WWOOF New Zealand began in the early 1970s. WWOOF allows volunteers to stay on organic farms and join in with the various projects hosts are busy with. There is a variety of properties spread throughout NZ, including farms, market gardens, communities and ventures in self-sufficiency in which organic growing plays some part.
Although hosts consider WWOOFers to be volunteering, the Immigration Dept says that if “gain or reward” (ie food, accommodation) is received while volunteering then they consider volunteering to be work. This means, if you say that you are coming to “volunteer or work on a farm” the immigration department in New Zealand require people to hold an open work visa such as a Working Holiday Visa (WHV) if they will receive food, accommodation while volunteering.
For more information please go to https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa and select the country you are from.
WWOOFers from Australia do not require a WHV . If you are from USA, Canada, England and Ireland you may be able to apply for a special visa valid for people aged 18-35 year from BUNAC.org.
Unfortunately WWOOF can not help you gain the appropriate visa.
You can either join directly with an agent or complete an Online Application Form. Go to “Join” on the menu
WWOOF does not have too many hard and fast rules but there are some important things to be aware of.
WWOOF is a non-monetary exchange.
In return for 4-5 hours of a WWOOFers help on the organic property each day, hosts provide 3 adequate meals a day and clean, dry accommodation.
Outside of this we leave it up to WWOOFers and hosts to negotiate.
The main aim of WWOOF is to get people working together and learning from one another, to encourage organic and sustainable farming and living practices as well as cultural exchange.
The details of a WWOOF exchange, such as hours worked, days off, length of stay etc need to be discussed when the WWOOFer initially contacts the host.
Each party needs to make their expectations clear and agree on the terms of stay before the WWOOFer arrives on the property. This avoids disappointment, embarrassment and uncomfortable situations arising.
It is also important for hosts and WWOOFers to chat on the phone about the type of environment they live in and jobs to be done etc in order to determine the members suitability to each situation
WWOOF is voluntary, Hosts do not charge the WWOOFer for their stay and WWOOFers do not get paid for their work.
WWOOF is about educational and cultural exchange. WWOOFers help out hosts on their property for 4-5 hours each day and in exchange for their help they are fed 3 meals and provided with reasonable accommodation. The idea is that WWOOFers help hosts get the jobs done on their property while WWOOFers are given the opportunity to learn about organics and engage with the “real NZ”.
WWOOF provides the opportunity for you to live and experience life on New Zealand organic properties. You learn organic farming methods by helping on the farm and having ‘hands-on’ experience. Usually you live in with the family and are expected to join in and cooperate with the day to day activities. The success of WWOOF depends on mutual cooperation.
WWOOF relies on the feedback from its members. Any suggestions for improving the scheme or broadening its appeal would be appreciated. If you have any further inquiries or any problems then please don’t hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 03 544 9890.
To arrange your stay phone the host you wish to visit. It is important to make arrangements in advance, don’t just turn up at the door. During the initial phone call or e-mail it is important to discuss details of the stay such duration and what chores there are. If you set a date to visit a host and then find you cannot make it, please phone the host to let them know. If you fail to turn up, there will be concerns for your welfare!
This varies from farm to farm but is usually between 5 days and a few weeks . Many hosts have a trial period of a couple of nights and then longer if things go well. Most hosts do not allow stays of only 1 or 2 nights as it takes time to get to know the farm routines etc.
Login to your WWOOF profile at www.wwoof.co.nz. Search for the profile of the WWOOF member you wish to give feedback. Scroll to the bottom of their profile and click on “Write Feedback” Read through the Code of Conduct. Write your feedback and click ‘save’.
WWOOF NZ reserves the right to edit feedback only in situations where comments are defamatory, offensive or contain language of an inappropriate nature. Feedback also needs to be relevant. However, in the interests of providing impartiality to both hosts and WWOOFers, unless feedback is determined to fall into the category described above, then we will not intervene in this process. WWOOF NZ reserves the sole right to determine what is considered offensive, defamatory or inappropriate language. Any requests for amendments should be emailed to email@example.com. A request for feedback to be modified or withdrawn must come via email, and from the email address the member uses for WWOOF NZ.
If you come across feedback that is personally attacking or offensive, please email the WWOOF office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Usually 1-2 weeks. However over the busy summer period hosts can sometimes be booked up 1-2 months in advance so WWOOFers do need to be more organised over this time. If you do book far in advance and can’t turn up PLEASE LET YOUR HOST KNOW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
All hosts should have insurance. Most take out public liability insurance as well. You must also make sure you are aware of Work Safe guidelines.
WWOOFers – you are responsible for your own safety. Check you have insurance that covers medical care including transportation home, accidents, dental and loss of property. Make sure your insurer knows that you will be a volunteer on a farm.
In NZ we have Accident Compensation (ACC) and it covers you for genuine accidents ONLY needing medical care while you are in New Zealand.
The minimum age to go WWOOFing is 18 yrs. There is no maximum age limit for WWOOFing. Please be aware that if you are applying for a Working Holiday Visa the maximum age for this visa is 35. The important criteria are that you are willing and able to lend a helping hand to your host.
Yes you can. However there are fewer hosts who can accept kids as there are safety issues on the farm, lack of accommodation etc. You can do a search which will give you an idea of how many hosts are able to accommodate families. For more information please also check out The Green Compass article
May to September are the usual winter months. WWOOF does carry on through the winter with jobs such as building raised beds, spreading the compost, tree planting, maintenance, building and other odd jobs. You will definitely need good boots (you can buy “gummies” for $20), a warm jacket and a raincoat.
WWOOF Membership is annual (when you first join membership lasts for 14 months). You can renew your membership at any time ($20 fee).
WWOOF is about Living and Learning on Organic Farms (it stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms or our favourite We’re Welcome On Organic Farms). However, some hosts have projects that are not primarily about organic farming – WWOOF is one part of the wide range of volunteering possibilities. Cultural Exchange originated in 1998 when we realised there were many other exciting and interesting projects happening. The aim is to now distinguish the two categories with a new website Cultural Exchange.
View the video about messaging (opens in a new window).
Why is wwoof.co.nz in the email address? Any time an email is sent from a server is must have the same domain as the website otherwise it will be treated as spam. When using the email button on the profile the email is being send form the website. This means the From address will be wwoof.co.nz. The Reply-To address is always the actual email of the sender.
What are archived conversations? Once you have finished messaging someone you can hide the conversation. This helps you keep track of your current conversations. To archive a conversation click on the cross icon on the conversation. To see your archived conversations just click on the recycle icon at the bottom of your conversation list. You can add any archived conversations back in to your current conversations by clicking on the tick icon.
How do I permanently delete a conversation? Your archived conversations will have a trash icon. Click this and you will be asked if you wish to permanently delete the conversation. Take care with this as it can not be undone.
- When you have deleted a conversation with someone, keep in mind they may not have deleted their conversation so they will still have a copy.
- If someone chooses to continue a conversation that you have already deleted, then that will open up the conversation once again. Of course you will be free to delete the conversation again, once it’s finished.
- Record for the conversation will be kept on the server until both members in the conversation have deleted their conversation.
WWOOF works with STA Travel who are the world’s largest student and youth travel agency and have been helping students, teachers and young people with their travel for over 35 years. STA Travel has an extensive global presence with hundreds of retail locations worldwide.
Benefits of booking flights with STA Travel:
- $99 flight deposit scheme – Lock in selected airfares now for only $99 NZD and don’t pay anything until 8 weeks before you travel
- Exclusive Low Airfares – Unique airline partnerships give you access to the lowest fares
- Exclusive Flexible Airfares – You can change your plans at minimal cost and effort
- They Make it easy – by finding you the best flight and travel route to New Zealand, and elsewhere, also help with stopover options
- Well-Travelled, Passionate Staff – A team of dedicated Travel Experts trained to give you the best advice and offer firsthand experience
For your personalised flight quote click here and one of the dedicated Travel Experts will be in touch shortly.
This varies between hosts and usually depends on the location. Internet is limited and intermittent in NZ and unless you are in a big city very expensive. Many hosts are NOT big internet users, they may use only 3-4 gb per month, checking emails, wwoof site and a several other websites, so often will only have a small limited data cap to suit their needs and more often their budget.
It is important that WWOOFers check with hosts before or on arrival what their internet procedures are.