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SWAP New Zealand


Live in one of the most beautiful countries on earth

New Zealand's vast landscapes are popular with film crews for a reason! See the raw, untouched beauty of its volcanoes, glaciers, fjords, coastlines, and beaches for yourself!

Live in the land of adventure

New Zealand is the birth place of bungee jumping, jet boats, and ski planes, with endless opportunities for white water rafting, skydiving, and trekking. The full Kiwi experience involves an adrenaline rush or two!

One of our most loved programs

Located in Auckland, New Zealand's capital city (and the world's first Harbour Bridge bungee location!), the hosting centre and its friendly staff have gotten "sweet as" reviews from previous Swappers!

SWAP New Zealand since 1975

The original SWAP adventure! The SWAP New Zealand program is the one that started it all back in 1975, when a travel counsellor approached the New Zealand government with an idea that eventually became SWAP Working Holidays.

SWAP New Zealand

  • It turns out the fantasy world of hobbits, dragons, dwarves, and wizards exists in a very real place! You may recognize New Zealand's spectacular landscapes from a starring role in a famous trilogy. If you were blown away by those stunning mountains, enchanted forests, turquoise lakes, rolling hills, and tranquil rivers on screen, this is your chance to experience the magic in person, bro! With a population of 4.5 million people (and over 30 million sheep), in a landmass equivalent to that of the UK, most of the time you can see the beauty of New Zealand without the hordes of tourists. But New Zealand is not just geared for outdoorsy types - lively (and sheep-free) cities like Auckland, New Zealand's capital, have enough pubs, museums, and shops to keep you entertained!

    SWAP's hosting centre is located in the heart of Auckland and is the perfect first stop for sorting out your phone, banking, job, room, and travel plans. The friendly and knowledgeable Kiwi staff there have been hosting Canadian Swappers since 1975 and will help you with everything you need to get sorted! From there, the choice is yours. You can live and work in Auckland, the "City of Sails," or you can move on to any other sweet as place in New Zealand, as the work visa you secured easily through SWAP's guidance is valid everywhere for one year! Having English as the spoken language makes it easy for Canadians to find a job and start a new life there. Job opportunities abound in tourism and hospitality, but there's also farm work, au pairing, adventure guiding, and career-related work, all of which pay higher than they do in Canada!

    As the birth place of bungee-jumping, jet boating, ski planes, and with heaps of opportunities for whitewater rafting, trekking, and snowboarding, New Zealand is extreme! So whether you're drawn to the endless action in Queenstown, mesmerized by the winds in Wellington, or called by the fjords of Milford Sound, there are job opportunities there for everyone. So pack your jumper, your resume, and your sense of adventure and have the experience of a lifetime living and working in New Zealand with SWAP! And rest-assured the helpful staff at the hosting centre will always be there to support you!

  • Participant Gallery

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  • Your Visa

    You will get a 1-year visa that allows for multiple entries into the country.

  • Local Support in New Zealand

    Get real support from our local staff for your entire working holiday. The staff are experts at work and travel and know New Zealand inside and out. They'll help you get set up, find a job and a place to live, be there to answer any questions you may have, or just to talk. You'll also get:

    • Arrival orientation in Auckland. The orientation you will get is vital since you will receive tips on securing work, finding accommodation, information on red tape issues, and more!
    • Fast-track service to open a bank account in Auckland
    • Fast-track service to obtain a tax number
    • Online access to an exclusive online member's lounge before you depart Canada. This site provides recent job listings, events and tips that will help while in Auckland and throughout the country
    • Airport transfer to your hostel in Auckland
    • The hosting centre located in Auckland is equipped with phones, fax machine, Wi-Fi and computer access for your convenience
    • Ongoing guidance and support services in Auckland for the full duration of your stay
    • After-hours emergency line
    • Mail-drop and mail-forwarding services in Auckland
    • Hospitality courses through New Zealand Management Academies are offered at discounted prices
    • Social events (e.g. movie nights, rugby games, bungee jumping, brewery tours, and much more)!

  • Social Community / Events

    One of the greatest advantages of going with SWAP is the immediate, built-in social network that you will be connected to as soon as you arrive! As early as your first orientation, you'll already be meeting fellow travellers in the same situation, and you'll get to know each other and meet many new people in the numerous social events that are held every month. It's the perfect opportunity to make new friends, find potential roomates, and network with people to find your next job. It's much easier (and more fun) than hanging out in a pub by yourself, or looking for roommates on the Internet.

  • Accommodation

    Upon arrival: Two nights in Auckland.

  • Our Famous SWAP Support and Resources

    We've been helping Canadians live and work in New Zealand since 1975, so we know what it takes to successfully apply for a New Zealand visa. That's part of the reason why thousands of Canadians choose SWAP to help ensure their application's success. Our dedicated visa experts will go over your application in detail and make sure it is perfect. If we notice anything, we'll work with you to make sure it's flawless before your paperwork is submited to the New Zealand government.

    Over 40 years of New Zealand visa expertise isn't the only thing you'll get on the SWAP New Zealand program. You'll also get:

    • We'll represent you in the visa application process and make sure your New Zealand working holiday visa is approved.
    • Your GO SWAP Kit, which has valuable information on your visa, as well as pre-departure preparation.
    • A "Work in New Zealand" handbook will be given to you at your orientation. This essential guide will prepare you for living and working in New Zealand.
    • Travel map and tourist materials.
  • Booking SWAP New Zealand

    Working and living in New Zealand with SWAP is easy. You can register online here, or do it in-person by visiting any of these Merit Travel locations and talking to a friendly travel counsellor. The choice is yours and our staff will be there to help you either way! The program price includes all the support services offered in New Zealand (listed in the support section), plus all the support services offered in Canada by SWAP to make sure your application goes through without a hitch and your working holiday is a success.

Live and work in New Zealand in the most stress-free way imaginable

Program Info

  • Eligibility

    Canadians ages 18-35

  • Registration Timelines

    Apply for SWAP New Zealand at least 4 weeks prior to your intended arrival

  • Length of Your Visa

    Any period up to 1 year

  • Required Savings

    You must have the amount of $4200 NZD saved in your account as of the day you submit your application. These are called support funds and are a requirement of the New Zealand government

  • For Only

    SWAP New Zealand is only $800 CAD! That includes the full SWAP working holiday support system at home and abroad, as well as the cost of the working holiday visa

    Take the 1st step ››

Program Reviews

  • "SWAP has made this experience as easy as it probably could have been for me. As a brand-new traveler little things like setting up a bank account and getting a tax number could have been extremely stressful, but SWAP helped me through it before I even arrived in the country. This really makes it easier and more exciting for someone who has no idea what they are getting themselves into. SWAP has really shaped my trip from the start without even realizing it. On my first day in New Zealand I met one of my best friends in an orientation. So many of memories and favorite moments of this trip would never had happened if I didn't meet her my first day and I'm super grateful I did."

    Alcia in New Zealand, 2016


  • "The first job that I had was as a groom and barn manager of a sport horse barn in Karaka. It didn't take long at all to find this job! Within 2 days of actively looking for a job I had an interview and was hired on the spot! The next job that I had was as a tour guide and part of the greens team at the Hobbiton Movie Set. This was an ultimate nerd dream come true! I've been a huge Lord of the Rings/Hobbit fan since I was a young child."

    Emily (right) in Waikato, New Zealand, 2016


  • "Making friends, finding new passions, waking up to the sun-rise on the side of a hill on Waiheke. Staying the night on Tiri-Tiri and seeing 5 wild kiwi (among many other native species) and flying to Waiheke in a helicopter for lunch. Super helpful to have a "home-base" downtown [hosting centre]. I still use it as a place to hang-out when I need wifi or to charge my phone when I'm in town. Was really helpful in finding a job and writing my resume. Met some awesome travelers. Staff is incredible and always has a handy recommendation for when I'm bored and looking for something to do."

    Victoria in Auckland, New Zealand, 2016


  • "My trip to New Zealand has truly been a dream from beginning to end. From waking up in my yurt overlooking the ocean every day to hiking around Stewart Island (one word - penguins!), this country has shown me that life should be experienced with bare feet, music, and a sense of wonder! One of my top experiences was a nonstop adrenaline rush in Queenstown. If you travel to New Zealand, you'll probably never want to leave!"

    Megan (centre, bottom row) in Raglan, New Zealand, 2016