About the Conservation Volunteer Project
Volunteer on a range of conservation projects and help to protect, preserve and restore New Zealand’s environment.
Volunteers can choose to start from a variety of different locations around New Zealand and have the option to travel to a different project location every week.
Volunteers work in teams of up to 10 people on projects in urban, regional and remote locations. Team Leaders provide training on-site. Typical Activities include:
- Tree planting
- Walking trail construction
- Wildlife surveys
- Seed collection
- Weed control
- Conservation fencing
- Heritage restoration
Please note that for all of our programmes in New Zealand, we’re not able to guarantee any particular project activities as they are dependent on seasonal climate conditions as well as the conservation priorities at the specific time & location you have selected. As such, you will likely be spending your time on a few different activities during your stay, but the list above should be viewed as an example of the types of projects volunteers may experience during their programme, but not as a guaranteed list.
This project is a great opportunity for people with a love of the outdoors and an interest in the environment to take part as a volunteer on practical conservation projects. Volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds and no prior skills or experience are required, and volunteer projects are available to suit your availability and particular interests.
These conservation volunteering projects are managed in conjunction with project partners that may include regional councils, national parks, museums, land-care groups, conservation departments and other national conservation agencies in New Zealand.
Available locations in New Zealand:
- Auckland (North Island)
- Wellington (North Island)
- Christchurch (South Island)
- Punakaiki (South Island)
Volunteers will receive:
- The opportunity to learn about conservation issues in New Zealand
- Practical conservation skills training is provided as part of each project
- The chance to make a voluntary contribution, earn references and certificates
- Team-based experience – living with up to 10 volunteers from around the world
- Opportunities to visit places tourists don’t normally see, including remote areas
- Certificate of Appreciation upon completing the programme
“We’ll only ever achieve significant environmental change and care for the environment when people want that to happen. Getting them to pull on their gloves and boots and do something practical is a clear demonstration of their commitment and love for the environment, and we provide a focused and highly effective way for them to make a contribution.” – Quote from Project Manager
In Auckland, you will be bringing biodiversity back to the city’s many parks and waterways. From large scale native plantings at Ātiu Creek Regional Park and track and trail maintenance in the Waitakere Ranges to invasive weed removal and coastal clean-ups, there are lots of ways to get involved to protect our important biodiversity.
Volunteer activities include protecting the incredible kauri forests, removing invasive plants, planting native species and more. There’s lots of variety which means one day you could be doing work to protect one of Auckland’s awesome beaches, and the next replanting native trees to restore an urban stream.
In Wellington, you will be helping re-growing the city’s green heart so it’s once more a haven for New Zealand’s native bird species. There are a great range of projects to be involved in, including replanting native forests across Wellington’s reserves, streams and beaches.
Volunteering takes place Monday to Friday. You will work alongside a trained guide during the day, with evenings left free to explore the area and catch up with fellow volunteers. There’s lots of variety every week, meaning you might be planting/releasing amongst the sand dunes one day and then gazing out at the views on Mount Victoria the next day. Other activities can include working in our nursery and removing rubbish from beaches. We also make sure there’s time to explore the spectacular spots we volunteer at.
Water is the source of all life and in Christchurch you will be helping to replant and restore important wetlands, to better protect the region’s waterways and its many native birds.
Volunteering takes place Monday to Friday. A trained volunteering guide will work alongside you during the day, with evenings left free to explore the area and catch up with fellow volunteers. Volunteer activities may include planting native species along the banks of streams and around wetlands. As well as restoring native forests to the area we are also improving the health of aquatic species. Other volunteering activities include preparing the ground for planting, releasing plants from weeds in previous plantings and mulching.
From the base at Punakaiki, help transform the project sites into native rainforest and wetland! For Bullock Creek, Punakaiki Coastal Restoration Project and Wadeson Island, help plant and raise native seedlings to help preserve and enhance the West Coast landscapes including the breeding habitat of the Tāiko Westland Petrel – the only place in the world where they come to breed each year. This project runs for one week each month.
Volunteering takes place Monday to Friday. A trained volunteering guide will work alongside you during the day, with evenings left free to explore the area and catch up with fellow volunteers. There are lots of activities to do including volunteer projects in the nursery, as you take eco-sourced seeds through to young trees ready to plant. Then there’s planting, as we work to get 60,000 trees in the ground in the next twelve months! Plus there are other exciting habitat restoration projects to explore and be part of. Other volunteering activities include preparing the ground for planting, seed collection, removing invasive weeds and more!