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help exchange   Host 55620
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 3.5
Persons: 3-5 ie 2x2+1 or 3x1
Category: Other
Host ID: 55620
Region: Otago

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Last Updated: February 19, 2018

Currently no vacancies. We will update when this changes.

Based a 5 minute dawdle from the shores of Lake Hawea, we have a 10 acre lifestyle block where we live with our 2 children. Grandad lives in a hut over the driveway and helps out in the garden as and when he can. We have two resident cats and it looks like we've inherited another wild one in recent weeks. There is also a dog here who is very friendly and passive but, you must be willing to be adopted into his pack!

We're both originally from corporate backgrounds so, we took the next logical step.... Getting away from it!

Our dream is to develop an off-grid living plan. Currently this includes a 'cottage industry' jam and pickle business, plantings for a small orchard, two outside vegetable gardens and two 11x3m tunnel houses. Much of the produce is used to supply the aforementioned business, whilst the excess is sold locally directly to businesses or at the farmers market. Plans are also being drawn up to develop a small "environmentally, sustainable camping ground" along with recreational activities. It's all about having a bit of fun and enjoying life.

In exchange for accommodation, (please note, food is not included) we are looking for 2 hours of work from each person to help with garden labouring, basic building projects, irrigation systems and general land development projects. The work can be 'hard-grunt', although rewarding and is dependent on the priorities of the season.

At various times during the year, we will be happy to offer excess garden goodies such as tomatoes, cucumbers, raspberries etc to compliment your diet. The more areas we can develop for crops, the better your diet will be!

We would love to find other people with imagination and drive who like the idea of trying something new and having a laugh! Some of the work won't be structured so, having a can-do attitude and practical approach is essential!

We've got some crazy ideas, including 'Berry Mazes', Amphitheatres for home concerts, 'foot-pool' tables and more! (Please note, none of this stuff currently exists!) Infrastructure work is underway starting with the installation of a Water Bore for the irrigation scheme. If anyone has any prior experience with this sort of thing..... Well, that would be handy! (Otherwise, we're just making it up as we go!)

Preference will always be given to those with practical experience of the types of projects we will have eg irrigation, propagation, building, landscaping etc... however, if you're not scared of a little hardwork and have an ability to learn, we'd be interested in chatting to you! (If we're full but you have the necessary skills,.... a bed can sometimes become mysteriously available so, please let us know if you're around, flexible and interested.)

Preference will also be given to those who would like to stay for a longer period of time. It's a big vision..... it can take some time to comprehend it all!

This currently consists of 2 sleeping caravan's and one hut (otherwise known as the bedrooms.) A separate Caravan provides social and cooking facilities. A fully plumbed toilet is available close by and showering and laundry facilities are available at the family house. (Subject to working around family activities.) NEWSFLASH - We hope to have an additional shower available in the next couple of weeks!!

We are happy to discuss organizing commitments around hours you may have committed elsewhere involving paid work however, we do expect 14 hours labour over the week per person.

Details of the type of paid work available in the area, can typically be found in adverts in the "Upper Clutha Messenger". (On-line version available at

Local activities around the region include but, are not limited to, world class walking tracks, cycling, white-water sports, winter sports, a growing music and arts scene, rock climbing, social groups, admiring the really awesome view and apparently, there's a night life in Wanaka! ('Apparently'..... we have two kids so, we don't get out much ourselves!)

If you want a chat, get in contact. Its the perfect opportunity for people who were looking to merge with the local community for a season or two!

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