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Volunteer at Australia’s only Heritage Listed wildlife sanctuary, situated in natural bushland, alive with native wildlife. The local team provides a lifelong home for rescued animals, breeds endangered species to release and restore wild populations and focuses on "conservation through education.” It is located just an hour away from Sydney! 

Program Highlights:
  • Work closely with koalas, kangaroos and other indigenous Australian wildlife
  • Ethical volunteering and wildlife interactions
  • 170 acres of natural bushland
  • Heritage Listed Aboriginal cultural landscape with 4,000 year old sites
  • 200+ species of wildlife living free and wild
  • Friendly, free-ranging kangaroos, wallabies and emus
  • 60+ species of animals in care includes koalas, echidnas, dingoes, wombats, bilbies, bats, birds, reptiles
  • Small farm animals including alpacas, goats
  • Help with feeding and cleaning for the animals, conservation programs, general maintenance and habitat preservation
  • Weekends and evenings free to explore Sydney and surrounds

Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum one-week commitment):

Arrival Day, Sunday:
Arrive at Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport (SYD). You will be picked up from the airport and settle into your new home in Calga.

Days 1-5, Monday-Friday: Meet the ranger team and the animals. Learn how the sanctuary operates and how to find your way around. A ranger will work with you. This is a wildlife sanctuary, so expect conditions and priorities to change from day to day. Typical tasks include animal care, general maintenance, bush regeneration, and whatever else needs to be done.

Day 6, Saturday: If you are staying only one week, you depart this evening. If extending, this is a free day to rest and explore (see "Travel Highlights" for suggestions). The sanctuary can arrange a shuttle for volunteers to take to a nearby train station, if you want to spend a night in Sydney or elsewhere.

Day 7, Sunday: Free day. The sanctuary can arrange for the shuttle to pick up volunteers from the nearby train station this evening.

Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks follow the schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday with weekends free.

 
Check out what our past volunteers had to say!

 
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Location of the Project:  Calga, Australia
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Project length:  Minimum 1 week - Maximum 4 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport (SYD)
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Volunteer Work:  Animal care, habitat preservation, sanctuary maintenance
Age:  18-81
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Number of Volunteers:  Between 1-30 international volunteers

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared dormitory-style accommodation
Food:  Three meals a day, self-service from fully-stocked pantry
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Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided upon arrival
Orientation:  Information and training on your first working day, and ongoing.
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Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, personal expenses, travel health insurance, visa (if required), airport drop off on departure day (there is a convenient train station inside the Sydney Airport)
This wildlife sanctuary is in Calga, the gateway between Sydney’s northern suburbs and the picturesque New South Whales Central Coast. Your accommodation is on-site.
Much of Australia’s strange and wonderful wildlife is found nowhere else in the world. Tragically, more than 1,700 Australian animals and plants are listed as at risk of extinction. But you can make a difference! 
 
Australia’s only Heritage Listed natural bush wildlife sanctuary needs your help. This small but dedicated team is a cooperative partnership between a not-for-profit environmental conservation foundation, the family that owns and operates the Wildlife Sanctuary, their dedicated staff of wildlife rangers and volunteers like you. 
 
One of their animal conservation programs includes the breeding and release back into the wild of endangered native animal species, like the bilby, to restore threatened species populations. 
 
Volunteers from abroad help the rangers as they work to protect native wildlife, implement conservation education programs, preserve wild habitat and safeguard Aboriginal heritage sites. They open the sanctuary to the public every day. However, unlike visiting a zoo, visitors to the sanctuary step into the animals’ wild world!
 
Situated on 170 acres, this is the largest feral-free natural bush wildlife and cultural sanctuary on Australia’s eastern seaboard, and the only one that runs conservation and cultural education programs for visitors every day. 
    
Natural enclosures on five acres are dedicated to life-long refuge for more than 60 species of rescued injured, displaced and orphaned animals that cannot go back into the wild, as well as animals confiscated from illegal traders. 
 
Those animals able to live independently are released to free-range, along with more than 200 naturally occurring wild species of birds, frogs, mammals and reptiles, through 80 acres of native bush which is protected by a three-kilometer, state-of-the-art fence that keeps out foxes and feral dogs, cats and rabbits.
 
Volunteers work side by side with the rangers. Half of the time volunteers will be involved in animal care tasks, and the other half will be spent on maintaining the sanctuary itself.
Typical tasks may include:
  • Bush regeneration and habitat restoration
  • Maintaining fire breaks
  • Preparing feed for the animals 
  • Cleaning food preparation area and equipment
  • Raking to remove debris from animals’ enclosures
  • Harvesting fresh vegetation for the animals
  • Washing animals’ bedding
  • Animal enrichment activities
  • Repairing or building new enclosures and fences
  • Maintaining nature trails, tracks and paths
  • Repairing or erecting education displays
  • Maintaining the fox-proof fence, which protects the animals

Holidays: Please note that the project will be closed in full between Christmas and the New Year holidays; therefore, all volunteers will need to check out before the holiday break. Volunteer work does not take place during national holidays, but you are always welcome to join in the local celebration. 

 
Internet
Internet:  Free WiFi is available in the common area of the main house accommodations.
Laundry
Laundry:  Laundry facilities are available at the volunteer house.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  You will stay in shared, mixed-gender, dorm-style accommodations on-site. The accommodations offer coin-operated washing machines, a refrigerator, TV and kitchen. The hot water showers are a ten-minute walk away. Participants are responsible for cleaning their own rooms. Private cabins may be available for an additional fee.
Food:  Ingredients are provided, but volunteers prepare their own meals.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Intermediate level English, able to understand work instructions
  • Interested in nature conservation and indigenous culture
  • Not afraid of animals and insects
  • Moderate level of physical fitness
  • Willing to work outside in all weather conditions
  • Provide suitable work clothing, boots and rain gear 
  • If over age 65, medical clearance is required
  • If wanting to work with flying foxes, rabies vaccines is mandatory (not required to work with other animals)
  • Project site workplace protocols must be followed by staff and volunteers to ensure that the workplace is safe for animals and people
  • No smoking at project site 
  • Police clearance
Weekends free for you to relax and explore Australia’s most populous city, Sydney and its surrounds. Activities and places of interest include heritage sites, beaches, city sights, museums, walking tours and much more. Some interesting places include:

Sydney’s “The Rocks”
More than 100 heritage sites dating back to the 1700’s. On the harbour front under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks is a bustling hive of cafés, Aboriginal art shops, craft markets, buskers and street performers.

The Opera House
Australia's most iconic building. Walk through the concert halls, relax outdoors at a café on the concourse or attend one of the venue's forty shows per week. This landmark is a must-see for international travelers.

Hyde Park 
Peace and tranquility, right in the middle of the city. Stroll through Sydney's oldest public park, picnic under the spreading canopy of hundred-year old fig trees, admire the gardens and enjoy the fountains.

The Blue Mountains
The perspective of height is magnified by the depths of the gorges carved by weather and water over 50 million years. Take a three-hour, scenic train ride to stand at one of the lookouts above this vast 11,000 square kilometer wilderness.

Bondi Beach
Sydney’s most famous beach. Bondi Beach is the perfect spot to relax on the sand in the sun, learn to surf, watch the waves, swim in the sea or just eat ice cream as you dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean.
 
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