Kia ora / Greetings,
Our names are Mike and Karena and we are in our late 50’s. We live in an architecturally recognized house in Opahi Bay which is in beautiful Mahurangi West, a northern coastal rural area in greater Auckland (approximately 1 hour north of Auckland City center). Our bay is adjacent to the Mahurangi Regional Park which offers a variety of swimming beaches and short hikes/walking opportunities. Our property is covered with NZ native trees and has lots of native bird life.
Mike is retired, and I am an artist. Two of my older sisters live in houses next door to ours and all of us have extensive bush gardens surrounding a shared tennis court which is available for our guests to use. Mike is also a keen fisherman and depending on tide and weather, there may be an opportunity for us to take you out on the water in our small boat to explore some of the islands in the Hauraki Gulf or do a spot of fishing. There is a kayak and life-jacket you can borrow if you want to go for a paddle on your own during your stay with us. You will need your own transport as there is no public transport in our area. Things of interest within an easy driving distance from us include the vineyards, art galleries, art-deco movie theater and markets of Matakana, historic pubs, hot pools, and other local regional and marine parks to explore.
Mahurangi West is a good location for those who are beginning their travels to Northland, New Zealand or returning to Auckland. If you enjoy a bit of solitude, flora and fauna, time in or on the water, bush walks then you will enjoy your stay here.
Help around the house
Happy to share our knowledge on a variety of topics and experience and help those new to New Zealand with NZ English and Maori pronunciation and terminology and NZ etiquette/cultural practices.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We prefer hosting a couple or 2 friends who are keen gardeners to help with garden maintenance of our bush garden property and that of my sisters next door. We also have a couple of hard-landscaping projects involving path construction and maintenance. Medial work could also include window cleaning and other house cleaning tasks. Ideally, we would like people who are able to work with minimal supervision, who take pride in their work and want to do a job well, who are self-motivated, have initiative and don’t mind getting their hands dirty.
Happy to negotiate hours of work to allow for a full day off to explore. Otherwise looking for guests up to 5-6 days stay for 4-5 hours work per day.
• Gardening, e.g. weeding, pruning, planting on a hilly site
• Building garden paths, e.g. digging, wheelbarrowing metal, retaining walls/building edging
• Window Cleaning - involves heights, working off a ladder
• Housework – spring cleaning tasks
We can provide two downstairs guest rooms in our home, each with a Queen size bed with a shared guest bathroom (see photos) which would suit a couple or 2 friends. Our guest rooms have views of the sea and access to a deck that gets the morning sun. As we are a coastal rural home, we are not connected to town water supply or sewage systems and are self-sufficient in this area.
Both Mike and I are quite social people, so we look forward to having dinner together with you, although you will need to be prepared to make your own breakfast and lunch. There is lots of food options in the refrigerator for you to choose from however, if you have any special dietary needs you will have to be responsible for that yourself as we are not vegetarians, vegans, gluten, nut or diary free etc. If you like to cook, please feel free to offer, we are happy to try your favourite dishes from home and we hope you are happy to try some New Zealand favourite dishes as well. You will be welcome to join in any local social events or activities that occur at the time in the neighbourhood.
Unfortunately, there is no public transport nearby, so you will really need to have your own transport. We live about 25 minutes’ drive away from the nearest shops (Orewa & Silverdale townships to the south or Warkworth township to the north). Cell-phone coverage is poor due to the coastal rural environment, but we do have wi-fi internet access, although it is not suitable for streaming movies.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week