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Jenza Talk | New Zealand

Why you need to do a winter working holiday in New Zealand

Embrace the chill and work a winter season in New Zealand's snowy paradise.

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Hey, I’m Henry originally from the south coast of the UK and now living it up in the south of New Zealand (via Europe, Canada and the USA).

You guessed it, i’m one of those people that likes to chase the ski season and am controversially a big fan of the cold. But winter in New Zealand is a little different to the Après lifestyle of Europe or the longer cold spells in North America and i’m here to fill you in on why.

Why did I chose New Zealand?

Simple answer is ‘why not’? I met so many awesome people in Wanaka during the summer and they all convinced me to stay for the winter. I’ve managed to make even more awesome mates since then too. I’m halfway through my very first winter season in New Zealand (two more seasons pending) and this time I decided to go out of my comfort zone and get a job that actually involves me standing outside on the snowy peaks for 8 hours a day (have a guess what I might be) instead of the luxury of working inside that I’d done on previous ski seasons. I’ve had such an epic time so far and have to admit it’s probably the best winter i’ve had to date and that’s in part down to the amazing team I have around me. Also, random perk of living in New Zealand during the winter is you get to learn how to put chains on car tyres. If you’re coming from the UK, you’ve probably never had to do this before.

Day in the life of a.....

Who doesn’t love an early morning (LOL). My alarm goes off at 6:10 AM so I can get ready for the day ahead (ps. working at a ski hill is a long day FYI). The bus picks us up at 6:45 which is about a five-minute walk from my house or if I’m lucky enough I get the honour of being selected for one of the vans which picks me up right outside the house. Which is a game-changer after a night out!

A nice 45-minute commute with sunrise views to get up the hill which has a 13 km access road to get to Cardrona Alpine Resort. Once there, we go into the locker room and get briefed on where we’ll be headed for the day, who is in your team and who your almighty Liftie will be too. The day starts at 7:45 AM with setting up your area and making sure everything is working correctly and running the right way. If you haven’t guessed I work as a Lift operator which is a pretty fun gig where we try to have as much as possible with the team and customers while also making sure everyone is safe on the mountain. If you’re lucky you’ll get two 10-minute breaks in the morning and one in the afternoon and a one-hour lunch break between 11 AM-1 PM. My advice is to try avoid the 1 PM lunch (it’s mega busy) and remember to wear sunscreen to avoid any goggle burn moments. Work is all wrapped up at 4:30 PM so you can hop on your skis or board and take to the slopes or catch up with your mates at the local.

Unwritten Liftie law

As a team of 86 people, we make it interesting by keeping a close eye on each other to see who we can give JUG FINES to for doing stupid stuff or doing things wrong. Having light-hearted things like this make the job a lot more fun and you’ll soon realise New Zealanders are a friendly, jokey bunch. I recently received one for falling over the safety gate at the end of the day. These fines then get put into a box for when we go on a themed night out to a bar in town. They are then all read out in front of the entire lift crew – the sillier the mistake the more of a reaction you’ll get from your peers.

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Catching the sunset on the mountains

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Night out with the crew

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A different kind of tube commute

Henry stands next to tree in Wanaka

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Henry Harvey

JENZA Work New Zealand roadtester

It was a tough job, but someone had to do it. Our roadtesters trial and shape every JENZA experience to make sure it serves our travel community first. Because if it didn't fly with them, it's not going to fly with you.

For a taste of what your first week in New Zealand might look like, [check out the video.]https://youtu.be/3j95b6br3R0)

"I’ve had such an epic time so far and have to admit it’s probably the best winter i’ve had to date and that’s in part down to the amazing team I have around me."

Days off, weekends and nights off

Wanaka is a super small town but has SO much to offer still. Whether that’s a cold dip in the lake after work or going to play Frisbee golf with some mates to various quiz nights, pool comps and karaoke nights that the various bars and breweries offer to the locals and tourists during the week. From Thursday through to Sunday resident DJs perform at Waterbar, Rove and Lala Land. This is a really good time when you get to chill out with the people you work with and enjoy some drinks and a lot of laughs together. One of the best activities to do (of course) is to go skiing and boarding with your friends either at Cardrona or Treble Cone. Or take a day trip to nearby Queenstown for a fresh snowy perspective and get an adrenaline surge with some jet boating – there are so many activities to enjoy!

What's next for me?

If you haven’t got the vibe – I am loving my time here. What was potentially going to be just a six-month trip has now got me thinking I need to extend my visa for New Zealand for another two years and see where that takes me. This beautiful country feels like the right place for me at this moment in my life and I want to make the absolute most out of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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Henry stands next to tree in Wanaka

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Henry Harvey

JENZA Work New Zealand roadtester

It was a tough job, but someone had to do it. Our roadtesters trial and shape every JENZA experience to make sure it serves our travel community first. Because if it didn't fly with them, it's not going to fly with you.

For a taste of what your first week in New Zealand might look like, [check out the video.]https://youtu.be/3j95b6br3R0)

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