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Working trees for $350 per week

I went for holiday working in New Zealand way back in 2006 together with 2 other friends. I am going to share here some experience I have brought back from the land of the long white clouds, Aoteroa!
A month before embarking on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, we had made quite a lot of research on where to go, where to work, mode of transport, accommodation, which airline to fly us there., etc. After getting our plane tickets, there was not much $$ left, so we have to travel on a really tight budget. We applied for our holiday working visa online, without much hassle we got the visa within few days. Our plan was to travel around north island for two weeks before settling in Blenheim for pruning jobs we had found online.
We arrived in Auckland, visited One Tree Hill, walk around the city for a bit, before making our way to Paihia. From Paihia, we travel down south to Rotorua, Taupo, Turangi, Whanganui National Park, Waitomo and Wellington where we took the ferry across the straits to Picton. Black water rafting and cave tubing at Waitomo and Tongariro Crossing at Whanganui National Park were the highlights of our two-week stay in North Island.
We took a ferry from Wellington across the straits to Picton. From Picton we made our way to Blenheim. We were told by the vineyard contractor that we could not start work immediately. We stayed at Spring Creek for about 2 weeks, while waiting for the contractor to call us to start the pruning job he had offered us. It was quite a long wait, as we don’t have much $$ left to spend. Finally, the time has come for us to start work. We were paid about $0.60 to $0.90 per tree. We worked from 7:30am till 5:00pm, Mondays to Fridays, rain or shine. After deducting tax and transport cost, we manage to take back about $350 per week. With the money that we had earned in about 6 weeks, we rent a car and travel down south to Timaru to meet our friend who was staying and working there at that time. Below were some places that we had been to in South Island:-
Aoraki / Mount Cook
Dunedin – visited Baldwin Street which is reputed as being the world’s steepest street, Cadbury chocolate factory and Speight’s brewery
Fox & Franz Josef Glacier
Hampden – the award winning fish and chips shop is a must-go
Hanmer Springs – felt like Christmas because it was snowing when we were there; it was like walking in the winter wonderland
Milford Sound / Te Anau
Moeraki Boulders
Oamaru – home of the blue penguin colony
Wanaka – had an amazing time at Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World
Thank you, Alice and Sheila, for showing us around when we were there. It has been 5 years, I may have forgotten the names of some places I had been to, but looking back at the pictures that I had taken, they never fail remind me of those great times.

Submitted by: Law Siaw Sun
Date submitted: 23/07/2011 9:13:23 PM

Apple grading & stacking Fri Jun 8

Grape picking Fri Jun 8

Blueberry picking Fri Jun 8

Hop work in Motueka Tue May 16

Working as an apple packer in Motueka Mon May 9

Working for free accommodation in Wellington Thu Mar 24

From working holiday visa to a resident Thu Mar 24

From the big city to the field of kiwi fruit Thu Mar 24

Working with Kiwi fruit Thu Mar 24

The Christmas rush Mon Feb 29

Packing kiwifruit in Motueka Mon Feb 29

Asparagus picking Mon Feb 29

put on your work clothes, roll up your sleeves and get out there Tue May 27


The Gorilla Hut Sun May 26

Working in sales in NZ Mon May 13

Life as an apple picker Mon May 13

Marahau Sun May 5

hanging nets at isabel vinyard Mon Mar 25

Farm stay Tue Feb 5

Berry-Picking and Ice-Cream Making Tue Dec 18

Vineyard Work in Blenheim Sun Nov 25

Working As A "Milkman" Sat Aug 4

Being an au-pair Thu Aug 2

Grape harvesting in Central Otago Thu Aug 2

Whenever Wed Jun 6

Picking up the oil in Tauranga Mon May 21

Onion grading Sat May 12

Omarama, Place of Light Tue Apr 3

Napier or the job war Sun Apr 1

Some helpful tips Wed Feb 29

Fruit picking in Central Otago Mon Feb 27

Some useful tips Thu Feb 16

Fruit picking in Motueka Wed Jan 18

Where Do We Go From Here Tue Dec 20

Picked it, Packed it, Buggered Off! Tue Dec 20

Seasonal jobs COULD change your very life as you know it Tue Dec 20

I work to live, I don’t live to work Mon Dec 19

I only had $100 to my name Sun Nov 20

Odd Jobs In Central Otago Sun Nov 20

Peach thinning working experience Sun Nov 20

The young vines were frosted over Sun Nov 20

The work found me Sun Nov 20

Working for Watties Factory Mon Oct 24

Working New Zealand from a different perspective Mon Oct 24

I had always been dreaming about coming to New Zealand Mon Oct 24

My first job in vineyards was stripping Mon Oct 24

My happiness was indescribable Tue Oct 18

Working in a Packhouse in Auckland Tue Oct 18

Working on a vineyard in Blenheim Tue Oct 18

Cycling in New Zealand not friendly Tue Oct 18

Fruit Picking Tips for New Zealand Mon Aug 22

Whale and Dolphin Watching Sat Aug 13

Cherry Picking in Central Otago Sat Aug 13

16 Argentinian people living there, it was awesome! Tue Jul 26

No one got payslips, really crazy Sat Jul 23

picked apples at first Sat Jul 23

In 18 months I have worked with kiwi fruits, apples, two epic ski seasons and a travelling carnival Sat Jul 23

cash-in-hand odd jobs Sat Jul 23

A rugby team we’ve beaten twice at the Rugby World Cup? Let’s go teasing them! Sat Jul 23

Talking to strangers about charity Sat Jul 23

Fresh out of college Sat Jul 23

Working trees for $350 per week Sat Jul 23

German Windsurf Instructor in New Zealand Sun Jul 17

Vineyard work in South Island New Zealand Sun Jul 17

We had idea, get visa, sell everything and just go to New Zealand Sun Jul 17


Wilding Pines Sun Jul 17

boss was very nice and friendly Sun May 8

Vintage in Central Otago - Working in the Wine Industry Sun May 8

Mr Apple packhouse experience Mon May 2

North Island Notes Wed Apr 20

Fruitpicking in Napier Wed Apr 20

blueberry harvest season Thu Apr 7

bbq on the beach and if you lucky see some Dolphis too Thu Apr 7

Mate! You are on fire!! Sun Mar 20

The real vineyard work lowdown Fri Mar 11

I had pretty much run out of cash Wed Mar 9

The Land of New Zealand Mon Feb 28

Work in backpackers in exchange for accommodation Sat Feb 26

heard cattle on motorbikes Fri Feb 18

Traditional Maori hangi Thu Feb 17

Fortune Fruit and spitting cherry pits competitions Tue Feb 15

When I got to Whangamata... Sat Feb 12

I could romanticize it… Tue Dec 7

I thought it sounded interesting Tue Dec 7

My New Zealand adventure :) Wed Nov 3

Well I am from Mexico... Mon Oct 25

~New Zealand has no bandits and the relaxed lifestyle is second to none~ Fri May 14

New Zealand's got cheap banks!! Mon Apr 26

Tips from Latvia...yes not Russia ;) Tue Mar 16

First Job Thinning Apples... Mon Mar 1

Damn recession! Wed Feb 10

Loving New Zealand.. Mon Feb 8

From aircrafts to vineyard work in New Zealand.. Mon Feb 8

A Czech in New Zealand.. Fri Feb 5

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