in youth hostels, cafes and supermarkets. But unfortunately I got the impression that I was still a bit too early for the season. I was in a hurry to be the first one there, so that I would have all the choice. But it was disappointing, sobering. I spotted a sign in a window; it was a gift shop. I went in, tried to look friendly, tried to make the best impression. But as soon as I entered the store, I knew that this would not be the right thing for me. The souvenirs were natural products from New Zealand and the saleswomen were all much older than me. Nevertheless I dared to try – my first attempt to ask for work.

"Oh, we're sorry about that," the lady behind the counter said kindly, "but we just filled the spot."

Aha, was not to be expected otherwise. I also did not care whether it was true or not. I didn't want to work there anyway, I wanted something more exciting. I went into the ski lift operations office and first stood around stupidly in an anteroom where there was nobody. The reception desk was just empty and there didn't seem to be a soul around either. I looked around cautiously. I could see some doors open, but the offices seemed empty. I grabbed a brochure from a table covered with promotional material and buried myself behind it. What could I do?? To go again? No, now that I've been here before. To my relief, a person finally came out of one of the closed doors.

"Ehm hello," I tried to make myself noticed and still leave the best impression at the same time, because after all you could never know who you were talking to and what kind of influence he might have on the possible job placement.

I beamed at him and told him what I wanted to do.

"I wanted to know if you had any jobs to offer at your ski resorts."

"Oh, I don't work here – but I think you're in the wrong place. You need to go out that door and down the hallway."

"Eh, thanks." Somewhat confused, I made my way along the path described and finally entered a tiny room where a woman was sitting behind a computer. I repeated my request, but was already not beaming so, who knew who I was talking to again this time?

"Oh, I'm sorry – as far as I know, all the jobs are already taken, and besides, you could only apply over the Internet anyway, and the deadline for applications was already April."

Ok. After it was already May, it all somehow made sense to me. This time I was really late.

A job in the supermarket?

In desperation I went to the supermarket. There was a note that they were looking for someone for the fresh food counter. That was not necessarily what I wanted to do, especially since I did not like the supermarket, but nevertheless I went to the cashier and spoke to the next best cashier on the note.

Yes, wait a minute, she said, she had to get the manager first – I should wait next to the note on the wall. Once again I stood around stupidly. The manager kept me waiting. Well, managers were probably allowed to do that. Finally he came, I pointed to the paper next to me and told him that I wanted the job. Yes, he said, and went to a drawer, which he unlocked with a key attached to his pants by a long chain. He opened the drawer and took out a sheet of paper.

"Here, fill out the application form and return it here and we'll get back to you"."He gave me the bow and left in a hurry.

I can not describe at all how annoyed I was. I went back to the hostel and filled in the annoying form, for which I had to use my dictionary. The same day I went back to the supermarket and gave it to a cashier, who obviously had nothing to do and immediately read through it curiously.

I didn't wait for an answer from the supermarket people. Maybe it was the hostel I didn't like or my cold that was bothering me, either way I had convinced myself that I didn't like the city and didn't want to stay there.

A job in Dunedin?

I sat down on the bus to Dunedin and took it upon myself to find a job there.

I looked at the paper twice and gave up trying to find a job in Dunedin. Instead, I preferred to look around town, visit Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world, wheeze up it unathletically and ride my bike death-defyingly back down it, spend my precious money on a game of rugby, and then swing back on my bike to ride on and see more of New Zealand. I traveled all the way south and saw some more wonderful things, such as Milford Sound, which you can't really see without shelling out a bunch of money for a boat ride.

If you want to go north again from there, there is no way around Queenstown. No matter how many jobs there would be in the meantime – I didn't want to look for any, just have a little stopover again and have a look at the area completely unaware. That's what I did, I walked through the city and wandered through the surrounding area. Afterwards I looked at everything again from above, from a gondola, 134m above the ground, before I jumped down. However, before that someone had attached a bungee rope to my legs. However, it was not for free and my money gradually left me more and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *