Ever wondered what the day in a life of a WWOOFer is like?
For those of you who don’t know, WWOOFing stands for “Willing Workers on Organic Farms”. WWOOF hosts offer food and accommodation to volunteers from around the world in exchange for help on organic farms. Not only is WWOOFing a great way to learn about organic farming practices and permaculture, it’s also a great way to save money while you travel. In expensive countries like New Zealand, this can come in particularly handy.
Because Pascal and myself are both on a limited budget, we decided to sign up with WWOOFing New Zealand to save on some cash. We applied to several hosts, but with no success. Likely this was because it was our first WWOOFing experience and our profile reflected this. WWOOFing in New Zealand is popular among backpackers, and because the demand is high, hosts can afford to be picky. Nevertheless, we decided to apply to one more host. This time we lowered our standards (or at least we thought we had) as this host had zero reviews and didn’t show any pictures of the property.
Best decision ever.
For the last week, we have been WWOOFing in Russell, a beautiful little seaside town a few hours North of Auckland. Here is a peek at what our day-to-day life looks like.
6:30 am: Wake up to the sound of ocean waves crashing on the rocks below.
6:30 am – 7 am: A few sunrise salutations on our private patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean
7 am – 8 am: A light breakfast, then get ready to start work at 8 am
8 am – 2 pm: Work varies from grounds maintenance (i.e. weeding, raking and more weeding), tackling the overgrown New Zealand Flax plant, and shoveling donkey poo to use as manure in the garden (fresh veggies anyone?).
2 pm – 10 pm: After we finish our six-hour shift, a quick dip in the ocean (the beach is right on the property), and if we’re lucky, fresh scallops or even some smoked marlin for dinner, to complement our New Zealand Chardonnay (also produced on the property)!
Sounds amazing, right? After sleeping in our car for the past few days, staying here was a dream come true. This was our first WWOOFing experience, but I can guarantee you it won’t be our last!
Also, for those who are interested in our ‘glamping’ accommodations, here are a few more photos to give you an idea of where we stayed.