top of page

Backpack Traveling in New Zealand: Beginner's Guide

Updated: Jul 31, 2021

Never tried backpacking but would like to learn more about the topic? Or you are already backpacking for a holiday trip to New Zealand and want some traveling tips? In either case, read along to acquaint yourself with backpacking and how you can do it in New Zealand.

What is Backpacking?

Backpacking is when you pack your belongings in a backpack and travel around the world on a lower budget. This form of tourism gained popularity recently. Many backpackers travel low-cost by saving money. This often involves staying at cheap hostels and finding a job to support yourself.

Once you decide to proceed with backpacking, you might need to consider what to pack,

Things to Bring When Backpacking

Backpacking for a long trip can be tricky. You will need your backpack to be light but containing enough items for the trip. The following list highlights 8 must-haves:

  1. Backpack - Of course you will need a bag to put all your items into it. Without one how would you go about traveling? The backpack should be strong and spacious enough to withhold all your items. You may also want to make it waterproof so that it survives during bad weather as well.

  2. Backpacker water bottle - Don’t forget to bring your water bottle with you. you will need it even if you already consumed the whole amount of water. New Zealand is full of water fountains so you can replenish your water supply at no cost.

  3. Hat - It’s always a good idea to have a hat since it can save you from the hot sun, cold weather, or even save you from Swooping Birds. Bring a neutral color like black, blue, or white.

  4. Sunscreen - You will need this when the destination country you are traveling to has hot summers. Sunscreen will save your skin from burning out and will help you stay healthy and capable.

  5. Umbrella or a tent - You may either bring an umbrella or you may bring a tent to sleep in. Either will protect you from bad weather. In New Zealand, there are lots of campgrounds such as beaches, parks, and reserves. Stay on the grass areas, to ensure that water does not reach you.

  6. Clothing - this one is essential. Bring clothing that will fit you. If you are doing hiking bring some hiking boots as well. If you travel around cold areas bring some wool socks. If you are going to enjoy beach landscapes you may bring a swimming suit.

  7. A Swiss knife - This can save you from many issues. You can use it to open your food containers, cut threads of a fishing rod, or slice bread or meat.

  8. Bring your phone with you. Your phone is the main means of communication that will allow you to get in touch with each other and with friends.

The list above highlights more or less enough information on what to bring with you.

Top Short-Term Jobs that Pay

The backpacker jobs might be a good option for when going on a holiday trip to New Zealand and being on a low budget. Having a short-term job that pays once or twice a week is a good way to support yourself while in New Zealand.

Choice 1 - Farming.

Farming can be an optional way to earn more money. It is a demanding type of job. The farming may last for several months, depending on the season.

What kind of farm you will work on will depend on your location. If you are in Christchurch, Auckland, or Wellington, chances are you can find almost any kind of farm. From sheep farms to areas filled with cattle, you will be able to choose according to your preference. Some farms produce grains and vegetables so the choices are extensive.

In other areas like Rotorua, Hamilton, Nelson, or Napier, finding a short-term farm job is not as easy. Employers often require that applicants be available for the whole season. This is sensible since it takes time to learn how to operate the farming facilities. It also takes time to learn to perform certain farming tasks.

You may consider paid or volunteer disaster recovery works in bushfire-affected areas. This might be useful if you want to extend your working holiday visa for a second or third year. Read the article for more information.

Choice 2 - Fruit Picking.

Fruit picking is both enjoyable and fun. You get to spend some time outdoors and enjoy the sun, good weather and atmosphere. You don't need any experience to start fruit picking and don't have to commit to a long-term position either. That's why fruit picking jobs are the easiest jobs that travelers can apply for.

Auckland is one of the best places for fruit picking jobs. There are jobs at ZaberriWorld, Windmill Orchards, Boric Orchards, and others.

Also keep in mind that employers may need you to work early hours, starting at 7-8 am or even earlier. This is because later other visitors come in to collect some fruits for themselves.

Choice 3 - Healthcare.

Ever considered a job in healthcare such as nursing or caregiving? This might be a good opportunity for you to show off your skills in massage therapy, beauty staff, or nursing. Nursing places more requirements on the applicant. It checks his/her background and ensures that the person possesses proper qualifications.

Choice 4 - Labor and Trade.

Plumbers and electricians are sought after. Given you have the proper qualification you might be able to make it to a trading job as well. Yet, you should familiarize yourself with New Zealand specifications. Make sure to attend training courses should the companies need them.

5. Other Useful Jobs

You may consider other jobs as well. These include hospitality jobs, restaurant and café jobs, office clerical jobs and others. You can also opt for a volunteering position to learn more about New Zealand's community.

Top Backpacker Board Websites for Travelers

There are a couple of backpacker board websites. They publish lists of some common backpacker jobs. You can pick up one from the list below to earn some money:

The above coverage should give you enough opportunities for job hunting. Hope they help you find better jobs.

And last but not least, make sure you have proper travel insurance.


This article highlighted several topics related to backpack traveling. It covered topics about what to bring with you when backpacking, what to do if you are on a low budget, and how to earn some money. It presented several websites that can help you find accommodation or a part-time job.

31 views0 comments