Everything You Need to Know about Mount Ruapehu - Work New Zealand
Looking for a change of scenery? Look no further than a working holiday in New Zealand. Fresh powder, bluebird skies, plenty of job opportunities - we’d be snow ploughing down the bunny slopes faster than you can say ‘one of the highest minimum wages in the woooooorld’. Yep, there’s that too. Here’s everything you need to know about working in the North Island’s favourite ski resort.
How and when to get a ski season job in New Zealand
New Zealand’s ski season usually runs from mid/late June to mid-October. Ski season jobs and accommodation can be competitive, so it pays to get a head start. Your New Zealand working holiday visa allows you to work in New Zealand for 12 months, so it’s a good idea to arrive before the season starts to get set up and apply for jobs.
Our Work New Zealand programs make it stress free. Starting in Auckland (about a five-hour drive away) they include hostel nights, job help and all the working holiday essentials such as your New Zealand bank account and IRD (tax) number to get set up to work.
Plus, you get access to our working holiday resource centre in Auckland for the full year of your visa, so when your season’s over, we can help you sort another job.
Why Mount Ruapheu?
Mount Ruapheu has some pretty solid credentials. At 2,797m, it’s the highest peak in the North Island. There are two resorts on each side of the mountain - Tūroa on the southern slope and Whakapapa on the northern slope, with the latter being the largest resort in New Zealand. Whether you're learning the ropes or are a seasoned pro, there’s plenty of rideable terrain for all levels.
The upside for skiers and boarders is plenty of jobs, lift accessed backcountry, steep chutes and snow-filled basins. The downside is that you won’t find the nightlife of other towns in New Zealand, such as Queenstown or Wanaka. Or the apres ski and resort life of Europe.
That said, if you’re all about the experience of working on the mountain and being surrounded by some of the most dramatic landscapes and adventures in New Zealand, then there’s nowhere better. Lakefront Taupo is just under an hour away, and is home to whitewater rafting, rock climbing, skydiving and all manner of other crazy adventures. And the stunning hikes and turquoise lakes of Tongariro are on your doorstep.
What kind of jobs can I get and how much will I earn?
Typical ski season jobs in Tūroa and Whakapapa include lift attendants, ski and snowboard instructors (if qualified), cooks, servers, baristas, groomer operators, guest services, childcare and more. The New Zealand minimum wage is NZD $20 an hour, so you can expect to earn that - more if you’re a qualified instructor.
What’s the social life like?
There's collection of restaurants and bars around the mountain, and working holidaymakers are always adept at finding a party! If you're looking for something a bit more lively, check out Taupo on your days off. It’s easy to get there and back in a day, and the nightlife is legendary.
Inspired to live the high life on a New Zealand working holiday? Talk to our Work New Zealand team.