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Whale and Dolphin Watching

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 Bryde’s 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.  “What does thatinvolve?” I asked.

“I’mnot 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.”

“Sounds good, can you put a goodword in for me?”

I went with my friend to meet Andyat the Ranger Station in ‘Arc in the Park’.  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 Zealand’s 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!





Submitted by: Edward Baker
Date submitted: 13/08/2011 7:26:05 AM

Apple grading & stacking Fri Jun 8

Grape picking Fri Jun 8

Blueberry picking Fri Jun 8

Hop work in Motueka Tue May 16

Working as an apple packer in Motueka Mon May 9

Working for free accommodation in Wellington Thu Mar 24

From working holiday visa to a resident Thu Mar 24

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

Working with Kiwi fruit Thu Mar 24

The Christmas rush Mon Feb 29

Packing kiwifruit in Motueka Mon Feb 29

Asparagus picking Mon Feb 29

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


The Gorilla Hut Sun May 26

Working in sales in NZ Mon May 13

Life as an apple picker Mon May 13

Marahau Sun May 5

hanging nets at isabel vinyard Mon Mar 25

Farm stay Tue Feb 5

Berry-Picking and Ice-Cream Making Tue Dec 18

Vineyard Work in Blenheim Sun Nov 25

Working As A "Milkman" Sat Aug 4

Being an au-pair Thu Aug 2

Grape harvesting in Central Otago Thu Aug 2

Whenever Wed Jun 6

Picking up the oil in Tauranga Mon May 21

Onion grading Sat May 12

Omarama, Place of Light Tue Apr 3

Napier or the job war Sun Apr 1

Some helpful tips Wed Feb 29

Fruit picking in Central Otago Mon Feb 27

Some useful tips Thu Feb 16

Fruit picking in Motueka Wed Jan 18

Where Do We Go From Here Tue Dec 20

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

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

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

I only had $100 to my name Sun Nov 20

Odd Jobs In Central Otago Sun Nov 20

Peach thinning working experience Sun Nov 20

The young vines were frosted over Sun Nov 20

The work found me Sun Nov 20

Working for Watties Factory Mon Oct 24

Working New Zealand from a different perspective Mon Oct 24

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

My first job in vineyards was stripping Mon Oct 24

My happiness was indescribable Tue Oct 18

Working in a Packhouse in Auckland Tue Oct 18

Working on a vineyard in Blenheim Tue Oct 18

Cycling in New Zealand not friendly Tue Oct 18

Fruit Picking Tips for New Zealand Mon Aug 22

Whale and Dolphin Watching Sat Aug 13

Cherry Picking in Central Otago Sat Aug 13

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

No one got payslips, really crazy Sat Jul 23

picked apples at first Sat Jul 23

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

cash-in-hand odd jobs Sat Jul 23

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

Talking to strangers about charity Sat Jul 23

Fresh out of college Sat Jul 23

Working trees for $350 per week Sat Jul 23

German Windsurf Instructor in New Zealand Sun Jul 17

Vineyard work in South Island New Zealand Sun Jul 17

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


Wilding Pines Sun Jul 17

boss was very nice and friendly Sun May 8

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

Mr Apple packhouse experience Mon May 2

North Island Notes Wed Apr 20

Fruitpicking in Napier Wed Apr 20

blueberry harvest season Thu Apr 7

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

Mate! You are on fire!! Sun Mar 20

The real vineyard work lowdown Fri Mar 11

I had pretty much run out of cash Wed Mar 9

The Land of New Zealand Mon Feb 28

Work in backpackers in exchange for accommodation Sat Feb 26

heard cattle on motorbikes Fri Feb 18

Traditional Maori hangi Thu Feb 17

Fortune Fruit and spitting cherry pits competitions Tue Feb 15

When I got to Whangamata... Sat Feb 12

I could romanticize it… Tue Dec 7

I thought it sounded interesting Tue Dec 7

My New Zealand adventure :) Wed Nov 3

Well I am from Mexico... Mon Oct 25

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

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

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

First Job Thinning Apples... Mon Mar 1

Damn recession! Wed Feb 10

Loving New Zealand.. Mon Feb 8

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

A Czech in New Zealand.. Fri Feb 5

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