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Help Exchange

All Year: 5-7 days each month
Area (ha): 2
Persons: 1 or 2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 35005
Region: Central North Island

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Last Updated: February 11, 2020

19 Feb, Michaela. 20 March, Adrian & Christina, April _ _ _ _?

We can offer about one week of work and adventure every month. Work for 20 hours or so and spend the rest of your time going off exploring Middle Earth.

Our home is close to the Ohakune Mountain Road that goes up Mount Ruapehu to hiking tracks, mountain bike tracks, Lord of the Rings filming sites, and to Turoa ski field. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is about one hour from here. You can have fun dressing up in my LOTR costumes here.

My wife is a nurse, and I am retired. My job is now gardening. As I have got older I appreciate help with digging, weeding, planting and trimming shrubs, lawn-mowing, etc. I'm also making LOTR costumes: you can also help with those if you like.

I enjoy hiking around the slopes of Mt Ruapehu. I'm 78 now and can't walk as far as I used to but I can guide you to some fascinating places.

I have been planting native shrubs to landscape my section, as well as the nearby sections of the holiday homes of about a dozen of our absentee neighbours, to match the forest in front of our houses. Have a look at this slide show.

In January 2015 Bertrand and Cedrine planted shrubs, Valentin followed in February, Marion and Theo in March, Cesar carved a beautiful love-heart into a tree behind our house in April, Michaela and Wilmer planted shrubs in May, Emanuel in June, Peggy Hsu, Nikki Chan and Daniel Seong in October, and Axel in November.

In January 2016 big Martins climbed to the summit of Mt Ruapehu, Ping-Hsuan helped me explore the Rangipo wilderness area in March, Marion and Jeremy transplanted dozens of native shrubs in June, Hong transformed my driveway in July, while Hugo and Yoann put up a greenhouse for me in September, in October Isabell and Benny cleared a neighbour's section, and in November John and Kyla transplanted lots of trees.

In January 2017 Austin spent 3 nights on the mountain, while his mate Bradley just wanted to be out weeding my garden all day - he had just finished a year in a night-shift office job. In February Agustin & Facundo did a huge amount of work while Eva spoiled us with her housekeeping. In March Jorge climbed our volcanoes despite a huge blister on his heel. In April Romain did so much end-of-season garden work while Nico and Laurie got my wind-damaged greenhouse weathertight for winter, in May Julia and Mara weeded all my flower beds, in June Paul and Sarah trimmed overgrown trees, in July Chihiro and Makoto tidied the gardens around our house, in August Emma and Adam cleared branches broken by a snowstorm, in Sept Clemence, Fabian and Max helped lots of neighbours, in Oct Michael weeded while Ignacia painted LOTR props, in Nov Laura-sophie attacked overgrown lawns while Cora sprayed weeds and Jake did wonders on December.

Amandine weeded and mowed in January 2018, Florian & Clemence returned at the end of February, and in March Marlo mowed, Mandy sewed, and 20-mth-old Madison charmed us all. In May Hannah stitched leather and big Julien tidied the whole countryside. Hong Jum helped here in July, Hélene & Charlotte in August, Sophie & Nicholas in September, while Mark & Ruth landscaped around the new house behind here in October, Titus helped in November and Baptiste & Olivia beautified our house for Christmas.

Kia & Jeremy worked here in January 2019 Julia & Orielle in February, energetic Barnabé got through a huge amount of work (and mountain tracks!) in March, while Michael and Clothilde dug, planted, mowed and cooked in June, then Amanda and Christine transplanted dozens of shrubs in the mid-winter rain, while Tomas, and then Aaron, weeded them in the spring-time rain, Lola planted summer flowers and Felicity pulled out mid-summer weeds.

I have enjoyed everyone's cheerful companionship and great cooking as well. You HelpXers are all such wonderful young people!

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