1North Island or South Island

New Zealand is an incredible place to do a WHV. The country may be small, but it’s nonetheless rich and diverse. With its heavenly beaches, mountains, subtropical forests and fjords, it’s bound to take your breath away. But all this splendour can make the choice of arrival city for your WHV a little complicated. So, North Island or South Island? And above all, where should you start your New Zealand Working Holiday Visa?

It all depends on your travel plans!


Because New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed. Summer runs from December to March, while winter lasts from June to September. The weather is generally warmer in the north and colder in the south. This characteristic can already influence your decision. If you want to avoid the cooler weather as much as possible, arrive on the North Island in autumn or winter and on the South Island in spring or summer. On the other hand, if you want to experience both extremes, why not live on the North Island in summer and head for the South Island in winter to take advantage of the ski slopes?

Job market

Finding work is easier in the shoulder seasons, when employers are preparing for the coming season. This is particularly the case in sectors such as the tourism and hospitality industry, where employers want to train new arrivals as well as possible. If you want to work as soon as you arrive, it’s best to arrive between September and November, and between March and May for the ski season.

Travelling solo or with others

If you’re travelling alone, it might be easier for you to fit in at a backpacker hostel in a small town. Although there are fewer jobs in small towns, there can be a greater sense of community among backpackers.

Cost of airfare

You might want to base your decision of where to start on which island or city is most affordable to fly into. International flights are often cheaper to Auckland, for example. You can always check the price of a domestic onward flight if you have another end destination in mind.

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Voyageuse belge depuis 2012, j'ai vécu aux USA et aux Bahamas avant de m'envoler vers la Nouvelle-Zélande où je vis depuis 2019. Je partage avec vous mes meilleurs tips NZ grâce à pvtistes.net et vous accompagne dans votre préparation au départ, avant de moi-même prendre à nouveau mon envol...

Belgian traveler since 2012. I have lived in the USA and the Bahamas and I have now been living in New Zealand since 2019. I share my best NZ tips with you and I help you prepare for your big adventure. I will soon be going on to my next one myself...

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