Eeeek, we are moving out of Auckland to Te Aroha! Any newbie tips?

7 years 8 months ago #526283 by dbfarm
Hi Everyone,

My partner and I are moving from Auckland to Te Aroha (Waitoa) in November and we are so excited to start our new life outside of a city - now we can stop watching Country Calendar and just dreaming about the good life. It's quite scary and exciting all at the same time. I am also 7 months pregnant (8.5 when we move) with our second girl.

We have 20 acres and plan on running beef (my partner has some experience with dairy but beef is new) and some chickens (for eggs at home), a greenhouse and a vege garden to start with. The ultimate aim is to make some money, be self sufficient and spend more time with our kids than in a car commuting back and forth to work.

Does anyone live in Te Aroha/ Waitoa/Morrinsville area?
Any general tips for newbies?


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7 years 8 months ago #526312 by Olivia
Congratulations on your new adventure!

We are also in the midst of a scary/exciting transition from one location to another and I keep repeating to myself, like a mantra: "Life is for is for living..." You read and hear all about other people taking a huge leap into the unknown and think "Wow! That's amazing! I wish I...." and then when you're faced with that own adventure it can feel more like "This is CRAZY! We could be messing up our life!" :S

Although not from Te Aroha, my general advice on being as self-sufficient as possible would be: take one thing at a time and concentrate more on quality than quantity; don't overwhelm yourself with lots of projects because it will be counterproductive; most of all, be kind to yourself and accept right now that you will make lots and lots of mistakes...and that's ok :)

Proud Farmer of a little family, little lifestyle block and a little house in the township.
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7 years 8 months ago - 7 years 8 months ago #526315 by Belle Bosse
Hi Bev, Congratulations on your country move and new baby.

I'm not in the area you specify, but 14 months ago we moved out of Auckland to our off grid farm in the Far North and are loving it... We left at 2am to void traffic while getting the 26 foot caravan out of the city. I followed in our car... packed to the hilt, our two cats in the back seat and towing the trailer with 3 hens in their hen house and all their gear. It was a slow trip, but we were going HOME! The cats knew they were going "camping" and settled immediately into their holiday routine with night time curfew.

Pace yourself, especially with your due date so close. Don't exhaust yourself!
Non essentials will wait if they have to.
Things take longer to do than expected...
In moving, keep the essentials separate and close to hand... tow a trailer if you have to... to get basics for kitchen, bedding, bathroom set up on the first day of arrival, so you can get something to eat and somewhere to sleep and a shower after a big day's adventure... and a clean set of clothes.
No need to be scared. Country living is great, a lot of work and a big learning curve, but great. The peace and space is wonderful.
Start small with your vege garden and work up in size as you get the hang of things.
Start early with planting your orchard if you are having one... fruit trees take time to get established before fruiting.
Morrinsville etc, is not that far from Hamilton.
If you are looking for a plant nursery Wairere at Gordonton is a great place to go to. Very helpful staff, also ship plants out when ordered online. Large selection of fruit and flowering plants.
If you are wanting Heritage hens is near Morrinsville. We had 3 beautiful Light Sussex hens and a stunning Coronation Sussex rooster from there and they had lovely temperaments and were real characters. I will be going back when our ordered Orpingtons are ready for collection.
If you have dogs... know where they are and what they are doing at all times. We lost our hens to the neighbour's dog when it was unsupervised and unrestrained. Later on it eliminated itself by running under a passing 4x4. Wandering dogs are not tolerated in farming areas or in Kiwi areas.

If you have a digital camera, keep a photo journal of your place and all the changes that occur and interesting things that happen...
Just dont "lose" it in the move... I lost the first 3 days photo record of our move out of Auckland because the camera was not with me in the car. It was in the caravan and things were reshuffled to distribute weight for better towing... even the bed was hard to find that first night!

But most of all enjoy your new life and home... you will be wishing you did it sooner!

Last edit: 7 years 8 months ago by Belle Bosse.
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7 years 8 months ago #526320 by Stikkibeek
Make sure you check out maternity care in your area early, so you don't have to worry about that closer to delivery, or get a referral if you can.

As Belle Bosse has said, if you are planning an orchard then organize that early, but you will miss this planting season on most fruit trees.

Also not a huge distance from Te Aroha, is Precious Poultry, They are near Thames and have a good choice of Heritage breeds. They have a good website too.
If your heating is going to be woodfired, organise firewood in the summer, as Te Aroha can be cold and foggy in the winter. Frankton Stock sales are a good place to get weaners Nov/dec.
Take it easy too and don't try to do everything at once. It can take 12 months to understand the seasons and what grows well.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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7 years 8 months ago #526326 by LongRidge
Before you plant anything, check out what grows well in the neighbours gardens. If you rush in and plant things that won't grow well (like apricots, cherries, raspberries) then you will have lost, not gained. But at Waitoa you will be on or near the peat soil, which is very different, so be aware of this when spying on the neighbours.

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7 years 8 months ago #526336 by delboy11
Hi Bev, we are also in Waitoa having moved here in April from Papamoa. You have picked a magic place to move to. We have loved getting to know our three local towns, Morrinsville, Matamata and Te Aroha. We moved here as total novices and had great plans of getting everything done ASAP though soon realised that tomorrow is another day. With our 10 acres we leased out 5 for a year while we got the hang of this lifestyle living. Good luck with your move and welcome to paradise

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7 years 8 months ago #526353 by neil postie
Hi We moved to Waihi from Auckland 18 months ago and have never been happier. Up till now we have been doing casual leases for grazing. We get $9 plus GST per head per week which I am happy with. As it has been a shit winter/autumn we could probably get more. If you're new to this then it could be a good option to start with as when feed get short in winter you give the cattle back and no need for tractors/bailage/hay/feeding out, It's all someone else's problem. Plus no need to worry about drenching, zinc, bulls etc so a lot less work, money invested and risk. You will still need to take care of fencing, fertiliser and weeds but this is pretty easy. Get a soil test kit from Wrightsons or elsewhere so you get an idea of what your dirt needs. Your best friend will be the local farm supplies (Wrightsons, RD1, gold pine) neighbours, and of course this forum. Good luck and if you need help PM me. Oh yes, make lists of what you need or may need then keep an eye on who's having a sale (they are all as bad as Briscoe's). Do not buy cheap rubbish off trade me. If you want stuff that won't do the job I have a bunch that I got from TM I'd be willing to sell cheap

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