How awesome was New Zealand?
Annice: On a scale of one to awesome, it was awesome! I liked both islands, the south for the scenery and the north because it had lots going on.
Arthur: Right! Wellington is the place to be – I tried 86 different beers there!
Can you describe what is a Starter Pack?
Annice: It’s the best thing we did! Everybody else we met was lost on arrival or not well looked after. For us everything was uncomplicated and everything was done within a day or two. They even woke us up on the first day because we were a bit late, haha!
Arthur: If I have to describe it, I’d say that it is like a big brother or a safety net. We could go back to them all the time if needed.
What was the best thing that they did for you?
Annice: The first few days that we spent setting everything up went seamlessly. They also helped us meet a lot of people on the road.
Arthur: Being there available to contact any time. It made our trip super easy.
You travelled around New Zealand with a Hop On Hop Off bus, how was it?
Arthur: We met some really good friends on the road and saw a lot of places but the experience really depended on which driver you get. We mostly had good ones though.
Annice: Yes we saw a lot! We stopped in lot of random places, like the 42 Parallel. And when you get a good driver, you can learn a lot about New Zealand too!
Tell me about one place that you really loved?
Annice: I loved the Abel Tasman National Park, it was really beautiful. We camped on the way and got to watch the moonrise there.
Arthur: I love Wellington! There is a lot of live music, gardens… There is always something happening. Also, you can eat in so many places for quite cheap.
What is the most memorable activity that you did in New Zealand?
Annice: We did bone carving in Barrytown on the South Island. The lady was crazy but it was a great experience. Whatever you make turns out awesome because she helps you with it.
Arthur: The Luge in Queenstown was so fun! I did not expect it was going to be as good as it was. It was a good simple fun.
What kind of jobs did you do here in New Zealand?
Arthur: We did some WWOOFing first. We met great people and we really liked it, although the work was quite hard, but rewarding. Then in Wellington I worked as a bartender in a nice small bar by the dock. And finally in Christchurch, I worked in an Irish Bar with Annice. I loved working there because we had an amazing team.
Annice: I was housekeeper in a hotel in Wellington. It was perfect for me, because I like to work independently most of the time. But the other ladies I sometimes worked with came from different countries and cultures to me, like Samoa, so it was quite interesting. And in Christchurch I worked in the same Irish bar than Arthur!
Arthur: Overall, we found looking for job quite easy compared to home.
Where did you stay most of your time?
Annice: On the road and when we just arrived somewhere we stayed in hostels. In Wellington, we got a student flat for three months while we were working. However, in Christchurch it was a bit more difficult to find a place, even a long-term hostel. But we managed to find a shared house.
Was it easy to save money on the road?
Annice: Yes, I think that we knew where and when to spend money and when not to. We used a car transfer once, which saved us a lot of money too.
Arthur: We worked enough to pay for more travel so that was the smart way to do it.
What was the best dollar you spent in New Zealand?
Arthur: I bought an L-shaped pillow because most hostels have quite bad pillows! I am taking it with me for the rest of my travels.
Annice: The Cock-a-doodle-oink Burger from Fergburger. It was the best thing I ate the whole trip!
What did this trip teach you?
Annice: How to use a deep fat fryer, haha!
Arthur: We never lived together before this trip, so it brought us closer together. We also learned that we can do it! We always contemplated and were always a bit scared of taking the jump. We didn’t have to be rich, outgoing or anything else, we made it as we are!
It was fun, but we had some stressful parts that taught us a lot and in the end.
What advice would you give to someone that is about to go to New Zealand on a working holiday visa?
Arthur: Backpacking does not mean that you have to get a “backpack”. A suitcase is much more practical.
So, what is your next step?
Annice: We are going to Thailand for two weeks to meet some of Arthur’s friends then fly back home. This trip has made us want to travel more so we made a list of places that we want to visit. We have a lot places to see, especially in Eastern Europe.
Last question, would you recommend getting a Starter Pack to your friends?
Arthur: Do it, they’ll look after you. Seriously!