They say sometimes having no plan is the best plan; that was just the case for me upon arrival to Oban, Stewart Island. I booked accommodation for 2 nights at Bunker Backpackers and I had purchased a departure ferry ticket…though that could be postponed. Anything goes…maybe we might go on the Rakiura Great Walk…or perhaps I might even land work here! (I was extremely tempted to apply for a position at the local fish and chips vendor Kaikart Takeaways, which stole my heart.) In the end, neither of those items happened, but we made the most of it.
I spent most of the time on the island with Y and a German traveler whom I shared a hostel with in Te Anau. Highlights included playing life-size chess by the beach, savoring Kapiti ice cream bars, spying a kiwi bird together for the first time (out by the rugby field at night), making pancakes together, and watching the sunset at Observation Rock…definitely worth the 30 minutes uphill walk!
At the end of our time on the island, we even managed to catch a local rugby match while noshing on sausage sizzles (made with a slice of plain white bread), which was a NZ and Australian classic.
During that time, the town was buzzing with rumors that NZ Prime Minister Bill English was in town for the “Man of the Year” competition, where young chaps in town would compete in “manly” challenges to win the title.
At this point, I was starting to feel my budget tighten and I couldn’t stop thinking of finding work soon. Whenever I had internet, I found myself browsing Backpackerboard.co.nz, Indeed.co.nz, and Seek.co.nz, all of which are main sites for job seekers.
Shortly after leaving the island, I would end up in a whirlwind of visiting Queenstown and Wanaka, and going on a weeklong West Coast roadtrip, before landing in Motueka, popular for it’s seasonal apple orchard work.