The WWOOFing program connects volunteers with organic farms, where WWOOFers exchange few hours of labour per day for room, board and much more. While I was in New Zealand I had the experience of volunteering on a beautiful farm in Hawkes Bay on the North Island. I have so many amazing memories of my time there and WOOFing New Zealand was one of the most interesting travel experiences I have had.
Three reasons why WOOFing New Zealand will change your life
1. You Can Live In A Completely Different Rhythm For A While.
When you’re WOOFing New Zealand, work begins at dawn with the crowing of the rooster. I am a naturally lazy person prone to sleeping until noon, so rising to milk the goat and finish my other chores before breakfast was a challenge. Instead of staying up until 1am, eyes bleary from the light of the computer screen, I spent quiet evenings on the farm playing games of Monopoly, reading, and retiring early to bed.
Living for a while with completely opposite habits is incredibly good for you. We get so used to our routines that we don’t realize how unhealthy they can become. Living in tune with nature will truly revitalise and inspire you.
2. Be In Touch With Where Your Food Comes From.
The milk I poured on my oatmeal in the morning was still warm from the goat, and I had to brush bits of straw off the shells of the eggs. If I wanted a salad I would walk out to the garden and pick it myself. One afternoon a sheep might be grazing in the field, and that evening the animal would be roasted and passed around our dinner table. In a world of florescent-lit supermarkets, fast food stores and microwave dinners, being connected to your food is a refreshing eye-opener which might make you change some of your eating habits for the better.
3. Experience New Zealand Beyond The Tourist Sites.
Step outside your comfort zone and be embraced by a farming family and you will find an experience more meaningful than anything you can find in a guidebook. These are the WOOFing New Zealand travelling memories that will stay with you forever.
Such as the time I left my evening chores too late used a torch to find my way down to the sheep paddock to feed the lamb his bottle. In the darkness the sheep’s eyes were reflective, so all I could see were dozens of floating pinpoints of light staring back at me. In the absolute stillness of the country night, I couldn’t figure out where the sheep ended and the stars began.
Have you tried ? We’re happy to hear your stories!