Published on August 19th, 2013 | by john.weir0
Working holidays in New Zealand
With a 12.8% rise in Working Holiday Visa applications year on year*, New Zealand remains a dream Gap Year destination boasting the coolest festivals, most adrenalin-tastic experiences and world-class ‘silver screen’ locations, as well as stunning natural beauty and wildlife.
Accommodation is great value and plentiful with high-quality, friendly and good valued hostels, farm stays and camping throughout the country. For independent travellers, an array of campervan hire is available to create a personalised road trip with companies such as Wicked Campers (www.wickedcampers.co.nz) or Jucy Car & Campervans (www.jucy.co.nz). Or, for the chance to meet fellow backpackers, hop-on-hop-off tour buses such as The Kiwi Experience (www.kiwiexperience.com), Stray (www.straytravel.com) or Flying Kiwi (www.flyingkiwi.com) takes travellers to both the ‘must do’ and off the beaten track locations.
To help backpackers tailor-make the perfect itinerary, Tourism New Zealand’s Epic Trip-O-Meter app allows users to create and share their ultimatetrip based on their preferences.
New Gap Year Experiences…
Zip lining adventures – Those unsure (or who have ticked off the bungee) can practice their superman techniques through the trees with ziplines popping up over New Zealand. The Rotorua canopy tours (canopytours.co.nz) opened last year, combines flying through the trees dangling from a zip line with a serious eco message, with a percentage of profits going towards ensuring the preservation of native bird life in the stunning forests.
Packrafting – New Zealand’s first commercial packrafting tour launched in Queenstown – Expedition X (www.expeditionx.co.nz) has launched New Zealand’s first commercial packrafting tour in Queenstown. The packcraft – a light inflatable boat that is carried into remote areas in a backpack – opens up previously hard to reach or inaccessible places with participants able to walk into some of New Zealand’s most stunning outdoor areas with a guide, inflate their boat and paddle across a lake, stream, or sound, or travel back downriver to civilisation.
The Christchurch rebuild bike tour – Off limits for more than two years, the centre of Christchurch is back on track with the CBD opening up to tourism once again. To showcase the ever-changing city, the Christchurch Rebuild Bike Tour offers a personal guided bike tour of the CBD with a passionate local. www.chchbiketours.co.nz/
Rabbit Ridge Mountain Biking Park opening to the public from September 2013 – From September 2013, Rabbit Ridge Bike resort inGibbston Valley, Queenstown will be open to the general public with day passes, weekend passes, week and season passes available to experience 30km of new mountain bike trails catering for beginner and intermediate riders, as well as a bike trail linking the resort with Gibbston Valley winery. www.rabbitridge.co.nz/
Festivals – For those looking to extend their European summer festival season in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand has a vibrant festival scene – from music festivals like Gisbourne’s New Year extravaganza Rhythm and Vineshttp://www.rhythmandvines.co.