Greetings from downstream of Whangarei.
Our names are Mike and Verena. We live on the coastline of Whangarei Harbour, central to all the wonders that Northland has to offer. We share our home with a small schnauzer dog, who is very friendly once properly introduced. He is also non-allergenic. Mike's training as a landscape architect gives him reasonable knowledge of the surrounding natural world and he is happy to share what he knows - just ask away! Verena's studies in Germany have been in cultural anthropology, so she is very interested in society, different cultures, etc. We enjoy cycling, hikes and boating, as well as working outdoors and reading. Verena is keen on singing.
We are vegetarian, but Mike retains a love of seafood. We have no moral objection to omnivores if you want to bring a bit of meat into your diet. We are both quite a flexible, laid back and - usually - quiet people.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
We are happy to share the Kiwi way of life with you, take you out on the boat and go fishing, hiking or biking with you (provided we can fit it into our timetable). We can lend you a bike, snorkeling gear, a kayak, soft surfboard and other gear you might need.
Mike has a reasonable knowledge of the surrounding natural world and is happy to share what he knows.
Your involvement may bring you some new skills in things that you haven't done before (or if you are an expert, we may well learn from you). Like most things in life, there's lots to be gained for those that put in the energy and are open to new experiences. This area has a wealth of natural beauty that is easily accessible.
Having quite recently moved to this house, there is plenty to do! Depending on your skills and what you feel comfortable with, tasks might include:
• Gardening weeding and planting
• Forest weed and pest control in the bush: killing weeds by digging out or poisoning them.
• Getting firewood: chopping wood, carrying and stacking for later use (Mike will do any chain-sawing).
• Work on the boat: sanding and painting a yacht that is pulled up off the shore.
• Minor house redecorating: painting the walls, general house maintenance.
• Building: possible minor carpentry work.
• Sewing: the place can be cold in winter, so we want to sew curtains.
We will provide good directions and suitable safety equipment where needed. We're more than happy to answer any questions, so don't hesitate to ask.
The work can be physical, so you need to be comfortable with putting in some effort outdoors.
It would be useful if you had your own working clothes and boots, but if not, we should be able to find you something suitable.
A minimum stay of a week would be preferred. After that, you'll be welcome to stay for longer if it has worked well for us both.
Our home is perched on a steep slope amongst large native trees (complete with wood pigeons, fantails, moreporks, quails and more), and runs down to a private beach that offers good swimming in summer. You can enjoy your time here on the deck or in the lounge and kitchen, and Mike will be happy to take you out in the boat if that fits with his plans. This is a slightly remote place that is a 20 minute drive from the town centre of Whangarei and there is no public transport in this direction, so having a car would definitely be helpful. If you don't have one, we can pick you up in the town centre upon arrival and drop you off again.
You will have your own very quiet room with a beautiful view out into the bush and a bed with a futon mattress, and shared use of a bathroom. You are welcome to use the WiFi (although we have a limited plan in this location which unfortunately means a restriction on long streaming) and the washing machine.
Usually, we will make a vegetarian dinner, but if you want to show us how to make meals from your home country, we'd be more than happy (in fact we love to be cooked for!). Help with dishes and generally keeping things tidy is very much appreciated.
ABOUT THE AREA
Whangarei is a very relaxed town with a lot of small events going on, especially if you're interested in art and the outdoors. We have the most beautiful beaches in the vicinity, a lot of great walks around the area and some spectacular views. If you're looking for a vibrant nightlife, Whangarei is probably not a perfect place to be, but we have quite a few smaller things going on, like exhibitions, music events in the evening, choirs, markets and so on. There are a good range of shops offering almost anything that one could wish for.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
5 hours/day, 5 days/week
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