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New Zealand,  Working Abroad

12 Best Paid Backpacker Jobs In New Zealand

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Last Updated On 6th February 2024 By Lauren | Wild Lovely World

Thinking of travelling to New Zealand to work and wondering what are the best paid backpacker jobs in New Zealand? Then you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, I will explain the best paid backpacker jobs in New Zealand, including how much you can expect to be paid per hour. Predominantly, we will be looking at the best paid backpacker jobs for the Working Holiday Visa as this is the most popular visa for backpackers in New Zealand.

We will go over the types of jobs and the most popular industries for backpackers to work in New Zealand. We will look at the current minimum and living wage and the cost of living in New Zealand. I share my own personal experience of working in different jobs on my Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand and how much I got paid per hour in each of my backpacker jobs, plus my earnings per month.

If you want to skip ahead to any section of this post, just use the easy contents table below.

The Best Paid Backpacker Jobs In New Zealand (Detailed & Honest Guide)

Contents show

New Zealand Travel Inspiration:

Read my New Zealand Travel Guide for all my amazing tips and advice for your trip!

The Best Paid Backpacker Jobs In New Zealand – Summary Table

In this article, we look in depth at the best paid backpacker jobs in New Zealand. For those in a hurry, here is a summary table of the best paid backpacker jobs and how much you can expect to be paid per hour (in New Zealand dollars).

Job Industry In New ZealandApproximate Hourly Pay ($ NZD)Extra Earning Potential / Perks In Role
Food & Beverage Hospitality Jobs$24 – $28 Per HourTips; Free Food
Accommodation Hospitality Jobs$24 – $28 Per HourTips & Commission; Free/Cheap Accommodation
Horticulture (Fruit, Vegetable & Flowers) Picking & Packing Jobs$23 Per HourPiece Rate; Free Food
Viticulture & Vineyard Jobs$23 – $35 Per HourPiece Rate
Animal Farm (Sheep & Cattle) Jobs$25 – $30 Per HourFree/Cheap Accommodation
Meat & Seafood Processing Factory Jobs$23 – $27 Per Hour
Retail Jobs$24 Per HourCommission & Bonuses; Staff Discount
Charity & Non-Profit Fundraising Jobs$23 – $25 Per HourCommission & Bonuses; Free Travel
Travel & Tourism Jobs$25 – $35 Per HourTips & Commission; Free/Discounted Activities; Free/Cheap Accommodation
Ski Field Jobs$25 – $30 Per HourTips; Free Ski Pass
Construction & Trade Jobs$23 – $35 Per Hour
Administration & Office Jobs$25 – $35 Per Hour
Summary Table showing backpacker jobs in New Zealand, the approximate rate of pay per hour, and the potential to earn more money in the role through commission, tips and bonuses.

Keep reading this article to learn more about these jobs in more detail and my tips for earning even more money.

Introduction Topics

Before we get into these best paid backpacker jobs in more detail, we will first take a quick look at the following topics:

  • Different work visas for backpackers in New Zealand
  • The demand and supply of jobs
  • Legal Minimum and Living Wages in New Zealand
  • How New Zealand wages compare to other countries

If you want to skip ahead, then just scroll back up and use the contents table to navigate.

Work Visas For Backpackers In New Zealand

New Zealand is a really popular destination for backpackers to travel for work and play. Working as you travel will allow you to build up your funds so that you can keep travelling without worrying about running out of money!

First, let’s look at the types of work visas that you can get to earn money while you visit New Zealand.

Types Of Work Visas For Backpackers & Visitors To New Zealand

Currently, there are a couple of visas that allow backpackers and temporary visitors to work while they visit New Zealand. These are the Working Holiday Visa (WHV) and the Seasonal Employment Visa (SSE). With these two visas, you can stay between 6-23 months and work for different employers in New Zealand.

The SSE visa only allows work in the horticulture and viticulture industries. It is available to people who are first on a tourist visa or a student visa in New Zealand.

The Working Holiday Visa is open to people aged 18-30/35 from different countries. It allows the visa holder to work in any industry for any employer, but how long you can work for each employer will depend on your nationality, as it is different for different countries.

For professional workers with skills in demand, there is also the Accredited Employer Work Visa. This is a longer-term work visa (up to 3 years) that only allows you to work for one employer.

For this article, I will focus mainly on the Working Holiday Visa (WHV) and the Seasonal Employment Visa (SSE). So, we will look at jobs that are best suited to holders of these kinds of visas. Predominantly, we will be looking at the best paid backpacker jobs for the Working Holiday Visa as this is the most popular visa for backpackers in New Zealand.

Related Read: For more information on the types of visas that you can get to work in New Zealand, check out this blog post that I have written covering this topic here: 3 Types Of Work Visas For Backpackers In New Zealand.

Skill Shortages In New Zealand & How Easy It Is To Get A Job On A Working Holiday Visa

New Zealand is facing huge labour shortages in many industries. For example, construction, healthcare, teaching, engineering and hospitality to name a few. If you have skills or qualifications in any of the skill shortage areas then you will be in high demand in New Zealand. It’s worth checking the lists online at New Zealand Immigration and seeing if you are eligible for any other work visas. If you can get a work visa for one of these skill-shortage jobs then you will be able to earn more and stay in New Zealand for longer.

Currently, it is pretty easy to get hired for any kind of job because of the skill shortages. You won’t need to worry about finding work when you begin your Working Holiday or Seasonal Employment Visa in New Zealand.

Related Read: To help you start the process of finding work, check out this blog post that I have written on the best ways to find a job in New Zealand: 12 Ways To Find A Job On Your Working Holiday Visa In New Zealand.

How Much You Should Be Paid In New Zealand (Minimum Wage & Living Wage)

It’s only natural that you will want to be able to earn as much as possible while on your Working Holiday Visa. The more you earn per hour will allow you to build your funds faster so that you can continue exploring New Zealand.

Working in New Zealand as a backpacker on a Working Holiday Visa, you can expect a wage of around $23 per hour. But this wage can increase depending on your skills, experience and the industry you work in. 

The minimum wage in New Zealand is currently NZD $22.70 per hour (2023). That is around GBP £11.15 per hour or USD $13.75 per hour.

The Living Wage in New Zealand is currently $23.65 per hour (since September 2022).

The minimum wages (and living wages) in New Zealand have been increasing every year and are only set to keep increasing every year, especially to keep up with the Cost of Living and Inflation.

You can look up current and previous minimum wage rates in New Zealand here on the Employment New Zealand website.

How To Get Paid Your Wages

Most of these jobs will pay you on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Your wages will go directly into your bank account and you will receive a payslip by email.

You need to setup a New Zealand bank account. Popular banks are ANZ, BNZ and KiwiBank. They will all allow you to setup a bank account once you arrive in the country, show ID and proof of your Working Holiday Visa.

IRD Number (Tax)

You need an IRD number to legally work in New Zealand. Read the guidance here on the Inland Revenue website about how to get an IRD number.

How New Zealand Wages Compare To Other Countries

Wages in New Zealand are not bad in comparison to many countries, including the UK, the US, South American and Asian countries. You can earn a reasonable wage for doing entry-level jobs.

NZ Wages Compared To UK Wages & The Costs Of Living – My Experience

I did a Working Holiday Visa for 3 years from 2020 – 2023 and I am from the UK. In my own experience, I was able to earn more in New Zealand than I could earn doing an equivalent job in the UK. I found that I could expect to be paid GBP £1-2 (NZD $2-4) more per hour in New Zealand for a similar kind of job in the UK.

capsicum in new zealand supermarket showing price of $4.99 per vegetable - cost of living new zealand
The price of one capsicum costing $4.99 in New Zealand supermarket – © Wild Lovely World

However, an important consideration to living and working in New Zealand is that even though the minimum wage is higher in New Zealand compared to the UK, I think that living costs in New Zealand are much higher overall.

Price Of Food & Fuel

I found the food very expensive (and seasonal) and fuel is also much more expensive. It is not unusual to see a 500g punnet of strawberries cost $15 and petrol $3/litre. As New Zealand is a very isolated country, you will not have access to the same products and retail competition that you may have experienced in your home country. Therefore, items, in general, are more expensive and therefore your earnings will get you far less.

Price Of Accommodation

If you rent accommodation, you could expect to pay between $200 – $400 per week, depending on the type of accommodation you rent and the location. This is the price of renting from a landlord in a town or city. The cost of staff accommodation from an employer will be much cheaper or even free.

My Experience With NZ Cost Of Living & How I Was Able To Save

I was able to save a lot of money during my Working Holiday in New Zealand. However, my ability to save money in New Zealand was mostly because of the lifestyle choices that I made while I was in New Zealand rather than my wages. I mostly lived in my campervan, did house and pet sitting, or stayed in free or cheap accommodation provided by my employers, so my living expenses were very low.

Related Read: For more information about getting a campervan, then check out this guide on The Most Important Things To Know Before Buying A Campervan In New Zealand.

The Best Paid Backpacker Jobs In New Zealand

Now, let’s look at the best paid backpacker jobs in New Zealand, how much you can expect to earn per hour and my tips on how to get paid more!

The hourly wages are from doing research across different job advertisement websites and finding the average wages for the industries and jobs. All wages are in $NZD.

In addition, I provide you with tips on how to find these jobs, with advice on locations in New Zealand, job agencies/sites to find these jobs and what skills/interests you will need to be successful in being hired.

During my Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand, I had a variety of backpacker jobs. I share my own experiences about the jobs I had and how much I earned per hour.

1. Food & Beverage Hospitality Jobs (Cafes, Restaurants, Bars): Approx. $23 – $30 Per Hour

Hospitality is an easy job to get in New Zealand because there are many employers looking for staff. Vacancies are available all over New Zealand so it is a good industry to be in to be able to gain work throughout your travels.

Types Of Food & Beverage Hospitality Jobs

best independent coffee shops in edinburgh - cappuccino coffee
A Beautiful Cappuccino! – © Wild Lovely World

Types of jobs available in the food and beverage hospitality industry are:

  • Bar Staff
  • Waiting Staff
  • Baristas
  • Kitchen Hands
  • Cooks / Chefs
  • Duty Managers
  • Front of House Managers
  • Supervisors
  • Food & Beverage Attendants

How Much You Can Earn In Food & Beverage Hospitality Jobs In New Zealand

Working in hospitality is one of the best paid backpacker jobs in New Zealand because of the great hourly rates offered. Starting wages are around minimum wage but can increase to $28 per hour or more with skills and experience.

You don’t necessarily need any experience to get a job in hospitality, but it will help. I had many years of experience behind me before starting my Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand so I was able to start work in New Zealand at a more senior level. If you’re starting as a Waiting Staff and have little experience, you will likely be looking at earning minimum wage or a few dollars more than minimum wage.

If you have skills and experience, you can expect a higher hourly wage. For example, if you are experienced in Front of House you could work as a Supervisor or Senior member of staff. You could also have experience making coffee as a Barista and earn more with these skills. Baristas can look at earning approx. $24 – 25 per hour. If you have Chef experience or qualifications, then your starting wage could be $26 or $28 per hour. Chefs are in high demand in New Zealand and so have more negotiation power to get the best paid backpacker jobs.

All that being said, in recent times due to staff shortages in the hospitality industry in New Zealand, I have heard of people earning from $27 per hour even as Waiting Staff with no experience. This will drive the wages of more skilled and experienced staff up higher as well.

fiachra and lauren working in the kitchen preparing salads and dishes for guests at timber trail lodge
Fiachra and Lauren working in the kitchen at a lodge in the North Island – Photo By Timber Trail Lodge On Instagram

Tips

If you work in hospitality, you will also likely get tips from customers while you are at work which can be a nice addition to your wages. Tips are not really part of the culture in New Zealand but some customers (especially international tourists from the US) do like to tip service staff. I was getting around $10 – $20 per week in tips while I was working in hospitality.

How To Get Paid More Money Working In Hospitality In New Zealand

There are ways to get qualifications to get paid more for this backpacker job in New Zealand.

As I mentioned above, if you have an interest or experience in being a Chef, Barista or in Front of House, then you will be able to earn higher wages in hospitality in New Zealand. You can study and train on the job or you can get qualifications when or before you arrive.

One of the best ways to earn more money in hospitality jobs is to do a Liquor Licensing Managers course. Managers in New Zealand that are responsible for the sale of alcohol on the premises, for example in a shop, bar or restaurant need to be certified. They can earn from $25 – $30 per hour.

How To Become A Manager Of Licenced Premises (Liquor Licence Certificate)

To become a Manager you may need to study and pass a test on the responsible sale of alcohol. At least, you will need to be responsible and aware of liquor licencing laws and requirements. Sometimes employers are happy to assign you as a Temporary or Acting Manager, meaning you can be the manager on duty and be responsible for alcohol sales, without having to get your own certification. This is as simple as going through a bit of training and signing a piece of paper on your shift (speaking from my own experience).

If you want to get your own certification, then the process can be long and expensive, costing $1000s. So, it is best to only do this if you are considering staying in New Zealand for a while and want to work in this industry. Many employers will send their staff on the Managers training and will pay for the course and licence. If you can get your employer to do this, then it is a really good way to gain an extra qualification and earn more money. If you do this early on, then you will be highly employable for the rest of your time working in New Zealand. I recommend only trying to look at getting this training and certificate once you are in New Zealand and have found an employer, as you may not necessarily need it.

Managers with liquor license certificates are hard to come by, so employers are crying out for them. This makes it a competitive and lucrative job to have in hospitality in New Zealand and therefore makes it one of the best paid backpacker jobs.

For more information on what is required to become a Manager of licenced premises, you can read more here at Alcohol.org.nz.

My Experience Working In Food & Beverage Hospitality In New Zealand (& How Much I Was Paid)

I’ve had several hospitality jobs in New Zealand and found it to be a good industry that is well-paid for backpackers.

For 6 months during my Working Holiday in New Zealand, I was working as a Front of House Shift Supervisor at a cafe/restaurant. In that job, I was earning $23.50 per hour (2021, minimum wage at the time was $20 per hour).

My job was to supervise a team of waiting staff, wait tables, host guests, barista, communicate between the front of house and the kitchen, prepare cabinet food items, open/close the restaurant and light cleaning.

I was getting paid around $700 – $900 per week (after tax) working between 33 and 44 hours per week in Front of House at the cafe/restaurant.

For accommodation, I was living in a shared staff house and paid $210 per week rent as a couple. My partner and I had our own private double room and shared a kitchen and bathroom with other staff. I was provided with a bicycle to cycle to/from work and it took around 15 minutes.

Mostly I worked split shifts in this job, e.g. 9 am – 3 pm and 5 pm – 9 pm. Because of that, it was quite an exhausting job. I was also doing around 15,000+ steps every day just on my shifts at work. Waiting tables is tiring work!

I enjoyed the job and built up my coffee-making and management skills so overall it was a good experience.

lauren decorating a carrot cake with a heart in a kitchen at a lodge in the north island
Lauren decorating cakes at work at a lodge in the North Island – © Wild Lovely World

2. Accommodation Hospitality Jobs (Hotels, Motels, Lodges, Campsites): Approx $24 – $28 Per Hour

Working in accommodation hospitality is one of the best paid backpacker jobs in New Zealand. The work is fun and varied as you will be doing a variety of tasks. You could be cleaning rooms and facilities, making breakfast for guests, checking guests in at the reception, or mowing the ground lawns. There are a lot of tasks to be done to ensure the smooth running of a motel, campsite or lodge, so there is always something interesting to do.

Accommodation Hospitality Employers In New Zealand

The types of accommodation businesses that you can work at in New Zealand are:

  • Hostels
  • Lodges
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Holiday Parks
  • Campsites
  • Resorts

Types Of Accommodation Hospitality Jobs

Types of jobs that you can do at an accommodation business in New Zealand are:

  • Housekeeper / Cleaner
  • Receptionist / Customer Service Staff
  • All-Rounder
  • Holiday Park Assistant / Holiday Park Manager
  • Lodge Assistant / Lodge Host / Lodge Manager
  • Motel / Hotel Manager
  • Assistant Manager / Relief Manager / Duty Manager
fiachra lying on bed during housekeeping shift at lodge in north island new zealand
Fiachra taking a break during a housekeeping shift at a lodge in the North Island – © Wild Lovely World
lauren housekeeping cleaning a mirror
Lauren cleaning during a housekeeping shift at work at a lodge in the North Island – © Wild Lovely World

How Much You Can Earn In Accommodation Jobs In New Zealand

The pay in this kind of job can be very lucrative. Many accommodation jobs start above minimum wage and a couple of dollars above it. You will be looking at at least the living wage for an all-rounder assistant. Wages can increase depending on the location. For example, rural locations in New Zealand could pay up to $28 per hour even for a housekeeper because they struggle to get the staff.

One major benefit of working for an accommodation business is that quite often they will provide you with FREE or discounted accommodation. The accommodation may be on-site or off-site just a short distance away. In many cases staff accommodation is free, or it may cost a small amount, for example, $50 to $100 per week.

You will work around 30-40 hours per week at an accommodation hospitality job in New Zealand.

As you will be being paid by the hour and your accommodation expenses are low, you will have a good chance of saving money.

How To Get Paid More In Accommodation Jobs In New Zealand

To get paid more in accommodation jobs in New Zealand, then you should apply for jobs that are at the Assistant Manager or Manager level.

You may think you need a lot of experience to apply for these jobs, but that is not the case at all. I know people with relatively little to no experience that have gotten jobs as Managers at Holiday Parks and Campsites. The reason is that many businesses in New Zealand are so desperate for staff that they cannot afford to be picky. In addition, the skills required to be a Manager in this industry rely a lot on skills that you can pick up in other industries.

If you have a wide skill set and many transferable skills, then it is likely you will be a good fit for a Manager position within an accommodation business. You need a wide range of skills from customer service, cleaning, finance and budgeting, outdoor tasks and supervising staff – all of these skills can be picked up in other industries and applied to accommodation.

Another way to earn more money in accommodation is to earn a commission on the sales of trips and tours. Many accommodation businesses will partner up with local tourism businesses and offer commissions to staff who can sell these tours. Many accommodation businesses also have loyalty programmes that cost a fee to join. This is another avenue to earn a commission. You will only earn a small amount of commission per ticket sold, but over time these can add up to quite a lot. I know someone who was earning around $400 per month on commission from selling memberships to the holiday parks loyalty programme.

lauren and fiachra at work at top 10 holiday park in fox glacier in the south island
Fiachra and Lauren at work at a holiday park in the South Island – © Wild Lovely World

My Experience Working In Accommodation Hospitality In New Zealand (& How Much I Was Paid)

I had a few different accommodation hospitality jobs in New Zealand. The first was working at a remote mountain biking lodge in the North Island. The second was working at two different holiday parks in popular tourist destinations on the South Island.

I enjoyed working at lodges and holiday parks in New Zealand. I found the locations to be incredible and the scenery was stunning. People were coming to stay at these accommodations because of the destinations and so there were always amazing things to see and do right out the door.

The work I was doing was really varied. I had the opportunity to work indoors and outdoors, and I really enjoyed that. I was not stuck at a desk all day! My work involved being in the reception, assisting guests, cleaning and maintenance of the facilities and the guest areas, and preparing guest meals, among other things. 

As I was working in remote locations and had very minimal living expenses, I was able to save a considerable amount.

Remote Mountain Biking Lodge

At the remote lodge, I got my accommodation for free. It was a small unit that just had a bed and desk. I could use the bathroom and kitchen in the main lodge. It was a little annoying I didn’t have my own in my kitchen and bathroom, but then again, the accommodation was free.

I started off earning $22.10 per hour as a Lodge Assistant (2020, minimum wage at the time was $18.90 per hour). Over time, I became an Assistant/Relief Manager, and for that I was paid $24 per hour.

In this job, I was earning around $750 per week (after tax) working 40 hours per week.

Holiday Parks In Tourist Destinations

At the holiday parks, I was employed as a Duty Manager. I was paid $23.50 – $23.65 per hour (2022, minimum wage at the time was $21.20 per hour).

I paid $50-75 per week for on-site staff accommodation. My accommodation was a self-contained unit with a small kitchen, bathroom, small bedroom with a shower and small lounge area with a TV. The payment for the accommodation came out of my wages every week.

In this job, I was earning around $700 per week (after tax) working 35 hours per week.

3. Horticulture (Fruit, Vegetable & Flowers) Picking & Packing Jobs: Approx. $23 Per Hour (Minimum Wage)

Picking and packing fruit and vegetables is a major employment industry for backpackers in New Zealand. It is an easy job to get employed to do (because it is boring AF! And literally no New Zealander wants to do it).

Types Of Horticulture In New Zealand

Types of vegetables, plants and fruit for picking and packing work in New Zealand are:

  • Kiwifruit
  • Apples
  • Apricots / Nectarines
  • Grapes (more on that below)
  • Avocados
  • Potatoes / Kumara (New Zealand sweet potato)
  • Onions
  • Capsicum
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce / Salad Leaves
  • Strawberries / Blueberries
  • Orchids
  • Tree Nursery
illustration of a hand picking a kiwi fruit in an orchard - illustration by fiachra hackett - horticulture jobs
Kiwi Fruit Picking – Illustration by Fiachra Hackett © Wild Lovely World

Picking Vs Packhouse Jobs (Compared)

Picking is literally out in the fields or the orchards collecting fruit/vegetables. Packing is working inside a processing factory packaging the fruit/vegetables up for retail.

Rain Can Stop Picking Work

Picking work often needs to stop during the rain (I don’t know why). So if it starts raining during the middle of your shift, you will need to stop and go home.

Working in a packhouse is better than picking because it means that you can work whatever the weather is. As it is indoor work there is no stopping for rain.

Unfortunately, if it rains for many days then it will affect work in the packhouses. Usually, the packhouses have a backlog of produce to pack. But if the rain goes on for too long then the work will run out and you may be out until the pickers can get back to work.

Types Of Work In Fruit/Vegetable Picking & Packing Jobs

Picking is hard work and all you will be doing is basically a lot of heavy lifting (20kg) and dumping the fruit into a trailer on the back of a small tractor. It is very repetitive work, physically demanding and not at all fun!

The packhouse is different because there are many different kinds of jobs, for different abilities, at different stages of the process. For example, these are different jobs that could be available in the packhouse:

  • Soft Sorting / Quality: There are jobs at the start of the production line, checking the fruit/vegetables when it arrives at the factory, and checking it for quality.
  • Box Making / Tray Prep: Then, there are people making boxes and preparing trays for the product to be packaged in.
  • Packers: Next, there are people putting the product into the boxes.
  • Stackers: After that, the boxes are labelled and there are people stacking all the boxes onto pallets to be taken into the cool room for storage.

As there are all these different processes, there is more variety in the jobs that can be done and so you can find one that suits you the most.

inside eastpack kiwifruit packhouse te puke new zealand
Inside of a kiwifruit packhouse in the North Island, New Zealand – © Wild Lovely World
Employee Welfare

In the packhouse, they will try to look after you well and will give incentives to come to work. For example, they give free hot drinks, free lunches, raffles and prizes to be won.

Packhouses also have HR departments that will look after you in case you have any kind of injury. For example, I ended up getting really bad carpal tunnel in my wrists so I was given free wrist supports and moved to a different workstation that was better for me.

I found that working in fruit picking, the employers are less forgiving and just expect you to work hard and fast all day long without breaks.

In the packhouse, you will have access to indoor toilets, drinking water fountains, staff break rooms etc. In the picking you are working outdoors in the fields, so likely you will have a portaloo as the toilet, and you will have to have a packed lunch in the field or in your vehicle.

How Much You Can Earn In Horticulture Jobs In New Zealand

Wages tend to start at minimum wage for any kind of Horticulture work, picking or packing. 

If you work in a packhouse you will most likely just get an hourly wage (minimum or a little over minimum). If you work as a Team Leader you can be paid approx $1 more per hour. Having a job in the Quality Control team or as a Line Manager will guarantee you even higher wages.

The picking and packing go on until the season is finished. Many backpackers will follow the seasons around New Zealand and go to different regions to wherever the work is. Working more hours will allow you to earn more in horticulture.

Me and my partner were getting around $1,000 each per week (after tax) working in the Packhouse.

Working in the packhouse you will work around 10 hours per day for 6-7 days per week.

How To Get Paid More In Horticulture Jobs In New Zealand

With picking, some people can end up earning quite a bit more per hour because they can pick fast. Employers will offer this incentive to try to get workers to pick more fruit and vegetables faster. Usually, you will get a base hourly rate (usually minimum wage) and then increase that by a couple of dollars an hour by working harder. So, rather than minimum wage per hour, you may end up earning $24 or $25 per hour. For this to work, you will need a strong, cooperative team (can be hard to find) and a good, honest employer (can be even harder).

Gaining experience and moving up in the hierarchy will also give you a chance to earn more. For example, getting a forklift license will allow you to earn hourly rates of approx $24 – 28 per hour.

Picking Jobs Warning For Female And/Or Plus Size Backpackers

If you’re a female expect to be discriminated against because of your sex (no joke, this is a very real thing in New Zealand). If you’re plus size then be prepared for the worst judgment. To be honest, if you’re a female and/or plus size, I would probably just say don’t waste your time trying to get employment doing fruit/vegetable picking. New Zealand is full of fat-phobic misogynists. Unfortunate but true. There are much better job opportunities than fruit/vegetable picking for backpackers in New Zealand – just look at anything else on this list -, AND they will pay you MORE!

My Experience Kiwi Fruit Picking In New Zealand (& How Much I Was Paid)

I did kiwi fruit picking for around two weeks in the Bay Of Plenty area. In that job, I was earning $18.90 per hour (2020, minimum wage at the time was $18.90 per hour) plus additional wages if we picked more as a team (one day we did good and got $24 per hour).

The kiwi fruit picking job involved filling and carrying 20kg of kiwi fruit in a bag strapped to my chest around my neck and shoulders. It was f-ing hard work. But I was capable and I was doing it. For 10 hours a day. Seven days a week (work only stops when it rains). Walking up and down the orchards and filling bag after bag of fruit and dumping them into a tractor-trailer. Getting covered in so much kiwi dust it was hard to breathe. But I was doing fine. I was picking as fast as anyone else in the team, and we were earning good money (the more you pick, the more you earn, known as piece rate). Over time, you get used to the bag and get stronger.

The problem was my supervisor (boomer Pakeha man) was an a–hole and he bullied me about being fat and being a woman. I also had my period for a couple of days on the job and the supervisor was not sympathetic in the slightest about me having cramps. I was in pain and doing this physically demanding job and just not getting the support and understanding I deserved. After two weeks I had enough of his b—shit and decided I didn’t want to go back.

I know that my experience in the fruit-picking world was not a good one. But that isn’t to say that others will have the same. A lot of backpackers do this work and find success, but it just wasn’t for me!

fiachra and lauren at eastpack kiwifruit packhouse - best paid backpacker jobs new zealand
Fiachra and Lauren on their last day working at a kiwifruit packhouse in Te Puke – © Wild Lovely World

My Experience Working In A Packhouse In New Zealand (& How Much I Was Paid)

After giving fruit picking a go, I ended up getting a job in a packhouse and it was a much more inclusive and fun experience! I worked for one of the largest packhouse employers in New Zealand. We were processing kiwi fruit for a very well-known international brand!

In the packhouse job, I was earning $18.90 per hour (2020, minimum wage at the time was $18.90 per hour).

Me and my partner were getting around $1,000 each per week (after tax) working in the Packhouse. We were working around 10 hours per day 6 days a week on average.

I worked in the packhouse from late April until the end of the kiwifruit picking/packing season in mid-June.

I thought working in the packhouse was a pretty fun and interesting experience. Everyone I worked with was really nice and I ended up making friends with lots of other backpackers.

4. Viticulture & Vineyard Jobs: Approx. $23 – 35 Per Hour

If you don’t mind physically demanding work and working outside in the cold, then vineyard work could be for you! This work is usually in the winter months as the grapevines are tended to and pruned. In the summer the vines are maintained during their growth phase.

Wine Regions In New Zealand

Wine is a huge industry in New Zealand. There are several famous wine regions both the North and South Islands. These are:

North Island:

  • Waiheke Island (north of the North Island, near Auckland)
  • Hawkes Bay (east of the North Island)
  • Martinborough (south of the North Island, near Wellington)

South Island:

  • Nelson/Marlborough (north of the South Island)
  • Waitaki Valley (central South Island, between Oamaru/Twizel)
  • Central Otago (central/south of the South Island, near Cromwell)

Entry-level and seasonal viticulture work is best found in these regions. Marlborough has the biggest viticulture industry in New Zealand and produces about 70% of the grapes.

Work in the viticulture industry in New Zealand is predominantly outside but there is indoor work to be done as well such as bottling.

vineyard workers picking grapes
Photo by Tina Witherspoon on Unsplash

How Much You Can Earn In Viticulture Jobs In New Zealand

The pay starts at minimum wage and can increase depending on the employer. Sometimes viticulture employers will increase your pay depending on how much work you get done (called piece rate). For example, the more vines you string up on your shift the more you will be paid.

How To Get Paid More In Vineyard Jobs In New Zealand

If you have a serious interest in viticulture then getting work experience or even making a career out of winemaking is possible in New Zealand.

Types Of Higher Paying Wine Jobs In New Zealand

Many vineyards and wineries across New Zealand are looking for staff for the following types of jobs:

  • Bar Managers
  • Bartenders / Cocktail Makers
  • Sommeliers
  • Vineyard Managers
  • Waiters
  • Cellar Door Hosts
  • Winemakers
  • Vineyard Managers

These jobs will pay much more than simply tending to the grapes. For example, a Bar Manager at a Vineyard in New Zealand could earn between $26 – 30 per hour. Some wine bars and wineries can offer higher end wages up to $35 per hour for Sommeliers.

For these higher paid jobs, you may need to have qualifications and experience and you will of course need an interest in wine! You can look for jobs in vineyards and wineries at Wine Jobs New Zealand.

With the rates of pay being offers for viticulture and related work in New Zealand these are some of the best paid backpacker jobs in New Zealand.

Working In Hops

You could also try working in hops, but it is not such a big industry as wine. There are hop farms in the Abel Tasman/Nelson area of the South Island. The jobs are mostly for planting and maintaining crops. The work is outside in all weather conditions, even in winter. Your pay can increase if you are working as a team and you will get paid more for how much your team achieves during the shift. Usually, the pay starts at minimum wage.

5. Animal Farm Jobs: From Approx. $25 – $30 Per Hour

Animal farms are a huge industry in New Zealand but they are not necessarily for animal lovers! Working on farms can be physically exhausting and emotionally distressing. You will be working with animals that are being raised/kept for a variety of reasons such as breeding, milk or meat. 

Working on farms involves long hours, getting up early in the morning, lots of physical activities and it is not for the faint of heart or those who are sensitive to animal welfare!

Many farms will look for people will experience, however due to demand it is possible to find work in this area even if you have no experience (everyone has to start somewhere!).

If you are a couple, then many farms will hire couples to work together on the farm.

You can save a lot of money working on farms as many farms will also provide you with FREE staff accommodation.

Due to the remote location of these farms, you will likely need your own vehicle.

Types Of Animal Farms In New Zealand

The types of farms that you can work at in New Zealand are:

  • Dairy farms
  • Sheep farms
  • Cattle farms

Types Of Animal Farm Jobs

The types of jobs that you will do on these farms can range from:

  • Driving tractors and/or forklifts
  • Rearing calves
  • Milking cows
  • Herding/moving sheep and cattle
  • Farm assistants

How Much You Can Earn In Farm Jobs In New Zealand

Starting wages tend to be higher with farm work, from $25 – 26 per hour, and increase with tasks and experience.

As working on a farm is long hours for many days of the week, it is possible to earn quite a bit working on a farm. You could be working around 50 – 60 hours per week.

If free or cheap accommodation is included then you could save a lot of money on accommodation costs.

sheep on a trail in new zealand
Sheep and lambs on the trail – Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

6. Meat & Seafood Processing Factory Jobs: Approx. $23 – $27 Per Hour

Working in a meat factory is, again, one of those kinds of icky jobs that is not for the faint-hearted, for the vegans and vegetarians among us or fans of the film Okja. But it is a job that can allow you to earn quite a bit of money as a backpacker if you should so wish.

Types Of Meat & Seafood Processing Factory Jobs In New Zealand

I had a few friends in New Zealand that had worked in meat and fish processing factories as part of their Working Holiday Visa. For one guy I knew, his job was to transport the heads of the dead lambs that had just been slaughtered in a wheelbarrow and dump them into a pit. How gross is that! That is something that I could never do, but it is something that someone is being paid to do so why not you if you could stomach it!

Another person I knew on a Working Holiday Visa worked there too and had the job of inspecting the lamb meat for quality on the production line.

Someone else I knew worked in a fish factory packaging the fish for retail. A little less gross, but still pretty gross to me! And think of the smell!

So, there are different jobs at all stages of meat and seafood processing, from when the product comes in all the way to it being ready to go to the retailers.

Types Of Meat & Seafood Processing Factories In New Zealand

Types of factories that you can work at in New Zealand are:

  • Beef processing
  • Lamb processing
  • Seafood processing

How Much You Can Earn In Factory Jobs In New Zealand

Meat processing workers can expect to earn from $23 – 24 per hour in the beginning. Team members who complete on-job training could look at earning from $27 per hour.

Factories tend to offer extras and incentives to staff, including free food, discount vouchers and insurance. Once you start working there they will want to keep you, so will likely provide you with training opportunities so that you can increase your skills and income with experience.

7. Retail & Sales Assistant Jobs: From Approx. $24 Per Hour

Working in retail and sales is a great way to get a stable job and income for your Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand.

Sales and retail jobs are available at all times of the year, but of course, during the lead up to Christmas there will be increased demand for staff.

Retail Job Locations In North & South Islands

Retail jobs are plentiful because, let’s face it, wherever there are humans there are shops and wherever there are shops there are retail jobs! Therefore, you’ll be able to find retail and sales assistant work almost anywhere in New Zealand.

That said, to get the best chances of getting a job in retail, you are probably better going to one of the bigger cities or towns in New Zealand. In the North Island, places like Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Gisbourne, New Plymouth, Taupo and Rotorua, for example, would be good places to start to look for retail jobs. In the South Island, Nelson, Christchurch, Wanaka, Queenstown, Invercargill and Dunedin would be good locations to look for retail jobs. Many of these cities also have large supermarkets and shopping centres/malls that have lots of retail stores and will be looking for staff.

The kinds of places that you can look for jobs are at large supermarkets (New World, Countdown and Pak’n Save) or your typical high street stores and large detail chains.

If you have a particular brand or hobby you are passionate about, then approaching those stores for jobs will put you in a good position to be hired. You won’t need any experience other than enthusiasm for the products and basic customer service skills.

How Much You Can Earn In Retail Jobs In New Zealand

Wages for retail staff and sales assistants start around $24 per hour. Many businesses also offer commission and sales bonus programmes, so there is an opportunity to earn more than your hourly rate.

You will also likely get staff discounts for the brand you are working for.

The unfortunate thing with retail and sales jobs is that many roles are part time hours. This can make earnings a bit unreliable. If you are working in a town or city, then you could easily pick up a second job to supplement your income.

8. Charity & Non-Profit Fundraising Jobs: Approx. $23 – $25 Per Hour

If you have a lot of confidence and don’t mind trying to sell things to strangers, then Fundraising could be a good job for you! Being a chartiy/non-profit fundraiser requires on street face-to-face fundraising and phone centre tele-fundraising, asking people to donate to charities.

With this kind of job, you could have the opportunity to travel New Zealand as you go to different locations to do fundraising. If you’re traveling on the job, then your travel expenses and accommodation will be paid for by the company.

There is also the opportunity to work from home, as many agencies and charities offer remote tele-fundraising positions.

There is a lot of flexibility with this kind of work, as you can work part-time or full-time.

Most of the time you will not need any previous experience as all training will be provided.

Charity & Non-Profit Fundraising Employers In New Zealand

Companies and organisations you can work for as a Fundraiser in New Zealand:

To find these jobs you can search for ‘Fundraiser’ or ‘Tele Fundraiser’ on the job search websites in my post: 12 Ways To Find A Job On Your Working Holiday Visa | New Zealand

How Much You Can Earn In Fundraising Jobs In New Zealand

Many jobs offer an hourly rate starting at least $23 per hour, but most face-to-face fundraiser jobs start at $24.50 per hour. You could get commission and bonuses on top of that for reaching your targets.

You will have targets that you need to reach (usually 2 monthly-donor sign-ups (“pax”) per day).

Most fundraising jobs are full time and you will work around 35-40 hours per week. But there are part-time roles available, particularly for tele-fundraisers (working on the phones).

Being a charity and non-profit fundraiser is a great backpacker job in New Zealand and one of the best paid jobs for those on Working Holiday Visas.

My Experience As A Fundraiser (In Melbourne, Australia!)

I actually was a charity fundraiser during my Working Holiday Visa in Australia! I really loved the job and all my colleagues were interesting people. Most of the people I was working with were also backpackers on Working Holiday Visas. It was a great way to meet other people and it was a very social job.

The job involved representing different charities and non-profit organisations and speaking to the public about them. If people wanted to make donations, then I was there to help facilitate that process! I found it to be a really rewarding job because I was helping raise vital funds to support the charities’ missions.

I also got the opportunity to travel to different locations around Melbourne. The job involved Face-to-Face Fundraising, so every day we would go to a different location.

The company I worked for in Australia is an international company and they also have job opportunities for people in New Zealand. The charities I was fundraising for are huge internationally well-known charities so there was a lot of brand recognition from people on the street.

Despite everything I loved about this job, there are many challenging things in the job such as constant rejection. Your ultimate goal in the job is to get people to sign up to donate. Not everyone will want to sign up to donate to the charity so that can be disheartening. Also, the job is very chatty and you need to be able to have the confidence to talk to strangers and sell the cause to them so they will want to help. This can be really exhausting doing it for 8 hours a day 5 days a week. So, you will need a positive and resilient attitude to be a fundraiser!

9. Tourism & Travel Jobs: Approx. $25 – $35 Per Hour

The high season in New Zealand is during the summer (December, January, and February). Tourism and Travel jobs are mainly starting in October and employment goes through to April.

To work in Travel and Tourism, you must like the outdoors, be active and have a passion for the activity or destination. It is also helpful to have knowledge about New Zealand. As you may be new to the country, you may not have as much knowledge or experience about New Zealand yet. It is not always required as training can be provided on the job. Most importantly, you need to have good customer service skills and a desire to engage with people.

For certain roles, such as glacier or kayak guiding, you may need to have additional qualifications, certifications or experience.

As you may be guiding groups of people in remote locations, you may also need to have first-aid training or knowledge before starting work. Sometimes employers can put you on a course but they generally expect you to have your first aid certification at the application stage.

Recruitment for Tourism and Travel jobs usually takes place over the winter months (June, July, August) to begin work for the summer, usually starting by October. Therefore, you will need to apply well in advance.

Types Of Travel & Tourism Jobs In New Zealand

Types of jobs that you can do in tourism in New Zealand:

  • Tour Guide / Leader
  • Driver Guide
  • Glacier Explorers Guide / Heli Hiking Guide
  • Hiking Guide
  • Cave Guide
  • Kayaking Guide
  • Skipper / Boat Crew
  • Jetboat Driver
  • Tandem Skydive Master / Paraglide Pilot / Camera Operator
  • Admissions Host
  • Reservations Assistant
  • Guest Experience Host
  • Lodge Cook/Host/Manager

There is some cross-over between Tourism & Travel jobs and Hospitality (Food/Beverage/Accommodation) jobs, as often guided walking companies will have guest/tour group lodges they operate that need staff. The staff working at the lodges will provide all the services for the guests to ensure they are well-fed and refreshed from their activity and ready for it again the next day! I have covered these types of hospitality jobs in the relevant sections above, but in the lists below there are some employers who recruit for this kind of remote lodge work in New Zealand.

Tourism Job Employers In New Zealand

Employers for tourism work in New Zealand:

  • Ngai Tahu Tourism (one of the largest tourism companies in New Zealand, operating some of New Zealand’s biggest tourist attractions, such as Shotover Jet, Dark Sky Project, Hollyford Wilderness Experience, Huka Falls Jet, Dart River Adventures, Franz Josef Glacier Guides)
  • Haka Tourism Group (another huge tourism company in New Zealand, operating accommodation and tours)
  • RealNZ (tour operator for some of New Zealand’s biggest tourist attractions, such as Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Te Anau Glowworm Caves, Queenstown Jet Boat, and Stewart Island tours)
  • Hermitage Hotel (located in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park – hiring glacier guides, guest services, stargazing guides, and drivers)
  • Airports in New Zealand (e.g. Auckland Airport – customer service jobs, good for multi-lingual people!)
  • Mt Cook (glacier guiding and heli hiking)
  • SurfSup Whangamata (surfing and kayaking guides)
  • Hobbiton Movie Set (tour guides, bus drivers, food and beverage staff, retail, reservations and ticket staff)
  • Weta Workshop (experience hosts and tour guides in Wellington and Auckland)
  • Marlborough Tour Company (boat crew and skippers for tours in Marlborough Sounds, as well as hospitality staff at Punga Cove and Furneaux Lodge)
  • KJet (jetboat drivers etc. in Queenstown)
  • Waitomo Tour Companies (cave guiding, rafting, glowworms)
  • Kiwi Experience (driver guides)
  • Ultimate Hikes (guiding and hosting walkers on the Milford, Routeburn, and Greenstone tracks and lodges in Fiordland and Mt Aspiring)
  • Flying Kiwi (tour leaders/drivers/guides)
  • Cheeky Kiwi Travel (driver guides)

How Much You Can Earn In Tourism Jobs In New Zealand

Tourism and Travel jobs can pay reasonably well. You’ll be looking at early around $25 per hour for tour guiding, but the earning potential can increase considerably if you have specialised qualifications and experience. You could earn upwards of $35 per hour.

You will also have the opportunity to earn tips, especially if you are working as a tour guide.

If you’re in the sales teams, you could earn commissions for selling extra trips, packages or memberships to customers.

Many Tourism and Travel jobs can provide you with accommodation for the duration of the season. Usually, this accommodation will be a shared staff house and it will be provided for FREE or for a very small nominal fee.

10. Ski Field Jobs: Approx. $25 – $30 Per Hour

If you enjoy winter then working on a ski field in New Zealand could be a good option for you.

Working in the ski field is (obviously) a seasonal job over winter, usually starting in June and finishing in October.

Even if you don’t get an actual job on the ski field, getting a job in a ski town or near ski fields is also a good idea. Many businesses will be recruiting to find staff to help them over the busy winter period when lots of tourists are coming to town to ski and snowboard.

New Zealand Ski Field Locations In The North & South Islands

There are several ski fields in New Zealand, located in both the North and the South Islands.

The main ski fields looking for staff in New Zealand are:

  • North Island – Whakapapa and Turoa (both at Mt Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park)
  • South Island – The Remarkables (Queenstown), Coronet Peak (Queenstown), Cardrona (between Queenstown & Wanaka), Mt Hutt (Methven near Christchurch), Ohau Lodge (near Twizel/Lake Tekapo), Roundhill (Lake Tekapo)

Ski Field Job Types

Ski field job types include:

  • Snowsport Instructor / Coach (you must be an advanced skier / snowboarder)
  • Safety / Patrol Staff (first aiders and avalanche controllers)
  • Car Park Attendants / Road Staff
  • Transport Team (driving the ski bus and shuttles)
  • Lift Attendants / Operators
  • Equipment Rental and Retail Staff
  • Guest Services Staff (customer service)
  • Food and Beverage Hospitality Staff (for on-site food outlets)

New Zealand Ski Field Employers

Major employers during the ski season in New Zealand are:

  • NZ Ski – recruit for Coronet Peak (Queenstown), The Remarkables (Queenstown) and Mt Hutt (Methven)
  • Cardrona – ski field between Wanaka and Queenstown
  • Mt Ruapehu – recruit for Whakapapa and Turoa ski fields in Tongariro National Park
  • Ohau Lodge – small ski field in the Mackenzie area of the South Island, near Twizel
  • Roundhill – small ski field in the Mackenzie area, near Lake Tekapo

How To Get A Job At New Zealand Ski Fields

To do jobs on the ski fields you will likely need to already know how to ski or at least have an interest in learning. You will also likely need to have some skills to work in the ski fields, for example, teaching/instructing experience to be a ski instructor. However, many employers are willing to train staff to do the jobs they need them to do. For example, if you do not have any barista experience then you might be able to get a job in the cafe at the ski field and learn how to make coffee while on the job. If you’re interested in being an instructor or coach, then some employers will put you through a training/induction programme before starting the job.

You will need to attend training for around a week before the ski field opens. During the training, you will be able to meet your team and get to know more about the operation of the ski field. All the staff usually need to be in attendance for the training, no matter what team/area you are working in.

You need to apply for jobs at the ski fields months in advance. Most ski fields start looking for staff during the autumn (March, April, and May in New Zealand) to begin work starting in late May/early June and going through to mid-October.

Ski Field Job Accommodation

Finding accommodation will be difficult, especially in areas like Queenstown and Methven.

If you can find a ski job which will provide accommodation then that will allow you to not only have a secure place to live throughout the entirety of your employment but will also likely allow you to save money. Work accommodation is usually subsidised by the employer so you can earn and save. I know that Lake Ohau Lodge, for example, has on-site accommodation for staff.

Some hostels allow seasonal staff to live at the hostel during the season. You may also be able to find a private room to rent through Facebook or TradeMe.

How Much You Can Earn In Ski Field Jobs In New Zealand

Wages for jobs on the ski fields will be around $25 – $30 per hour. This makes it one of the best paid backpacker jobs in New Zealand. However, the jobs are for a few months only, so they are not a long-term employment option. The ski field jobs are also highly competitive, so you will need to apply well in advance to be able to secure a position.

You also need to factor in accommodation costs, as in some areas you may struggle to find cheap accommodation or any accommodation at all. In that case, you will pay more as you may have to live in a hostel or a hotel.

Many ski fields will offer additional benefits for employees. These can be discounts at local attractions or other snow sport locations in New Zealand, discounted or free food and beverages, a season pass, subsidised accommodation, and transport to/from the ski field. These benefits are worth it if you are a really keen snowsport person and will highly enjoy working in the mountains during winter in New Zealand.

With a job on the ski field, depending on what you are doing you could have many hours or you could have less hours each week.

11. Construction & Trade Jobs: Approx. $23 – $35 Per Hour

If you have skills in a particular trade then working in construction in New Zealand could be a very lucrative job for you. Skilled tradespeople are in high demand across major cities in New Zealand. For example, Auckland, Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Tauranga and Christchurch are all seeking talented labourers.

Earthquakes, floods and storms have caused a lot of damage across both the North and the South Island and there is a big effort to rebuild but all that takes a lot of people-power. Christchurch is still rebuilding after the devastating earthquake of 2011. In the North Island, Auckland and Hawkes Bay were badly affected by Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023, and there is a lot of work to be done.

illustration of male and female construction workers - illustration by fiachra hackett - construction and trade jobs
Construction & Trade Jobs – Illustration by Fiachra Hackett © Wild Lovely World

How To Get A Construction & Trade Job In New Zealand (Recruitment Agencies)

To get a job in construction or trade in New Zealand then you usually need to apply through a recruitment agency. These agencies can supply you with jobs and work across many locations in New Zealand.

Recruitment agencies you can apply for Construction/Trade jobs in New Zealand are:

Many agencies are happy to hire backpackers and those on Working Holiday Visas.

Usually, you will be able to start immediately and you can work full time or casual hours.

They could also help you with finding accommodation or providing you with jobs that are close to the hostels if you are living there while working.

How Much You Can Earn In Construction & Trade Jobs In New Zealand

How much you can earn in construction and trade jobs will depend on what skills and qualifications you already have.

For some jobs, no experience is required and you’ll be looking at a starting rate of minimum wage or a couple of dollars above it. For more skilled trades the earning potential is much higher, like $10 or $12 above minimum wage.

So, if you have the right skill set then working in Construction and Trade jobs could be one of the best paid backpacker jobs in New Zealand.

12. Administration & Office Jobs: Approx. $25 – $35 Per Hour

Administration and office jobs can be one of the best paid jobs for backpackers on Working Holiday Visas in New Zealand. For these jobs, you will likely need to already have 1-2 years of experience in administration or office work.

illustration of a man working at a computer desk - illustration by fiachra hackett - admin and office jobs
Admin & Office Jobs – Illustration by Fiachra Hackett © Wild Lovely World

How To Get Administration & Office Jobs In New Zealand (Recruitment Agencies)

The best way to get administration and office jobs on a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand is to sign up for agencies. These recruitment agencies can help you get temporary work. This is better for backpackers because many companies are unlikely to want to hire you with a Working Holiday Visa as the contracts they offer will be longer-term, permanent contracts.

Working through a recruitment agency allows you to begin work right away and work on temporary assignments for a few months at a time. That is perfect for backpackers and Working Holiday makers who are just looking to work and save before continuing their travels.

Recruitment agencies you can apply for Administration/Office jobs in New Zealand are:

Types Of Administration & Office Jobs

Recruitment agencies will hire for a variety of office work. If you have experience before coming to New Zealand on your Working Holiday Visa, then you will be a good candidate for temporary roles. They are mainly recruiting for the following roles:

  • Receptionists
  • Administration Assistants / Officers
  • HR Administrators
  • Accounts Administrators
  • Executive Assistants
  • Data Entry Staff
  • Customer Service Representatives
  • Office Managers

How Much You Can Earn In Administration Jobs In New Zealand

Administration and office staff that have 1-2 years of experience will be considered for roles. You’ll be looking at a starting rate of $25 – $26 per hour for these roles. If you have more senior administrative experience or a specialisation in a certain department, such as HR, Finance or Customer Services, then you could be looking at $28 – $35 per hour. The rate offered will depend on the location, the recruitment agency, and the client’s budget.

For these jobs, you will need to dress professionally in typical office clothes. As a backpacker, you may not have come prepared for this so you may need to expend some money buying new outfits.

The main business centres of New Zealand are Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch so you will be looking in these cities for administration/office jobs. You will also need to have a stable accommodation close to the offices, so you will likely need to live in a city and therefore pay rent which could be quite considerate.

The Best Paid Backpacker & Working Holiday Visa Jobs In New Zealand (Detailed & Honest Guide) – Thanks For Reading!

We have looked at a lot in this article! As you can see, there are many different kinds of work you can do in New Zealand as a backpacker on a Working Holiday Visa. Many of these jobs have decent wages and will allow you to earn well and save money to continue your travels in New Zealand and beyond. I hope that this guide has been helpful to you and I wish you all the best in finding the best paid jobs you can in New Zealand! – Lauren x

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Thanks for reading! 🙂 – © Wild Lovely World

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Lauren is a coffee and cat obsessed travel writer from the U.K., specialising in solo female, couple travel and budget backpacking. She has previously lived in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, England and Scotland. Follow her adventures around the world on her blog WildLovelyWorld.com

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