Australia - Australian Conservation Experience
This project offers a fun and friendly opportunity to contribute in a practical way to the conservation of the unique Australian environment. Help restore the region's ecology back to its natural, native state, maintain walking paths, or participate in flora and fauna surveys; this project has something for every conservation enthusiast!
|Location of Project||Various locations throughout Australia|
|Project Length||Min 2 week - Max 8 weeks|
|Arrival Airport||Any major airport|
|Number of Participants||Up to 10 international volunteers|
|Age||18 - 70|
|Promotion||Applicants that apply for 6 weeks or more receive a US$200 discount|
|Important||Tourist visa required to get into Australia, recommended to apply at least 6 weeks before departure|
|Accommodation||Caravans, hostels, shearer's quarters, bunkhouses, camping|
|Food||Supplied but you will need to help with cooking|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support|
|Transport||Project-related transportation only|
|Insurance||Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage|
|Pre-Departure Kit||Full project details will be sent following registration|
|Orientation||All necessary training and introductions provided upon arrival|
What's Not Included
Although most of Australia is semi-arid or desert, it boasts a wide range of diverse habitats from alpine heaths to tropical rainforests, and is recognized as mega-diverse. Many of Australia's eco-regions, and the species within those regions, are threatened by human activities. Numerous protected areas have been created to preserve these unique ecosystems.
About the Project
All projects start in major cities in Australia such as Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane (there is a list that you will choose from after registration). The volunteer work is relatively similar at all start points – the main difference between the locations is the climate. Northern Australia, such as Darwin, Perth, and Cairns offer warm temperatures while Melbourne, Sydney, and Tasmania have cooler temperatures.
The following are examples of typical projects volunteers experience during their placements:
- A two-week placement in Victoria, starting from Melbourne, could include a week in the countryside of Victoria helping with land restoration, before heading to the Great Ocean Road for a week of boardwalk construction with fabulous views!
- A four-week placement in the Northern Territory could include helping on conservation projects in National Parks along the coast, or in the rainforest, while six weeks in the Alice might include traveling out to Uluru (Ayers Rock) to help control invasive weeds around this Australian icon, or helping with bird surveys on a remote cattle station.
- A six-week placement in Queenslandhere could see you visiting the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island (the world's largest sand island) for a couple of weeks doing boardwalk construction, followed by some time in and around Brisbane helping with urban conservation projects such as tree planting and weed control, before finishing with a fortnight of rainforest re-forestation.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
The projects offer volunteers the opportunity to contribute in a practical way to conservation of the Australian environment. The projects involves:
- Tree planting
- Erosion and salinity control
- Seed collection
- Construction and maintenance of walking tracks
- Endangered flora and fauna surveys
- Weed control
- Habitat restoration
- Heritage restoration
Working hours and days:
Volunteers generally spend one or two weeks at each project site. Project hours are generally from 8am to 4pm. Projects take place in both urban and rural areas. Be prepared for the weather - different parts of Australia can be very hot or cold, so you'll need appropriate clothing (and sleeping bag) for the climate in the area you've chosen to visit.
*Please note that this project is closed for the holiday season from 20th December 2013 - 3rd of January
Accommodations: volunteers' accommodations will vary each week according to the location, and may include caravans, hostels, sharers' quarters, bunkhouses, and camping (tents are supplied). Bring a sleeping mat as well as your sleeping bag, and be prepared to share.
Food: provisions are supplied and everyone helps with cooking, cleaning, and washing up. Dietary requirements such as vegetarian or vegan can be catered for - just remember to let the project organizers know.
Australia has lots of activities to offer depending on where your project takes you. Kick back on a beach in Western Australia, lose yourself in Melbourne, visit hundred-year-old giant trees in the forests of Tasmania or simply visit the Sydney Opera House.
- Minimum age 18, maximum age 70
- Tourist visa to Australia. We recommend applying for the visa 6 weeks before departure.
- Basic English
- Good physical fitness
- Love of the outdoors and interest in the environment
Here's an excerpt of Dominique's experience:
I loved playing cards at night, kangaroo and possum searches, darts tournaments with locals, good food, learning some Korean from fellow volunteers, seeing aboriginal paintings... oh yeah, getting muddy too! I'm now a pro puller of black willows - weeds!" Emily, Nottingham
I spent 2 weeks in Guyra helping with tree planting and wildlife survey projects - really good team and team leader - had a brilliant laugh! Then spent a week on beach restoration at Waigete - beautiful area and a picnic lunch on the beach every day! It's a good way to see unusual parts of Oz and make a difference while you're there." Steve, Liverpool
I loved the satisfaction of helping to build something - a stile and a boardwalk - that is going to be used by people many times over... it gives the opportunity to get off the backpacker trail and see remote places."
One project involved working with local school children to plant trees, and being involved in environmental education activities - fun and rewarding. It was also great to see parts of the surrounding area - beautiful - and have a barbecue at Lake Eacham!" Helen, London
it was great - building fences around rain forest near Malanda, north Queensland, to protect tree kangaroo habitat - wonderful animals, and we met some lovely local people who made us feel so welcome. Excellent fun, great way to meet people and see parts of Australia you wouldn't otherwise, and to top it all, it is very beneficial to the environment!"
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