3Customer Service at Abel Tasman AquaTaxi

Customer Service at Abel Tasman AquaTaxi

“Marahau Radio, Kaiteri Booth. Do you copy?”

During my Workaway, I started applying to jobs that looked pretty cool all over New Zealand. And then I got hired at Abel Tasman AquaTaxi without really knowing where I was going. So I drove all the way down the North Island to the North of the South Island for this job.

And there… When I arrived in Marahau for the first time, I was simply amazed. I really fell in love with this area. My first morning of work was a 3 hour cruise exploring the Abel Tasman National Park. I was absolutely ecstatic. I have always been a beach girl, but this job really showed me the positive effects on my mental health that being close to the water gave me. Being on the boat calms me down, seeing the turquoise water amazes me, getting a call to report dolphins/whales, or better yet ORCAS (my little girl dream) excites me. In short, it’s really an environment I love!

The job itself is mainly to advise people on the different places in the park they can explore and then book their water taxi. I also create multi-day itineraries mixing hiking, kayaking, boating, and organize luggage transfers to free up weight for the hikers. I also book their camp in Marahau or in the park if necessary. In my second season with them (I worked with them from November 2019 to March 2020, and again from November 2021 to May 2022), I was given a bit more responsibility. So I was sometimes in charge of opening and closing the center, billing, and radio calls which mainly consist of transmitting and receiving important information with the boats that are already in the park. I can also help train new staff, and I intend to learn how to drive the tractors that bring the boats to the water.

Although this kind of work seems to require more skills than the more traditional backpacker jobs, it is, in fact, very accessible to everyone. In tourism, attitude is usually the most important aspect. You can always learn a new computer program, but it’s harder to learn to be social, to listen and to have fun. So show that you have a fun attitude and that you are willing to learn. Also, English is obviously essential and French can be very useful so don’t hesitate to show off your language skills!


I think working in tourism is one of the best jobs you can do. The main advantage is that you really become an “expert” of the area. Not only do we learn about the specific place where we work, but also about the whole region.

In addition, we often collaborate with other tour operators. So I had the opportunity to try activities like canyoning for free. I am also very lucky to have access to all the activities we offer (boating, kayaking, hiking) on my days off. So I can spend as much time as I want in idyllic landscapes, enjoying some of the best beaches in New Zealand. It’s paradise!

Finally, I have developed strong and sincere friendships through this job. Most of my colleagues have become very close and have been there for me, each in their own way, when I was struggling in one way or another. The people I met at AquaTaxi are now some of my closest friends in New Zealand. Plus, they bring a great atmosphere to work. It’s just great!


In the summer, it can become very fast-paced. The days are long, fast and intense. You can get tired very quickly if you don’t get enough rest. On top of that, we also work on weekends. So it can be a little difficult to have a social life outside of work.

Sometimes, you also need to have a lot of patience to interact with customers, especially when they come to complain that the tide is too low or that there is too much sand on the beach. But it makes for funny stories to tell.

Bottom line: tested, extra-approved.

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Voyageuse belge depuis 2012, j'ai vécu aux USA et aux Bahamas avant de m'envoler vers la Nouvelle-Zélande où je vis depuis 2019. Je partage avec vous mes meilleurs tips NZ grâce à pvtistes.net et vous accompagne dans votre préparation au départ, avant de moi-même prendre à nouveau mon envol...

Belgian traveler since 2012. I have lived in the USA and the Bahamas and I have now been living in New Zealand since 2019. I share my best NZ tips with you and I help you prepare for your big adventure. I will soon be going on to my next one myself...

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