All you need to know about visiting our farmstays

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the limitations of host families during farmstays?

A farmstay experience should not be confused with staying in a hotel. Guests are staying in a real life family home and hosts are opening their home to allow overseas visitors to enjoy the opportunity. Hosts are not staff who are expected to look after guests 24/7.

What type of farming activities are there?

Due to health and safety issues, the farming activities will be limited to light work. This can include the feeding and moving of stock, watching the milking, farm tour on back of tractor, visiting neighbouring farms or even a visit to the local horse racing track. Each Rural Tours Farmstay will offer a different experience and this will very much depend on the type and size of the farm as well as the season. 

How much time is required to book farmstays?

Individual Bookings: 2 weeks notice is preferred.
Group Bookings: At least 3 weeks notice is required for group farmstay bookings. 

Can I obtain detailed information about my farmstay hosts in advance?

Due to the law governing the New Zealand Privacy Act, the amount of information able to be advised about individual host families is limited. Information given by Rural Tours covers the key points about the Farmstay destination and host family, but cannot be elaborated on further Rural Tourser due to the Privacy Act. Similar Acts cover Privacy around the world.

Will we have our own bathroom?

In most cases, you will be the only guests at your farmstay, however we cannot guarantee this. Most hosts have their own separate bathroom, and you will have use of a second bathroom. 

Why do farmstay hosts sometimes suddenly change before I arrive?

Rural Tours farmstay hosts are all from the local farming community. The reasons for cancellation or amendments are nearly always personal reasons, such as sudden illness or family reasons. Rural Tours respects the privacy of the host family, so it is sometimes not possible to provide such details to the client. .

It is important that the tour organisers and/or schools are advised at the time of planning and during the briefing to parents that such changes do occur and are unavoidable. They should also be advised that any replacements hosts will offer the same wonderful farmstay experience to their guests.

How long would you recommend staying on a farmstay?

Rural Tours recommends two night stays if possible. This way, you have plenty of time to enjoy a range of activities and experiences with your hosts. Of course, one night stays are also possible.

Can you provide transfers to the farm?

Return transfers are included for all coach groups and we are able to arrange for our hosts to collect your group from inner city motels, hotels or from the local bus or train station. Please note that we do not guarantee transfers for the cities of Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin or Queenstown. Self drive guests are given all the necessary documentation to ensure they find their farmstay with the minimum of effort.

What about dietary requirements?

Provided you let us know in advance this in not an issue. We simply notify our hosts of the dietary requirement and they can cater accordingly.

Is a farmstay expensive?

At first glance a farmstay may appear to be expensive, however it does include accommodation, all meals, refreshments, transfers (group tours only), and activities. Most people find that by the time they add everything up, a farmstay is very good value.

What type of farm will I stay on?

The type of farm will vary greatly depending on region, time of year, host availability. Not all farmstays will be on dairy farms with cows or sheep farms. There are many farm types with various animals.  The farm type and description of their animals will be advised upon confirmation.  Rural Tours does not guarantee farm types.

Is early check in or late check out possible?

Early Check In is available from 11:30 am on the day of arrival. 

Late Check Out is available up to 1.30 pm on the day of departure.

Additional charges apply

These are not guaranteed and are subject to availability at time of booking. 

Do I need to be good at speaking English?

Minimal English ability is required. Our hosts are experienced in hosting people from around the world. Body language is very universal..! A smile goes along way no matter where you are from

Why do people in New Zealand become farmstay hosts?

The key reason for becoming a host is that the hosts genuinely enjoy meeting people from other cultures, and are happy to share their homes so that overseas visitors get an insight into New Zealand everyday life on a farm.