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Gap Year Guide: New Zealand

Gap Year Guide: New Zealand

Gap Year Guide: New Zealand

New Zealand is certainly high on the priorities of gap year students many wanting to see where Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were filmed. The spectacular mountains, lakes and rainforests are just a few more experiences that are on a traveller’s long lists to do.

New Zealand is popular with gap year students to work, similar to Australia, but is also often a place visited, while travelling Australia. Backpackers tend to visit as it is an area that can be hard on finances, as the standard of living, in terms if financials, is the same as Australia, but wages are noticeably lower. Flights to and from Australia and New Zealand are very reasonable, another factor why it is very common to visit New Zealand, while in Australia. 

New Zealand University Gap Year Guide - Mountains
However, this does not mean that people do not work in New Zealand all year round, as they do pay well. It’s important to not fall for the common gap year mistakes, make sure you set your budgets before you go and apply for jobs before you head over! Some of the jobs available are once in a lifetime opportunities, for example, tour guides of some of the most amazing rainforests and mountains are not jobs you can pick up anywhere in the world. Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island, was unfortunately hit by an earthquake in 2010 but is still in high demand for people working in construction, whether you are skilled or not, there will be a huge amount of opportunities for backpackers to work.

The overwhelmingly large amount of hostels in New Zealand makes this an ideal destination for students on a gap year. The hop on-off bus services are probably the main means of transport; there are so many different routes, most of the country is covered and is also a great way to meet new people.


  • Huge diversities in terms of terrain, volcanoes, forests, glaciers and beaches too!
  • The place where adventures happen! (Generally not involving magical rings, unfortunately)
  • Bus services make travelling around the country extremely simple.
  • The world’s biggest bungee swing is located here in Queenstown
  • Unique job opportunities


  • Trips to New Zealand are complicated, can be complicated if planned privately.
  • Difficult employment opportunities at the moment, with lower wages when compared to Australia.
  • Working Holidays Visas are similar prices to that of Australia, around £250

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