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Koanga Institute Visitor Information

Getting Here

Driving Directions:

Coming into Wairoa from Napier (on State Highway 2), follow the road straight ahead, through town and over the bridge, following the signs to Frasertown and Lake Waikaremoana.

At approximately 7kms from Wairoa you will come to Scamperdown bridge. Take the first right after the bridge onto Tiniroto Road.

Follow this road for approximately 14km. Kotare Road is on the right hand side, after the second one-way bridge.

About 1km up Kotare Road, you will see the Koanga homestead on the right hand side, that’s us! Number 96, there is a Koanga sign at the gate. Drive in and park just outside the homestead with the other cars.

If you are driving down from Gisborne there are two options to get to Koanga, depending on your driving preference.

To take the direct route, come down Tiniroto Road. When you get to the roundabout at Makaraka go straight ahead and follow this road for approximately 60kms, you will come to the Opoiti bridge. Kotare Road is the first road on the left immediately after the bridge.

If you would prefer to take a scenic route from Gisborne, turn left at the Makaraka roundabout and follow the road to Wairoa.

Once you get into Wairoa refer to the directions above to get to Koanga.

Arriving by Plane or Bus:

Our nearest airports are Napier and Gisborne.

Intercity provides a connecting bus service that departs Napier to Wairoa daily at 1:15pm.

There is also an Intercity bus service from Gisborne to Wairoa, however, the bus leaves at 9am so it is more than likely you would need to stay in Gisborne overnight to meet that bus, unless of course you fly into Gisborne early that morning.

If required, we can organize for someone to collect you from the Wairoa bus terminal.

Arriving Here

Our aim is to be supportive of you on your journey to discovering your place within regenerative living.

All meals are provided during the course. We also provide access to campsites for your tent, caravan, or campervan.

We encourage all students to stay at the Koanga Institute as there are often evening teaching sessions and other activities that are important to your overall experience and in general you will get the full Koanga experience by staying onsite with everyone. That said, there are also other options for accommodation in Wairoa that you could arrange for yourself i.e. a motel or the campground:

Things to bring:

✓ Appropriate clothing for out in the garden (gumboots/raincoat/gardening gloves) for wet days.

✓ Insect repellent and torch

✓ Any medications that you require

✓ Your laptop, we have a space with cables to connect to the internet (there is no WIFI)

✓ A pre-paid calling card if you need to use the landline for phone calls. (Cellphone coverage is only for Vodafone and 2degrees networks)

✓ Accommodation: Tent/Caravan/Campervan. Your tent will need to be able to withstand any weather. We advise that the tent must have a fly, otherwise it will not be waterproof and you will not appreciate wet bedding. We often have strong winds too.

✓ Your own bedding – please ensure you have enough to be very warm and comfortable.

✓ We request that you use our laundry liquid and shampoo, as the greywater waters our food supply. We use Dr Bronners castile soap.

✓ A note book and pens, maybe some colour pencils or felts if you have them, we also provide these for the Workshops.

You will be met upon arrival and shown all of the facilities and systems. We wish you an inspiring learning journey.

Whether you are here for a day, a week or a few months, we ask that you take the time to read our House Rules and Health & Safety Information below.

House Rules

We ask that you commit to the following while here:

  • Smoking only in designated area – under the old oak tree.
  • Keep our facility entirely free of recreational drugs, including marijuana
  • Keep your earphones/iPod/mp3 for after hours please
  • Alcohol. We do not have alcohol on Institute property. Exceptions can be made for special occasions. We reserve the right to ask you to leave if we feel your drinking is having a negative effect upon others.
  • Please do not pick the fruit! All fruit (apart from old citrus trees), every single piece, is part of Institute research and propagation trials and must NOT be picked. Citrus will be picked by a rostered person and shared out. Staff will pick fruit for photographing keeping stones etc. If you notice fruit that is ripe please let us know, we may not have seen it.
  • Ask before you pick any flowers, fruit, berries or vegetables (often we are saving these for seeds and they should not be picked)


We go to great lengths to prepare meals following the principles of the Weston Price Foundation, upon which all indigenous peoples visited by Weston Price based their diets. We also go to great lengths to eat what we have available from our own farm and gardens rather than running off to the shop. This is all part of learning to live simply and lightly.

The kaupapa of this place is about finding our way to health and supporting each other in that process.

We regard our kitchen and dining areas as the heart of that process and a safe place for those in the process of giving up destructive eating habits and learning to eat nutrient dense food. If you are joining the Koanga house team you will be expected to support this kaupapa, which may be very different from how you are used to eating. If you want to find out more about it have a look at or read Sally Fallon’s book ‘Wise Traditions’.
Please discuss any concerns you may have about this before coming so that we can keep things clear.

Kitchen Kaupapa:

Our kitchen and dining area is specifically set aside as a safe place for people to learn to eat in a way that heals and nourishes.

We ask that you do not bring any of the following foods into the kitchen:

  • Processed Foods
  • Trans-Fats and Sugars
  • Refined/Industrial Grains
  • Coffee and Black Tea

If you choose to have a private stash then please keep these in your personal space.

If in doubt please ask.

If you are bringing guests it is your responsibility to let them know and ensure that they adhere to our kaupapa.


Our toilets are composting toilets which require more work than a flush toilet (in the short term!) We have three composting toilets.

Toilet no. 3 is specifically there for those of you who are taking medication or drugs that are not naturally found in our environment. Please use it or ask Tes or Shaked if you’d like advice or more info. We deal with this humanure and urine in a different way to the rest.


Our showers are run by a ‘rocket stove’ and require firewood to heat the hot water.


We are all part of the cleaning team and ask that everyone take their chores seriously.

Please follow the assigned chores list. Chores are best done before breakfast, where possible and immediately after meals.

We ask that you tidy up after yourself and keep the house free of your own personal clutter at all times.


Please leave your cellphone switched off while in the teaching room – special circumstances can be negotiated


  • All books are for reference only and must not be removed from the house. Please do not take books into the eating or concrete areas at the front please, we have lost many books this way.
  • We provide a communication room with internet ready computers and also connections to plug-in your own device/s. Please do not download any files during work hours. We also ask that you do not download any movies or large files during your time here at Koanga.
  • Please be respectful of the fact that we must all share this space and have a chance to get access to computers and the internet


  • It is your responsibility to remove your personal rubbish. Please do not place rubbish in our recycling cupboard.


There is a handwashing machine available to wash your clothes

  • Please only use our laundry liquid to avoid soil contamination
  • Use only cold water so that we have hot water for the kitchen and dishes.

Swing Bridge:

  • The swing bridge down the road is private property and quite dangerous, please stay off it.


You are welcome to swim in the river. We will show you the swimming holes.

  • Please always wear togs or clothes in the Mangapoike
  • If you wish to swim without gear please always do that in the Mangaone stream only


  • Firewood is a super precious commodity and we ask that you do not remove wood from the wood shed for personal use
  • Never light an outside fire without permission from Tes or Shaked

Shutting Gates:

  • Within Koanga, always shut gates properly by their latches every time you go through them, they are to keep children, gardens and animals safe.
  • Please leave gates how you find them on the rest of the farm.

 Kotare Village:

  • Kotare village is a working farm as well as a place of private residence
  • Always talk to Bob before taking a walk in the hill block or paddocks on the farm
  • Respect the privacy of Kotare villagers residing within the camp and house sites, unless invited
  • Check the map on the library noticeboard to see where you are, which areas you are welcome to explore and where our boundaries and ‘no go’ areas are

Health & Safety

  • Footwear must be worn at all times around the farm and in the garden, especially when using tools. You will need a hat, personal water bottle and have light, full-length clothing to protect you from the sun
  • No person shall use any tools or machinery from the garden shed or workshop unless they have been deemed competent and have been over the safety procedures, equipment maintenance and proper technique for using the tool
  • No person shall enter the Kotare Village workshop without prior permission from Bob Corker.
  • Always ask for help if you are unsure of how to use a tool or perform a certain task
  • Do not use excessive force while working – this protects yourself and our tools
  • Always set down your tools in a safe place

First Aid:

  • There is a first aid kit located in the bathroom. The First Aid Officer is Shaked From, Please notify him if any first aid supplies are low.
  • Emergency Assembly Point: In the event of an emergency everyone is to evacuate to the front gate of the Koanga Institute. There is a clearly marked sign there. When you hear a continuous loud and frantic bell ringing please go to the assemble point.
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