How fruit and wine can help you explore the wonders of New Zealand
It’s no secret that New Zealand has some of the most breath taking scenery in the world with towering mountains, lush rolling landscapes and dramatic coastlines.
The good news is that visitors to New Zealand on a working holiday visa can work and explore this majestic country at the same time, and the even better news is there are two industry’s that can provide employment in some of the most spectacular locations New Zealand has to offer.
Horticulture and viticulture are two important industries in New Zealand providing seasonal or short-term employment where you can enjoy an active, outdoor Kiwi lifestyle while working on orchards or vineyards located throughout the country in roles that include picking and packing various fruits and vegetables, or pruning and planting. Wine and kiwifruit are two of New Zealand’s biggest export earners but there is plenty of work to be found harvesting other fruit and vegetables as well. While there are jobs throughout the country there are some key regions where these two industries thrive.
Located at the very top of New Zealand, Northland is the only sub-tropical region in the country making it the perfect place for growing kiwifruit, citrus fruits and even, more recently, blueberries. Kiwifruit is the region’s main crop where about 3.6 million trays of green and gold Kiwifruit are grown annually! Northland is also one of New Zealand’s main growing regions for avocados. When you aren’t busy harvesting and packing these fruits there are many unforgettable adventures to enjoy in the region. Some major attractions include Cape Reinga, the Northern most point of New Zealand where you can see the dramatic moment the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea, Ninety Mile Beach gives you the chance for an adrenaline fix and toboggan down giant sand dunes, the stunning Bay of Islands with its crystal clear waters and quaint historic towns is the perfect place to swim with dolphins, go sailing or just relax on pristine golden beaches. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the birthplace of New Zealand is a must-see and don’t miss the ancient Kauri trees in the Waipoua Forest! Learn more about Northland here. ( http://www.northlandnz.com/)
Bay of Plenty
The coastal Bay of Plenty is the sunniest region in the North Island and is most famous for its kiwifruit production. In fact, most of New Zealand’s kiwifruit is produced here with the majority grown near the small town of Te Puke, also known as the Kiwifruit capital of New Zealand. It boasts a giant kiwifruit sign to prove it! It is also one of the country’s main growing regions for avocados thanks to its warm climate and fertile soils. Citrus fruits such as mandarins, oranges and lemons are also grown in abundance. The bay also has plenty of things to explore including the cosmopolitan town of Tauranga, the stunning white beaches of Mt Maunganui, or get your camping fix and explore the stunning coastline the Kiwi way! More information about the region can be found here. (http://www.bayofplentynz.com/main/home/ )
Located on the East Coast of the North Island the Hawkes Bay is renowned for producing approximately half of the country’s apples. Apples love the unique climate in New Zealand and are the second largest fresh-fruit export after kiwifruit. In fact, fruit flourishes in this region so well that the town of Hastings is known as the fruit bowl of New Zealand producing not only apples but pears, plums, apricots, strawberries, nectarines and asparagus to name a few. The region is also famous for its viticulture, producing high-quality wine and boasting over 100 vineyards so it’s also a good option for finding work picking, packing and pruning grapes! So when you are not enjoying the fruit of your labour and consuming some of New Zealand’s best wine and food, there are also lots of other activities to enjoy including the charming art deco town of Napier and the delights of the regions long hot summers. More information about the Hawkes Bay is available here. (http://www.hawkesbaynz.com/ )
The sunny Nelson region is situated at the top of the South Island and is blessed with some of the most spectacular scenery right on its doorstep thanks to three national parks. Nelsons warm climate makes it the second largest apple producing region in the country. Although it is a minor wine-producing area it does have vineyards and has been busy carving a niche for itself as a producer of fine aromatic wines such as pinot gris, riesling and gewürztraminer. Nelson also produces plenty of pears, kiwifruit and hops. Nelson is a great place to spend time with its thriving arts and crafts scene, funky micro-breweries, incredible walks, mountain bike trails and offers a smorgasbord of water sports to enjoy. Find out more about Nelson here. (http://www.nelsonnz.com/ )
Malborough is all about wine. It’s famous for its world-class sauvignon blanc and is the largest wine-producing region in New Zealand with 75 per cent of the nation’s entire wine production happening in the area. This provides plenty of job opportunities for grape picking, packing or pruning. It is also located near the stunning Marlborough Sounds which you can enjoy by land or sea and if you’re feeling adventurous how about diving for scallops or getting out the fishing rod and enjoy some fresh seafood washed down with this famous wine! Learn more about Marlborough here. (http://www.newzealand.com/int/marlborough/ )
Central Otago has become renowned for creating silky, smooth pinot noir. Located inland in the southern depths of the South Island it has a unique micro-climate and has become a fast-growing player in the wine industry with around 6,500 tonnes of grapes being produced from about 1500 hectares of land in 2010. The area also produces a plethora of fruits particularly cherries and apricots, as well as nectarines, peaches, plums, pears and apples. When you aren’t hard at work harvesting, there is plenty to explore including historic gold mining sites, fabulous bike trails and quaint historic towns. Learn more about beautiful Central Otago here. (http://www.centralotagonz.com/ )