The Bay of Plenty is one of the most attractive areas of New Zealand, and is a coastal area that lies on the north of the country's North Island. Combining sandy beaches and rocky shoreline the coast is very beautiful, while the inland areas of the region are filled with fertile land that is great for farming, and it is because of this that there are plenty of opportunities for those looking for a WWOOF experience in the region. With spectacular scenery and welcoming people, this part of New Zealand is ideal for those who are looking to conserve their funds while traveling around the country, or are simply looking to get a taste of the country life in the region.
What Is WWOOF?
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms is an organization that helps with placing volunteers on farms in nearly a hundred countries around the world, and with so many farms in New Zealand it is no surprise that there are a lot of opportunities available around the country. The hosts of the WWOOF organization can vary both in terms of their size and professionalism, ranging from small hobby farms up to large commercial operations. The key to the project is that it provides educational opportunities for those working on the farm, while also helping by providing assistance to the farmers.
In most cases those working on the organic farms will not receive payment, but rather they will be working to receive their food and accommodation during the time that they are working there. The working day is also usually shorter than would be expected from an employee, normally between four to six hours, so this gives WWOOFers plenty of opportunities to see the area in which they are living and working, and to explore beyond the farm itself.
An Introduction To The Bay Of Plenty
The name of the region dates from the original European explorers who arrived in New Zealand, with Captain James Cook noting the name because of the abundant resources that he found in the area. The largest city in the area is Tauranga, which is also the largest port in New Zealand, as it deals with much of the timber that is felled in the inland area, which is then exported to other parts of the world. It is one of the warmest areas of New Zealand and generally has pleasant summers with mild winters, which means it has plenty of crops that include kiwifruit, avocado and apples, along with being a good area for cattle farming too.
Types Of Work Available
The WWOOFing opportunities in the Bay of Plenty are interesting and varied, and whether you are looking for a genuine educational experience or simply a chance to work in the great outdoors in exchange for bed and board, there is bound to be something for you. The types of hosts can range from large dairy farms to small orchards and fruit farms, down to those who are simply looking for some help in managing a large garden.
As they will be inviting you into their home, you can be fairly confident that your hosts will generally be sociable and welcoming, although the level of work can vary from placement to placement. Inquire about the type of duties you can expect to be carrying out, but generally these can range from fruit picking, weeding and trimming plants through to feeding animals and assisting with herding or moving animals on larger cattle farms.
Enjoying The WWOOFing Experience
There is no doubt that WWOOFing is not for everyone, and being willing to spend time every day working outdoors may be a big change for those who have spent much of their life in classrooms or working in offices or retail stores. However, by going in with an open mind and being ready to listen and learn from your hosts, this can be a great experience that will give you a great insight into organic farming and country life in New Zealand. In many cases, those who stay with families during their WWOOFing experiences will make lifelong friends, and will stay in touch with them for many years.
Embracing Bay Of Plenty Life During Your Free Time
Another of the great reasons to take a WWOOFing experience in the Bay of Plenty is that you will get time to explore the area and enjoy the beautiful surroundings in the evenings and on weekends. The coast is where many people will head, as there are plenty of beaches where you can go surfing, swimming, or simply relax on the sand. Further inland, the geothermal area around Rotorua has some spectacular sights to see. With plenty of hiking and mountain biking opportunities too, WWOOFing is a great way to develop your love for the great outdoors, and to really get the chance to get to know this part of New Zealand very well.