Important notice: Earthwise Valley closed in 2010 due to the unexpected passing of one of its founders. This site is maintained as-is in tribute to the many volunteers who lent their time and energy to the Valley.
volunteer group


Our Volunteer Programme has been positively impacting people's lives since 1999. We relocated it to Earthwise Valley in 2008.

The programme is a powerful experience and one way to know if it is right for you is to talk to our previous volunteers. The following past volunteers support and endorse the Earthwise Valley volunteer programme.

To contact them to talk about their volunteer experience please email us for their contact information (emails are not shown here to prevent spam - but they will be very happy to answer your questions!).

Also, you can read a collection of past volunteer's blog posts about the Valley at our blogspot page.

volunteerNhung L


Volunteering at the Valley was one of the best things I have ever done. I got to enjoy pristine surroundings with frequent outdoor adventure expeditions and contribute positively by helping to rengerate farmland back to native rainforest.

I met other volunteers from around the world and am now more environmentally aware after living in a self-sufficient community. I would recommend this experience to anyone who wants to learn how to help the environment whilst having fun and meeting new people!

John L


A great time. Gladly do it again if the opportunity should arise. Good people, beautiful scenery, lovely food and enjoyable work.

volunteerAnnika M

Zurich, Switzerland

I spent 10 weeks in the valley and had a great time there. I have met a lot of great and really nice people there. We lived in a tent for the most of the time but we knew that before we arrived and so I expected it and I actually enjoyed it to be so much time outdoors.

During this 10 weeks we did a lot of working started a garden, planted 300 trees and did some weed control and some building... Next to the working days did we have also the recreation days and did some fun stuff like: river rafting, surfing, bushwalks, kayaking, hiking up a volcano, fishing, bone carving, and spent a lot of time swimming on different beaches! So how you might can see I had a beautiful time there!

volunteerCaroline C

New Foundland

Earthwise Valley was both challenging and rewarding and I think the rewards are directly related to the efforts you as a volunteer put into the project through not only hard work but also being open to learning from others and moving outside your comfort zone. I thought the volunteer program was a positive example of experiential education, it was both a fulfilling learning experience and an opportunity to learn by doing.

Hannah M


My trip to New Zealand was to celebrate a new road I have taken and I guess like many others, to do some soul searching. The peace I found, the connection and energy I felt and the beauty I saw was like nothing else and it is sure to be a lasting memory.

I have received far greater that I have given and I am grateful to the opportunity to have spent the time with you and play a small part in the amazing work that you do and to spend time with your committed and inspiring volunteers.

volunteerLirad K

Toronto, Canada

The program offers a tremendous learning experience when approached with an open mind. While the program itself is in its infancy and offers little on the land in the way of structures and facilities, it presented us volunteers with an opportunity to learn about conservation, how to work the land, and essential skills in survival and self-sustainability. As a person who has grown up in an urban city environment, the program allowed me to remove myself from my comfort zone and learn new skills while sharing the experience with unique people from all over the world.

Amanda K

Colorado, USA

I will never forget you or the time I stayed with you in the Valley. Now that I'm home in Colorado it has really hit me how my time with you has really affected me. I've even changed my major to Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology. I hope that all is well and that your projects are blossoming. I would also like to thank you for helping me figure out what I was passionate about.

volunteerMichael C

Florida, USA

My wife Lauren and I are trained permaculturists and came in as volunteers to help design this system and learn more practical skills. It is a really unique opportunity to work on a project at it's beginning stages and to feel as if you have some real influence. My wife and I have met so many great people at Earthwise and this experience has truly been a highlight of our year-long journey. I would love to see this project continue to flourish, so that others may have the same opportunity to learn and grow, as we have had at Earthwise Valley.

Aaron H


The valley has helped me on my journey in life, which is to find my true self. The valley provides enough isolation to lead a simple life. The distractions and desires that modern society presents us with every day are limited in the Valley. By living in an environment surrounded by Nature and interacting with the abundance of this life, I have begun to enjoy each moment and become present. For me, the Valley has been a place where I found direction in this life. I would like to thank all the people that I met during my stay and hope that many others will enjoy what nature has provided.

volunteerMatt V

Philadelphia, USA

It's good to be home but I miss the Valley already. I'm sure my friends are getting sick of me talking about the last two months. "In New Zealand we..."; That's how most of my sentences start now. I wish I could express to you how much fun I had and how much I learned in the Valley. I never expected my two months to be so amazing. I am so grateful for all that you did for me. I can't thank you enough.

Dave D

Ithaca, NY, USA

I spent 10 weeks volunteering in the valley and it was a wonderful experience for me. I had the opportunity to learn a lot about sustainable living and permaculture, while getting to experience living in a beautiful area and seeing New Zealand. We had chickens, ducks, geese and worms to take care of, while also planting loads of trees and building a winter garden. There were plenty of days off for adventuring and some longer trips hiking or skiing. It was amazing to see the sun set from above the clouds when we stayed in a hut on the ski fields of Mt. Ruapehu for a week! My time there has inspired me to be a better person and incorporate sustainable living practices into my life back here in the US.

volunteerTal S


I can truly say that out of seven months of traveling, my one month of volunteering was the one who influenced me the most. It was the first time I was not consuming but creating instead - and learning a lot doing so. I remember looking at a huge water hose thinking there is no way we can move that. Well a group of 10 people and a rope proved me wrong! That only shows that working together CAN change things. Besides that, living with people from all over the world under the same roof sure was a great experience, I would definitely recommend it to friends - I have already!

Adam M

Ohio, USA

The months I spent at the valley has had a bigger impact on my life then I ever would have guessed, not only did I learn a tremendous about about sustainable living, permaculture and how to build a climbing gym, have the chance to go on great recreation trips like kayaking, climbing, caving and back packing. But I also was able live, work and play with people from all over the world which has given me a much more global viewpoint. It's been 5 years since my time there and it's still been the best few months I've spent anywhere. When I have a chance I would love come back and visit Earthwise Valley.



Since I was going to travel through New Zealand and enjoy it's nature, it seemed right for me to give the nature something in return. And the Valley appeared to be the perfect place to do so. It was nice to work together with the (international) group and I enjoyed spending my time with them. It felt good to be outdoors and to be "helping out" a good cause. I could really recommend everybody, who is concerned about the environment and wants to experience some time of sustainable living, to be a volunteer.

Aaron P

Maine, USA

I experienced something totally new everyday that I was in the valley whether that was climbing Kauri trees, catching glimpses of tropical birds, or just running up rainforest stream beds. Few people, even environmentalists, get the chance to practice our brand of holistic conservation. How many people can claim that their average day consisted of hiking through the rainforest, building a terracotta brick shelter, and cooking a dinner largely grown in their front yard? Or that an exceptional day included climbing a 10,000 foot volcano? I treasure the memories of my time in the valley and recommend it to anyone with a love of the outdoors.

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