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Why travel on an OE?

An Overseas Experience (OE) is a New Zealand term for an extended overseas working holiday. It is sometimes referred to as "The Big OE" in reference to the extended duration of the travel - typically at least one year and often extending far longer.   

Spending time overseas living, working and playing in a different part of the world, is the best way to expand your knowledge and broaden your horizons. There are some things that you just can't learn from a book or studying. Some things, like understanding a country, its culture and its people, can only be achieved through real life first hand experience (like an OE!)

Here's what some current and previous Work New Zealand participants have to say about their New Zealand OE:

“I finished my study at university and I just wanted to see more of the world before starting work. I wanted to go as far as possible from home - so I came to New Zealand. I heard from a friend that the people in New Zealand are very kind and friendly.” Julia Weber, Germany.

“The longer I spend overseas, the more I realise how big the world is and how much there is I want to see and do. It has made me more driven to achieve my travel goals.” Felicity, France.

“Don’t hold back. You’re only young once. Make the most of the opportunity to work and live overseas while you can.” Jess, Canada.

“Have an open mind, don’t freak out! Just go for any opportunity that comes about and just have fun!” Ben, England.

“I finished school in Germany and my best friend who had lived here for 3 months told me about New Zealand. I think it’s a good country to travel and work in. It’s also good for learning English.” Clara, Germany.

Your New Zealand 'Kiwi' OE

Coming "Down Under" with the Work New Zealand program gives you the opportunity to work and travel in a truly unique country. There are few places on earth that offer the variety of scenery and things to do that New Zealand does - it's like all the best parts of the world have been taken and squeezed into one incredible country! Best of all, it's compacted into an area about the same size as Italy, Great Britain, or the State of Colorado.

The North Island offers an exciting mix of busy cities and peaceful countryside. Maori culture is a strong feature here and the place names of many towns, mountains and rivers offer a challenge to anyone's tongue with names such as Paraparaumu, Whangamomona and Ngaruawahia. The opportunity to experience Maoritanga (Maori art and culture) is one of the highlights of any journey through New Zealand. The North Island is also known for its unspoilt beaches, immense Kauri trees, world-class trout fishing and volcanic thermal activity.

The South Island, or the "Mainland" as it's commonly referred to, showcases everything New Zealand is famous for. The landscape is diverse and beautiful. From farmland to vast jagged mountain ranges, deserted beaches to pristine lakes, breathtaking fiords to rainforests, and glaciers to vineyards - the South Island will tantalise all your senses. The South Island provides the ideal environment for outdoor activities such as skiing, jet boating, bungy jumping and world-renowned tramping...and that's just the beginning!

New Zealand is often voted by Lonely Planet staff members as the 'Top Destination'. That's a real compliment! One Lonely Planet staffer summarised many responses when he wrote, "I'm going to say New Zealand for number one. I think it's a great country. It's a long way from the political hot spots of the world, which makes it fairly safe. The scenery is spectacular, and there's a huge variety of it in such a small country: beautiful secluded beaches, geysers, mud pools, volcanoes, mountains, lakes, fjords (they filmed LOTR there for a good reason, you know). There's a strong sense of culture as well as a relaxed attitude."

Due to its small size, travel within New Zealand - whether by plane, bus, rail, car or bicycle - is affordable and efficient. From camping grounds to backpackers, lodges to resorts, accommodation is plentiful and can suit all budgets.

So with all this waiting for you, what are you waiting for?! Strap on your backpack and get ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. No matter where you end up in New Zealand on your OE, one thing is for sure, you'll be glad you came (and you may not want to leave!)