This is growing guide aimed at being the ultimate online resource for young travellers coming to New Zealand, whether on a Working Holiday Visa, a temporary work visa, or as a student.
The links below will take you everywhere you need to go to sort out your budgets, banks accounts, taxes, food, and travel.
New Zealand is a near-cashless society, and almost all purchases are done via credit cards or the EFTPOS card system. While it may be possible to use foreign cards in local shops and ATMs, it will be much easier for a long-term visitor to open a New Zealand bank account and obtain an EFTPOS card.
The major New Zealand banks are ANZ Bank, ASB Bank, KiwiBank, and Westpac. Each bank may have slight differences between their accounts, however, the ultimate choice of bank is a matter of preference.
Inland Revenue Department – Prior to taking on any employment in New Zealand, visitors must obtain a “tax number” from the IRD. Please note that in order to obtain a IRD number, an applicant must first obtain a local bank account.
Immigration New Zealand – As a foreign traveller in New Zealand, Immigration New Zealand is arguably the most important government department for you.
AMG Immigration – If your immigration situation evolves, and you now wish to obtain a longer work visa, or a partnership visa, a student visa, or even apply for residence, then we strongly recommend that you see us to discuss your situation.
Immigration New Zealand – Immigration New Zealand has a wealth of information made available on its website, and in simple cases it may be possible to handle any applications you have by yourself.
Inland Revenue Department – Before taking on work, you must obtain an IRD number, to ensure that your wages are taxed at the appropriate rate.
TradeMe Jobs – TradeMe is the first stop for many things in New Zealand, jobs included.
Seek – New Zealand’s most popular job-listing website.
Student Job Search – Short-term and seasonal jobs for anyone enrolled as a student in New Zealand. Ideal for someone on a Student Visa.
BackpackerBoard – Job listings specifically for backpackers and other travellers.
Seasonal Jobs New Zealand – Listings of temporary and seasonal jobs around the country.
AMG Immigration Job Website Listing – An updated list of relevant job-search websites compiled by our immigration advisers.
Most younger New Zealanders lived in shared accommodation, typically called “flats”. In many cases, it can be possible to find short-term accommodation of between 3-12 months in an existing flat.
TradeMe Flatmates Wanted – This is the quintessential site for finding a room in an existing flat. Almost any flat that is advertised online will be advertised here.
TradeMe Rental – If you want to start your own flat, or you would like to live by yourself, then the TradeMe Rental section is the place for you.
YHA – YHA is a chain of hostels across New Zealand. The YHA options may not always be the best or the cheapest in town, but the quality is consistent.
BBH – BBH lists the majority of hostels in New Zealand, and includes, descriptions, contact details, and ratings. Anyone travelling for longer than a few weeks could benefit from paying for a BBH membership.
WWOOF – Willing Workers on Organic Farms is an increasingly popular option for travellers wanting to pay for their accommodation with labour.
CamperMate – Useful app with listings and details of many campsites across the country, both paid and free.
Countdown – Countdown is a standard New Zealand supermarket which can be found in most towns. You can use the online shopping functions to determine what your standard ingredients would cost in New Zealand.
Warehouse – The Warehouse is an iconic New Zealand store, selling almost everything you could want. The online shopping will give you an idea of how much it will cost you to set up your car, house, or to get some outdoor equipment.
Numbeo – A crowd-sourced tool for comparing the cost of living across countries and cities.
Phone and Internet
Mobile phones are an everyday part of life in New Zealand, and in most cases it is expected that you have a mobile number and a working data connection. The mobile coverage in New Zealand is generally good, with most city areas having 4G connections. However, deep rural areas may have weak reception, or in some cases, none at all. The packages offered by each provider vary from time to time, so it is advisable to shop around before committing to one provider. If you are bringing your own phone to New Zealand, it would pay to ensure that your handset is compatible with the network provider you have chosen. The main mobile providers in New Zealand are: Vodafone, 2degrees, Spark, Warehouse Mobile, and Skinny Mobile
Torpedo 7 – One of the biggest suppliers of Camping, Fishing, Biking, Snow, and Water equipment and apparel in New Zealand. The prices are often quite competitive, with quick delivery and service.
Hunting and Fishing – A physical store located in most cities in New Zealand. Particularly good for fishing, hunting, tramping, survival, and camping gear.
Bivouac – A popular store that offers a mix of outdoor apparel and climbing equipment.
Kathmandu – A widespread store for outdoor apparel, however, the prices can be very high if items are not bought during one of their frequent sales.
Noel Lemmings – Probably one of the most popular and widespread electronics and appliance stores in the country.
Harvey Norman – Another large-form electronics and furniture store, which can be found in almost every city in New Zealand.
Playtech – An Auckland based computer store which offers competitive prices for laptops and hardware.
PB Tech – Another competitively-priced computer and hardware outlet spread across Auckland.
Price Spy – A New Zealand website providing nearly-live updates on changes in prices across the country of hardware, technology, computers, and many other forms of consumer electronics.
Fish and Chips – Arguably one of the most iconic foods available in New Zealand. Fish and chip places are not hard to find, but it may pay to ask locals where the best places are. In most cases, Fish and Chip places do not have websites.
Pies – Pies are THE New Zealand food. You will find pies absolutely everywhere, and being eaten by almost anyone. The topic of best pies brands or flavours can be a matter of great contention, so ask around and keep an open mind.
NZ Food – A sub-reddit dedicated to foods in New Zealand, updated with news, events, reviews, deals, and user-reviews.
Concrete Playground – Frequently updated websites with news and reviews of a range of foods in Auckland and Wellington, from top-tier restaurants to the latest food trucks.
Urban List – Another frequently updated site with information and lists about food and food culture.
TradeMe Motors – TradeMe is a classic New Zealand site, and is often the first place that people turn when they want to buy or sell anything. Cars are no exception.
WOF – Cars in New Zealand must have a Warrant of Fitness in order to be driven on the road.
Registration – All cars on the road must be registered.
Road Code – Before driving a vehicle in New Zealand you need to be familiar with the road rules. Pay particular attention to give way rules and roundabouts, which may function differently compared to back home.
Licenses – Prior to driving yourself around New Zealand, make sure you are legally allowed to drive under your current license.