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Work and Travel New Zealand

Find paid work, earn, travel and explore New Zealand!

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Group Size: Varies

Trip code: NZAK

Duration: Up to 12 months

Week of fun included activities
A flexible travel pass for New Zealand
12 months of job support

Want to work and travel in New Zealand? This exceptional Kiwi work and travel package offers a fun-packed week in Auckland and the Bay of Islands followed by 12 months of assistance and support to find the perfect paid job - plus an awesome, flexible hop-on-hop-off Kiwi Discovery bus pass around both NZ islands, valid for a whole year! Get the ideal balance between work and travel: Earn some money with paid work and see New Zealand's famous landscapes. Enjoy the best of both worlds on our work and travel experience!

Trip highlights

  • Kick off with 7 days of amazing guided, group adventures and fun in Auckland and the Bay of Islands, including a Maori cultural day, Auckland tour, Cape Reinga tour, stay in Paihia, waterfall hike, sandboarding and much more! 
  • Get 12 months of unlimited access to job support during your time in New Zealand, including an online jobs database where you can search for that perfect NZ job
  • Enjoy a hassle-free way into the NZ job market with this comprehensive work package and add skills to your CV whilst earning money on a unique working holiday
  • See the best of New Zealand’s North and South Islands at your own pace, with our flexible Kiwi Discovery bus pass valid for 12 months
  • Experience the natural landscapes of New Zealand and get stuck into some awesome adventure activities like kayaking, bungee jumping, skydiving, snowboarding, cycling and more!
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What's included

Absolute NZ Jobs

  • Airport transfer to your Auckland hostel
  • 6 nights' 4-star hostel accommodation (3 nights Auckland, 3 nights Bay of Islands)
  • 6 breakfasts, 3 dinners
  • Detailed orientation and job search session
  • 12 months’ access to an exclusive online jobs database
  • 12 months of job support from an expert NZ jobs team
  • Auckland city tour
  • Auckland pub crawl
  • Sports and other activities in Paihia
  • Maori cultural day with performances
  • Cape Reinga day tour
  • Dune surfing and sandboarding
  • Hike to Harura Waterfalls
  • Tour transport and guide in week 1
  • CV and interview advice
  • Tax File Number registration
  • Bank account set up
  • Mobile Phone SIM card
  • Mail holding and forwarding
  • Travel discounts and offers
  • Luggage storage (up to 4 weeks)
  • Unlimited internet access at Auckland office
  • Free wi-fi at Paihia accommodation
  • 24 hour support

Kiwi Discovery Pass

  • Hop-on-hop-off bus pass with 12 months validity (minimum 28 days)
  • Open dated ticket for maximum flexibility
  • All bus transport with guide/driver
  • Assistance booking accommodation along the route
  • Visit the beautiful Bay of Islands
  • Visit to Parry Kauri Forest
  • Dune surfing
  • Huka Falls visit
  • Country farm experience
  • Tongariro National Park visit
  • Free time in Wellington
  • Visit to Abel Tasman National Park
  • See Punakaiki pancake rocks
  • Franz Josef Glacier stop
  • See the fur seals at Cape Foulwind
  • Free time in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world!
  • Viewing gantry walk in Fiordland
  • Optional trip to Stewart Island
  • Spot wildlife in Kaikoura
  • 24 hour support
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Working Holiday Visa
  • Most meals
  • Accommodation after the first 7 nights
  • Ferry transfers (Kiwi Discovery Pass)
  • Return transfer to the airport
Further trip information

Combine paid work and adventure travel in New Zealand on this incredible work and travel package. Kick off with an awesome week of fun, guided group adventures in Auckland and the Bay of Islands and then get 12 months of job advice and support so you can find paid work and earn some money abroad. You will also enjoy up to 12 months of travel around New Zealand with our inclusive bus pass – amazing!

Before you begin your job search you’ll enjoy 7 days focused on fun, settling in and making new friends, which includes amazing guided activities & sightseeing in Auckland and the Bay of Islands area. Once your first week of fun is over you can kick-start your job search with the expert advice and assistance of our Auckland jobs team.

Week 1: Fun, Culture and Adventure in Auckland and the Bay of Islands

Day 1, Sunday: Arrive in Auckland. Arrive into Auckland Airport at any time today, a shuttle transfer will be arranged to take you to your buzzing city centre hostel. If you arrive early in the day, why not head out and explore some of Auckland’s sights at your own pace as you get ready for a whole week of fun and adventure!

Day 2, Monday: Job orientation in Auckland. After an inclusive breakfast you will get your first introduction to the world of work in New Zealand. Join a welcome work and travel orientation session in the morning and then get assistance applying for your tax file number. In the afternoon you will be given a comprehensive job presentation and learn all about finding paid work in New Zealand. In the evening, you will tuck in to a delicious group pizza dinner with a free drink included!

Day 3, Tuesday: Auckland city tour. Another hearty inclusive breakfast will set you up for a morning of appointments at the bank, where you’ll finalise all your bank account details. After that, you’ll head out on a guided tour of Auckland. See all the highlights, including the Harbour area and bridge, Mt Eden Volcano and The Domain. Spend another evening bonding with your new group of friends, enjoying a BBQ dinner and another free drink, followed by an epic Auckland pub crawl!

Day 4, Wednesday: Paihia, Bay of Islands. After an early breakfast, depart by private bus with your group and guide from your Auckland hostel at 7.30am, bound for the gorgeous Bay of Islands. There will be plenty of photo opportunities en route as you stop off to see some of New Zealand’s stunning scenery. Arriving in picturesque Paihia around 12 noon/1pm a whole afternoon of fun lies ahead as you take part in some great activities, including a hike to the gorgeous Harura Falls, a horseshoe waterfall. Enjoy a tasty burger dinner after dark.

Day 5, Thursday: Maori cultural day. Have a full day’s cultural immersion experience today as you visit a traditional Waitangi Maori land and learn about Maori culture from a local indigenous tour guide. Your day kicks off with a 10am tour of the Maori Treaty Grounds, followed by an amazing Maori cultural show which includes:

  • A traditional Maori welcome outside the meeting house
  • An introduction by the local residents to their unique indigenous culture
  • A spine-tingling waiata (singing) performance
  • A ladies group dance (known as The Poi)
  • Maori stick games
  • A display of Maori weaponry
  • The famous Haka display

In the afternoon, you’ll take a ferry to explore the first ever capital of New Zealand, Russel. Tonight, enjoy a movie night with your group, complete with hot tub and board games!

Day 6, Friday: Cape Reinga day tour. Depart at 7am for a day’s guided bus tour, bound for New Zealand’s northernmost point, breathtaking Cape Reinga. Listen to some unique Maori stories while you travel. En route you’ll stop off at Te Paki Stream to try some dune surfing and sandboarding (weather permitting), before arriving at Cape Reinga to see the sensational views over the place where the Pacific meets the Tasman Sea. You’ll return to Paihia around 6p.m, where you can visit one of the best pubs in the area. Dance long into the night!

Day 7, Saturday: Return to Auckland. Spend a free morning making the most of your final moments in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Your private bus departs at 12pm and you will arrive back in Auckland around 4:30pm, where your scheduled itinerary ends. Please note that accommodation for tonight is not included but you can book this either before you travel or during your first few days in Auckland. You’re now ready to begin your job hunt!

Please note: The itinerary is subject to change and activities may be done in a different order than stated.

Let the job search begin!

Once your first week of fun is over, you will get 12 months of personal job support from our team in Auckland, including job consultations, a local 24 hour emergency hotline, and unlimited access to an exclusive online jobs database, so you can begin looking for the perfect paid job! As part of the package you get…

  • Kiwi bank account
  • Tax File Number
  • A New Zealand SIM card
  • Visa information
  • Unlimited internet access at our Auckland office!
  • Access to incredible offers
  • Mail holding and forwarding
  • Luggage storage for a maximum of 4 weeks 

Kiwi Discovery Pass

Valid for 12 months, your bus pass allows you to spend up to a year exploring New Zealand, or if you prefer you can complete the entire tour route in a minimum of 30 days (although we recommend you allow around 38 days to make the most of your travel pass experience). 

You don't have to start in Auckland! You can start and end at any stop along the route!

You should arrange your arrival into Auckland the day before the tour begins, as there is an early start in the morning!

Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands. Your flexible, hop-on-hop-off tour begins today at 7am in the lively city of Auckland. Your destination is the relaxing seaside town of Paihia, known as the ‘gateway to the Bay of Islands’. Visit Parry Kauri Forest Park.

Paihia to Cape Reinga and Back. Stop off at Te Paki Stream to try some inclusive dune surfing and sandboarding, before arriving at Cape Reinga. Please note: Today is a round day trip from Paihia and you cannot hop off the bus today. 

Paihia to Auckland. Today is a free day to relax and enjoy Paihia at your leisure. Join a boat cruise, sign up to swim with dolphins, laze on the beach or hike to the famous Harura Falls. In the afternoon, the bus will take you back to the bright lights of Auckland. 

Auckland to Hahei. Travel south to the stunning Coromandel Peninsula and settle into your beachfront accommodation. Head over to Hot Water Beach to dig and relax in your own personal hot water pool! (weather & tide dependent)

Hahei. Free day to relax and soak up the beautiful surroundings and awesome optional activities of Hahei.

Hahei to Rotorua. Journey through the rolling hills of the Waikato region. Optional activities include visiting The Lord of the Rings Hobbiton set. Free day to relax and explore in geothermal Rotorua.

Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua. Maori guided tour, activities, meals and stay at Lake Aniwhenua (optional: extra cost of NZD89). Optional activities include: traditional fishing, eeling, weaving lessons, cooking classes and kayaking (cost NZD10-20).

Lake Aniwhenua (via Taupo) to Whakahoro. See the stunning Huka Falls then visit Lake Taupo. Optional skydiving (approx NZD250). Rural country farm visit and overnight stay. 

Whakahoro. Explore the countryside around the rural country farm. Optional activities include a 4x4 tour, a horse trek or kayaking.

Whakahoro to Raetihi. Explore the Tongariro National Park. Option to do legendary 1-day Tongariro Crossing Alpine Walk (extra cost). Stay overnight at a historic Nurses’ Home in Raetihi.

Raetihi to Wellington. Travel to Wellington. Free time to explore New Zealand’s capital city.

Wellington to Marahau (Abel Tasman National Park). 8am ferry to South Island (extra cost of approx. NZD55). Visit to Marlborough wine-making region (optional wine tasting). Final destination of the day is Marahau, on the edge of Abel Tasman National Park. 

Marahau (Abel Tasman National Park). Explore Abel Tasman National Park. Optional activities on offer include sailing, kayaking, skydiving, stand up paddleboarding or hang gliding. All optional activities are at an extra cost.

Marahau to Franz Josef. Journey along the rugged west coast. See the seal colony at Cape Foulwind and the unusual Punakaiki Pancake Rocks with their impressive blowholes. Stop off at the mining town of Greymouth and Hokitika en route to Franz Josef.

Franz Josef. Free day to explore the area around the fantastic Franz Josef Glacier. Join a guided bush hike, or enjoy a heli-hop and tour of the unique icy area, including entry to hot pools (extra cost of NZD250).

Franz Josef to Wanaka. See Lake Matheson, travel through Haast Pass and Makarora, see Lake Hawea then end up in Wanaka in the late afternoon. 

Wanaka to Queenstown. Early walk up Mount Iron or skydive (skydive extra cost). On to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world! Spend 2 unforgettable nights here.

Queenstown to Gunn’s Camp. Start early for a scenic drive past Lake Wakatipu, before arriving in magical Milford Sound. Opt to do a Milford Sound boat cruise (extra cost) before travelling on to Gunn’s Camp. 

Gunn’s Camp to Invercargill/Stewart Island. Take a leisurely stroll through beautiful beech forests on a Viewing Gantry walk. Travel South to Invercargill. Hop across to Stewart Island (ferry at own cost) or stay in Invercargill overnight instead.

Invercargill/Stewart Island to Queenstown. If you stayed on Stewart Island, enjoy a free morning before travelling back to the mainland (ferry at own cost). If you chose to stay in Invercargill overnight, you’ll head out on a tour sea-lion, penguin and dolphin spotting. Travel back to Queenstown. 

Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook. Arrive at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/ Mt Cook in the early afternoon. Take a short walk, join a 4WD tour or visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.

Mount Cook to Rangitata (via Tekapo). Journey through ‘Lord of the Rings country’ and stop off at the sparkling waters of Lake Tekapo. Take an optional hike up to Mt John observatory for a killer view. Tonight, stay in an original sheep station in Rangitata Peel Forest.

Rangitata to Christchurch. Optional white water rafting or horse riding this morning. Spend the night in the wonderful city of Christchurch.

Christchurch to Kaikoura. Journey up the beautiful east coast to Kaikoura. Spot seals, soak up the spectacular views, swim with dolphins or go whale-spotting (seasonal). 

Kaikoura (via Picton) to Wellington. Travel along the wild coast, stopping at a seal colony en route to Picton. You can choose to stop off here, or catch a ferry (extra cost of NZD51-75) across the Cook Strait to Wellington. 

Wellington to Auckland. Leaving at 6.40am, you’ll zip back to your starting point in Auckland today, arriving in the late afternoon. Here your epic hop-on-hop-off adventures come to an end! 

Don’t forget, you can hop on and off along the route for up to a year!

Please Note: This itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change. There are lots of extra, optional activities on offer all along the tour route and all optional activities are at your own, extra cost. Ferry costs are not included in your trip price.

Please note that we will book the pass as open dated, so you can decide the date that you want to start- please download the trip notes for more details.

Please note all activities, itineraries and routes are subject to change

Booking options

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Arrival information

You will need to arrange flights into Auckland International Airport (AKL). A shuttle bus is included from the airport to your central Auckland hostel. 

Accommodation & meals

Absolute NZ Jobs

6 nights’ of dorm-share accommodation in 4-star hostels is included. This includes 3 nights in a centrally-located hostel in the lively city of Auckland. You will usually stay in 4 bed, single sex dorms however during busy periods you may stay in 6 bed dorms. Facilities at this hostel include:

  • Large fully equipped kitchen
  • Dining room
  • Spacious and relaxing lounge area with Sky TV and a pool table
  • Luggage storage
  • DVD's and board games for hire
  • A stereo and book exchange
  • Onsite travel and accommodation booking service
  • 24 hour staff

At busy times of year it is possible you may stay in a different 4-star hostel in Auckland with similar facilities.

You will spend your final 3 nights based in a hostel in Paihia in the Bay of Islands. Facilities at this hostel include:

  • Swimming pool
  • Spa pool
  • Free use of kayaks
  • Free use of bikes & tennis facilities
  • Terrace & courtyard with BBQ
  • Luggage storage
  • Internet room with FREE wi-fi!
  • Dvds & board games

6 breakfasts and 3 dinners are also included on this trip. Other meals are at your own cost, but with loads of great restaurants on your doorstep and even facilities to cook your own meals on offer at the hostel in Auckland, you can eat cheaply and easily while in New Zealand.

Please note: Accommodation for your final night of the first week (day 7, Saturday) is not included but you can book this either before you travel to New Zealand or during your first few days in Auckland.

Long-term accommodation options

Our jobs team in New Zealand can give you great advice and assistance in finding long term accommodation for your time in New Zealand. Most travellers who head out to New Zealand end up either sharing an apartment with other Working Holiday travellers or extend their stay in a hostel. The advantage of renting is that it works out cheaply, especially if you share, and you get your own private room. Our customers often end up renting a place with the friends they meet in their first week on the programme.

Alternatively you can extend your stay in a hostel. This is a great option for those that want to travel around quite a lot. Hostels offer cheaper rates for those that want a long term stay, for example for one month or more. It is really easy to book accommodation in hostels; you can often walk in and get a room that day but we recommend that you make a reservation the night before.

Your wages will cover any living expenses such as rent, food and bills. If you would like any more information about costs and accommodation please contact us for more details.

Kiwi Discovery Bus Pass

Accommodation and meals are not included as part of the Kiwi Discovery hop-on-hop-off bus pass. Each stop-off on the bus route offers unique accommodation options, which we offer our travellers at a reasonable cost, with a typical night costing about NZD25-30 for a dorm room and NZD60-80 for a twin or double room*. We reserve accommodation in all our overnight stops so you’ll be guaranteed one night’s accommodation in each overnight stop if you want it. If you wish to take advantage of this offer, tell your guide/driver and they will book it for you, and you pay as you go.

If you wish to choose your own accommodation, or want to stay longer in any of the locations along the route, to make the most of your 12 months flexible bus pass, then you are free to select your own accommodation and your guide can help you with advice and booking.

Our reserved choice of accommodation along the route is exclusive to this tour, and offers unique and amazing places to stay. These include a variety of hostels, wilderness lodges and cabins in amazing off the beaten track locations as well as on a sheep station, a country farm, rainforest lodges and in a Marae (a Maori meeting house)!

The optional night at Lake Aniwhenua is NZD89 including accommodation, bed and linen, a tour of sacred Maori rock carvings, a Marae experience, community activities, afternoon tea, dinner and breakfast.

*Please note: in peak season twins and double rooms may have limited availability.

Most of the recommended accommodation en route offers self-catering facilities, and the tour stops off at supermarkets so you can stock up on supplies. Group meal options are sometimes offered and the Maori cultural experience includes meals. Vegetarian options are readily available.

Minimum age & eligibility

Due to the Working Holiday Visa age restrictions, this trip is only available to 18-30 year olds. As you are planning to work in New Zealand whilst you’re here, you’ll need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa, which gives you twelve months eligibility to live and work in New Zealand. This can be done online through the New Zealand Immigration website. Feel free to contact us for further information.

To be eligible for a Work Visa/Permit applicants must:

  • Hold a valid passport from the country whose scheme they are applying under;
  • Be aged no less than 18 years of age and no more than 30 years of age
  • Not be accompanied by children;
  • Have a return ticket, or sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket;
  • Meet health and character requirements;
  • Be the holder of a valid temporary permit if applying from within New Zealand; and
  • Not previously have been approved a visa or permit under a Working Holiday Scheme.

Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check the relevant embassy websites for up to date information.

Covid safety

This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:

Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.

Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.

Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.

Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.

Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.

Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.

24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.

It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.

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