8 min read

How to find seasonal work in New Zealand

Here are the best ways to find seasonal work in New Zealand.
By · November 23, 2023
How to find seasonal work in New Zealand

If you are moving to New Zealand, you might be interested in picking up seasonal work to get you started. Seasonal work is popular amongst backpackers and international travellers in Aotearoa, but it can also be a great way to hit the ground running after your arrival. Here are the best ways to find seasonal work in New Zealand.

What is seasonal work?

Seasonal work is any type of job that is limited by its season. Examples of seasonal work may include working on a ski field for winter or picking fruit during certain times of the year. New Zealand is a great place to do seasonal work as we have a wide range of industries that require seasonal workers. In fact, around 19,000 seasonal workers travel to New Zealand from the Pacific every year to fill work shortages.

What type of seasonal work is available in New Zealand?

You’ll find everything from fruit picking to milk harvesting and sheep shearing hands needed in New Zealand throughout the year. Some seasonal work is actually available all year round. For the most part, these jobs require workers to live in rural communities so that they can work near farms, orchards and vineyard. Here’s an (incomplete) list of just some of the jobs and the time of year you can expect to work them in New Zealand.

Summer (December - February)

Fruit Picking and Packing / Central Otago, Hawkes Bay, Waikato

Vineyard Work / Central Otago

Grain Harvesting / Otago, Southland

Milk Harvesting / Otago, Southland

Sheep Shearing Hands / Otago, Southland

Meat Work Processing / Otago, Southland

Tulip Harvesting / Southland

Vegetable Harvesting / Hawkes Bay, Auckland, Canterbury, Whanganui-Manawatu

Hop Harvesting / Nelson, Marlborough

Autumn (March - May)

Calf Rearing / Otago, Southland

Grape Picking / Central Otago

Vine Harvesting / Otago, Southland

Olive Picking, Harvesting / Wellington, Wairarapa

Kiwifruit Harvesting / Bay of Plenty, Northland, Nelson-Marlborough

Potato Harvesting / Canterbury

Cherry Tree Pruning / Central Otago

Crutching / Otago, Southland

Winter Snow Sports Staff / Canterbury

Winter Snow Sports Staff / Queenstown, Wanaka

Contract Milking / Gisborne, Hawkes Bay

Seafood Processing / West Coast

Deep Sea Fishing / West Coast

Forestry Planting / West Coast, Coastal Otago

Stonefruit Pruning, Planting / Central Otago

Macadamia Harvesting / Auckland, Northland, Nelson-Marlborough

Winter (June - August)

Wine Bottling / Nelson, Marlborough

Vine Harvesting / Canterbury, Hawkes Bay

Forestry Planting / Nelson, Marlborough, Hawkes Bay

Vine Harvesting, Pruning / Nelson, Marlborough, Wairarapa

Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange Picking and Packing / Auckland, Waikato, Northland

Vegetable Harvesting / Canterbury, Nelson-Marlborough, Hawkes Bay, Waikato

Dairy Farm Assistant / West Coast, Canterbury, Central Otago, Waikato, Taranaki, Nelson, Marlborough, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Wairarapa, Northland

Spring (September - November)

Avocado Picking and Packing / Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Northland

Tourism Assistants / Whole of New Zealand

Vineyard Maintenance / Central Otago

Orchard Picking / Central Otago

Grain Harvesting / Otago, Southland

Calf Rearing / Otago, Southland

Hospitality and Tourism / Whole of New Zealand

Fruit Picking / Auckland, Hawkes Bay

Vegetable Harvesting / Nelson, Marlborough, Auckland, Waikato

Why choose seasonal work in New Zealand?

As you can see, there is a wide range of seasonal work available in New Zealand from Southland to Nelson, the West Coast to Canterbury, Wellington to Northland, and Taranaki to Hawke’s Bay. Here are just some benefits of seasonal work:

See New Zealand while you work

The main benefit of seasonal work is that it allows you to see as much of New Zealand as you want while earning money. New Zealand is known for its beautiful scenery and great outdoor spaces. Seasonal work takes you out of the cities and into some of our most beautiful places. Imagine working on a beautiful Central Otago vineyard while the leaves turn golden around you during autumn or forestry planting on a bright winter’s day in Nelson.

Get outside your comfort zone

For most people, seasonal work is something they’ve never experienced before. If you are bored in your career or just want to dip your toe into the world of wine-making, taking a seasonal job can be the best way to experience something new without committing to an entirely new career. You can talk to people in the industry (winemakers and vineyard owners, let's say) and get a feel for what it would be like to change careers.

Fill the gaps in your resume

If you’ve just landed in New Zealand or are taking a break between jobs but don’t want a huge gap on your resume, seasonal work is a great way to pass the time. Many jobs struggle to find workers and are happy to employ people part-time.

Get a permanent job

Sometimes, finding a job is easier when you are already employed. Seasonal work shows other employers that you’re motivated and willing to step outside your comfort zone. It can also expose you to networking and job opportunities as you’ll meet other workers, employees, and business owners.

What to expect from seasonal work in New Zealand?

The majority of seasonal work in New Zealand comes with workplace training. All you have to do is choose which part of the country you want to be based in and which job you might enjoy and apply for a job.

Seasonal work mainly takes place in regional areas of New Zealand. Outside of hospitality or ski field jobs, you’ll most likely find work in a small town or a country area. This, of course, has its upsides and downsides including:

You will find regional New Zealand is very affordable. You’ll save money by not going out as much as you might in a bigger city but there’s also less to do. Since most people only do seasonal work for a short amount of time, this isn’t a major problem.

You might also meet other travellers, tourists and backpackers. This is great if you’re looking to make friend, future flatmates or just people you want to travel with throughout New Zealand.

How do I find seasonal work in New Zealand?

The easiest way to find seasonal work in New Zealand is online.

Backpacker Board

Backpacker Board is a legitimate job application website and one of the best places for finding work. This is the top noticeboard for advertising seasonal work and work suitable for people on Working Holiday Visas, although you don’t have to be a backpacker to apply. There are lots of new jobs posted daily. You’ll find jobs from the hospitality, agriculture, construction and fundraising industries posted, to name just a few.

You can filter jobs by job type, region and payment types, which can be helpful for people who are travelling while they work. You can apply for a job from the Backpacker Board website.

Backpacker Job Board

Don’t be confused by the very similar sounding name, Backpacker Job Board is another website you can use to find seasonal work in New Zealand. It doesn’t have as many vacancies as Backpacker Board, but it’s still worth checking out. Jobs tend to be in larger centres rather than all across New Zealand. You’ll need to create a free account in order to apply for a job via the site.

Jora

Despite not being used by many New Zealanders for searching for a job, Jora is surprisingly good for looking for job vacancies for you. That’s because Jora actually scans the whole web looking for suitable jobs and collates them for you in one simple list. Try setting up a job alert for your ideal position and let Jora do the work. This is a great website to use before you get to New Zealand or before you plan on doing any serious job searching, as it’s so easy.

Seek

Seek.co.nz is the website many Kiwis use to find a job in any industry. It’s not specific to seasonal work and has hundreds of thousands of jobs from throughout New Zealand posted to it. You can search by job type, city, permanent or part-time roles and salary. You might find that many of the roles on the Backpacker Job Board never make it onto Seek, but it’s still a great resource for finding work.

Indeed

Indeed is not as popular in New Zealand as sites such as Seek or Trade Me Jobs. It tends to have fewer job listings and anything listed is usually also posted to those two dominant job sites. What is great about Indeed is that you can review star ratings and reviews from other employees.

Trade Me Jobs

Along with Seek, Trade Me Jobs is one of the most used job seeker websites in New Zealand. You’ll find jobs from a wide range of industries and can even search by putting your own keywords in rather than just relying on categories to find something you like. You can also search by pay and working hours. Trade Me is kept up to date with new jobs listed every day.

Pick NZ

Pick NZ is a job board dedicated to seasonal work. If you are looking for jobs in New Zealand’s fruit and vegetable industries, make sure to add Pick NZ to your rotation. They have fruit picking, growing, packing, driving, farm work, machinery operator and many other jobs located in the whole of New Zealand. The site lets you search by jobs that are available now and soon or jobs that are looking for expressions of interest. You can also search for jobs by region and by type, which includes types of fruit, vegetables and winegrowing.

For every (wise)move

TradeMe purchase pickup and delivery service across NZ
TradeMe Delivery
Get your heavy-large TradeMe purchase picked up and delivered by our movers anywhere in NZ.
Learn more
Car transport nz
Car Transport
Our professional car transport teams from across New Zealand are the best at what they do.
Learn more
Motorbike transport nz
Motorcycle Transport
Our pros take everything into consideration when ensuring the safety and well-being of your bike.
Learn more
Piano transport
Piano Move
Moving a piano requires the expertise to ensure is kept safe and protected on the road.
Learn more
Furniture removals
Furniture Removals
Our teams will treat your possessions like they would their own, ensuring that the greatest care and diligence is taken.
Learn more
Pet transport nz
Pet Transport
During the transport our teams will ensure full care, well-being and friendliness as if they were our own.
Learn more
Boat transport nz
Boat Transport
Our transport teams will ensure your boats will be delivered safely, efficiently and on time.
Learn more