Are you looking for an easy, relaxed job?
Dont like working up a sweat or getting dirty?
Afraid of a bit of sun or the wild elements of the New Zealand outdoors?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then seasonal work is NOT for you! There is dirt, there is sweat, there are bugs and hot sun and rainy days BUT dont get me wrong...I love it!
The work on a vineyard (or I would assume at an orchard or other farm as well) leaves you not only with money in your pocket but with the feeling of accomplishment and the joy of a hard days work. The pleasure of great company and the pleasure of working in the great outdoors.
My first experience in seasonal work was at a vineyard just South of Auckland in a tiny town called Whitford. I lived in a small house with a group of other travellers where we shared our stories, our food and a lot of wine! We did that at night that is...during the day we worked.
The work the first day involved picking the grapes and loading them onto a truck that would later that day be delivered all the way down to Napier. Since I had worked on a farm growing up and had some experience driving four wheelers, I got the enviable job of riding around on the quad and bringing the grapes from the vineyard to the truck. It sounds like fun and at times it was great to ride around with the cool breeze cooling me off from the heat of a mid-March day in Auckland but it was also the hardest job of the day. I had to pick up hundreds and hundreds of baskets of grapes that weighed...enough to be a workout...and load them onto the quad trailer then eventually into the big rig truck. Needless to say, I got some good muscles in the two weeks I was there.
Aside from picking we had to walk through the rows early in the morning and scare out the birds that had settled to eat the fruit overnight. Sounds easy but with the dew on the nets and our heads scraping the soaked fabric, we would be soaked within minutes of "bird scaring". Banging sticks together and screaming at the top of my lungs at 8am made for an interesting start to the day but it just added to the surreal experience of the seasonal job of grape picking.
The hardest job we did...and the hardest job Ive ever done...was riding on the back of a tractor and pulling in the nets to these massive burlap sacks that were big enough to fit half a dozen full grown men inside with space to spare. The wet nets stretched across five rows of grapes made for quite the workout while pulling it in and I swear I couldnt feel my arms for the rest of the day. Again though, it was an incredible workout and by the end of the day I had a feeling of exhausted accomplishment that is just incomparable to anything else.
The early mornings in the crisp, fresh morning air, the sun baked afternoons followed by a night of relaxation and wine made it an unforgettable experience in the fields of New Zealand.
If you want to work in the Gods good land, experience and learn about the culture and industry of organic food or just need some money, this is a great opportunity!
So put on your work clothes, roll up your sleeves and get out and involved in seasonal work in the spectacular country that is New Zealand!
A light drizzle. Some wind. Chilly air.
ď Brilliant, nice light drizzleĒ, I thought, as I slipped my fleece jacket on top of my hoodie and waited for my bus. Welcome to New Zealand.
Weather Lesson Number 1.1 for any natives from sunnier climes (like me): New Zealandís weather is unbelievably unpredictable and changeable. Be prepared. Layers layers layers - Waterproof jacket / pants, fleece, shirt, base layer / thermals, gloves, beanie, hat, sunglasses, sun block cream.
You might be wondering why I wrote Lesson Number 1.1 above. Thatís because there were (and Iím sure are) many lessons learnt so far. LOL Ė Laugh Out Loud for the uninitiated and used in this context to take the piss out of myself.
As I sat in the relatively warm environs of the bus, I assumed that the light drizzle would surely peter out fairly soon. That would not be an unfair assumption to make in the context of Singapore. A light drizzle in Singapore usually abates after roughly half an hour to two hours. Nope. Not in Christchurch, New Zealand. I got off the bus to a rather heavier drizzle, just enough to wet all the backpacks and bags I was carrying and necessitating a troublesome extraction of the rain jacket. As you can see, I like making assumptions and Iím stubborn in that I donít quite learn my lesson when Iím proven wrong.
Weather Lesson Number 1.2 : Have your layers packed accessibly. Common sense.
THE first seasonal job: Excitement, trepidation, happiness
Finding my first seasonal job was surprisingly easy. In this day and age, 21st century Google Facebook internet age and all that, obviously the most convenient way of looking for a job is through the Internet. Some of the websites I used and still use regularly are:
Internet Tip Number 1: Use a mobile phone or tablet to access online websites in New Zealand. Why? Because, in stark contrast to the rest of the world (I think?), hostels here do not have free unlimited wifi. The hostels generally restrict usage to a measly 200MB or less, or none at all, in the price of accommodation. So you either pay lots or use your ration up within an hour if youíre on a laptop. Personally, I have no issues doing most of my internet surfing and searching on my rather small old and reliable (touch wood!) Samsung S2 and found that I never exceeded the measly limit. My roommates who were using their laptops busted their limits all the time. Use your smartphone to limit data consumption. Presumably, mobile friendly sites are less data intensive and more navigation friendly for smartphone users.
As I came to New Zealand specifically to look for jobs that would involve working outdoors, that certainly affected the type of work that I consider viable. It seems like 95% of young children in New Zealand are looked after by au pairs ie. nannies of foreign origin with questionable suitability. JOKING.
I managed to find a grape picking job through the job search boards listed above within a week of arriving. From what I gather, April is the middle to end of the grape harvesting season around the South Island and so there were some jobs of that sort around. Fortunately for me, the job description matched my dream job Ė working on a vineyard outdoors in the beautiful autumn sunshine in wine country. Paradise on earth. Ah, the naivete of youth. Or rather, of a tropical city boy.
I arrived just before 8 am at the vineyard in Waipara Valley, about an hourís drive north of Christchurch, and found a fair few backpacker looking types waiting around for something. They were all dressed remarkably differently and yet all seemed the same. Odd isnít it? Shortly thereafter, we were given brief instructions on what needed to be done, ie. snipping bunches of grapes off the vines, and led on a short invigorating walk up and over a damn steep hill.
It was a beautiful day, the sun was out, cows were lowing in the distance, there was a random dog making his energetic and excited rounds amongst all the pickers, I was warm Ė a rather rare occurrence considering that it was raining every darn day in Christchurch in the past week. As for the work, it was repetitive but satisfying. Start on a row of vines, check each bunch of grapes for the colour (eg. Black for pinot noir grapes), snip, toss in bucket, move on to the next bunch. Repeat x 1000. Eat some grapes occasionally if you so desire. I loved it.
Apart from the work, which was simple and relaxing, it was wonderful meeting people from around the world and getting to know them, even if only for a little bit. I know itís clichťd, I know itís overused, but the reality is that all of these wonderful and engaging people are likeminded individuals. Why else would you be in New Zealand? And this makes for great conversations and bloody good yarns.
Back to the grape picking Ė needless to say, this first day was an amazing experience for me seeing as I come from a tropical tiny island city-state with a population of 6 million and no vineyards. Couple that with a previous job which required no physical effort whatsoever apart from typing, talking, making telephone calls and enduring 12 hour days, and you have a recipe for Ė happiness! Firstly, I could understand how importance (obviously) the grape picking process is to the final product to be made from them Ė hopefully good wines. The satisfaction of seeing rows of vines picked clear was also tremendous as each day there was tangible and visible progress. In addition, there is an element of team effort and working with a group of people towards a common goal. That requires no explanation surely. You also get to learn so much from the permanent staff on the vineyards, who were, certainly in Waipara, extremely generous and friendly and always more than willing to share their knowledge about everything and anything to do with wine, winemaking, vineyard work, grapes and ... the weather! And when the weather is great, just taking a moment to look up and around does wonders.
In my mind I see the rolling hills of Waipara extending out into the distance, a patchwork of pine trees and regular tidy squares of farmland, a myriad of greens under the sunshine and clouds, imagine a tiny breeze on your cheek and the crisp pure air with every breath. The smells are not overpowering but gentle Ė the softly fermenting odour of grape juice on your gloves, the animal smell on the breeze and the earthy full whiffs of soil and mud complement the stunning landscape. Imagine the sticky feel of grape juice on your fingers, the taste of perfectly ripe black pinot noir grapes that leave a teasing suggestion of the wine to come and the chirping of birds in the background.
It was an amazing experience under the hot and welcome golden sun. But what was it like in the unceasing rain? Iíll let you know when I get down to writing about that soon!
Iím still travelling and working around the South Island. Canít believe it has only been getting more amazing. Still loving it no matter the weather!
What is The Gorilla Hut? That was not the first question. We were just looking for work, and decided to follow a lead provided by Peterís and Juliaís cousin, a guy who had been there for three months a year before us. We exchanged a couple of texts with this Damon person and he said he had arranged with an orchard for us to do some apple picking. The only thing we knew is that we had to take the ďTamahereĒ exit in between Cambridge and Hamilton. Still there we went!
We arrived at that time of the day when the sun casts no shadows. The backpackers sign meant nothing to the junkyard where a collection of what seemed abandoned vans and cars rested, lifeless, at sight. We got off our vehicle and a black labrador greeted us and started walking towards a shed. Being that it seemed the only reception we were meant to receive I followed him and we went through a door hidden in between two vans. There was a hallway, and to the right a precarious bathroom with a shower and two toilets. And suddenly I was inside. The what question arose at that very moment. For the several ďextirpatedĒ car seats arranged in a semicircular fashion around a small wooden table put imagination at task, but not more than the eight hundred stuffed monkeys hanging from the roof and clinging to the walls. There was also a bar, guitars, a drumkit, lots of DVDís, a pool table and a table tennis table, bicycles, boots, a bow, a fridge, lots of empty beer bottles, and lots of interesting things just laying here or there. Behind me, above the door frame, the wall was painted and an inscription said: ďThe Gorilla Hut.Ē
I heard some chattering behind a plastic courtain. English accent. I went through it and there were two guys dressed in cakis and workboots: ďDamonís not home right now, but he knew youíll be arriving any moment. So he should be back soon. Just get yourself comfortable mate.Ē And so we waited, but not for long because a couple of minutes later we heard a car parking outside.
The man, in his forties, walked towards us with a smile in his face and a big hand to be shaken. He showed us around and then took us through a field where a cow grazed peacefully and some piglets were feeding. We arrived then to the farm house. It was the place where everyone gathered to have dinner, a meal that Damon cared to cook every day, and also where we chose to sleep.
The house reflected the spirit of The Gorilla Hut. One could say it was messy, or even dirty, or that the owner had no respect whatsoever for order. It was what hell would look like for your mother. But I prefer the word chaotic. Chaos is what humans try to seize, try to control, it is also what we fear. We love to impose an order into a world we believe to be ours. We build monstrous cities where we feel protected and things make sense, we put names on things, we believe that there is a place and a purpose for everything.
So when you arrive in The Gorilla Hut, you feel something quite different. And you get a reminder that sometimes is better to ďLet the chips fall where they may.Ē Sometimes you have to abandon yourself to the situation and enjoy the ride.
The apple picking work was not good. They paid $32 per bin and in one day you were lucky to fill two of those. The heat was overwhelming because of the drought. And last but not least, in apple picking itís more difficult to talk to some co-worker since you take care of a row of trees and are constantly climbing up and down the ladder searching for the god forbidden fruits.But nonetheless we chose to stay, because we had the chance to be in one amazing place.
I worked in sales in NZ for 3 months, and trust me thats a bumpy road. If youre looking for the easy money and the good time, roll of bed and wake up from the dream world.
Sales is a practice that requires lost of training, motivation to succeed and most important, time and experience.
Some people born with the gift to sale "ice to Eskimos" and some need a bit more practice. Usually the best drive to improve comes from the "hunger" for money. When you work on commission it means: "the more you sale, the more you earn", simple as that.
In most sales jobs you can have a really bad week and in one day to make big sales that will balance the all week. Some days you can sale nothing all day long and in less than half hour to make some sales that will cover the all day. Its a tricky job, so you need to know how to keep your head up in the hard moments. And trust me, youll have plenty of those.
The first lesson in sales is to understand that no one got up in the morning and thought to buy your product, it is your job to make the costumer stop and check out your products and hear about them, and eventually make him purchase it.
The second lesson is to learn how to handle rejection, youll hear the word "No" many times a day, and thats ok. Youll never have 100% success rate, no one has. In most sales jobs you work on a mass of people, so the more people that youll get interested in your products- the more youll sale and basically the more money youll make.
Usually the first week or two are the toughest weeks, especially for the inexperienced ones, cause it takes time to learn how to sale the specific product and to get to know the work environment. The best tip here, is to look at the veteran salesmen and learn from them. They are doing it for a while, so they probably knows what therere doing. Remember that a good salesman can sale anything anywhere, but it always good to learn new tricks.
To sum things up, sales is probably one the best jobs if you want the "big money". But it is not for anybody and it takes usually a bit of time till you start to earn the big bucks. The statistics for oversea travelers is rough, from 5 people that will go to sales job-only 1 will succeed and most of the others will fail. So before you apply to sales job, think carefully if youre up for it.
From my experience it can be a rough job but also fun and very profitable.
After 5 weeks of work i can now say that it is one of the best experiences ive had in New Zealand. The people here realy try to make you a part of the team and have a realy relaxing attitude. Whenever we want to go to town for weekly shoppings we can just use one of the cars without paying anything. And the great thing about working on a vinyard is the abundance of wine. Every end of the week we go to cellar and get some free half empty left over bottles, people didnt finish at winetastings. So theres plenty of fun in the weekends.
The work itself consists of hanging nets over the vines to protect them from birds and clipping them together. its hard work because you are bending down for about 9 hours a day, but in the mean time you can talk with eachother and fantasize on what youll be doing with all the money youre making. Another more exiting part of the job is bird scaring. That doesnt mean having to stand around in a field with a rake looking angry all the time, but driving through the plants on a fourwheeler 30 miles an hour. it really gives you a kick, speeding through the fields in the sun with cloudy mountains in the distance (and getting payed for it!).
We live in a lodge on the vinyard itself for a small fee which is deducted from our salary. At the other end of the vinyard is another house where all the woofers live. A couple of times a week we get together to watch a movie or enjoy a glass of well deserved homegrown Sauvignon Blanc. its a really cool atmosphere meeting new people every week, sharing travel experiences and tips on where to go next.
Pretty soon harvest is starting which according to the people here is the best time of the year. So ill be sticking around for a while, not having the feeling im working but just having a great time!
After 3 days of hunting, I saw a posting titled ĎMilkmaní on one of the websites. Immediately it has caught my attention. I picked up my phone and dialed the number of the contact person, and lucky enough, he scheduled an interview.
10.30am the next day, I went to meet Liam, my interviewer. He explained to me the role of a milkman, and basically, the job is to go door to door in the neighborhood and try to just sell some milk. It sounds really fun after listening to it and I decided to give it a go, after all Iíd been a pharmaceutical representative for 3 years and I believe I can handle this.
Feeling all excited for my first day of work. We go as a team of 8 ĎMilkmaní, all from different part of the world. Weíre assigned with 40 houses in a day, and our target is to sign up at least 4 customers for the milk delivery service each day. The first door that I knock on was horrible. The lady probably didnít understand what Iím trying to sell to her because I practically stuttered over my lines and I was talking with the speed of a rocket. I was panic. Obviously she didnít register any with me. I continue to knock on the next door and try to keep myself motivated. After several calls, my lines got better and I was able to generate some interest in my customers. Ended my first day with one sale, which earn me 30 dollar of commission. Not too bad!
Itís my second week being as a milkman and Iím still feeling excited being as one. Itís really a lovely feeling when people tell you stories about how the milkman used to deliver milk to their doorstep every morning in the past, and how they appreciate us bringing back the culture once again. It makes them nostalgic. Once in a while weíll be invited into our customerís house as well, simply because detailing outside of the door during winter time is too cold. Itís so warm and comfortable with the firewood burning inside, and sometime it makes me feel reluctant to go out of the house.
Definitely we have our bad days as well, such as not getting sales at all in the day, or when itís pouring outside and weíre still required to go door knocking. However, itís a different and awesome experience. It gives me the opportunity to understand the Kiwiís culture more. Besides, it also helps me to strengthen my communication and interpersonal skills. Iím really glad that I have this job and I embrace the experience that Iíve been through.
If one year ago somebody had said that I would be working with kids -and enjoining it madly- nobody will have believed it. But I spent the last four month working as an au-pair and I am sure that this job gave me the opportunity of understanding the kiwi culture better than any other job I could have taken, plus giving me a lot of knowledge about children -something useful If one day I decide to be a mother.
I am a journalist and after five years writing for a magazine in my home country, Uruguay, I decided to take one gap year just to travel, find new experiences and write about them in my blog (www.hillstoheels.com)
Our home tongue is Spanish, so I thought that the ideal was to choose a country were English were the language spoken -this is the language I use when I interview international artists, so improving my vocabulary and pronunciation would be something very useful for my job. Lots of friends recommended me to come to New Zealand. Every year 200 Uruguayan citizens between 18 and 35 years get a New Zealand `s working holiday visa, and in 2011 I turned in one of this lucky ones.
To avoid the temptation of talking all the time in Spanish I decided to live with a kiwi family instead of moving with Uruguayan and Argentinian friends. This would be, I told myself, a short-cut in my immersion inside the kiwi culture and habits. There are several ways of finding a native family to be your hosts -small bed & breakfast, for example- but I decided that being an ďau-pairĒ (a nanny that lives inside the house) was the most accurate for the purpose of my travel, because it was going to give me the extra benefit of talking continuously in English with this children -and also being able to teach them some Spanish. Furthermore, the experience was also making me able to save the money of the rent and food, and also earn a little bit that I could use for traveling around the country (I spent it at weekend trips to Coromandel, Taupo, Tauranga, Roturua and Wellington, plus a ten days vacation at South Island)
There are several websites specialized in nannys or au-pairs in New Zealand, like www.aupairlink.co.nz, www.nznanny-aupair.co.nz, www.aupairnewzealand.co.nz, www.nanniesabroad.co.nz/au-pair-nz, www.culturalcare.co.nz, and many other else -if you write ďau pairĒ in Google you will see a lot of sites. But I already had an Argentinian friend living in Auckland before I arrived to New Zealand, and she put me trow a kiwi women who has looking for an au-pair for their two kids.
I must confess that when I started this job (March 2012) I didnīt know even how to change a nappy. I donīt have kids nor nephews -I am the elder one of three sisters- so my knowledge of kids was very little. They were like ET to me!
The first time I put one of them ďTime outĒ -this is the way we call when they are going to have punishment for bad behavior or ďbeing naughtyĒ- he said to me: ďI donīt like youĒ. It was very hard for me to hear that, being as I was so far from my home and my family, but the mother then said me to donīt worry about that and carry on. Actually she thought me so much about kids in the four months I worked for them, that I am sure that if one day I become a mother I will owe her a lot. Maybe it contributed the fact that she herself had been an au-pair ten years ago, in a winter she spend in Switzerland. She also lend-me all her snow equipment during the week that I took off to go to South Island and ski in Queenstown, and she also offered me her van to use whenever I want -but I donīt drive so I never used it.
And I canīt explain you how happy I felt the first time one of the kids said to me: ďI love youĒ. Far away from home and my beloved sisters, this two kids were somehow my family, so the sweet words of the boy -and the smiles and cuddles of the one year old girl- were the things that made my days. I learn how important is for them to see you strong but sweet, happy but firm. Because everything is simple when you are playing with songs, making castles with Lego or reading stories, but it is not so enjoyable when you have to teach them to share the toys, to not hit each other, to wait their turn for something. It is not easy because they will never say ďOh yes you are rightĒ. Of course not: they will complain, shout and cry. And you need to show them that you are the boss. That you are in charge. And actually this is good for them, not only because they will learn manners, but also because they will feel safe.
Being a nanny also gave me the opportunity to visit parks, museums, streets and do plenty of activities -the parents gave me lots of freedom around the city, the only requisite was, of course, that the activity was interesting for the kids. During several activities I meet some girls -nannys and babysitters most of them- that are now great friends for me. Being a nanny is a common occupation for teenagers and university students, mostly because it is perfectly compatible with studding and also because it is very enjoyable -if you like kids, of course.
I have a bachelor degree in Social Communication, and wile I was working as an au-pair I also started developing the Social Media of Edcorp, an international consulting firm specialized in Education in New Zealand. I was also giving some lessons of Spanish as a private tutor, writing free lance articles of tourism to Spanish and Latin America media, and updating my blog as frequently as I can (the blog is in Spanish, but you can find lots of pictures taken by me in this four months around New Zealand)
At the beginning I was able to all this activities at the same time, but four months before starting I decided that it was the moment for a change. Even though the experience was great, I wanted my own flat in order of having more independence. And I was also craving for new experiences. So I give the job for one of my Uruguayan friends -she is a kindergarten teacher so she was thrilled with the offer-, I took more hours at the office and I also assumed a new challenge: being the barman of a very gourmet restaurant. Before coming to New Zealand I studied how to be a bartender at Cocktail Club Uruguay (www.cocktailclub.com.uy), one of the most prestiguious schools of my country, but I have no experience, so it is quite a challenge. I will write about this new job in a couple of months, in my next post.
At this stage, after 5 months in New-Zealand, I was running out of money so I was about to go back home, ending my trip without having seen the south island. And one day, I saw an ad of Seasonal Solutions on Facebook for grape harvesting in Central Otago. Iíd already harvested grapes before, in France itís very popular and very nice. I thought it could be a good experience that would give me the opportunity to visit a little bit the south island and maybe save a bit of money. So I put my stuffs in the rear of my car, took the road and 3 days later, I was in Cromwell, harvesting grapes under the sunshine, surrounded by the beautiful mountains and this amazing blue river, it was like paradise. I worked for Grape Vision, a local contractor, if one day youíve got the opportunity to work for them, go for it, itís one of the best. I had an amazing manager, the one who make you feel very good at what you are doing and unique. They paid us more than the minimum wage and than the others contractors around, they gave us gloves to protect our fingers and provided something to eat every morningís smoko. And we had a ending party with a meal and drinks ! The job was pretty easy as the vines are higher here than in France and the people, mostly backpackers from everywhere like me but some local as well, were very friendly. We were working all together in four or six rows every day, we could chat and pick at the same time. I worked 3 weeks without a day off, it was a little tough but I did it and it was worth it, it was good money.
It was one of my best experience in New Zealand, I warmly recommend to anyone who likes working outdoor to try it.
Whenever you start planning a trip to New Zealand, and when I say a trip I mean a ďone year trip on a working holiday visa to the most isolated country in the entire worldĒ, you donít realize what adventure means till you arrive at the airport in Auckland. Nobody is waiting for you, you have a backpack that weighs half your weight and a customs guy is making you explain what is that Argentinian infusion you are bringing with you. You donít even realize at that moment that you are putting yourself into the most adventurous year of your life. And Iím not just talking about swimming with sharks, jumping from the highest tower or driving the most dangerous road. Definitely not (even tough you can also do all of that in this country). Iím specifically talking about saying goodbye to your family (and not see you tomorrow) leaving all your friends and safety places like your home and your job, getting on a plane for more tan 15 hours, traveling approximately 12000km to a country you barely know about, landing right in the other side of the world without the slightness idea of whatís going to happen from the very first day, and stillÖ getting on that plane and saying goodbye.
Itís been six months since we arrived in the greenest country Iíve ever visited and in early February we started one of many ďadventurous tripsĒ when you only know the beginning but never even imagine the ending.
(By this time you must have realised that Iím not travelling on my own but still I like to create sort of a mysterious atmosphere)
After spending two fabulous months at Mount Maunganui working on the beach, literally on the beach (cleaning the oil from the Rena spill) we decided to keep on travelling and move on (well, we, our employers, who cares?) We had no idea where to go, so we decided to visit a friend we made during the first months of our ďone year trip on a working holiday visa to the most isolated country in the entire worldĒ, who was at that moment living in a farm in the middle of nowhere. Just what we needed.
So, once again we said goodbye, now to our lovely flatmates, packed all our stuff put some petrol in our car (the kiwi movil from now on) and started our first road tripping (yeah! If you sing it, do it aloud! Road tripping. Yeah!)
I couldnít sleep the two nights before the road tripping and thatís not because I had conjunctivitis (for god sake!) It was only for the simple reason that that was going to be the first time I was driving in the high way, in my own car with a map and a co-pilot as the only witnesses. Yes, I have to admit it. I got my International driver license just a few days before coming to New Zealand and even tough I drove a lot in the city I had never ever driven in the high way before I arrived to New Zealand (and, for my delightful, I found out that Iím a really good driver)
So, a few hours later, my nerves a little confused by the up-side downs and more than 500 km driven non-stop, we got to Russell, the first New Zealand capital (a long time ago) and one of the most peaceful and beautiful places weíve been in New Zealand so far. Our friend was waiting for us in her new home, she hadnít made cookies or a big dinner but a bed and good shower was enough. We decided to rest and wait till the next morning to go to town, celebrate our friendís birthday and see what Russell was like (yes, I know that Iíve already said that is one most beautiful towns in NZ but at that time we were about to find it out)
The next morning we woke up early, had an empowering breakfast, took some fruits and drove straight to town. We spent only one hour hunging around the town till, by chance and without any expectation, we found a tiny little ad at the post office that claimed:
ďWe are looking for experienced, tidy and responsible people to
join our team. Please send us your CV or come to the hotelĒ
If my mother was told one year ago that I was going to be a housekeeper at a five star hotel in one of the spots towns surrounding the beaches of New Zealand, she would have laugh really loud and said Ďno wayí. But there I was, two days after that miraculous morning, introducing myself to the incredible world of the bleach, the mop and the air freshener. Becoming a master of the vacuum cleaning and the ironing. Willing to know new products everyday and using them as a professional and experienced cleaner. Extremely tidy and organized. Dusting, polishing and moping. Becoming the bellboy, the service guy, the pool man and the managerís hand. And, at last but not least, being a member of the funniest, coolest and most cheerful (and international) housekeeping team in the world!
Our job started on a Sunday, can you imagine starting a job on Sunday? That is hard working! And it was only the beginning of the hard working. We spent the following three months working a lot, I think that we only stopped to drink some tea and have some cookies, no Iím just kidding we worked a lot but, luckily, we also spent some time going to the beach, cooking, reading and having the good life but not for a long time because, even tough we never thought that we were going to stay for more tan a week in Russell, I myself, found a second job (and yes, my mum is still laughing and couldnít believe I was working double!)
So here comes the description of one my typical double shifts days.
8.00 am. Alarm clock went off for the first time.
8.30 am. Alarm clock went off for the fourth time and I jumped out of the bed.
8.35 am. With my face and teeth cleaned, I started to make and have breakfast
9.00 am. Signing in at my first job (still a bit sleepy)
9.01 am to 3.30 pm. Cleaning, dusting, cleaning, moping, cleaning, vacuuming!!! Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning!!!
3.30 pm to 4 pm. Quick shower, fast lunch and preparing myself for my second job
4 pm. Signing in at Sallyís Restaurant.
4.01 till late. Stocking the bar, making coffees and drinks, waiting, writing the specials on the board, helping in the kitchen, taking a ten minutes break, making the bills, counting tips, cleaning and closing the restaurant.
Late. Having dinner and some drinks at the restaurant, next to the Russell wharf, relaxing with my new friends (and the enigmatic someone that has been with me through all the trip) and having the best time of the day under the shining moon (unless it was raining. Then, it was only the restaurantís roof)
Later (after late). Getting home in my Mercedes Benz, smoking a Cuban cigar, drinking my scotch on the rocks, listening to chill out music and taking a long bath. Oh no! I felt asleep again! Sorry! The last part of the day wasnít that interesting so weíll skip it.
Adventure means out of any convention for me so a fantastic summer spent in the unthinkable Russell, working with wonderful people, spectacular viewings and the best environment ever is an adventure itself without any doubt.
Our Working Holiday Visa Tour is still on, so buy your tickets. That was just the beginning.
To begin with let me just say that it wasnít easy finding a job in Mount Maunganui. But, as they say (even though I donít know who ďtheyĒare), hope is the last thing you lose.
We arrive to New Zealand on the last days of November. Oh wait, I forgot. You donít know who WE are. Iím Gonzalo, and I came to the kiwi centre of the universe with Juan from Argentina, the Dulce de leche centre of the universe. Now we can go on with my story. As I was saying, we arrived to New Zealand on the last days of November. We stayed in Auckland for two days and then moved to Mount Maunganui. Itís a 6 hours drive by bus with a short scale in Rotorua. The road to the Mount is quite amazing. You get to see beautiful prairies and mounts. One expects to see Heidi or the Von Trapp family coming down at one moment or the other. (They donít, in case you were wondering).
So. We got to Mount Maunganui, and we were thrilled to see the place where we were going to live. I mean, you see the beach, you see the sea and a big mount at the end that sums it all up. How could one not be amazed by that?! Of course we were two, but the rule still applies. We stayed at a backpackers on one of the main roads but a bit aside from the city centre. Great place. And the very next day started looking for a job.
We couldnít find anything. We went into every shop, motel, hotel, drive in. We even went into a tent, but that was just a mistake. Although the couple that was in did offer us some work! But I aint ironing no one clothes!! So we just kept on looking for a whole week. Now, for those of you who donít know thisÖ a week is made of seven days. And that brings you down. So we were ready to leave the mount, feeling defeated, when the girl who works at the backpackers said:
ďHey guys! I think I got a job for you!Ē
"Well take it!" we said fill with joyment.
So, she made a phone call and on we were into the bus all the way to Tauranga city. What a moment of happiness. We could already see ourselves with our pockets full of money, and our hearts filled with pride. But mostly with our pockets filled with money. Then again our pockets werent that big so it didnt need too much money to fill them. Anyway, we went to this employment office and told the receptionist that we were there for a job. The man asked us if we had a car. We said no. He said he didnt have any job for us.
But we werent going down without a fight! So we told the guy that we would get a car and come back the very next day. And we did. And we got the job. Now in order for you to understand what was it that we did, I need to tell you about a little disaster that happened on the New Zealand shores.
There was this big boat coming from I dont know where to I dont know where (not a long trip I suposse since both places have the same name) carrying a lot of stuff in it. And rumor has it that it was the captains birthday so everyone was drinking. You know how they say that you must not drink and drive? Well it seems that it also applies to driving big boats full of stuff. So the boat hit the rocks and the oil started to come out and float its way to the beaches. And our job, was to pick up that oil and put into bags so the beaches would be clean and prettyÖ and safe once again.
Its actually a pretty good job. You earn money and you are doing something for the environment. We had to use this white overall, gloves and boots so it felt like you were in a movie starring Dustin Hoffman. Have you seen that movie? Its actually really good. You should see it. In fact I advise to go right now and rent it. Go. Go now.
Have you done it? Have you watched it? Wasnt it awesome? See? I told you!
Now lets go back to my story.
The pay was good, and we had a 30 minutes lunch. Now, the lunch time was unpaid but they would give us a big lunch consisting of two sandwiches, a muffin, a square of cake, a fruit, and chips. So it was great! Since we were working on the beach under the sun, they supplied us with plenty of water and sunscreen. Every morning our supervisor would tell us the safety rules of the day. And you know in the beginning it was hard to understand what he said. Kiwis have an accent thats difficult to understand. But between me, my friend Juan, a guy from Paris, and two check girls we were able to understand what we should or shouldnt do. At least most of it.
We did this job for a whole month and we loved it. But after a while, there just wasnt that much oil in the beaches. (Thanks to who? A-ha! Thanks to us, yes sir. Good workers arent we?) so they told us that the job was over and that only a few would continue working.
We werent part of that few people group.
And off we went in search of another job. But thats another story and maybe Ill tell you about it in another letter.
Now go, enjoy the beaches and know that they are clean of oil.
I saw an ads for apple picker on suitcasehome and I TXT the contact person.
He rang and told me there was a vacancy for onion grader, much suitable for girls.
So I took it and booked a bus ticket on nakedbus from Auckland to Waipawa.
I left Auckland at 7:30 a.m. and reached Waipawa at 7:50 p.m. and the supervisor of the onion packinghouse picked me up.
After a long journey, I had a sound sleep in the dormitory that provided by the factory owner.
My first seasonal job as an onion grader began on 03/27, just picking out stones, rotten and damaged onions from the good ones
No WIFI and weak signal indoor for call, which disappointed me.
The rent was $100 per week and 4-6 persons per room.
I stayed there for two weeks and enjoyed life with those guys good at cooking.
We had parties at weekends, sharing food like Sushi, Indian noodles, Pasta and chicken rice, etc.
Nice natural beauty there.
I looked on the seasonal jobs website one evening and searched for hospitality and south island. Up came a list of various hotel chains in places such as Wanaka, Queenstown, Tekapo... all of the beautiful places that I knew I would miss out on if I were to waste the rest of my precious time in Auckland! Then low and behold, one particular position caught my eye! This was in a place I had never even heard of. I knew I had passed through, but like all other small towns, the first time I had passed through Omarama, it had never really blown me away enough to stop and have a coffee, and it had never imprinted on my memory. I looked on Google, found the location and read a little bit about the town - A small town with approx 800 residents. The location was perfect, just 100km from Wanaka, Tekapo and Oamaru. This was just what I needed to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, to go and live and work somewhere quiet, where I can work as many hours as I like (which was a lot after 3 months of not earning) and that I can manage my finances.
Reading the fine details about the job, and having checked out the estasblishments website online, I knew then and there that this was the job for me. I called the telephone number on seasonal jobs and the very next hour I had a call back. Could I send my CV and a brief covering letter? Yes! Of course! The next day(actually my birthday) I received a telephone call. We would like to offer you the job, and as youre experienced you will be starting on a little more than our basic entry wage. Wonderful! thats exactly what I had expected! The next day I packed the van and set off on a 3 day road trip to Omarama, Place of Light. When I arrived late in the night, three days early for work, the employer never failed to disappoint. Everything that was promised to me was delivered... Unlimited hours, good wage, accommodation provided for a lump sum, induction, training and a beautiful, quiet and scenic backdrop to enjoy the rest of what had already been a glorious summer. Starting work in the restaurant/housekeeping departments, I later transfered to the kitchen, first as a kitchen hand, then being trained as a chef assistant.
Needless to say, I fell in love with the region and worked at a local skilodge for the winter. But before I had left for the winter I had secured my job back at the same establishment in Omarama for the following Summer. Im still here now, as a breakfast and lunch chef, coming to the end of my second summer season, and once again I am looking at the seasonal jobs website to try and find some income for the winter. Ive been asked to return to my job in Omarama again next summer season. Of course it depends on my VISA but I would have no other objections. To me, Omarama was where I was meant to be all along, it feels like home to me. Being here has changed my life in many ways, it feels like the path I was always meant to take... the road less travelled!
UK Traveller & NZ Enthusiast
Back home, and before coming in New Zealand, I obtained a degree in horticultural production and I would like to run my own apple orchard for making apple cider, which is very popular in the place where I live. So, one of my plan was working in apple production for afford my trip of course and learn news techniques.
Full of hope, I arrived in Napier at the beginning of December, as recommend by the Pick NZ office (http://www.picknz.co.nz/), the first result appearing when you look for a seasonal job in fruit picking in NZ. Very high level of job demand for this period of the year, and after having registered myself on the website and send some emails directly to the office without receiving any concrete answer, I decided to come and see by myself. As so many other travellersÖ I found a city full of backpackers looking for the same thing, a job in apple thinning, the only job available at this time of the year. Most of them were, even worse, in a hostel where the manager had promised them a job if they stayed in the hostel and paid for room for a week but couldnít give a job to everyone, so all these poor travelers were wasting their money in the meantime. Very discouraging.
Of course, the trip until Hastings for visiting the Pick NZ office and registered myself again in person was useless. The same answer, Ďwe will let you know if we have any opportunitiesí. I started to search for orchards address on Internet and go there for meeting the manager in person and ask if there were some positions available, and send some emails at the same time. After 3 days of work, because as everywhere in the world, looking for a job, if you really want to get one, is a full time job, I received a positive answer. But the manager was looking for someone with experience with hydraladderÖ Hum, I could do it, I could learn something new very quickly, and I was very motivated so that worked ! The farm was located between Napier and Hastings and was also a wwoofing place. They gave me a go during the 3 first days as a wwoofer and finally they hired me. I was working 8 hours per day, 3 hours for food and accommodation, who was in a caravan with share kitchen and bathroom, and the rest was paid. The job was not very hard, apple thinning being just pick the small and bad apple and let them on the ground, so you get it quickly and can be very fast after only 3 full days of work. Of course, you must know that you go to spend 8 hours up, outside, concentrated on apples, and that could be boring sometimes. But compared to the workers that I met before, I was paid hourly and not by contract (per tree), so I had decent wages. There were other wwoofers over there so I could socialize. I worked there for 5 weeks and they offered me to come back for the harvest season. Of course I said yes, I didnít really want to have the same bad days, care about money and job opportunities. And even if this year is a bad year for apple because of the bad summer, I met some great people and it was a great opportunity for me to learn something new in my job back home.
In conclusion, I would like to say to travellers who would like to enjoy a working experience in New Zealand to do not rely on those who say to you that they can find you a work but offer you nothing concrete and thatís always better when you do it by yourself.
Dear fellow backpackers,
I am sure you will agree that there are not many countries as suitable for backpacking as New Zealand is. However, I am sure you will also agree that a green land far far away is not so keen on our pockets, which makes working here necessarily for almost everybody who wants to stay more than a month or two. And we all know that not even six months is enough to explore all the beauties of Kiwiland. The work itself is a nice opportunity not just to make some money, but to get to know the working system in another country, learn some extra skills and meet other travelers. It is great to put down a backpack for a few weeks and stay still in one place for a while before the travel bug starts kicking in again. But I am sure you already found out that this is harder than it sounds. It is not work that itís a necessary evil, itís finding it. Yes, there are different job agencies and services which you would expect to provide you with work and all the information you need, but my own experiences show, that like at many other things in life, you have to shift for yourself. Best way to get seasonal work is to go directly to managers of orchards or vineyards. Most of job seekers do that, which means they skip the middlemen and therefore they do not have anything to offer you. Ask travelers at the hostel you are staying and get managers contacts from previous employees. Call them and do not wait for the phone call you were promised to receive at an agency. Even locals I met didnít prove to have very reliable information. They are all saying things like: ďOh, yeah! Thereís hips of work here or there,Ē but they donít know that there are also a lot of backpackers fighting for that spots. Websites like www.backpackersboard , www.agstaff , www.seasonalwork, ect werenít very useful to me, but they can help you to find out what kind of work is coming up in different regions. Build your itinerary based on that.
One other thing that is important if you are looking for work in an orchard or a vineyard is having your own ride. Thereís a reason why they ask you if have on at every agency. My experiences show that you are more likely to get a job if you have a car, but thatís not completely true, especially if you go directly to managers. Also not completely true, is that all job agencies are useless. Barbara at Wanaka Job Agency is a great girl and she does not just give you false hope, she indeed calls you, and not just once.
If you are looking for other types of work, the story is not that different. The best thing is to go to a sore, a restaurant or a cafť you want to work in and hand your CV directly to the manager. Be persistent. Go there many times so they will remember you and know you are serious. In my opinion work is easier to find in smaller and quieter towns where backpackers usually donít stay for more than a night such as Twizel or Arrowtown. The competition in bigger cities is tough, especially if you are trying to get a job in a city center. Stores along Qeen St in Auckland will reject you by showing you a pile of CVs they receive every day. Again, try your luck in quieter neighborhoods.
Bottom of line, there is a lot of seasonal work in New Zealand and it is possible to get it, although it sometimes looks like it isnít. Just donít lose hope, look around you and be open to anything that comes your way.
Happy travels and best of luck,
Tomaz from Slovenia
Hello there! My name is Isha, and I come from the Netherlands. I came here in New Zealand to travel and work. When I arrived I discovered that I preferred to travel first, and so I travelled for 2 months and spent a lot of money. After these 2 amazing months I realised that I really needed to find a job to earn my money back. And so my job hunting began. First I tried to get a seasonal job in Nelson/Blenheim. Unfortunately, I was there at the wrong time: The season wasnít even started and most of the companies were on holiday break. So after two unsuccessful weeks I went to Wellington to try to find a hospitality job. This didnít work out either. I was pretty tired of (for more than 1 month) intensively looking for jobs, and so I decided to go to a Ďworking hostelí in Napier. This hostel would help me with getting a seasonal job, and provides also transport to the job, which is good because I donít have a car.
I came here together with Janine, another Dutch girl that I met during my travels. We both hoped that we could get a job really soon! At the time we arrived here and we checked in, I was more happy than anyone in the world, as the hostel-owner said they should have a job for us in 2 days. After all this seemed to be not exactly true, because it was one week later that we could finally begin. We were going to do picking, thinning and pruning Capsicums. When I first heard that, I laughed and thought how ironic it was. In Holland I live in an area where there is a big capsicum-business in glasshouses. So Isha goes to the other side of the world, to do the same thing she can do next to her own house in Holland! Haha!
The hostel-owner told us to wear a shirt with long sleeves and long pants, sport shoes, and a cap against the sun. We also put a lot of sunscreen on, because we were still a little bit sunburned from a few days before. Tip: Bring always sunscreen with you, although itís not sunny in the morning, you know the changing weather conditions in New-Zealand! I brought my little 750ml water bottle, assuming that there would be a water tap, where I could refill my bottle. When we arrived there by car with 3 other people from our hostel, we had to sign a contract on the bonnet , which I thought was funny because I expected that we had to have an interview in an office with the supervisor or something. But no, only signing the contract and giving our documents was enough. Tip: If itís your first day of work, bring your passport, and a copy of it, a copy of your visa, your IRD-number, and your bank account number. Besides, there was nothing like an office there! There wasnít even a water tap, which meant that I was going to die due to a lack of water;) Well, ok, it was not that bad, but you could say that I looked similar to one of the sad dried out Capsicum-plants at the end of the day! Tip: Bring always loads and loads of water with you!! I never have had a seasonal job before and so the first day was pretty hard. We needed to sit on a plastic box, which was placed on a trolley, and put ourselves forward with our legs. Meanwhile we had to remove the side-branches, but to do this you needed to bend over. How later that day, how older I felt myself. In the end I couldnít even sit straight anymore because my back was hurting and stuck at the same position. Haha, and with the sun shining, sweating like never before and a lack of water, the music in my ears was the only reason I survived that first day. Tip: Bring you I-pod with some good music and make sure itís completely loaded (the last hours of the day you will probably need it the most)
The day after, I was better prepared. I had a short-sleeved t-shirt on, because there was no reason to put long sleeves on, and I had ten times more water with me. Unfortunately Janine didnít come with me the second day because she had too much pain in her back. When we arrived I was happily surprised because we had to pick the big capsicums! This was actually pretty funny to do. Except that we had to use a little knife, and that I (of course) cut a piece of my finger of. Haha, but even though I had a Vietnam wound now, which I secretly thought was really cool, the picking of capsicums was sweet hey! Just racing with your trolley in front of you, put the capsicums in the plastic boxes, and try to be the fastest.! I was sad that after 1 hour all the big capsicums where already picked. Now I needed to fasten all the plants to a cable with tape so that they can grow straight. This was less hard for my back, so that was good. But this time my hand was painful after a while, because you have to staple the tape around the plant and cable with your hand. But never mind, the first days your body just have to get used to the act or move. So donít be scared, in the end everything will be all right;) We have 3 breaks a day and in the break we just hang around the car a little bit. Itís nice to relax for a moment and secretly eat some blueberries from the other field! Tip: Take except your lunch also something sweet, something fresh and something salty to eat with you. Like a muesli-bar, an apple and some nuts or chips.
At my third working day it rained in the morning. I first prepared to go to work, than I heard that we didnít have to work so I went to bed again. After ten minutes I heard that we did have to go to work anyway, so I stressed and tried to be ready at time. But then after 5 minutes my colleague got a text-message that there was no work today. Haha it was crazy, but in the end I went back to bed again. Tip: Check the weather conditions for the day after, so that you can prepared , and already know if there is a chance you donít have to work the next day.
Well, this was a description of my first working days! I hope you enjoyed it. I think the first days are always hard because your body has to get used to it. But after a few days everything is ok, you will get to know the people you work with, and talk with them while youíre working. You can also listen to music, or think about your boyfriend (or girlfriend haha). So after all, itís not that bad, and sometimes it will be even fun! You will get tan, and maybe lose some weight! You are outside, in the summer, with the nature around you and although the days will be long, I think itís a nice way to earn some money!
I will end my story with three other tips.
- Take many different clothes with you. If the weather suddenly changes you want to be prepared. So take a sweater and your raincoat with you!
- If youíre preparing for work in the morning, put some fresh lemon and some sugar in your water. Believe me, drinking this helps you surviving the heat.
- If youíre tired of all your music, because you have listened it for a thousand times, you can also buy some audiobooks and put them on your I-pod! Now you can enjoy a story, and earn money at the same time!
Im a small town New Zealand guy and when i left school i wanted to leave my small town behind for a new and exciting adventure. Having spent all my school life in the north island i decided to head off to the south island. i had been told by a few friends and family that i should go to a place called MOtueka and pick apples. It had never crossed my mind to do anything like this before but i was in search of an adventure so i decided to head off. I figured the south island was much colder than the north so i packed a few jackets. But when i arrived in motueka the weather was perfect and i didnt ever use the jackets i had packed. My first day on the job started around 7am , it was tough work and i ended up only picking 2 bins ( the average for a normal person was 4).By the end of the week i had reached my target of 4 bins a day but was stuffed. I felt like going to my cabin and dying but then i got chatting to a few people and we decided to treat ourself to a few beverages. As time went by i started to pick even more bins and was getting some what fitter. along with my work improving my social life was also improving. There was me and about 4 kiwis, a couple germans , an american, brazilian, a frenchy and a couple of checzs. I had never seen this sort of diversity before as i had never left the north island but it was cool to hear so many stories from all around the world. Things were looking good, life was great, good times and good friends. So after my first day of pain and terror it had some how jumped to the end of the 2 months. it was sad but my pockets were full of cash, i was super fit and i had met some awesome people, some who i still stay in touch with too this day even though over 10 years have passed. Its a part of my life il never forget in one of the most beautiful places in the world with some fantastic people
so that was just a brief explanation of my first time picking, i liked it so much that i returned a few years later. I reccomend it to everyone
ps only problem is you may get sick of apples
ďWell certainly my dear,Ē she said ďyouíre going to have a lovely time at the lodge, believe you me.Ē
ďOK, Angie. Itís a deal then. Weíll be there in three days. See ya!Ē
Wow! I thought to myself, what a nice lady. Canít wait to get there. I googled ďRUSSELL NZĒ, clicked the ďimageĒ tab and it seemed to be the perfect place. Really beautiful. So we packed our stuff, which is not so little, threw everything in the car and said goodbye to our woofing hosts in Tauranga. It was a really nice experience to woof on a farm, but we needed some extra cash and we thought weíll be able to get a full-time or part-time job in Russell. Also the Rena mess made our decision to leave the region an easy one.
The deal with Angie, the owner of the Family Park in Russell, was that we work there for 2,5 hours daily for accommodation. Which sounded quite reasonable at the moment, comparing it to the 5 hours we worked at the farm for a room and most of the food. Plus we could apply for some afternoon paid jobs in the town, which there are ďheapsĒ of.
So there we were. A 27 year old Slovenian couple, both with university degrees (not that it matters, not here not at home), full of energy and expectations parked at the Family Park to begin our work there. Angie greeted us with a voice that was a mixture of snobbish English and something I couldnít figure out at that moment. She showed us our room, which was a big one with four beds and a small fridge. The furniture and the equipment in the room were slightly out of date, some 30 years, but so were the most things around the Park. Never than less we kind of liked it and were happy to finally sleep on a double bed after last week sharing a bunk, which doesnít help the relationship balance.
ďYou guys relax, and go to the town to ask for some work. Iíve talked with the restaurants in the town and they need heaps of help there. Iím sure youíll find something quickly. No worries. Youíll be okay here. Believe you me.Ē
ďThatí cool. Thanks Angie. And we start to work tomorrow? What type of work we will be doing?Ē
ďWell, weíve got cleaning covered, so that means you two can do a lot of gardening. Is that all right with you?Ē asked very politely, emotionless.
ďI guess so. I love working outside in the nature. And what time should we start?Ē
ďOh, Iíll tell you in the evening, I have to ask Bob, because he will be working with you guys.Ē
Bob was her husband, a Kiwi. An all right dude turned bitch whipped. But thatís how things turn out sometimes, even for the toughest chaps. She came from Australia and after getting to know her made me consider real good if I want to visit the country. They lived half of year in New Zealand and half a year in Australia. A well of couple with two grown up daughters. They bought the place ages ago as a type of investment and rented it out to different managers. Iíve been told that the prior manager turned the place into a dump. Having drug dealers living there and let it slowly rot away. Now it was their time to take over their kingdom again and regain power and the Working-Holiday Visa travelers were their servants that would make the magic work.
There were lots of other people working at the place. A 19 year old German couple so beautifully naive and full of hopes and dreams it made you feel like a teenager again. But they had to work 3 hours daily, because they stayed in a special lodge, which was much smaller than our room, but had a terrace and wooden floor. There was also a German girl (seems that these days the country has more German population than Argentina after WWII) who was also looking for some paid job, because she wanted to travel with her boyfriend who is on the way here. But she was more or less in her room watching soaps and searching for jobs that actually paid, so we didnít had much contact. And not to forget a 6 head family, which were the coolest people we met so far. So we were the Park pack. Doing whatever there was, to keep it clean, keep it pretty to Australian standards and to be good obedient workers, which we were forced and proved to be just the next day.
ďWhy donít we go down to the town to ask for jobs?Ē Katja asked me.
ďAll right than. I just grab the CVs and weíre off,Ē I replied, Ēit would be nice if we find something today, ha?Ē
ďYes, that would be cool. So we can finally save up something as we agreed to.Ē
The little town of Russell, which we didnít know by then how little it was, was very little. It wasnít just very little it was also a good hour walk from the Park. So here we go petrol money! The town center consists of four restaurants, two cafes, a pub, three souvenir shops and two supermarkets of the same company. Lots of opportunities for everybody I guess. So afterward I checked the web, telling me that that Russell has only about 2500 inhabitants. Hmmm. Thatís for not doing your homework!
The next day we start at about 9 AM. Bob the chief rocka drove us in his SUV/4x4 around the property while we put the trash in the trailer attached to the car. Next stop, dropping the rubbish and then fill the trailer with what they call good soil. Actually it was just clay that stood there for ages and was hard as aÖ.
Well, I donít mind working with picks and spades, but my girlfriend definitely wasnít used to that kinda work. But we did as we were told to. And no time to breathe or go to toilet or get a glass of water. ďHey we have only two hours and a half,Ē said the chief. Iíve worked in landscaping for some time and I can tell you that we never worked this fast. Not because we wouldnít want to, but because itís just not healthy to work without a pause or hydration, especially under the world famous New Zealand sun.
A surprise awaited us just around the corner. The next day it was burning stuff day. Which means that we burned all the old invoices, files and papers, of course keeping the 30 year old broken folders for future generations to use. And they picked just the right spot to do it Ė on bare land in front of the trees.
ďDonít you think the forest can catch fire?Ē Katja asked Bob.
He looked like a wasp stung him in the nuts, like: ĒNah. Itís gonna be all right. Donít you worry. If that would be Australia we would be in trouble, but New Zealand got good trees, they doní burn that fast. Plus itís not that dry hereĒ
ďWhatever you sayĒ I go. Although it looked like a damn dessert.
Then we watch the fire that rose like three meters high slightly touching the manuka trees. He puts on more paper and some dry gorse. WOOOOF it goes. We just watch the spectacle skeptical and wait Ďtil it would go down. He dontyouworryiní us again. Meanwhile Angie stops by and whispers in Bobís ear: ĒHey. Why are they standing around? They donít do nothing. Get them to work.Ē
I just think to myself: ďWhat a poor schmuck!Ē and ďWhat a c**t!Ē
ďYou cannot load everything on the fireĒ Bob goes. ďItís going to be too big. The forest might catch fire.Ē
ďOK, but still. Maybe he can get new folders and she can put stuff on the fire. They canít just stand around.Ē
Of course this was a great idea and we finish the day smelling like smoked salmon. When we arrive at the so called base to return the gear, meaning gloves full of holes, they find out that there are still 5 minutes left so we do some other stuff for the next 20 minutes. How do you like that?
In the next few days we got the task to make a forest trail for the customers. What sounded like great, ended up frustrating, when finally Angie interfered. She wanted the trail to go through the swamp. HmmmÖ
No problem. There you go. Now the people staying in the Family Park can freely enjoy the moist experience in the beautiful swamp. Just donít forget to give them gum boots Angie. We stayed for two weeks all together. The 6 member family living there and some other woofers made the stay there enjoyable, but we needed some paid jobs. Where do we go from here? Letís go to Wellington! We guessed in a big city itís going to be easier to find a job, more people, more jobs.
"Haere Mai, passive reader. I arrived in NZ last March and spent a couple of months in Auckland. During what is amusingly called ĎWinterí in the Southern hemisphere (for the obvious yet still pleasantly foreign concept of it running from June to August), I began to travel around the North Island. Myself and my delightfully reckless new friend Pierre (yes, French) set off to the Bay of Plenty (of recent oil spill fame) to seek out opportunities in the traditional New Zealand seasonal vocation of Kiwi-picking. Te Puke, the kiwi fruit capital of the world, was where we found ourselves soon after. Checking in to the ĎHairy Berryí hostel it was a wonderful surprise to find that a drink fuelled, metal loving, Norse-cultured energy vibrated its walls. We were both soon revelling in late night sessions of testosterone fuelled excessive drinking, discussions on historical warfare and random acts of destruction to the pleasantly reminiscent thrashing of Slayer and the like.
A great deal of seasonal agriculture work can be found through the local hostels and motor parks within the respective area. After talking with a contact at the Hairy Berry we soon found ourselves packing Kiwiís by the thousand in an enormous warehouse at Satara, one of several packhouse chains in the area; a line of work that did not pay particularly well but made up for it in the available hours (sometimes 60+). Its a monotonous environment, the air filled with kiwi fibres and the noise of conveyor machinery, but like many things its something you can get used to. Soon after this we tried our hand at the much more physically demanding (but equally more soul rewarding) actual picking of the Kiwis. We both moved into a caravan park on the other side of town for a much cheaper rent whose minor inconveniences could be resolved easily by a bit of forward planning ahead of the 20yard walk to the kitchen and the $5 purchase of a 2nd hand electric heater. Contracted to be paid by the value of a crate divided by how many people were picking to fill them, this inspired a motivation and impetus to pick the Kiwiís, hanging between 5 and 7 feet off the ground, at a ferocious rate. Myself I achieved a truly joyful efficiency in grip-to-drop rate that must have amounted to around 3-4 pieces of fruit in the chest-mounted bag per second, filling the bag in about 4-5 minutes. At about $14 per crate, an average of 8 people per team and about 30-40 bags filling a crate... well, you do the maths.
The work was exhausting and on occasion annoyingly infrequent when the rain clouds appeared. But this was an authentically, and literally ĎKiwií experience that I would never change. Pierre and I shared solidarity with each other and all others we met of a kind I believe can only be felt by those from lands far away, joined together and engaged in a sporadic physical labour on foreign shores. But much more than this, because of the PSA infection, a congenital disease that has now spread across almost the entire Kiwi industry in New Zealand, this seasonal work that has kept working-travellers flowing through this region for decades, may well entirely come to an end within the next four or five years according to many growers that we spoke to. For this reason alone, I feel privileged to have been a part of it".
I grew up in Marlborough, where Seasonal Work is a way of life. Each and every summer I marched out into the vineyards, sun-block smeared across my forehead, gloves at the ready, hoping to gain new friends, some more work experience, some cash to burn, and most importantly, a sun-tan.
What I gained from seasonal work was all that and more. I gained character. Working outdoors in the elements can have its ups and downs but at the end of the day itís always worth it. You retreat back out of the sun to wherever it is you came from and enjoy a fantastic glass of Marlborough wine, quietly wondering whether the grapes that went into the wine came from a plant that was once tended by your own hands in summers passed.
The people from all walks of life who join you working along those long rows of endless summers will stay with you forever. For several summers I watched a friendship blossom between myself and two friends as we bud-rubbed and wire-lifted away our days together. Those girls are now young women, and will be escorting me down the aisle as my bridesmaids in January. I watched a romance grow as two people working together over the summer leaned over the wires and whispered things to one another. They are still in Love and still spend their summers working together as a couple, 5 years on. One year I worked with a Tongan family for a few weeks and learned things about their language and culture that helps me relate to people in many situations.
Those people who have experienced seasonal jobs like me will agree that although it feels like you are just picking up a bit of work over a period of time, and although it feels like a temporary state that will be gone and forgotten, this is not true. Seasonal jobs COULD change your very life as you know it.
After a month of travelling a bit around and sightseeing, I noticed that I was spending more money than I calculated I would. Not a problem, job hunting started! Translated my CV and went into town, to drop it off at some places. I was looking forward to work in hospitality, so most of the places were restaurants and bars. No experience, but back in Holland I used to work as a manager in a supermarket so I had a lot of experience with working with people and customers. Always happy, a smile on my face, make sure that customers have a day out: thatís what youíre responsible for when you have a job in hospitality. I thought I could do it!
After a few days I received a phone call from a restaurant, they wanted me to come in for an open interview, with 4 others. Eventually I was the lucky one and had to come in for a trial. Even after the trial, with no experience Šnd a Dutch accent, they hired me! Thirty to forty hours is what they promised me. Lucky me! Waitressing in a good restaurant, making delicious coffees and working behind the bar would be the things to fill in my job.
The first night I was slightly nervous: my first job in a country I just arrived 6 weeks ago, speaking a language that Iím capable of speaking it but which still isnít my first language, and in an industry Iíve never worked before. After all I did a good job. The girls with who I worked that night were happy, and I was a member of the team!
After a few weeks I realised that I still didnít work thirty hours a week so far, and even after asking for more hours (a girl quit) I ended up with 20hours a week. Not what they promised me. Last weekend, I work here for 6 weeks now, I had to work with this lady who manages the restaurant. Once she entered the building, all staffs faces tightened and I could feel the tense. And indeed, as the girls I was working with once told me: she is a tyrant, snarls at the staff, never let us finish what we have to say, gives us orders in front of customers, always looking for something that she can blame us for, treats you like youíre the most stupid person she has ever met, etc etc... Once she is in, all of the staff rather wants to go home.
Before I applied for a job at this restaurant, a women told me: donít apply there, I was there once having a coffee with a friend and on older lady was shouting and screaming to her staff. You really donít want to work there!
But I did...
And no I finally worked with her, I can definitely say that she is not the kind of person I want to work for. I used to managed 20 people, but I never ever treated them like how she treats us. Ever. I know sometimes you have to be hard at your staff, but if you ask it nicely but still letting them know that youíre the boss, they will do everything for you! My team in Holland had never let me down, and I was respectful to everybody. This lady, on the other hand, is the opposite. Never in my entire life I let anyone speak to me again the way she did.
Tonight Iím going to quit my job. Not only because of her, I just donít want to give her the joy that someone quits because of her, but mostly because of the hours that they promised me I would get.
I work to live, I donít live to work.
I flew into New Zealand on 12th October after putting back my flight from Chile 3 times, yes the staff at the travel company were starting to get to know about me and my life! I spent just over 7 months in South America, the end months werent by choice - I had to stay there until I made enough money to continue my travels. My flight over to Auckland was a nerve racking experience, I couldnt sleep as I knew I only had $100 to my name and I seriously needed a job. Not the best time to be flying into the country with the rugby world cup on - the cost of hostels were extortionate.
I arrived at 6am in the morning and was told I wouldnt be able to check in until 1pm - so after a long flight with no sleep I had to battle on before I could finally rest. I took myself to job boards in hostels, the post shop to get my bank account and IRD number sorted and then to an internet cafe. I plodded on and got myself 2 interviews for the next day and another 3 for later in the week - I really wasnt messing about.
The rugby world cup although expensive for me, helped me out as I got a job immediately as a Transport Advisor, which was a tad ironic, informing people where to get their transport from when I had only been in the country myself a mere matter of days. I have also worked for other companies; at a food event making cocktails, at Ellerslie Racecourse for the Melbourne cup and a door knocking milk man! I have been none stop in my quest for work and the search continues. I like the adventure and experience but it is also not as easy as I thought it would be securing a job.
Thanks for reading.
This winter, I came from Canada with a group of my friends to spend the season snowboarding at Snow Park. I intended on getting a part time job once I arrived and settled in Wanaka, but I didnt know it would be so hard to get work here. For two months I job hunted with no success - town was too quiet! After almost giving up hope the Job Agency in Wanaka gave me a call about some work at a cafe on weekends. I happily accepted (especially because I was almost broke) and started working the same weekend. After I worked a few weekends there, the agency started calling me with more and more work throughout the week. Over the last two months of the season I have done numerous odd jobs around Central Otago including; vineyard work, helping a moving company and even setting up a fashion show. Some of the work was awesome and some was terrible, but the agency always gave me something to do. They listened to what work I enjoyed and helped place me in more similar positions. When it came time to leave and move onto Queenstown, the agency in Wanaka set me up with the agency here and has already got me some work lined up. If youre a backpacker in Wanaka or Queenstown and looking for some part time work definitely pop into the Job Agency and see if they can help you out. They usually pay just over minimum wage and are good at finding you work each week. I had a great time working for them and hopefully you do to!
by Kyle Gibson
Peach thinning working experience
When I arrived in Hawkeís Bay, I soon found a seasonal job Ė thanks to my roommates who informed me. A local company hired us to work in a nearby peach orchard.
Our task was to cut off most of the peaches, so that the remaining ones had enough space to grow really big. Doing this we had to use a ladder in order to get to the top branches of the peach trees, nevertheless some of them seemed to be unreachable. Observed by Indian supervisors we had to finish at least 3 trees per hours, which sounds quite easy but it is almost impossible. Work started every morning at 7 a.m. and ended at approximately 4.30 p.m. in a six days per week schedule. We were promised to earn $5 per tree; in the end we all got just $13.25 per hour (before tax, which is minimum pay).
Working in a rural orchard means silent environment, fresh air and time to think about everything, but also itching, bloodshot eyes and skin irritations due to sprayings and sunburns and dehydration due to only few breaks during the day. In addition to that we had to stand the so-called Indian way of motivating people, which meant threatening us with losing our job in such bad English a three-year-old could express. As a result many works were fired after having worked 2 days and many quitted deliberately. At least the salary was in time.
All in all this job is a good means to earn money quickly for 2-3 days if you need it urgently, but nothing more.
By the time we arrived back in Arrowtown where our shared accommodation was, it was well into dusk, and very cool. As I said the mornings and evenings take up the greatest parts of the day in the high mountainous regions of Queenstown and Arrowtown, and though it was cold at around 4pm every night, one could enjoy a spectacular array of dusky colors in the sky almost every night. The air is so clear and dry at that altitude, and the weather is consistently good. I assume due to the outdoor work, and clean clear crisp working environment of the mountains, everyone was very subdued after work, and would usually retire to bed early. But before bed we would share a meal. Every night it was someone elseís turn to cook, and there was a big pot, that was used by everyone. The meals were basic fodder. Mince and boiled potatoes, mince and beans, stew, stew and cabbage and potatoes, stew and beans, etc.
I will always remember this time working in the vineyards of Queenstown, and would encourage anyone who wants to have a go at doing seasonal work to give it a try. The starts are early, the days can be long, and the work hard, but it is an unforgettable experience.
Back in 2009, I was able to scrounge up enough money to travel half
way across the world to Japan and New Zealand. Of which I spent one
week in Tokyo, Japan and a month in Auckland, New Zealand. I was able
to stay with a very good friend of mine, which meant I did not have to
pay for accommodation. I went out to NZ wanting to spend time with my
friend, while seeing what I could of NZ and not losing too much money
in the progress (since I was a student!).
If you want to work in NZ you will need to do the following first
before you are permitted to work for a year. The New Zealand
government offers something called a Working Holiday Scheme which
simply involves you applying without needing to provide any evidence
that you have even received a job offer. I am a UK citizen so it was
not necessary for me to apply for a Visa.
Finding work for me was easy only because the work found me! To my
advantage, I was able to assist my friend who is a bass guitarist in a
band but he now plays for a band in LA called ďTribeĒ.I ended up
assisting his band with some odd jobs such as some promotional filming
and carrying gear. Nothing major, but that was how I got by! All the
while I was able to watch a live shows, for minimal effort.
It was great being able to spend time catching up with my long time
friend and his family. He was able to show me a good time on the North
Island, with us having some eventful nights in Auckland. I also had a
site recommended to me called http://www.askalo.co.nz/ that I found pretty handy
on figuring out what I should do next.His family also owned their own
boat, so one weekend we were able to get an amazing view of Auckland
from a distance. The view had then become pretty blurry since I got to
hang off the back of the boat on one of those rubber tubes.
My personal highlight of my time in New Zealand though, would have to
be jumping out of a plane from 15,000 ft in the air over lake Taupo.
If you get the chance, you must do Tandem Skydiving! That is something
I will never forget, and the view on the way down was truly
All in all, in case it is not apparent I really enjoyed my time in New
Zealand and if I had the chance I would most definitely visit again. I
now work full-time, so I hopefully will not have to do any odd jobs ;)
My name is Gonzalo Barnes and I am from Argentina. I have 24 years old and I applied for the workig holiday visa last year.
I have arrived to Auckland with two friends last December and I have worked in many different places. During the first days was difficult to find work but after some days of going to every place and sending ours CVs to all the emails that you can imagine we decided to go to Waiheke Island, near Auckland. Good place to start if you have just arrived to NZ. There I worked in a restaurant and my friends in vineyards. We worked like 6 hours the 3 of us at least and it was great after expending so much money in the city of Auckland.
My work was excelent! I passed a great time their and the payment was good enought because I didnt have many expenses.
After Waiheke I went to Tauranga but we couldnt find any work the first week so with my two friends we decided to go to Napier. After some days we started in vineyards again but now we were only putting nets over the plants. A hard job, because you should we fast to get some good money. After finishing with the field work we moved to Watties Factory. We worked their as a grader for 2 months but the job here was really hard. We worked their 8 hours a day looking after the bad fruit. We couldnt hear anything in the factory and I generally worked with my mate nearby. So I dont recomend to do this for long time although the pay is good.Despite this, we have a great time in Napier because we leaved with lot of Argentinian people in the same house. After work we usually go to Waipatiki beach and we have fun.
Finally, we went to Mt Manganui and we found a job in a packhouse during the night shift. We worked 12 hs a day, 6 days a week. I worked as a tray pay making the boxes where the packers put the kiwis. It was very hard but after 5 weeks we made very good money and we decided to go to Coromandel and Samoa.
Now, after 2 months of relaxing we are trying to find some work in Auckland to earn some more money to go to Asia.
I hope you can enjoy my experience,
NZ is excelent!!
I came into this plane of existence from the spirit realm several years ago, taking the usual route through my mothers vagina. By that stage, some white colonialists had pretty much taken over the place. On some islands in the Pacific they were busy chopping down trees to plant marshmallows on the hills. They left a few trees standing so that they could pack tourists onto buses and show them how many trees they still had standing. Agriculture flourished as precious foreign currency was milked from the tourists wallets and they jumped off bridges into quasi-suicidal joyous oblivion, only to be caught by a rubber band and sprung back up to be milked again another day.
Some of the less milkable tourists were put to work in the vineyards, producing precious booze for the colonialists. They talked about the size of the locals cellphones and the sameness of all people, seeing only themselves reflected in everybody that they met. These tourists of the world were given rather a raw deal from dodgey contractors who would take on far too many of them in order to fill contracts they couldnt afford and then lay them off at random when work ran low.
The more fortunate tourists worked in the orchards picking cherries to be sold in Japan for a buck each. They worked under much more favourable conditions since they worked directly for an orchard owner. This gave the added benefit of discounted onsite accommodation in many cases.
The tourists almost without exception drove around in poorly running and occasionally dangerous vans which they bought in Auckland for way too much money. This gave them something else to talk about besides when each of their visas would run out and how ignorant and old-fashioned the locals were. These vans could be seen parked at most rest areas except perhaps in the small hamlet of Alexandra, where ignorant and old-fashioned locals would write obscene messages of hatred on the windows for no particular reason. Alexandra is what happens when you take a white-picket-fence suburb and leave it out in the desert for twenty years. Deprived of their mall, the residents turn on each other in oft-repeated drunken brawls and attempt to impress girls they are probably related to. This results in a town with one cop per square inch of scorched earth and a river of shitass boyracer cars that meanders through the KFC drive-thru every weekend.
So in summary, try and work on orchards and not vineyards if possible (or else as a bartender or waitress if youre pretty), NEVER work for contractors, dont go to Alex and remember that travel does not constitute a meaningful personal experience, no matter how long the flight was. This requires independent thought processes and self-actualisation to avoid acting out a TV show or walking around with a mirror infront of your face.
Even though I cannot explain my exact reasons, I had always been dreaming about coming to New Zealand. When I started dating my current boyfriend Tomas, I was slowly preparing him for the fact that once I finish my university studies, I would like to come to this wonderful country, no matter if with or without him. Although my interests in English have always been huge, Tomas has never learnt it and this fact worried me a little bit.
After our second anniversary and also after almost two years during which we spread this information among our families and friends, everybody became a little bit bored by our plans and stopped hoping we might ever get there. At that time I finished my economy studies and had summer holidays ahead. This was the time when I had to decide whether to find a job or simply leave and extend my holidays. I had a lot of free time to browse on the internet and gather the needed information. As I was not completely decided yet, I started to apply for both and let the faith decide.
While I went to some job interviews, we sat down one evening and applied for the Working Holiday Visa. Knowing that there are various companies in the Czech Republic which can arrange the visa for you and worrying that we might make some mistakes by trying to get it by ourselves; we did not hesitate and visited the immigration websites (www.immigration.govt.nz). After creating our accounts and downloading the right document, we started to fill it in. The questions were very easy to understand and much easier to answer. At the end Tomas applied for his visa himself (without the knowledge of a single word) and was very satisfied that he could understand the conditions without having to pay to any agency. We paid by our visa card online and could wait for the reply.
To our surprise, we got the visa approval within two days. From now on we had one year for getting to New Zealand, and then the possibility to work and travel for a year. Our dreams were slowly becoming true, I no longer applied for another job, Tomas prepared his own business for enclosure and we started to plan our journey.
There are some very useful Czech websites concerning traveling and working in NZ, e.g. www.hedvabnastezka.cz, www.cestananovyzeland.cz. Moreover, it is not difficult to find many English ones: www.newzealand.com, www.i-site.org.nz etc. For some more information we also used many blogs of people who were here before, or we simply contacted some people through facebook or used the information given by the immigration of NZ. Even though we got plenty of useful info and advice, we still felt very unprepared and scared about traveling around half of the world and not knowing anything for sure.
It was the right time for getting our plane tickets. When we visited our largest travel agency, we found out that the ticket would cost us arms and legs. After a little bit more searching on the net, we found a highly recommended private ticket trader Oldrich Ther on http://letenky-levne.sletenkou.cz/ and decided to use his services and travel by Korean Air. A return ticket per person cost us about 1800NZD, which was just a little bit more than a single one (you need a proof of having a leaving ticket at the customs and we also wanted to be secure in case we were unsuccessful in earning any money for the journey back). By the way, the tickets included a really wonderful stop-over in Seoul, Korea in a brand new 4-star hotel with all meals included. There are of course some other options, e.g.: www.airasia.com, www.airnewzealand.co.nz, www.koreanair.com, www.emirates.com ...
One of the important parts was to arrange a good health insurance. I am not sure if it applies in your country as well, but we have to show to our authorities that we are insured if we do not pay the insurance at home. We chose the one designed especially for working holiday workers Orbit Protect (www.orbitprotect.com). Try to compare the prices of different companies, but I am sure you will appreciate the fact that Orbit is held by a New Zealand company and therefore easy to claim in case of an accident. Moreover, it also includes most of the Pacific Islands, which are a popular destination for hard-working backpackers. :-)
Once we got to New Zealand, we were trying to run away from Auckland as soon as possible, and therefore we needed a new car. What we may highly recommend in this case are either the famous weekend car-markets in Auckland, walking around some back-packers notice boards, or simply get out of this concrete jungle and have a look along the roads. Getting a car and change the ownership is the matter of ten minutes in the Post office. Some other websites are: www.trademe.co.nz, www.sella.co.nz Ö
We slowly started to explore this amazing country and meanwhile we were slowly heading down to the south, we were looking for some jobs. In http://www.picknz.co.nz/ you will find a very useful map of the main horticultural areas with their seasons and other important information. From our experience, working here is basically a matter of combination of both knowledge of the peak seasons and a good luck. You may apply for a job through a mail, or a form on various websites: www.seasonaljobs.co.nz, www.seek.co.nz, www.trademe.co.nz or www.backpackerboard.co.nz. From our experience, the best thing you can do is ask people, stop at farms, ask farmers, read ads in local stores etc., more than through the internet. This is how we got all our jobs. If you are really desperate, sometimes it helps when you accommodate in a backpacker and the owners will help you with finding the job.
First we were working in Blenheim at vineyards. The job was called ďwire-liftingĒ and was physically really hard. We were working for an Indian company, paid 3-4c per a tree. Even though we were trying our best and almost running the whole day without having a break, we could hardly reach the minimal wage. We quit after four days and immediately found a job in strawberry picking. This was paid 2$ per a small box. We could easily earn about 80$ in six/seven hours and enjoy the sun the rest of the day. Unfortunately the season finished soon and we had to move on. It was the before X-mas and cherry season was already open. Some friends of ours got a stone-fruit picking position in Cromwell and ask if we would like to be a team with them, as a team of 6 was the condition for this job. We moved to Cromwell and picked apricots, plums, nectarines, peaches etc. The supervisors were awesome and sometimes helped us. We had better money than the minimal wage and were really satisfied. The problem when you work in a group of people and share the price is that somebody takes it easy and it might drive you crazy sometimes.
After the stone-fruit and cherry season, start apple and kiwi fruit picking. We decided to travel and enjoy our time. After two months of working we had enough money for almost two months of traveling. We moved back to the North Island and found jobs in a kiwifruit packhouse. The position was called a ďgraderĒ and we worked nightshifts, 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. We were paid 13,5$/h + 1$/h night allowance. Tomas soon became QC (quality controller) and enjoyed it much more. Even though this was a monotonous job and picking might have been more fun, less hours for better money (depending on contract) and in the fresh air, we knew some friends picking and complaining about the never ending rain. So we finally earned much more money in the same period of time.
We felt really tired and exhausted after our 3months kiwiseason. We bought tickets to Samoa and spent the rest of winter over there (3 weeks). When we got back we found a great family and now we are staying at their place, doing wwoofing. The spring is wonderful, everything is blooming and we enjoy working 3-4hours, 3-4days a week for food and accommodation. We are getting to know the kiwi way of life and meet many interesting people. When we get tired and broke, we will move on and find another job. It is really easy, and you may not believe, but also fun!
As far as I remember, I always dreamed to travel. I thus stopped my studies and worked during 6 months as dishwasher in an old peoples home to pay my trip and realized this dream. The only hard thing was to buy the flight ticket because its really expansive from France (about 1000Ä = 2000$!!). It only took one week to receive my WH visa.
I arrived on June 27th to Auckland, where I had a friend who waited for me for two months. When I arrived, this friend already had an apartment where I was able to live for $100 on K road!
My friend was obliged to keep his job as barman till the end of the rugby world cup and wanting to travel with him, I thus decided to stay in Auckland waiting for him. Meanwhile, I made all the necessary administrative procedures to work in New Zealand (IRD Number, Bank Account). Make sure to have all the necessary papers to do that (they ask to proof of ID: Passeport and International Driver Licence or letter from your employer...). It took only one week for me to have everything I need to work.
But the thing is that I never really looked for work as I didnt really want to stay in this huge city that is Auckland.
Thats why, instead of earning money to travel, I spent all my money in 1 and a half month.
After that, as I was really pissed of Auckland, I left to Blenheim (where I am at present) to work in vineyards.
I found my first contract thanks to one of the numerous backpackers you can find here, in Blenheim. Then, I found all my other contracts by myself (friends, internet...) because fortunatly, I bought a van in Auckland so I was able to stay in there for free (only 3$ the shower in Blenheim community pool) instead of paying rent for a backpacker...
My first job in vineyards was "stripping". It was in a huge vineyard and the boss wanted us to make a minimum of 60 plants per hour (1 per minute). It was the very first time I was doing this job and the second day, I made 54 plants per hour. In spite of this, this guy fired me (and the three other guys working with me) because we wasnt fast enough haha!
After that, I found another contractor thanks to a friend of mine, and I worked for him during 1 month, until the end of september, when there isnt a lot of work in vineyards anymore.
Now, I am still looking for a job around Blenheim and in the South Island, and its really difficult because I think all the jobs starts at the end of october or on november...
So if you have some informations about works on october, you are welcome ;)
Hi, my name is Mariano Ferreyra and Iím going to tell you the story about my first seasonal job in
It all begins one morning in Auckland. Tired and disappointed about the lack of responses to my
text messages seeking for any position available anywhere in N.Z, I went to sleep early just waiting
for the next day to come. Just before getting to the stand by state before sleep, I start hearing
my text message ringtone. I jump out of the bed and grab my phone. It said:ĒHi Mariano, we are
contacting you from ####### Orchard. The job starts in two days. We will be waiting for you.
CheersĒ. My happiness was indescribable and the day ended with a great future ahead.
My destination was Hastings, Hawkes bay. Someone told me there were too many vineyards down
there, but I never thought there were so much as I saw.
I arrived at 8pm, and went directly to the accommodation arranged. I stayed in one of the many
flats the place held. I lived with 4 asian guys, one from Taiwan and the other three from Malasia.
They were working in the same orchard as I Would so, as I had no car, we arranged they could take
me to work.
Next day, at 6:30am I was up getting ready to be taken to work at 7:00am. I had to prepare a bag
full of food and drinks because the day was going to be long and hunger and thirst needed to be
Once in the orchard, I was given some tools and taken to my respective block. The job I had to do
was vine pruning. They you have a big scissor, a small one and some paper tyers. Basically your
task is to cut the tree big branches first with the big scissor leaving just 3 branches. One of those
will finally be cut too. The second step is to use the small scissor to cut little branches coming out
of the 3 branches. After that you pull all the cut branches out. Finally you roll two branches (one
from each side) to the lowest wire and you tie the last but of the branch with your tyer.
It sound quite easy but it isnít. After some hours, your hands start aching, so does your back. You
get really hungry and thirsty and you get paid per contract, that means the amount you get paid its
up to you.
The positive thing is that you have time to talk with the guy in front of you and meet a person
from everywhere, thatís how I met Sonia.
Sonia was a Chech girl that was working in Hastings since last year. She was good and really fast at
pruning. She was a money machine, and she was gorgeous too.
As days passed by we got to know each other pretty well. I taught her some Spanish words and the
other way round. She made me try some tipic Chech food and so did I. We were starting to fell in
love with each other, but we were to fool to realize.
At the same time,the job was finishing and Sonia and me were going to take different routes,
which made us feel quite sad about it.
Anyway that month in Hastings was awesome. The experience of working outdoors, in an orchard
or farm is really unique although its pretty taught too. I met many people from different countries
and we managed to exchange stories and culture. I also had a love story with this beautiful lady
that will keep a piece of my heart for ever.
I recommend you whoever is reading that this are things that happen just once in life. This are
opportunities we must not let them pass away. We have to live our life as if every day was the last
one, trying to learn from everyone and from everything.
Hope you had enjoyed my storie
Mariano from Argentina.
Making our descent in to Blenheim on a narrow plane with sixteen seats and one for the pilot, it was clear even from the air what this town was about, Wine. Peering out of the window, looking downwards, all I could see were rows. Rows, rows and more rows of budding grapes that were destine to become the Sauvignon Blanc, the Pinot Gris - the Special Reserve that we see on our supermarket shelves all over the world.
Still in the air, of course I couldnít have known how closely I was to see these rows, but I was soon to find out. There was very little time in fact, between my flight and the search for some sort of employment. It had been three months since I had done a daysí work, back in my hometown of Bristol. Since then I had been on the road, which had taken me from Paris to Turkey from Istanbul to India, through Thailand to Cambodia and New Zealand was the final stop. My partner was a Kiwi and so Blenheim was the destination and after months of spending Lira, Rupees and Baht it was time to make myself some dollars.
This town was a haven for the travel-weary backpacker, looking to boost the funds. Marlborough was the home of countless vineyards and at this point in the early summer there were contractors crying out for casual workers all over town. By the time I had unpacked my trusty backpack and slept off my jetlag, I was signed up with a vineyard contractor and my alarm was rudely announcing the start of my first day on the job.
Stumbling sleepily in to a bus full of softly spoken European languages, I learned that our first job was skirting. This involved working our way along the rows, snipping the stray and overgrown branches from the underside of the plants. We were paid just a few cents per plant, which sounded rubbish but there were a lot of plants in a row and the work was easy and swift. The weather on that first day was beautiful, and it never changed throughout the two months I worked in the vineyards. Marlborough is known for its sunshine (which explains the grapes, I suppose) and those continuous bright summer rays didnít disappoint. The scenic mountains and hills that surrounded us added a feeling of place and atmosphere to the days we spent working.
The jobs I did over those weeks were varied. Sometimes the work was hard, the heat was always there and the repeated application of sun cream was important, but none of the jobs were beyond me and the variation of tasks meant that I was never bored. I particularly enjoyed the work I did on a new block of plantings, which involved a number of days in a shed, making up a million green plastic grow-guards, which were put over the tops of the baby plants. We then clipped several miles of irrigation pipe in to place, positioned to quench the thirst of the little plants as they grew. As they matured the grow-guards were removed and the plants were given the support of new wires that we strung in to place. I found this period of work very rewarding because I felt like I had seen the process through from the very beginning.
Later, as the mature fruit were almost ready for harvest, the last of my jobs was leaf plucking. This involved giving the plump bunches of grapes space to breath, by removing some of the leaves from around them. This was a simple and rewarding job, which happened just before harvest. For me though, this was as far as my grape journey went. I was never to see the harvest because my traveller feet had become itchy again and it was time to move on!
Hi, we are two guys from Germany and we are here in New Zealand since August. I planned to have a gap year after school years ago, but I actually started to plan how to do it one year before we wanted to come to New Zealand. First I checked out some organisations which sent me free material.
But when I talked to one of their employees, she told me that you can do it on yourself easily. So we booked our flight, luckily a relative works in the business, so we get it very cheap, but it is always an advantage if you can book it very early. The next step was our working holiday visa, but there is a very easy online application, where they tell you everything you have to know and as soon as you has completed the application form and paid the visa via credit card, you get your visa in ca one week.
(http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/work/workingholiday/default.htm ) (The credit card is a good idea anyway, as it saves you money as long as you have to transfer the money from home.) Next we joined wwoof (http://www.wwoof.co.nz/ ), to be able to work for accommodation and food, but there are other webpages, too. (http://www.helpx.net/findhosts.asp?network=1 ) One thing about your backpack: You need always less than you bring with you, so think about it twice. And I am really glad about my mobile phone which can use Internet, because like this I can use its GPS!
Once we were in Auckland, we found out that the taxis are quite expensive, but we were glad to be here, so we didnt mind. We did not book the hostel in advance, but it is essential to do that, when you arrive in tourist season (thats the German winter). The three things to do first, getting an IRD number, opening a New Zealand bank account and buying a phone card are very easy, too. For the IRD number just ask in the local New Zealand post shop with two ids e. g. passport and international drivers license, for the bank account just walk into a bank (e.g. westpec) with your passport and a current address and for the phone card, dont search for cheap offerer as they are available in Germany, because mobile phoning is expensive anyway. (http://www.vodafone.co.nz/ )
We started with bicycles but we found out quickly that New Zealand is not the right country for travelling by bike, because it is very hilly and there are no seperate roads, so you always have to cycle on the main road. Additionally, when you start searching for jobs you will be glad about a car as many employers want you to have your own transport. The cheapest way is to buy a car privatly and buying a car is really easy in New Zealand. But a secure way is e.g the backpackers carmarket in Auckland (http://www.backpackerscarmarket.co.nz/), because they have German speaking employees and you can understand everything you sign. Once we started our trip, we had no problems finding jobs for accommodation and food as there are serveral websites.(see above) We had to do gardening, cutting firewood, painting, weeding and other easy jobs, mostly they find you something that fits your skills. But after two month of travelling through New Zealand, we decided to search for a real job. Everybody we asked before coming into the country told us that finding a job would be easy. But we had to sent almost 30 applications to different places before we found a company which was searching for temporary workers. Benni, a carpenter could work full time and got paid very well, while I worked part time doing every job that was around and was paid 15$. So just sent your CV to every possibility you can find, the worst thing that could happen is that they say no. (http://www.backpackerboard.co.nz/work_jobs/index.php;http://www.seek.co.nz/;http://www.trademe.co.nz/jobs; ) It is also worth it to have a look in the local newspapers and at the boards of hostels and supermarkets. I have been to hundreds of websites and I think the best advice is to start searching for a job early enough, not when the money is already gone. Furthermore it is easier to find work for about three month than shorter and, of course their are more jobs in summer when more tourists are around. But just keep trying!
Cheers Franzi and Benni
When I first came to NZ I heard that Hawkes Bay is the fruit bowl of NZ and it wasnít a myth. I arrived in The Rotten Apple Backpackers at the end of September and already the first week in October I started workingÖ.and I didn`t stop for the next 8 months.
Jason, our wicked hostel owner, found me a contractor and my contractor found me all different kind of jobs, starting with sorting the pumpkins, planting tomatoes, weeding on top of Te Mata Peak, working in the vineyards, picking and packing different fruit and when it was raining I worked in a winery. When you work under the Contractor, you usually get paid the minimum $13 + 8% holiday pay and usually he makes sure that you get at least 40 hours per week.
Stonefruit- and appletree thinning starts in November and it goes til Christmas. The work is very easy and usually paid buy contract. Some contracts are very good and the fastest can earn $180-$200 per day (before tax). At the same time, some contracts are insanely low, so you can work 8-9 hours and you earn maybe only $30. The good thing about NZ is that the Contract between you and the Employer says that you have to earn at least minimum pay. So if you don`t reach the minimum pay buy working with the contract rate, they still have to pay you the minimum. It sounds good and you may think that well, I can just be lazy every day thenÖbut no, usually they let you try 2 days, and if you don`t get your speed up, they recommend you to find another job.
Vineyards have work all year round. It all starts with pruning (May til September), then shoot thinning (end of October), then bud rubbing (start of November), wire lifting (end of November), leaf plucking (in February), fruit thinning (end of February), then netting and harvesting (in April, May). Vineyard work is usually paid contract. Physically the hardest is pud rubbing, even the most fit boys got sore knees and back and not many people earned more than minimum with that job. Wire lifting and harvesting are not hard and if you are fast you can easily earn more than $150 per day.
Apple picking starts in March and thatís the best job to make good money. You have to be relatively fit (full bag weighs 18kg and you have to claim ladder) and motivated but the work is not hard. Picking-bags are comfortable and donít hurt your back at all. You have to fill up your bag carefully and not bruise the apples. One bin takes 36 of your bags and usually they pay again contract rate which is around $30-32 per bin (before tax). At the beginning of the season it`s easy to get 4-5 bins with 8 hours. If you work hard you get 6-7 bins. I use to work with boys from Bali and they picked every single day through the season 10-12 bins with 8 hours. So that shows it`s possibleÖat the same time there were backpackers who struggled to get 2 bins full. I was happy with my 6. And once there has been the first pick, and the second pick..there are not many apples leftÖand then usually the bin rate goes up a bitÖabout $40-45 per bin. But then it`s hard to pick more than 2.
It`s also good to get a job in a pack house, cause then the rain doesnít bother you too much. Most orchards don`t let you work with the rain, but if there is a lot of fruit waiting in the cool-room, you can still go and pack it. Usually you work 9-10 hours per day, 6-7 days per week. And if you go and find the job yourself you most likely get paid more than a minimum (for example I got $14+8%). If you are in Hastings, go have a look in Omahu road, there are heaps of packhouses (also MrApple, Appollo etc.).
So my point is that it`s easy to find a job if you like to work J And if you wanna have some crazy good times, go to The Rotten Apple Backpackers! Good people! Good place!
Work Hard, PLAY HARDER!
Whale and Dolphin Watching
ImEnglish and love the ocean, I came to NZ looking for sunshine and warmseawater! In anticipation of needing work I compiled a cover letter andCV and emailed a variety of different tourist outfits that specialised inmarine activities. Within a month of arriving in NZ a Whale and Dolphinwatching company invited me for interview. After a brief chat, I wasinvited to go on a trip with them that afternoon. We spent 4 1/2 hourscruising in beautiful sunshine with dolphins jumping all around us. Apparently this was called work!
SoI got the job, which is busiest in summer when all the tourists are here. I search using binoculars for the whales and dolphins, I make tea andserve pies to the guests on board and I take photos. Its the most amazingjob, basking in the sunshine on the deck of a boat surrounded by stunningscenery, watching whales feeding just meters away!
Themarine life in the Hauraki Gulf is incredible, on a good day we could find apatch of ocean with thousands of sea birds (Gannets, Petrels and Shear Waters)in the Air, all diving and feeding on small fish (Pilchards) and crill whichwere being brought up to the surface by hundreds of dolphins. Then a whale would be seen, its spoutand a crash of water as it lunges to take food.
Ourtrips would always be different, sometimes flat calm, you could see for milesand we would head out to Kawau or Little Barrier and almost to GreatBarrier. Other times would beright on the edge of safe operation, windy and rough we would look for shelterunder the Corromandel, the less glamorous part of my job was handing out littlegreen buckets to people who were seasick!
Weregularly saw Brydeís Whales (perhaps 75%) of our trips and Orcas come rightinto Auckland harbour! I saw aSouthern Right Whale, mother and calf and even a Blue Whale, one of the rarestanimals in the world. A far cryfrom the smoke of London!
The Waitakere Ranges
Afriend of mine told me she had been offered a job cutting bait trails in the Waitakere Rangers. ďWhat does thatinvolve?Ē I asked.
ďIímnot quite sure she said but you need to be good with a compass and map, and youget to go hiking every day in the Waitakeres.Ē
ďSounds good, can you put a goodword in for me?Ē
I went with my friend to meet Andyat the Ranger Station in ĎArc in the Parkí. Andy took us for a short walk into the bush pointing outtrees and plants and identifying birdcalls. It was idyllic but Andy informed us that the work was HARDand he expected us to get injured at some point, but if we were keen we couldstart in the morning.
Dressed in full tramping gear wearrived at 7am to meet the other workers. We were offered a variety of tools to choose from: saws (Silkys),shears, cutters (Wolfies) and machetes. Issued with GPSs and maps we were sent out in groups of two orthree.
I was working with a guy who wasover 6ft and weighed probably 90Kg (a big dude compared to me!). We had an hour-long hike along a nicewide trail to our start point, and then it was into the bush. Our job was to cut a grid of trailsinto an area of bush, nailing bait stations (plastic boxes) onto tress every50m in an attempt to eradicate pests. We were literally Bush Bashing, hacking, cutting, pulling, pushing,jumping and sliding our way through unknown territory. The trails needed to be wide enough forone person to walk easily along and put new bait in the bait stations on aregular basis.
It was tough! On some days we movedno more than 300m from our start point on a good day we managed perhaps 600mmaximum. We would be confronted bywalls of Supple Jack, every vine had to be individually cut and then avoided asit snapped back in your face. Or asea of Cutty Grass, its blades like razors, it had to be hacked away andstomped on. Flax was slightlyeasier it provided a cushion and could be jumped into! We were in the bush from dawn till dusk,making two hour hikes out from the end of our trail in falling light, quitescary considering the rough terrain and how tiered we were. Is this what theearly settlers had to deal with when they made their way through the bushchopping down Kauri?
Although ready to quit after just asingle day, the work was fun and rewarding, a fantastic way to get rid of somefrustration and to feel like a real explorer. We saw lots of birds and somebeautiful Kauri and Rata tress and the work was valuable, we were contributingto the conservation of New Zealandís wildlife. By putting these bait trails in place volunteers could comeout on weekends and put fresh bait in the traps to kill off the rats andpossums and give the native bird species a chance to flourish. I felt privileged to do this job, toget off the beaten trail and inside the native bush of New Zealand and in thename of Conservation, it was fantastic!
1. Jones/Suncrest Orchard, Cromwell.
Before working at Suncrest, I had always lamented the fact that with the majority of jobs, we are paid for the amount of time we spend at work, rather than for how much work we do. Being paid for mucking around at your workplace hardly makes you motivated to work hard. Being paid for how much work you do, however, is fantastic, especially at Suncrest, where the rates of pay were always very fair. I began the season thinning stonefruit, which is mind-numbing work, but which pays will if you can motivate yourself to move fast. After a couple of weeks, the cherry season began and suddenly we were all rolling in cash. You get paid per bucket at Suncrest, and while the bucket rice, at around $5, is not as much as some other orchards, Suncrest workers generally come away with more money, due to the fact that the managers seem to be conscientious with regard to providing work every day, unlike other orchards I have worked at, where we have been required to be on hold, earning no money, for days at a time. Also, the accommodation available at the orchard is much cheaper than a lot of other orchards, at only around $40 per week. Sure, the bosses at Suncrest can sometimes come across as, well, bossy, but youll soon find that if you dont mess them around, things will run very smoothly for you. I highly recommend cherry-picking in New Zealand, particularly at Suncrest Orchard.
2. Fortune Fruit, Cromwell
Last summer (2010-11) I was late in applying for cherry-picking jobs and, after much hunting around, received an offer of employment driving a tractor at Fortune Fruit, in Cromwell. This job was to show me the incredible pay disparity between people doing different jobs on the same orchard. Most orchards in New Zealand operate a "colour-picking" system where there is work almost every day and pickers pick only the ripe fruit. This means that there is work every day for both pickers and other workers, such as the drivers who transport the cherries from the fields to the pack-house. If I had been driving on a colour-picking orchard, I would probably have recieved around $800 per week. At Fortune Fruit, however, the picking system is what is known as "strip-picking." This is a method where pickers wait around for a variety of cherries to ripen and then pick a huge amount in one day. This method is great for pickers, who can make up to $450 in a day, and sometimes around $1500 in a week. If, however, you are like me, and a working on hourly wages, you will make extremely little money. Where pickers were making $1500 per week, I was lucky to receive $400. It was incredibly frustrating sitting on a tractor watching people making loads of money doing a job I was perfectly capable of, while earning a pittence myself. After two weeks, I had had enough and quit, forfeiting a days pay. I went apricot picking on another orchard and was soon making three times what I was making driving the tractor, and enjoying the work much more.
My name is Joaquin and I am from Argentina, we decide with my friends (tomas, agustin, and eduardo) to visit New Zealand to learn more about your culture and of course to stay here for the Rugby Word Cup.
We departed from Buenos Aires( Argentina) in november 2010, and now we still here.After we arrived we take the bus in the airport that its a bit expensive, I think its better to take a taxi if you are more than 2, once we arrive to Auckland City we were very lost but people here its very nice so they help us to find some accomodation and jobs too.
The first week we stay in acb base hostel ( In my oppinion the best backpacker, big, clean, organized, nice people, partys, internet, all that you need you have it there)
After one week in auckland we left to Napier , we rent a very bug house, we were 16 argentinian people living there,it was awesome, and we start our first work,we worked like 1 or 2 months in orchards, and then we get a job in a factory ( Watties), there we meet lot of kiwi and mahori people, really funny and nice persons,The job in the factory was not so good, because you have to be dressed with an overall, 2 pairs of gloves, ears protectors (you couldnt hear ANYTHING!), boots... We looked like Teletubies!. Also we were grading 8 hours a day wich is not a sane job to do for a long time. The good part of the job was that we worked 40 hours a week and the pay was good, and as we were out at 2pm, we could go to Waipatiki beach everyday to swim and have some fun, but a few weeks after we start the job finished so we moved Christchurch but this time we rent just rooms in a family house and it was really nice to be there with that family, unfrtunately we cant find any job in Christchurch so we decided to move again, but this time to Auckland(big city with heaps of bars and a good possibility to stat working asap in any place).
After long time we had luck and we find an Au pair job in Auckland taking care of 3 little girls , they are very funny and nice girls, actually we still doing that, and trying to find any other work because the rugby word cup its comeing soon so Auckland its going to be a Big Party every place you go.
Its the first time that we are without work for more than 2 weeks, luckyly, we made the paperworks to recover our taxes, so we have some backup.
Through working in different places you experience the real New Zealand and get to know the towns and locals, and discover the places that arenít in the guidebooks. At work you meet literally hundreds of like-minded travellers and are able to build life-long friendships and go on mad adventures with them. I have had countless unforgettable experiences here and have been able through working so often to also do all of the bigger tourist activities
I would love to tell you more, but it is impossible to type all my thoughts out in one day.
And what about the future? Well New Zealand is amazing country with lovely people so I can see myself living here. So who know how many people that came to New Zealand as a tourists stayed here for ever.
I love Nz
celphone number : 02102962760
Im Aleö and Im from Czech Republik. Before travel to New Zealand I worked like site manager building construction in Prague. I never wanted leave Chzech Republic, but my friend told me, I can make good money there. So me and my girlfriend and two friends went to New Zealand. On the internet we found Information about this. Student agensy helped to us make the visa and school.
When we arriwed to Auckland, we studied there one mounth English lenguage and after looking for work. It was 1st of October. We tried to send a few mails to different company, what we found on the Internet, but no one no answer. We send a few email to some backpapers and only two answer: "You can come here, I have work for you". We went there, we spent there one week and stil work nothing. The ouwner of backpaper was liar (Katikati Backpaper) So we tried visit picknz in Hastings and filled in forms, but they never did not call us.
In Hasting we found very good backpper. The ouwner is very good man and he helped to us found the job. First job was with Chinese contractor. It was terible, becouse we didnt get holiday pay and tax was 21%. When I checked my online IRD accont, I saw he paid only 16%, so he stole 5% every week from maybe 15 persons. No one didnt get payslip, realy crazy. So we changet contractor, but if you work for Indian of Asian contractors, its the same. This is true, realy I have lot of experience like this.
After long time we had luck in May and we started work in apple packhouse and after kiwi packhouse. Realy good job, but weather made lot of problem. Pickers coudnt pick fruit, so many days was day of.
In New Zealand, I tried:
Maybe I made a mistake, when I went to New Zealand, but its very good life experiance and nature in New Zealand is incredible.
After a month in Waiheke, we moved to Napier, where we picked apples at first. Its a hard work to do in summer, and its worst if you do it by contract, and in our case most of the apples were green so they were not good for picking. After two days we quit and we started putting nets in Vineyard. A good job, and if you are fast and organized you can get some extra money. While we were working in the vineyard we applied for Watties Factory, and in a very rainy day, they started calling us from the factory, so with a huge smile we went home in order to be prepared to work in Watties.
The job in the factory was not so good, because you have to be dressed with an overall, 2 pairs of gloves, ears protectors (you couldnt hear ANYTHING!), boots... We looked like Teletubies!. Also we were grading 8 hours a day wich is not a sane job to do for a long time. The good part of the job was that we worked 40 hours a week and the pay was good, and as we were out at 2pm, we could go to Waipatiki beach everyday to swim and have some fun.
When the season finished in Watties, we moved to Mt Manganui, and after a week of going every day to the packhouses, we found a job at Apata packhouse, where we worked 12 hs a day 6 days a week, and at night shift. It was really hard, but after 5 weeks we made very good money. With some of that money we decided to go to samoa to relax a bit!!
Now I am in Christchurch, working not so frecuently, we worked 2 days in furniture moving, which is a bit hard, and two days cleaning a reconstructed school. That was a really good job, no preassure, we listened to music, Bob Marley...
Its the first time that we are without work for more than 2 weeks, luckyly, we made the paperworks to recover our taxes, so we have some backup, but if anybody has work in christchurch give a call please!!!
Moving through seasonal work is the only way to travel, and New Zealand is by far the easiest country I have ever visited to find temporary work in! In 18 months I have worked with kiwi fruits, apples, two epic ski seasons and a travelling carnival, and have worked for accommodation in a number of short but sweet temporary placements. I have slowly made it from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island in my trusty van, finding work through the internet a month or so before moving on to the next place.
Iím from the UK and I had my first job confirmed before I arrived in the country so after a short holiday was able to get stuck straight in. I walked into the ASB bank, and walked out with a bank account and card 20mins later! I walked into the IRD office and walked out with a temporary IRD number (the actual one came through a week or so later). I bought my van from a really small town and paid half the price than in the big cities, if you can fly into Christchurch, vehicles are a fraction of the price there than in the North Island.
Through working in different places you experience the real New Zealand and get to know the towns and locals, and discover the places that arenít in the guidebooks. At work you meet literally hundreds of like-minded travellers and are able to build life-long friendships and go on mad adventures with them. I have had countless unforgettable experiences here and have been able through working so often to also do all of the bigger tourist activities without even touching my savings.
My advice Ė work hard play hard and be organised. Get to know where the seasonal work is at the different times of the year and use websites like Seasonal Solutions to plan work in advance and you will have an amazing time in New Zealand. I would do it all again in a heartbeat, very sad to be leaving this Christmas.
LIVE THE LIFE YOU LOVE, LOVE THE LIFE YOU LIVE!
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 ;)
First, I will tell you a bit about myself. My name is Nils, Iím a young French man (24), have studied software engineering and worked two years as an IT-Manager close to Strasbourg in France. Iíve met there my lovely girlfriend Emilie. Iíve got German and Dutch family and Iím used to travel since my early childhood.
Our story (related to New-Zealand) started last year in November. Emilie and I had both a work contract ending in December. We both thought that it was a great opportunity to travel Ė well, when youíve found a long term job itís hard to leave for more than two weeks.
A friend of mine who spent one year in New Zealand told me a lot of good things about this country. An English speaking country where people are described as very nice and where the landscape should be wonderful? A rugby team weíve beaten twice at the Rugby World Cup? Letís go teasing them!
We applied for a working holiday visa online. I got mine after three days and Emilie needed to send an X-Ray of her lungs because she has spent more than 3 months in Russia. (She had to prove that she has not the tuberculosis disease).
Couchsurfing, WWOOF, HelpX Ö There are a lot of websites made for travellers who need a place to stay (in exchange of a few hour work a day, or not). We arrived mid-January in Auckland and spent the first night there at a Couchsurferís house. We went next day directly to Te Puke where our first WWOOF-hosts were waiting for us.
We couldnít find a better place! The people were so lovely and their place was so beautiful! We had our first woofing experience on their kiwi orchard: three weeks of weeding (we didnít know at that time that weeding is the most common WWOOF-job), grabbing thistle out, thinning, housekeeping Ö We saw for the first time kiwi vines and learned that kiwifruits are not always perfectly shaped like the ones we buy in the supermarket. We also heard for the first time about the devastating PSA-disease and could feel how worried our hosts were. But even though, they kept a positive mind and kept smiling.
We decided at that time to buy a car. Hitchhiking is nice and works well in New-Zealand (compared to FranceÖ) but when you see only one car per half-hour driving in the wanted direction, it makes you. We had a look at that ads on the New World panel and texted the first interesting one to ask for more details. First answer from the guy: ďR u indian?Ē. Strange. He texted us later that Indians are not good to deal with. OKÖ We arranged a meeting to see the car and what a surprise. The guy is Indian! Trying to sell the car of one of his friend stuck in Australia and who canít get back and blah-blah. We didnít buy it. Finally, we bought a second hand car at a garage. It feels much safer when you donít know much about mechanical stuff.
Taupo, Gisbourne, Hastings, Palmerston North, OtakiÖ We spent a few weeks woofing/helping/travelling through the north island and met a lot of great people. All our hosts were nice and made us feel welcome at their home. As we needed money for our journey, we worked as apple pickers at an orchard close to Hastings. Finding the job was not an easy task considering that we were still in Taupo when we looked for it. We searched for a while on the internet and found the contact details of an orchard manager. We called him and on our way to Gisborne we stopped in Hastings to meet him. They even rent caravans to the pickers. Great!
Apple picking is hard work. You have to climb up and down a ladder all the day long to reach the summits. It can be freezing, your hands are getting cold by touching apples, sometimes they are wet and the water pours down your arms while you are picking them. And you have still to pick fast if you are on contract (and want to earn more money). We saw pickers who worked like robots. Some days, one of them could nearly pick as much apples as Emilie and I together. But even if it was hard, it was a great experience. The manager and the owners at this place were (and still are!) nice and friendly. We had a lot of good times, met new people and made new friends we will certainly meet again back in Europe.
At least, we spent a week-end in Wellington with another French couple we have met in Taupo. After three months spent on the countryside, it was so strange to be in a big city again!
We arrived in the south island in May and continued our journey, woofing/helping here and there. We also had our first bad experience with a host, but never mind, we had a great time with all the others, thatís the important thing to remember.
Finally, weíve landed in Queenstown at the end of May and plan to stay until the end of our journey here. The snow is late this year and itís really hard to find a job: for a car groom position, Jucy Rentals got 180 CVsÖ Thatís CRAZY! Luckily, Emily found a job at a bakery and she can pay the rent for our room while I keep trying finding a job. I pity all the shop/bar personal who have to permanently tell to people like me that they have nothing available, but most of them are understanding and trying to help us and to cheer us up, thatís great!
When I first arrived in New Zealand I applied for jobs everywhere you could possibly imagine, spending large amounts of my day in an underground internet cafe/karaoke bar. Between versions of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. being absolutely murdered by shrieking girls (and sometimes guys) I managed to find a job at a marketing company looking for a few people to join their vibrant sales team. I figured what the hell, applied, and finally left the god-awful karaoke din behind. A few days later I was offered an interview - a few questions asked and answered over the phone, such as whether I was willing to ask people for money as part of the job and how comfortable I was chatting to strangers. I was then asked to come in on a two-way observation day, for them to see what I was like and for me to see what they were like; up until now, I didnt actually have much of an idea what the job involved.
The obs day, as it was known, turned out to be quite good fun. I arrived at the office at some ungodly hour to fill in some information forms and meet the person who would interview me. This was where I discovered the job was basically marketing and fundraising on the street for various charities. I would never have considered this job at home, being one of those people who doesnt particularly like being marketed at in the street when Im desperately trying to get on with my life before the shops shut, but once again I thought what the hell - I wasnt exactly need deep in dollar. I followed a team of four out to their location on the North Shore, being asked all the usual interview-type questions along the way. My interviewer was very friendly, asking a bit about me as a person as opposed to a professional and putting me completely at ease. As I wasnt an employee yet I couldnt take part in the real process of the job and so I was given a mission to prove my confidence and personality in chatting to strangers - I was given a list of random questions to ask random strangers and given twenty minutes to go and come back with some interesting stories.
It was hilarious, really, and I genuinely did come back with some funny stories. I was offered the job and started the next day. Talking to strangers about the charity we were representing was good fun and I came across a lot of very interesting people with inspiring stories of their own. I loved the people I worked with and always had fun at work. However - as time went on I wasnt making the sales (as they were called, although really they were donations) and my senior couldnt work out why - I was good at chatting to people and being friendly; I just wasnt getting donations in. As we were paid entirely on commission I was earning less than I was spending on travel and expenses; eventually, I decided that it just wasnt worth it and quit. In two weeks, though, I learned an insane amount, grew in confidence, grew to know Auckland and its people very well and learned some inspiring stuff - the job itself just wasnt for me, and that was the only problem. I could tell that if this sort of job suited you then you could have an absolute ball and make some money as well, so if it sounds like you and you want an opening in sales then go for it!
I came to New Zealand with a plan. Fresh out of college, with an agriculture/viticulture degree, and a reputation for Ďalwaysí being prepared, I was determined not to let New Zealand catch me off guard. Hoping to acquire a seasonal harvest position at a good winery, I submitted 400 resumes across the whole of New Zealand, both North and South Islands. I scouted out every wine related website I could get my hands on. (http://www.winejobsonline.com/ & http://www.wineindustryjobs.com.au/ are an awesome start!) Out of 400 resumes, about 20-25 responded. Although there were a few interested wineries, most were polite dismissals with urgencies to visit if I ever made it down their way. (I would like to note: every turn down I received was extremely kind and not at all clinical. Just a taste of NZ hospitality.) I was finally able to nail an offer from GisVin ltd. in Gisborne, New Zealand. Having no winery experience, I jumped at the chance. I needed the opportunity to prove myself in a winery and GisVin extended the hand. I saved the $4,000+ as recommended (required) by the NZ immigration website (http://www.immigration.govt.nz/), for US citizens. I made copies of all important documents, cards, etc. I purchased a round trip ticket, intending to return home in four months. I did everything a seasonal worker is Ďsupposeí to do.
Skipping forward 3 months: Iím currently in Waipukurau! An odd place to end up, no? After the Gisborne winery and working 12hr. night shifts, my frazzled mind needed some R & R. I felt unfulfilled, even though I had accomplished what I had set out to do. So what next? BAM. Franz Josef, thatís what. Trudging over to the ever reliable backpacerboard.co.nz, I found a ĎTourism Assistantí position offered at the Franz Josef Glacier Country Retreat for full board. I e-mailed without hesitation. And I got it! I ended up spending one month at the beautiful retreat serving guests, cooking breakfast and dinner, performing housekeeping duties, baking cookies, baking cakes, Öand more baking! (They are incredibly nice hosts and I suggest you give them some business if you are ever in the area. They deserve it. It is a lovely place to stay.) Embarrassingly, I gained a good 3-5kg at the very least and Iím still struggling to get my winery fit body back in shape. Feeling the itch to move onward once again, I travelled to Wellington in hopes of working for Fuel Coffee. I went for an interview last week and did not get the job. Another Ďwhat now?í moment arose. Surfing the backpackerboard and gap year websites once again, I found a request for Ďhouse elf helpí. I e-mailed prontoÖand not more than 2 hours later I received a response.
ANDÖhere I amÖin WaipukurauÖa very content house elf indeed. Iíve since secured seasonal viticulture work in Warkworth and Iím really psyched to start in June. Three months of seasonal viticulture work will allow me to extend my visa by 3 months, for a whopping 15 month adventure in New Zealand.
I came to New Zealand with my resume in mind. Finances were one my greatest concerns, as well as how the heck I was going to navigate around a country I had never visited. Although my future in viticulture and viniculture is still of importance, it doesnít overwhelm me like it once it. Money is no longer a fear, as I have realized there are always kind people willing to take you on in exchange for accommodation. My advice: donít worry, donít over-plan, talk to people, eat good food, and drink good wine. Have a goal in mind, but donít be surprised if it doesnít work out. Donít be surprised if something else comes along. Donít be surprised if you get everything you never knew you wanted.
I would love to tell you more, but it is impossible to type all my thoughts out in one night. Pop over to http:///www.mywinememoirs.weebly.com for the full spiel on my adventure. Thanks for reading and I wish you luck with finding a purpose for yourself. New Zealand is the place to do it!
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 $$ left, so we have to travel on a really tight budget. We applied for our holiday working visa online, without much hassle we got the visa within few days. Our plan was to travel around north island for two weeks before settling in Blenheim for pruning jobs we had found online.
We arrived in Auckland, visited One Tree Hill, walk around the city for a bit, before making our way to Paihia. From Paihia, we travel down south to Rotorua, Taupo, Turangi, Whanganui National Park, Waitomo and Wellington where we took the ferry across the straits to Picton. Black water rafting and cave tubing at Waitomo and Tongariro Crossing at Whanganui National Park were the highlights of our two-week stay in North Island.
We took a ferry from Wellington across the straits to Picton. From Picton we made our way to Blenheim. We were told by the vineyard contractor that we could not start work immediately. We stayed at Spring Creek for about 2 weeks, while waiting for the contractor to call us to start the pruning job he had offered us. It was quite a long wait, as we donít have much $$ 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 Ė visited Baldwin Street which is reputed as being the worldís steepest street, Cadbury chocolate factory and Speightís brewery
Fox & Franz Josef Glacier
Hampden Ė the award winning fish and chips shop is a must-go
Hanmer Springs Ė felt like Christmas because it was snowing when we were there; it was like walking in the winter wonderland
Milford Sound / Te Anau
Oamaru Ė home of the blue penguin colony
Wanaka Ė had an amazing time at Stuart Landsboroughís 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.
Recently as I was lookin for a new job here in NZ and I stumbled upon your page, so I decided to tell my story a bit different - via text...
Im originally from germany, grew up in the south and found my passion in a - for that area quite unusual sport: Windsurfing!
After a long time in school (and many wagged days to challenge the latest storm on my local lake), it was quite clear for me that I couldnt live a life far away from water and trapped behind a desk.
So I hit the web and - straightforward as I am - put all my hope into ONE SINGLE application at the most decent looking advertisment for new windsurf instructors. A few weeks later I had practically a new life:
From now on I lived on my own in a caravan, right in front of the sea (admittedly, it was behind the dunes). I taught people how to windsurf and could share the one thing I loved and still love the most. And after the season (it can get pretty cold in good ol germany) in summertime, I took up travelling and visited all sorts of places - Italy, Denmark, The Canaries, Cape Verde, Morocco, Hawaii and now New Zealand.
Things up there worked out pretty good and I made this great place my new home - check out the Surf + Kite Club Zingst (www.die-surfschule.de) for more if you want.
During my trips, I also took up surfing (without a sail) and I havent been sailing on flatwater or on lakes since I went up to north germany. I love waves and I dedicated my whole life to be as much as possible in the elemtents, I stopped drinking, smoking, eat healthy, do some workout on the land when there surfs flat and go to bed early.
Im literally addicted to waves. Sometimes I drive a couple of hours to a surf spot, spend heaps of money, get up in the middle of the night to be at the spot at sunrise - just to catch a wave.
Although it sounds pretty much like that, but Im not a happy-go-lucky person. While I was still in school I often had quite major depressions and I still have them occassionally, coming with panic attacks and I got problems to deal with people. All the therapies I tried back in germany were more or less unsuccessfull. But I found a remedy and it is surfing and windsurfing and sharing this passion with others, even if its just for short (sometimes Im able to keep up my mood). You can say that almost every day is quite a big challenge for me. But itll never keep me off from travelling and chargin for waves.
I dont know where Id be now and what Id have become without windsurfing and surfing - but I might miss something. Life can be great.
++THE NZ STORY++
After three years of being a windsurf instructor in germany, I decided to take a break, so I went this year (2011) to New Zealand. After my last trip with the Surf + Kite Club Crew to Hawaii, I booked my tickets to Auckland Airport and with nothing more than some Euros, a few clothes and sure enough my gigantic board bag full of surf and windsurf gear, I arrived - no plans, no information, nothing. I always travel like that, cant explain why, propably because I just dont like to plan for the future, just to get dissappointed anyway.
On the airport I asked for any hostel somewhere around and took a shuttle together with some other tourists right into the CBD. People always look funny when they see me carrying a 2,6m bag around.
After being awake for more than 40h in cars and airports, I took a quick nap of about a day length. Later on I checked out my new location, Auckland is a beautiful town with its seaside although you are in the middle of the sea you are sorrounded by land. Fascinated and refreshed, I went to an internet cafe and lucky enough I found a website of a surf school advertising for work as a windsurf instructor.
From my newly purchased NZ SIM card I gave the school owner a call, we met, had a quick chat in a starbucks cafe and a few days later I held my first lesson in English on the beautiful beach of Mission Bay. I was a bit nervous because of the unknown location and the new language to teach in - although my day-to-day english is quite experienced through all my travels (not from school by the way - I never listened). So people drifted through the whole beach because I forgot to tell them to stay close, but its a safe beach and in the end we all had a laugh about it.
In the meanwhile I did some calls to different campervan owners that wanted to sell their vans and after having seen the first one and not very keen to deal with another night in the crowded hostel in the CBD, I bought it. It is beautiful hand-painted, got some miles down already and later on I had to fix some (luckily not very major) issues with the engine, but I was happy to be out there, have my own home and to be mobile. Later on my quite friendly boss (hes actually a psychologist from the UK btw) invited me to stay at his house with his family quite often, so I have a second home as well if I want.
From then on I taught almost every weekend till the end of the season. And I love it, sometimes you get burned by the sun because you forgot to use suncream, sometimes you cant sleep because of all the sand in your van, sometimes you got cuts in your feet from the shells, but there wont be many jobs were you can hang out on the beach the whole day, get to know new people and be just busy with the thing you love the most! Altogether its not so different from germany, its a different language, another sea, another location, different people, but its still windsurfing.
But I noticed one important thing - that Kiwis show their emotions while windsurfing way more than germans do. And its such a good feeling to bring someone else joy, all the money couldnt pay for that. Unfortunately though, as almost everywhere I travelled, people seem to love and enjoy windsurfing incredibly much from the first few moments, but seldomly you see someone spending much time for it. People should know that career, money and all the luxury is far not as important as being happy and fulfilling your dreams. Saying this, guys keep on doing what you love! Maybe see you next time on the beach! Ill be on Mission Bay Watersports next summer again. Check www.windsurfauckland.com for more.
Now its getting a bit chilly here - but still warm compared to the german winter, so Im holding out and check out the millions of different surf spots NZ got to offer. The swells hitting the coastline is determining where I go next and so live keeps on going. Occassionaly I make some money with some board repairs and what I didnt mention yet is that I feel quite confident in webdesign so I design and script homepages - mainly for surf schools including booking system, content managment systems and all sorts of stuff. I sometimes get invited to peoples home - its incredible how open-minded and friendly people are here without knowing you just a little bit.
All in all, Im quite happy with my current life style. Sometimes Im nearly or completly broke, but as long as Im close to the sea and have at least one surfboard left, everything is alright. For anyone else, whos impressed by that story...go, do a windsurf/surf/kite course, get infected by the virus and life the dream. Even if you dont have any experience, a surf school is always looking for helpers. Always make personal contact, show them that this is what you wanna do and you should be fine!
Hope thats not too much, but hey - you wanted more than just a few sentences - and this is the short version already :)
Ill attach some pictures from a special event - a school booking we did up in Thawaranui. We taught more than 70 people how to windsurf and went kayaking with them for three whole days. That was pretty cool!
Good luck to everyone else out there lookin for jobs. All the best, Dan.
My name is Diego and I am from Spain. I was living in Ireland with my girlfriend Kairika, from Estonia, when we decided to apply for a Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand. We had saved some money and our plan was to travel around New Zealand and work in seasonal jobs in our route to keep travelling and doing activities.
We arrived in Christchurch in January 2011, and after a few days in the city we bought a beautiful camper-van to start our adventure in the other side of the world. It did not take long time to realise that we were in the perfect place to live on the road. New Zealand is an amazing country if you like outdoors life, and we certainly do. There are stunning spots everywhere, breathtaking views and a modern infrastructure of holiday parks, conservation campsites, public toilets and parks, i-sites with free tourism information, etc. An authentic paradise for nature lovers.
After one month travelling in South Island we decided it was time for us to find a seasonal job, stay for a few weeks in some place and live a totally different experience. We found out there was an office in Alexandra (Central Otago) called Seasonal Solutions who help backpackers or anyone willing to work in horticultural and viticultural industry in the area, so we went there and registered ourselves as job seekers. They even helped us with immigration advise and to get our IRD number.
After a few days we got a text message in my cell phone requesting confirmation to start working in a vineyard in Cromwell (Central Otago) next day. We confirmed our interest and next day early in the morning we went to the meeting point in Cromwell where we met our manager and workmates and we all went to the vineyard where we would be working for the following five weeks. There were people from everywhere: Germany, United States, France, Chile, Vanuatu, Malaysia, etc. and everybody was really friendly and nice, so it was a very good international work atmosphere full of jokes, laughs and, yes, some hard work under the sun and good money too. Our task consisted basically on thinning the vines. Harvest was coming soon and we had to make sure that the wine produced was going to meet certain quality standards, so armed with gloves and scissors we were dropping the bunches of grapes not matured and leaving those healthier following some instructions from our managers. It was easy, mechanic, and the good atmosphere at work allowed all of us to enjoy our days in the vineyard.
When all the vines were almost ready for the harvest our job was different. This time we had to cover all the vines with nets for the birds not to eat the juicy and sweet grapes. I have to admit that I enjoyed more this task. In pairs, each one of us in each side of the vine row was clipping the net wrapping completely the bush with it. It was easy too, and our manager used to play good rock music in his powerful car stereo so we could listen to it while working, which helped a lot. I even improved my dancing skills!
We used to meet after work to have some beers together in Cromwell, and I have to say that I will not forget either the taste of the cold beer relaxed in good company after a long work shift under the sun. It was a great time that now we remember with a smile in our face.
Five weeks later we had to say goodbye to everyone as we were not staying for the harvest. We had enough money to go back to the road and continue exploring the beautiful country, its mountains, lakes, beaches and culture. We crossed then by ferry to the North Island looking forward to getting new adventures.
The next time we decided to work we went directly to Bay of Plenty region, which is well known for its kiwifruit production. We arrived in Te Puke, close to Tauranga, and we went directly to the i-site to ask for information about seasonal job opportunities in the area. The woman in the office nicely gave us a page with a list of kiwifruit packing houses and fruit picking companies and she informed us that in one of them they needed staff immediately for sure. We took the van and drove directly to the mentioned packing house, where they asked us if we could start immediately.
It was surprisingly fast, in 30 minutes we had signed the contract and we had our aprons on while attending to the induction to learn how to grade kiwifruits. It was a huge packing house, again with people from everywhere working in different departments. There were packers in charge of packing the fruits. There were warehouse staff in charge of transporting the pales. There were also people controlling machinery, testing the quality of the fruit and managers to assure the proper running of everything. And finally, there were fruit graders with me and my girlfriend among them. Basically we were two or three of us in each position, seeing thousands of kiwis rolling in front of our eyes, and we had to decide, according to some standards, which one belonged to class A, which one to class B, and which ones were not fit for consumption. It was an easy job and the managers were really nice with all of us. We even had free cookies, coffee and tea in our breaks, and a nice terrace to sit down under the morning sun to rest. After almost 4 weeks, the kiwi season was over, and the company thanked all of us with an amazing lunch that nobody expected. It was certainly a company where I would not doubt to come back next year or to recommend.
With the good memories and our pockets filled again we were back on the road. And this has not finished yet. What will it be next?
My story is really short, Iíve being here only for three month, so I think that the best is jet to came.
Me and my boyfriend planned this trip, not for so long.
We had the idea, we apply to the visa, we sell most things we could, and we just take the plane and came.
We arrived only with a couple hundred dollars, just to sleep and eat for a couple of days. The first two days, we spent all dayÖ.and I mean all day, in the library trying to find out the next move. We didnít know much about New Zealand, only that there were seasonal jobs in some regions.
I was starting to get a little worried, when, I donít quite remember how, I got into this web site about a small town in northland call Kerikeri. The web site (http://www.aranga.co.nz/ ) about a backpackerís and they offer to found you jobs. Great! So we took our backpacks, and hit the road!
Everything from there went great. The third day we arrive we start working in this packhouse in the night shift. At first, a crazy job for us (a scriptwriter and a cook); pack house, machines, and fruit everywhere!!! But at the end it was wonderful, we met great people, we had this crazy surfer good to drink beer boss, awesome supervisors and finally a great team.
Great place Kerikeri, nice fishing, fantastic places to visit, so many beaches close, and we are in winter! Imagine in summer!!
But, like everything, nightshift came to an end. So we got out of jobs.
We are still in Kerikeri trying to find something. It would be great for us to stay here until August or September. But the reality rules, so if we donít find anything in the next week, we must part.
Anybody knows good place to go now, jobs available, in kitchens maybe?
I chose to work in New Zealand on a temporary basis using a "Working Holiday Visa". Through email and various Skype conversations I was able to secure a job working as a nanny to three small children. Lucy (11), James (9) and Drew (9). The two twin boys proved to be quite a handful!
The family were based near Waimai in a light-brick one storey house with lots of lovely large glass windows. What immediately striked me as different to my small appartment in London, was the severe diffference in the amount of space available. In New Zealand (one of the children told me - James I think) there are apparently more sheep than people! I would not argue with that! It seems that everyone has a decent sized garden - even in the more built up areas and small towns.
The people of New Zealand are noticeably friendly and will go absolutely out of their way to help you. In huge contrast therefore to, you guessed it, the British (I can say this as I am 100% POM as the Kiwis call us) who will readily send tourists in the wrong direction just to save time and hurry on. The entire family could not have made me feel more welcomed into their home. What I loved about the job - was the balance that I was able to achieve between work and travel. The hours of job were not long and I was given weekends off which meant that there was lots of time for seeing all the things that I had placed post-it notes next to in my Travel Guide. Another bonus of being a nanny, is that often (for practicality) you can be given a car. I was one of these fortunate people! It made getting out and about to see these attractions so much easier, and an increased sense of flexibility.
I would definitely recommend to anyone thinking of working abroad on a seasonal contract in New Zealand to go for it. If you heart is in it - then there is no way that you cant have an absolutely fantastic time in the land of the long white cloud. I know I did.
I am a kiwi so I have worked a lot in a lot of different jobs in New Zealand. Over the past six months I have travelled a lot around New Zealand, mostly around the upper South Island, with a break in Taranaki over Christmas/New Years. When I first restarted my travels in the South Island in 2011, I was fortunate enough to already have a job lined up through a friend from Wellington. He owns a property near lake Ohau and was looking for a extra pair of hands to help clear the wilding pines that were becoming a real problem there. The assignment was for two weeks at the beginning of May. I had read about the wilding pines problem in the South Island, but nothing can prepare you for the scale of the problem. Literally, there were pines as far as the eye could see, and that was just on his one property. Luckily the pay was very good and we had help to tackle the infestation from both the Department of Conservation and Forest & Bird. It was not easy work but it was rewarding. Not only did I know I was working towards something of real value, protecting New Zealands natural heritage, but when you have been down pulling out, and cutting down, pines for hours, you stand up to stretch and all around you in an amazing vista.
The lake was a intense blue and the hills caped with snow. On a clear day you could see the Southern Alps across the lake. It was truly stunning.
There were plenty of recreational activities in the area. The Ohau Ski lodge was nearby (though ski season was not due to start until July), There was walking in the hills, as well as mountain biking tracks.
Food and accommodation was provided as part of the arrangement, in a quaint little cottage nestled amongst douglas fur and NZ beech.
When the assignment was over I was sore and tired. But my camera was full, I was proud to have achieved something and my bank account was a little healthier allowing me to focus on travel unhampered by financial concerns for a time.
The work is ongoing. They are due for another blitz this October, and I am sure that around then the property owner will be looking for students and travellers for another two weeks work.
Hey,we are a german couple, Carolin and Philipp , 19 and 20 and we are for a half year with a working holiday visa in New Zealand. We are traveling with a van trough the country.
Our first place to work was in Gisborne in the beginning of the new year. We took some flyers of the wineries in the surrounding from the i-Site and called them. By hazard, the third one got work for some weeks and so we worked there together with some guys from France and South America. Our job was to pluck the leaves, that the fruits get more air and sun. After that we hung nets to protect the plants of birds.
The job was not very hard in fact only the back was hurting very much. Our boss was very nice and friendly. For smoko we got tee, coffee and sometimes cookies and after work we got the possibility to taste the homemade wines.
After two weeks all work had been done and we had to look for another job. In our hostel there was an announcement for plucking leaves on a big vineyard and we decided to go there. The boss was very unfriendly and the job quite hard. It was payed on production: for every plant you get 12cent or per row 30$. It wasnt possible to do more than 1.5 rows per day and therefore we quit the job after two days and moved on. Later we got to know that they cheated on us. In the end all had been payed hourly and it was only to keep us working fast.
After traveling on South Island we stopped to work in Blenheim.A aunt in Germany has a customer who came from New Zealand to Germany. He has some relatives in Blenheim who have a Winery. The bad thing was, that we knew only the name of the relative and nothing more. After a lot of nerve-racking phone-calls we got to know that he is at the moment in Australia on holidays - so no work for us. In general at this time all people in the hostel searched for work - without luck . Two other Germans gave us a number from a contractor, she should have work but they tried it and had no luck. We thought that we could at least try it and called her. After 2 minutes we had a job on vineyard.
The first two days we went there for thinning and then started with harvesting for a big company of the region. The payment was on contract, the amount depends on the size of the bunches we had to pick. For the bigger and so easier ones we got 80c and for the plants with more and smaller grapes we got up to 1,20$. Every worker had some stickers with an individual number, which we put on the irrigation line of each bay, one bay has 3 or 4 plants. At the end of the day a supervisor went throw the rows and counted the stickers of each person. Actually you have to trust them because you have no proof of the work you did.
All in all the team was a little bit confusing, because every day it was another time that they pick us. Some days we had to wait up to two hours without knowing if someone comes. Additionally we picked shallots for some days. It was payed hourly but working the whole day on your knees with the dust around you was quite hard. After we decided to stop working it took a long time that we got all of our money on our bank account.
Back on North Island we called our old boss in Gisborne and she said that maybe in a few weeks there would be some work for us. She also passed our number to other winemakers and finally she and 2 others called us, that they need our help. We went spontaneously from Taupo to Gisborne once again and worked one week for them. It was very nice to see our boss again. Now she is no more a employer but a very good friend for us. We also bought there some wine for our family in Germany to show them Ąourď wine.
Our last stop was in Tauranga, there we wanted to work in a pack-house but they had all no vacancies and a long list of applications. Working as a kiwi fruit picker would be for a girl too hard, anyway they wanted only boys. On the internet we found some smaller jobs on little farms and did this for a few days. So all in all we would say, that if you really want to work, it is easy to find a job in New Zealand. You have to be willing to work hard for the minimum wage and under all conditions but with a little bit of luck you meet great people from all over the world and you make friends with them. We made here experiences we would never have made in Germany.
ę To keep the doctor away, eat an apple a day Ľ!
Well thatís one easy thing to do when you work at Mr Apple. We had read about this company, employing over 1500 people during peak season,
on Seasonal Jobsí website as we first arrived in New Zealand. We happily drove our way through the North Island, and when we got to Hawkeís Bay we thought we might knock on Mr Appleís door and give it a try. As everyone else, we did want to reach South Island with a little something in our pockets. A call on Saturday and a short form filled on Monday, thatís what it took to get started on Tuesday!
We would work night shifts at the Whakatu Packhouse, 6 days a week, from 3.30pm to 12.30am, with two 30 minutes break amusingly called ďsmokoĒ, and would be paid 13$ per hour for 5 weeks. Doesnít matter what your background is, as long as your back works! The Packhouse atmosphere felt warm and friendly at once. People coming to work in their bright yellow uniform shirt seemed to have arrived from every continent. Chinese people, Koreans, South Africans, Polish, Irish, others from Samoa, Tahiti, the usual Kiwis and now us French! A real international melting-pot gathered to provide the best apples to the world.
That being said, our manager warned us at once, itís not an easy job, involving a lot of standing, twisting, speeding and lifting. The job consists in sorting out good apples from bad ones, placing the good apples on trays, turning them around so they are lined up and have their red side up, and all this, at the speed of lightning. The first day was a complete nightmare, we felt as if we were in hell, a place filled with apples, coming at you so fast that you got completely overwhelmed and ended up drowning beneath a sea of apples. In French, the saying ďtomber dans les pommesĒ literally ďfalling into applesĒ means fainting, and this first day at work I thought: it must have been someone working in a Packhouse that invented that saying. Hopefully, plenty of nice people came to help us and give
us some good tips! They said that our back would be killing us for a few days, but that after a week, we wouldnít feel any more pain. And thatís what happened.
As the days went by, we got better and better at handling those apples, crunchy Pink Lady apples, beautiful NZ Roses, shiny Granny Smiths but mostly funky Fujis, coming in different sizes. Sometimes, we could even handle both our apples and a conversation about the Chinese society today or Maori language with our neighbor. Speaking of languages, the Packhouse is better than school when it comes to learn foreign languages. Everybody comes to ask us some useful French
words, and we got taught a good deal of Samoa!
After a week, we also tried to vary activities, packing apples away by putting trays in boxes. We noticed that everyday had its share of good and bad. One day itís pay day, one day itís chocolate cookie for everyone, one day itís meeting a new pal, and then another day itís crazy speedy day when both fingers and eyes turn as red as the apples. And then you realize, itís not sheep that you count as you go to sleep... But the good atmosphere always makes up for it, and with such a good team, it came as no surprise when everyone arrived dressed as a rabbit the day before Easter and chocolate eggs were handed out to all of us!
Also, no doubt that working night shifts in a Packhouse had its share of advantages: no one asks you for a degree or even if you speak English, you donít depend on the weather to go to work and you get to enjoy the morning in beautiful Hawkeís Bay and discover plenty of nice places around Napier, Cape Kidnappers or the Te Mata Peak.
Here is all the info you need to have your own Mr Apple experience:
Address of the Pachouse: Station Road Ė Whakatu (Between Napier and Hastings)
Phone: 06 873 1061 / 06 873 1070
Seasonal work starts in February : graders , packers, tray fillers, stackers, quality controllers, packers.
North Island Notes
Having fallen truly in love with the raw, sprawling magnificence of the South Island, I got onto the
ferry at Picton with trepidation, not sure what to expect of the North Island, except more people
than in the south. I arrived on a gloomy, raining afternoon in Wellington and must say that I was
overwhelmed by the city itself; by the amount of people, cars, traffic, city sounds, shops, colours
and buildings. I arrived at the backpackers I was staying at for a night and crashed, determined to
go exploring over the next few days to find the gems I could feel were glimmering in this notoriously
colourful and cultural city.
I went to the Te Papa museum and cannot recommend it highly enough. The staff are very
knowledgeable and willing to share their information with you enthusiastically. The layout is logical
and the displays are distinctive, fascinating and memorable. Cuba Street is a must in Wellington.
Walking up and down it can take minutes hours or days, depending on how entwined you get. The
eclectic smorgasbord of clothing shops, countless coffee shops, restaurants, clubs and bars, quirky,
small back-door art galleries (which are certainly worth investigating) and intriguing little side streets
that could lead to another world provide endless entertainment and stimulation. The people are
interesting and friendly and there is a phenomenal buzz in the air.
Moving further north, I landed in Rotorua, and it would be a shame to go there without seeing
the geothermal pools. I went to Wai-o-tapu, where bubbling mud pools, multi-coloured steaming
pools and geysers that shoot high into the air blew me away and are truly an amazing natural
phenomenon. The distinctive sulphurous smell was a reminder of how different and special this area
really is. Another of my favourite things about Rotorua and indeed of the entire country would be
the Zorb. It is a massive transparent ball into which people climb and is rolled down a hill, picking up
a surprising amount of speed as you watch the world fly by between tumbles and peals of laughter.
It was one of the best activities I ever done. I did mine through Ogo rather than at the Agro Dome,
as you get a longer stretch of grass down which to roll and thus it is far better value for money. I
recommend that you do the wet option where they fill the ball with water and also that you get the
photos or at least ask to see them afterwards Ė they are hilarious!
Another activity that I highly recommend is kayaking down the Whakapapa River in National Park.
I know that most people go to National Park to do the Tongariro Crossing, but when I was there
the weather was foul so we could not do the crossing - it is known to be an area with high weather
volatility. Thus, if you land up in National Park, the weather turns bad and you are at a loss for what
to do, ask around for the Adventure kayak company run by a woman called Sarah Cate. She will
come and collect you for the day and take you on a kayaking adventure you will never forget. She
is professional and laid back at the same time, a ball of energy and I guarantee you will have a well-
priced day saturated with fun and laughter.
I landed up in Auckland after a few weeks of travelling the North Island, needing to find work and
hoping to do a sailing course in the Bay of Islands, which I completed last week. If you are interested
in sailing and/or doing any sailing courses, I cannot recommend Bay Sail NZ highly enough. It is
run by Glen Caulton and from my first enquiry to the last goodbye, Glen went out of his way to
accommodate me and the others doing the course. The Bay of Islands is magnificent and seeing
it from a yacht is definitely one of the best ways to get the most out of the area. Glen does day
charters and a host of other yacht-based activities. All information can be found on his website. He
is an amazing sailor, very professional, I had complete faith in his ability, his 40ft sail yacht ďSheís a
LadyĒ is wonderful to sail and be aboard and above all, Glen is a great man who is very easy-going
and easy to get along with.
After my sailing course, my bank balance was looking far worse for wear and thus I needed to get
a job. I have found one but it was not easy Ė I do not say this to frighten anyone, but it not always
a quick process to find a job. However, if you have the right attitude and keep at it, there is little
that will stand in your way if you put in the time and effort. From my limited experience, I highly
recommend that you take up-to-date CVís to the streets and go in to companies/places to work
rather than relying mainly on web-based applications as you can feel the place out, meet some
faces and know right away how things have gone. If you drop off a CV, follow it up after a day or two
rather than waiting for them to get back to you Ė someone else may get the job otherwise.
In summary, I recommend that you get stuck into all that New Zealand has to offer. While the South
Island certainly is a special place, so is the North Island Ė there is plenty to do and see that is unlike
anywhere else and anything else, and it is definitely worth exploring. There are countless wonderful
small privately-owned companies who provide personal, small-group, well-run activities that are
worth supporting. If you do something with a company who offers you a good service, spread the
word to others so that everyone can benefit. Enjoy!
Hey guys, my name is Freddy, i am 19 years old and from Germany. I am in New Zealand now for half a year and started in Auckland to travel down south. But i came here to see something new in life, so just travelling one year would be quite boring. Because of that, and of course because the financial circumstances, i worked as well.
I started in Napier with fruitpicking - the typical backpackers job :p
I got it from the owner of the backpackers i stayed at (Wallys Backpackers, 7 Cathedral Lane, Napier 4110, (06) 833 7930 ) who had contacts to Crasborne, an agency which employes worker for their contacts (basicly fruit picking stuff). If you are around there searching for a job - go there!!! EVERYBODY in that hostel was working, and having a car, we arrived wednesday evening and got a job thursday morning!!! awesome ! ;)
After that I went to Christchurch to work for Savvy Direct - a Company which makes advertisement for IHC, Red Cross and some other Charitys. I worked there as a salesman doing door to door sales or lets say tring to make people sign a monthly donation to the IHC (Interlectually Handicapped Children). I saw the position advertised in TradeMe and I have just applied for it, passed the interview and the working test (pretty easy ^^) and started. I have worked there for about a month which was an awesomly interesting experience, but after that i stopped because the payment was on contract and I was not bad in it, but i havent really had the motivation to increase my sale skills to much cause of having a problem with the moral behind it and so on. I mean it was for a good course - my motivation to give it a try - but i didnt feel comfortable to jump all the time to the salesman again when you started to have a good conversation after an eyesbreaker at the beginning. Just a personal thing, but im quite happy with my decission. But any way - awesome experience!!! And very good for your english. As soon as you are able to say a pitch of 1-3 minuts completly by hard you can really concentrate on HOW you say things. Good for the accent and quite funny, as far as testing people is concerned. In that case the job is extremly interesting and funny by the way. After a little while you start to do things, you would never do in your everyday-life, where you are a person, seen as such from everybody else. But beeing just the guy on the door from the IHC , even if that is exactly what you should not be to be succesful by the way ;), gives you the chance to try a lot of things you wouldnt like to try with people, you might meet again .
After that i worked in a Callcenter for the HIA Group, also in Christchurch. A friend of me told me about it, i just gave the boss a ring, had an interview and started to work the next week doing surveys on the phone. Good practise for my english. I also liked the job somehow, but the earthquake made it impossible to work there any more, cause the building i worked in was located in the centre. During that (because it was just from monday to thursday, 6h/day) i worked for accomodation in my hostel (Frienz Backpackers, 169 worcester Street 8011 CHCH) and on the weekend for Micky Finns, 85A Hereford Street CHCH, a quite big bar with heaps of bands playing in there - so quite buisy, always looking for somebody ;)
I also started to work specially on Friday and Saturday for a Relocation Company (The Office Relocation, Torc http://torc.co.nz/ ), but yes - as i wrote before, the earthquake set an end to all that :( BUT they are allways looking for poeple and that might be all over the country. They are located in Wellington, but have a lot of stuff to do in christchurch, and if poeple need them anywhere else they go there aswell! Just give them a ring whereever you search something - funny group, good work and fast payment ;)
At the moment i work in Ashburton, helping with the potatoeharvest. I was visiting friends over here and just had a look in the newspaper on saturday, saw stuff searched, gave them a ring, drove over there and started the next day! The Agencys name is Tom Gundry -
37 Robinson Street
(03) 308 3003
Ill stay there for about 2 weeks, cause im a little bit fed up with farmwork. But its very good money, cause you have the possibility to work up to 12h/day, 7 days a week.
At the moment im looking for jobs in auckland.
What i am doing in generel when i want to get a job somewhere;
-have a look on trademe, seasonal jobs & backpackerboard.co.nz
-newspaper on saturday
-asking and talk to people around me (very very effectiv!!!). If i come noew to a city, i try to start somehwere where i have the chance to talk to a lot of people. Couchsurfing/big backpackers - Things like that give you the chance to meet people who could helo you ;)
You also shouldnt be afraid to just talk to people in the street. I mean im not taling about going to random people and ask them for a job, but lets say you are openig a new bank account and during the process theres a bit of time to chat with the guy/girl caring for you. Often they ask you about you, your plans etc and if that happens just tell them you are searching a job. Poeple here are awesomly willing to help you ! ;)
I was once standing in front of a cashmashine, waiting for my turn (3 people before me) and just explaining my friend behind me my plans, which were basicly to get a job quite soon. The womain before us, who obviously heard our conversation, just rurned around and told us to go to ..., cause she have just come from there and saw a sign stuff wanted.
One other thing i do is google more specified things. Once i did for example a little, one hour software test in christchurch. Very interesting for me, cause i like this kind of stuff and 25 bucks cash, which is not too bad for on hour of work. Since that, i allways google software testing which gives me the chance to see options, which wouldt be shown at the pages im usuallyu searching for. I would give you that advice in generel if you want to to something different than the typicaly backpacker jobs. If you hear from people that they are doing something interesting or you just see your self doing something which you cant find there - google it and try to find somehthing around you. Write a nice email with a gooc CV, try to make sure that you are motivated and people will maybe give you a chance to proove yourself ;)
I wish you all good luck and hope i could help you with that
My story started 3 years ago, while I was working for Emirates airlines as a flight attendant and one of my trips took me to new Zealand- Auckland.
As soon as I found out that I can do skydive I signed for it as it was always my dream.
And that is when it all started and I met my partner working at that time as a skydive instuctor.
One year later I decided to join him and come to New Zealand.
We have been living since in Fox Glacier-Westcoast and working there too.
Fox Glacier is really tiny small town that has few motels, hostels and pubs :) so not much social life :) But on the other hand it i a paradise- raiforest, mountains with snow all aound the year a bit of driving and you can make a bbq on the beach and if you lucky see some Dolphis too...
You can do a skydive over there- what is unreal, hike the glacier or fly about it....well it is beautifull place that is hard to descibe with words.
I worked for a while at Cafe Neve- cool place with cool people and good food.
As everywhere in New Zealand I met there and worked with people from all over the world, what is really cool- I specially loved the Chillians, Argetinias :))).
While living in Fox Glacier we made few trips to North Island but I always loved to come back to South Island.
After 2 years we got a bit tired of the small town and we moved to Queenstown.
So here we are in Quennstown getting ready for winter season and some skiing:)
I am also at the moment looking for a new job what isnt so much fun but thats life.
Queenstown is also special town- many many tourists and young people. The only think I dont like is that most of your friens will be here just few months or for a season and than they take off...thats how Queenstown works and you better get used to it.
And what about the future? Well New Zealand is amazing country with lovely people so I can see myself living here. So who know how many people that came to New Zealand as a tourists stayed here 4ever :)
My name is James and Im a 24 year old from Denver, Colorado USA. Ever since I was very young Ive been traveling. Whether it was camping trips with my parents, chugging along the greater US with my grandparents in their RV, road trips with friends, or flying to other countries with my family, I eventually inherited a mean hunger to explore new places. In 2008, when my brother and his wife left the US to live in Australia, I saved up enough money to take a month off from work and go see them. That trip, before now, was the longest I had ever been away from my home country; and I loved it. I knew I wanted to do something big after that, but I just didnt know what. I loved Australia and the people there and thought about going back for an extended amount of time. It wasnt until mid-2010 when my vision of a lengthy overseas experience really came into perspective. My brother had just moved to Dunedin, NZ so his wife could obtain her masters at Uni. My parents called me one day to ask if I would be interested in checking out New Zealand with them - of course I was. Instead of following their original plan of 3 weeks abroad, I seized the opportunity to capitalize on this once in a lifetime chance and put things in motion. After quitting my job, selling my car, and obtaining a work visa, I said farewell to my friends and greater family back home and boarded a flight to Auckland.
I have never been truly alone in another country. Usually I have friends or family for an initial web of support and some would say Im not the most extroverted individual. It was time to put everything to the test. When my plane touched down in New Zealand I was excited but nervious. Where would I go? What would I do? Will I be able to handle this? I stayed in Auckland for a couple days with the plan to somehow make it to Dunedin to watch over my brothers house while he was away. I knew I wanted to find a job within a few weeks so I didnt have to spend all of my saved money. But, how was I going to get this accomplished? After meeting a fellow American in Auckland, I decided to follow him down to Queenstown, soak up that scene for a few days, and then bus down to Dunedin. It turns out that this was the cheapest way, at the time, to get to Dunners anyways.
I had a good time in Queenstown, but then again how couldnt I? The people in the hostile there, Nomads, were so nice. It was impossible to not meet new travelers who were eager to explore the city as well. I was very happy at the time that I had made it to the south island, met some cool people, and had already seen some amazing sights. Hell, the plane ride alone into Queenstown was so cool! Seeing the lakes, rivers, mountains, and open land through my tiny airplane window made me so excited to see more. Now, to make it down to Dunedin and find a job: how would I do this? Enter miracle bus ride.
Boarding the bus, I was excited to get a chance to see rural New Zealand. Coming from Denver which has a metropolitan area with about the same population as the country here, I was used to seeing big buildings, concrete, and cars. Now I was finally getting away from that and enjoying the endless scenery on my route. No one really talked on the bus, and being a bit introverted I didnt really make any effort to either. It didnt matter though, I was content with what I was seeing out of the bus windows which was enough for me. We cruised along for a bit and eventually pulled into Cromwell where the passengers going to Dunedin and the like were required to switch over to a different bus. No big deal. I stepped out for a cigarette and took my time outdoors in the middle of an area that I was wholly unfamiliar with. After five minutes, to the best of my knowledge I extinguised my cigarette and went and sat in one of the last 2 seats at the back of the bus. One spot was left, and the last passenger boarded, asking me if it was ok to take the seat next to me. Of course. What happened next had to have been fate.
"Mate! Youre on fire!!" I turned to the guy, with a dumbfounded look, and then looked down. What the hell! My shorts were smoking! I jumped off the bus, right past the driver who was explaining to everyone where we were headed, and put the blaze out. Super embarrassed, I reentered the bus but to my astonishment no one really reacted except for the 3 other people in the back, who no doubt were all laughing. I said something stupid and pulled out a book to try to escape the ridiculous reality of what had just happened. Impossible. After a couple of minutes I just burst out laughing and the guy next to me did too. Soon enough were we joking about the incident and eventually started talking about other stuff as the bus rolled on. Man, how freaking crazy to have done that! It turns out this guy was a kiwi tradesman who had just finished up a 6 week stint in Queenstown and was headed back home. Anyways after a good couple hours on the road, Pretorian (name change request per the individual), told me that he had a mate who was picking him up in Dunedin and could drop me off at my Bros place. Nice! Soon enough the bus came into Dunedin and we were off.
Halfway to my destination Pretorian suggests we grab a crate of beers and go to his place to tell his mates about the bus ride. Sounds awesome to me, I had nothing going on and was ready to meet some other locals here in Dunners. Plus youve got to admit what happened on the bus was damned entertaining. Come to find out, my brothers place is only four blocks from Pretorians! Sweet as! I drop my stuff off and head over to his place. We all have a good time and tell the story of how I came to be in their lounge that night. Good times. I go home that night satisfied that a dumb mistake turned out to be a good thing. As time goes by I stay in touch with the mighty Pretorian and we continue to hang out and have plenty of laughs.
A couple weeks go by and I am ready to leave Dunedin to venture off for work. As Im looking online at bus fares, etc I get a text that says, "Mate. Just hooked, lined, and sinkered this client who is keen on me hiring a couple people for work. Want a job?" No way! I shut my laptop and jumped for joy. I had never thought I would come to New Zealand and learn a trade, but now I was getting ready for a painting gig that was to begin in a couple of days. How cool is that?! Work was great and after a few weeks I was starting to get a hang of things. To seal the deal, and to keep up with the apparent stroke of luck i was having, Pretorian just had a mate move out and wanted to know if I wanted to live in his girlfriends and his flat. Rent was cheap, and the flatmates were super cool! Heck yeah! It just couldnt have turned out any better for me. I had accomplished all of my initial goals and it felt good.
I guess the moral of this story is, even when you stress about something or get down, the solution to your problems could be sitting right next to you. It really pays to talk to everyone you can because they can help open up doors for you and give you really great advice. I am forever grateful for what Pretorian and his girlfriend have done for me. Living at the flat has been such a good time and an awesome way to spend the first few months of my New Zealand adventure. Not to mention, Ive also learned how to prep and paint houses as an added bonus. With only a couple weeks of work left, Im now thinking ahead to what my next move will be. I cant imagine it going as smoothly as this one did, but then again you really never know. Cheers!
Having worked for 2 years towards coming to New Zealand, I thought I had enough money to last me a couple of months before I had to look for work. I was very wrong! When my friend and I arrived in Auckland, we were disappointed. Not that Auckland is a horrible city, but weíd just been (more than) slightly delusional to think that all of New Zealand would be like a spread from a National Geographic ďReal Natural BeautyĒ edition. And it wasnít; it was just a city like anywhere else.
We had both completely underestimated the jetlag, I donít think either of us realised until two weeks or so after landing, just what an effect it had had on us. We decided after a couple of days roaming the streets of Auckland to head up to the Bay of Islands. Sadly, weíd booked for 2 weeks at Base Auckland, and could only get Base vouchers for their other hostels. Paihia was nice, overhyped but nice and pretty and we happily frittered our money away on fudge and ice creams and sky dives (Definitely recommended, although try not to pass out like I did!) Two weeks later, we returned to Auckland, nearly penniless and desperate for work. By chance we saw an advertisement online for vineyard work in Blenheim. This was Friday, we contacted the man (Swampy, owner of Swampyís Backpackers, Spring Creek) who said we had to be there by Sunday at the latest. We jumped on a 12 hour bus to Wellington the next morning and were in Spring Creek but mid morning on Sunday.
There were various people starting on Monday with us, and all the information we could find was ďItís very hard!Ē Informative. The real blow came when we learnt we were starting at 6am! 6am! I hadnít even had to get up for school at 6am! But we bit the bullet, and at 5.15am the alarm woke us, bleary eyed and dreading what was to come. It was raining! Pelting, soaking rain! But our little posse, (us two Brits, 3 Czechs and a German) braved the storm and drove to the railway station where we were told to meet our employer. He was there in his truck, waiting to tell us to ďGo home, weíll try again in a couple of hours when itís not raining.Ē Brilliant! By the time we were back in our warm beds, he text to say the rain had stopped, time for work!
It wasnít that bad. We were wire lifting; As self explanatory as it sounds. Involving lifting metal wires along rows to raise the vines so that the grapes have room to grow. Some people are paid per post (anything from 3c to 12c a post) but we were on hourly, around $13.80. Which wasnít brilliant but at least we could potter along at our own pace, and as it was nearly always sweltering, that was a definite bonus! Although we started at 6am, we finished between 2 and 3 pm, so we were back at the hostel before anyone else took over the kitchen and it gave us a lot more time to relax and do washing etc.
Now wire lifting was fairly easy, but bud rubbing nearly broke us. 10 of us spent 2 days on one block, doing the dreaded bud rubbing. If youíre on contract itís supposed to be easier, as youíre more motivated to move forward. Hourly, we must have looked ridiculous. Bud rubbing involved rubbing off the lower growth on the vines, which means being bent double the entire time. By morning break (10am) we were like old hags, groaning and aching. The following morning I felt surprisingly good, until I jumped out of bed and my legs buckled beneath me!
After a month working for those contractors, we felt we had enough money and they had run out of work so we were jobless, but wealthy! However, we stayed at Swampyís for 3 weeks over Christmas, that was 3 weeks of rent ($130 p/w) boozing and Christmas based cooking and presents! We were poor again! Having vowed never to work on a vineyard again we were forced to go back. This time for different contractors; wire lifting was finished by now so we were ďripping and tuckingĒ Ė pulling off low hanging canes on the vines or tucking them under the wires if they had grapes on them; ďsecond settingĒ Ė cutting off the second set of grapes which donít ripen on time for the harvest and make the wine sour; ďfruit thinningĒ Ė taking off excess bunches of grapes so that they ripen on time and the vineyard doesnít go over itís quota for that variety of grape; ďcolour thinningĒ Ė removing still green, unripened grapes from the ripened ones and ďnet clippingĒ Ė fastening long black or white nets around the vines with tiny plastic clips to prevent the birds eating the fruit. All in all, not very exciting work, we varied from contract for the ripping and tucking, and hourly for the rest ($13 p/h after tax) some days go quickly, when itís not to hot and the workís quite fast, other days when itís sticky and sweltering and you take 3 hours to do a row make a day feel a week long. Thereís something rewarding about it though, in the end. Iíve never worked so hard in my life and I feel proud that I managed to work for such long hours for 3 months in total.
However, Iím still in New Zealand, and Iím still dog poor, so the vineyards may be calling againÖ
Im a British student, currently reading for a law degree in the UK. I came to New Zealand as a backpacker almost entirely by accident. My parents emigrated to the Australian Gold Coast (they also live and work part of the time in NZ) when I was 16, whilst I stayed at home to finish my A levels, living with my grandmother. When I graduated from high school in the summer of 2009, I flew out to meet them because I hadnt seen them since I left, and Id never visited the South Pacific before. After spending a couple of weeks in almost constant 30C+ heat, I was excited to take my up my parents suggestion of a trip to the more temperate climate in Auckland. We stayed in the CBD, and I, whilst they shopped, spent my time exploring the - compared to London - modest but not undiverse nightlife of the city. By the time they were due to go back Id met some other travellers, and didnt feel like leaving so soon, given that theyd told me, and I was rather envious, of all their pursuits, from skydiving in Rotorua to - and yes, I know its cliche - exploring middle earth, on the South Island. Id pretty much run out of cash, however, by this point, so in order to fund experiencing some of these things, as well as to recompense my parents for the flight theyd paid for back to Queensland!, I figured I need to get a temporary job for a few weeks, at minimum. Perhaps not surprisingly, most of the retail stuff in the city centre wanted people to commit for a year or so, which I wasnt prepared to do (I should add that, luckily, my folks had sorted out all of the work-visa stuff for me. I cant imagine what might have happened if Id come up short of money without one!) so I went, after scanning the local papers, of all places, to work on a small fishing operation, owned by local Maoris, in Whangamata. After Id had enough, about 8 weeks later, not quite ready to leave this really wonderful country, I applied, and successfully obtained an aupair position with a charming family in Wellington. Id previously been on an overnight trip soon after I first arrived here, and loved the historical feel of the place, and thought it somewhere Id feel settled for an extended period of time. And so I looked after their two children (who were very difficult at times) for about six months, give or take a few days and really felt like a member of the family.
Im back in the UK now, but will never forget the amazing trip I had down under.
Landing in New Zealand is unlike landing in any other country. As I descended over the glacially blue tongues of water cutting into the relatively untouched magnificence of the South Island and down through kilometres of thick tumultuous cloud to the green expanse of Dunedin, I knew things were about to change for me, and so they have. I was blessed enough to start with people I knew, who are thoroughly Kiwi and have a deep love for and appreciation of the land.
I have had so many life-changing experiences in the 4 months I have been in this country Ė involving people, the land and never a lot of money. This is in itself a reflection of the greatness of the country, where you do not need a goldmine to have an amazing time. In fact, following the well-worn tourist tracks spending all your hard-earned shanks and franks on various activities may be fun but may also see you ride rough-shot right over the splendour that lurks beneath. And let me tell you Ė there is immeasurable splendour beneath. So get out your spade or borrow one and get scratching through the surface!
I will start with a story from the start of my journey. I was staying with 3 wonderful people 20 minutes out of Dunedin in a magnificent area called Hamilton Bay. They had helped their neighbour shear his sheep the day before and as an exchange, he gave them some meat, which we cooked and ate gratefully. As many people do in New Zealand, this household had their own bountiful garden and loved it dearly. The next day we went down to the beach to explore some caves, run along the empty beach and collect mussels which we steamed and ate with malt vinegar Ė delicious! The land of New Zealand is very generous Ė Be good to the land and she will be good to you. We went out to watch a band one night Ė get out to see some local New Zealand bands: there is so much musical talent in this country, it would be a tragedy to leave here without hearing and learning from it. Get to the free concerts in summer, pay for some of the local favourites and make sure you go to at least one tiny little gig somewhere in an obscure area with not necessarily such a large crowd Ė the outcome is irrelevant, but I have been the only one dancing to some of the best DJís I have ever known until the early hours of the morning in this beloved country. ATTENDANCE DOES NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT TALENT.
When youíre staying in Auckland and you donít want to spend too much money, there are two options : only do free activities, which can be quite annoying once youíve visited the Auckland museum, Victoria park and other sightseeingÖ The other one is to work in backpackers in exchange for accommodation. Almost every backpackers has a few places for this kind of job, and, obviously, the biggest the backpacker is, the more places there is. This is why the easiest place to get one of these is to look for it at Base Backpacker, the biggest in Auckland city. I first checked the internet to find out where I could do such a thing, and I saw that there were three free posts at Base Backpacker. So I showed up there one morning, asking to talk with the staff manager. We had a short talk, then she just hand me a contract, ask me to read it then sign it, and that was it : I was hired. The only thing that made me different from the other candidates was that I got there the first. About the job, the first thing to say I that it isnít hard work. Obviously, you canít ask someone whoís doesnít get paid to work too hard. Letís face it : even if you do, they wonít. Most of the time, backpackers has two types of jobs : reception and cleaning. I was hired as a cleaner, since it was the only vacant post. The tasks are mainly vacuuming, cleaning the kitchen and changing the beds sheets. At Base Backpacker, they ask for 4 hours a day, from Monday to Friday (20 hours a week), in exchange for a bed in an 8 beds room. About the place now, staying in a backpacker and working there is of course very convenient to meet new people, since everyone in your room does the same job than you do, plus that you spend many hours working, cooking or just chilling in the lounge and other TV rooms. The main advantages of this backpacker are : the big and complete lounge room, including couches, two TV rooms, a Cyber Cafť and a Job Office The kitchen is clean and spacious, and the location is very good, on the middle of Queen street, with many bars, restaurants and the Metro Center nearby. The main problems are : first of all, 20 hours a week is, in my opinion, too much for an 8 beds room, in a country where the minimum wage is around 13$ an hour. The place sometimes feels too big with its ten floors. The smokers will have to get out of the place if they want to have a smoke, since there is no smoker room or balcony. If you plan in advance to do such a job, you can call most of the Auckland backpackers and see if they have any vacancies. Some only ask for 2 hours of work every day (14 hours a week), and a smaller place asks for more quiet tasks. These types of jobs are very convenient for those who look for jobs in Auckland and donít want to spend money on the accommodation while doing it. And when you are only asked two hours of work each day, you can even combine it with a job !
My name is Nis and I am travelling through New Zealand in a Van together with my sister since mid of December. At home in Germany we got a Working Holiday Visa in the internet and planned to do some harvest work here in New Zealand. We started in Auckland, made our way down south and took the ferry to the South Island between Christmas and New Year.
When we arrived in Wanaka we started looking for jobs because we were running out of money. The first job offer we got was on a Berry Farm near town, where we picked raspberries for two days. But because it was only a few hours a day and not every day we still applied for other harvest jobs in the Central Otago region. In the internet I send a Mail to the PickNZ office in Alexandra, a few hours later we got the phone call and with it a job on a cherry orchard in Lowburn near Cromwell. We should start a few days later so we still hat time to explore the beautiful region.
On Monday the 9.1. we arrived on the cherry farm in the morning and got introduced to the sorting of cherries in the pack house. We had to sort the incoming cherries in three categories: All perfect cherries were export quality, all cherries with little scratches or steam less were domestic and all the rest of rotten and squeezed cherries were thrown into the rubbish bucket. It was a lot of rubbish because of the rain in the last days.
We were payed by every bucket that we emptied. On our first days sorting we thought we could never get faster and we would not make any money here at all. But after a few days we could already double our number of buckets. It is amazing how you can improve your skills and speed in sorting just by training, doing it again and again.
For three days I did another job in the pack house. Because one of the bucket boys, who carry full unsorted and rubbish buckets was absent I did his job which was a completely new experience. Instead of standing around and only moving my hands I had to do really hard work now. Although I liked this kind of challenge I went back to sorting after the three days mostly because of more money that I could earn with this.
My sister and I slept in our Van on the big camping ground on the farm where all of the workers lived. It was a very nice community and after we all got to know each other it was hard to say goodbye and move in different directions after the season finished. After the last day we had a lunch together with a traditional Maori hangi. It was really declicious. Now we are in the Hawkes Bay area and looking for work again. Probably we will pick apples soon. We are looking forward to all the nice people we are going to get to know here!
I had applied in the internet, more out of fun and nothing else to do. Some hours later I got a phone call and I had the job. Great!
So the next weeks were spent sorting cherries into export quality, domestic and rubbish. It micht sound kinda boring, but it wasnt actually. You could listen to music, talk to other people and eat as many cherries as you liked.
The atmosphere was great as well! Nobody put pressure on you, if not yourself, because you were paid by contract and not hourly. People were really friendly to each other and did even heop the slower sorters to finish their last bucket befoer break, when they had done theirs already.
Additionally when the working day was long (usually it started at 8:30am and finished between 3:00pm and 5:00pm), the supervisor gave some chocolates to us to keep up the motivation.
Like all the other workers I was staying at a campsite on the farm. I was sleeping in a van, but there was a very well equipped kitchen and, of course, sanitaries. After some time it was almost as if you were staying with your big family. You got to know the other workers really well and had lots of fun together! Also there were lots of things to do with cherries - baking pies, pancakes, jam, fruit salad... and lots of competitions in spitting cherry pits were held ;). I am really gonna miss that time and all the nice people!
All in all it was a great experience and even though it was hard work, I enjoyed every minute and would have loved to stay longer!
Visit Fortune Fruit Website
Lake Dunstan Cromwell
Lake Dunstan Photos
When I got to Whangamata, I had this meeting for a painting tattoo job. I ended up washiing dishes at Sands Cafť.
First of all, I found a great accomodation, Barbaras BBH backpackers, one minute from the beach and only a hundred dollars a week. With that, and all the young people in the streets, I wanted to get a job there and nowhere else. So when I realised that my tattoo painting job wasnt going to get me any money, I printed some CVs and walked down the main street, stopping in every shop asking for a job. The problem was that, in the middle of summer, most of the places had all the staff they needed. I was starting to loose faith when I walked in this big, nice place with a summer coloured name : Sands Cafť. I asked to talk to the manager, said I was looking for a job, and here I was, hired to wash the dishes and help around. I did my first days in a place busy as hell, so busy that one day a hurried colleague closed the door of the giant freezer without noticing that I was still incide... Got me a free half an hour break. Anyway, I was getting money, and, best of all, had free lunches on my breaks. I spent a month there, working with a nice, energetic team, and I only left when all the tourists went back home, returning Whangamata to its quiet rythm.
When I think about my work experience in Whangamata, its as one of the best places in New Zealand to get a summer job. If you get there in early december youll find a job for sure, and dont miss Barbaras BBH backpackers on Beverly Terrace, ideal to meet people, and a rock throw from the beach !
The idea of travelling to New Zealand (NZ) had been stuck in my head since I was young, due to a family friend having moved there. She was working for the Department of Conservation (DOC) in Turangi, and her partner ran the Tongariro Natural History Society (TNHS) in the same building. All I knew was that both their jobs involved working in the outdoors, and that was me hooked. I applied for a position with TNHS, and after being accepted set about applying for a working holiday visa.
A working holiday visa for NZ can last up to 23 months, although you can actually only work for 12 of these months. I applied online for mine through STA Travel, and received it within weeks. I also booked my flights and travel insurance with them too. In recent years I have used Flight Centre to book all my flights, as they thoroughly search for the cheapest deals.
When choosing travel insurance, be sure to note what you want it to cover. NZ is full of adventure activities such as sky diving, bungee jumping and white water rafting. Basic travel insurance covers grade three white water, so if you injure yourself on a grade five river you cannot claim. Travel insurance can be expensive, but is certainly necessary.
After four months in Ethiopia with a friend, I flew to NZ, arriving in Auckland airport at the end of December. That first notion of being on your own is crazy, after eighteen years of being told what to do and then suddenly it is all up to you. Fight or flight. I remember feeling quite pleased with myself when I discovered the Airbus that went direct to Auckland city centre, and stopped outside the backpackers I had booked into. (It was actually the only mode of transport into the city apart from a taxi)!
If in doubt with anything in an airport, just ask at airport information or tourist information as there are lots of staff around to help, and they are perfect at dealing with people new to travelling and airports.
On the bus my body began to crash from lack of sleep, as I attempted to concentrate on the sights and sounds of Auckland. I had been flying for twenty something hours and had not slept much, but luckily I did not have to wait long for my stop.
There is an abundance of backpackers, hotels and motels in Auckland, looking online shows a wide variety of places to stay who cater for all your required needs. Popular chains around NZ include Base Backpackers and YHA, both offering discount cards and nightly events for cheap prices. Last year I had the pleasure of escorting my sister to NZ, and our flight arrived in Auckland at the ridiculous time of 12.30 at night. I searched for a backpackers close to the airport, and found the Skyway Lodge. I emailed them in advance, and they were happy to pick us up even though it was late.
Upon checking in at the backpackers, I discovered that I had left my passport on the bus...Ēoh ****Ē, what an idiot. I frantically phoned Airbusís office and the airport police in a frantic attempt to find it, but to no avail. It was New Yearís Eve and everywhere was in party mode, so instead of freaking out I decided to just go with the flow and managed to befriend some kiwi girls to go drinking with. I hung around in Auckland for a few days after that trying to find my passport, but with limited places to look and the probability of it containing a new photograph of a supposed me; I jumped on an Intercity bus to Turangi. www.intercity.co.nz
Turangi is the trout fishing capital of New Zealand, or so the sign claims, (suspiciously the town of Gore states the same). The Rough Guide to New Zealand says that it ďis a small, flat and characterless placeĒ, and I guess it may be to the untrained eye, but I love Turangi. I spent just over three months there tramping around its bush, conserving its wildlife and swimming in the glacial river. A definite must do is walk the hour long circular track around lake Rotopounamu, at the base of Mount Pihanga . TNHS volunteers have made this piece of bush what it is today by working hard to eradicate foreign predators, and keeping native bird numbers up.
I did eventually get my passport back, and felt very guilty about making assumptions about it being stolen. Not every country is made of bandits! It happened days after arriving in Turangi and because I had not had any luck in those first few days, I had cancelled it and started making arrangements to get an emergency one. (This can all easily be done online or by telephone, do not panic)! Literally a few hours later, a PC Bradley from the Auckland airport police phoned TNHS (after phoning my parents in the UK their 2am) and said it had been handed in and what address to send it on to. It gave my parents quite a shock as I had not actually told them about the passport drama, and having the NZ police phone randomly during the night cannot have been very comforting. Oops lesson learnt, luckily everyone saw the funny side.
For travellers I would say Turangi would be more of a brief stop off, than a place to stay with it being only half an hour away from Taupo. The Mustard Seed Cafe makes a good lunch stop, and the Liquorice Cafe (just outside of Turangi on the Taupo side), does an amazing iced coffee. For a bit more adventure, contact the Tongariro River rafting office.
Turangi is situated in the Tongariro National Park, and from the town you can carry on to National Park, Whakapapa and Mountains Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom, Lord of the Rings). A must do for walkers is the Tongariro crossing, and for those who are extra keen, a jaunt up the scree that is Ngauruhoe is fun if only for the slide back down!
TNHSís season ended at the beginning of April, and I found myself on an Intercity bus to Taihape in search of River Valley: I was to be their new bar girl.
River Valley is located a forty minute drive out of Taihape, which proves difficult to get to if you arrive without a car. Luckily the day I arrived a member of staff was in town getting gas as the staff assured me I would have been left there until something from town was required! The Kiwi Experience bus also stops there nightly.
River Valley is a big lodge nestled at the bottom of a lush, green valley, with the mighty Rangitikei flowing through. It is a beautiful, serene place with a great vibe: a perfect contrast of relaxation and adventure.
White water rafting was a new concept to me entirely; I had not seen much grade 5 white water before then. The first time I mentally prepared myself for rafting, we got halfway up to a lookout point and discovered the river was too high for our trip to be adjured safe, and we had to abort. The second trip was better as we actually got the rafts into the river, but the water level was really low. I remember thinking rafting was not really all that, even Ďboringí may have crossed my mind. It was definitely third time lucky for me, and this trip completely nullified my previous thoughts. The river had risen to a very substantial level, and at the bottom of a rather Ďextremeí rapid our raft was caught on a rock and another raft ploughed into and over the top of the bow. Literally a minute before a friend had asked if I wanted to swap places, and the place that had doomed to be mine was now empty, and people were in the water, cavorting downstream. I just sat there staring at the emptiness, vaguely hearing our guide Darryn yelling back paddle. Now I am addicted!
River Valley has been in the press a lot lately, for an incident that occurred a few years ago. The guides are highly trained, but it is an adventurous activity and there are obviously elements of risk that occur, especially in Grade 5 white water. On a lighter note the Rangitikei is an amazing river to experience, and the gorge it winds through holds beautiful New Zealand fauna and flora with the extra special opportunity of maybe spotting a deer or pig. There are not many rafting companies arranged in such a way that you finish at the lodge, and are able to jump straight into a hot shower.
Everyone has their own unique memories of River Valley, mine were definitely the people. I met some amazing friends from all over the world who I have gone on to work, live, party and even fall in love with.
From the Rangitikei River I went to Mount Ruapehu, and slept on a friendís floor for a few months and attempted learning to snowboard. Ruapehu opens its doors for the ski season around June/July, and remains open until early Spring offering many job opportunities. Many avid snow orientated travellers work in rentals, operate the ski lifts, serve in its cafes and even teach people to ski and board. Both the north and south islands have ski fields, and are always looking for workers, and even on occasion offering visas to those who keep returning.
As summer approached and the snow melted, I decided to follow some raft guides to the south island and the Rangitata River, which runs through Peel Forest. The village of Peel Forest is about a two hour drive from Christchurch, turning off at Ashburton or a twenty minute drive from Geraldine if you come up from the south. The road in is flanked by farm land, field upon field of cattle, sheep deer and swede. The village is a consecutive line of houses occasionally interrupted by a native tree, with the Mustererís Bar and Cafe at the centre, which is also the local store.
Driving further on you reach the bottom of Little Mount Peel, and the start of an array of beautiful walks. A main reason for people visiting Peel Forest is for its DOC walking tracks, which vary in length and difficulty from a half hour walk to discover Peel Forests ďBig TreeĒ, to a six hour hike up Little Mount Peel and back. Doc also owns a large campground near the river, which is open from late August to April.
Other outdoor activities in Peel Forest include horse trekking, and white water rafting. White water rafting on the Rangitata River is a very different experience from the mighty Rangitikei. The Rangitikei is low volume and technical, where as the Rangitata is high volume grade 5. Meaning no matter what the river flow, the Rangitata always has two grade 5 rapids. It also holds the longest grade five white water rapid in New Zealand, which goes by the name of Ďthe pinchí. Expect action packed, and yes, you are going to get wet!
I left New Zealand at the start of winter that year, and headed back home. Two years later and I am back again, I missed the relaxed lifestyle, endless rainforests and mountain ranges too much. What began for me as a travelling adventure has turned into a way of life; New Zealand will always hold a special place and a home for me.
We departed from the Czech republic in october 2009 and we made one month trip in Thailand. After arrival we had booked the Ponsonby Backpacker. We have used the shuffle bus from airport, which can take you door to door for one-time fee 25 dollars per person.
I was trying to choose my bank thorougly for couple of days and finally the ANZ bank won, becouse this bank has the biggest network of branches and cashmachines. You pay only 5 dollars monthly fee and thatís it! No further fees! It is something unimaginable in the Czech republic! Great
Next step was to buy a car. We made a big trip (it was more like Great Walk) around Auckland to get some good reliable car (not a lemon, like couple of our friends) Ė but everything was so old with scary milage and for big money! Crazy! Finally weíve been saved by carmarket in Elerslie. We were trying to find something good from early morning, but we were disappointed until noon Ė in this moment we were approached by one car tout that he apparently has good van exactly for us.
This perfect car was Nissan Serena 2.0 petrol 4WD, but there wasnīt a bed Ė but weīve been told by seller it is not a problem to do it Ė so we had to wait until next dayÖ. We checked the car and we did the test drive Ė everything seemed to be alright so we paid a deposit. The seller brought us our new Nissan next day to a backpacker, already with bulit-in bed inside.
Today, 6 months later, i have to say the car is still awesome Ė there werenīt any problems! So, great technical condition, 1995, 3rd owner for 4.000 bucks! However we got a lesson Ė november is the worst month to buy a car Ė becouse everything is so expensive and only few cars on sale!
After one week what we have spent in Ackland we scooped direction to Hastings. We were expecting ubiquitous signs: We need workers! Ė but we were disappointed. There was nothing! We were trying to call everywhere and we have tried to find something on internet as wellÖ So, finally we found a job on Mr. Appleīs orchard in Waipawa. We have been thinning apples Ė it was pretty good job, weīve been living in comapnyīs camp in orchard (by the way, the camp is awesome!) and we got quite well paidÖ Weīve been satisfied anyway
Closely to x-mass thinning was terminated and we went to the northÖ We were wondering about that long time, becouse everybody wanted to go to the south island Ė and we (we Ė it means me, Nela and our new fried Tomas from camp) went to the north paradoxically, because it seemed to us can be crowded there on the south islandÖ
We started to work in Kerikeri in the middle of January and weīve been thinning kiwifruits Ė i must recommend this, it is cool job You are in the shade all day under the kiwifruit bush Ė and Ė you donīt have to use the ladder!!
We returned to Waipawa in early March Ė there was starting the apple picking. Weīve been working for hourly wage first week and everything was fine. But next couple of weeks were crazy! Weīve been paid only for count of bins we have done, and there were a days, when we have done only one bin for 40 bucks, becouse there were no apples!! It was fourth pick of royal gala varietyÖ And we said: ĄStop!ď in the moment, when we had only 100 dollars each on our payslips for a week of hard work! By law the company is obliged to pay each worker the minimum wage, and no amounts of bins! Its very sad, but i canīt recommend this copany for the picking!
Almost all staff quit like we and went to a different parts of this beautiful country. And now, we are working in packhouse for hourly wage and we are satisfied
Some tips from me:
There is a problem to get the car insurance for backpackers. AA offers a advantageous products only for residents and other companies are similar. But we found this: http://www.bbh.co.nz/default.aspx?pid=15
You can extend your working holiday visa for another 3 months with no problemÖ
When you put your car to the service just stay there with mechanic. It happend to us Ė we paid for wheel alignment and mechanics didnīt do that! We had to tell to boss it, he tested the car personally Ė he found out is is true and after they fixed it!
We also can recommend to buy AC/DC transmitter, which you can connect instead the car fighter Ė it is good to have a czech plug for laptop or cellphone charging.
My name is Agnese and I‚Äôm from Latvia (in case you don‚Äôt know where it is ‚Äď Europe, Baltic States, between Estonia and Lithuania, with beautiful capital city called Riga; No, we aren‚Äôt part of Russia anymore and Yes, we do have our own language - Latvian). The Working Holiday Scheme with New Zealand opened only in March, 2009, so ‚Äď for us it‚Äôs a pretty new thing, but I‚Äôm happy to know that more and more Latvians are applying for it and going for this lifetime adventure.
I think getting a Working Holiday Visa (if your country has such thing with NZ) is more or less the same ‚Äď quite easy. You just go to Immigration Service web page ‚Äď www.immigration.govt.nz and follow instructions: fill the application form, try to persuade Immigration Service that you haven‚Äôt done bad things in past (in a meaning - testify you haven‚Äôt been in a jail or something), might need to go see a doctor and get a Temporary Entry X-ray Certificate, wait for while until Visa is approved (for me it took 2 weeks, as I have heard for others - only 3 days), save some money, get flight tickets and here you go ‚Äď welcome to New Zealand. Easy ‚Äď peasy, but it‚Äôs just the beginning‚Ä¶
Then comes all the arrangements and sometimes confusing you-need-to-do-this-and-this regarding finding a work, place to live and actually starting to work. If your financial situation allows, then I would suggest that you do some traveling first and then find a place to settle down for a while rather than doing the other way around. Sometimes you can stuck in one place for a long time and afterwards feel sorry that your precious time here in this country starts to run out, but there is still so much to see and do.
But when you start to look for a work there are two things that you should do first ‚Äď get bank account and IRD number. There are many ways how can you get these 2 things (it depends if you have already a sort of ‚Äėpermanent‚Äô place to live and 2 international ID‚Äôs ‚Äď passport, international driver‚Äôs license or international ID card). I had only my passport, so I went to BNZ, gave them address of my hostel where I was staying at that moment, deposit some money, opened bank account and asked them to hand out a statement of my current address. With this statement I went to nearest Inland Revenue Service, filled application form and after 2 weeks received my IRD number. If you need to know it faster, you can call them and ask for it on the phone.
Regarding finding a work‚Ä¶well there is no super-duper/overall advice, sometimes it takes time, patience and determination and sometimes just a little bit of luck. So far I have worked in two places and the ways how I found them are quite opposite. I was on South Island and went to Christchurch which is the biggest city there, so it should be easy to find a work there, right? But the thing is that there are thousands of other travelers that think the same way, lots of them are heading to Christchurch for this reason. And then there are students, who look for summer jobs as well, so competition is quite high. But it depends what kind of work you are looking for and what kind of experience you already have. The main vacancies are in tourism and hospitality sector and usually they ask for experienced staff. I didn‚Äôt have any relevant experience, so it was hard for me to find anything. At the end (after some 2 weeks) I found a work as a housekeeper, but it was only a part time job, so I didn‚Äôt save lots of money. But I still had a great time and don‚Äôt have any regrets. The second work was in orchard ‚Äď cherry picking. To get this work I didn‚Äôt do anything, well‚Ä¶ except one phone call. I was heading to Alexandra to look for a fruit picking work, I called to book a bed at one of the hostels called Marj‚Äôs place. The owner ‚Äď Marj started to ask me out what I‚Äôm going to do in Alexandra. I explained that I want to do a little bit of traveling first and then find a fruit picking work. And then she said that by the time I get to Alexandra she will find me work in some of orchards. And that‚Äôs how it really was ‚Äď after traveling around the bottom of South Island, I went to Alexandra and was able to start work the next day. Thanks Marj. So, as you can see there are many scenarios about finding a work in New Zealand.
And there are many ways how to look for a job ‚Äď job agencies, community information boards (usually in supermarkets), internet, local newspapers, just walk in and ask (must warn that sometimes it can get very depressing to hear ‚ÄúNo, thank you. We don‚Äôt need anyone at this moment‚ÄĚ for the 57th time), but for the best results you have to try them all.
That‚Äôs my experience so far. Now I‚Äôm in Picton looking for a job again. Nice town, but not so much work opportunities, especially when the season is starting to end. But it‚Äôs going to be great, at the end it always is. Somehow it works out. Good luck!
All it started in Czech Republic where I have lived since I was born.
I always wanted to get to know country of the lord of the ring
or also country where lives more sheeps than people.:]
Even more there was an advantage of having summer twice a year.
So this all make my decision to go there.
My flight started in Vienna and I came to Auckland after two days
When one night I spend in luxury hotel arranged by my Flight company.
It was really luxury stage before come back to reality
After that Ive got to the reality
Just like that I have been in foreign country with a really heavy backpack
and no booked accommodation for a night.
What more... there was really expensive bus to the Auckland downtown .
Later I have found out that for this price u could pay half way to Hastings.
So question is why I have a feeling that this is kind of playing with people
who dont have any other chance to get to the city.
So anyway lets move on
After two weeks I bought car cause in the city
was almost no chance to get a job for me and only possibility to stay
with an money is going to do seasonal jobs.
Which was much more easier to find with a car.
Lately I got call that if I have got car
I was going to get a job
And that was how I found my first job.
Thinning apples was my first experience that
earning maney would be that easy as it was addressed in much traveling agencies
After that experience I had a many similiar jobs where most important
was have two fast hands, strong shoulders and been able to do same
kind of moving whole day.
Also I would like to say that sometimes it is hard to work for an constractors
How u should take those people seriously when they are not paying u correctly,
forgeting about hours,names and when u have worked.
Offen also happends that they dont need u for whole week even u are asking them.
And later youll get to know that they came to your backpacker and asked
just for asian people.
Kind of discrimination?
Now I am staying in Hasting and guess what I do picking apples job.
Like a most of people in this time.
So in the end if u are thinking about going to New Zealand.
I would recommended it.
It is beatifull country with a lot to show.
But just be sure that if u want to do backpacking and earn some money
during traveling it would not be easy and sometimes u maybe wouldnt
find a job.
Good luck with finding right job!!
we applied for the visa directly through nz immigration website.
we got our ird and bank accounts through visa first. but should of done it when arrived as was soo easy to do and would of saved money.
we arrived in Christchurch and had already arranged to stay in a place called urban rooms we ended up staying there for 3 months.
my hubby worked as a tourist photographer at the Christchurch gondola and Antarctic centre.
we also worked in a local outdoor shop together.
we also did a lot of helpx work in b&bs and hostels which eventually led us to manage a big 100 bed hostel over on the west coast.
we found most of the jobs ourselves and most on the bbh website.
we loved it so much we are back in 3 months time
check out blog at blog.mlcoffeybean.co.uk
My story started in Czech republic in Prague. I was looking for some job in Prague during the summer, but I wasnīt successful. One day i got an idea to find some job in another country. I decided to travel and earn money in New Zealand. Why New Zealand? When I was young I have met some people from Czechoslovakia who emigrated to New Zealand during communism in our country and they told me that New Zealand is great country for tramping. I realy love tramping and hiking and I have heard that NZ has good opportunity to get seasonals jobs. This reasons was leading me to change my dreams into reality. I started looking for informations about New Zealand and how to travel, where and how I can get visa and working permit. I have found all information on internet. First step was to get visa. Student agency arrange visa for me and they help me to buy fly ticket. I arrived to Auckland in the end of October. I have spent two day in Auckland to apply for IRD number and arrange bank account. Then I moved to Taupo for one day for small trip and then to Hastings. I was so fool, that I didnīt book accommodation in this town. I had a problem to find some, but finally I got accommodation, but only for one night. Second day I went to information centre and they helped me to find accommodation in Napier, because all backpackers in Hastings were full. I went to Hastings cos I have read that there is a big chance to get job in apple orchard for tinning apples. This work usually starts at November, but people told me, that this year was strong winter and this work is going to start later. They told me the same in Napier. I decided that traveling is better than waitting for job. After some day I have visited Mahia peninsula with two guys from Czech republic. I have met them in Naked bus. And then we went to great walk lake Waikaremoana. Very nice experience was in Whakatane in work and income office. One lady help us very much with looking for work. So we moved to Te Puke for picking kiwi flowers. We were working for contractor Al Kirimana for one week in kiwi fruit orchards. After this work we traveled to Taupo to find better job like housekeeping. Contractor Al told us, that he will send our money to our bank accounts on Wednesday, but reality is that he has never send me it. I have spent about 30 NZD to call him or text him, but his reaction always was: Ąsry I always 4gotď. Now Iīm trying to solve this problem with picknz and department of labor. In fact I wonīt see my money anymore. Then I spent one week in Taupo. Door to door asking and interviews werenīt successful. The most interesting experience here was small trip around lake Taupo and tour trough sheep farm with owner, but he have not had work for men (male). First of December I moved to Hastings again and registred in picknz. After two hours I have received message with contact to Thornhill and my work in vineyards has bugun. Wire lifting Ė tacking and budrubbing. Between X-mas and New Year I was in Tongariro for Tongariro northern circuit great walk. After New Year I did not have chance to get job and Thornhill gave opportunity to another guys. But French friends from vineyards found job for Peter - awesome Ąkiwiď farmer in kiwi orchard near to Clive. Kiwi fruit tinning. It was only for 5 days. Then I was working in plum orchards Ė picking for 2weeks. From 28 of January me and my friend donīt have work and trying the best to find it every day. It is not easy now and apple season is going to start mid February.