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1. Posted by Ellie44 (Budding Member 25 posts) 9y


Am looking into staying in Nelson or surrounding area when i head to NZ on my working visa.
Has anybody else stayed in or passed through nelson or around that area?
Do you recommend it? jobs available?


2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4958 posts) 9y

I only passed through it for an afternoon, so I'm sad to say I don't know it very well. But during that afternoon I got the impression that it was a very agreeable place to stick around at for a while. It's not very large, and there's not that much to see as a tourist... but it should be a good place to settle down for a bit and work, with plenty happening and a good vibe. (Though again, that was a very swiftly formed impression - I don't know how it'll hold up for real.)

3. Posted by peeps (Full Member 114 posts) 9y

i stayed in nelson for a few weeks looking for work, it was around may/june. the only work i could find was gutting fish. not for me.
its a nice place, sunniest place in NZ, not a whole lot of nightlife etc. but it does have a great national park on its doorstep.
i ended up having to head over to wellington to get work and had the best time there.

4. Posted by Ellie44 (Budding Member 25 posts) 9y

Thanks for the info...
i would hate to gut fish!
did you find that alot of other people on working visas stayed in wellington?
As much as i liked the look of nelson...i really do want to settle in a place where there will be lots of other young people on working visas since i am travelling over there alone.
Do you know where most people head to when they go to work in NZ? I'm actually hoping not to settle in a big city (auckland, wellington or christchurch) ...all i keep hearing is queenstown...but theres lots of ski resorts where i am and was hoping to go somwhere that was warmer than home but was a popular spot for people on working holdiays!;)
Anyways thanks for replying!


5. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 9y

Well it's been a few years now so I don't have any specific info for you about Nelson. But I can say that it is indeed a very agreeable town and area. I found it to be a very laid back, artsy atmosphere with beautiful scenery, nice beaches, and a great National Park nearby. I spent a couple months working not in Nelson itself, but half hour or 45 minutes drive West in a town called Motueka. I went into the city every weekend or two and always enjoyed my time there. If I was to move to NZ permanently, it would definitely be to this area. The work I did was picking fruit, which is something that more than a few working holiday backpackers end up doing. On the orchard I worked at there were at least 10 other Canadians and Brits on working holidays and every time I would walk into a bar in the area I would run into a handful of fellow backpackers doing the same. It was a very fun time for me, spending my days outside in the beautiful countryside, spending my evenings drinking and playing guitar with my fellow pickers/travelers, and spending my weekends on the beach. So if this is the sort of thing that you are looking for, then the Nelson area is a good bet. If picking fruit isn't up your alley, then you could always look for bar/restaurant work which is available at random in any town in country. Indeed alot of travelers end up in Queenstown, but as you said it's not anything different from Canada. It's basically NZ's Banff. But it is a safe bet for work in the tourist industry.
I can't really make any suggestions for the North Island. Didn't spend much time there. I found it too hard to leave the South. But if I had to pick one city to live in it would be Wellington for sure.

6. Posted by chemgal (Full Member 149 posts) 9y

I have to agree with all of the posted replies - Wellington is a great city to live in - I'm from Wellington! There are a lot of young backpackers and working holiday makers in Wellington. I worked for a travel company and we employed a lot of people with working holiday visas. You shouldn't have any problem finding office or hospitality work in Wellington and there is a great arts and bar scene.
Nelson is a pretty town but as everyone has mentioned there isn't much going on there. If you are going to be in NZ in the spring or summer then you should be able to pick up fruit picking work or some tourism work in the Abel Tasman National Park. However there won't be much work in winter.

7. Posted by Ellie44 (Budding Member 25 posts) 9y

I have to ask..where did you end up living while you picked fruit?
im finding it difficult to come across info on where i would stay if i ended up in or around the nelson area.
Thanks for everyones input...i look forward to visiting this wonderful wellington everyone speaks so highly of...who knows maybe ill end up in the city after all!

8. Posted by chemgal (Full Member 149 posts) 9y

A lot of the orchards provide accommodation. A friend of mine stayed near Blenheim and worked for a vineyard, all of the workers stayed at a hostel and the vineyard provided transport. It was really easy for her to arrange there.

9. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 9y

Yup, both orchards I worked at provided accommodation on the grounds. Once I was cramped in a trailer with two other guys, and other I had a pretty decent apartment. On both occasions, I walked into town, asked around about jobs, and was working that same afternoon.

10. Posted by peeps (Full Member 114 posts) 9y

i stayed in welly for 6 months and pretty much all my friends were other WHV backpackers. wherever you go if you stay in a hostel for a couple of weeks your gonna make friends with other WHV'rs.
if your not into Queenstown then you might like Wanaka, not as mad as Queenstown and in summer it would be warm.
maybe Taupo?