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Working holiday NZ, the APe

Working holiday on New Zealand - Y1m1

Autor:Petr Michalec, Adriana Michalcova
Contacts:epcim@apealive.net, adrika@apealive.net

Planning a trip

Here comes some notes for other NZ travelers. Sometimes guide books sucks and you would like to know more.

These notes are rough and general. Not detailed enough to plan your own trip.

We have tried to collect and write down all necessary information. Sometimes these you can find in other blogs/guides but mainly it's just pure experience.

APe's ideas for NZ trip

  • Enjoy traveling, meeting people, wine and culture
  • Tracking in NZ countryside and national parks
  • Do what is hard to do while having children
  • Try manual and other type of work than used to
  • Take a one year long vacation :-D
  • Work for money as little as possible
  • Visit Fiji Asia/India or any other if possible

Airplane tickets

For Czech residents:

We have booked Student Agency tickets with Korean Air for 21000 Kc (09/2009).

Benefits included:

- two way ticket - first rebook on the way back for free - possibility to extend the way back (Asia), any change +5000Kc - direct flight from Prague to Seoul with transfer to Auckland

We have ordered to have three days stop in Soul (transfer airport). That I suggest to everyone. It was great start for one year travel. We found it easier to beat with jet-lag (12h). I would suggest more than three days, bun not for Seoul in winter.

What to pack (updated from NZ)

Luggages maximum allowed weight was 20Kg. We wanted to have around 12Kg each. Finally Petr had 17Kg and Adriana 14Kg. The issue was second backpack. Which is small enough to get out of you attention. At the end you will fill it with many unnecessary things :-D. DON'T DO IT.

I definitively suggest to take rather less than more. It's your back who carry that load. You don't need everything just after your NZ arrival.

Funny is that situation where you have a big backpack at your back and small at your chest or even worse when man has a two big backpacks and his girlfriend runs with two smaller.

We took a minimum of cloths and other things with us. Here is stated in our recommended list for 'one year' trip started at the end of summer. You should compare it with your.

Just don't forget important things like spoon/knife and forgot on "let at home" part:




  • 1x long outdoor pants
  • 2x 3/4 shorts (cloth and kind of "easy to dry"),
  • 3x-4x tracking socks
  • 1x normal sock
  • some functional underwear ( we have 3x, t-shirts with long/short sleeve)
  • some regular underwear and night clothes
  • 3x t-shirts (one long sleeve)
  • 1x light 100g fleece
  • 1x soft-shell jacket or vest
  • 1x some handy cloth (satek, sarong)
  • 1x swimming clothes
  • hat/cap etc.
  • jandals
  • sandals (for tracking and rest)
  • boots (waterproof, support for ankle, solid soil)

Depend on the year season:


  • some more functional underwear
  • waterproof jacket/pants, thick fleece, more socks etc.
  • only one or none 3/4 pants


  • you don't really need a waterproof jacket/pants
  • 1-2 more t-shirts


  • sleep bag (we had Ferrino lightec 750g and Adriana 900g)
  • classic sleeping pads (we took old self raising and they broke)
  • sleeping pillow
  • sun glasses
  • mirror, nail cutting stuff
  • shaw razor for ladies if they like
  • cooking equipment (cooking set, _Cooker)
  • head lamp (one each)
  • knife/spoon
  • SITI
  • first aid pack
  • your local/home power plug extension
  • favorite spice (to make your food tasty as home)

Let home:

You can buy everywhere (hardware shop), let it home if you don't need some special variant

  • string/rope, tape
  • candles, repellents
  • washing powder, soap
  • general cooking equipment
  • batteries, sun protection
  • clothespins
  • (things of daily use)

Experience with equipment we have


We had VAR II a gas cooker (excellent Czech product) and we were satisfied at the most of the time.

If you will stay on NZ like six months and longer and if you will make your food on your own so you enjoy rather stay outdoor than serviced campgrounds. You should assume to buy liquid fuel (petrol/natural95) cooker like MSR Whisperlite (which I recommend) prior your NZ trip.

You can have one on ebay starting on $68 USD, regular lowest online price starts at $190 NZD.

Why? It's about fuel price. We have spend on "gas" like $78 NZD in first two months.

750ml gas tank cost $14 and we calculated that we are able to boil like 28L on it. It was like a 10 days of "2x breakfast coffee/ 1,5L of dinner".


With the same "petrol/natural95" cooker (MSR whisperlite) you can boil the same amount of watter with XYZml of petrol, so for $5,5.

APe's NZ 2010

Guide book

We have choose "Rough Guides" since "LP" sucks into much contacts/details and their note so many nonsense which are more worth for, as I call, "Senior travelers".

Definitely, this is a personal choice. I like "RG" rather than "LP". Both guides are quite good and both contains adverts/nonsense tips/and everything is just "so beautiful" that you have to see it :-D.

Just after arrival

  1. Get off your luggages (Hostel)
  2. Get important things done. Until closing hour try to make all you can:
  • assuming you will gonna work: * Create bank account * Ask for IRD Number
  • see some cars/vans
  • buy an prepaid SIM card
  • buy a good NZ map
  • plan the next day
  1. Get out and enjoy city as much as you can!

In Auckland is everything bit more expensive than in other cities. You don't really need to buy everything before you start your trip.

Car or wan

If you stay only several weeks just rent a car, there is plenty adverts, offerings for cars, vans for not so much money.

If you are going to stay two month or longer you should buy own car. In Auckland there is several places where you can.

  • Saturdays backpackers car market (bk2bk)
  • Backpackers car market (com2bk)
  • Road Trip Campervans (com2bk, www.roadtripnz.com is what we have a good experience)

We have choosed _RoadTripCampervans, we got some recommendation from others. Creg does good job. He buy an old van or car and rebuild it to campervan etc. He builds sleeping bed (folding) inside, curtains etc. Our car was checked by technician and even was serviced. It had WOF for half a year and he pays first 1000km for you if it's a diesel.

If you stay over Saturday it's definitively worth idea to by car from other backpackers, since cars are usually well equipped. But take some special care when car is quite old.

Where to pay attention:

  • check technical state of car
  • check if it has valid registration
  • check current and previous owners, if diesel than if odometer is prepaid (seller can give you a history report for odometer)
  • at post office change owner to you (you will need an resident address/your backpacker hostel address - some less important docs about ownership transfer are to you in a few days)

Diesel cars must have prepaid tax for kilometers. Means odometer can't be back rolled. You should buy only a car with prepaid kilometers.


  • buy from registered seller (some rights come from this)
  • if car takes more than 6L per 100Km then diesel is cheaper (2010)
  • have a test drive, check engine/no black smog/shifting
  • check life time of you battery
  • check tires
  • check suspension
  • argue the price

You can ask for car history ownership report and more here:

The most important, since city council stuff check the your car while parked in a city, display properly and rather double check if right your new ownership and for a diesel a prepaid kilometers at the window screen of your new car!

We have maid a mistake and we were after one month asked to pay $200 penalty fee. At the end I was able to explain the mistake later so a \"penalty\" was by honorable Lower Hutt city Council changed to \"warning\".

Prepaid SIM card

We bought our prepaid from 2degrees.co.nz for $2, you can get one in any newspaper shop. Just from the begging you will have $2 credit. Vodafone and Telecom has prepaid too, but you will have to spend at least $10 a month.

Once you charge "top up" your credit (like $20) you will have "Magic top up" rates for one month (better rates).

NZ Bank account

That for your employer to have a local account to send you your wage.

We went to _KiwiPost to get a Free Up bank account and debit card.

IRD - Invoice number

Just go to nearest KiwiPost office. Ask for IRD. You will need an resident address. If you don't have resident address you can use an address of your hostel (_BKHostel offer this service for free) or you can even use address of any KiwiPost. (we choose a _KiwiPost address).

IRD number is being issued in 3-5 days. But it takes another 14 days before is to your stated resident address sent a letter with your number and some other info.

It's not necessary to receive this document. It's enough if you call inland revenue department in five day time and ask what your number is.

You can make call from any KiwiPost office for free. Number is usually noted at the wall close to the phone.


These other things are not so important, since you can get them with later or even with car.

  • map of NZ (we bought a new one - HEMA, NZ Touring Atlas for $32 which I must
    recommend. Out of Auckland I have seen this map for just $25.)
  • dishes, frying pan or wok, wooden board for cutting, clothespins, cooker with tank, dish-washing liquid, matches, scouring sponges, plastic basin, sun protection cream (buy a 1L in any bigger shop for cca $30), 10L or 20L box for drinking watter
  • basic food - onions, potatoes, beens, rice, bread, noodles, salt, sugar, coffee, tea, spice, etc.

Most of the things, we got in chines supermarket behind a _BKHostel but some of them were quite expensive or vary bad quality as we found later.


As everywhere you can spend $200 or $20 a day. It depend what are your interests how much you drive your car and how long you plan to stay on NZ.

The true is, that:

  • for food you can spend like $20 a day as minimum.
  • 1000km cost is like $120~$160 depend what car you have
  • overnight stay in DOC will cost you $6-$10/adult

Where to save money

  • think first !
  • you don't really need an BHH, YMCA or any other club card
  • the most cheapest beans, rice, pasta taste the same when cooked outdoor
  • pay an special attention with car. Any later repair, even simple one, is unexpected additional cost.
  • buy a "natural95"/liqud cooker at home (more in _Cooker)
  • exchange a money on kiwipost (airbus taxi can be paid with CCard)
  • in many libraries is wireless Internet for free
  • calculate, calculate, calculate

What we remember we have paid for

In first few days:

  • airbus taxi, $16/person
  • BKHostel Auckland, $100/2days-2people
  • NZ map, $32
  • change car ownership - 20
  • basic expenses for first 10-14 days * food, $100-$150 * grocery, $20-$50 (to buy basic cooking equipment) * gas, $14 * entrance fees, $20-$60 * 1000km diesel - $120-$170 (with all taxes/fees)
  • internet $2~$3 per hour (libraries for free)
  • DOC camp sites - 9-10 per person, 6-8 offseason. (season 25oct-31jan)
  • watter - 10litru za 6.50

Lowest seen prices of basic food:

  • watter, 10L for $4.50 (but because it goes with 10L plastic box, later you will learn to get watter for free)
  • breakfast corns, $3.35
  • cheese, $3.99
  • milk, 2L for $2.53
  • beens can, $75c
  • bread, $1.45
  • yogurt, 1Kg for $3.99

Places to visit

Sorry this is in Czech only. You can use Google translator service on http://translete.google.com to translate these simple notes.



Cape Brett

dlouhy trek na cape, je treba si zamluvit chatu predem. Da se zkratit a po 3h zkoncit na osamocene plazi, pak pokracovat pres byvalou wheelingstation zpatky na zacatek. - 8h minimalne

na hut cape brett neni pitna voda

Cape Reinga

Písečné duny velmi hezky kemp, hodne treku v polovine poloostrova uretti beach - velke vlny

Waipoura Forest

Trees, Kaora, Kánoe




North Heual
Camp site


Surf pláž, Kare Kare

Waitakere rangers

treky (hlavne vicedeni)

prespali jsme u mesta Huia (na verejne Farme), cestou mnoho hezkych plazi

ze vesnici Litle Huia, grave road, nadherne plaze, nebezpecne koupani, cerny pisek, velke ale nijak extra zajimave jeskyne v utesech.


Největší gejzír Maourská vesnice



Termální prameny

Orake Korako

Poschoďová terasa Penza kameny


100% vyrazit na track

Sopka Egmont

Dawson (Parking) 2-3 přístupové cesty


Hezké město



Jeskyně (na druhé sraně Harrarity beach)

NP Abel Tasman

Track podél moře
  • delfíni
  • koupání
Takaka, historický hřbitov
  • parking, kemp zdarma

Cobb Hut (středozemí)

Heapy Track (HiFi)

Jen trasa podél pobřeží do Mackey Hut

Nelson Lakes

  • St. Arnand - angelus
  • Sabibe Track

Maruia Springs

Horunai Hot Springs

Franc Josef (ledovec)

Fox Glacier
  • Compland Track (chaloupka + termál)



Jackson Bay

Levný parking .. image:: images/radka_jacksonBay.png

Ship Creek

Zastávka u silnice Jezero v písečné duně

Mount Cook

Lake Pukakay Mueler Hut (projít vše)
South - nature

Milford Sound

Loď, vodopády

Mount Aspiring

  • Routeburn
  • Greenstone Track !!




Manapoury Track "Kepler"

Moeraly Boulders - Coast

Stevard Iland

Round track, severozápadní


Curio Bay

Kaka Point / Nuget Point