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Close to Christchurch, with friendly farm animals

West Melton Canterbury New Zealand
6 Guests   3 Bedrooms   3 Beds   2.0 Bathrooms   2 Car spaces  1 Car available  
Primary home  
Exchange type Simultaneous  Non-simultaneous  Non-reciprocal  Hospitality 
Listed July 2019
Views 50
Response rate 100%

We have a modern eco strawbale home set in the peaceful countryside just a 20 minute drive from Christchurch and the Christchurch International Airport. We built this house ourselves and put everything into it that we love- it is a warm, inviting space that is warm in winter and cool in summer due to the thick straw walls and positioning for sun. We have added interesting touches to the house and it has a lot of "texture". Lime and earth plaster walls give the house character, as does the recycled hardwood beams and poles and curved walls.

The space

There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms in our 240m2 house, two showers and a restored claw-foot bath. Rooms are large and spacious. Living room opens to a large outdoor deck where you can enjoy the serenity of our rural life. We have an outdoor woodburning Finnish sauna. The yard is extremely large for kids to run around, and of course there are the chickens, pet pigs and sheep to play with outside as well as our friendly indoor/outdoor cat.

Guest access

2 storey house but if you don't like stairs, there is one bedroom and one bathroom on the ground floor.


We have lots of animals to entertain both children and adults. We breed kunekune pigs, the New Zealand native domesticated pig (similar to a potbelly pig). Our four pigs are real characters and enjoy attention and food! We have 20+ sheep, and lambs during winter and spring, which are happy to do their own thing. Three chickens will provide you with fresh eggs. And our lovely cat, Amelie, will give you lots of affection after she gets to know you. We ask that you feed all of our animals (sheep feed themselves) during your stay. It will take about 15 minutes a day and is really simple but you will enjoy all of our animals and their antics! We also have many birds that visit our property, both native pukekos as well as quail, pheasants and the occasional blue heron. There is an outdoor Finnish woodburning sauna. We are happy to accept GLOBES for non-reciprocal exchanges, especially in spring, summer and autumn for a week or so, as we are currently building a holiday house on the West Coast and would love someone to enjoy our home and care for our animals while we are away!


Hair dryer
Bed sheets
Toilet paper
Fire extinguisher
Smoke alarms
First aid kit

Travel styles

Long term
Sport and leisure

House rules

Suitable for infants under 2
Suitable for children ages 2-12
Pets not allowed
No smoking


We live in the country just outside of Christchurch, where you can enjoy the peace and quiet but still be close to shops, restaurants and the many tourist activities in Canterbury. We are centrally located to day trips in both the Arthur's Pass National Park and Banks Peninsula. In an hour, you could be in the mountains, at the beach, or sharing a secluded bay with seals and other wildlife. We love our property because of its private seclusion, where you can sit on the deck and watch the farm animals and the birds. Our pigs are super friendly and love to be scratched, and our sheep will even come to you for an ear rub. As our weather is pretty mild year-round, any time of the year is nice to visit! Christchurch is the Southern City of exploration, boasting modern architecture alongside the best collection of heritage buildings in Aotearoa New Zealand. Christchurch is an ever-changing new city after the earthquakes in early 2010s and you'll find new opportunities for shopping and eating, plus there are the old reminders of our heritage and colonial settlements. Things to do within Christchurch: Christchurch Adventure Park- The only year-round mountain bike and zipline park in the world Avon River- You can glide along the Avon River in canoes, kayaks, row boats or romantic Edwardian punts Botanic Gardens- One of the oldest gardens in the country, the 21-hectare Christchurch Botanic Gardens are a delightful oasis right in the city centre Arts Centre & Museum- the Arts Centre and Canterbury Museum make up some of the most significant heritage buildings in the country Street Art- Christchurch is a global street art capital, attracting artists from all over the globe. Murals around every corner, there are few walls in Christchurch without decoration Port Hills- With innumerable walkways and cycle tracks, the Port Hills dominate the city vista for breath-taking views across Lyttelton Harbour and the Canterbury Plains Lyttelton- The creative heart of Christchurch,this working port town. The town's main street is packed with shops and bars all with views across the harbour. Animals- both Willowbank and Orana Park have New Zealand native birds and animals (kiwis!) as well as other animals (gorillas!) Maori Culture- a few places to see cultural performances, hangis, maraes and understand the Maori culture Antarctic Centre- Christchurch is the gateway to Antarctica, and you can experience Antarctic chill, ride a Hagglund, see penguins Day trips within Canterbury: North Canterbury Wine Region- Waipara valley is the hidden gem of national wine regions, less than an hour from Christchurch Akaroa and Banks Peninsula- New Zealand's historic French town, Akaroa offers coastal vistas and a thriving artisan culture where you can swim with dolphins in the harbour or take a wildlife cruise to see penguins. Drive over scenic Banks Peninsula and go for walks, see the Okains Bay Maori Museum or stop at secluded bays like Tumbledown Bay to have your own private viewing of seals. Hanmer Springs Thermal Resort- An alpine spa village boasting both relaxation and adventure: thermal hot pools, bungy jumping, jet boating, walking and mountain bike trails through forest. Arthurs Pass National Park- an alpine wonderland with lots of hiking, waterfalls, absolutely stunning scenery and native birdlife Mt Hutt Skifield- less than 1.5 hours from our house And a few overnight trips are worth it if you stay longer, such as whale-watching in Kaikoura or taking the scenic train over to the West Coast through the Southern Alps mountains. We are the gateway to the South Island and all of our scenic mountains and beaches. Check out and We can give you personal recommendations depending on your interests.

Getting around

While we are 20 mintutes' drive outside of Christchurch, there is no public transport and you will need a car to get around.

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Christchurch, New Zealand
Joined July 2019
Response rate 100%
Travelling group
Andrew and I are small farm farmers who enjoy nature, the peacefulness of our farm, animals, making things (Andrew), my veggie garden, learning new things, and travel. We love travelling for experiencing new things, seeing beautiful nature and architecture and understanding people; travel is always full of learning!
Member description
We love to travel to places with beautiful nature, interesting culture, and we love beautiful and historic buildings as well! We like urban and rural homes and especially homes with animals. Our first choice is always the sight less explored, the alternative to crowds and tourists. We have exchanged at over 20 houses now and love the interaction and the feeling like we are (more) locals rather than tourists.

Desired destinations

Open to any destination
Can travel at any time

Slovenia (Flexible)
Dates flexible

Japan (Flexible)
Dates flexible

South Korea (Flexible)
Dates flexible

Tasmania, Australia (Flexible)
Dates flexible

New Zealand (Flexible)
Dates flexible
"Dunedin, Marlborough Sounds, Napier/Hastings, Gisborne, Northland, anywhere with a nice view!"

Finland (Flexible)
Dates flexible
"We have been to Finland twice and love all seasons! We are keen to cross-country ski."

Iceland (Flexible)
Dates flexible
"We have been to Iceland twice and love all seasons. We'd be interested to stay in the north, or rural."

France (Flexible)
Dates flexible

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