We are a sustainably designed, rural property on the edge of a protected wetland of regional significance in the lower North Island of New Zealand. We have fully organic domestic vegetable gardens, a small orchard, and firewood trees in addition to the wetland margin and native replanting. The main house is a new, sustainably designed building using solar and wood fired water heating. It has magical calm and tranquility.
We are a same-sex couple who both work in education, have traveled to many places in New Zealand and overseas and enjoy the company of others. We enjoy cooking (our guests tell us the meals we provide are very good) and can cater for vegetarians or omnivores. Our interests and general knowledge are broad and we love meeting new people who care about the planet.
We are five minutes from the Otaki rail station and inland from the coast. It is a one hour drive to Wellington city, and between 10 and 20 minutes from beaches at Otaki, Pekapeka and Waikanae. Having your own transport is good but we can collect you from bus or train stations. It is about a 30 minute walk to the nearest shop.
We are happy for visitors (I person or 2) to stay up to 4 nights and will provide dinner and accommodation in exchange for 5 hours each help per day. We appreciate non-smoking, visitors who want to learn about New Zealand birds and plants, organic gardening and sustainability, or who want quiet, reflective time after their work is done.
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
We have many books about New Zealand plants and birds and knowledge about wetlands and their importance but also can talk about New Zealand history, literature, and poetry. We do preserving of fruit, berries and vegetables and focus on eating and cooking seasonally from the property. We are constantly exploring how to become more sustainable - you may have great ideas to help with that - and really enjoy learning about new approaches to cooking. We keep a well stocked spice and sauce cupboard and grow a range of fresh herbs.
We are looking for help with general property maintenance: firewood work (cutting, stacking, moving), wetland development (weeding and replanting), domestic vegetable garden and orchard work, as well as domestic chores such as house maintenance (window washing, repainting, home handy person repairs).
Accommodation is in a private, stand alone cottage with new bathroom and stovetop and microwave cooking facilities located beside the main house. It has one double bed and a sofa bed as well as table and chairs and sunny decks with views into the orchard and beyond. We provide food for you to make your own breakfasts - and you can tell us what you like - and provide a hot meal with us in the house at night. Lunch is usually provided but sometimes you may need to make your own if we are both out at midday. There is no internet access or TV in the cottage but you can do emails and download to devices in the main house.
In your time off on weekdays, there is no easy off-property transport other than your own feet. In the weekends we can take visits to the local market, the local beach, or short local forest walks.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week