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Absolute NZ Jobs - South Island

Best of the South Island with 12 months job support

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Group on a boat on Milford Sound on New Zealand's South Island

Group Size: Avg 6-18

Trip code: INZN

Duration: 9 days to 12 months

Includes Milford Sound, Lake Tekapo & more
Earn over £10 per hour
Work and travel in NZ for up to a year

Nowhere on Earth is as epic as New Zealand. Kick off a year long working holiday with 9 days of fun and visit jaw-dropping vistas of Milford and the most famous filming locations for Lord of the Rings. You’ll go jetboating at 80kmh down a canyon, soak in natural hot springs under a canopy of stars, and party all night long in Queenstown. Then meet you will meet our epic jobs team will set you up with everything you need to live and work here. From bank accounts, sim cards, tax numbers and more. We are with you every step of the way and provide 12 months full access to our jobs database which is teaming with jobs and unlimited advice from our dedicated jobs team! This is an incredible way to live and work abroad and experience the adventure with a ready-made group of friends!

Looking to arrive into Auckland? Check out the Absolute NZ Jobs

Trip highlights

  • Get up to 12 months support on living and working all across New Zealand (both islands) from our dedicated jobs team
  • With the minimum wage set at $20 you can earn, travel and build some incredible CV skills
  • Take a cruise through Fjordland, into the spectacular Milford Sound and explore Middle Earth with a tour of some of the biggest Lord of the Rings filming locations
  • Make life-long friends on this fantastic group experience
Gap 360 Trip Notes

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What's included
  • 8 nights’ accommodation
  • 5 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 1 dinner
  • Group leader
  • Airport transfer on arrival
  • All on-trip transport
  • Queenstown city tour
  • Canyon jet boating
  • Milford Sound cruise
  • Lord of the Rings tour
  • Hike Mount Iron
  • Mount Cook/Aoraki National Park
  • Hot springs star gazing experience
  • Unlimited access to the NZ jobs app
  • Work in NZ presentation
  • CV building and interview skills
  • Unlimited help and support
  • 24 hour emergency assistance
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Some meals, drinks and snacks
  • Return airport transfers
Further trip information

With wages starting from $20 NZD per hour, New Zealand is high on the list of places to gain work experience abroad. This trip sets you up with everything you could need to work on the Kiwi islands - from bank accounts and tax numbers, to a legendary jobs team to help you with unlimited support for the full 12 months! Join this group experience and travel with a ready-made travel squad!

Day 1: Arrive in Queenstown. Welcome to New Zealand! We will include an airport transfer and take you to your accommodation. Meet the rest of your group tonight and head out for drinks.

Day 2: Work session, Queenstown tour & jetboating. We’ll give you all the essentials you need for living and working in New Zealand this morning, before an orientation tour of Queenstown. This afternoon enjoy an afternoon of jet boating at 80kmh through amazing canyons!

Day 3: Milford Sound & Te Anau. Explore Milford Sound today, one of the most spectacular places in New Zealand (that’s saying something!) Marvel at the sheer cliffs and cascading waterfalls (keep your eyes peeled for seals!) Then spend the evening in charming Te Anau.

Day 4: Lord of the Rings & Wanaka. Travel to Wanaka through jaw-dropping landscapes. We’ll stop to see some Lord of the Rings filming locations. Marvel at the views over ‘Middle Earth’, before we arrive in the lovely lakeside town of Wanaka.

Day 5: Wanaka. We’ll explore Wanaka today, with a stop at the iconic Wanaka Tree, star of Insta,and a special kayaking expedition out to Ruby Island, the jewel in Wanaka’s crown. Then catch the boat back ready for another night with the gang.

Day 6: Lake Tekapo & Mt Cook National Park. Drive through the Southern Alps, before stopping at the milky blue waters of Lake Tekapo. Take a hike this afternoon down the iconic Hooker Valley track, for unforgettable views of Aoraki / Mt Cook.

Day 7: Lake Tekapo. We’ll take a stunning hike up Mount John today, where we’ll enjoy 360-degree views across the milky turquoise lake. Tonight, we’ll pay a visit to the Tekapo Springs where we’ll learn aboutMaori mythology while soaking our bones in the mineral rich water – bliss!

Day 8: Queenstown work & travel planning. Travel back to Queenstown today for a session with our jobs team. This evening get together for one last dinner and a night out on the town.

Day 9: Start your job search. If you’re planning to stay on and work in New Zealand, your adventure is only just beginning! The jobs team will help you start your job hunt and provide full support during the whole time you are in NZ!

Working in New Zealand

Your trip doesn't end here! You get full support in finding the perfect working holiday job for you - which can be in any part of NZ (not just the South Island!). We set up a bank account, sim card, tax number and more to make your job search as seamless as possible.

Download the trip notes to find out more about the itinerary, the paid work support and types of jobs available on this amazing programme!

Looking to fly into Auckland? For the same great job support but starting in Auckland, check out our Absolute NZ Jobs

Real customer reviews
Facebook Group Discussion

Anyone booked the Best of New Zealand tour starting on the 9th December 😀

Is anyone thinking of travelling end of july/august? It’ll be my first time travelling alone and would love to make some friends/ get advice 😊

Hi all, looking for fellow travellers for The Great Kiwi Adventure on 10th August? It looks so awesome! Would love to chat before the trip :) x

Booking options

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Looking to arrive into Auckland instead? Check out our Absolute NZ Jobs

Online booking is unavailable for this trip

Online booking isn't currently available but if you'd like to enquire please use the form below. Alternatively if you'd like to discuss alternate trips or if you have any other questions please don't hesitate to contact us.
Call us on: 01892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Arrival information

The trip kicks off on day 1 in Queenstown. Fly into Queenstown Airport (ZQN), where you will receive an airport transfer to your starting accommodation. There are no activities planned until the welcome meeting this evening, so arrive at a time that suits you.

We finish up on day 9 in Queenstown as well. There are no activities planned for today. You’ll need to arrange your transport to your next stop or extend your stay in Queenstown. Your group leader can help you with all your plans.

Just a reminder that even though your trip is starting in the South Island, you will get 12 months unlimited job support and help finding jobs in every part of New Zealand included with this programme.

Accommodation & meals

Where you'll be staying....

8 nights’ accommodation are included on this trip. You will stay in some specially selected, centrally located hostels in mixed sex rooms of 4-6 people. 

  • 3 nights in Queenstown Absoloot Hostel - a top-rated hostel which is centrally located and has epic views
  • 1 night in Milford Sound at TeAnau Lakefront Backpackers–a superb lake-side hostel with park-like gardens, a movie room and indoor and outdoor kitchen facilities
  • 2 nights in YHA Hostel, Wanaka- a welcoming hostel with communal lounge and pool table
  • 2 nights in Lakes Edge Holiday Park, Tekapo –friendly lodge right on the shores of the turquoise lake, with garden, BBQ, shared lounge, and tour desk

These are the usual accommodations groups will stay at during the trip. On certain occasions, alternative accommodation may be used.

Long-term accommodation options

If you’re staying on in New Zealand to live and work, you’ll need to arrange your own accommodation after the 9 day trip is over. You’ll get lots of advice on how to find places to live during the planning sessions. Most travellers who stay in New Zealand either end up sharing an apartment with other travellers that they meet on our trips or extend their stay in a hostel. Renting tends to work out more cost effective, and you’ll have your own room, which may not always be the case in a hostel. However, hostels are more flexible if you’re looking to move around more, and lower rates can usually be negotiated for longer term stays.  


5 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner are included on this trip. You’ll need to cover the rest of your meals, snacks and drinks yourself. This means you’ve got the flexibility to eat where and when you like, and to try a wide variety of New Zealand’s diverse cuisine. Alternatively, you can prepare meals for yourself in the hostel kitchens if you’re on a tight budget.

Minimum age & eligibility

You need to be a minimum of 18 years old to join this trip. This trip is designed for travellers aged 18-30. This trip requires you to show evidence that you have been fully vaccinated against covid-19 (final dose administered a minimum of 14 days prior to the start of the trip).

If you plan to work in New Zealand after the tour is over, you’ll need to be between 18 and 30, due to Working Holiday Visa restrictions. British citizens can select from either a 12 month or 23 month visa. You can work for a maximum of 12 months during your time in New Zealand.

To be eligible for a Work Visa, you must:

  • Hold a valid passport
  • Be aged between 18 and 30 years old
  • Have NZD$4200 of funds to support yourself during your trip
  • Have a return ticket or sufficient funds to buy a ticket
  • Meet health and character requirements
  • Not previously have been approved a permit or visa under a Working Holiday scheme
  • Your passport should be valid for a minimum of three months from your date of exit

If you don't want to work whilst in New Zealand and instead just enter as a tourist, then check out our New Zealand Adventure trip instead

All visa, passport and entry restrictions are subject to change. Please check the most up to date rules with the embassy before travel.

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.

Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.

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.