I get asked all the time about the best way to come and do a gap year and find work in Queenstown so so I've posted an email I recently sent that may help....
The best time to arrive in Queenstown is before Xmas (Nov and Dec) as most hotels and cafes will be gearing up for the summer, the worst time to arrive is April or May just before the ski season when there are lots of people doing the same thing. (and accommodation is harder to get) There are plenty of jobs in the hotels and restaurants and bars - better if you have NZ residency or a working holiday permit, but they may take you if you don't although you will have to pay for a sponsored work visa.
There are a few agencys in town http://www.addstaff.co.nz
and www.tradestaff.co.nz and you can always check http://www.lwb.co.nz
(the local free paper) for jobs and accommodation. If you can do a barista (coffee making course) before coming down or have some experience in waiting tables etc that may help and bring any relevant references etc
The best way to find a job is actually to be here, but be prepared to wait a few weeks as employers are sometimes really slow at getting back to people. find somewhere to live and flatmates and friends of flatmates are also a good source of jobs too. Word of mouth goes a long way in Queenstown.
The other thing to remember too is heaps of people drop Cvs off at hotels so think outside the square, try places that aren't in town (Airport, industrial estate etc) as the competition isn't so tough there Good luck and perhaps join a Queenstown facebook page or check out whats going on with the local papers (the Mirror, the Mountain Scence) and ask around too.
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