We we arrived in New Zealand we didn’t really have a plan with what we were going to do. WWOOFing stands for “Willing Worker on Organic Farm” but really applies to any type of Organic industry and we ended up spending the first two months WWOOFing. The basic arrangement is that the worker provides about 25hrs/week of manual labor and the host provides food, a place to stay and often a cultural experience of living with the locals.
Got the Plot Farm
We knew the first four weeks were going to be spent at an organic farm doing this “WWOOFing” thing. We went to a farm on the Coromandel Peninsula where we ended up learning more than we ever thought about organic, sustainable farming and off the grid living!
The owner’s house, complete with solar electric, hot water and walls and floors built from recycled materials!
Our little shack… hey, it had lights!
Lindsay stomping food down into the compost bin in the owner’s house
The composting outdoors toilet (no flush toilets here!)
The gardens, where we spent the majority of our time!
The Fire Dragon pizza oven. We installed the roof over this bad boy!
Lindsay milking a cow for the first time
A water tank that looks eerily familiar to what the US Army had in Afghanistan…
“Home Kill” operations where they come and slaughter your animals in your own field!
One of my favorite days, building an organic compost pile from scratch
Mike’s Organic Brewery
After a very stressful three weeks at the farm we found a brewery that let WWOOFers come and work for them. The only kicker; you had to work 6hrs/day but they gave you beer at the end of the day. We only stayed two weeks because that is really all our livers could handle… it was like being back in university again, except you were getting drunk every night on really expensive craft microbrew beer and still getting up at 8am the next day to work. So I guess it wasn’t really at all like being in University again…
Mike’s Brewery! Shangri-la for WWOOFers!!
Tell me that I don’t look like I belong working in a brewery!! (The other guy walking behind is an employee… I blended in quite well!)
Good beer, good people, good times. Mike’s Brewery!
The cafe that we worked in on the weekends
The inside of the retail shop/cafe. We stocked shelves!
King’s Cup. F**king King’s Cup. My liver hates this game.
The girls team for “Flunkyball” – Possibly the greatest drinking game ever.
Lindsay displaying her athletic prowess at Flunkyball
Play cards, drink beer, take advil. Repeat again tomorrow.
Emilie (French), Lindsay (Canadian), Clay (American), Ginny (Singapore) – The people you meet traveling.
The “Avocado House” – WWOOFer accommodation in the Avocado Forest
Another beautiful sunset over the Taranaki Penninsula
Beautiful Mt Taranaki (sadly not our picture)
A view of the beach we would walk to in the afternoons… rough life.
Feeding fletch the lamb, so cool!
Clay feeding Fletch
The Watermill Bakery and Pizzeria
After we pickled our livers we decided to really rough it and head to a bakery/pizzeria. Honestly, this is one of my fondest memories of New Zealand. The people were absolutely incredible and when I say that I want to grow up and be just like Boly I’m not lying. These two weeks is the reason we went to NZ… plus they made pretty good pizza!
Punga Cove Resort
After two months of WWOOFing we decided that it may be time to make some money. Christmas/New Years is the most expensive time to be a tourist in New Zealand so we decided to look for basic work in the vineyard industry. Good Karma struck again and we ended up staying eight weeks at an upscale resort in the Queen Charlotte Sound. We didn’t expect a job or coworkers like we ended up having and it turned out to be one of the most memorable couple months of our lives!
Walking down to catch the water taxi back to Punga. Possibly my favorite picture of Lindsay and I
Looking down at the Queen Charlotte Sound. Seriously, they paid us to work here
Taking a lunch break during a hike. No idea why I’m standing on the table.
Going for a little paddle in the cove with Emilie
Lindsay joined us for the paddle. Seriously, we got paid to be here, I’m not making it up.
A float plane takes off from the cove
The jetty with a yacht tied up for the night
The Boatshed Bar/Cafe. This is where Clay worked.
The Endeavour Inlet on a clear day from the jetty.
John taking the burning up for the day, this was also one of Clay’s jobs.
Don’t forget about the chickens… 40 of them!
Emilie up in the restaurant when she came for a visit.
The bar that Clay worked in.
Looking down at the moorings in the Cove from the restaurant.
This is a picture of where Clay works everyday (Jetty/Cafe) taken from where Lindsay works! Suckers!
I took Lindsay out on a day off in our small “tender” and we went to a secluded cove for a private brunch.
An attempt at a creative shot of our mimosa breakfast
Lindsay driving back from our morning off work.
Going for a bike ride along the Queen Charlotte Track
Sheep on the trail, surprsingly normal in New Zealand