WWOOF, FHINZ & Help Exchange

WWOOF, HelpX and FHINZ are all great ways to experience rural New ZealandWilling Workers On Organic Farms is a word wide community that offers volunteers to live and work on organic farms. Each farm is unique in the type of work, length of stay, number of volunteers, type of accommodation, quality and quantity of meals and what is grown and farmed.

The advantages of WWOOFING include:

  • Meeting local New Zealanders and staying in some remote parts of the country (and they may be connected with other locals who could offer you some paid work).
  • Gaining experience on a farm after which you may be able to transfer your skills to paid work on another farm.
  • Handy to stop spending money. You do not get paid but chances are on a farm there are no shops a few minutes walk away to spend money.

To get a WWOOF membership is very easy. Simply apply for it online (you can pay a bit extra for a membership booklet to be posted to you). Once you have membership you can login to the WWOOFING website for information and contact details for all the farms.

Keep in mind that there are hundreds of WWOOFing farms. If we went to hundreds of restaurants we would have some great meals and some meals we would never go back for. WWOOFing can be a bit like this. You might love your experience on some farms and quite the opposite on others.

Once logged in to the members site, you can read any comments that have been left by fellow WWOOFers under that farm’s profile. This could be helpful in avoiding the less desirable farms.

Help Exchange

Help Exchange offers hundreds of jobs in exchange for accommodation opportunities all over the country. Most likely these will be on farms but they may include cafes, childcare, horses and backpackers.
There are two types of membership. You can have a free membership whereby you create a profile of yourself and hosts can contact you. However, if you upgrade to a premier membership for a small fee then you can contact hosts directly. Check out the website to view host profiles.

FHINZ

Farm Helpers In New Zealand is a very similar concept to WWOOFING, the main difference being that farms do not have to be organic. So this means you may be working on a sheep, beef, dairy, deer, chicken, cropping or pig farm. If you would like to get paid work on a farm in New Zealand but are lacking work experience then FHINZ could be the perfect way to gain experience and chances are it could be in a remote and beautiful part of New Zealand.

Useful questions when enquiring about placements:

  • What kind of work will I be doing?
  • How many hours per day will I work? Will I get time off?
  • How regularly do you have WWOOF/FHINZ/HELPXers and how long do they usually stay?
  • Are there any other WWOOF/FHINZ/HELPXers staying with you now? (If you are travelling alone it might be more fun and social to go to a farm where there are other WWOOFers).
  • Is there any specific clothing I need to have?
  • How can I get to your farm? (especially important if you do not have a car)
  • What type of accommodation would I stay in? Would I have any access to phone/internet?

Pay Scale

$0 – you are working in exchange for meals and accommodation, which do have a value.

In Summary:

You may love it, you may loathe it. Either way it will provide you with some unique travel experiences and probably some good travel stories.