Why you should try house sitting in New Zealand
You want to save money and do something good at the same time? Then Housesitting in New Zealand is just the right thing for you.
There are many Kiwis who are looking for trustworthy people to take care of their fury babies while they are gone. The length of the house sit varies from a couple of days up to several months. A great variety is available! The same goes for the pets: We’ve already taken care of dogs, cats, cows (which serve as lawnmowers), horses, chickens and fish.
Everyone benefits from house sitting: owners, animals and backpackers
The great thing about house sitting is that it’s a win-win situation. The owners are happy because you take care of everything. You’re enjoying your time because you can live in a house for free. That also means that you use the internet, the kitchen and the washing machine. What a luxurious backpacker life! Once we were even allowed to use a jacuzzi and another time we became an awesome gift: a mountain bike.
It’s every time new and surprising, but we love it. While housesitting we take the dogs for walks, pad the cats, mow the lawn and clean out the chicken coop. In the end, we clean the house and leave it at least as clean as before. This is also part of a house sit, but I think it’s only fair to leave everything clean and proper. After all, we’re allowed to live in the house for free and enjoy a break from van life.
Of course, it’s like always in life. You meet wonderful people, but there might also be some homeowners that you don’t like that much. All in all, it's a great way to get in touch with locals and to get a glimpse of their day to day life.
Taking a short or long break from travelling
Housesitting is also a great way to take a break from travelling. Sometimes the body travels to a new place while the mind is still occupied with the old ones. If you stay in a place for a while, you can process the recent experiences and recharge your batteries.
You don’t need to worry about where to sleep every night, because you have a home for that period. I’m sure as a backpacker you’ll appreciate the luxury of a quiet room, a hot shower and a clean kitchen after being on a road for a while. I mean who wouldn’t?
When it gets colder you’ll also be happy about a functioning heating system or an oven. You get all this for free while housesitting. Unbelievable, but true.
Now you might be thinking that housesitting sounds great, but how the heck are you supposed to get a housesit? Luckily it’s not as complicated as you might think. It’s pretty easy.
How to find a housesit
We registered at the website www.kiwihousesitters.co.nz*. This is one of the best sites for New Zealand. It costs 84 NZ dollars per year, which is about 50 euros. Once you have registered, you can create a profile and get in contact with the pet owners. The ads will tell you exactly what they are looking for, in which period and where they live.
Here are some more tips for you on how to get started. Create a profile that is thought-through. Of course, you should also upload several pictures showing you together with pets. It’s also helpful to add reviews from other websites like Couchsurfing, AirBnB* or similar if you have any.
When writing a cover letter, I always do my best and think about what the house owners would like to know. If someone writes in the ad that it would also be good to mow the lawn I include in my cover letter that it would be no problem to do so. To give you another example: When someone is looking for a Housesitter for cows, I always mention that my boyfriend Jannis grew up on a farm and that I’m from a small village as well.
I think about what the pet owners are interested in and write a cover letter that covers all their needs. Don’t use the same cover letter for everyone. A one-fits-all approach will get you nowhere.
If we’re close to the place where the house owners live, we always offer to come by in person. This is also great for us because we can check if we like the house owners and pets.
During the holiday season, many Kiwis are looking for house sitters
If you’ve never done a house sit before you don’t have any reviews. In this case, it’s easier to start with a short house sit for a couple of days, maybe even on the countryside. During bank holidays a lot of Kiwis are postings ads on the website,* so this is a great time to start.
It’s always good to check the most recent ads because new ads mean less competition. I would say that there is in general more competition over housesits in the cities than in the countryside.
I hope you’re now as enthusiastic as I am about the possibilities that housesitting in New Zealand can offer you. The win-win situation is absolutely great. It means that you get to enjoy the luxuries of a house without feeling guilty. You know that you give something back and the house owners are thankful for the time that you invest. Please try it yourself and let me know what you think!
Legal information on housesitting
To give you a full picture here are some legal information regarding house sitting in New Zealand. You need to have a work visa to be able to do housesitting. The same goes for Wwoofing or any other volunteering work that you might wish to do. If you have a work & holiday visa you are legally allowed to do housesitting. With a tourist visa, this isn’t the case.
About the author
Jacqueline travels with her boyfriend Jannis another 10 months in their van through New Zealand. On their YouTube channel Van Vagabunden you can find weekly videos with tips and impressions. They’ve already taken care of a lot of lovely animals in New Zealand that will forever have a special place in their heart. You can find the YouTube channel via the following link.
This article contains links marked with *. These links are so-called affiliate links. If you use one of these links to register, we receive a small commission for the mediation. Nothing changes for you when you use these links, but you support our work here in the blog. Thanks a lot!