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2010-10-07 09:14 pm (UTC)
I went to New Zealand about three years ago. I worked on a voluntary conservation project for a few weeks and then did a little time alone before joining a tour from Christchurch to Auckland. I wished I'd done the whole tour, which would have covered more of the South Island, but due to a messup/laziness on the part of my then travel agent it didn't seem possible.
I can't really tell you anything about official work permit type stuff (I was a volunteer so it didn't count) or passport regulations, but I do know that there are a lot of seasonal type positions fruit picking and similar as some of the people I travelled with went on to do that afterward - I think there are some age restrictions on those permits though.
There is a special bus tour that's available. From memory it tends to be predominantly young people on the journeys. The bus is specifically for backpackers who want to travel from one hostel/location to another. Most (If not all) of the stops are somewhere significant - frequently for the adventurous types - Waitomo (I think) for the Black Water Rafting, Night abseiling, Lake Taupo (I think again) for bungy and possibly Sky-diving. I think you can get off one bus and stay somewhere for a few days and get on the next one on the route (don't take that for definite though)
I didn't do that tour, I travelled with Trek New Zealand (the same overall company as Trek America) where the age range is wider, although still adventurous and you stay with the tour all the way. One guide and one group of people for the length of your stay.
I stayed in a great hostel in both Auckland and Christchurch and some other good ones en route although I couldn't remember the names of all of them but if you do need the suggestions for those two I could probably find them again as I booked them rather than them being part of the tour organisation.
If you have anything you think I could help with, let me know.
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