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New Zealand

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Question for people. I am looking to spend a season in the southern hemisphere, in the June, July, and August months. I've heard there is good skiing in New Zealand. Was curious if anyone knew where a good resort was? Also with an opportunity for employment.

Thanks
post #2 of 27
Here's an article that describes a recent visit to several NZ ski areas:
http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_a...mode=headlines
post #3 of 27
Hi, there are four places you will want to head for if you want to work near a ski area:
  • Mt Ruapehu - in the North Island, two large commercial resorts (Turoa & Whakapapa), plenty of employment opportunities if you arrive early in the season, night-life's OK from what I've heard, longest season.
  • Methven - in Canterbury in the South Island, one large commercial resort (Mt Hutt), the town's pretty quiet though
  • Wanaka - also in the South Island, three large resorts nearby (Treble Cone, Cardona, & Snow Park), plenty of employment opportunities, pretty good nightlife
  • Queenstown - about 50 KM from Wanaka, big tourist town, four resorts nearby (Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona and Snow Park), good party town, probably your best bet for employment and nightlife.
You can check out this site for info about all of the NZ ski areas http://www.snow.co.nz , it also has a forum where you may find out specific details about employment. Our ski resorts are a bit different from northern hemisphere resorts: they tend to be smaller, have no trees, and you cannot stay at the resort in most cases, but stay in the towns at the base of the mountains. On the plus side they are generally pretty uncrowded and have awesome skiing.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 

Nz

Hey Rossi,

Thanks for the reply, you say you have to stay in the town out of the actual resort, do you know if you can get easy transportation, and if you were goin to live for 3 mths over there, what is your choice for the best mountain to work at, and best sking?

THanks,
post #5 of 27

New Zealand, bro...

Great chocie about going to NZ, it's rad. There was another thread on NZ pretty recently, so if you do a search you'll find tons more info.

What kind of job are you looking for?

Are you in school, or not?

Look up BUNAC on the web, they helped me my first time down there.


Wanaka is the best.



-nerd
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 

Nz

Hey man thanks for the reply,

Ya I'm a freshman at Western Washington University this year, but I have always wanted to take a year off to go travel. I want to spend 6 mths in Aus. because I have family down there, but I really wanted to ski for a while, so I want to spend the summer mths sking in NZ.

I would like to get a job on the mountain, instructing maybe, bc it would probably be a good way to meet good skiers. If I have to work in the village in a restaurant or hotel, that would be ok but I prefer to work on the mountain. Any suggestions?

Did you spend time in NZ? Which resort in Whaka?
Also what was BUNAC?

Thanks
WIll
post #7 of 27
To work in a foreign country, you need permission to do so, which means a working visa. You might need to investigate your options on that, and then see what the time-frames are. You don't want to leave it too late.

From memory, most NZ commercial fields do not have accommodation on-hill. A few smaller club fields do, but I don't know if they organise working visas for foreign staff.
post #8 of 27
Hi Will,

All of the commercial ski areas have shuttles to the nearest town. At Wanaka and Queenstown you can also hitch to the ski areas. Best place to work - I don't know as I've never worked at any of the NZ ski areas, others may be able to give more insight. Best ski area - I'd have to say Treble Cone at Wanaka, however the club fields all have radical skiing as well (just more primitive facilities).

If you're coming here for a few months I'd consider buying a car; you can get a cheap 4WD (think Subaru) for a few thousand NZ$ and then explore a bit. You can drive from the most northern ski area in the South Island (Rainbow) to the most southern one (The Remarkables) in around 10 hours; and there's about twenty other ski areas in between.

You can get a Working Holiday Visa here which entitles you to work for up to 12 months if your aged between 18 & 30 years old http://www.immigration.govt.nz

Hope that helps
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillPitz42 View Post
Hey man thanks for the reply,

Ya I'm a freshman at Western Washington University this year, but I have always wanted to take a year off to go travel. I want to spend 6 mths in Aus. because I have family down there, but I really wanted to ski for a while, so I want to spend the summer mths sking in NZ.

I would like to get a job on the mountain, instructing maybe, bc it would probably be a good way to meet good skiers. If I have to work in the village in a restaurant or hotel, that would be ok but I prefer to work on the mountain. Any suggestions?

Did you spend time in NZ? Which resort in Whaka?
Also what was BUNAC?

Thanks
WIll

I've gone to NZ the last 3 summers (not this one tho, too poor) to teach skiing. First two at Turoa on Mt. Ruapehu and last summer at Cardrona. If you find that earlier thead, I wrote heaps on the pros/cons of all the resorts.

BUNAC is a program that will help you to arrange cheap flights (STA Travel), help you to get a visa (working holiday), and set you up with contacts in NZ to help you on your way.

I did BUNAC my first time and it is a real good program, I would suggest it even though it costs a bit of cash, it just makes it easier.

the site is: http://www.bunac.org


If you have taught before and have at least Level II PSIA or Level II AASI, then you stand a chance at teaching...

But if you don't then I don't think anyone would hire you. My first year there I had my Level II with 5 years experience and I couldn't get a teaching job anywhere and I applied everywhere. I did however land a job at a local ski shop in Ohakune, and through them got a job at Turoa when they needed help and I stayed on full-time.

It is very competitive down there because the supply of career instructors outweighs the demand so they can afford to be very picky.

But the good news is that with your type of visa you can work anywhere in NZ. The kind of visa that I get now is a "sponsored" visa which means it is illegal for me to work anywhere else than at the resort that "sponsors" my right to be in NZ, sucks if there is not enough work--hence poor.


All in all, you will get a job doing something and you will be able to ski and that's the important thing. A place to live is something you can work out when you get there. Backpacker hostles are going to be your best bet until you can find a permanent seasonal place.

If you need any other help just ask, I'm always willing to chat about NZ because living there has been the best experience of my life. And I will be going back next summer so if you need any help in Wanaka, again just ask.

Anything for the Pacific NW, I worked at Crystal for 3 1/2 years (bet you can guess when the half year was........Oh yes THE DREADED '05!!!!!!!).


-nerd
post #10 of 27
Honestly dont bother with the North Island as a base spend your time skiing the smaller south island ski fields. Mt Ruapehu/turoa can be fun on a nice day but often its foggy/misty/rainy/very windy/exploding. Spend your break in Queenstown or Christchurh that way your near to the mountains and will easy get a job of some description. Dont expect slick mountain resorts like Whistler or Sunshine but do expect a really chilled atmosphere with no attitude. And bring lots of P-TEX your gonna need it!
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

Nz

Guys theanks for the response. Ya the Southern Island sounds like the way to go.

Rossi thanks for the advice.

skinerd, what did you do at Crystal?? I have skied there my whole life, was in CMAC for 3 years when I was little, mom was a patroler up there, and had a cabin down the road.

I talked to a guy who lived down there for a couple of years,and people on the forum's say that Queenstown is the place to be, but I can't get down there till the 18th or so because of school. Do you think I can find a job that late or a place to live.

Appreciate the time man,
Will
post #12 of 27
At Crystal I worked for the ski school full-time from '01 to '05. We probably know many of the same people, Greenwater is not that big a place. Louie and Diane, Buzzy, etc..

Back to NZ, I don't want to totally knock Mt. Ruapehu because when the conditions are good it is the best in the whole country, that place got me into dropping cornices and cliffs, so many to choose from.

But the problem is that you only get like 5 days a year like that before it turns bad for 2-3 weeks, not to mention that there is nothing to do in Ohakune if the hill is shut, besides get a case of beer and start drinking at 9am.

South Island is the place. Queenstown is bigger, but Wanaka is cooler. You would be able to find a job easier in Queenstown, and you can fly right into it from Aukland or Christchurch. But like I said, Wanaka is cooler.

When you said the 18th, what month did you mean? You could always talk to a shop before going down there to arrange a job, they might even help you get a lead on a place.

You said that you were in CMAC so your racing background would help to land a ski shop job. Just don't tell them that you were a kid.


Oh, and when you get there you have to go bungee jumping! It's mandatory.


-nerd
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 

Nz

Hey skinerd,

Ya I've heard Wanaka is a cool place. I ski quite a bit, but I have no shop experience. You know of anyplace or anyone down there that would hire a kid for a couple months? June-end of Oct.?
My last final is June 15th, and the mountains from what I read don't end untill late June.

If you ever here of anything let me know.
e-mail: WillPitz42@hotmail.com

Thanks so much for the help

Will
post #14 of 27
Yeah no problem bro. I'll hang on to your e-mail address and I'll let you know if I hear anything.

Do you like kids? There are usually positions at ski hills for inside staff.

Or do you like heavy machinery? Being a lifty is an interesting experience and you get a free pass. Make contact with an area now and find out exactly who you have to talk to and when for next season to get set up.

check out all the areas' websites, find the number, buy a cheap calling card and give it a go.

http://www.cardrona.co.nz
http://www.nzski.co.nz
http://www.treblecone.co.nz
http://www.snowparknz.com

A night job would give you days off to ride. Bartend at all? The drinking age down there is 18 so you will be legal. The catch-22 is that the beer isn't very good down there. I like Speights, the pride of the south.




-nerd
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

Nz

Thanks dude, ya I will do and if you hear anything do let me know.

Anyone headed down to New Zealand next summer, look me up

WillPitz42@hotmail.com

Thanks for the help guys ,

WIll
post #16 of 27
I'd suggest either Wanaka or Queenstown. Queenstown is a bit over commercialised for me, Wanaka is a lot more laid back, much nice twon to live in. I think the scenery is better there and the town itself is better positioned for sun.

If you want a teaching job, Cardrona might be a better bet as it is very popular with beginners so more people take lessons. Whereas TC is a challenging mountian, which makes it my favoruite by a long way - but from a teaching perspective you may not get as much work, and no work means no money. Being a liftie is a good option in that you get regaular pay, but not as much chance to ski.

Wanaka does not have a lot of ski shops - maybe 6 at the most - so probably not a heap of jobs.

Queenstown and Wanaka are only one hour apart so if you have a car you can always visit the other areas. Take the suggestion of buying a cheap 4WD if you can get one, otherwise you may have to fit chains a bit. It is quite a climb from the valley floor up to the ski areas, over 1,000 ft,on a metal/gravel road so don't buy anything underpowered. 1800c would be the minimum with just two people in it, but any more you'd probably flog it to death by the end of the season.

To get an idea of the difference between the commerical and the club scene, check out www.biglines.com . d-moo aka Dave, Canadian guy has spent the last few months down under and has been writing articles on the areas in the south island. I think his comments are right on the mark. There are plenty of photos too. I met this guy the weekend he was at Craigieburn (my favourite club area) - he made the mistake of buying a 2WD 1800cc car cause he did not realise what the roads were like, and he hitched a lot of days otherwise his car was not going to last the season.

http://www.biglines.com/user.php?d-moo&article_posts=1

Hitiching up the mountains is common, and is not looked on the same by drivers as those hitching between towns. For example, if I was on my own (I am a female) in my car I will pick up hitchers to take up the mountain, but I would never ever pick someone up on the open road if I was on my own. Not many hitch hike to Treble Cone nowadays cause the higher lift price has put off a lot of skiers on a lower budget, so usually won't take you long to get a ride. But if going to Cardrona or the Snowpark you might have to wait a while. Two of the areas, TC and the Snow park are looking at putting Gondoals in from the valley floor to the base areas an alternative to road access. But you'd still need to get from the towns to the bottom to the gondola bases, about 20 minute drive. But these gondolas, if they get the go ahead, won't be operational until 2008/2009. It means you'd get by fine with 2WD vehicle and no chains cause the snowline is above the valley floors.

Which brings me to another difference to North America - where you live is below the snow line, you drive up to the snow. Which means you can do other activities like mountain biking during winter. Last time I was at TC they had a multisport race where they skied from the top of the mountain to the base area, got on mountain bikes went down access road to nearby river in the valley, kayaked, then ran. I cannot imagine being able to do that in North America. We also don't have any trees on our ski areas.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 

Nz

Hey Julie,

THanks for the advice, my main goal is to get as much skiing as possible ski time as possible, so I might not work on the mountain. In Wanaka is it possible to find a restaurant job or night hotel job? I have hotel front desk experience, and I thought that might work to my advantage. I have heard that Treble Cone is the place to be, if I don't get a car, there is a bus up to the mountain right?

THanks for the help,

Will
post #18 of 27
Hi Will, yes to all those questions - there are restaurant/hotel jobs in Wanaka (but best to be there early in the season) and yes there are shuttles up the mountain or you might be able to hitch a ride.
post #19 of 27
Hey will. Glad to hear you are thinking of travel during your uni years. I did the same to NZ for two summers. Somebody mentioned a work visa. You may be able to work that through your school too, however--- pay attention. If you have to pay, like I did (400 bucks) find out what the exchange rate in NZ is and how much that turns out to be, then how long it will take you to earn the money to come out even on your visa. 400 in 2001 was about a grand. OMG!!! I screwed up on that one. That's a month of skiing right there. I didn't even end up working because living and skiing was so cheap with the american exchange rate. I rented a 4 bdroom house in Wanaka for six weeks iwth one other skier, 80 bucks a head. ridiculous. I have a good friend who is a real-estate agent... PM me in the future, maybe he can help, although he is heading for oz soon and may not be there next summer (it's up in the air right now.) Nonetheless, my point is the visa and the exchange rate.... you may be able to afford just riding everyday. I did it with the federal Pell grant (Shhh) I miss being a student.
post #20 of 27
As an American if you are under 30 you can apply online to the NZ Immigration to get a holiday working visa which will entitle you to work for up to a year and be in the country for two. Basically you are guarenteed a visa. If you go to www.snow.nz they have a list of jobs. You might be able to apply already for next year. Its also the best source of info for NZ skiing - lots of webcams, snow reports, everything you need to know. Last year I saw instructor jobs in the south island (incidentally if you are over 30 ski instructor is on the job shortage list so you will be able to get a visa that way - if you get a job first!). The snow is melting really fast at the moment but the south island is due a little snow. Pity I live in the North Island!!!
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 

Nz

Thanks everyone for the help, fyi I am 19, and applied for a student work visa, so I hope that works out. Samurai, is there an e-mail I could get to look you up in a couple of months, or maybe if your friend in the real-estate business would have advice??

Thanks again,
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cham View Post
As an American if you are under 30 you can apply online to the NZ Immigration to get a holiday working visa which will entitle you to work for up to a year and be in the country for two. Basically you are guarenteed a visa. If you go to www.snow.nz they have a list of jobs. You might be able to apply already for next year. Its also the best source of info for NZ skiing - lots of webcams, snow reports, everything you need to know. Last year I saw instructor jobs in the south island (incidentally if you are over 30 ski instructor is on the job shortage list so you will be able to get a visa that way - if you get a job first!). The snow is melting really fast at the moment but the south island is due a little snow. Pity I live in the North Island!!!
The website is www.snow.co.nz

There are quite a few restaurents and bars. When Samuri went, the exchange rate must have been 40c USD to buy $100 NZ, which was when it was at its worst (worst from our point of view, best from your point of view). It has been hovering between 60 c and 70 c for the last few years, so not quite as good as the all time low of 40c. But your dollar does go a long way. Expect to pay $100 NZD a week for a bed in a flat/shared house - your food/power is on top of this.

I think the buses up to TC are about $27 per day, and I remember reading somewhere you you can get a season bus pass. Only web site I could find for the suttles was
http://www.good-sports.co.nz/scheduled_departures.htm

For front desk work, one of the larger resorts in Wanaka is
http://www.edgewater.co.nz/

Buy your season pass on line for TC before April 2007 to get the cheaper rates. It is dearer than the others ski areas but you get a lot more terrain and vertical than the others. And if you have a season pass at one rski area, you usually $20 day off at the others by presenting your seasons pass, so it all helps. I think the student season pass rate only applies NZ students.
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 

Nz

Thanks Julie,

You said there are a lot of restaurants, and bars there, could I get a job in that area w/o experience?? and would you recommend getting a job and a place to stay before I go down there?

Thanks ,

Will
post #24 of 27
I've never been in the job market there or accomodation. I visit to ski and stay with family, so only knowledge I have is second hand. If you arrange anything before you come, arrange some accomodation, even if it is a bed at a backpackers for the season. I have heard people complaining about getting accomodation for the season but not so many gripes about getting work.

It would easy enough to book a bed at a backpackers on the net before you come but might be harder to get a room in a share flat/rental. I think you would enjoy your season more in a share rental/flat - backpackers usually mean sharing rooms and I don't think you gear would be very secure there unless they could guarantee you a lock up locker. Groups of skiers can get together and rent holiday homes for the season, but this is not so easy to arrange beforehand cause most would want to meet you, and adverts are generally in local newsletters. I'll see if I can find any websites for that sort of thing.

If you booked a bed at the backpackers then found a share rental once you got here, I don't think the backpackers would mind you cancelling early cause there is usually more customers than backpacker beds (they are the cheapest accomodation in town).
post #25 of 27
Closer to the time, try

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Rentals/Default.aspx

and select 'Otago' and 'Wanaka'. Otago is the district/region, Wanaka is the town. You could have a browse to get an idea of costs.

'Flatmate' is the term used for those persons/mates sharing a rental - I am not sure if this term is used internationally or not. A 'flat' is also the name for a house that is rented.
post #26 of 27
The Wanaka Messgener is a local newsletter that is just classified adverts for locals. I did not realise until today that it is available on-line. Have a look cause it will give you some idea of flats, and there is also some job vacancies advertised there too. On-line they have the accomodation pages separate so must be popular. I think it is published weekly.

http://www.printit.co.nz/messenger.html

I could not find any of the other local papers on line. The regional paper is
www.odt.co.nz , it has an employment section but will includes a lot more towns.

You would increase your chance of getting work and flat before the ski season starts proper, even if it is only a couple of weeks. The Wanaka areas open mid to late June, the competition for beds and jobs will go sky high once they open.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillPitz42 View Post
Thanks everyone for the help, fyi I am 19, and applied for a student work visa, so I hope that works out. Samurai, is there an e-mail I could get to look you up in a couple of months, or maybe if your friend in the real-estate business would have advice??

Thanks again,
sorry, mate. He's gone to Oz afterall. but feel free to PM me in the future nonetheless, perhaps he'll go back. heck, I am also thinking of spending next august there.
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