How awesome was New Zealand?
Cody: I liked the laidback attitude of the whole country. The locals are all really friendly. The scenery was great too – there are so many beautiful places to see!
Can you describe what is a Starter Pack?
Cody: It is a program that basically helps you get started with a working holiday. It sets you up and is there for you if you need advice during the whole year.
What was the best thing that your agency did for you?
Cody: The first few days were really helpful: I was really stressed out and we made a plan together. It really helped!
How easy was it to travel around New Zealand?
Cody: I used the Stray hop-on hop-off. It was nice, I got to see a lot that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I would have liked to do more road trips if I was travelling with a group of friends but this was a great alternative and I liked every stop.
Tell me about one place that you really loved?
Cody: The West Coast scenery was just stunning. I loved the view of the mountain ranges. I visited the area twice because I liked it so much.
What kind of jobs did you do here in New Zealand?
Cody: It was really easy to get a job here compared to back home!
I got my first job in Blenheim in a mussel factory. I was working long shifts at night but I was well paid.
My second job was kiwifruit picking. I barely worked as the weather wasn’t great. The job was difficult and unrewarding so I left after three weeks and went onto work in a pack house. I was working with a group. We stayed together in the same hostel and it was a lot of fun.
I also worked in a rose orchard near Hastings with just one backpacker and a few Kiwi guys, which was a good experience because most of my time in New Zealand wasn’t actually spent around New Zealanders.
I moved onto work in a kiwifruit orchard near Gisborne. I was bud thinning and it paid well, although it was very repetitive.
Finally, my last job was blueberry picking. I liked that job quite a lot as the hours were super flexible.
What did this trip teach you?
Cody: I can’t think of something specific but I met people from all over the world! I can’t believe that a little over a year ago I was in my very small community back in the US with very closed-minded views. I think that it opened my mind and got rid of many of my stereotypes.
What advice would you give to someone that is about to go to New Zealand on a working holiday visa?
Cody: Don’t stress out too much. It all works out.
Watch your money too, many backpackers try to live in the same fashion than back home and spend way too much.
Last question, would you recommend getting a Starter Pack to your friends?
Cody: Yes, because it was great help for me and much cheaper than I thought.