By Chris Charpentier
So you want to come to Wanaka for the winter. We've put together the Wanaka Survival Guide because there are a few things you should
know (preferably before you get here).
Finding a place to live
The best advice is to get here early. The season generally starts in mid to
late June. Getting here early means that you should arrive BEFORE June 1st.
The earlier the better as often there is very limited accommodation left after
June 1st and what's left will be very expensive as landlords try to rip off
the desperate people that still have nowhere to live. Expect to pay between
$100 and $200 per week during the winter. This may or may not include the bills.
Electricity is very expensive in New Zealand. If you are really desperate Hawea
Flat is only a 10 minute drive away, but you'd want to have your own car.
If you are arriving for the summer, accommodation is fairly easy to find between
October and May and generally cheaper. See below for resources to find a place
Short term accommodation
Most people arrive in town homeless. You'll need to find some short term accommodation
if you don't have a friend's couch to sleep on. The Old Gym 443 9418, Holly's
Hostel 443 8187, Wanaka Bakpaka 443 7837, YHA Hostel Wanaka 443 7405, Mountain
View Backpacker 443 9010 or check the local papers for short term accommodation.
Getting a job
While it's pretty easy to find a job in this town, it's not that easy to find
a good job. For obvious reasons the night jobs are the most desirable and so
the good ones get snapped up quickly. Even university graduates may find themselves
washing dishes to avoid the dreaded day job! Many companies will offer you free
season passes, staff housing and other perks to get you to work their day jobs.
Don't be fooled, if you are really here for the snow you do not want to work
on powder days.
Treble Cone, Cardrona and Snow Park accept resumes early to recruit employees
for the winter season. Don't miss out if you plan on working for the mountains.
See below for more resources to find a job.
Wanaka Ski & Snowboard Community - www.wanakacommunity.co.nz
Place free classified ads to look for work and a place to live. Browse the ads
placed by landlords and employers. Meet others that are new to town at the forums.
There is also plenty of info about the outdoor activities around town.
The Messenger - www.printit.co.nz
A great place to find accommodation and jobs. They generally have the most listing.
You can download their latest issue or browse the ads at their website. New
issue comes out every Wednesday.
The Wanaka Job Agency - www.wanakajobs.co.nz
Find seasonal jobs, temporary employment and permanent Wanaka work. They also
have a section for finding accommodation in Wanaka.
There are some notice boards in town where you may find ads posted for accommodation.
You'll find them at the gas stations, Visitor Center, Grocery Store, and most
of the hostels in town.
You want to get here in May to find a place to live, but most jobs won't start
until mid to late June. You may have to pay nightly until you find a place and
then shell out for bond and possibly other deposits. You'll need to eat, you'll
want to go out and drink. So the truth is a couple of thousand dollars is probably
needed to keep you going until the pay checks start rolling in.
Check the forecast before you go out to the bars. Missing a great day on the
slopes because you're hung over is a crime.
The ski hills are all 30 minutes or more away. If you don't have a car you'll
have to depend on friends on expensive shuttles.
We hope the Wanaka Survival Guide helps you on your way.