Food, Lodging and Travel
You will be living and working in a Nature Sanctuary which is located on the second highest peak in Northland at an altitude of 560 metres. The closest town is about one hour drive away. The facilities are basic but very comfortable. Volunteers receive home cooked, healthy food, and you will sleep in bunk beds in insulated cabins. The living area has the following facilities: kitchen, eating area, hot showers, and outdoor toilets. There is no wifi but there is phone signal in some areas so you can get mobile internet. A list of personal items to bring will be given to you with your final package if you are accepted on the project. Please note that you should expect to live in fairly basic conditions close to nature, with limited access to hot water, internet and regular electricity and should be capable of working in all weather conditions.
The meeting point for the commencement of the project is on the starting dates (always a Monday) at the Dargaville bus station. To get from Auckland (where the international airport is situated) to Dargaville, volunteers should take a morning bus to Whangarei (Intercity, nakedbus.com) and transfer to the West Coaster bus that runs between Whangarei and Dargaville. More details will be provided with your final package if you are accepted on the project. Please note, you are responsible for all of your bus and airline costs to and from the meeting point.
Type of volunteers needed
You should be at least 18 years old, fit, healthy, capable of carrying out work in all conditions in a cold and wet climate. In addition, you need to be prepared to do a lot of walking and hiking on uneven ground every day, and to be comfortable living in rustic conditions for several weeks. The Nature Sanctuary is one hour away from the nearest town and there might be no opportunities to go into town. This is not the programme for you if you find it difficult to be out in remote areas and cannot hike at least 4 hours every day on uneven terrain. No specific skills are needed, but those with previous experience of conservation work, wilderness travel, botany, etc. would be particularly useful, as well as those who are self-motivated as you will get more out of the project if you are. The project will especially appeal to those with an interest in conservation, restoration, wilderness, exploration, and off the grid living. The internship programmes have some additional specific requirements (please see the internship descriptions in the project tab) and also requires a Skype interview with us before candidates can be accepted.
The Kauri Coast is located in the north of New Zealand, in a region known as the “winterless north”. The Nature Sanctuary is located on the top of Northland’s second highest peak at an altitude of 560m. This means that often there is a cloud or a rain-shower that sits over the forest while at the bottom of the hill the weather is dry and hot. The wind up there is pretty strong, too! This is why sometimes we descend to the Kai Iwi lakes and spend the day at the beach.
During the day, the temperature will not drop below 15 degrees, but it can get chilly at night so a sweater would be a good idea if you wish to spend some time watching the stars.
From July 2022, New Zealand will once again be open to tourists from the UK and some other countries and from October 2022 to the rest of the world – details can be found here, but in order to enter New Zealand, please expect to be fully vaccinated.