Looking for a long term accommodation during your New Zealand Working Holiday but not sure what to look out for? There are all sorts of accommodation available in New Zealand and it’s good to know what’s out there. Explore all your options before making a decision. There are cosy places that only rent out a room to a couple, or a large living space that can fit eighteen people. However, if you’re looking to stay in a caravan, self-contained vehicle or an employer-provided hostel, then this article may be just good enough as reference to creating your own living space!

I still remember house hunting in a very short period of time in New Zealand when I got a job. I began house viewing of a few places in one day and moved in on that very same day. Because of the tight timeline and the uncertainty of the houses‘ availability, I was preparing myself for the worst. However, I was really fortunate to find a comfortable place quickly and stayed in for the next three months. I hope this article will be useful in helping you know what to look out for in your long term accommodation, especially if you were as tied up for time as I was then.

1. Kitchen with a microwave

A kitchen with a microwave is one of the must-have appliance you would need in the kitchen. It is the best appliance to help you prepare your own meal in New Zealand in a short time and not having to wash loads of pots and pans.

I remember staying in an Airbnb where we had no access to the kitchen. However, we had a common area to use the microwave in. It turned out to be a life-saver because all food places were closed by the time we arrived at a place. We only had the supermarket that is still open then and managed to whip up a microwave-friendly dinner with that. So, if you’re not a great cook and just want to make decent meals with things as simple as a microwave, make sure you look out for it when you do your house viewing and check out some of my favorite easy recipes here. You’ll agree that this would be one of the basic house appliance you ever need to make decent meals at least during your Working Holiday.

2. Near to a supermarket

Make sure there is a supermarket within a 20 to 30 minute drive from where you’re staying. I guess you don’t need me to mention why, but it’ll really save you some time during your weekend grocery shopping or if you need something urgent during the week. For my housemates and I, it felt like a place we frequent a lot because it’s always the only place that’s still open after a day’s work. I always find it very comforting to shop for food in the supermarket, thinking of what to eat for the next week. Food just seems to be the happy pill I need after a hard day at work.

Also, petrol stations are usually also located right beside the supermarkets like Pak N’ Save, Countdown or New World. You can make use of this same trip to add petrol to your car and give it a good fill to prepare for the next week!

3. A Safe Parking space

This is essential if you have your own car. We all know that there’s no lack of space in New Zealand and you can park your car literally anywhere as long as it does not hog the roads. However, you want to make sure your car sleeps in a safe location for the night. You don’t want to wake up one day to a smashed windscreen or dented car.

It would be perfect if there’s a fenced space outside your landlord’s house where you can park safely. Otherwise, check how far do you have to park from the house and check out the vicinity to se that you’re comfortable with it. I feel that New Zealand is a relatively safe space so you don’t necessarily have to worry. However, I’m sure you would want to take no chances at that and just give the surroundings a check!

4. Comfortable Bedding and Personal Space

Of course, please check out the beds and the condition of the room you’ll be staying in! What was important for me was actually to have sufficient space in the room for my own personal space. I believe this is essential in any long term accommodation too. Sometimes, you just need that quiet corner in the room for your alone time to unwind after a long day.

It served to be especially important for me when I was staying in a house of sixteen people. It’s not always that I get to just plug into my favorite music and relax. However, that’s the room that I stayed in for three months with a space of my own to just snuggle in and immerse in my own thoughs at times. Don’t get me wrong, I love the company of my housemates! However, there were just times I needed to focus on my own and I appreciated the option of having my own personal space in the house for that.

5. Clean (or Multiple) Toilets

Toilets! This is probably my top priority of any accommodation ever since I started travelling. The cleanliness of the toilet always makes or breaks my impression of the place. I always make sure to check out the toilet, and especially so if I’m sharing them with other housemates, and even more so for what you need in your long term accommodation.

Check if there is more than one toilet that is available for use, or if there is one specifically for tenants. This is because if you’re sharing one toilet with many housemates, waiting for your turn could be a daily problem! At one point in time, we had about fourteen housemates sharing just two toilets. It was a mad rush each night as we check to see whether the toilet is available. We even chose to wake up earlier so we stagger the times we use the toilet. It was not a huge problem eventually and contrastingly even turned out to be a really memorable thing to date.

6. Reasonable and Fun Housemates

Housemates are like the most important people that can make or break your stay. Visit the potential place at a time when the housemates are at home or stick around long enough to make sure you catch a glimpse of the housemates. Make sure you feel comfortable enough with your housemates to share the living space with!

I personally have not met any abnormally unreasonable housemates over my time there. We even had so much fun together and made so much memories from working together to celebrating many occasions together. We spent our New Year’s countdown together and even had a huge Chinese New Year reunion dinner party. It really made up a bulk of my best times during my New Zealand working holiday!

Ready to find that accommodation you need?

I hope this was helpful in helping you identify what you need in your long term accommodation during your working holiday. My experience was really amazing and I hope yours will be too!

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