Farm Volunteer
New Zealand

The Farm Volunteer Program is open for those aged 18 – 50 who are interested in a unique cultural exchange opportunity to learn and observe New Zealand farm life and farm communities and to share your international experiences with a local family. Whether you are passionate about farming or wanting a new challenge, the Farm Volunteer program will provide this once in a lifetime cultural experience.

On this program you are a volunteer and you pay a weekly fee that covers all of your meals, accommodation and other expenses such as wifi and utilities. You do not receive any wages or rewards or payment of any kind. You should be open to observing and participating in the daily life of a farming family and happy to be included in all social, cultural and sporting activities that the family enjoy.

As a member of the family you are expected to help out with everyday household/ domestic chores that are required in any household; for example; preparing and cooking meals, cleaning and washing your clothes, vacuuming, keeping your bedroom and living areas tidy, going grocery shopping, washing the car, feeding the pets, general gardening etc. You may then observe and assist the farmer with some of things that he or she does around the farm such as opening farm gates, feeding the pigs, giving the lambs some milk and so on.

We have most types of farm available in New Zealand, however our main goal is to find a family who want to show off farm life in New Zealand and with whom you share common interests. Depending on personal interests, experience levels, eating preferences, the season & the intended program duration, the following farms can be given as a personal preference: Farm types include:

  • Livestock Farms
  • Dairy Farms
  • Horse Farms
  • Mixed Farms
  • Other farms (we also have many other farms including agricultural farms, organic farms, hobby farms, vineyards, guest farms, and a variety of other unique farm types)

Many participants choose this program for the chance to be with horse and live the horse farm lifestyle. The ability to ride horses depends on your riding ability. To be able to ride horses you also need to assist with their care, e.g. feeding, mucking out, lunging, cleaning, brushing etc just as you would with your own horses. We have many different types of horse farms including equestrian, race, polo, harness, trekking, and others.

If you are wanting to see the country, then volunteering at a sport horse farm can be a great way to travel around the country in the weekends to attend horse shows. You may get the opportunity to see some sights and depending on your skills and the horses you have there may even be opportunity to compete.

If you do not have much farm experience but are keen to learn the farming lifestyle then the families often appreciate if you can play with the kids and do some baking, watching TV or play some games from time to time.

Vegetarians and Vegans must be willing to go to farms that do not grow any animals for meat production. If you have any special diet that the host does not normally provide you are required to purchase these goods yourself.

If you are looking for a unique cultural experience in New Zealand then apply today.

What’s Included?

  • Online interview

  • Placement supervisor

  • Pre-departure support

  • Flights, visa, insurance assistance

  • 3 Night Auckland Arrival Package including Airport Transfer, 3 nights hostel accommodation with breakfast, WIFI and Welcome Orientation

  • Accommodation and meals (you pay a weekly fee for these)

  • Travel and local advice

  • 24-hour support service

Typical Farm Volunteer Tasks

Your tasks will vary depending on your background and the time of year you are on the farm. Generally you will accompany the farm host around the farm and observer and assist in the daily farm life. You help out with domestic chores and enjoy social and weekend activities with the extended family and friends. As a basic guide some daily tasks may include:

  • Observing and assisting with the Children / Horses / Animals

  • Being an extra set of eyes and hands around the farm

  • Helping in the vegetable garden or around the stables

  • Help with kids birthday parties and other social events

  • Domestic chores such as cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping

  • Whatever comes up as always seems to happen on a farm

Farm Volunteer Requirements

  • Be aged 18 – 50

  • Hold a Tourist / Visitor Visa for New Zealand

  • 2 – 12 weeks payable in advance

  • No experience necessary but a positive attitude is essential

  • Be Flexible about the placement location

  • Have at least an intermediate level of English and ability to effectively communicate with the family

  • Must be available for a Zoom interview with an Internex Supervisor and possibly the farm owner /manager

  • Must not smoke (smoking on the farm could result in early termination)

  • Not have any pre-existing physical or mental health conditions that affect your ability to work

  • Not ever have been diagnosed, suffer or take any medication for psychological illness

  • Love to have fun, be happy and meet new people

General Information

The main purpose of this program is about cultural exchange. We aim to place you with a family that is interested in sharing their home with you. Most volunteers have their own bedroom in the main family home and share in all living facilities. If you are more independent or travelling with friends some hosts may have separate accommodation for workers, especially on bigger or more remote farms. Some horse farm hosts may have accommodation near the horses that you can live in and if you travel to horse shows you may need to stay in the horse truck.

3 meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are included in your weekly payment to the family and most meals will be shared with your host family. You are expected to help in the kitchen and contribute with the cooking. If you would like snack food such as chocolate, soft drink, potato chips you will need to purchase this yourself. You must have permission from your host family to bring alcohol onto the farm and also at your own expense. Any special dietary requirements, e.g. Almond milk, gluten free bread, vegetarian or vegan foods are also at your own cost.

Most families have WIFI that you can use for basic use such as contacting your family, checking emails, occasional Skype calls. Please ensure you ask your host family before using the WIFI as some locations have very limited reception and high usage charges. You will also be able to buy data for your mobile phone / device.

Placements are for 2 – 12 weeks or longer on request and are made all over New Zealand in both the North and the South Island. Typical locations include Northland, The Hawkes Bay, The Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Taranaki, The Manawatu, Wairarapa, Nelson / Marlborough, Canterbury, The West Coast or Central / Southern Otago.

If you are already in New Zealand, you will be able to travel directly to the farm. If you are arriving into New Zealand, our programs start in Auckland every Sunday with an Arrival Package that includes airport transfer, 3 nights’ accommodation with breakfast in a downtown Auckland hostel and welcome orientation. The welcome orientation is held on Tuesday. At the orientation you will get information about phone cards, travel options, meet other volunteers and get general tips about life in New Zealand. On Wednesday you will travel to the farm. You may be required to travel by plane / bus / train / depending where your farm is located. We will give you all the information you need to pre-book your travel to the farm. The costs can range from $50 – $250 depending on the location of the farm. If you want to purchase a car in New Zealand and drive to the farm, we have partner car sales who we can refer you to so you can purchase a car before or after you arrive. If you take local transport the family will collect you from the nearest airport or bus or train station and take you to the farm. At the end of your farm placement you may like to travel around New Zealand. You are advised not to book International flights until you have received your volunteer placement offer. Please advise when your flights are booked so we can book your arrival package and advise you on internal travel to the farm.

You are welcome to come and go from the farm as you please but you just need to let the family know your plans about a week in advance so they can help plan their week. Leaving the farm will depend on the location of the farm and if you have your own transportation. If you wish to go away for some days or weeks during your time at the farm discuss this with your host family and they are usually very accommodating however keep in mind your weekly fee paid to the family is not refundable. We recommend you leave some extra time before or after your placement to see some of the country. We work with excellent backpacker travel companies that can show you the best of New Zealand, South East Asia and Fiji. Enquire with us about travel options before you book your flights so we can plan your added travel before you depart.