Christchurch Working Holiday

Start your New Zealand adventure in the city of the future

Christchurch is an amazing place to start your New Zealand working holiday with a U. 7-day South Island working holiday program. Get all guidance from our amazing local partners plus help with all the boring but important stuff like bank accounts, tax numbers, finding somewhere to live and of course finding the perfect job. This working holiday program for New Zealand will give you everything you need to be properly prepared for everyday life in Christchurch or beyond on the South Island.

From the moment you land at the airport, you will be welcomed and taken straight to your hostel. Here you find others from around the world on exactly the same program – relax, have a drink, and get to know them. It is the beginning of a fantastic journey.

Over the next week, with the group, you will be guided through real and local New Zealand by our local guide. They will give the rundown on where to eat, and the best bars to get cheap drinks and they will help you get a bank account and a SIM card and help with your resumé to make you attractive to Kiwi employers.

Of course, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (Kiwi saying) so along the way you will be doing orientation tours of Christchurch, pub crawls, bar nights, day trips and a most epic trip through the heart of the south island to the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown. Have fun with adrenalin activities like Bungy Jumping, canyon swings and jet-boating, and nights filled with drinks, bars and clubs. Queenstown is a wild ride for anyone.

At a glance

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Work inclusions
  • Bank account setup
  • Tax number organized
  • Phone sim
  • Employment info session
  • Travel meetings
  • Resume writing and interview advice
  • Access to a nationwide employment database
  • Walking tour of Christchurch
  • Day trip to Akaroa
  • Explore the beautiful Lake Tekapo
  • Trip to Queenstown with a stop in Arrowtown

You will have been booked into one of two properties which are within walking distance or a short shuttle from the airport. Our local New Zealand team will meet you at the airport and help with your transfer. Once checked into the hostel unwind after your long journey, catch up on sleep, social media, and most importantly connect with other travellers starting their New Zealand adventure this week.

In the evening why not explore Christchurch and grab some food and drinks? For those that are arriving a few days early, we can organise early arrival at the hostel and talk to one of the U.Crew about pre-booking some awesome local experiences to get to explore beyond the city.

Arrive Christchurch

Today is about getting you set up and orientated around Christchurch. We will start with a briefing and check that you have all the essentials you need.

You will then head out for a walking tour of Christchurch. In 2010 a lot of Christchurch City was reduced to not much more than rubble in a huge earthquake. Since then an incredible rebuilding effort has rebuilt a beautiful modern city. Our local team will show you the best places for coffee, amazing places to eat, what bars you must visit (it seems like new ones open every second day), plus all the main sites. Everything to get you living like a local straight away. During the walking tour we will also visit the bank to get you set up with your New Zealand bank account, we will pick up a local sim card, and cover what you need for your IRD tax number.

This aſternoon you are free to explore more of Christchurch yourself or with your group or start the process of finding somewhere awesome to live. Most groups tend to head out for a drink tonight at one of the many bar areas seen on your walking tour.

Meet the local team

Today is all about providing you with everything you need to know about working and travelling around New Zealand. We usually start a bit later giving you time to get over the jet lag, or being honest those drinks last night!!! Maybe you want to try and grab breakfast at the Riverside Markets or Cashel Mall.

We start with a job workshop where you will get help to get your resumé ready for a Kiwi employer. We will explain what type of work you can expect to get and what is available, and we will get you started on looking for the perfect job – assuming you don’t want to do some travelling and get to know the country first.

After a day of learning and sorting you, we will do a group meal at a local restaurant.

How to live and travel like a local

Today you get a chance to venture away from Christchurch with a day trip to the ocean-side settlement of Akaroa. It is a stunning driver over the hills which takes us to Akaroa Harbour and the decidedly French settlement (it was the only place in New Zealand originally settled by French colonists). Akaroa is full of cute little art shops, cafes and restaurants. The Akaroa Harbour is also home to the small and rare native Hectors Dolphins.

  • Explore the streets of Akaroa village or there is the option to head out on any of the following optional activities which can be pre-booked:
  • Swimming with the dolphins (note this is an eco-tour and heavily controlled by the Department of Conservation to ensure the health and safety of these beautiful local dolphins)
  • Ocean Cruise – hopefully seeing the dolphins
  • Horse Trekking

We will return to Christchurch tonight.


Heading south from Christchurch we say goodbye, although we are sure you will be back, and hit the road in the direction of the magnificent Mackenzie Country and the enormous Southern Alps. Our destination is the township of Tekapo on the shores of the glacial-fed Lake Tekapo. We will stop for an awesome Instagram opportunity at the charming stone Church of the Good Shepherd nestled on a rocky outcrop over the breathtakingly blue waters of the lake. Lake Tekapo is the first of the three great lakes in the Mackenzie Country filled from the Southern Alps – each with its own very distinctive blue colour.

The night sky above Tekapo is also astonishingly one of the few World Heritage areas in the world. As night falls the sky lights up with trillions of stars incredibly clear because of the lack of light pollution. The town is heavily controlled by how much light can shine from it. You can walk up to nearby Mt John for an amazing panoramic view of the surrounding landscape engulfed by the stars of the Milky Way, or lie on your back snacking up the thermal waters of the Tekapo hot spring. Alternatively, there is the option to book on the Dark Sky Project which takes you into the UNESCO Dark Sky reserve (optional add-on).

Christchurch to Tekapo

Your journey south towards Queenstown continues this morning first with a stop at Omarama. A tiny farming settlement where you will visit the strange formations of the clay cliffs, formed over a million years ago. We continue your rural New Zealand experiences with a visit to the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown.

This is one of our favourite places in New Zealand (aſter all it is where Dan comes from). Try one of the hokey pokey ice creams as you walk around the historic village, or walk around the river area to the historic Chinese Village that once houses over 8,000 gold miners in the 1800s.

We will then head on to the adventure capital of the world – Queenstown. Get your dancing boots on as Queenstown is also the party capital of New Zealand!

Lake Taupo to Queenstown

Wake up in paradise. Many of you will be thinking – yup, this is the place I want to get a job. The Southern Alps wrap around a huge beautiful lake and a downtown that buzzes 24 hours of the day with international visitors and hip locals alike. We highly recommend you have pre-booked into the hostel for some extra nights so you can hang out and get to know the lie of the land. Talk to your U.Team about pre-booking some of the amazing adrenalin activities such as jet boating, bungy jumping, and skydiving, or try a day trip to an area literally called “Paradise” near the township of Glenorchy or an awesome craſt beer and wine tour to get you in the mood of the local scene.

Tonight’s accommodation is not included in the package.


We can help you!

This itinerary is a guide only. Given the spontaneous nature of our trips, our lack of control over the weather,
and many other factors that can effect a group, where we go and what we do each day may vary.

Always included: 

  • Covered by the Travel Guarantee Fund in Denmark
  • 100% climate-neutral travel
  • Professional travel experts and local guides
  • We do all the planning for you
  • Personalized meetings before departure
  • 24/7 emergency telephone
  • Your own personal travel profile with program, add-ons, flight tickets etc.
  • Packing list and advice
  • Certification of participation
  • Advice and assistance with booking flights
  • Possibility of purchasing cancellation and travel insurance
  • All entrances and fees for experiences
  • All tour accommodation


Work inclusions:

  • Bank account setup
  • Tax number organized
  • Phone sim
  • Employment info session
  • Travel meetings
  • Resume writing and interview advice
  • Access to a nationwide employment database



  • Walking tour of Christchurch
  • Day trip to Akaroa
  • Explore the beautiful Lake Tekapo
  • Trip to Queenstown with a stop in Arrowtown

  • You must have already arranged your Australian working holiday visa before you arrive in Australia
  • This package starts every week of the year on a Thursday or Saturday – availability is limited!

Combine or upgrade your trip with some of these trips

4 extraordinary immersive weeks adventuring in some to the world’s most beautiful scenery in the North and the South Islands of New Zealand



Your expected footprint on this trip: 0.24 tons of CO2

(not including flights). Find out more about our commitment to net-zero travel and how you can lower your footprint.

Accommodation: 84kgs Approx. 7 nights at 14kgs per night Transport: 84kgs Approx. 420km at 20kgs per 100km Optional activities: 30kgs Approx. average (2 activities) Food & drinks: 6kgs Approx. 700g per day

Your local investment on this trip: $1,250

The average expected amount our U.Traveller’s spend that goes directly into the local economy.

Find out more about our love for supporting local businesses

Why Choose a U. Trip

  • The only tour company carbon calculating and offsetting every part of your U.Trip, as part of your cost! From the flights, to all carbon costs associated with your accommodation, activities, meals and transport.  This means you are choosing to travel responsibly with a company dedicated to putting People + Planet first!  U. have simplified the decision making so you can focus on just choosing the best trip for your adventures!
  • More inclusions, head to head, than other trips meaning you get more value for your spend, you see more and you experience more!
  • Invest in yourself and your future with a U.Trip that seamlessly combines the fun, excitement and adventure of gap year and backpacker travel with Impact Experiences that add value to your ‘self’ and your CV.
  • U. creates the opportunity for you to challenge your own understanding of the world with first hand experiences of local communities and the challenges facing them.
  • A team with over 100 years collective travel experience

Would you like one of our U.Team to give you a call?

Let us know when and we will make it happen.

We can help you!

Would you like one of our U.Team to give you a call?

Let us know when and we will make it happen.

We can help you!

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