Our season starts approximately early January and continues till late March.
Before you apply for this position, please read first.
Hi, We are Mamaku Blue Blueberry Experience. What this means you can find out in this information sheet.
As a blueberry orchard worker some of the duties you will have are:
Main job is picking. We pick our blueberries by hand to have high quality fruit. You have to be able to learn some important skills and your eye sight needs to be good (you cannot pick if you are colour blind), you have to be able to recognize the red berry from the blue berry. We grow high bush blueberries, but we have some little trees too, make sure you are ok with work on your knees or bending down.
We pick depending on weather conditions (we could pick every day or just once or twice a week as we cannot pick when the berries are wet).
Another very important job is grading. Every week we grade blueberries before they go to the customers. Again, your eyesight needs to be very good to see damaged blueberries to grade successfully and fast.
Other than these jobs you might be asked to work on the picking machine or do general orchard maintenance work ie weeding.
Conditions and Accommodation
For work and safety reasons mainly, the spoken language on our property is English. We encourage all overseas people from different countries to communicate verbally and be social.
You need to realize that our orchard is based in higher altitude and cooler climate and it might get cold, even in summer months. If possible bring with you warm clothes and a good warm sleeping bag. We can provide heaters and spare blankets if necessary.
Mamaku Blue have built brand new cabins for our seasonal workers so you can rest in your own space in comfort. All facilities, i.e. kitchen, tv room, toilet, shower, are based on site but separate from the cabins. Bring a torch if possible. Cabins have enough space for a maximum of 3 people.
We do charge for rent. The price is contractual.
We are based in the countryside, the closest village with a small shop is about 2 km away. The Rotorua city is about 20 minutes drive. We can manage grocery shopping for you if you write down a list and give it to us before we go to the town, which is usually once a week in our main picking season. If arriving by car please shop enough food for 2 weeks before you come, we have both, fridge and freezer, available for your use.
We offer a blueberry and countryside experience. You can learn and explore typical rural lifestyle at our place, like our old style washing machine. We do have an internet connection and you are welcome to use our wi-fi for free to keep in touch with your friends and family.
It is always good to talk to us about your needs to avoid misunderstanding situations. Communication is a very important part to stay informed, happy and friendly but also to avoid accidents. Please, listen and read all the instructions and make sure you fully understand them. If you do not understand it is always better to ask your supervisor to explain it to you. Everything we do on our orchard/farm has a reason so do not be ashamed to ask WHY.
If you feel this seasonal job and experience is what you have been looking for feel free to fill the application form below. We will get in touch with you. For our updates you can like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.
See What Our Overseas Workers Had to Say
Mickey from Malaysia
Dear Harry, Anne, Phillip & Michaela:
I would like to send my deepest thank you and very appreciated for all the different and amazing lovely experiences in Mamaku Blue. I enjoyed them very berry much!!
I believe those would be my unforgettable memories of my working holiday in New Zealand. I am feeling proud and lucky to know you all in New Zealand :) Not just picking and grading the blueberries, I felt like I was staying in a homestay with you all more than working in an orchard :)
Please, take good care! I love you.
Kah Wei from Malaysia
I SHOULD HAVE COME EARLIER!
One month just passed in a blink of an eye. Time flies! I truly enjoyed all the single moment here! How I wish I could stay longer in the sometimes – no – electricity caravan. Haha!
Thank you, Anne! For taking me in as one of the picker/ graders. I still remember that I have received another job offer on the second day I arrived at Mamaku Blue. But I would really love to have this kind of country life and different experience. I’m so glad that I’ve made the right decision to stay with Mamaku Blue!
Thank you, Harry! For all the blueberry picking and grading techniques, you taught me. I already miss your whistling and your “Hurry Up”! I really enjoyed chatting with you and listen to all your sharing (and always come with a signature and funny expression!) I hope you stay healthy and strong!!!
Thank you, Phillip & Michaela! For all the assistance that you guys provided! Thank you, Phillip for fixing all the electricity problem of my caravan, so that I don’t have to sleep in freezing cold -2 weather! Thanks Michaela for inviting me to your house for dry cleaning and thanks for the movies & chips! :)
Nothing can describe how much I don’t want to leave Mamaku Blue. And no words can describe how much I appreciate the moments that I spent here! (especially with a bunch of crazy colleagues!)
But I believe that we all will be coming back soon! And I’m gotta share my good experience with my friends (in order to make them jealous). And in fact, they already feeling envious by looking at my experience in Mamaku Blue! Haha!
Thank again for everything. And I’ll definitely miss all of you. (Including Blackie, although she killed rats and rabbits!!!)
Goodbye and See You!
Young of China
A letter to Mamaku Blue
First of all, thanks again for having this wonderful blueberry orchard. It is a great pleasure for me to stay here, working and having fun, even though sometimes just mucking around. Now three months have already been gone, and my mind is full of memories, living in such an idyllic countryside of New Zealand.
Still remember the first week being at Mamaku Blue, we were invited to have all kinds of new experiences, such as picking and grading blueberries, baling hays, driving a tractor, making signs, chasing sheep, being chased by donkeys, fixing fences, going to the markets, taking a shit shower and doing strange laundry. Couldn’t believe it was only my first week here, neither could I imagine that still got a lot of new things to learn in the coming future.
“Everything here has a reason.” Harry required me to ask more questions if I got confused at anything. That was a big lesson to me, which encouraged me to hold an open mind to learning new things. Thus, I came to know the benefits of keeping things clean and tidy, how to think like a sheep when chasing, the necessity of choosing a proper tool and the importance of tea time during Friday grading. It’s definitely of great help to my future job and life.
Meeting valuable friends from different continents and countries is another major part of living here. Davy and Gera will welcome us in Holland, Mickey and Kah Wei left me their Malaysian addresses, Winnie and Raymond will be the tour guide of my Hong Kong visit. Another two nice girls, Rima and Chi, opened me the door to Japanese culture. Although didn’t talk much with John, I know in heart that he is a good person, and a good friend in silence as well.
The beautiful singing of blueberry pickers’ song from Harry impressed me deeply on my mind, which was so bucolic and conveyed a love of life. I know this orchard was started even before I was born. And that long years really means a lot to the people living here, which is beyond my writing ability to express it well. Anne’s pumpkin soup is what I tried to learn. Didn’t succeed at the first time, but I will carry on trying. And also, I’ll keep the wonderful kiwi style meals, blueberry crumbs, gooseberry icecreams, fish and chips in mind. Because we had such a great time talking and joking while sharing the nice meal.
Phillip is a strong man, an easygoing boss, a good English teacher and a truly nice friend to me. We almost did all kinds of jobs together, such as picking, grading, hay baling, loading, marketing, driving, weeding, pruning and fencing. Yes, it is a good experience to remember, even though some jobs seemed really tough and endless. And Michaela, you looked so beautiful on the day we went to the thermal park. Couldn’t believe we had ever met you before. What’s more important to me, you are so kind in heart and always willing to help others. Hope you have a happy lifetime living in Mamaku Blue!
I think it is no good to live a life easy. Everyone chooses his burden to carry. And now, those long hard days of picking, grading, weeding and pruning turned out to be so precious to me. Yet we still hold our memories of the scissors game, the Chinese new year eve BBQ, sitting together on the hot stone at Te Puia thermal park and travelling around the lakes. Isn’t that enough? Just too good to be true!
Finally have to say goodbye, like others on the campers book, to get prepared for the future reunion. Yes, three months seems short, but is also long. And I truly feel that the time I live in Mamaku Blue becomes part of my life.
Max from Germany
I came to Mamaku Blue for one month, now I stayed three. I picked prickly Gooseberries, tasty Blueberries, ate too many and ran for a pee. Layed down cardboard, wearing pink gumboots, helped shear the sheep and dug out gooseberry roots. I spent hours at the grading table, chasing sheep and weeding on my knees. Will never forget chasing the birds, fixing the net and of course – goofies. Lucky you this job is done by a good team, but now we are gone. One by one we go our way. I came as Max and left as Micky Max 8. Made good friends and learned a lot. Thank you. I enjoyed my job! Which is not just doing it straight away. It is thinking. About the reason and the consequences, what will show you the best way. But whatever it is picking, grading, weeding, chasing sheep or making hay, don’t forget rule number one: Enjoy your day!
Noa G. & Noa T. from Israel
We arrived Mamaku kingdom two months ago, didn’t know what to expect. After working in a Kiwi orchard, we were a bit concern. Maybe it will be to boring, to hard, to hot? After three days we got the feeling that we arrived to a very special place. A family that live and breath blueberries. And as much as they care about their blueberries they care about us. That we will understand why we are doing what we do, that we will have fun, that we’ll be warm at nights, that we’ll enjoy work, that we won’t be hungry, that we will have the best experience. We will never forget this place!
Tai Wei from Malaysia
Dear Mamaku Blue,
I think I have made the right decision to work here. No, I KNOW I have made the right decision to work at Mamaku Blue.
A wise man said, “For everything, there is a reason.” The reason I came here was to learn things I would never learn back in Malaysia.
I’ve never thought that I would come across so many amazing things with nature in a farm. I made friends with bees and caterpillars. I had fun picking blueberries, grading them plus eating them :) Yum.
I even got my first ride on a tractor. My first berries vacuuming. My first encounter with sheep. My first birds chasing. My first mushroom picking. My first time staying in a caravan. My first time using an ancient washing machine. My first oversize boots. My first tailor-made plastic coat. My first time baking blueberry muffins (thanks, Anne!). My first visit to a Maori cultural show. My first Hangi buffet. My first sing along after dinner (with Young). My first Ping Pong match with 6 players (with Young, Max, Natalia, Yoong Wei, Yanina).
And I know I still missed a lot more like winemaking (so jealous of Natalia).
In a nutshell, I just want to say THANK YOU for having me here. Thanks for the laughter, the stories shared and life lessons taught.
I hope we meet again in the future. Until then, stay strong and healthy.