WWOOF
93% Rating
(4 Reviews)

WWOOF

WWOOF is a way to make friends with the local people, and exchange your own cultural values with them.

Hosts give WWOOFers meals, accommodation and social engagement, in return for which WWOOFers help Hosts with what they do at their place.

It's simple. You give what you have, and you receive what you don't have.

There is no monetary exchange involved between hosts and WWOOFers.

Both Hosts and WWOOFers undertake to support each other, like friends and extended family do.

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Raquel
Female
24 years old
Phoenix

Reality check for first-time WWOOFers

7/10

My host farm was located in the outskirts of Hiroshima, about an hour by bus on a winding mountain road, in a tiny, half-abandoned village of 100 people. While scrolling through several host farm profiles on the WWOOF Japan website, the family-owned organic cafe featured on one had me sold and I quickly messaged the host to see if he openings for my friend and I. The farm portion of our host "farm" was quite different from what we expected, as it was the family's personal gardens consisting of 3 rice paddies and a weedy vegetable patch. Although we spent some time in the fields weeding, the bulk of our time was spent helping out at the village's only cafe. Our responsibilities mainly included opening and closing the restaurant, food prep, serving customers, and doing dishes. Essentially we provided a huge help for all the tasks the single cafe cook didn't have time for.

Everyone's experience will definitely depend on their host farm, hosts, living situation, and location. Although my first time WWOOFing definitely blew my expectations out of the water and I was at times discouraged, I would definitely love trying out WWOOF again. Even if circumstances seemed less than ideal at first, I reminded myself I was there to work, not get pampered on vacation. You will be helping out people's real businesses and livelihoods, and in return receiving home-cooked meals and accommodations.

How can this program be improved?

The WWOOFing website can be more truthful about working conditions and hours. Most days we worked 9 hours or more on the farm, with only a day off a week if there was no more weeding to be done.

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Tyra
Female

Living with fantastic people in the most beautiful locations

10/10

WWOOF-ing is seriously one of my favorite things to do, and I think New Zealand (with its welcoming, cheerful, and can-do attitude) has been one of my favorite places to do so.

WWOOF-ing is really what you make of it. You purchase a membership for minimal cost (I think NZ cost me about US$20 for a year membership) in order to access the contact info for hosts all around the country, and these hosts range from small subsistence gardens to wineries to sheep farms to orchards, to whatever. The hosts that you first contact don't always have room to take you in during your preferred days, but there are so many options it will be difficult to not have a place to go. During my time there I was able to work in gardens, help clean and repair boats, help shear sheep, pick fruit in an orchard, help my hosts run some of their rafting company tours, dig on the beach for food, work in a vineyard, and much more.

You get to learn so much about the country and the people by living and working with them--often times your hosts will practically adopt you and take you on outings to amazing places that are literally in no guidebooks (I've checked at multiple bookstores) or suggest activities or ways to get around. You also learn a lot about yourself and come away a stronger person for the experience.

If you have the time and want to fully immerse yourself in Kiwi culture, I would highly recommend WWOOF-ing. Once you're there, it's practically free, and you have a decent amount of free time outside of the hours you have to work that you can go exploring.

How can this program be improved?

I wouldn't change it, but people who do this program shouldn't expect to be coddled, either by WWOOF staff or your hosts. Once you have your membership, it's up to you to make things happen--I'm pretty sure all the WWOOF staff do it keep the membership program running. It's honestly not that hard to make your own way, and it means you get to choose your own adventure. :)

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Tyra
Female

Friends, Family, Freedom, and Farms!

10/10

I think WWOOF-ing is my favorite way to travel. You get to stay with local people (and occasionally other traveling WWOOF-ers) and dive into and learn about the host culture. I always enjoy spending time with people and being useful, and I adore the outdoors, so this program is perfect for me.

The hosts will often place a great deal of trust in the WWOOF-ers that they host, and I was fortunate enough to live in a yurt next to a reconstructed 16th-century home in Wales, work in the garden, chase sheep around, and help with the transport and reconstruction of historical houses for an archaeological company! All of this took place in a gorgeous patch of farmland in central Wales in the company of people from Wales, France, Scotland, Singapore, Taiwan, and England.

How can this program be improved?

Honestly, if you have enough initiative to both plan ahead and be adaptable, this program can work perfectly. Sometimes you just can't find a host where you want when you want, but since these people are opening their homes and there are thousands of people who want to stay with them, you're not always going to get your first choice. Go in with an open mind and ask around!

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John
Male
32 years old
Portugal Now

Lots of hard work and fun

10/10

Organic farming working and learning, more than 100 farms available in Portugal subscription costs only 15 euros! You only need to buy yourself your travel tickets ... all the food (and accommodation of course) will be provided by your Host!

Program Listings

Japan

WWOOF
Who are WWOOFers? They are often travelers in Japan who wants to experience more local culture during their holiday. WWOOFers...

New Zealand

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WWOOF
WWOOF enables people to live and volunteer on a variety of organic properties. Volunteers (WWOOFers) help on the land and hom...

United Kingdom

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WWOOF
WWOOF UK holds a list of organic farms, gardens and smallholdings, all offering food and accommodation in exchange for practi...

Portugal

WWOOF
WWOOF is an exchange program. In return for volunteer help, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn...

Australia

WWOOF
WWOOF is a Volunteer membership program. WWOOFers travel Australia volunteering on organic farms in exchange for all meals an...

Taiwan

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WWOOF
WWOOF, which stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, allows members from all around the world to volunteer thei...

Italy

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WWOOF
Browse through our list of farms willing to host WWOOFers, volunteer your labor there, and experience Italy's organic lifesty...