Small farm with horses, gardens and orchard in the beautiful Ruakokoputuna River Valley, New Zealand



 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks



  • Description



    We are looking for people to share our home and help us with our large vegetable garden and small home orchard, there is also maintenance work with the house and land as well as helping look after the horses and other farm animals (cows, sheep and chickens).

    We have a small, beautiful farmlet nestled in a bend of the picturesque Ruakokoputuna River Valley near the wine growing village of Martinborough (15 minutes away). Martinborough is in the Wairarapa province - we are 1.5 hours from Wellington. We work from home with Melissa involved with the horses and equestrian activities and Burton as a writer, publisher and inventor. We have 4 grown up children and several grandchildren.
    Even if it looks like we are already booked up with Workawayers, there are sometimes cancellations so it is always worthwhile making an inquiry. We have been hosting volunteers for 20 years now and have made some wonderful life-long friends.

    We are looking for people to help us with our farm/garden/tree planting and household jobs. We also are looking for people to help us with our horses. Our horses are spirited sports horses or young horses - so if you want to ride then you need to have a very good level of riding experience and be 70kgs or less. Of course there are lots of jobs to do with them that are not about riding them and they are all interesting characters.

    There is also plenty of work in the garden, the orchard and the house etc. We love it when volunteers like to cook too!!
    (we always have a well stocked pantry for those who want to bake and cook). We are meat eaters - (mostly from our own animals), but are fine if you are vegetarian - though we are not set up to cater for vegans.
    We have free-range chickens, a few sheep and cows and a wonderful cat as well as the horses.

    We are looking for self motivated, hard working, physically fit, responsible and energetic people who like a variety of work and who appreciate healthy living, good conversation, interesting ideas, a bit of crazy humour, scenic beauty and physical activity. Volunteers need to be able to work independently as although we are mostly around, we are often busy with our own work. Sometimes you will be on you own in sole-charge of the place and the animals. Therefore we are more suited to people who have lived away from home for a few years - so age 20+ rather than your first experience away from home.
    We are non-smokers and prefer you are too.

    Comfortable accommodation, good food, and beautiful surroundings are what we offer in return for your assistance around the property.

    Our daughter has another small farm close by us where she trains her horses and is often also looking for someone to help her with the horses and their pre-school son, house and garden.

    We are also sometimes looking for experienced responsible people or couples who would be happy to look after our place for a week or two when we have to go away.

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Melissa and Burton.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet
  • UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainability 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

    We have both travelled and have had interesting careers - writing, inventing, journalism and equestrian sports. We are parents of adult children and enjoy communicating with all sorts of people. We love New Zealand and like to share our knowledge of this special country. We have set up our place from scratch and so have considerable knowledge about small farming and growing your own food. For those interested in horses both Melissa and Francesca have a lot of experience which they can share with you if you are keen to help and learn.

  • Help


    We have several horses and a big home vegetable garden, a home orchard and also run a few sheep, cows, and chickens as well as a wonderful cat - Ru. We are not commercial but have our farmlet to enhance our family's health and well-being. Tasks include working with/looking after horses, gardening, planting, helping with animals, composting, household tasks, cooking, property maintenance etc. We are not vegetarian but don't mind if you are - particularly if you are happy to help with cooking.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    We have either a bedroom in our house with a queen sized bed or a very quaint gypsy caravan type house truck. This has a double bed and a table and sink etc.
    Meals are shared with us. We have broadband internet access but it is a bit slow as we are rural.
    Our home is fairly open plan and warm. Mostly it is just the two of us here during the week with our daughter coming back sometimes to help with the horses.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The Wairarapa is a non-touristic area which has many beautiful places to discover - Cape Palliser Seal Colony, Castlepoint, Mt Holdsworth Forest Park, Patuna Chasm and Lake Ferry to name a few.
    The weather like all of New Zealand is unpredictable and so you need to have clothes for all weathers.

  • 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?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours per day, 5 days - but flexible. Can work more sometimes and then have day off.

Host ref number: 462947311456

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