Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Working Holiday New Zealand: What do I need to know (Part 2) | ThumbsForFood

Hello, I am back with more information on my working holiday experience in New Zealand. If you have not read about why I am so excited even after my trip, you can read more here.

Love the clear blue skies!

I will be talking more about the technical part of applying for working holiday in New Zealand. It may get a little boring, but I hope it will be helpful to you! For Singaporeans, there are 200 available spaces per year. Well, it is relatively few compared to other countries like Malaysia and China. Luckily, not many Singaporeans have discovered the beauty of New Zealand as a destination for working holiday so I did not have a difficult time applying for the visa. On the other hand, because of how easily the visa came by, I did not hesitate to just book my air tickets and fly to New Zealand during my summer break. Till now, I still have some regrets about my impromptu decision.

Why am I regretting my decision? Yes, I really enjoyed the whole experience there. It is also because of that that I felt that I have wasted my one and only opportunity to work and travel in New Zealand. The point of sharing is, cherish this chance to work and explore New Zealand! Give yourself more time so that at least you have a choice of whether you want to extend your stay or go back home earlier. At a point in time, I had this impulse to just continue my travel in New Zealand and forsake my other commitments back home. Yes, of course, in the end, my rationale mind defeated my inner desire.

Back to the main point, the visa for Singaporeans is for 6 months. With extension, it will be maximum 9 months! I think 9 months is just sufficient to really work, travel, and experience the life and culture in New Zealand.

Okay, I will be sharing you the steps that you need to take before, during and after the working holiday! For this post, I will share about what you need to do in Singapore/whatever country you are from before you fly off to New Zealand!

Step 1: Get onto the website to read about the basic information

Step 2: Get an account and apply for a visa
Well, the visa came really fast. If I am not wrong, I got my visa less than a week after submitting my application online. Yes, you do not even have to go to the new zealand embassy! Submit the application and pay for it online. But to be safe, do the visa application earlier.

Step 3: Buy your air tickets
Okay, from my experience, there is really nothing much you can do in Singapore. Most of the things to be done can only be done when you reach new zealand. And, I definitely understand the displeasure of being in such uncertainty. I was feeling so uncertain right before I left because nothing seemed to work out. Being a typical kiasu Singapore, I tried applying for jobs before I left for new zealand. But, most replies were that I needed to have an Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number before they can even consider my application. Okay, the IRD part got me a little confused so I shall elaborate more in detail later on. Others replied telling me that they wanted a face-to-face interview or a phone interview which was also not possible because I was in Singapore. Yes, so don't worry! I went through the same process of feeling uncertain and worried that I might not be able to find any work.

Step 4: Find your accommodation in Auckland
Well, the first two weeks upon arrival will basically be spent settling stuffs such as your IRD number, getting a car, etc. It will be good to have your accommodation settled before you set off. If you are keen to travel with people or meet new people, stay in hostels, especially those that will allow you to meet fellow backpackers. You can go online and search for suitable hostels. Some of the hostels are Base, YHA and Nomads. The hostels normally have a cheaper rate for weekly stay so check the rates out when planning your accommodation.

Yes, you should definitely apply for a BBH card when you are there. Read more about BBH membership here! The best part about the card is discounted price at most hostels in New Zealand.

Oh yes, I stayed at Freemans Backpackers in Auckland. Its a nice hostel at a convenient location which was what attracted me there in the first place. But, Freemans is a much smaller scale hostel as compared to others like YHA or Base. So, its really personal preference! You can visit their website here!

colourful sight outside the hostel

That's pretty much what I did before I left for New Zealand. It is not as troublesome as what you would think right? The application and preparation is not too complicated! Just remember to go out there with an open heart, mind and soul and you will definitely have a fun and meaningful experience! [:

I will be sharing more about the things to do when you are in New Zealand, so stay tune to the blog! If you have any other enquiries, feel free to email me at [:

Port at Wellington

Whatever else travel writing is, it is certainly different from writing a novel; fiction requires close concentration and intense imagining, a leap of faith, magic almost. But a travel book, I discovered, was more the work of my left hand, and it was a deliberate act -- like the act of travel itself. It took health and strength and confidence.  --TEE



  1. Hi,

    Thanks for posting these posts on your New Zealand Working Holiday Visa adventure! It gave me a clearer picture of what to expect and the pics are amazing. I am in a similar situation - I have a working visa holiday too but I am very scared to take the leap because I don't have a job secured yet in NZ and basically, all the uncertainties you have highlighted in your post above, I am feeling as well. It would also mean leaving my current job and pay although I am trying to be very open by quantifying it through other means like better scenery and happier working conditions albeit for only 6-9 months.

    Can you perhaps share how you found jobs in NZ and what kind of jobs? Are you still in NZ? Is it necessary to get a car since NZ is way bigger than Singapore? Would appreciate any enlightenment you can share :) Thanks!

  2. Are you still in new zealand?

    I wish you'll post about finding a job there thanks xoxo

  3. Hi!

    I am back in Singapore [: Sure, I will try to come up with a post about finding a job there soon!

  4. Hi, any updates (Part 3..) for working holiday in New Zealand? :D

  5. the process by which people seek to reach Canada for permanent residency or on long term work visa. You can get up to 28 points for your skills in English and French. You will be given points based on your ability to listen, speak ,read and write.

    Singapore Citizenship Singapore | Apply for Singapore Entrepreneur Pass