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Hi, my name is Jan Mencner and I am from the Czech Republic.We decided with my girlfriend Nela to explore New Zealand, becouse, according to us, it’s very amazing country with beautiful nature and nice people…
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 that’s 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) – but everything was so old with scary milage and for big money! Crazy! Finally we’ve been saved by carmarket in Elerslie. We were trying to find something good from early morning, but we were disappointed until noon – 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 wasn´t a bed – but we´ve been told by seller it is not a problem to do it – so we had to wait until next day…. We checked the car and we did the test drive – 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 – there weren´t any problems! So, great technical condition, 1995, 3rd owner for 4.000 bucks! However we got a lesson – november is the worst month to buy a car – 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! – but we were disappointed. There was nothing! We were trying to call everywhere and we have tried to find something on internet as well… So, finally we found a job on Mr. Apple´s orchard in Waipawa. We have been thinning apples – it was pretty good job, we´ve been living in comapny´s camp in orchard (by the way, the camp is awesome!) and we got quite well paid… We´ve been satisfied anyway
Closely to x-mass thinning was terminated and we went to the north… We were wondering about that long time, becouse everybody wanted to go to the south island – and we (we – 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 island…
We started to work in Kerikeri in the middle of January and we´ve been thinning kiwifruits – i must recommend this, it is cool job You are in the shade all day under the kiwifruit bush – and – you don´t have to use the ladder!!
We returned to Waipawa in early March – there was starting the apple picking. We´ve been working for hourly wage first week and everything was fine. But next couple of weeks were crazy! We´ve 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 variety… And we said: „Stop!“ 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 can´t 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 problem…
When you put your car to the service just stay there with mechanic. It happend to us – we paid for wheel alignment and mechanics didn´t do that! We had to tell to boss it, he tested the car personally – 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 – it is good to have a czech plug for laptop or cellphone charging.
Submitted by: Nela Popiolkova Date submitted: 26/04/2010 6:38:32 a.m.