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help exchange   Host 18791
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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 6.8
Persons: 1, or 2 bed-sharers
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 18791
Region: Auckland

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Last Updated: May 21, 2018

[PLEASE NOTE:- We do NOT use the helpx messaging system]
[We will only reply to emails sent directly to us:- squirrelhx(at)]
[Note that you will need to replace (at) with the usual 'at sign' (arobasse or ampersat)]

We are a gay couple who breed alpacas on a 17-acre lifestyle block in Kumeu, 30 minutes drive NW from central Auckland. We also share our home with our cat Mindy and Tango, our golden Labrador. If you donít discriminate, don't smoke and are able to work hard, you may learn new skills, gain knowledge of alpacas, how their fleece becomes chemical-free natural yarn, and how we try to live by green principles.

For helpers willing to learn all they can about alpacas and how to care for them we offer a cozy bed and good food in a smoke-free home. You also need to bring a sense of humour - a necessary part of your survival kit here!

We warmly welcome strong & fit helpers willing to assist with the routine tasks of looking after our 70-plus herd, and also with the seemingly endless list of other 'Jobs To Do' around the place! The work we have is a mixture of light work and also some more strenuous, so if you are fit and energetic you should find working with our alpacas quite enjoyable. Tasks include feeding out, collecting and composting alpaca dung, digging weeds, clearing vegetation and fallen trees, cleaning water troughs, helping with shearing and sorting fleeces, moving stock, shed clearing, house cleaning, garden weeding and general yard work.

We offer food and accommodation in our warm and comfortable 30-year old Lockwood farm house. We have one guest bedroom with a queen-size bed, so we can cater for singles, couples or anyone willing to share the bed. We have one shared bathroom with a shower and a bath and a separate toilet. Food is plain but plentiful. Ralph is vegetarian; Ross eats meat; so we cater for all tastes (although vegan and other special diets are a bit challenging)! We also include free wi-fi broadband for checking emails (but definitely not for movies, Youtube or Skype video - our broadband is limited).

With a bit of give & take on each side, approx 5 but no more than 6 hours per day is appreciated. And that of course, depends on individual work habits, with some people willing and able to work harder than others. So we tend to be more task-oriented, because clock-watching is pointless if it takes some people 2 hours to do a job that others can complete in half the time. We're flexible about the work, too; if you want to help us more on one day and then enjoy a day off for sightseeing or whatever, that's fine. The important thing is that we all have clear expectations and don't take advantage of each other, and we think we get it right.

Our preferred length of stay is two weeks (because if we spend the time showing/explaining/supervising the tasks, and then you go in just a few days, we may just as well have done the work ourselves!).

We're in the middle of a great wine-producing area; we have one of Auckland's best surfing beaches close by; Muriwai also hosts a significant gannet colony; and walking, hiking and cycling trails abound. Check out this link:-

Our local township (Kumeu) is just 5 kms. away on SH16. There are excellent banking and shopping facilities available, so you don't need to stay in the city after you arrive in NZ to set up a bank account and arrange your IRD number. We can help you do this while you stay with us. Bus transport gets you fairly close to our farm, and we're willing to pick you up.

If you want to have a look at our property on Google maps, then use our helpx map link. The streetview pictures may even include some of our alpacas!

We've enjoyed welcoming wwoofing guests here in the past, and look forward to adding helpxers to our list of new friendships.

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