I'm going to New Zealand this November for 5 weeks, but now I'm considering to stay longer (6 to 12 months), to be able to see, explore and experience more of New Zealand. This has been a dream of me for the last few years. I have a WHV, so I can work while I'm there. The drawbacks: I would probably (most likely) have to quit my current job, and buy a new return ticket home. But I think it's absolutely worth it.
- Is it easy to find work (office-work, or something else), perhaps outside the high season (from May to September)?
- What would be the best place/city to start looking for work, Auckland/Wellington/Christchurch?
- Is it easy to find short-term accommodation or should I stay in hostels when I'm working?
- Is it worth staying during the winter months, or is everything closed or is it too cold to travel around?
I don't know about office work, but I think it's relatively easy to find that kind of work here. Check out the newspaper websites www.nzherald.co.nz for Auckland or www.stuff.co.nz for Wellington
A bigger city will probably be the best place to find work, but it doesn't mean that it's any easier.
Short term accommodation... I'm not sure about... you may be able to rent places on short term leases or maybe share a flat with some people.
Winter in NZ isn't that cold! It is colder in the South Island, but some people still wear shorts and t-shirt in Auckland. The temperature remains pretty much constant so you won't get a great range between the max and the min temperature. At the moment it's about 15 degrees C here in Auckland.
Some supermarkets in the big cities may open 24 hours or up to midnight and every day of the week. Smaller towns shop hours might be 8:30am - 5:30pm Mon - Fri and Saturdays may be 8:30am/9am - 12 noon or 4pm and Sundays may be closed or it may be open depending on the shop and the town.
Remember November is our summer months which means if you stay for 5 weeks, you will still be in the summer and going back to your winter. Autumn sets in around May and it gets colder around this time (i.e. maybe single digits as the low temp).
It's never too cold to travel around! Most of the country won't have any snow. It snows normally around the lower South Island and around the Southern Alps and in central North Island. We have good skiing here or so I've heard.
Anyway I hope this will help you make up your mind.
If you stay longer, at lease it'll be easier to find accommodation!
I'm here at the minute, just finishing working in Auckland for 6 months in an office job. Very easy to get, theres all manner of recruitment agencies that will fix you up with temp jobs etc - same as home (im Irish - on a WHV).
Plenty of flats to rent and share accommodation too, so really theres no reason to be hesitant.
Areas to look for somewhere to live in Auckland (bearing in mind you'll probably be working in the city centre) is Ponsonby/Grey Lynn, Parnell, or Mission Bay. Theyd be my favourite areas to live anyway. I wouldn't be tempted my a pokey little flat in a city centre skyscraper (which are plentiful and affordable), i think if you do that your missing the point of Auckland completely.
I've loved my 6 months here, ferry's to the Islands, coastal walks, climbing hills for great cityscape views, guzzling Marlborough Savignon Blanc with fresh seafood down by the harbour, or tucking into Roast NZ Lamb and a Central Otago Pinot Noir in beautiful Devonport. I'll miss it, but right now im too busy planning my big farewell roadtrip around the South Island that i can't think about that.
I say - go for it.