Stuart & Alison

  • New Zealand & United Kingdom
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Profile information

  • Travel information

    We are currently


    Activities we are interested in:

    We are intending to tour NZ North island in 2024 in our motorhome, with WorkAways in Northland during the summer. We are then committed to various house-sits throughout the year until Oct '24.

    Our next destination:

    New Zealand
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  • Description

    We are an energetic, fun-loving New Zealand couple in our late 50s who have recently decided to semi-retire, rent out our home in Wellington and enjoy NZ by combining travelling in Buster our motorhome, as well as workawaying, volunteering and house/dog-sitting.

    We are originally from the UK but have been NZ residents since 2000 and are now citizens. We left NZ in Dec. 2019 for a 19 month OE in Asia, Europe and UK to visit family. During this time (despite the pandemic) we discovered WorkAway and enjoyed some wonderful working experiences in the UK and Spain. More recently we have undertaken WorkAways in Japan and back home in NZ.

    Since returning to NZ, we like to combine our travelling with being involved in community volunteering projects and have joined several tree planting and revegetation teams in Dunedin, Queenstown, Arrowtown and Kerikeri as well as helping with predator trapping. We've also undertaken several months of dog/house-sitting while travelling which enables us to combine our love of dogs with our love of being outdoors.

    Stuart is a qualified gardener and held a team leader role at the Botanic Gardens in Wellington from 2016-2019, and prior to horticulture he worked in the graphic design industry. Alison had a career in event and project management and held positions in a variety of industries prior to training as a Pilates Instructor which she taught full-time for 8 years.

    We love to apply our skills, interests and experience to help WorkAway hosts complete projects or to share ideas, learn new skills and help out along the way. In the past, for example, we have renovated old gardens, designed/landscaped new gardens, pruned roses and trees, trimmed hedges, planned and planted a fruit-tree orchard, weeded vegetable gardens, created new lawns, mown overgrown lawns, renovated a willow hut, learned to build/repair dry-stone walls, dug drainage ditches, hand-picked olives, pruned kiwifruit vines, rebuilt fences and painted houses. When weather moves us indoors, we'll turn our hand to painting and decorating. We'll have a go at anything.

    As long-term home owners and landlords, general household tasks and house maintenance jobs are not a problem. We are clean, tidy and very capable with plenty of initiative if problems arise.

    We love walking (preferably in the company of a dog), cycling, kayaking (preferably a double so Ali can relax in the back), gardening, travelling, learning Japanese, meeting people, watching movies (ideally with a cat on our lap) and generally having fun, laughing, dancing (only after a glass of wine), staying super fit and healthy while trying to live our best lives to the full.

    We believe in serendipity and think that by following our hearts and instincts, interesting experiences can happen. We look forward to meeting you!

  • Interests

    Water sports
    Van life
    DIY & crafts
    Yoga / Wellness
    Plant care
    Outdoor activities
    Events & social
    Cooking & food
    Art & design
  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Japanese: Beginner

  • Skills and knowledge we'd like to share or learn

    We're interested in:  

    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Life at a Farmstay
    Eco Projects
    Animal Care

    Some knowledge of:  

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Helping around the house
    Helping with Computers/ Internet

    Able to teach about:  

  • More details about your skills

    Stuart is a professional horticulturist with 6 years experience training and working as a landscape/amenity gardener and 4 years employed as Heritage Gardens Curator at the Wellington Botanic Gardens. He has extensive experience in all aspects of garden maintenance and using gardening power tools. Prior to this, he worked for 20 years in the computer graphic design industry in London and New Zealand. He finds that his creative problem-solving abilities translate well into his love of garden design. Having owned our own home, Stu is comfortable with diy jobs, painting and decorating, working with his hands, being outdoors, getting stuck in and enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done.

    Alison had a 20 year career in project management/planning and held positions in a variety of industries including IBM Europe, Wellington theatre and NZ Parliament. Alison has been a qualified Fitness Instructor teaching Pilates for 6 years, specialising in treating and preventing long term injuries. She loves to teach and enjoys making exercise fun. She also likes to help people to tap into their body awareness and find new ways of moving that feel good and pain-free. She is an excellent cook who enjoys learning about different international cuisines and after living 10 years in France, she speaks fluent French. Last year, Ali took part in a Dog Sharing Project in Wellington and made a new friend, Pancho the Miniature Schnauzer, who she walked once a week. Ali is good at organising and enjoys planning, and creating order out of chaos. She's also an excellent gardener's assistant to Stu.

  • Age

    57 & 62

  • What else ...

    We will be travelling and living in our 7.5m motorhome so we would require access and space to park on your property. We have electric bikes to use for local travel.

  • Some more information

    • Smoker

    • Driver's licence

    • Allergies

    • Special dietary requirements