From Kiwi fruit to sulphur lakes!

Trip Start Sep 21, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
The oldest and crappest "holiday" park in the world!

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hi everyone!

Well its been a busy (and somewhat stressful) few weeks since we arrived in the beautiful city of Auckland. First plans were to buy a van so we could travel for a few weeks, sleep in the van and find somewhere nice to live/work for a few months.

Now if everything sounded as good as it does on paper the world would be a much easier place, although maybe less interesting.

Unfortunately backpackers van in good condition are not that easy to come by. New Zealand has quite strict laws on cars and every 6 months all cars need to get a Warrant of fitness ( W.O.F) Once we found out about these laws we knew we needed a van in quite good condition so it wouldnt fail these tests, also we would be doing quite a lot of driving and didnt want a lemon! So what happens in NZ in quite a lot of immigrants and refugees make their living by selling pieces of shit vans to unsuspecting backpackers. We were not going to waste our hard earned money so ended up spending a week in Auckland looking for the perfect van that never arrived. Even the so called backpackers car market was dodgy. A lot of overpriced vans all with the same built in beds in the back and not a backpacker in sight.

A few things we loved about Auckland; the 48 volcano cones that surround the city. We climbed Mt Eden and were rewarded with awesome views across the city and a look into the massive crater! We were also amazed at how many Asians were there but as most of you know were so happy as we love asian food. The food courts are really cheap (about 9 NZD a meal, you do the maths) and really authentic. The city is windy which we expected as it is surrounded by harbours and very very hilly.

Finally after searching all week with not a lot of fun thrown in we found one van we were happy with and after paying for a 140 dollar pre purchase check only to be told the car was worth 400 dollars we decided to get out of Auckland and find some work in Kiwi country in the Bay of Plenty. The Bay of Plenty is only 3 hours east from Auckland driving through beautiful sscenery. W were really lost at this point and felt the van search was going nowhere and we had really seen nothing of nz.

We heard there are always jobs in the Kiwi plantations there and we found budget caravans at a holiday park in Te Puke. The vans were only 150 a week which was what accomodation was costing us for 2 nights in Auckland and we thought it would be great to work and stay cheap for a few months....Once again WRONG! The kiwi jobs at the moment are the kiwi flower picking. Where you pick the flowers from the kiwi vines as they crush them to spray the pollen over the vines, You get paid by how many kilos of flowers you pick with the average paid for a kilo about 5 NZD!!! No-one in their right mind can honestly think that sounds good or worth the effort, Flowers are weightless and we have heard reports of people working ten hours and picking 5 kilos. Ha ha 25 dollars a day for 10 hours work. No thanks.

We then decided that at least we had cheap accomodation so we could start looking in Rotorua (famous NZ town for its thermal activity) for jobs and accomodation. We waited for a bus in Te Puke to take us somewhere and it really just never came. Bus services here are strange as you need to be booked on it and they are all different privately owned companies. Another slap in the face for us and it was off to Avis to rent a car for the week we were here so at least we could get around and buy shopping and everything else. Our "holiday park" is apparently a 10 min walk out of town if you read the website but we have done it about 6 times now and we generally average 30-40 min! A car was much needed.

Once we started looking for jobs we were told numeroous times that "so was everyone" and the recession has hit hard so many people were in the same situation. Not what we wanted to hear so after much talking, a few tears and a couple of temper tantrums we decided we should use the cheap accomodation week to find a flat and jobs in Auckland (biggest city in nz so more opportunity) and work there for 6 months, saving up again, buying an empty van, putting in the bed and everything ourselves and then travelling for the last few months.

So far we have had a good result. Heading back to Auckland tomorrow as in one day both got 3 job interviews! We also have 2 fully furnished apartments to look at right in the city. The best job we are both being interviewed for is working for a company that do fundraising. We would be full time fundraisers, door knocking for the Red Cross and after that spend most of our time getting paid to go around nz and work. We had a quick phone interview, we both have face to face interviews on Thursday and she said if all goes well we will start Monday! There may be a catch but to be honest it alol sounds good so far! A so long as we have a base rate and 30-40 hours a week work then all should be good.

So then today we have been exploring the thermal wonderland at Rotorua, very stinky but absolutely amazing colours because of all the minerals in the soil and water. We saw a geyser erupt, bubbling mud and the beautiful champagne pool. It was nice to have a day where we could enjoy being in nz and not stressing about jobs/vans etc.

So tomorrow back to Auckland, will keep everyone updated on our job/living situations!!

Bye for now,

Tegan and Tim xxxx
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Henny on

Lieve Tim en Tegan,
Hopelijk wordt jullie zoektocht naar een job beloont as. donderdag.
Ik kan me voorstellen dat je van te voren dingen plant die je daarna weer bij moet stellen, maar dat is jullie beiden wel toevertrouwd.
Zo leer je aan den lijve hoe de maatschappelijke en economische situatie van een land op dat moment is.
Gelukkig hebben jullie tussen alle beslommeringen door ook nog oog voor het mooie landschap want daar gaan jullie natuurlijk ook voor.
Veel succes, wijsheid en mooie ontmoetingen met anderen..
Zorg goed voor elkaar! liefs die muttie xxxxxxx

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