We are a couple who live in the bush in Birkenhead, North Shore, 15 minutes by bus or ferry from the CBD. Great coffee locally, walkable to our village, public transport to the city, beaches and more terrific eating spots.
We have re-opened our workaway from June 2019 until September as we are packing up our lovely house and moving (up the street) so need help with this.
Help in the house
Greig is a terrific cook and board member of Garden to Table Trust teaching kids to grow, cook and eat real food; Catherine a writer on travel, design and innovation, a newspaper and magazine editor, and also loves fibre arts and making things, happy to share skills and materials. She volunteers with Dress for Success, a not for profit that helps low income women prepare for work. We are both weekly volunteer servers at Everybody Eats, a pop-up restaurant that diverts food waste to provide community meals for people living rough.
We are both are members of the Food Writers Guild, so very connected to urban food and sustainable business networks, involved in neighbourhood development. So you will eat well, meet a great community and learn about terrific places to go and things to do around our city.
We can connect you with other organisations too if you let us know your interests.
Help packing up our many plants and pots, books and household stuff from our suburban patch of bush to our
new house up the road; tidying bush banks and steps; looking after our 3 chickens and prepping the house for new owners. Both of us run our own writing and food marketing businesses, but you’ll be autonomous. We expect everyone to chip in for cooking and clean-up - we've loved exchanging food ideas with our workaways. Naturally, like good flatmates, we'll leave it to you to keeping your own rooms and bathroom tidy.
Our house was architect-designed in Japanese style in 1969 with lots of cedar and Asian and mid-century collections. In native bush, with extensive decking that follows the sun. There's a small vege garden for summer eating, productive fruit trees and our bee-hive is back up and running this summer. We have three chickens (although they are no longer laying eggs in the winter) but they sure help with compost and tilling.
Two sunny bedrooms for workaways in upper floor can be closed off from our downstairs living. Loft-like rooms have views of native trees (and noisy birdsong). The queen-sized room has closets, a chaise for reading or naps and a collection of vintage tourism posters. The second room is set up as breakfast/sitting room with a vintage day bed and loft bed/bunk (both single), fridge, toaster, panini press, blender. We supply cereals, breads, fruit, tea and coffee supplies, honey from our bees so you can breakfast in private.
We have a ton of books on New Zealand, travel guides and more.
There are a lot of stairs to access the house, and the bedrooms, so not suitable for people who can't manage stairs (and very open 60s-style railings, so not safe for very small children).
Let us know of dietary requirements, we’re total carnivores and adventurous eaters. We eat dinner together, lunch is supplied (we eat at our desks, generally).
Airport bus into the city ferry terminal (NZ$18 one way) easily connects to the Birkenhead bus or ferry (not so frequent on weekends), stops are about 15 minutes' walk away.
The North Shore’s best coffee shop is at the top of the driveway, one of the two top restaurants another 50 metres and there's a general store too
Birkenhead village 15 minutes’ walk away has shops, post office, banks, a library with city's best views, a good art/craft shop and some nice bars. There are terrific Malaysian, Thai, Japanese, Korean, prize-winning gelato, Italian, even Dutch restaurants and a supermarket for supplies.
Many of our visitors get themselves set up with tax numbers, bank accounts and so on for their working holidays in the village (there are no phone shops, so getting sim cards has to be done in city or at airport on the way in). We can also drop you at the Sunday car fair where the camper van traders gather.
Can borrow bikes for exploring, or there are bush walks and arts trail, buses to Takapuna beach and beyond, as well as frequent buses and ferries to the city. Yoga studio over the road, pool and gym in village.
Bush walk on the edge of the property to picturesque Little Shoal Bay, tidal (that means swimming only at high tide), but the city and bridge views are unbeatable at any time.
Next suburb over, Northcote Point (20 minutes' walk), has art house movie theatre, top restaurant, great wine bar and gorgeous Victorian pub with wine bar.
Many of our workaways have used our carport and workshop tools to fit out their camper vans for their travels.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week