FAQ on Hosts
Hints on WWOOFing
Updates, New Hosts and Deleted Hosts
Your WWOOF membership includes Amendment sheets for your WWOOF Book via e-mail on request.
If you have the WWOOF App it will automatically update each time it is used while connected to the internet. Deleted Hosts will no longer appear in the App.
It is best to phone your Hosts at lunch time or between 5.00 pm and 9.00 pm, local (Hosts) time, please do not call after 9.00pm. If calling from interstate or overseas, check local Australian times, so your call is not received at 4am! If you leave a phone message, please speak slowly and clearly so the Host can understand your message. It helps if you sound enthusiastic and promote your skills.
You must give the Host:
- your WWOOF membership number and date of membership (so the Host knows that your membership is current)
- your Passport/Drivers Licence number
- your name
- your contact phone number and e-mail address
- details of skills, abilities, things you are experienced and good at doing, which you feel may be useful to the Host
- when you would like to come and for how long you would like to stay
- if presently staying with a WWOOF Host, the name and contact details of that Host
- why you have chosen this particular Host
- any allergies, physical limitations, diet restrictions the Host will need to be aware of if accepting you as a WWOOFer
Your acceptance depends on whether or not you are actually a WWOOF member or willing to join. Some Hosts will accept you if you are prepared to join as soon as you get to their property, Hosts can arrange this for you when you provide them with your identification and pay them for your membership, WWOOF will send your book to you at the Hosts address.
Ask the Host to clarify the accommodation you will have and the number of hours they expect you to work. You are expected to eat the food provided by your Host, ask what sort of meals they provide (some are vegetarian, some are not) - if you are on special diet, please bring your own food. Many Hosts live a long way from shops and you may not be able to get supplies once you arrive.
Be prepared to get out and meet local people. Get the most from your visits, stay a few weeks at one place, then try a different style of Host to broaden your experience. The Hosts in the WWOOF program offer many different types of farm and different types of lifestyle, so there is something for everyone.
Potential Participants in the WWOOF program should satisfy themselves that they are able to cope with the physical and mental demands of the WWOOF experience. Participants should have at least average physical fitness. The nature of the program is such that WWOOFing is generally unsuitable for persons suffering from psychiatric or psychological conditions. If in doubt please contact WWOOF to discuss and/or discuss the matter with your Medical Practitioner.
There is a small group of English teachers and WWOOF hosts that can help WWOOFers trying to learn to speak English, organised by WWOOFer David Brown i12/7350 . Please see Natural English for details.
About WWOOF Hosts
Within Australia, as in many parts of the world, our Hosts are mainly pursuing a simple, sustainable, lifestyle. Many are Permaculture enthusiasts, and about 20% use Bio-dynamic growing methods. About a 260 of the farms in the WWOOF Book/WWOOF App are Certified Organic properties.
Some of our Hosts are small hobby farms, some are large commercial enterprises, some are alternative co-operative communities, and a few are communal living groups. The work you will do for these Hosts is likely to be as wide and varied as the Hosts themselves. Since you work as family, often there are no set hours, but an average of four to six hours daily of farming / gardening type work would be a fair exchange.
Growing up Dystechnic is an article about the decline in practical skills in this age of technology. WWOOFing is a great way to learn hands on practical basic life skills, improve your confidence and self esteem. There are opportunities on almost every WWOOF Host property to learn and practice new skills, the greater the variety of Hosts WWOOFers visit the more diverse the skills they can acquire.
Length of Stay
The minimum stay on a WWOOF farm is two nights, the maximum stay is by mutual agreement between you and your Host.
Most stays are for a few days or weeks only, but there are a number of Hosts who encourage longer term stays up to as long as six months, usually after a trial period of four or five days.
WWOOFers mostly stay in the Host's home and live as family, it is vital that they respect the Host's personal space and family rules. If you are not happy with the house rules of the Host, please respectfully move on, of course if you think that there is a serious problem, please contact the WWOOF Office with your concerns and they will be investigated. (See Complaints procedure).
How to Book with a Host
Once you've found a suitable Host in the WWOOF Book/WWOOF App, (use Google Maps to find WWOOF Host locations) bookings can be made by phone, mail or email (always put WWOOF and your membership number in the subject line), to the farm you choose, with a follow-up phone call to confirm your booking.
You can fill in a WWOOFer application form, and send it to the Host of your choice. Remember that the more you tell the Host about what you can offer them, the more likely they are to want to Host you!
The cost of travel and accommodation to and from individual Host properties is your responsibility, however some Hosts will pick you up from the nearest train or bus stop by prior arrangement.
Once you have arranged to stay with a Host, please turn up! The Host who has offered you a place on their farm is counting on you to arrive, has arranged additional food supplies to feed you and has often arranged to meet you at the bus or train.
If you do not arrive they will be worried about your safety, will have paid for food that will go to waste, may have turned away other WWOOFers AND will not have the help you had offered to give them. If for any reason you do have a change of plans it is vital that you contact the Host immediately and let them know so they can offer your place to another WWOOFer, and so they don't send out a search party for you!
Find a Host on the WWOOF Forum
As soon as you join WWOOF you can use your WWOOF Membership number to register for the online WWOOF Forum. As soon as we validate you as a registered WWOOFer you will be able to fully use the forum, while you are waiting, you can set up a profile to tell the Hosts a bit about yourself. Find a Host on the WWOOF Forum
New Hosts (who are not in a WWOOF Book yet, but will be in the WWOOF App) and Hosts who are urgently looking for WWOOFers advertise on the Forum making it a good place to look for a Host.
WWOOFers can reply to Host advertisments or send a message to a Host. There is a forum where WWOOFers can advertise for a Host and another forum to advertise for a travel companion. It is a good idea to set up a profile on the Forum to tell the Hosts and other WWOOFers about yourself, your skills and where you plan to travel and go WWOOFing. You can also add your photo and once you have been to a few Hosts you can list them in you profile as a reference.
There is also a forum for sharing your WWOOF experiences where you can list your favorite Host to tell other WWOOFers about them. Hosts also recommend their best WWOOFers here to encourage other Hosts to give them a place.
What to take with you
Mobile Phone, phone card and Internet dongle: Australia is a very big country with sparsley populated rural areas. In many rural areas there is little or no mobile phone coverage and Internet can be slow, expensive or not available at all. The best carrier for mobile phones in rural areas is Telstra, they also sell prepaid Internet dongles, so if you have mobile phone coverage you will also have internet. Smart phones can also be used as Internet Hotspots if your phone plan includes data.
Some Hosts will not have any Internet facilities or mobile phone cover and some will allow WWOOFers limited use of their internet and landline telephone. Good WWOOFers will offer to pay the Host for the use of these facilities as they can be very expensive for the Hosts. Bringing a prepaid phone card with you can make it easier if you need to ask to use your Hosts telephone.
Sunglasses, Hats, Boots and Gloves: While work can be anywhere in a garden or farm, always anticipate the worst weather and wear these to protect yourself from sunburn, ultraviolet rays, injury, bites and stings.
Sleeping Bags. (Useful but not essential) Mostly accommodation is in a spare room within the family home - but see the Host's entry for variations. Usually bedding would be supplied, but this is not certain. Check when booking, but it would make sense to have a sleeping bag with you for emergency use if you have room for one.
Goodwill, honesty, your manners and respect for the privacy and lifestyle of your Host, remember in most cases you will be living with a family in their home, so please be polite and respect their private space and the rules of their home. Many Hosts live alternative lifestyles, have water restrictions, work very hard and don't have a high income. Please respect their lifestyle but do not judge it, it may well be very different from your own, which is one of the advantages of WWOOFing, learning from and taking part in different cultures and different ways of living.
Most Hosts are hard working farming families, many with children, who get up early in the morning. It can be a big change from late nights partying at Backpacker Hostels and sleeping until lunchtime, to living on a working farm and getting up early each morning. It is important to respect your Hosts' family and their personal space, leave alcohol and drugs behind and enjoy the great outdoors and healthy country living while WWOOFing.
Common Sense ... and a willingness to ask questions about places, people, tasks and processes.
A sense of humour: You will be taking part in a lifestyle that may be very different from your own, you will meet people from diverse backgrounds with some alternative beliefs and ideals, sometimes you need to be able to laugh at the differences, not be intimidated by them!
Enjoy the difference: people relate to each other because of their similarities and learn from each other because of their differences. Some of the work you will do on a WWOOF Host property will be very new to you, see this as a fun experience to add to your life skills and think of the interesting additions to your resume.
Here is some Information about Australia to help you plan your trip.
How much Money do you need?
If you are travelling on a Visitor Visa -Tourist Stream, you must have access to enough money to support yourself for your holiday in Australia and you may be asked to show evidence of this upon arrival.
If you are travelling on a Working Holiday Visa, you must have access to enough money to support yourself for the initial stage of your holiday in Australia and you may be asked to show evidence of this upon arrival. To enter Australia on a Working Holiday Visa you are required to hold a return ticket or sufficient funds for a return fare - generally AUD $5,000. You may be asked to provide evidence of this on arrival by showing a bank statement or return ticket, though this may not be checked. We suggest arriving in Australia with at least AUD $3,000.00 The amount will depend on your travel plans and the length of time you plan to be in Australia.