New Zealand is home to a wide array of exciting outdoor adventures, making it one of the best countries in the world to live in. If you’ve recently arrived (or are about to) on a work visa or are settling in as an NZ skilled migrant, finding things to do can be a little overwhelming.
This blog post only scratches the surface of things on offer to do in New Zealand. Explore some of our favourite activities and destinations that aren’t to be missed, whether you’re planning a road trip or just looking for a fun weekend activity.
New Zealand is best known for its stunning scenery. From the picturesque beaches of the North Island to the dramatic landscapes of the South Island, you can never run out of beautiful places to see in New Zealand.
Auckland’s North Shore is packed with beautiful beaches that are all within close distance of each other. If you’re based in the city centre, take a drive to the Shore, and spend the day beach hopping.
On the west coast of Auckland, you’ll find some of New Zealand’s wildest and most dramatic beaches, including Muriwai, Piha, Whatipu, and Karekare.
Of course, Auckland isn’t the only place in New Zealand where you’ll find amazing beaches. The Bay of Islands, the Coromandel Peninsula, Nelson Tasman region and the West Coast are wonderful places to spend a beach holiday, among many others.
From short walks to multi-day hikes and guided tours, New Zealand offers endless opportunities for those who want to explore nature. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing coastal walk or a tramp in the bush, there are options for everyone, no matter where in New Zealand you are living.
New Zealand is also home to 13 spectacular national parks across the North Island and South Island that you can explore on foot. Exploring a national park is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in New Zealand’s natural beauty.
If you’re a thrill-seeker looking to get your adrenaline pumping, there is no better place to be than New Zealand. Many of New Zealand’s most famed outdoor activities are based in Queenstown, NZ’s adventure capital but there are a lot of other places around NZ for an action-packed holiday.
Bungy Jumping is one of New Zealand’s most popular thrill-seeking activities. The Kawarau Bridge Bungy in Queenstown is world-famous, attracting thousands of visitors every year, while the Auckland Bridge Bungy is popular amongst city-goers.
Getting out on the water is one of the best things to do in New Zealand. Kiwis love their water sports; jetboating, white-water rafting, scuba diving, and surfing are popular amongst locals and tourists alike. These activities are a great way to get the adrenaline pumping while also experiencing the natural beauty of New Zealand’s lakes, coastlines, and rivers.
New Zealand isn’t all about stunning scenery and thrill-seeking adventures. It’s a country rich in culture and history, with many opportunities for new migrants to get educated.
Visiting a museum is always a great way to learn about a nation’s history and culture, and New Zealand is certainly not short on museums.
The Auckland War Memorial Museum is well-known in New Zealand; here you’ll learn all about the country’s cultural, military, and natural history. It’s highly regarded for its impressive collection of Māori and Pacific treasures. New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa in Wellington is also worth visiting. This museum is great for families, offering a fun learning experience for all.
Anyone living in Aotearoa should take time to learn about Māori culture, as it is such a crucial part of the country’s history. Māori culture influences everyday life in New Zealand, from food, language, and music to many social norms.
Most museums have a heavy focus on Māori culture and history, but New Zealand also offers immersive and interactive opportunities for people to learn more. The Tamaki village in Rotorua is a great example. This traditional Māori village invites visitors to experience Māori life through stories, music, food, and traditions.
There is so much to see and do in New Zealand that if you took a year off work there would still be more to do. There are numerous recommended websites to find out more. Here are just a few to look at.
Best beaches and thrill-seeking
Here at Malcolm Pacific Immigration, we understand that moving to a new country can be a challenging time. We are here to help, whether you’re in need of reliable work visa information or advice about your NZ partnership visa. Get in touch with our knowledgeable immigration advisers in NZ today for assistance.
Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.
Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our employer team is on standby, ready to help.
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Today the government announced a pathway to residence for migrant workers who are living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave who are eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else they will miss out on this one off opportunity.
Today the government announced a pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else you miss the boat.
The government has moved the introduction of the new employer accreditation process across to mid-2022. At the same time, the Minister of Immigration announced new work visa rules for migrant workers who are already in New Zealand and working full time.
The government has increased the median wage to $27 per hour from 19 July. Any Skilled Migrant residence application lodged after this date will need to include a skilled job offer that pays at least $27 per hour. For some lower-skilled occupations, the minimum pay rate increases to $40.50 per hour.
From 19 July 2021
From 30 June 2021
Employers of migrant workers must become accredited from 1 November 2021 before work visa applications can be processed. Most employers are not accredited. Those that are accredited will have to roll into the new system when it goes live in late September.
From mid-2020 (delayed)
Skilled occupation "Dairy Cattle Farmer" spilt into three occupations. New occupations are: "Dairy Farm Manager", "Assistant Dairy Farm Manager" and "Dairy Herd Manager". Each sit at different skill levels, therefore, the award of points will depend on pay rates, job tasks and other requirements.
From 15 February 2021
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool for six months (to be reviewed in April 2021). Invitations to Apply for Residence remain suspended. The last selection from the Skilled Migrant pool took place on 18/03/2020.
From 7 October 2020
The government added four new occupations that are now regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. These are:
Aged or disabled carer, Bicycle mechanic, Driller and Nursing Support worker.
From 27 July 2020
Anyone invited by Immigration NZ to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category where their invitation is dated between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 (inclusive) has now been granted an additional six months to lodge their residence application.
From 27 May 2020
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool. This means Invitations to Apply for Residence are also suspended. Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not anticipate selections to resume until after the general election held on 17 October 2020.
Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:
From 24 February 2020
From 7 October 2019
The government recently added more occupations that are now to be regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. In order to qualify for points, the job must be paying at least the current median wage (or higher for certain occupations) at the time the residence application is lodged.
From 1 November 2021
From 1 November 2021 anyone who is not a NZ citizen must be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) before travelling to New Zealand. Fully vaccinated means your last dose of vaccine was given at least 14 days before travelling and it was an approved vaccine.
Applications for employer accreditation closed at the end of June 2021. Applications lodged before the closure date are still being processed. New applications for accreditation open on 9 May 2022. The process will be quite different to what employers have experienced in the past. Businesses will need to meet minimum standards.
Wednesday, 1 December is fast approaching and it is estimated that around 16,000 individuals and families can apply in the first wave for the 2021 Resident Visa opening next month. It is exciting for the thousands of people who have been waiting patiently to become residents that finally the finish line is in sight.
The first wave of applicants can apply from 1 December 2021. Around 16,000 applications are expected in this first wave. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. In total, the government expects approximately 110,000 applications that will include about 165,000 people.
The second group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 March 2022 are those who hold an eligible work visa and either meet "Settled", "Skilled" or "Scarce" as set out above. In total Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa.
The first group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 December 2021 are those that on 29/09/2021:
Is this the only requirement to qualify for residence? No. In addition to the eligible work visa criteria workers also need to be regarded as one of the following:
People who were lawfully in NZ (or in Australia when the travel bubble closed between April and July 2021) on 29/09/2021 need to meet the visa eligibility criteria:
The government has introduced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave of people eligible to apply. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022.
A small number of critical health workers (taking up jobs for six months or longer) or specialist workers (taking up jobs that are for longer than six months) who were granted border exemptions may also have eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa. They will need to have arrived in NZ and lodge a 2021 Resident Visa application.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
The work visa categories set to close are:
In order to address labour shortages in New Zealand's crucial industries the NZ government has implemented a "Green List" of sought-after high-skill occupations. This list offers a prioritised pathway to residency.
There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Occupations are broken down into two tiers:
The recent additions in May 2023 across many sectors on the Green List NZ can be found here