Volunteer in New Zealand
With New Zealand’s extremely diverse and wild terrain, comes an inherent need for volunteer work focused on natural rehabilitation and conservation. New Zealand is one of the most recently settled lands by humans, which is why it’s mountains, tropical rainforests and beaches are so abundant in animal and plant life. It is a land with a history and culture rooted in its own natural environment. The local Kiwis have strong ties to the land and continuously lead efforts to keep and maintain the land. The locals are very aware of the fact that in order to co-exist with nature, they must work to minimize the effects of their own footprint. This also creates a large amount and variety of volunteer opportunity.
In New Zealand, there are a variety of volunteer opportunities available. Most notable, is volunteer work that falls into the categories of environmentalism and conservationism. Because the land is so nature-heavy, it is always in need of upkeep and preservation. Additionally, the large variety of terrain on one small piece of land provides many, many ways in which a volunteer can lend a helping hand. Volunteers choose to participate in activities such as planting trees to restore rainforests, work with wild animals to maintain population, and dig into a farm and learn how to live off of the land. All in all, if you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty, New Zealand is the place you should volunteer abroad. For those who aren’t so fond of being “one with nature”, there are, of course, other types of volunteer opportunities available. These fall into the areas of social work, community development, teaching, and the like. In New Zealand, any volunteer opportunity is a good choice, especially if you can walk away knowing you made a genuine contribution to the ecological conservation of this beautiful land - preserving it for generations to come. read more close
I spent five weeks in Punakaiki, at the New Zealand Conservation Experience project both as my first experience outside of the United States and as my internship. It was kind of nerve-racking at first because of being somewhere totally new and not knowing exactly what to expect, but in the end, it was totally worth it!
Every other week we worked on restoring the coast of Punakaiki, and the weeks in between we traveled to different locations close by. As we drove we had remarkable views of luscious trees, mountains, and the ocean. I wish I never had to look away. The work itself consisted of a combination of weeding, planting trees, clearing paths, planting flax, potting, and setting up traps depending on the site. The work was sometimes very repetitive and could be tedious, but the enthusiastic team leader and amiable volunteers ensured that it was never boring.
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