Orchard an hour from Wellington, New Zealand


New Zealand

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  • Description


    Update: 31 August 2020:

    It’s spring tomorrow and although COVID-19 is still having a major effect on things, our orchard still provides a refuge for many displaced travellers. Right now, we are pretty full up again, but for Workawayers looking to pass this way later in the year, or early next year, we could offer you a place. The plum trees are blossoming again, so come January we will definitely be looking for plum pickers.

    8 July 2020.

    I am unable to accept any more Workawayers right at the moment, as my house is pretty full. Maybe August will be a bit freer, so don’t hesitate to enquire if you are stuck for a place to stay. I know there are still 100’s of stranded COVID refugees all around the country!

    18 April 2020

    Note: When the COVID-19 Level 4 Lockdown is over, maybe by the last week in April, if there are Workawayers needing a place to stay, I am happy to accommodate up to six people at any one time, especially travellers who have nowhere else to go. I have a house with 4 bedrooms and a spare room, so no shortage of space. Please enquire.

    March 2020: COVID-19 has changed everything.

    We had an exceptional plum harvest this year, and huge thanks to a Jesper & Stine from Denmark, Lenita from Canada and Amelie from Germany for their enthusiasm and help over three weeks in January. We had a ball, both at the orchard, and at the markets. 😀

    There was much orchard maintenance done in February & March. Thanks to the Workawayers who came along to help! Frauke, Oliver, Casey, Joe, Lisa, Ana, Ivar, Elli and Alma, plus returning workers Jesper and Stine. You were all great! Thank you so much.

    The COVID-19 lockdown resulted in six Workawayers staying put on the orchard. Thank you Kiana, Linnea, Aaron, Marie, Andries & Sinead for looking after our place and doing more wwoofing than ever! And then we had Blanche, Bobby & Rachel, and Soph and Luca and Élénore & Manon. Thank you all!

    Happy 2020! It can only get better. Stay safe!


    My wife Brenda and I own a 1.2ha (3 acre) orchard situated between Levin and Otaki, about one hour by car north of Wellington, on State Highway 1. There is a house on site, where helpers can stay. Our permanent home is in Wellington.

    Our main crop is plums, which ripen over a three week period in January. This crop is sufficiently large to require 2-3 helpers during this time. We need help with picking, usually from Thursday to Saturday.

    My wife and I are in our 70's, and have over the past 20 years hosted numerous exchange students, travellers and volunteers from all around the world. We particularly love hosting young German helpers, as our younger daughter lives in Hamburg, and is married with two children. Our elder daughter lives near us in Wellington, and is married with three young children.

    At other times of the year, we can use helpers for various activities, including pruning, weeding and orchard maintenance.

    There is no public transport at the orchard itself, but I am able to meet and greet at the Intercity bus stop near to the orchard. If coming from the South Island, I can meet you at the ferry terminal in Wellington.

    We look forward to meeting willing Workawayers.

    Roger and Brenda

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Farmstay help
    General Maintenance

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You will meet some real "Kiwis". (The people, not the bird or the fruit!) My wife and I have had a lot of experience hosting people from Europe, Asia and the Americas. We can relate to their needs, and also provide a real Kiwi experience that is not available from just backpacking or being a tourist. There are two beaches nearby (Waikawa Beach and Otaki Beach) suitable for swimming and surfing, and beachcombing, during the summer months (December to March.)

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    Picking plums (January only), weeding, tree trimming, general orchard maintenance.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    House at the orchard with own bedroom, if required. We also have space for tents, and campervans. Meals provided while volunteering.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    There are bush walks a short drive away. We have two bicycles available for Workawayers to use, and it’s a flat road to a beach. As I mentioned above, no public transport. There is no wi-fi available at the orchard.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 3 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Accuracy of profile: (4.9)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 232624197583