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With New Zealand’s borders open again, the Southern Alps and Wānaka are calling.

Whether it’s an OE (Overseas Experience), a working holiday, or you’re just looking to spend the winter in the mountains, Wānaka is an incredible place to settle for the cold months and experience the epic mountain culture that this town has to offer. Here’s why.

A world of choice

Let’s jump right into it. Of course, you’ll be playing in the mountains, but first, you’re keen to lock in a gig for the winter. But where to start looking? And what is it that you want to do?

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Snowboard lessons Cardrona

We’ve got you covered. Our Jobs in Wanaka page is chock full with answers to your questions and resources. Plus, we’ve built a directory of places where you can go to hunt for that winter dream job.

The mountains

Alright, you’ve locked in the job. Now let’s turn our attention to what might’ve brought you to Wānaka in the first place – the magnificent Southern Alps. 

Maybe you’re already a bonafide shredder and you’re looking to expand your snow palette in the mountains surrounding Wānaka. Well, lucky for you, we’ve got the terrain and facilities to take you up a notch. From world-class freeski at Cardrona to the steeps and pristine backcountry at Treble Cone, all you have to do is wake up on your days off and decide what you’re in the mood for.

Perhaps you’ve never hit the slopes before and you’re using this time as an opportunity to learn something new? Well, welcome to the world of skiing and snowboarding – you’re going to love it! Check out our guide to learning to ski and snowboard for tips and tricks before you step on the snow.

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And let’s not forget those who prefer to travel cross-country. Snow Farm is New Zealand’s only cross-country ski area, with over 50km of trails to explore via skate skiing, cross-country and snowshoeing. They also have access to backcountry huts, so you can stay overnight in the mountains! If you’ve never been cross-country skiing before, check out our blog about the first time trying it here.

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Events

When you’re not working or on the snow, what does the rest of your time look like in Wānaka? Well, Wānaka is a year-round host to epic events, and that definitely includes winter. Events like Matariki and the NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival usually kick off the season.

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Throughout the winter months, Wānaka is usually a tour stop for several gigs, like the upcoming Black Seeds show.

And as the grand finale, in the latter half of winter, Wānaka plays host to some of the world’s best snow athletes at events like the Winter Games NZ and the Jossi Wells Invitational.

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So, is your social calendar full yet? Check out more events in Wānaka here.

Community

Wānaka is a very close-knit community, (just try walking down Ardmore Street without spotting someone you know!). And with that, comes an intense care for the people here and this place. And we invite anyone who comes here – whether for a week or a lifetime – to help us uphold this care.

This starts with our people. When you come to Wānaka, you should feel like it’s your home for as long as you choose to stay. And to feel that way, well, you’ll actually a need a physical home. That’s where organisations like the Workforce Accommodation Network comes in. WAN helps businesses connect their seasonal, contract and temporary workers to affordable accommodation sourced from within the community in which they are working. To learn more WAN, click here.

There are lots more community organisations in Wānaka that are helping to make sure our people are cared for. Community Networks Wanaka at the Community Hub is your first stop for help and advice about living in Wānaka.

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What starts with our people extends to our landscape. There’s a real passion here for protecting this place so that future generations may experience its beauty. This can start small – like joining the Single-Use Cup Free Wanaka movement and getting yourself a reusable coffee cup for all your winter cuppas. Or it can involve more commitment, like dedicating an hour or more each week to help raise and restore native plants with Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust. It could be vowing to buy only from Wastebusters all season long. Or joining the Plastic-Free Wanaka movement and swearing off plastics for the season.

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Whichever you choose, rest assured that you will be welcomed into our community with open arms.

So, are you ready? Keep an eye on our Jobs in Wanaka page for future listings and info. 

We’ll see you for winter in Wānaka.

#lovewānaka