How it works

How it works in New Zealand

WWOOF enables people to connect with locals and live and learn on a variety of organic properties. Volunteers (WWOOFers) lend a hand on the land and home and hosts provide the food, accommodation and experiences. If you want to have hands on experience, learn and share organic and sustainable ways of living then WWOOF might be for you.


Usually you live with your host and are expected to join in and cooperate with the day to day activities. In most countries WWOOF is based on 4-6 hours help with a full day’s food and accommodation provided.

You may be asked to help with a variety of tasks like sowing seed, making compost, gardening, planting, cutting wood, weeding, harvesting, packing, milking, feeding, fencing, making mud-bricks, wine making, cheese making and bread making and whole lot more!!

Volunteers often say, “We like giving something back to the country we are travelling in”.

The length of your stay is negotiated directly between you and your host. Most WWOOF visits are between one and two weeks, though some may be as short as two or three days or as long as six months. WWOOF is not an employment situation, you are treated the same as a friend or family member and are free to leave if you are not enjoying your time.

WWOOF NZ offers experiences with both WWOOF hosts and Cultural Exchange hosts (see below).

If you are interested in alternative ways of living and want to meet interesting people then WWOOFing is for you!



Hosts say they “like the world coming to me” by opening up their homes and sharing their lifestyle with others.

Volunteers can provide an extra pair of hands to help with various projects you are busy with. Many of our hosts practice Permaculture or Bio-dynamic growing methods. Some hosts make a living off their land, others are homesteaders interested in self-sufficiency, some are families others are individuals. There are also cooperatives, communities and eco- villages.

WWOOF is not an employment situation. Volunteers can leave at any time and there is no master/servant relationship. There is no expectation of productivity as WWOOFers are treated as you would a friend or family member staying with you. If you need consistent reliable workers to manage your property WWOOF suggests that you employ a local.

WWOOF New Zealand may include properties that are not %100 organic, but still have a desire to share their lifestyle.  All hosts have valuable experiences and knowledge to share. In order to make it easier for volunteers to search for a host that best matches the skills/ experiences they have or want to learn, we have two websites one for WWOOF hosts and one Cultural Exchange(CE) hosts. Cultural Exchange hosts join here.

WWOOF hosts 
WWOOF hosts are organic and biodynamic farmers and growers. They enjoy passing on their knowledge of sustainable and organic farming and growing practices. Volunteering with a WWOOF host is about living and learning on these organic farms. By taking part in the day to day life on an organic property you get hands on learning and experience. As a host you are directly helping grow the organic movement!
Cultural Exchange hosts
Cultural Exchange hosts offer, but are not limited to social, humanitarian and conservation experiences that fall outside organic growing practices. They may also include activities such as building projects, crafts, animal and child care or tourism and hospitality. Living with locals allows you to have a genuine experience rather than just being a ‘tourist’ seeing the country from the outside.