Working a ski season in Queenstown
Meet Mikey, who took working in New Zealand to the next level. (The snow-covered bluebird skies next level). Thinking you could also live the high life working up the mountain on your New Zealand working holiday? Check out our Work New Zealand program.
Why do a winter working in New Zealand?
The winter season in New Zealand is great. I settled in Queenstown for six months - it wasn't too hard to find a job and reasonably price accommodation. Wherever you live in Queenstown you seem to have a stunning view of the mountains and Lake Wakatipu.
There are plenty of jobs on the mountains, although I chose to work in the town and very quickly picked up work in a poplar retail store. Here I made loads of great friends. Everyone I know who has headed to Queenstown has had no problems picking up work and finding accommodation.
The ski areas possibly aren’t the size of the European or North American resorts, but they are varied with a mix of off-piste and groomed blue and black runs.New Zealand doesn't get the tourism Europe does, so invariable you don't have to queue for ski lifts. During weekdays the mountains are pretty empty.
Which mountains near Queenstown are best?
Possibly the largest of the three and the most popular, Coronet peak has good lift technology and snowmaking facilities. The terrain is really fun with large moguls at the peak and plenty of steep drops, mainly black runs with a very busy blue run comically named the M1. Coronet Peak is the only mountain to offer night skiing.
The ski area is set in a unique and dramatic location within the Remarkables mountain range. The snow is really good, but the downside to the Remarkables is that it only offers very short runs, the longest being 1.5km. However, if you’re a beginner to skiing, boarding or to pipe parks, the Remarks is where you want to be. Plus, for added fun there is a tubing park.
Cardrona offers some really good skiing, wide slopes and possibly New Zealand's biggest pipe park. I really recommend spending a few days exploring Cardrona.
However, Cardrona is a little out of Queenstown (45 min drive) and isn't included on the Queenstown ski pass.
Why else is Queenstown a great place to do a working holiday?
Queenstown isn’t just about skiing, but all adventure sports. It really is New Zealand's adventure capital. There’s plenty to do - bungy jumping, mountain biking, white water rafting, jet boating, skydiving, aerobatics, power gliding, luging and much more...
By night Queenstown is super lively with plenty of bars to visit. Too many times I saw the sunrise over Lake Wakatipu!
Looking for a change of scenery? Get in touch with the team about doing a working holiday in New Zealand.