We are a Canuckiwi couple - Nicole is from Canada and John is a Kiwi. We met at Burning Man in 2013 and began our life together almost instantly. We were married in Hawaii in 2018 and traveled Central and South America for 18 months until summer weddings brought us back to NZ, and Covid made us stay.
We turned lemons into lemonade and purchased a 25-acre block of land in October(complete with freshwater springs, Kiwi birds, and glowworms). The land is right on the Twin Coast Cycle Trail between Opua and Hokianga Harbour, and we are needing help with the care and regeneration projects we have envisioned. We live completely off the grid (aside from the internet), using solar power, spring and rainwater, and working on growing our own vegetables and fruit.
We want to protect our land and the Kiwi that live here and work to grow our own food and give back to the environment. We are aiming to create a yoga and nature retreat over the next 12 - 24 months where people can come to get away from the city, reconnect with nature and themselves, and learn how to unplug, reset and restore.
Nicole is a teacher by trade but now works full-time online as a website developer, and John is a physiotherapist by trade but sold his physiotherapy company two years ago to pursue his dream of being a writer. He just won an award in America for his debut novel and is now working with a publisher in New York to get his novel published in the States, with talks of developing it into a movie.
We have two rescue animals: a beautiful Huntaway dog, named "Rosa", and a lovely Burmese cat named "Baby". Both animals love coming on forest walks and will happily snuggle up with you or give you your space if you'd prefer!
We both love to do yoga and meditate every day, usually at sunset, and one of the projects we will be undertaking will be a yoga deck in our meadow.
John loves to surf and heads at least once a week to Matauri Bay or Taupo Bay on the east coast, or Shipwreck Bay/Supertubes etc on the west coast. If you are a Workaway surfer, let us know! John would love to have a surfing mate to go with and has extra boards if needed!
We also do "at home" workouts each morning, mostly bodyweight training with kettlebells and TRX, and runs to the river with our dog Rosa, and would love to assist with training programs with Workawayers if they wish or collaborate (or stay sleeping, whatever you want!)
We also love to play music and have several guitars, a ukelele, a banjo, and harmonicas.
Aide avec des éco-projets
Bricolage et projets de construction
S’occuper des animaux
Cuisine/repas pour la famille
Aide à la maison
The Utakura Valley is a special place in NZ. The farmer who sold us the land (who goes by the name of "Snow") is a lovely man and still operates in the Utakura Valley. His great grandfather was one of the first European colonizers in the area and got along very well with the local Maori Chief.
The Chief learned about cattle farming and agriculture from Snow’s great grandfather, and Snow's great grandfather learned from the Chief about sustainability and showing respect for the native forest and its animals.
The evidence of this relationship is clear throughout the property in the old, crumbling stone walls seen throughout the land which used to serve as fences for their cattle. The mature native bush, bountiful fauna and flora, and drinkable freshwater springs shows that sustainable farming has clearly been utilized throughout this valley from the start.
Our goal is to take this forest to the next level and help the beautiful Kiwi and native birds throughout this forest to thrive, and protect them and their home for future generations. We would love to teach and learn from our Workawayers about living in balance with nature, learning from the plants, science, and indigenous wisdom.
Our home has a view like no other. It looks over a valley with river and swimming hole access and backs onto the Twin Coast Cycle Trail between Opua and Hokianga Harbour.
There are at least four kiwi birds immediately around the property and our main priority with the property is to protect them and their habitat. We also have many Ruru (moreporks), Kereru (native wood pigeons), Piwakawaka (fantails), Tuis, Silvereyes and Waxeyes, peacocks, and turkeys.
There are also walking tracks around the property and glow worms visible at night along the creek lines.
We are very comfortably 'off the grid' and passionate about protecting the native forest and teaching others about how to live sustainably and learning from others about their methods of sustainable living.
Ce projet peut impliquer des enfants. Pour en savoir plus, consultez nos directives et conseils ici.
We are looking for help with multiple projects around the property and can tailor them to individuals' interests and skills. We know we've got a lot to learn and are excited about meeting people who can help put their hearts into our vision.
Main projects we will be looking to undertake in the next few months are as follows:
- Gardening: Assisting with creating a succulent garden out front of our house (we have access to a digger for the brunt of the work!)
- Vegetable Garden: Assisting with building and planting fruit and vegetable gardens in a greenhouse.
- Building: Helping with land clearing/leveling for accommodation pods and building decks and platforms for glamping tents. Helping with building chicken coop. Helping with creating walking tracks throughout the bush.
- Artwork: Creating signage for walking tracks around the forest and down to the river.
- Forest Regeration: Helping with clearing forest creek lines, clearing for walking tracks, and planting of new native trees to regenerate forest.
- Pest Control: Helping with possum, rat and stoat trapping.
- Cooking & Cleaning: General dinner prep and cleaning around house.
Cet hôte propose un échange linguistique
We travelled through Central and South America for almost two years so would be very interested in continuing to keep our Spanish sharp!
The guest room is private, separated from the main house, with its own entrance, ensuite, and a beautiful view over the Utakuru Valley & river (it's the best view in the house - see photos below!). Queen bed with bedding included.
Main kitchen and living spaces to be shared. Unlimited internet access.
We will provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner 5 days/week. We have limited fridge space, but there is ample pantry space. Cooking dinner for the group may be part of the hours some days (with food provided).
A 4 wheel drive vehicle is recommended, as we do live down a bit of a wild driveway -- or at least 4wd or country-road driving experience. 2wd cars have no problem on our driveway, but people with no experience driving on country roads may feel nervous driving on it. People with experience have had no issues whatsoever with 2wd cars on the driveway.
We spend our weekends exploring the Far North, there are plenty of things to do, like walking trails, private beaches, surf spots, restaurants, cafes, and of course, the cycle trail.
Accès Internet limité
Nous avons des animaux
Nous sommes fumeurs
We also work online from home and have unlimited internet. We are 'off the grid' in every other way, so internet is run by ADSL cable and can sometimes get slow if too many people are on at once.
Cet hôte a de la place pour les vans.
Plus de 2
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week