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Best place to work in New Zealand

It’s easy to see why travellers flock like sheep to New Zealand. As a place to live, travel and work – it's a breath of fresh air. From the bubbling hot pools, rich Māori culture and island beaches of the North Island; to the giant-carved glaciers, mirrored lakes and snow-covered mountains of the South Island – not only is New Zealand the most jaw-dropping place on the planet, it’s also the second safest country in the world to live. 

Connected by all major international cities, most travellers tend to fly into Auckland – which is where our BUNAC team are on-hand to get you settled in and set up with work. However, the joy of a working holiday is the freedom to work anywhere – meaning you can travel around both islands, stopping to work when you need to or when you fall in love with a place. (Warning, this is often).

Best city to work in New Zealand

Whether you settle straight into city life or head off for ski seasons, harvest work or hospitality jobs in more rural locations, New Zealand’s cities permanently feature as some of the most liveable cities in the world.

North Island

North Island Auckland

Auckland is one hot city. And not just because it’s built on a volcanic field of 48 volcanoes. The ‘City of Sails’ is blessed with natural harbours, city hikes and afterwork access to the wineries of Waiheke, surf breaks of Piha, and whales and dolphins of the Hauraki Gulf. But Auckland runs deeper than just its natural good looks. You only have to ride your fixie bike into the vintage stores, brunch spots and tattoo parlours of Ponsonby or Britomart to see that the city has a creative edge.

North Island

North Island Wellington

Surrounded by wooded hills and windy hikes, waterfront Wellington doesn’t look like your typical capital city. Shunning the skyscrapers favoured by other capital cities: the pretty harbour, Victorian timber buildings and converted warehouses give off quietly cool and cosmopolitan vibes. The ‘arty one’ out of New Zealand’s cities, Wellington’s coffee houses, craft beer breweries and creative workspaces attract designers, creatives and musicians from all over the world.

South Island

South Island Dunedin

Derived from the Gaelic for Edinburgh, Dùn Éideann, just like its Scottish counterpart, Dunedin is known for its imposing Victorian architecture, world-class university and weekend access to incredible beaches, trails and wildlife. Like all good uni towns, there’s friendly student bars, cheap eats and an amazing music and comedy scene. Wild outside the bars too, the Otago Peninsula on the outskirts of the city is home to colonies of sealions, seals, albatross and penguins.

South Island

South Island Queenstown

In the shadow of snow-dusted peaks and reflected off a pine-fringed lake, Queenstown is arguably one of the most beautiful towns in the world. Dubbed the adventure capital of the world, it’s the base for the ski resorts of Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, as well as for bungy jumps, skydives, ziplines and anything else you can throw yourself down/off. If you prefer comfort zones to drop zones, there’s also a killer wine, food and nightlife scene –ensuring a constant stream of tourists and job-hunters.

South Island

South Island Christchurch

Over a decade later, Christchurch remains synonymous with the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. But with its recovery and rebuild comes a rebirth for the quiet capital of the South Island. Cutting-edge architecture, innovation and design – along with a strong sense of community – makes it an inspiring and exciting place to live. Plus, it’s surrounded by astounding scenery, including the ski fields of Mt. Hutt, wineries of Waipara Valley, and countless hiking and cycle trails.

The wildcard

The wildcard Waiheke Island

If you’re craving the island life but want easy access to the city, head for the world-class wineries and white beaches of Waiheke. Known as the ‘Island of Wine’ (do we need to continue?), Waiheke is just a 40-minute ferry from downtown Auckland. A much-loved summer destination for Aucklanders and for travellers; the sun-drenched vineyards, boutique hotels and bouji restaurants provide a steady stream of seasonal backpacker jobs for our New Zealand working holidaymakers.

The country of the

The country of the Long White Cloud

30% of New Zealand is a national reserve. New Zealanders are fiercely protective of the environment, their Māori heritage and all things ‘Kiwi’. Up to and including Marmite (love or hate it, just respect it), ‘fush and chups’ (actual fish) and chocolate fish (actually chocolate).

The top Insta-worthy destinations to visit in New Zealand

Do it for the experience, and for the money, and for the awesome new friends. (And a little bit for the ‘gram).

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