We live in a large house and garden in the beautiful Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand. We are a typical kiwi couple with grandchildren and family close by. We have travelled extensively, sailing from the Eastern Mediterranean to New Zealand, living aboard a yacht for 8 years until 2016. The house faces north and enjoys sunshine from morning until sunset each day of the year. We enjoy panoramic tree filtered views across the water to Russell and Paihia. The bird life around our house is fascinating with many different species of native and introduced birds making their presence felt. We often hear kiwi close by and around the house, kingfisher, fantails and native pigeons are always around if there is food nearby. Finches, quail and barberry doves are plentiful.
As a fit but elderly couple, we are looking for assistance with gardening and general maintenance during October, November or early December, which could include anything or everything, from moving and stacking firewood collected from the bush on our property, helping to finish off a painting project, gardening, weeding, mulching, preparing recycling for disposal, house work or cleaning windows inside and outside the house. We are hoping for around 5 hours per day, 5 days per week.
Volunteers are encouraged to use the kitchen, share recipes and food preparation and meals together. We will provide accommodation and 3 meals a day. However we do encourage self management for those with special dietary requirements. Laundry facilities are also provided for guest volunteer personal items.
The house is large with several living, seating areas and eating spaces inside and out. There is a beach 3 minutes walk down a steep track across the road from the house where it is possible to swim at most times of the day. Many interesting walking tracks are within close distance to our house and we will encourage volunteers to experience all they can of the environment around us.
Help in the house
We have many friends overseas already and do enjoy the company of people of all ages, religions, beliefs and gender. We have plenty of time to spend with volunteers and will assist as appropriate with local knowledge of the area on things to do depending on interests and our country in general. It would give us great pleasure to share our lovely surroundings with volunteers and to ensure they have a wonderful experience here.
We have three major projects we would like to see done and dusted during October November 2018 and those are: finishing the painting of the basement of the house outside, bringing the firewood up from the bush for next winter and cleaning all the windows inside and out. As well as that there is a fair bit of garden maintenance which we would like some help with, then basic jobs which crop up on a daily basis like organising the recycling and or taking out the rubbish, unpacking dishwasher etc... just being a part of the family. We are sailors and own a small yacht which needs a bit of TLC so some time on the water could be a part of the schedule once the other jobs are done.
Volunteers will need their own transport as we live 8 kms/10 minutes drive from historic Russell Village. A large upstairs bedroom with ensuite bathroom is provided, which can be a king size bed and one single, or three single beds. Domestic water is collected from the roof into tanks and filtered for domestic use. Water restrictions are already in place here and we ask guests to take a maximum of one 5 minute shower per day within reason and enjoy the beautiful drinking water. Volunteers will be provided with information on the art of water conservation. Wifi is included, not unlimited, but fast and generous. Off-street parking is available.
Russell Village is a lovely place to hang out, or take a drive over to beautiful Long Beach 8 kms from our house, a popular place for visitors to go. Tour boats depart regularly from Russell Wharf to explore the Bay of Islands many beautiful anchorages or Cape Brett Hole in the Rock.
The ultimate walk experience is to Cape Brett, with an overnight stay at the lighthouse and a tramp back the next day - 16 km each way. Alternatively organise a boat to take you out or bring you back or both.
A half hourly passenger ferry goes from Russell Village to Paihia throughout the day. Paihia is walking distance to Waitangi where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. A visit to the Cultural Centre and Museum is a must do. Paihia is a launching place for many tours as far north as Cape Reinga.
Russell and the Bay of Islands are steeped in early New Zealand History. The whole Northland area was populated by Maori people before the arrival of the early settlers. Russell village was known as the Hell Hole of the Pacific in its formative days with missionaries and brothels existing side by side ministering to the sailors and traders off the many whaling vessels which visited here in those days. Okiato where the car ferry now operates from was the first New Zealand Capital. Maori wars were fought here, the British Navy had its boat yard and fleet here and history was made over and over again. The Museum in Russell Village is an important place to visit to get a feeling for all that. A Russell Shuttle operates throughout the day taking visitors on a tour around the immediate Village and beaches. There are many restaurants and the holiday vibe is very alive in the summer here.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week