Volunteer in Piha Beach, New Zealand. Great for surfers.


New Zealand

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  • Description


    At the moment we would like volunteers for general chores around the property and cleaning, making beds etc. We are not a big business, so its not too frantic.

    We have had lots of volunteers stay with us over the past 18 years. We build great friendships with them and remain good friends for years, even travelling to a wedding or two! I wish this programme had been available when I was young and travelling the world!

    We are looking for a couple or single to come to the wild wonderful surf beach of Piha on the west coast of Auckland. Our volunteers must have good housekeeping/cleaning experience . Practical painting, building skills and gardening skills etc would be helpful too, but mainly we need responsible people.

    We run a small accommodation business at this great surf beach of Piha on the West coast, 45 minutes drive to Auckland. We have hosted many young travelers from all around the world . We are two women and welcome all clean living people to our workaway scheme. No drugs or big drinkers please. Piha is a small coastal village so if you are wanting night clubs and lots of bars etc, then its not for you. If you love nature, surfing, tramping, coffee, smaller communities and want to get out of the city, then Piha is for you. :). It is quiet in winter and that means mainly caring for the gardens and our house.

    There is no bus to the city so you either have to have a vehicle or hitch hike over the hill to get to the city. A ride with a local is often never a problem. We are happy to pick you up at the train station when you first arrive.

    Over the summer, we prefer our helpers to stay a minimum of a month - usually they dont want to leave anyway! One even stayed for a year! In winter 3 weeks would be fine, but longer if it works well. Unfortunately we cant take people for a week or 2 because it takes a week to train up and settle in.

    During summer we need good cleaners, who are are fussy about tidiness , to help with cleaning, making up the cottages and pressing the linen etc. Gardening experience is needed at this time of the year too but its mainly just moving weeds etc. under Bobbie's supervision. At the moment we are trying to declutter. Our guests have to leave before mid-day although many do, so you need to be around to make up the cottages before 2pm.

    In winter it is similar but mainly garden work outside and helping us keep the property ticking over. Water blasting the house, small repairs, general tidy up.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Charity work
    Language practice
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We have been hosting travellers for over 12 years now and almost constantly. During this time, we have only had 3 who proved not to be suitable!!
    Our travellers love it here. Bobbie is a keen native plant gardener and is always great at passing on gardening tips and environmental advice. Piha is a coastal village surrounded by rain forest. Being so close to Auckland (45 minutes away), we are vigilant about the environment out here.

    We have travelled ourselves extensively so we understand what it is like to be on the move. We are both parents so have lots of good listening and advising skills!! We also have interesting friends.

    I have been a teacher of English as a Second Language so Im happy to help with English conversation.

    Piha is a wonderful place to learn to surf and a place to unwind.

  • Help


    In summer, It could be clearing the garden , weeding, mowing lawns, cleaning house, cleaning windows, repairing things, painting, building - just general stuff. Helping to keep the property looking nice and running smoothly.. Most importantly, when guests leave, you have to make up the cottages i.e. bed, cleaning suites thoroughly etc. You must be thorough and quick and take the initiative. For the summer months December - April, very good and quick housekeepers are most important, but you must be able to work outside too. If you are not experienced at housekeeping then we cant have you over the summer months because it can be busy. Since we are in the best surf beach in NZ and close to Auckland, we get lots of surfers, runners and trampers who spend most of the time in the water (in summer) or in the bush on the tracks when they have finished work. We usually only have one or two units to be cleaned in a day as guests leave on different days, but now and then more need doing.

    Couples are preferred and are great for us as they keep each other company and we do prefer couples over the summer. We dont want single people to get lonely and we dont want them bringing people we don't know home with them! We are very friendly, but dont want to have to entertain you. We have lots going on in our own lives, so you have to enjoy your own company or find others to enjoy. In saying that, we are very friendly and love getting to know our young travelers. Actually our volunteers enjoy having their own space and their own cooking facilities.

    If you are a nightclub, bar hopper etc, you would get bored in Piha, but if you love the outdoors and beach and popping in to the city now and then, you will love it here. There is no bus service to Piha, but hitching is easy. There are 3 places where you can have a drink or dinner, get to know the locals and other young people and have a meal and the Cafe is fantastic, friendly and busy. There are quite a few surf competitions etc on in Piha over summer. Winter is quiet, but many people prefer the wildness of it all at this time, with huge surf and roaring Tasman Sea.

    Our motto here is if you stay, you have to do your hours. We dont give a set day off, because you work only 2.5hrs each. In saying that, if it is quiet and there is nothing to do, we can work out a day off. Our problem is that we get walk in people who want to stay and this means there would be cleaning after they left. If it is raining and no guests, its a good time for woofas to go to the city. Some do and stay in a backpackers for the night and come home by mid-day the next day if needed here. It all works out well in the end.

    Contact us if this suits you.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English and a little French

  • Accommodation


    Small caravan and undercover cooking and sitting area of your own (we only have 1 person or a couple at a time). Shared bathroom. Fridge, bench top oven, kettle, table etc. Indoor/outdoor kitchen. Not the Hilton, but pretty comfortable and a bit like glamping.

    We are very careful about conserving water in summer because we are on tank water so short showers and if we have a drought like last summer then it is washing over the basin and a shower every 3rd day. Of course there is the wonderful Tasman Sea at your door step, and a shower there which gets water from a ground bore at the beach so you will be nice and fresh anyway :). Young women with long hair, who are used to washing it daily may not enjoy this but it is a matter of necessity for us. Water is like gold in summer! Winter time we have more water than we can cope with :).

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Great for surfers, beach lovers, runners, trampers etc, but we do expect 2-3 hours work each a day when needed . In summer it can be pretty busy. People who are independent although friendly and can hold a good conversation when needed.

    Our volunteers love it here. We have had wonderful helpers from France, Uk, USA and Italy etc who were quick to realise what needed to be done and took the initiative. You can run down and check the surf half a minute away and if its no good go exploring etc. In summer, good housekeeping skills are essential. In winter we get wild and crazy storms but also beautiful days. In winter bring your Kindle! !

    You must be prepared to get hot and dirty and not be afraid of working in the garden with us sometimes or to paint, or help with other property in the city, clean the cottages when guests leave etc. and generally take the initiative to help us keep organized – or get us organized around the property! .Last summer we had a 5 month drought in NZ so water was rationed and we all ended up washing in the surf!! only a half minute away!! You cant wash your hair every day, if you get my drift :).

    Understanding of English is quite important because during the summer we are too busy to have to explain everything several times. It’s a give and take situation really. You do your own cooking although we sometimes invite you for dinner and we totally understand you have your own lives just as we do, so you are not obliged to be with us all the time. We do not provide food.

    But most important to us are initiative, honesty, willingness, ability, fun, outgoing, strong. In summer its great for those who love the water and the beach. In winter and summer there are great walks, fabulous cafe and often bands playing at the clubs, and also different things to do like yoga, fitness groups etc.. We love you to feel a connection to the property, under our supervision of course, and to Piha. :) .

    If you are interested, please read our profile carefully so you have a good understanding of us. Also, if there are two of you, we need a profile on you both. We will not respond if there are not good clear pictures. More pictures the better.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    2 to 3 hours each depending on what needs to be done. (max 15 hours/week)- no food

Looking over Piha on the way into the village.
Our house, nearly Christmas
Sunset, Piha
Tramping from Piha to KareKare along the coast
Part of the Junior World Surf Championship at Piha
Julia and Bobbie at Piha Cafe.
BBQ birthday for our French workaway with the Italian workaway and his international friends, Bobbie and Julia
After work fun with workaways and Bobbie
Your hosts, Bobbie and Julia
After 3 hours surfing, lunch is served!
Two of our French workaways outside the hut.
Fun in the surf.

Host ref number: 2689688194b3