I returned to New Zealand in 2016 after living in Europe (UK, Spain, and Switzerland) for 10 years. I have a 2.5 hectare property a couple of kms from the small town of Otaki on the Kapiti Coast. For me, it's a tranquil piece of nature to enjoy a great lifestyle.
My long term vision is to have a forest garden with permaculture principles in one of the paddocks, with every fruit, nut, and berry tree that I can get my hands on. I've started with a variety of heritage apples, plums, bananas, peaches, pears, feijoas, avocados, and figs, plus various citrus trees - lemons, oranges, grapefruit, limes, and kaffir lime (for Thai cooking). The trees are still young so not producing much fruit yet. And there are many more to add to the mix. Four alpacas graze the grass in the other paddocks.
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
I've done a lot of hosting when I lived in Europe and always enjoyed meeting people from around the world. I'm a keen mountain hiker and if the weather's good, I could be talked into taking guests on a local hike in the mountains.
The property is a mix of three large flat paddocks and bush. The help sought is mainly keeping the orchard and vegetable garden and bush under control and gathering material for making mulch, compost, and firewood. That means weeding the vegetable and herb garden and under the fruit trees, helping to establishing new garden beds, keeping grass down around pathways, collecting anything that falls out of the bush for making mulch and compost, helping to collect and organise firewood for the winter, or helping to collect alpaca manure for the compost. There's actually no end of tasks to do - it's a little too much for one person.
Stays of up to 5 days, extendable if it works for both.
Guests have their own room and own bathroom in the main house. All bedding and towels provided. The shower is excellent - clean and good pressure.
There is Internet but it can be slow, has limited data, and so is not suitable for games. Streaming movies depends on how much of the data cap has already been used.
Meals: The emphasis is on healthy, wholesome food. The main daily meal invariably involves organic chicken, and may be the same (usually good) dish two or three days in a row. That may be an incentive for the guest to step in and inject some variety. On Saturdays I relax with home-made (very little oil so reasonably healthy) beer-battered fish & chips. There's usually home-made yogurt on offer, although I'm still experimenting with that.
The house - and in fact the whole property - is non-smoking.
I can collect and drop off visitors at Waikanae and Otaki train stations or the Otaki Intercity bus stop. Visitors can also meet me in Wellington if it's a day that I'm in Wellington and we can take the train back together.
Good things nearby are the Tararua ranges - great hiking but you must carry appropriate clothing for all weather conditions - and the nearby beach. Wellington is an hour by train from Waikanae and trains run quite frequently. Trains to and from Otaki are less frequent, with just one a day in each direction.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4 hours a day, 5 days a week