Winter Seasonal Work in New Zealand

winter seasonal work

As the vibrant summer and bountiful autumn in New Zealand gracefully fade into the quieter, colder winter months, a unique opportunity arises for travelers seeking employment.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the diverse options available during New Zealand’s winter, exploring everything from pruning and wrapping vines to pack-house work, ski season positions, office opportunities, and essential tips for success.

1. Winter seasonal work in orchards and vineyards

1.1 Pruning

Winter marks the pruning season in New Zealand’s vineyards. The meticulous task of removing unwanted vines ensures a fresh start for the upcoming season. Some vineyards may also undertake pre-pruning, creating an optimal environment for subsequent months. The canes are wrapped after pruning to prepare for the next growth cycle.

1.2 Wrapping

Wrapping vine canes is a crucial task that involves twining them along wires before the eagerly awaited ‘bud burst’ in August and September. Completing this task before the bud burst is essential, as it signifies the initiation of grape growth over the next six months.

1.3 Bud rubbing

To ensure the health of the vines, stray shoots are manually removed, usually from the base of the vine. While this task can be physically demanding, tackling it when the shoots are young eases the process. Tools like a brush or metal butcher’s glove prove beneficial in this endeavor.

work in orchards and vineyards

2. Pack-house work

Pack-house work emerges as a popular option for short-term employment during the winter months. Having been harvested, Kiwifruit is transported to pack houses for grading and packing. The kiwifruit picking season extends from March to June each year, offering a window of employment opportunities. Those with forklift licenses may find roles in the pack houses of the Bay of Plenty.

Pack-house work

3. Ski season positions

As winter blankets New Zealand’s landscapes, the slopes become an attractive option for seasonal work. Various ski resorts, ranging in size, open up vacancies on the slopes. The towns near these ski fields also seek hospitality staff for restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, and ski rental shops.

Prominent towns for winter employment include Wanaka, Queenstown, Methven, Hanmer Springs, Ohakune, and National Park Village.

Ski season positions

4. Office opportunities

Major cities like Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington regularly advertise temporary office positions during the winter months. Opportunities span data entry, reception, executive and personal assisting, among other office tasks. Platforms like Seek or Trade Me are valuable resources for job seekers.

5. Exploring backpacker websites

Dedicated backpacker websites serve as rich resources for job listings. Platforms like Backpackerboard, Seasonal Jobs, and PickNZ offer many diverse job opportunities. Travelers can explore these sites to find positions that align with their skills and preferences.

seasonal jobs

6. Essential tips for winter seasonal work success

6.1 Be prepared for cold conditions

Outdoor work during winter can be bitterly cold, especially during early mornings. Investing in warm clothing, including layers, proves crucial. Maintaining warmth in the head, feet, and core becomes essential for comfort and efficiency.

6.2 Transportation

Some winter jobs may require personal transportation. Travelers who still need to purchase a car should consider doing so. Carpooling is a popular option, and several Facebook groups dedicated to backpackers in New Zealand can help connect travelers for shared rides.

6.3 Continued work opportunities

Engaging in winter work can often lead to continued employment opportunities during the summer months. Many travelers work in vineyards throughout the year, taking occasional breaks for travel and road-tripping when work experiences a lull.

👩‍🌾 For more information about working in New Zealand, we created an article for Working holidaymakers you can find here: 12 Working Holiday Jobs in New Zealand


New Zealand’s winter, though quieter, unfolds a tapestry of opportunities for travelers seeking seasonal work. From the meticulous tasks in orchards and vineyards to the adrenaline-packed positions in ski resorts, winter work in New Zealand promises a unique blend of experiences.

By exploring the diverse avenues presented in this guide and heeding essential tips, travelers can earn a fair wage and immerse themselves in this enchanting destination’s natural beauty and cultural richness. 🍇❄️


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