I am Max and I am known as the Global Grandad. I have been taking in tourists for four years and I provide accommodation in exchange for help around the place. My career as a secondary school teacher has followed me into retirement - I relief teach at the local schools.
I live on my own, with two cats, and I have a bad knee from an accident, so I need your help to maintain my house and section. Fishing is my lifetime hobby and I may take you fishing, weather and conditions permitting. The cats are full of character, one is a roly-poly pudding and the other is an intrepid roof explorer.
I have three adult children, one lives abroad, one locally (who comes by every now and then for a catch-up), and one in Auckland. I have two grandchildren in Auckland and a lot of extended family there too, including my sister and most of my nieces and nephews. I tend not to have tourists stay when I have family staying and vice versa - I want tourists' visits here to be as enjoyable as possible and to give tourists the privacy of the upstairs.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Taranaki has a lot to offer travellers, especially those who enjoy the outdoors. There are lots of skills you can learn here - learning to use the ride-on mower, the weedeater, how to service a car. This is a great place to learn some skills and life experience.
Typical tasks around here are mowing the lawn (the majority is accessible with a ride-on mower), weedeater, garden plot weeding and general upkeep, standard housework such as washing the floors, washing windows, help with cooking dinner and doing the dishes. Also, let the roof cat inside when you hear meows at the windows upstairs.
It is expected that you leave the upstairs tidy when you leave - remaking the bed (spare sheets are in drawers), bringing sheets down, clean the bathroom. Check your vehicle for cats when you leave as they have a habit of packing themselves in cars and vans.
The property: Modernised farmhouse in a semi-rural area of New Plymouth. Land of about one acre, landscaped and with fruit and berry plants. Off-street parking for cars, campervans, space for a caravan. Downstairs are the kitchen, dining room, lounge, laundry and my room and bathroom. Laundry has washing machine and dryer, ask me to show you how to use them when you need them. There are also drying racks and and an outside washing line.
Your space: Visitors stay upstairs in the house, which has three bedrooms, a full bathroom and a radiator on the landing. Two doubles, one twin. All have views to the sea and surrounding hills. Bedding, towels and bathmats are provided. Each room has curtains/ blind, mirror, drawers, multi-plug and laundry basket. Extra sheets/ duvets/ blankets/ pillows are available upstairs also.
Food arrangements: Open-cupboard policy during the day and evening meals together. Those on special diets (vegetarian, vegan, allergy/ intolerance) can be catered for, feel free to discuss, I'm sure we can come to an agreement everyone is happy with. Evening meals eaten together.
There are three bicycles available, different sizes, also a tow-bar mounted bike rack. There are lots of cycle trails, city and country, to explore. The Te Henui trail is a favourite and it links city, shore and the bush. New Plymouth, the capital of the region, has a historic town centre and is only ten minutes' drive away. It has art trails for those interested, plus op-shopping, cafes, an indoor mall and events such as Womad, Americarna and the festival of lights if you come at the right time of the year. City buses run to the lower part of the hill and have bike racks.
Mount Taranaki, known by locals as 'The Mountain', is the feature of the region and offers long and short bush walks, skiing/ snowboarding at the right time of year, and a cafe. Its roads are tar-sealed but narrow. All of Taranaki's major attractions are accessible by car or bike or on foot, a 4WD is not required.
Van repairs and maintenance are available locally, for example WOF, tyres, automotive electrical, self-contained certification, replacement parts. Fuel station just down the hill. 'The Valley' shopping complex about 2km away, includes a supermarket and a hardware store. Past tourists have found this house to be in a very convenient location.
Pick-up/drop-off at the bus station or airport can be negotiated if you do not have a car. Both are about 10 minutes away driving.
In general I am happy to host tourists from anywhere abroad, who holds a working holiday visa, can be a part of the household and can cook at least one signature dish from their home country. Recipes are written down in the global cookbook and must be written in English. Room and full board in exchange for fifteen hours a week, flexible days/ times around weather and your chosen activities.
Tourists must be okay with cats. Two live here and the neighbours have some and they visit, the neighbours come visiting too every now and then. Do not bring pets or children. Okay if single, couple, or friends travelling together. Smokers okay, outside only. I smoke out on my porch. Social drinking okay, non-drinking okay. Would prefer a basic understanding of English for communicating. Genuine, honest and responsible tourists are welcome to stay.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 3 hours a day, 5 days a week