Gap Year Programs in Auckland
Christchurch is New Zealand's capital, but Auckland, on the North Island, is its biggest city, thanks to the recent merging of Auckland center and four surrounding cities. Its vibe centers on Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf, and if you choose the city for your gap year base, sooner or later you'll find yourself on a boat looking back at the city's stunning skyline. From its Māori roots to its latest ranking of fourth in the world for quality of life, Auckland constantly surprises the visitor – and those who stay longer positively fall in love.
If you're looking to volunteer in New Zealand, you can find a wide range of projects ranging such as social work, helping endangered species, or educating communities about sustainability and nature conservation.
Adventure travel was practically invented in New Zealand, and it remains the world champion of activities that involve heart-racing fun. Whether you're interested in bike riding, skiing, water activities, and more, New Zealand is the perfect location for your adventure gap year.
You'll find plenty of professional internships in Auckland, arguably New Zealand’s business capital and the center for many international companies. You can apply for an internship directly through the website of the company you're interested in or through a third-party internship program provider, like the ones here on GO!
Planning Your Trip
Visas for Auckland
Visitors from most major countries do not need a visa to enter New Zealand for a three-month duration. The following visas are available for those who want to spend more than three months in Auckland:
- Temporary Work Visa: For people 18-30 who have a job offer, or for students who are studying or have studied in New Zealand, and want to continue their stay while working.
- Working Holiday Scheme: Depending on your country, those aged 18-30 can apply for a stay of up to 12 months. Eligibility and other requirements can be found online. You can work, but not accept a permanent position, and you can also sign up for classes/courses while in country. Note that a return ticket and a minimum amount of money in a bank account are among the requirements.
Cost of Living in Auckland
The cost of living in Auckland is classified as Medium. It's possible to get along just fine on a modest budget, and there are many inexpensive options if you want to keep costs down. The following are average prices as shown on Numbeo (all USD):
- Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre $825.83
- Basic (Electricity, Gas, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment $260.14
- Monthly Transportation Pass (Regular Price) $105.29
- Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) $13.21
- Eggs (12) $3.84
- Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) $2.06
- Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course $66.07
The average monthly disposable salary after taxes is $2,841.69, so it's possible to stay on budget while living in Auckland.
Health and Safety in Auckland
Auckland is a safe city by international standards; but as with any city, being aware of your surroundings and being street smart will go a long way to staying safe. The biggest "threat", if it can even be called that, would probably be the neighborhoods that are home to a cluster of bars and pubs. Karangahape ("K") Road is the most notorious of the bunch, and it is advisable to go in a group if visiting Queen Street.
As mentioned earlier, New Zealand is a popular destination for extreme sports experiences. Chances are, the adventurous vibe will be contagious and you'll be tempted to join in the fun. If so, go with recommended, licensed and professional establishments - and follow their directions and admonishments to the letter (AucklandNZ). It is worth checking your travel insurance policy to check whether you are covered in the event of injury while participating in extreme sports.
The emergency number for all of New Zealand is 111; the police request that you report any crime no matter how petty, as it helps them do their job better.
Contributed by Amanda Lansdown
View the latest job postings on our job board. A great way to earn work experience during your gap year!