Seriously, how awesome was New Zealand?
Jonas: It was the best year of my life! Being away from home travelling was always something I wanted to do. Because New Zealand is so small I could see everything I wanted and do everything I wanted without having to worry too much, it was so great.
The hostels in the country have great price and quality ratio in my opinion. And the people are incredibly friendly. Add to that the stunning landscape, I mean “fairy tale beautiful”, and you’ve got the best year of my life!
Describe what an Arrival Company does?
Jonas: They helped me with my first steps in the country and to set up the bank account and other complicated paperwork. They also offered me a perfect permanent address service so that I could start travelling and not just wait for my IRD number or other letters. I have to say that my IRD application went very smoothly thanks to them. It was great.
They also kept in touch with me – calling me out of the blue to see if I was alive. Also, they taught me about WWOOFing, which was a truly great tip. I almost forgot, their help with my CV even before arriving in NZ was amazing!
So what do you think about Working Holiday Starter services?
Jonas: Good, very personal, friendly and super easygoing.
What is the best thing the did for you?
Jonas: Hard to find only one but all the free beers vouchers were nice, haha!
I’d have to say that the first few days in Auckland really helped me. We did all the necessary set up things but also saw all around the city. It was in a very relaxed environment. Oh yeah, and the trip we took to Devonport was so much fun!
Can you pick three memorable moments in your trip?
Jonas: Wow, hard one!
The Great Walk (Rakiura Track) in Steward Island has to be on the top, as we saw a kiwi bird in the wild! Also we ate the cheapest oysters in New Zealand, awesome!
Franz Josef was also unforgettable for another reason; it was raining for two weeks straight then it stopped exactly when we decided to go for a hike. We went for our walk and there were waterfalls everywhere, it was like The Lord of the Rings and we also saw a beautiful kea bird.
Last one, I have to pick my few months in Wellington, which, in my opinion is the most perfect city in New Zealand. I started stand up comedy and I met amazing people. It was a great experience. If you stop down there, do not miss the Te Papa museum!
What was the best dollar you spent in New Zealand?
Jonas: Condoms… just joking. My WWOOF membership, as it really opened up a lot of opportunities.
What jobs did you do here in New Zealand?
Jonas: I did a lot of different things:
I worked in construction in Wellington. That was really hard work.
I worked as a receptionist for the Ministry of Internal Affairs Translation Services. I really loved it but I only worked 25 hours per week so I had too much time on my hands.
In Hanmer Springs, I worked in a hotel and bar. I was cleaner in the morning and waiter in the evening.
And, finally, I did a lot of WWOOFing that I enjoyed much more than paid work to be honest.
Did you like staying in hostels in New Zealand?
Jonas: I stayed mostly in BBH hostels and it was amazing. Great quality hostels, pretty cheap and I met a lot of travellers, which was awesome.
Tell me about one person that you met that was memorable?
Jonas: I met a Scottish girl in a hostel in Wellington and we ended up flatting together for a few months. We also met up again in Dunedin to travel a bit around the Otago Peninsula. A few months later, we met again in the Bay of Islands and in Auckland. It was great seeing a familiar face every few months.
What advice would you give to somebody that is about to come to New Zealand on a working holiday visa?
Jonas: I have three pieces of advice:
1- Inform yourself about different travel roads in NZ.
2- Pick a means of transportation first and it will work itself out.
3- Also, spend more time on the South Island, as it is much more stunning than the North Island.
Would you recommend getting an Arrival Pack to your friends?
Jonas: Yes, because every traveller needs a bit of help to get started in a new country. They were great!