CAIRNHILL FARM. Marlborough Sounds

Things Volunteer Helpers Need To Know

Volunteer and work exchange information

CAIRNHILL is a beautiful and safe place ...
It is a peaceful paradise setting with a stunning vista of views and natural beauty.

As it is a FARM, it is classified as a multi hazard environment.
First and foremost we are concerned about your ...

a) Health and Safety.
b) Enjoyment and cultural experience.
c) Fun, work and relaxation.

Come prepared to help, to learn, to take time to relax and appreciate... and for the experience of a lifetime.

During your stay you will become involved with the culture of a totally independent off grid healthy farm life style and be helping with some of the following activities...
Animal care. General farm life and maintenance. Or one of our mainy progressive projects or developments. Gardening, environmental care and regeneration etc.

As it is typical farmlike life. Activities take place at casual times through out the day and are always weather dependant.
Most days you will assist with some of the tasks or projects. This will vary depending on each particular project and the weather.

Every day there is time and opportunity to relax and enjoy your favourite pastime. Reading, walking, swimming in the on farm Oasis, the beach, hiking, hammocks, photographing the picturesque surroundings, play games, or snooze and enjoy whatever the mood may be.



Volunteers and Exchange Accommodation Helpers

Please Bring With You

1) Good robust footwear. It is essential. The farm has many walking tracks and in many places quite steep. You will be assisting with gardening and other projects on sloping ground.
2) Bring well fitting strong garden or working type gloves.
3) A torch. (A phone torch is suitable)
4) Your preferred drink for social occasions ... The Reason Why ... Many volunteers will attend some rural or cultural type BBQ's or community meals during their stay. You are welcome to bring along your own fruit flavoured, wine or beer or other type of personal or preferred drink to such cultural or special social occasions. Or for an evening drink. (As we sometimes do) We do not supply alcohol though, you are welcome to BYO.
We do supply tea, coffee and plenty of clean fresh Cairnhill Springs drinking water.
5) All personal and daily health care products. (no shops or supplies available nearby)
6) Bring any special dietry needs and medications. eg: if you are vegan, have alergies or gluton free, you will need to bring items like soya milk / spread / pulses / quinoa / snacks / flour etc if you require such items. Preparing and baking for such needs is welcome and no problem if you bring what you require with you.
We can provide all vegetarian requirements.
NOTE: We eat wide variety of healthy foods, home baking, fresh fruit and vegetables, most of it home grown, free range farm eggs and fish.

7) Summer time include. Sunscreen, insect repellant, sunhat etc
8) Winter time include. Warm clothing. Jacket. Beanie hat etc.


CAIRNHILL is PARADISE in an exquisite, peaceful and remote location.

Imagine you are on an Island ...

If you think you may need it, bring it with you. 



Your Transport Options

If you have your own transport...
you can enjoy a leisurely drive from the Rai Valley State Highway/French Pass Junction intersection. It will take about 70 minutes drive time ... plus as much time as you spend for stops for the amazing WOW factor scenery and photograghs. A good time to arrive at Cairnhill is between 13.00 and 14.00hrs but you can easily let us know by text or email from this website if otherwise suits you better.

Check your fuel guage. No diesel or petrol station available nearby.




If you do not have your own transport ...
When pre-arranged we can sometimes pick up volunteers if we are in Nelson on the same day as your intended arrival.

you will need to use the passenger transport service which is available (early morning 8.30am) from Rai Valley Village on a Monday and Thursday only.  This means you will need to arrive in Rai Valley Village the day before.

You will need to go by bus to Rai Valley Village from Nelson or Blenheim the day before your adventure journey of the Marlborough Sounds to CAIRNHILL FARM.

The bus service DOES NOT operate in this area on any New Zealand public holiday. eg; Check this link...

If a scheduled service day falls on a public holiday the service will generally be provided the day after or the day before the public holiday. Please check with the provider.


Contact Details From Rai Valley Village to Cairnhill Farm. 

This is an exciting and adventurous part of your Cairnhill experience. Your hosts (Steve Partridge and his family) at Rai Valley will take good care of you and you will have an awesome time in this small rural Kiwi Village.

Book and arrange your overnight accommodation and transport directly with MR STEVE PARTRIDGE at the RAI VALLEY VILLAGE.
Call or text STEVE on (Int+64 27571 6049) or NZ 027 571 6049.  The trip to Cairnhill costs NZ$25-00pp and departs Rai Valley Village early morning and it takes about 2.5 hours to Cairnhill - They will accommodate pre-booked volunteers/passengers/wwoofers overnight which includes your evening meal, bed, and breakfast with the family. Meals and accommodation costs NZ$20.00pp. After breakfast you will depart Rai Valley Village for Cairnhill Farm about 8-30am and arrive at Cairnhill in time for lunch.

There are no banking or electronic money services in the Rai Valley Village so come prepared with any $NZ you may require.



Your Communications 
We have good mobile phone signal and coverage for Vodafone or 2 Degrees and Warehouse Mobile.
However Xtra and Spark mobile service does not have the same good coverage here, a short walk up the hill and you will get coverage but maybe not from within your stay location. 

If you have a Spark or Xtra mobile network phone you can go to "The Warehouse" and without changing your mobile number they will connect you to their service and you will then get much better coverage for most of rural New Zealand. Their deals are recommended and their prices are generally lower. Call into any of "The Warehouse" Department Stores if you wish to make the change.


 If you need help or have any comments or questions or you would like to book your stay at CAIRNHILL you can


Our Physical or Postal Address is ...

Cairnhill Farm. 268 Te Towaka Road, French Pass, RD3 Rai Valley, Nelson. 7193

Tel-Txt (Int +64) 021 5777 46




""Amazing Experience! " I had an amazing experience staying and working at Cairnhill Farm! The farm is set in a remote and beautiful location with stunning views! My jobs were mainly feeding the animals and tree planting which I really enjoyed. The animals are so adorable! I was made to feel very welcome and enjoyed many great conversations with Clarrie in the evening (Syth was away). Enjoyed healthy and tasty food, lovely walks, a warm cosy fire and star gazing. Thanks again for having me!"
Anna, U.K.


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