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cash-in-hand odd jobs

With some saved up cash from several temporary jobs back home in The Netherlands, my New Zealand adventure started in October 2010. Since it was actually the first time I went on a journey like this alone, I had to get used to living in the backpacker mode. And I mean moneywise! Looking back now on my first weeks/months in NZ, I realize that Ive spent much more money than necessary in the beginning. Simply because I had to learn the tricks!

So at some point in January (New Years in Queenstown obviously blew my budget) I was pretty much broke. Fortunately at the right time, because I went to Picton to visit a relative of mine and stay at his place for a while. As a local, he knew what was going on in town and gave me some contact details of people who were looking for temporary workers. Eventually I ended up at a campervan rental business. It was high season and they needed keen folks for grooming the vans, which basically comes down to cleaning. It may sound boring and dull, but it actually was good fun! The summers been quite great iin Marlborough, so being outside in 25-30 degree heat, washing the vans with a good spray of cold water wasnt too bad at all! Besides, the group was small but great. I will probably never have a better boss again than here. She was always cheerful, happy and reasonable, and even helped me to a better contract (even though I only worked there for 1.5 months).

After this period I went touring again for a couple of weeks. Had awesome times in the Abel Tasman National Park and the Golden Bay area, and went back to Picton afterwards. I decided to buy a car, so again: that blew my budget! (Even though it has so far been worth every cent.) I drove down south to Central Otago, where I had already been last summer. I really enjoyed the area back then and decided to go back to look for some work in the winter, which is supposed to be really cold and snowy in this region! I found some cash-in-hand work doing some odd jobs for several people in Oturehua. Gardening, raking leaves, helping running a small hostel, helping out at the local pub, chopping firewood... That kind of things! A very nice experience, for this town has only about fourty inhabitants. It was special to be part of a small local community for a while! The downside was, though, that eventually there was no work for me anymore. And also: the winters been so mild that we didnt get a single flake of snow! The sake of Mother Nature... But well, thats how it goes.

On the way back north, I figured that the decision to go to Central Otago wasnt the best in financial prospect. I simply didnt make enough hours in my time there to save up a decent amount of money. Also: basically the only means of entertainment in town was the pub! On the way pack to Picton, I visited friends in Akaroa, spent more money and realized that I was pretty much broke again and that I had to look for a new job. So thats what Im going to do now: take the ferry to the North Island tomorrow and look for temporary work again in Wellington, and otherwise elsewhere. Ive spent eight months on the South Island only so far, so it feels like a new adventure going to the other island. Im really looking forward to the next months! And with the Rugby World Cup coming closer, I definitely should be able to find some work this Spring too ;)

Submitted by: Gijs Lijbers
Date submitted: 23/07/2011 9:26:36 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 donít 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 weíve beaten twice at the Rugby World Cup? Letís 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 itÖ 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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