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I had always been dreaming about coming to New Zealand

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 ( 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., Moreover, it is not difficult to find many English ones:, 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 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.:,,, ...

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 ( 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:,

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 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:,, or 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.

For accommodation, I recommend:,, or any local newspapers and ads in supermarkets.

First we were working in Blenheim at vineyards. The job was called “wire-lifting” 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 “grader” 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!

Submitted by: Michaela
Date submitted: 24/10/2011 2:43:11 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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