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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 only 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
  • Friendl, 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 the Sydney suburb of Beecroft.

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).

Day 7, Sunday: Free day.

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

Check out what our past volunteers had to say!

Location of the Project:  Calga, Australia - 1 hour from Sydney
Project length:  Min 1 week - Max 4 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport (SYD)
Volunteer Work:  Animal care, Habitat preservation, Sanctuary maintenance
Age:  18 - 81 (This project may accept volunteers who are 16 or 17 years old with a letter of consent from a parent or guardian.)
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 16 international volunteers

What's Included

Accommodations:  Shared dormitory-style accommodation in a shared house
Food:  Three meals a day, self-service from fully stocked pantry
Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided upon arrival
Orientation:  Information and training on your first working day, and ongoing.
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 NSW Central Coast. Your accommodation is in Beecroft, an easy train ride to the centre of Sydney, it’s wonderful beaches, and the Blue Mountains.
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. 
Just one of their animal conservation programs is the breeding and release back into the wild of endangered native animal species, like the bilby, to restore threatened species populations. 
Volunteers 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 when 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 5 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. 
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 protected by a 3km state-of-the-art fence that keeps out foxes and feral dogs, cats and rabbits.
Volunteers work side by side with the rangers. Typical tasks may include:
  • Bush regeneration and habitat restoration
  • Maintaining the fox-proof perimeter fence
  • Preparing feed for the animals 
  • Cleaning food preparation area and equipment
  • Raking to remove debris from animals’ enclosures
  • Harvesting fresh browse 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 New Year holidays, therefore all volunteers will need to check out before we leave for the holiday break. Volunteer work does not take place during national holidays, but you are always welcome to join in the local celebration. 

Please note these consecutive holidays, which may impact short-term placements, before registering:
  • December 25, 26 & 27 2018
Internet:  Free WiFi is available at the volunteer house.
Laundry:  Laundry facilities are available at the volunteer house.
Accommodations:  You will stay in shared, single-gender, dorm-style accommodation, in a residential neighborhood in the Sydney suburbs. Daily transport form accommodations to project site is approximately one hour each way.
Food:  Food will be provided for volunteers to prepare their own breakfast and dinner. A packed lunch will be provided on weekdays. During weekends, all meals are self-served from the pantry and fridge stocks.
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 do labouring work outside in all weather conditions
  • Own work clothing, boots and rain gear - see Dress Code
  • If under age 18: parental consent
  • If over age 65: medical clearance to take part in this program
  • If wanting to work with flying foxes: current medical certificate showing rabies immunity (not required for working with other animals)
  • Project site workplace protocols must be followed by staff and volunteers to ensure the workplace is safe for animals and people
  • No smoking at project site
  • Comprehensive travel insurance including medical insurance 
  • Police clearance
Your program takes place from Monday to Friday, with weekends free for you to relax and explore Australia’s most populous city Sydney and surrounds. Activities and places of interest include heritage sites, beaches, city sights, museums, walking tours and much more. Some interesting places are:

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. Attend one of the theatre's forty shows per week. This landmark is a must-see for international travellers.

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

The Blue Mountains
The perspective of height is magnified but the depths of the gorges carved by weather and water over 50 million years. Take a 3 hour scenic train ride to stand at one of the lookouts above this vast 11,000 km² 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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