Help at our animal sanctuary in Waimamaku, New Zealand



 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks



  • Description


    PLEASE NOTE: WOMEN ONLY. Our house is currently full but we are in desperate need of assistance. If you are travelling in a converted van/car or have another form of accommodation you can bring with you then please get in touch after reading below.

    We have a caravan plug available and also an outside power outlet.
    Food will be provided
    Use of all indoor amenities is included
    Internet access may not reach outdoors but is available to use inside.

    We are after help with building projects, gardening, large-scale avary construction, fencing, paddock clearing, reseeding, drainage, plant nursery and animal minding/care among other tasks.

    Kia ora!

    Welcome to our page. I'm Emily, and my partner Shay (we're a same-sex couple) manage an Animal Sanctuary.

    Our sanctuary encompasses 80 acres nestled amidst some of the most pristine and untouched New Zealand bushland. It is composed of partially native bush and the remaining portions are mainly bare land that we are actively regenerating.

    This sanctuary is proudly a Vegan animal haven and currently houses 20 cows and calves, 2 sheep, 2 ducks, 2 pigs, 2 cats and 10 chickens. We are also in the early stages of establishing a food forest and revitalizing the farm with native bush. Our ultimate goal is to create a sanctuary for women seeking a safe space to heal and rejuvenate, utilizing the presence of animals, our garden, and the surrounding forest.

    Given the nature of the assistance we offer, we may be aiding individuals in a vulnerable state or position. For this reason, we are exclusively seeking women who possess strong emotional intelligence, effective communication skills, and a calm demeanour.

    We are committed to minimizing excess consumption, and as a result, the majority of our food is sourced from 'Reduced to Clear' stores. These stores specialize in distributing food products that are nearing or have passed their best-before dates, may have packaging errors, or are surplus to the original store's needs. Rest assured, the food we acquire from these stores is safe for consumption; otherwise, it would not be available for sale. However, if you are uncomfortable with this approach, you are welcome to bring your own food. It is expected that, in general, you would be comfortable with this principle. We strictly prohibit the consumption of meat on our premises.

    Our daily lives involve part-time work with the rest of our hours typically spent on the land with our beloved animals, working on various projects, tending to the garden, or engaging in DIY activities.

    In line with our sanctuary's mission, we exclusively admit women. We apologize for any inconvenience this policy may cause.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We can teach many things like:

    - living sustainably,
    - low-carbon lifestyles,
    - vegan cooking and food,
    - basic permaculture,
    - English,
    - basic French,
    - basic Maori,
    - building skills,
    - gardening,
    - propagation of plants,
    - how to look after animals,
    - sustainable grazing,
    - up close relationships with ducks, cows, pigs and chickens.

    We love playing card and board games.
    I (Emily) am also a nurse. While Shay builds websites and works on social media marketing.

  • Help


    The Sanctuary is always busy!

    In return for 4 days a week at 4 hours per day we offer; room, amenities (power, internet, bathroom etc) and meals - Breakfast, lunch and dinner. We welcome any cooking you may wish to do and you are welcome to use what we have in the house to do so (if we have what you need).

    There is always something to do here and the list of projects is never-ending (in a good way). Depending on the season there could be propagating plants in the nursery, planting plants out in regenerative areas or in the garden.

    Working with the animals is a big part of what we do here at the sanctuary. There is a routine that needs to be done daily (feeding chickens, counting the cows, and looking after any that need special care). Then there are things that will help to increase their happiness and well-being here such as weeding the paddocks, removing rocks from the fields, helping make fences or troughs etc. There will also be odd jobs that are on the to-do list.

    There are opportunities for artists of any medium to also contribute that way, making the farm more interesting and fun. We have project ideas that we just will never get to that artists can also help with.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Beginner
    Maori: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    Due to our distance from even the smallest of stores, we are 15km down a gravel road in a very rural area, successful applicants would need to have their own transport.

    No smoking on the property.

    As the Sanctuary is Vegan you would also need to be okay with eating and cooking plant-based food while here.

    You would have your own room in the house with us. The house has electricity, tv, unlimited wifi, 1 toilet and bath/shower inside and hot water.

    The farm has some cellphone signal, but only a few bars here and there.

    Food is provided and it is assumed you would eat with us, but you may do whatever suits you best.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Our 80 acres are partially forested, set at the end of a gravel road with beautiful NZ rainforest hikes only 2kms down the road. We are close to Tane Mahuta, beaches, Kai iwi lakes, the Hokianga and giant sand dunes.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    Our internet is on a copper line, but we can stream with no issues, however, uploading can slow the system down. We do get power cuts from time to time. Perhaps one every few months, and they generally last about 2 hours. We can not guarantee that this won't happen. So your work may need to be able to be flexible. Not available outside the house

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We have an outdoor caravan plug in the driveway, or depending on the season, you would be able to park in other areas of our space.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4 hours a day, 4 days a week

Host ref number: 592229788398

Feedback (5)


These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.

Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Enjoy time here in Dunedin, New Zealand
Enjoy a relaxing stay in the centre of New Zealand, with easy access to the rest of the country.