Top Advice For Moving To New Zealand

Written by: Helen Scarr

Make Amazing NZ Your Home

New Zealand: famous for hobbits, the All Blacks, mountains, being extremely remote and, of course, kiwis.

It’s an attractive prospect for a traveller to spend a year or so in such a unique yet accessible and safe country. Working holiday visas to New Zealand are available for many nationalities, providing a chance to earn money as you explore this not-so-affordable land. So grab your passport, bro, and move to a place that is both mean as and choice. Pack a jersey for tramping, jandals for the beach plus bins for birdwatching and you’ll be sweet as.

How to find a job in NZ

Auckland skyline by night

If you arrive on a temporary visa your opportunities are somewhat limited due to the low population of New Zealand and increasing competition in the job market. There are plenty of backpacker-friendly areas of work, however, so it is possible to get a job in New Zealand.

These include hospitality, au pairing, WWOOFing, fruit picking or working a ski season. As well as checking out noticeboards in hostels, several websites can help you search for jobs in New Zealand. Trade Me is a great place to start looking.

BBH is affiliated with hundreds of hostels across New Zealand and provides work opportunities via their noticeboard.

Backpackerboard, Seasonalwork and Au Pair Link are also good resources to help you find work across the country. If you’re after a more permanent position, local recruitment agencies can assist in finding office temping, sales or call centre jobs.

The main thing to consider while looking for work in New Zealand is where you want to live (rural or urban), what kind of work you are prepared to do and how long you plan on staying in a particular area for. Hospitality and office work are easy to come by in larger towns and cities, whereas rural work tends to be seasonal and may not be available year round.

Embrace the culture of New Zealand

Queenstown Lake District, New Zealand

New Zealand is kind of on the small side. It’s roughly the same size as Great Britain, yet has a population of 4.5 million compared to Britain’s 64 million. More people live in Auckland than in the whole of the South Island.

The fact that humans are few and far between – and outnumbered by both sheep and cow populations – means the community spirit is strong in New Zealand’s towns and cities. Forget six degrees of separation, New Zealand has about two. This makes moving to the country a wonderful experience as the kiwis are so friendly and accommodating. Don’t be surprised if a local invites you to stay with them having known you for only a couple of hours – that’s normal here. In many towns they don’t even lock their front doors.

The clichéd things you’ve heard about New Zealand are largely true. It is spectacularly beautiful, unspoilt and amazingly clean. There are mountains everywhere. Lord of the Rings has been largely forgotten by locals but you can still visit Hobbiton, Mount Doom and the Weta Studio very easily.

Learn the culture of New Zealand

Rugby union is the official sport and it’s taken pretty seriously by most. Yet, despite the All Blacks becoming back-to-back world champions, you won’t hear New Zealanders boasting about it in the pub – they’re a modest nation.

This may have something to do with the fact that New Zealand is not included on many world maps; quite a few people think it‘s part of Australia rather than a country in its own right.

Maori culture is also a huge part of New Zealand’s history and embraced across the country. Most museums in major towns provide information on Maori history and the important local tribes.

It’s important to take the time to learn about and appreciate Maori legends and folklore as these people ruled the country for hundreds of years. Many countries could learn something from how the Maoris and the European settlers learned to live side by side in relative harmony.

Make the most of your time in New Zealand

Make the most of your time in New Zealand

As mentioned, New Zealand is a small and unassuming kind of place (despite being all kinds of awesome). Local community events and activities are hugely important to such a sparsely populated nation. Find out what’s going on in your region and get involved; whether it’s a food event, street festival, sporting occasion or historical anniversary. You’ll get a real taste of life in New Zealand.

The best way to appreciate New Zealand’s natural beauty is to get out amongst it. Tramping the ‘Great Walks’ of New Zealand is hugely popular due to excellently maintained trails with Department of Conservation huts to sleep in along the way.

Since the islands have an abundance of coastline, marine-based activities are widespread. Scuba diving, surfing, kayaking, sailing or simply swimming are great ways to experience New Zealand’s waters. Extreme sports such as bungee jumping, skydiving, white water rafting and caving are also widely accessible (and heaps of fun).

Food and drink in New Zealand is a growing scene and it won’t be long before the rest of the world sees it as a foodie destination.

Most people know about the phenomenon of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc grapes; yet there are many more wine regions across both islands from Waiheke Island in the northland to Central Otago in the south. New Zealand is producing fantastic, world-class wine year upon year and it’s worth visiting a few cellar doors to sample this first hand.

The craft beer scene is also on the up and there’s a plethora of local breweries to sample. As for food, such a coast-filled nation of course has magnificent seafood – local delicacies include whitebait, oysters, crayfish and clams. A country with more sheep than people obviously produces excellent lamb, and fresh fruit and veggie markets can be found everywhere with a real emphasis on seasonal eating across the country.

Moving to New Zealand may seem daunting at first, like a move to anywhere unfamiliar, but it won’t be long before you fall in love with this incredible country.

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