What Past Wwoofers have said about Wwoofing at AsleepingDragon...
From Julia - Germany
"A perfect wwoofing-experience!! :-)"
I stayed with Donna and David for 3 awesome weeks and definitely enjoyed my time at the Dragon. Not often during my travels have I met such open-hearted and helpful people as Donna and David are. I had much fun cooking and baking, learned a lot about Maori culture and just had a really lovely time. All in all it was a perfect wwoofing place! Thank you, Donna and David, I miss you! :-)
From Steve - Australia
"A special place and special people! "
Donna and David are two of the nicest people you are likely to meet in New Zealand. Their generosity, hospitality and welcoming attitude totally blew me away, and I am forever grateful for the time I got to spend at Asleeping Dragon. Donna has a wealth of knowledge on New Zealand and Maori history, is a fantastic cook, and is genuinely invested in making sure each WWOOFer has a great time while staying in the belly of the dragon. David is also a kind soul, and just as welcoming of all these strangers who come into their home.
My time at Asleeping Dragon was just what I needed to get centered and find some peace and clarity. While this is the only place I have WWOOFed in New Zealand, I have to agree with all the other feedback below that you would be hard pressed to find a better experience on your travels through New Zealand. "A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor — such is my idea of happiness." - Leo Tolstoy
From Claire - USA
"The best place to WWOOF in New Zealand!"
David and Donna are two of the most genuinely giving people you will ever meet. They welcome you into their home with the promise of great food, good conversation, and most importantly individual growth. But in order to have this great experience you must put into it just as much as you want out of it. It's their home they're opening up to you. With that said, I can confidently say that this is by far the best place I wwoofed at in New Zealand. The creative opportunities i found to be over the moon. Not only did I get to paint and draw constantly but the view and land was an inspiration in it of itself. Donna's wisdom about Maori culture as well as Native American culture really showed in how she took to her land. I found myself to be in constant awe of her wealth of knowledge and kind heart. David was also a true kindred spirit. Not only could you count on him for having a positive outlook on life but also some interesting conversation on current events and world affairs. Thank you so much to you both for your constant support and kindness in my stay at your incredible home. Also please give Jessie, Frankie, Max, and Isha hugs and kisses for me, I miss them too. I can't wait to come back!
From Johannes (John) - Germany -
I stayed at the dragon for 3 weeks and I loved it. Donna and David are two very nice persons. Unfortunately, I stayed for 3 weeks only Donna introduced me to the value of food and the Maori culture. I really miss Jessie and I don't want to forget the times with Frankie on the treadmill :D Thanks Donna and David.
From Astrid - France
"simply perfect :) "
Donna and David, thank you so much for these 4 weeks. You are one of the most lovely people I met. It is impossible to don't feel good with you! I was glad to help you with the gorse, and it was cool to cook the dinner together on the evening (donna's crumble is incredibly yummy). There is too many things to say about this family: the precedent reviews sums up how great they are. I have learned a lot,and I felt like home at asleeping dragon. I will miss you. (And I definitely hope to see you again!:)) All the best
From Andrew - USA
"An experience i should never forget "
Donna and David, thank you so much for opening your home to me. Although this was my first wwoof experience i already know it is going to be a hard one to top. They fed me better than my own mother had (sorry mum but it's true). Think i gained about 10 pounds in the time i was there :). Donna is a very interesting person with lots of life experience and had some great stories to share if you are willing to listen. I really learnt a great deal from her in the month that i was there. David is at work most of the time but is always cheerful and very enjoyable to have around (even after i burnt his dinner, sorry dave!). I will miss competing for dominance in the house with lady jessie and taking orders from the demanding bark of lord frankie. It is a very serene place and gave me a real opportunity to do some self reflection and gain some direction in my life. Thank you again donna and david, i wish you success on your business going forward and hope to see you again some day!
From Nina - Germany
"World's best host!"
Thank you so much for the 7 weeks I could stay with you! Donna is an incredibly warm-hearted and caring person and David WILL make you laugh every evening! The Dragon was the first host that caught my eye and I immediately knew, that's the place I have to go to! And I was right - I met so many amazing people who have not just become friends, but family. I really enjoyed doing my first ever mosaic and it won't be my last. The dogs and cats are wonderful, the view from the house is breathtaking, having your own room - pure luxury! Beware: This host WILL spoil you - no other host will be able to compete. I really loved our conversations, baking some nice desserts together with Misao, watching movies, playing with the dogs, reading a good book and simply feeling very welcome and at home :) I wish Donna and David all the best, they will always have a special place in my heart :)
From Tung Yu - (Greyson) - Hong Kong
"This place is just too good…"
I have stayed in Sleeping Dragon for more than 6 wks. They are my first wwoofing host and the only host so far. The place and the people are just so wonderful. Donna is always so nice and helpful and have taken good care of us(sometimes like mom). She even take care of me even I have left already(Thanks to her I am travelling with a fridge now). She can always give you some inspiration or useful advice, which I really enjoyed. The briefing session in every morning is really good! Doona, Thank you very much! David is usually busy at work. However, when he is at home he is always so kind! Thank you David! I also met other wwoofers here. Bastien from France, Misao from Japan, Nina from Germany and Andrew from US. The are all amazing guys! Jessie, Franky, Isha and Maxx are just too cute that I really wanted to kidnap them when I have to leave. Also, I really enjoy getting stuck in the world of Mosaic, which is actually so relaxing. I was a quiet guy during this six wks due to my poor English. But Donna, David amd everyone are so patience to me and I feel really comfortable being here as part of a family. I learned a lot here as it is quite a new living style to me. Things like wood chopping, starting a fire, planting trees etc maybe ordinary to some people but for me I have to say they have all become part of my sweet memory. Again, thank you so much sleeping dragon, this place is a blessing to me! I will keep all these beautiful memories in my mind! Wish you all the best!
"I won't forget Asleeping Dragon"
I have stayed at Asleeping Dragon for 10 weeks!! And it definitely would be one of my best memories in New Zealand. If everything has meaning, this was my fate to come and stay there. And all thanks to Donna and David, I could spend really nice and quiet days, and it helped me to think who I really am, face to my own fundamental darkness, take a first step to solve the problem, which I was never able to do in Japan. Now that I'm feeling like I could finally take a deep breath in this beautiful country of New Zealand!! Even for now, I feel how lucky I am to have stayed there. During my stay, I have so many good memories with Donna and David and other wwoofers from different countries. I enjoyed walking to the beach, driving to anywhere we go while we're having a nice chat, watching movies and anime, and making my mosaic. Since there are many differences between New Zealand and Japan, I could learn so many things, which is about not only language but also cooking, baking (with something really nice and fresh from Farmer's market), the history of Maori, and even how to do the washing with queen sized bed sheets!! I especially liked making yummy desserts for everyone. The kitchen is really open for any wwoofers who wants to make foods with lots of love. And I also stole some of the recipes from wwoofer's cook book to bring back to Japan;) One thing I have better let you know in advance is that, Asleeping Dragon is too nice to think about moving:( This is nothing but we could call wwoofer's heaven!! I actually extended my stay for another month..!! There are not enough words to say thank you for everything you did for me. How could you be so nice and considerate to the others who are from different countries. You cheered me up a lot. And I will never forget. Hope I can come back again before back to Japan..!!
From Diana - Germany
"Home in another Country"
Our email exchange started already couple of months before my actual stay and I ended up wwoofing there directly after 2 months of kiwi picking. I had my doubts - after all, I had worked enough at least for a while and wanted to continue traveling again! Well, I'm very very veeery glad I went to the Sleeping Dragon instead :D Until now, it was the best place I've visited so far. Friendly, humorous, relaxing for your mind - actually, just what I needed to regain my energy and review my plans and previous experiences. Working didn't feel like work - boring routines you just do, because you HAVE TO. No, it felt more like helping out, something you do voluntary (doesn't mean, you don't have to do anything xD just the feeling!). We experienced some very interesting and entertaining days, which made me glad about the timing of my arrival :D It's definetely a home, I'd like to return to some day - and its very reassuring to know, that you're not alone in some country far away from your home. Thanks everyone! I appreciated the time and I'm grateful for the experiences and connections I made :D
From Siv and Ingeborg - Noreway
"Utterly MARVELlous! :D
Ahhh, but where do we even start? Attempting to convey exactly how magical a place Asleeping Dragon really is, is not a task to be taken lightly... We have so many good memories from our stay at Asleeping Dragon, and we also feel we learnt a great deal and broadened our horizons through the great conversations we had about anything and everything from movies, comics, Marvel and Avatar the Last Airbender to love, religion, environmentalism and politics, as well as the entertaining and interesting stories they both shared with us, and the insight Donna provided us with on subjects such as maori history, spiritualism and different religious traditions. The work we did was varied and not too hard - possibly with the exception of clearing gorse, but we took it as a great workout (which is sorely needed when being fed so much yummy food!) and it's also a great thing to really be able to see the difference you're making, and the land you're actually freeing up for the rabbits and many different species of bird to explore and enjoy. The weekly trips to the Farmer's Market were a highlight - we wish places like that exsisted back home! In our time off we enjoyed playing with the dogs - Jessie is an excellent football player, and Frankie can certainly run if he feels like it too! Cuddling Isha or being forced (by her) to watch her eat and teasing the wild kitten Maxx (beware though, this has consequences! Ingeborg's scarred hands have not yet healed completely… ) were also a fun part of our afternoons and evenings at the Dragon. There are also plenty of books to read and movies to watch in the house, or creative projects to start in the Studio. Siv learned how to mosaic, and had many late nights working on her depiction of Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life from Norse mythology. The meals Donna cooks up are varied and always absolutely delicious - Warning: food-comas are easily achieved and not as pleasant as you might think! All in all, if you are a respectful, cheerful and helpful person, chances are, your time at Asleeping Dragon will be the highlight of your trip to New Zealand! We are eternally grateful for having the chance to get to know such wonderful people and animals and sincerely hope we can come back one day.
From Karmen and Aleksander Zajec - Slovenia
"My home and family at Asleeping dragon"
Donna and David, Thank you very much for a wonderful 5 weeks in your awesome home:) you guys have shown me such warmth, kidness and fun. I have enjoyed the chats, deep conversations and laugh over wonderfull food :) Staying@ asleeping dragon is not just wwoofing, but you'll get real friends, for me guy's you became my new kiwi family :) Donna , thank you for all the knowledge and experiences you shared with me, for all interesting conversations we had…. For your time and for just being you... And don't forget to mention your lovely healthy cooking and yummy deserts (and pounds I gained, hihi :)) David, thank you too , you made me laugh every day and it was nice chatting with you on various topics:) You will be impresed by Donna's awesome studio, where you can enjoy making a mosaic, listen to music, meditate or just relax. Like animals? You will enjoy company of Jessie ( she's the best football player i've ever meet), Frankie, Aysia and Max (Donna's little baby, hihi). Thank you so much Donna and David, for everything you've done for me….. I won't forget this experience… P.S: And thank you for giving an opportunity to Saso, he really enjoyed his first wwoofing experience with you. Miss you heaps, I will come back soon…. Back home <3
From Rob - UK and Kiwi
"A home from home"
I stayed with David, Donna and pets at the Sleeping Dragon for just over 3 weeks. The hospitality and generosity they both offered was nothing short of amazing, and don't be put off by the application process eeither its only there as they have had a problem or two with some woofers in the past and want to protect their amazing home and homely atmosphere and right ly so! The views are stunning, Donnas cooking is second to none and as many others have said on here her knowledge of Maori legend is very impressive. Great beaches and hikes, work was always fair and never too hard and all in all the Dragon is excellent source of inspiration on many levels. I even wrote a piece of music on guitar for them and reignited my passion for making pastel drawings of which I hadn't done any since my late teens! If you like comics and sci fi you'll also get on like a house on fire with Donna shes even met Joss Whedon! Oh and if you like animals you'll love Jessie, Frankie, Aysia, and Max some of the most charismatic pets you'll ever meet:)
From Freya and Tim - Germany
"Don't miss the dragon, you would miss a wonderful part of NZ"
In the first place we want to thank you for the most wonderful NZ experience we made with you. We stayed at the Dragon for 3 weeks and before we left NZ, returned h to say farewell and see you soon. Donna and David beriched our lives in many ways: they welcomed us at their home and let us have part in their kiwi lifestyle. It was truly a cultural exchange. Donna has a wide knowledge about maori history, you can learn so much from her, just don't be shy to ask! David's wonderful humor always made us laugh and we instantly felt at home and welcome. It is not just a place to wwoof, you can enjoy the most amazing studio we had ever seen. You can make a mosaic, meditate or just enjoy the beautiful view of the Mayor Island and the ocean. It is truly a cultural experience and we highly recommend you to take the oppurtunity to experience this awesome place and wonderful family. We are so happy to have become a part of the Sleeping Dragon and the Gardner family, it was one of the very best experiences we made in NZ. Thank you so much for having us, we already miss you so much. Tim and Freya