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This wildlife sanctuary is in Calga, the gateway between Sydney and Australia’s picturesque New South Wales Central Coast. Your accommodation is on-site in the wildlife sanctuary with the animals in the Australian bush.
Much of Australia’s Australia’s strange and wonderful wildlife is found nowhere else in the world. Tragically, over 1,700 Australian animals and plants are 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 is the breeding and release back into the wild of endangered native animal species, like the bilby and, since the 2019 2020 Australian mega-fires, the brush-tail rock wallaby, to restore endangered species’ populations in the wild.
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. The sanctuary is open 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 only feral-free natural bush wildlife and cultural sanctuary on Australia’s eastern seaboard that runs is open to the public every day so that visitors can experience their unique conservation work and cultural education programs.
Natural enclosures on five acres are dedicated to lifelong refuge for over 60 species of rescued and recovered or recovering injured, displaced and orphaned animals that cannot go back into the wild, as well as animals confiscated from illegal traders, and endangered species in breed-for-release rewilding programs.
Those animals able to live independently are released to free-range, along with over 200 naturally occurring wild species of birds, frogs, mammals and reptiles, through 80 acres of native bush which is protected by a three-kilometre, 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.
Since the sanctuary was evacuated ahead of Australia’s mega-fires in 2019 and 2020, followed by border closures because of Covid-19 restrictions and the exclusion of international volunteers like you, and then 1-in-1,000 year flooding in 2022, the sanctuary is desperately in need of “more hands on deck” to repair storm damage and get what used to be routine maintenance and repair programs back on track, as well as looking after other guests who are returning and are the sanctuary’s only source of operational income.
However, with all of this, the team is absolutely committed to the animals’ wellbeing so at least 50% of your time will be spent helping the rangers to care for the animals’ daily needs.
Typical tasks may include:
Holidays: The sanctuary operates year round (animals need care every day) so the program remains open on public holidays like Christmas and New Year. Visitor numbers may increase on these days, which may change the work focus, but they are still normal working days.
Internet: Free Wi-Fi is available in the accommodation.
Laundry: Laundry facilities are available just a short walk from your accommodation. A large wash load costs AU$4 and a large drying load costs AU$4. Handwashing and line drying are an option (and free).
Accommodations: You will stay in shared, dorm-style bunk-bed accommodation on-site. Linen, blankets, pillows and towels are supplied. Generally we do place participants into single gender dorms when possible, however this isn’t guaranteed. The accommodation offers coin-operated washing machines, a refrigerator, TV and kitchen. The hot water showers and the toilet block are a one-minute walk outdoors. Participants clean up after themselves and with daily chores to keep the accommodation tidy.
Food: Ingredients are provided, but volunteers prepare their own meals. Basic groceries for all meals supplied, including vegetarian and gluten-free. Snacks and luxuries and personal preferences at own cost. Participants do own cooking.
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.
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.
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.