New Zealand Wildlife & Nature Park
  • Public reserve wildlife and education assistance
  • Destination airport: Wellington, New Zealand (WLG)
  • Variety of outdoor & indoor activities & skills developed, such as:
    • Wildlife food preparation & feeding out
    • Wildlife enclosure care, cleaning, and development
    • Meeting & greeting park visitors & groups
    • Using walkie-talkies for communication within the team
    • Helping with educational presentations for visiting groups (schools, elderly, etc)
    • Administrative tasks
    • Checking and re-baiting trap stations
    • Eradicating noxious weeds
    • Planting native trees and plants
    • Assisting with maintenance of park facilities
  • Temperate climate, southern hemisphere season cycle.
  • No experience necessary - training provided
  • Volunteer for 1 - 4 weeks, year round
  • Accommodation included (Shared on-site log cabin, self-catered)
  • From US $238 per week

More information…

What will I be doing?

You will be helping in the running of a conservation and educational wildlife and nature park in semi-rural New Zealand. Typical activities include:

  • Wildlife food preparation & feeding out
  • Wildlife enclosure care, cleaning, and development
  • Meeting & greeting park visitors & groups
  • Using walkie-talkies for communication within the team
  • Helping with educational presentations for visiting groups (schools, elderly, etc)
  • Administrative tasks
  • Checking and re-baiting trap stations
  • Eradicating noxious weeds
  • Planting native trees and plants
  • Assisting with maintenance of park facilities

Specific activities typically vary depending on the season, weather, and project requirements.

What is a typical weekly schedule?

Monday to Friday:
8am: After having your breakfast, you will walk from the volunteer cabin to the visitor centre next door. You will meet with the staff and other volunteers in the kitchen and help prepare the meals for the caged birds, reptiles, and eels. When completed, you’ll help with the feeding out. Afterwards, the team will meet for a discussion of the days plans and ‘morning tea’ (a typical mid-morning break in New Zealand which comprises of a hot drink, and if you’re lucky, a sweet treat!). You will coordinate with the other volunteers and team leaders to prepare the necessary equipment for the project for the day. The exact activities each day are changeable depending on what groups are coming to visit, the weather, any emergency repairs or wildlfie care needed. For example, one day you may help with the refurbishment on an enclosure, the next day you may be asked to help out with a school group talk (assisting one of the staff who will give the actual presentaion). You will have lunch typically around 12-1pm in the visitor information centre with the other staff and volunteers. In the afternoon you will likely help with the feeding out of the wild eels and the educational talk to park visitors, as well as continue on with the projects discussed in the morning. At around 4pm you will help with the closing of the visitor information centre, and head abck to the volunteer log cabin to have a chance to shower and relax before preparing dinner.

For a more detailed list of the type of activities you will likely be involved in during your placement, click here.

Saturday & Sunday:
During your free time (typically Saturday and Sunday), you are able to arrange your own leisure activities (these are not scheduled as part of the program). Typical leisure activities to choose from include visiting local beaches, trekking/hiking, bird watching, exploring the local area (a bicycle is available for volunteer use), travelling to Wellington city via train (museums / nightlife / shopping), or relaxing at the volunteer accommodation.

Please note that the specific activities during your volunteer placement will vary depending on the season, weather, and project requirements. The schedule above gives a general guide as to a typical format of a week with the project.

Where is the project located?

This project is located one hour drive north of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. It is located in a semi-rural area but within a 5 minute drive to shops and train station.

How long can I volunteer for?

The minimum placement period for this project is 1 week, although it is recommended that volunteers attend for at least 2 weeks to get a full appreciation of this project and its range of activities. The maximum placement period is 4 weeks.

When can I volunteer / available dates?

This project hosts volunteers at most times of the year. Start dates are flexible. Currently available placements are shown below:

KEY:
= No placements available.
= 1 placement available.
= 2 or more placements available.


April 2017: Placements available.
May 2017: Placements available.
June 2017: Placements available.
July 2017: Placements available.
August 2017: Placements available.
September 2017: Placements available.
October 2017: Placements available.
November 2017: Placements available.
December 2017: Placements available.
January 2018: Placements available.
February 2018: Placements available.
March 2018: Placements available.
April 2018: Placements available.

Accommodation facilities

Volunteers are accommodated on-site in a small self-contained cabin. The cabin has WiFi, clothes washing facilities, a small kitchenette (microwave, small fridge, and small bench-top cooker and mini oven). This project is self-catered, which means meals and food are not included with the program fee – food can be purchased from the local supermarket. Volunteers are asked to clean the cabin on departure, and may from time to time be accommodated elsewhere for a short time should the cabin be required for previous bookings. Depending on the number of volunteers at the time and when you go, you may also share the accommodation with other volunteers.

What can I do in my free time?

During your free time (typically Saturday and Sunday), you are able to arrange your own leisure activities (these are not scheduled as part of the program). Typical leisure activities to choose from include visiting local beaches, trekking/hiking, bird watching, exploring the local area (a bicycle is available for volunteer use), travelling to Wellington city via train (museums / nightlife / shopping), or relaxing at the volunteer accommodation.

Volunteer requirements

To participate in this program, volunteers must:

  • Understand spoken and written English
  • Have a reasonable level of physical fitness
  • Have no major medical conditions that would affect participation in the project
  • Be passionate about helping the natural environment
  • Be willing to participate whatever the weather, rain or shine
  • Be able and willing to live and work together as part of a team
  • Be 18 years of age or older (Applicants under 18 can apply as long as they are 18 on the volunteer start date)

Country information

Quick facts:
New Zealand has a population of around 4.5 million. The capital is Wellington. The official languages are English and Maori. The official currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZD).

Geography:
New Zealand is a Southeast Oceania nation made up of three main islands: North Island, South Island, and Stewart Island. It has a wide range of landscapes, such as coastal beaches, wetlands, volcanos, alpine areas, agricultural farmland, and forest.

Climate:
New Zealand has a varied climate – generally temperate, but more sub-tropical in the far north and more temperate in the south, with alpine climate conditions in the mountain areas. Temperature variations between winter and summer months are not large (compared to other parts of the world). The warmest months are typically January/February and the coldest are typically July/August. New Zealand experiences very changeable weather due to it’s location and geography – “four seasons is one day” is not unusual.

Culture:
New Zealand has a rich indigenous Maori culture. Examples of this culture you will see are the Maori placenames used throughout New Zealand, Maori heritage sites, and dual use of the English/Maori language for things such as the flora and fauna. Cultural attractions can be seen in towns such as Rotorua and are a popular location for visitors to learn about the culture. In addition to the indigenous culture, there is a strong heritage of largely English, Scottish, and Irish settlement in New Zealand. In recent times, immigration from other parts of the world has grown from places such as Asia, the Pacific islands, and South Africa, making New Zealand a truly multi-cultural place to visit.

What do I need to bring?

When you register, you will receive access to the Volunteer Portal which contains a program guide and information on what to bring. You can expect to take your typical items (clothing suitable for the climate, toiletries, etc) as well as some specific items such as an adapter for your power plugs. A full packing list will be provided to you in the program guide when you register. You are not required to bring any specific items for the project activities, but you are welcome to bring items which you may like to donate to the volunteer accommodation (board games, books, and so on).

What travel visa do I need?

To enter New Zealand and participate on the project, a visitor visa (or visa waiver) is required. Volunteers from many countries, such as the USA, UK, EU, and Australia) are typically eligible for the visa waiver which is obtained on arrival – For more information, and to ensure you meet the requirements, click here.

What are the fees and costs?

Program fee
The Program fee covers accommodation, orientation, supervision and training, local support, and local project administration costs. Please note: food and meals for this project are not included – volunteers are required to purchase their own food (there is a grocery store nearby). A portion of your program fee also goes into the INV Grant Fund, which supports the project with financial aid for equipment, special projects, or operating costs. Program fees are due to be paid 1 month before the placement start date. Program fees for this project are shown below:

1 week = US $300
2 weeks = US $525
3 weeks = US $750
4 weeks = US $975

Registration fee
All placements are subject to a registration fee of US $140 in addition to the program fee (see the FAQs for more information).

Other costs
Other additional costs that you will need to cover include: Food, return flights to Wellington – New Zealand, travel documents (e.g. passport, and visa if applicable), comprehensive travel insurance (mandatory), personal spending money, transport to and from airport to the project site (approximately US $15 each way), possibly one night of accommodation in a hotel or hostel in Wellington depending on your flight arrival time.

How do I apply?

Complete the INV application form on the applications page. We will respond to your application within 24 hours.

“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

— Chinese proverb

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates:

* indicates required

Do you have a friend that could help with this project? Share away!