Wildlife conservation and community volunteer projects and internships worldwide

Great Barrier Reef Conservation Project, Australia

2-4 Weeks from

minimum age

  • Get hands-on marine conservation research experience
  • Help to conserve and protect the iconic Great Barrier Reef
  • Work along side a team of international interns and marine biologists
  • Explore the stunning tropical beauty of Cairns during your free time

Food, Lodging and Travel

During your programme, you will stay in our partner accommodation, Cairns Central YHA. This hostel is in a brilliant central location, just a few minutes walk to the project office and the marina as well as right in the center of town. It is one of the quietest hostels in town (not a party hostel at all) so our volunteers have always had a good experience there. You are able to choose from a mixed or all-girls shared dorm room with shared bathroom (please let us know in advance as the all-girls dorm rooms do book up fast). There are limited options for private/double or couples room, but please be aware that the cost is quite a lot more, but it can be arranged if you wish. The accommodation provides breakfast every day and is booked from the Sunday before your project start until the Sunday when your project ends. Lunch is included on days at the reef. Any activities you wish to do at the weekend are not included, but we are happy to help point you in the right direction for things to do around Cairns.

Travel in Australia

Volunteer swimming Great barrier reefInterns should fly to Cairns airport, arriving on Sunday before their project start date. When you arrive to the airport, someone will meet you at the arrivals for either domestic or international flights, ready to take you to your accommodation, and you will start your project the following Monday. Around Cairns, in the city, everything is accessible by foot and the bus system is very good for weekends if necessary.

Free Time

Scuba diving is always an option but will need to be charged separately. If you are already certified and wish to dive on the weekends, this can also be arranged but it is dependent on logistics at the time. If you wish to do dive certifications during your stay this can also be arranged at an additional cost. Please let us know if you have any questions about diving options.

Other than diving, there is also much to do around Cairns and Queensland. If you wish to book some activities or trips during your weekends, please talk to us first as we have relationships with some local companies and may be able to get you some discounts, and we are happy to offer advice on things to see and do.

Volunteers doing research on boat in Australia

Internship Requirements

You should be aged 18+ and speak English. You don’t need any previous experience in marine biology or a similar field. This project is designed to offer everyone from complete novices to qualified marine biologists a fulfilling experience, so as long as you are flexible, self-motivated and interested in helping to protect coral reefs you would be welcome to apply. You should however have moderate to good swimming abilities, as all Reef monitoring data collection is done by snorkelling, so ideally you should be able to complete minimum 50m unaided. A dive certification is not required as all underwater activities are done by snorkelling.  All interns will need to be fully Covid vaccinated to join the programme.

Great Barrier Reef Conservation Project, Australia

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