7Blueberry picking

Blueberry picking

3 tons. That’s the amount of blueberries I picked in 6 months. Don’t be impressed by this number because I was actually very bad and among the slowest.

When I started this job, I was in a bit of a happy bubble because I had just received an SSE extension from the New Zealand government following the pandemic. The SSE visa is a visa that only allows you to work in horticulture. At the time, I was just grateful to be able to stay in New Zealand, and if the job restrictions were the price to pay, I was happy to accept it.


I love the summer. So I was very happy to be working outside despite the heat. On top of that, I don’t want to brag, but I had an AMAZING tan.

Thanks to this job, I was also able to devote more time to my social life. In fact, my 6 months in the blueberries were probably the 6 months where my social life was the greatest (along with my factory job, to follow). Since many backpackers work in the field, whether they are with you or not, you will probably have the same days off. So it’s easy to hang out with your friends and complain together about our wonderful work.

Finally, as far as jobs in horticulture go, picking blueberries is probably among the easiest. There are no ladders. it’s not heavy. It’s easy to learn to tell the colors apart. The picking itself does not require any special technique. And then… It also tastes very good.


I think picking blueberries for 6 months straight can make you go crazy. Towards the end of this job, I was dreaming about blueberries, seeing blueberries (when I had one too many drinks), smelling blueberries, tasting blueberries, breathing blueberries. I was living in blueberry-land. I’m almost surprised that I didn’t become a blueberry (you know like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?).

On a more serious note, this job ended up making me very emotional and sensitive. I could no longer bend down, dig into bushes, get dozens of splinters in the process, tap under branches to drop blueberries into my bucket. This repetitive work had really become impossible for me. Oh, and you probably won’t be able to listen to some of the island music after hearing the same 5 tunes on repeat for 6 months.

Plus, as mentioned above, I wasn’t very good at it. So I was making minimum wage for working conditions that weren’t great. Even if I was fast some days, I couldn’t earn a bonus because the number of kilos was averaged over the week. Finally, as soon as there was a little rain, the day was canceled. So it wasn’t ideal for the wallet.

Bottom line: tested, not 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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