The summer may be drawing to an end but fear not because that can only mean one thing.

No, not just long nights and cold weather… It means the snow season is almost here.

New Zealand’s season tends to run from the end of June to the beginning of October, depending on the weather, but most of the ski fields will already be recruiting.

So, if you’re a dedicated ski fanatic, boarding addict or simply a novice gagging to give it a go, then you need to sort your act out now.

With wages from about NZ$12 to $15 per hour, most ski field-related jobs will be unlikely to pay you enough to save up for a house, but they’re a great way to party out a whole season, perfect your skills and make the most of the apres-ski.

There’s plenty to choose from, with the majority on South Island. Near Wanaka you’ll find Treble Cone, Cardrona and Snow Park, while by Queenstown are The Remarkables and Coronet Peak. Another top location is Mount Hutt.

Up on the North Island the top spot is Mount Ruapehu, next to Lake Taupo. Generally the sort of jobs up for grabs are in hospitality, labouring and customer services. Of course there’s also all the extra jobs in the towns, as all the bars and restaurants swell with snow tourists. Unsurprisingly the good ones go first.

Saskia Stevens, from Queenstown-based Addstaff says: “A lot of people like to try for a bar or wait job in the evenings so they can ski or board during the day.

That means those jobs normally get snapped up very quickly.”
Don’t worry too much if you’re lacking experience or a badass resumé, more often than not a winning smile goes far further when it comes to hospitality jobs.
“A bit of hospitality experience never goes astray in this town,” says Stevens.
“But in most of the hospitality and customer service roles I would say personality is more important than experience.”
And when asked about qualifications, she adds: “Not too many generally, just people that are enthusiastic and reliable.”
Although when it comes to trying to land a sweet bar job in Queenstown it may be worth waiting until May or June, explains Stevens.
“Queenstown slows down considerably over May and the beginning of June and then cranks up again towards the end of June.
“The benefits of working during the snow season is that Queenstown is then full of life. The atmosphere is fantastic all winter long.”
If you’re just travelling around New Zealand without a work visa, but suddenly can’t resist staying for the season, then fear not, you should be able to sort one out fairly easily.

Your best bet is the Working Holiday Scheme Visa (WHSV). To be eligible you have to be aged between 18 and 30 and from a list of approved countries, which can be found at

This visa, which just involves a very simple online application, lets you stay in the country for a year, or even as long as 23 months if you’re British.

Beware though, most nationalities have to apply for the visa from outside the country so a quick trip to Sydney may be in order. UK nationals can apply fom within New Zealand.

Just make sure you make the most of it – you’re only allowed one in your lifetime.

Once that’s sorted though, just surf some of the websites below and you’ll be away.

Helpful Websites

Ph: (03) 442 4307

Snow sites worth checking:

Strategy Recruitment Consultants

Alpha Personnel Recruitment

Madison Recruitment

OCG Consulting Ltd.


Select Education

While trying to drive across the Simpson Desert, LIZZIE JOYCE and her partner were forced to hitch a ride with some dodgy truckers.

Early one January morning my boyfriend Dan and I set off on our trip across three states, covering 3,000 miles on what would turn out to be the best trip I have ever done, not to mention the most dangerous. We were attempting to cross the Simpson Desert on our way to Alice Springs from Sydney. We were fully prepared and set off in our 4WD loaded with equipment, including 60 litres of water, a double swag, a laser beam,
and an Epirb signal.

After 10 hours of driving, watching the landscape turn from highways and tall buildings to red earth and eternal horizons we glided past an old mining town called Cobar, stopped for a wee and drove on through, thankful that this ‘Hicksville’ town was not our destination. But while driving at an average speed of 120km per hour, the trusty car (which I was assured had “just had a full service and was made for driving across such terrain”) was disintegrating and the entire wheel was about to fall off.

Ugly mothertruckers

Suddenly, the brakes started to fail and smoke started pouring out the front passenger tyre. We were 120km from the last town and with at least 100km to the next, Dan decided we should drive on (without brakes) and see if we could make it to our destination. Luckily it didn’t last long anyway as the car stopped in defiance and we were forced to pull off the road in the middle of nowhere. Within minutes two semi-trailers driving in convoy by brothers, pulled up to offer us help and I’ve never been so glad to see two spectacularly ugly truckers before in my life. Freaky Brother One then began to undress me, with his eyes, almost frothing at the mouth at coming in such close proximity to someone of the opposite sex, while Freaky Brother Two was pretending to be a mechanic and baffling Dan with his bullshit. It was turning into Wolf Creek.

Nothing could be done with the car, and we had no choice but to accept a lift from Freaky Brother One to the nearest roadhouse 13km up the road. But then he said there wouldn’t be enough room in the cab so Dan should travel with his brother and I should hop into his cab by myself. By this point I was close to hysteria and there was no way I would be getting in that lorry by myself.

So we both hopped in with Brother Number Two. Dan settled in the middle of the very spacious cab which had enough room to house a small Albanian family! Relieved to be on our way to a phone box and in relative safety, (even if we were in being driven by an axe wielding maniac I had enough faith that Dan could knock him out if it came to it) I thought it would be plain sailing from here. After a couple of minutes on the road Brother Number One starts becoming agitated – he thinks he has lost his keys as he can’t use the radio to contact his brother. He pulls into the side of the road and asks me to hop out to see if he had left them in the door lock. This forced me into ungraceful acrobatic maneuvers in order to hang myself out the door and reach round to grab the keys, with freaky brother one more than enjoying the view of my ass in the air. The keys were there, so off we set again in stilted silence.

Roadhouse blues

Finally we caught sight of the roadhouse and saw our escape was only minutes away and we made a sharp exit from the freaky brothers. Good riddance!

The roadhouse turned out to be a petrol pump and a shop that was about to close. They had a phone though and we arranged for a tow truck to pick us up and take us back to the nearest town… Cobar (the Hicksville town we drove through scorning) where we would have to wait for the next three days for the car to be repaired. How ironic that the town we were laughing at turned out to be our refuge.

So we skipped the Simpson Desert and took another route to Alice Springs where we arrived two weeks later with the biggest smiles and the best memories!

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