New Zealand Farmstay2023-07-26T11:08:48+12:00

Farmstay New Zealand

The Farmstay program is open to working holiday visa holders who want to work on a farm in New Zealand while living with a kiwi farming family. If you want to develop new skills, learn about the Kiwi farming culture and have a unique experience in the great outdoors then this is the program for you.

We have hundreds of farm partners around the country doing all kinds of farming with the most common farms being farms with horses (equestrian, racing, polo) or with livestock, primarily cows (milking, calving),

Most roles include general assistance around the farm and with the animals or helping around the farm house and looking after the children. Usually it is a bit of a combination of everything as is the farming way of life.

You will work enough hours on the farm to cover the cost of your accommodation and meals which is around 5-6 hours per day. If you work on the farm for more than this you will receive at least minimum wage. You are also expected to help out with general chores around the house as you would in any home for around 10 hours per week, e.g. Cooking dinner, tidying your bedroom, doing the shopping etc.

The busy season on most farms is during Spring (September – December) and Summer (January – March) although some farms need help year round. If you are wanting to work as a groom the Equestrian season runs from September – March.

If you do not have any farm or childcare experience, cannot stay for at least 12 weeks, or do not have a working holiday visa then you may apply for our farm volunteer program. On this program you get to experience farm life and pay for own meals and accommodation on the farm.

If you are keen to travel to New Zealand and experience living and working with a Kiwi farming family, start your application today and we’ll look forward to finding you a once in a lifetime farm experience.

Below are more details about the 3 main farm types; horse farms, livestock/dairy farms and childcare /Au-Pair.

Key Details
  • Ages 18- 30 (35 for Irish and Canadian citizens)

  • 4 – 12 weeks for those without previous experience

  • 4 – 24 weeks for those with previous farm or childcare experience

  • Ability to extend placement if family agrees

  • Live and work on a horse, cattle, dairy, family farm (other farms may be available on request)

  • Must hold a valid New Zealand Working Holiday Visa or equivalent New Zealand work visa

  • Love to have fun, be happy and enjoy meeting new people

Farm helper feeding a cow in a farm field

Livestock & dairy farms

Horse farms / grooms

Farm Au Pair

You will work a minimum 5-6 hours per day paid at minimum prevailing wage which covers the weekly cost of your food and accommodation. Families may negotiate with you to work more hours per week and payment will be according to minimum wage requirements.

5-6 hours work per day covers taxes, ACC, accommodation, meals and all utilities with $0 income. This is the standard offer for most families.

Domestic chores include preparing and cooking meals, cleaning and washing your clothes, vacuuming, keeping your bedroom and living areas tidy, grocery shopping feeding the pets, doing grocery shopping, tending to the vegetable garden etc.) or pursuing hobbies such as attending show-jumping events or tagging along to the yard-sales for example.

Placements are made all over New Zealand in both the North and the South Island. Typical locations include Northland, The Hawkes Bay, The Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Taranaki, The Manawatu, Wairarapa, Nelson / Marlborough, Canterbury, The West Coast or Central / Southern Otago. Placements are 4-24 weeks in duration (depending on experience levels). If you require a shorter placement or if you do not have any relevant experience then our Farm Volunteer Program may be more suitable for you.

Our programs start in Auckland every Monday. Your 3 night Arrival Package includes airport transfer, your first 3 nights’ accommodation (Check-in Monday, check-out Thursday) with breakfast in a downtown Auckland hostel and welcome orientation. The welcome orientation is held after breakfast at 11:00am on Tuesday morning. Here you will learn all about living, working and traveling in New Zealand, about phone cards, bank accounts, travel options, safety, tips and tricks – plus lots more!

During your time in Auckland you will have an appointment with the bank where you will get your Bank account and can then apply for your tax number (IRD Number). Wednesday is a free day to explore Auckland. Farm Au Pairs without current First Aid training qualification will attend their First Aid Training on Wednesday.

On Thursday you will travel to the farm. You may be required to travel by plane / bus / train / depending where your farm is located. We will give you all the information you need to pre-book your travel to the farm. The costs can range from $50 – $250 depending on the location of the farm. If you want to purchase a car in New Zealand and drive to the farm, we have partner car sales who we can refer you to so you can purchase a car before or after you arrive.

If you take local transport the family will collect you from the nearest airport or bus or train station and take you to the farm. At the end of your farm placement you may like to travel around New Zealand.

You are advised not to book International flights until you have received your Placement offer. Please advise when your flights are booked so we can book your arrival package and advise you on internal travel to the farm.

You will have an employment agreement with your family so you know how many hours you will work per week. If you are working the minimum 20 hours then you will have lots of spare time to explore the area. However, leaving the farm will depend on the location of the farm and if you have your own transportation. You cannot expect your host family to drop you off / pick you up from the bus stop all the time.

If you wish to go away for some days or weeks during your time at the farm discuss this with your host family and they are usually very accommodating. Please note you will not be refunded for weekly costs for time that you are away from the farm.

We recommend you leave some extra time before or after your placement to see some of the country. We work with excellent backpacker travel companies that can show you the best of New Zealand, South East Asia and Fiji. Enquire with us about travel options before you book your flights so we can plan your added travel before you depart.

  • Be aged 18- 30
  • 4-12 week maximum placement for those with no previous experience
  • Those with relevant experience can stay up to 24 weeks
  • Obtain a valid New Zealand Working Holiday Visa or equivalent New Zealand work visa
  • Be flexible about the placement location
  • Hold a current valid driver’s license along with a certified translation (international driver’s license)
  • Be able to apply for an IRD number and New Zealand bank account
  • Have at least an intermediate level of English and ability to effectively communicate with the family
  • Must be available for a Zoom/Skype interview with an INTERNeX Supervisor AND possibly the farm owner /manager
  • There is a differentiation between work and household duties as stipulated above and there is a document to read that covers these differences
  • If vegetarian, be willing to help more in the kitchen with food preparation and cooking, and purchase your own food should you need additional meat free products
  • Must not smoke (smoking on the farm could result in early termination)
  • Not have any pre-existing physical or mental health conditions that affect your ability to work
  • Not ever have been diagnosed, suffer or take any medication for psychological illness
  • Love to have fun, be happy and meet new people
  • Complete online application and provide relevant documents (CV, motivation letter, references)
What if I have a mental or physical health condition?2022-04-04T12:46:38+12:00

Farm life is already challenging without having medical conditions. From years of experience we have found those who are not physically and mentally stable do not adapt well to farm life. In addition, farm work can be dangerous if you cannot physically or mentally get through the day with ease. Therefore, we ask that you only apply if you are not suffering any current or previous conditions.

What if I am a vegetarian or vegan?2022-04-04T12:46:51+12:00

The Farm Au Pair or Groom position is suitable for Vegetarians. You are required to buy your own additional dietary foods if the family does not eat the vegetarian / vegan food that you desire, as it tends to be more expensive. E.g. almond milk, meat free protein products, coconut yoghurt, tofu etc. You must also help more in the kitchen with preparing and cooking so your eating habits do not make life difficult for your host family.

Will I get time off the farm?2022-04-04T12:47:09+12:00

Day to day, the majority of your time is likely to be spent at the farm and with the family giving you time to learn the culture of New Zealand. We encourage you to get away from the farm when you have the time to explore the local areas. Most farms are quite some distance from the local town so it is helpful if you have your own vehicle (speak to Internex if you would like to purchase a vehicle and we can assist with this in Auckland). You will often have the chance to go into the local town with your host or flat mates / co-workers to help with grocery shopping and attend any social outings etc. It’s important to try and make friends in the local area to give you time away from the farm and people to explore with in your spare time.

Do I need a tax number?2022-04-04T12:47:25+12:00

Yes, you must have a tax number (IRD Number) to be able to work in New Zealand. Internex will arrange for your IRD number as part of your orientation if you do not already have one. You need a bank account and work visa to get a tax number.

Do I need a bank account?2022-04-04T12:47:26+12:00

Yes, you must have a New Zealand Bank account for your wages to be paid into. Internex will arrange your bank account booking as part of your orientation if you do not already have one. You need a work visa to be able to get a bank account.

What type of visa do I need?2022-04-04T12:47:41+12:00

You must be able to obtain a valid New Zealand Working Holiday Visa or equivalent New Zealand work visa

How do I pay for my accommodation and meals?2022-04-04T12:47:58+12:00

$300.00 NZD will be deducted from your weekly wage to pay for your accommodation, meals and WIFI. This amount may fluctuate depending on minimum wage rates at the time of booking and your employment agreement will reflect this.

What are my hours and pay?2022-04-04T12:49:38+12:00

You will be guaranteed a minimum 20 hours work per week paid at prevailing minimum wage (which currently equates to approximately $378.00 NZD). Families may negotiate with you to work more than 20 hours per week, up to 40 hours per week. Additional hours must be negotiated in advance and payment will be according to minimum wage requirements (current NZ minimum wage $18.90 per/hour).

How is my farm selected?2022-04-04T12:49:50+12:00

After you complete your online application for a Farmstay placement one of our Placement Supervisor will arrange an online Skype interview with you to discuss your application and hear any preferences or expectations you have. Following your interview your placement supervisor will be in contact with suitable farming families to determine if they would like to offer you the job. You may require an interview with the potential farm host. When a suitable farm is found we will send you a placement agreement that outlines the family profile, tasks, responsibilities and other information. You will also be required to sign an Employment Agreement, Tenancy Agreement and some other documentation.

What types of farms can I be placed at?2022-04-04T12:50:06+12:00

We work with most types of farms however we primarily make placements on farms with horses, dairy farms, livestock farms or family farms where they require support with the children. Some other farms such as mixed farms, agricultural, guest and other types of animals may be available on request.

Why should I choose Internex?2022-07-14T18:00:40+12:00

The team at Internex have worked in the youth education and travel industry for over 20 years, so we know how to make your overseas experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible.  Our team have all lived, worked, and studied overseas and know firsthand the challenges of moving to a new country and will be there to support you every step of the way. 

We’ll make sure you know what to expect and how to prepare, we’ll take care of any practical difficulties you may have, and our local representatives will ensure you are happy and looked after while you’re away. 

Internex is also dedicated to providing the best quality programs at affordable prices. Accommodation and meals (where included) make up the bulk of a program’s cost. Remaining fees are for our local representatives who ensure you’re taken care of in every country we represent.

We meet all our participants on Zoom or in person to learn more about them.  We personally visit our hosts to ensure the highest standards and when you live with one of our hosts in homestays or farmstay we collect criminal records and have them complete an application form to ensure they understand the expectations of our participants. 

We are not a search engine, we are real people that ensure this real experience is as good as it can be and all stakeholders are satisfied with the outcome.

We want you to be safe and happy while you learn and have fun abroad!