Hello travellers! We are looking for a mix between an au pair and a wwoofer, from August 2020.
My 13-year-old son and I live in Ruakokoputuna, a gorgeous wine-growing valley in South Wairarapa – 90 km north of NZ’s capital city, Wellington. We are surrounded by farmland and magnificent limestone river and cave systems. The word famous Patuna Chasm is a few minutes away – one of the most beautiful walks I've ever experienced. Not far away is the rugged South Wairarapa coast with quaint fishing villages and wild beaches. We have hot, dry summers and frosty winters.
Our nearest town is Martinborough, a renowned wine village where some of the world’s best pinot noir is produced. In summer the village hums with music, art and food/wine festivals. Year-round there are fantastic vineyards cafes and bars to enjoy.
We live 15km from Martinborough village, on a 5 hectare lifestyle block, with some bush, and paddocks where our neighbours’ sheep, cattle and horses graze. It’s not a farm but we do grow fruit and vegetables, gather firewood and mow lawns. There’s plenty of room to roam and get away from it all but we're close enough to town to have easy access to movies, bars, the library and shops.
***A NOTE ABOUT COVID 19 ***
You're probably aware that NZ has just downgraded its alert level to Level 2, having undergone several weeks in lockdown, a major factor in a very succesful C19 eradication effort. We still have manditory 14-day self-isolation for most new arrivals into NZ. If you are outside of New Zealand but still planning to come here and think you may be interested in our Workaway offer, here are some things to consider.
* NZ has taken swift and effective steps to control the spread of the virus and is, at this stage, one of the safer places to be.
* We all still practice strict hygiene, social distancing and contact-tracing and would ask that you respect and join our common effort to eradicate the virus in NZ.
* We live in the countryside so we're already a bit isolated but we have easy and safe access to supplies, home comforts and medical support.
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
While you are here you will have plenty of time to explore this area and use the car when you need it. As a professional writer and former teacher I may be able to help you with your English if that's what you're looking for, and I will certainly be able to suggest all sorts of wonderful places or people for you to visit depending on your interests. If you love the outdoors you will find much here to enjoy.
I run two small businesses - one making television documentaries and the other making hand-made clothing and homewares. I'm not a bad cook and gardener so if any of these things interest you you will have opportunities to learn those skills!
My son and I are both learning French so if you speak French we'll be keen to learn from you!
Here is what one recent volunteer says about us:
"I can not speak highly enough of my experience here!
The house is a beautiful farmhouse in the middle of nature. It has a nice garden full of vegetables and flowers, and a little river behind the house. I had my own beautiful blue room which was very spacious, has a huge comfortable bed and a window to the sun side of the house. Of course I was also allowed to use the Wifi and the Netflix account as also enjoy food or snacks that I would write on the shopping list to buy! For me as someone who enjoys farmlife, nature, and a little bit of quiet it was like heaven!
Roz, who is the Mum and chef is also a Movie Director, Archie, her 13 year old son who is lovely and really fun, the cuddly black cat Mr Sirius Black and our always happy and excited dog Jazz who will love everyone that spends some time with her.
I can also not say it enough but my host family here was amazing! From the first day they gave me the feeling how welcome I was here and always tried to make our life together easy going and supported me to see more of New Zealand as also have time to myself. She offered many times help with the planing of my trips to Wellington, the South Island or visits with my family in Australia, she also offered to help me organize a trip in the close by Glowworm Caves, or find a place to do horse riding in my free time, I got my own car for the time being here as well.
The work I did here was fun to do as well, Archie is a very fun and happy child which has great ideas and dreams and is smart as well. The work was always very relaxed and easy.
A BIG bonus point was also the incredible nice food - fresh and healthy meals, with a big variety between Asian, European, Mexican and other food dishes, I enjoyed myself very much! Many vegetables are from our own garden, the fresh bread and cakes are home baked and even the Yogurt is something we make here regularly by our self!
It was a great experience to meet such wonderful people and live in such a beautiful area of New Zealand! I am very sad that I had to leave and I will miss my host family here very much! If I could come back for another year I would do so in an instant!"
I am looking for an aupair, companion and general helper in the house and garden. The gig would best suit one person but we could make it work for a couple as well.
Your main role will be to be a companion to my son, when I'm busy working. For this reason I'm more interested in volunteers who are keen to stay at least a month, preferably longer, so we can build the rapport and trust needed for you to become part of the family in this way.
Although he is becoming increasingly independent and responsible, I might need you to help me
* supervise my son getting ready for school,
* drive him to and from sports and social activities,
* make sure he does his homework and chores,
* occasionally make dinner, and
* ensure he gets to bed on time.
This will depend on my work commitments and what you're most comfortable doing. You will have plenty of free time when he’s at school.
Other things I'd like help with include
* helping care for our gorgeous dog and a cat
* grocery shopping
* help around the house, and
* help in the garden and orchard.
How this works will partly be determined by your skills and interests.
PLEASE NOTE you will have use of a car for running my son around but also for your own use to enjoy and explore this lovely area. ***BUT it is important that you are a licensed, careful and experienced driver.*** Our road is windy and unsealed in some places but safe enough if you are a good driver. I am happy to spend time with you helping you get your confidence on our road. (And – by the way – we drive on the left here!)
* You may be interested to hear that our recent aupair/helper loved it here so much that she stayed for almost two years!! Of course we do not expect you to stay that long (!) but we do look forward to welcoming you into our home and making sure you have a very happy time here. Below is a recommendation she wrote when she left:
We live in an early 20th century wooden house in the “arts and crafts” style. It’s comfortable and homely but not fancy! You will have your own nice double room and free access to the house and grounds just like any member of the family. There is one shared bathroom. We have WiFi and landline but there is no cell signal here. We find internet-based apps such as WhatsApp very useful.
You will have use of an automatic transmission car. Of course we will provide your food. I'm a pretty good cook and I enjoy cooking but you’ll be welcome to cook if you enjoy doing so. We grow a lot of our own fruit and vegetables and favour natural, healthy food. We eat well!
I will ask that you are clean, tidy, helpful and respectful and that you are good to share a home with. You’ll be treated with kindness and respect and encouraged to explore the area and enjoy your time off.
It's a quiet rural area but you will have easy access to the lovely South Wairarapa and Wellington so life here can be as tranquil or as busy as you want to make it!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 25 hours per week, often less