So, we bought Hone Heke Lodge backpackers in Kerikeri and realised very early on that on our doorstep was a whole array of orchards all baying for backpackers who could work at the drop of a hat ,work long hours and for as long as possible. There is seasonal work Kerikeri all year round too.
Hone Heke Lodge had for a long time been a key worker provider for the orchards and we quickly had an oppurtunity to reintroduce ourselves and the team to the orchards.
Now, coming from London my knowledge on all things fruit was minimal so it seemed a great idea to get an insight into how the orchards worked and how we could help them.
We were very lucky and quickly established some key relationships with our orchards and started recruiting and ferrying the teams to the wonderful orchards in the wider Kerikeri area. Listening to the guys talk about the work is always enlightening but I really wanted to experience it for myself to really understand what the work is all about because you certainly hear many different views around the same line of work.
So I was delighted to get the oppurtunity to work in a packhouse for a few weeks in spring packing the wonderful avocados picked from the top part of New Zealand.
So with 5 trusty backpackers I carefully drove the to pack house with it must be said a little trepidation but excitement too. The first part was the making sure all paperwork was current and correct. IRD numbers, work visas and passport verification , a safety run through and walkabout introducing us all to our new home for the next few weeks.
Fitted up with our new aprons,hairnets and gloves we each selected a conveyor lane which became our new working desks for the coming weeks.
With a push of the button from the supervisor the fruit started coming and hit your lane. Slowly at first it is a bit of a doddle but as the machine finds it true speed you start filing box after box and push it down to the stackers at the end.
Let’s not be romantic about it…it is hard work, noisy at times and relentless but fun with your new teams. Their is a certain comradarie that is built really quickly in this kind of environment and there is nothing like working with locals. That I think is the big plus, mixing with real kiwis who are just exceptional people.
Like I say it is not easy but it is the sort of job you have to do when travelling and one you will remember for ever.
If you can get enough hours each week this is a great way to fund your travels out of the cold in a safe controlled environment working with real kiwis and like I mentioned before making memories you will never forget.
What are you waiting for!? Contact us now if want to know more about seasonal work Kerikeri.
Find out more about seasonal work Kerikeri and working in the North