Welcome to Earthwise Valley, a New Zealand based, charitable, volunteer run, sustainable living project.
Earthwise Valley is based in Tuateawa, a rare haven for nature with rainforest running continuously from mountain top all the way down to the Pacific ocean. Tuateawa has a rich human and ecological history. Volcanic cliffs rise abruptly from the Pacific with many caves and sea arches. Nearby white sandy beaches are breeding grounds for migratory seabirds, and seals & whales frequent the coastline.
We believe that our Earth is not a commodity, but our community. We work to encourage our global community to increase sustainability and participate in activities that restore native forest ecology.
We’re taking direct action to create an ecologically sound Centre for Sustainable Living. This includes revitalising degraded farmland, growing and planting trees, controlling animal pests and weeds, using organic and permacultural techniques, and native bush research. The Valley relies on your support - we need your donations, loans, advice, and physical labour to make a difference.
Our volunteer programme suits people interested in learning about sustainable living, enjoying the outdoors, and living a saner, richer and simpler life. Take part as a residential volunteer and you'll experience New Zealand in a very special way while making a real contribution to Nature.
the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility
Our volunteer programmes include plenty of free time for personal growth and a time-proven programme of recreation trips run continuously throughout the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. Activities include seakayaking, hiking (tramping) and camping, horse-riding, and swimming. Recreation also involves gentler activities like reading, board games, yoga, meditation, art and music.
We know the terrain and we run trips to choose the best weather and take in those extra places and experiences - hot pools, alpine peaks, Pacific beaches, and ancient forests. From kiwi birds to tuatara, butterflies to penguins, blue fungi to green lizards, little glow-worms to giant kauri trees you'll see Nature though new eyes with us.
Earthwise Valley provides opportunities for people to step out of the mainstream world and explore ways of living sustainably, to lighten our ecological footprint - a way for travellers to give something back to Nature, while still experiencing some of the best adventures and sharing life with locals. Our efforts to live more sustainably include permacultural food production - with organic gardens and fruit trees, experimenting with earth building techniques, timber plantations, and we are working towards adopting renewable energy - windmills, solar panels and micro-hydro generation.
In addition, staff and volunteers undertake environmental service work - planting trees, ecological surveys and pest trapping on contract, as a way to help fund the Valley and make a further gift to surrounding environs.
Earthwise Valley is essentially a volunteer organization. Without the continuous contribution of volunteers, the project would not be possible. If you are interested in living sustainably and experiencing a beautiful area of New Zealand, whilst taking part in adventure recreation and sharing your experiences with people from around the world, then read on!
While we also encourage locals to get involved, the majority of our volunteers are people from all over the planet who choose to come and stay with us and help out. Please do take a look around the rest of the website to find out more about what we are trying to achieve here, and check out the news section to keep up to date with our latest progress.
Earthwise is located in the Coromandel Peninsula, and feels quite remote, though we're only 22km from Coromandel township and a three hour drive from Auckland. The balance between seclusion and access is ideal.
A typical Valley week has 3-4 project days, 1-2 adventure recreation days, and a 'free-day'. Projects range across habitat building, sustainable production, bush restoration and more. These projects include organic gardening, tree-planting, mulching, wildlife monitoring, carpentry, and much more.
Our adventure recreation trips run continuously throughout the North Island of New Zealand and take us to some of the best places in the area for a variety of activities like hiking and sea kayaking. Valley recreation also involves gentler activities like reading, board games, yoga, meditation, art and music.
So you can expect a great mix of activities, plus time to really build new friendships and make a home in a unique place on the Planet. We think THREE MONTHS is an ideal length of time to sample what the Valley has to offer! Take a look through the rest of this section of our website to find out what is involved in our residential volunteering scheme, and how to apply.
Who Is Suitable?
If you can answer ‘yes’ to most of the following questions, then you are!
* Are you interested in learning to live in a way that's sustainable with the Earth's resources?
* Do you love nature? Rain or shine? Bugs as well as bunnies?
* "I'd rather want what I have than have what I want"
* Can you survive and thrive on vegetarian, un-fast food?
* Would you be comfortable using an outdoor loo? Camping? Sleeping under the stars?
* Can you handle living with lots of new faces and new personalities?
* Are you OK being away from friends and family for several weeks or months?
* Are you responsible, mature, open minded?
* Are you fit? Healthy? Happy? Can you handle a long walk? Chop wood and carry water?
* Can you work independently sometimes and learn quickly?
What Past Volunteers Say About Us
Here's a few things some of our past volunteers have to say about the volunteering with us...
“Can't imagine a more beautiful place or people in the World” ~ Julie K., California, USA
“The only place in the World where I've ever felt happy or complete 100% of the time” ~ Charlie C., United Kingdom
“I have gained much of my inspiration for a sustainable lifestyle from you guys!” ~ Eliot E., Los Angeles, USA
“I can’t thank you enough for all that you taught me, all that you gave to me and all that you opened my eyes to.” ~ Kate D., MA, USA (and Anna, UK)
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