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Our names are Rick & Lindy. We are a couple in our 50's & 60's living on a 125 acre lifestyle block in the Hokianga, where we raise a small herd of Scottish Highland Cattle.
We are passionate about preserving our environment and have placed a large portion of our bush-clad property under a QE2 Trust covenant.
We are not organic but we do try to use sprays and other chemicals as little as possible.
We aim to be as self-sufficient as we can for fruit and vegetables and have established large vegetable gardens & an orchard. We used to milk a cow and produce our own butter & cheese, however she has died & we don't have a replacement yet. We are not vegetarian, nor do we eat totally organic produce (other than what we produce ourselves).
We eat mainly beef as we grow this ourselves. We like to eat along with any helpers, so if you have any special dietary requirements (e.g. , no dairy, etc) PLEASE let us know in advance so we can prepare - or bring some of your special food items with you.
We are not able to cater for vegetarians as this puts extra work on Lindy for separate food preparation, which she does not have the time for.
We love to travel & enjoy meeting others from the countries we visit - therefore we appreciate the opportunity to reciprocate the wonderful hospitality we have received.
We like to host workers who can use their initiative – observing things that may need to be done & getting on with doing that job if they do not have much other work to do, without having to be asked.
Work is usually about 4 hours a day. We prefer to have the workers help us in the morning (which means starting work around 8:30am), then we can all get on with other things in the afternoon - e.g. Rick & I can get back to work(!) and the helpers can have the whole afternoon to do as they wish.
We are situated 30 minutes drive from Kerikeri, in the east, and 25 mins from Kaikohe, to the south. Workers without a car would need to catch a bus to Kerikeri or Kaikohe, where we could pick you up. If you do have a car or van of your own this would be an advantage, as we do not travel in to town very often.
Work varies and includes gardening, feeding animals, lawn mowing, clearing invasive plants from the bush, clearing fallen branches, clearing bush tracks, cleaning windows, possibly some housework such as washing dishes, vacuuming, dusting, washing the car and numerous other small tasks. You may also find yourself cutting firewood or mulching tree branches for our compost heaps.
Some of the work is physically demanding so a reasonable level of physical fitness is required.
Gloves, sunhat, sunblock and insect repellent are recommended. Gumboots are useful too - especially during the winter. And you should also have old clothes that you don't mind getting dirty as it is nearly impossible to stay clean on the farm!
We recommend workers shop for any extras (treats and toiletries) before coming as we are not within walking distance to any shops and drive to town normally once every 2 weeks. We have limited daily internet access which is fine for basic emailing but not much else. We do not have cellphone/mobile coverage where we live.
We would like to host workers who are sociable and want to interact with us and learn about our country. You will have plenty of opportunity to relax and will be treated like a member of the family. As well as our cattle, we have 2 cats & 2 dogs, and some chickens. We appreciate some extra help, such as washing the dishes each night, as part of the meal preparation procedures.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Work could also include weeding our vegetable gardens, animal care (incl. feeding and grooming our young highland cattle), clearing fallen branches, clearing bush tracks. cleaning windows, possibly some housework such as washing dishes, vacuuming, dusting, washing the car and numerous other small tasks. You may also find yourself cutting firewood or mulching tree branches for our compost heaps.
Some of the work, (e.g. bush clearing) can be physically demanding so a reasonable level of physical fitness is required.
We are now living in our newly built house, so the helper accommodation would be in our old house ( a small 2 bedroom cottage slightly apart from the new house). However we would love you to join us for eating & socialising.
Northland is a wonderful place to visit and has some really beautiful scenery. It is not as populated as other parts of new Zealand so has some remote areas plus beautiful native forest and white sandy beaches.
We are well situated for travelling further north – up to the top of the country, Cape Reinga – or across to Russell or Paihia, Karikari peninsula etc – or maybe south through the Waipoua Forest, to visit the huge Kauri tree “Tane Mahuta”, the interesting Matakohe museum and many other places in Northland.
There is a new cycle-trail being built in our area which is lovely to do, or there are many local bush walks. The gorgeous Bay of Islands is very handy.
Also we enjoy fishing and have a boat, so the occasional fishing trip is quite likely.
Unfortunately our internet access is limited – as we have to use satellite internet which is expensive & has restricted data options.
Mobile vodem sticks - telecom, vodaphone do not work at this stage. Nor do we have cellphone/mobile coverage.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week