Whenever you are in New Zealand, the ‘land of the long white cloud’, you are never too far from a ski slope, particularly on the South Island. Many people head to New Zealand’s South Island to ski and snowboard each year. To ensure visitors enjoy their time in the snow, staff are required in the accommodation, coffee shops, restaurants, bars and on the slopes as ski instructors, maintenance people and to sell tickets, to name a few. If you would like to work and ski in New Zealand in this post I will explain what jobs are available and how you can find a job.
The New Zealand Snow Season is when?
The New Zealand snow season runs from June through to October and sometimes into November. The call for workers begins around January though resorts are hiring most of the year round. This is because resorts are open during the summer months also as the mountains offer great hiking and mountain bike riding when there is no snow. Most of the resorts advertise in the major newspapers or undertake recruitment through their websites.
Qualifications Required for General Hospitality Jobs
If you want to get a job in a New Zealand ski resort it is preferred you have some experience in the field of employment where you are seeking a position. Ski resorts have many hospitality positions available. From pulling beers and mixing drinks in a bar. Making coffee in a coffee shop. Waiting tables in a restaurant or cafe. Working on reception or as a house keeper in the vast number of ski lodges. Even selling ski lift tickets. Employers aren’t interested in training travellers as they know you are really only there for one season so the more skills you have, better the chances of getting a job in a New Zealand ski resort. Some of the luxury resorts may not even consider you without extensive experience or a formal qualification. Having a friendly personality and being able to convince an employer you can do the work will stand you in good stead.
Qualifications Required for Ski and Snowboard Instructors
You will need to be a fully qualified ski or snowboard instructor to work in the New Zealand ski resorts. Foreign Ski and Snowboard instructors may wish to contact the New Zealand Snowsports Instructors Alliance (NZSIA) www.nzsia.org. This organisation can advise about joining to allow use of an overseas qualification in New Zealand. The site also has some useful employment links.
New Zealand Ski Areas
New Zealand is made up of two major islands, the North Island and the South Island. There are 16 ski centres spread over both these two islands. Check out the map following. It shows you where the ski areas are.
Ski and Snowboard areas in New Zealand reproduced from my Live Work and Play around the World book.
North Island New Zealand Ski Resorts
The main ski area on the North Island is Mt Ruapehu www.mtruapehu.com a semi active volcano. This huge mountain is New Zealand’s largest and most developed ski area with over 1,150 hectares of skiable terrain. Its two major ski areas are Whakapapa on the northwest slopes and Turoa on the southwest slopes. Both are within a World Heritage National Park. It is about a sixty minute drive between resorts. The resort caters to 400,000 skiers and snowboarders each year and employers around 700 seasonal workers.
South Island New Zealand Ski Resorts
Most of the ski activity occurs on the South Island where there are three major ski centres. Queenstown is the major city at the bottom of the mountains and is the heart of what is considered to be New Zealand’s premier ski region. Queenstown has been voted one of the most beautiful towns in the world. It’s surrounded by ski-scraping mountains that are capped in snow during winter. This incredible scenery often lures tourists to Queenstown year after year. The town offers visitors an abundance of accommodation, retail outlets, restaurants and bars. At the end of a hard day skiing or snowboarding you could enjoy Queenstown’s famous apes ski. If you don’t find work in one of the resorts in New Zealand you may be lucky in this town.
Queenstown is the stepping stone to some of the best ski slopes in New Zealand. Deep powder snow is common in these parts with ski areas offering outstanding terrain for all levels of skiers and snow boarders. You can easily ski three great areas. Coronet Peak is just 18km away, The Remarkables and Cardrona some 30km away, Treble Cone is another great ski area. Each of these resort areas require numerous staff to run efficiently. Great news if you want to work a ski season in New Zealand.
If staying in Christchurch you can take a shuttle bus to the Canterbury Plains ski fields. The best known ski slope here is Mount Hutt which is nestled high inside the eastern rim of the Southern Alps. Mount Hutt itself is a big bowl-shaped mountain. The steep off-piste sidewalls and the renowned South Face cater for advanced skiers and shredders.
How to find a job in a New Zealand Ski Resort
There are a number of ways to find a job in a New Zealand ski resort.
- Visit a travel agency and pick up brochures on skiing in New Zealand. These brochures are very helpful. They provide plenty of information about the different ski resorts, the accommodation you will find there plus the services like cafes that exist. Use this information to your advantage by using any contact details available to apply for a job.
- Websites and Social Media. A simple search on the Internet will provide information and contacts for getting a job in a ski resort. A couple of websites to get you started include www.snow.co.nz and www.nzski.com. Also check out Facebook pages.
- Specific Ski Resort Websites. Yes, if you know which ski resort you would like to work at, visit their website because they will have jobs they are looking to fill listed on their website.
- Turn up and walk around leaving your cv at places you would like to work.
Are You Ready to Work and Ski New Zealand?
New Zealand offers travellers and locals a lot of opportunities to find a job in a ski resort. So whether you want to work in a cafe or be a ski instructor there are plenty of opportunities to work and ski a season in New Zealand.