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Participate in important conservation work in beautiful New Zealand! Make new friends from around the world while learning about an amazing country and helping out practically with environmental conservation.

Program Highlights: 
  • Explore spectacular limestone karst formations and ancient temperate coastal rainforests of the rugged Paparoa National Park
  • Help to protect and restore habitat for vulnerable Westland Petrel colonies in Te Ara Tāiko Nature Reserve
  • Experience the famous Pancake Rocks and Putai blow hole
  • Visit a fur seal colony in Tauranga Bay, Westport
  • Traverse  Arthur’s Pass, the highest and most spectacular mountain pass across the Southern Alps

Itinerary: Minimum commitment of one week (five days):

Arrival Day, Sunday: Arrive at Christchurch International Airport (CHC). Volunteers are encouraged arrive on Sunday for Monday's early start. Sunday night accommodations are not included in program price. It is recommended for volunteers to book these accommodations in Christchurch. 

Day 1, Monday: Meet the local team in Christchurch, just outside the Canterbury Museum. You'll begin your journey to the West Coast via the stunning Arthur’s Pass alpine highway, hiking to the beautiful Devils Punchbowl Waterfall inside Arthur’s Pass National Park along the way. After descending to the temperate rainforests of the West Coast, you'll drive the stunning coastal road to Punakaiki, where you will then settle in to your cabin, receive a program introduction and explore the limestone formations of the Pancake Rocks. In the evening volunteers will view the Westland Petrels returning to their breeding colony from the Tasman Sea (April-October only).

Days 2-3, Tuesday and Wednesday: Volunteers will help to restore native forest habitat for the Westland Petrel in Te Ara Tāiko Nature Reserve. Volunteer tasks vary by season but can include tree planting, weed control, seed collection, track maintenance and helping propagate plants in the onsite-nursery that grows all the trees for the project. . Back at the cabins, enjoy the fantastic location close to the ocean and surrounded by rainforest and stunning views of Paparoa National Park. Sunsets, star-gazing and relaxing with your fellow volunteers are typical of our evenings after a busy day of volunteering outdoors.

Day 4, Thursday: Morning conservation activities continue at Te Ara Tāiko Nature Reserve. After lunch you will explore the stunning wilderness of Paparoa National Park including the Truman Track, featuring temperate rainforest, amazing rock formations and impressive coastal views. The last part of the day involves a short trip north to Westport and Tauranga Bay to visit the local fur seal colony – an awesome wildlife experience not to be forgotten!

Day 5, Friday: Conservation activities will continue during the morning at the Te Ara Taiko Nature Reserve. After lunch, volunteers will pack up and depart the West Coast for Christchurch via the stunning Arthur’s Pass, returning to the designated drop-off point outside the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch around 5:00 PM.

Remaining Weeks: For volunteers staying longer than five days, the schedule remains the same, except weekends will be spent in Christchurch.


Please note: Schedule is subject to change.


Check out what our past volunteers had to say!
 
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Location of the Project:  Punakaiki, South Island, New Zealand
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Project length:  Min 5 days - Max 4 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Christchurch International Airport (CHC)
Age:  18 - 70
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 10 volunteers. (This project requires a minimum of 5 participants, any less and the project will not take place.)

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared cabins
Food:  Most meals are included
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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, visas (if required), travel health insurance, breakfast on Day 1, dinner on Day 5, Arrival Day accommodations, personal expenses, airport pick up/drop off
New Zealand offers a peaceful atmosphere, and a wide array of wildlife unique to the region. The project takes place in Punakaiki, which lies on the West Coast of South Island. 
The projects offer volunteers the opportunity to contribute in a practical way to the conservation of the environment. Specific tasks vary by season.

Some of your tasks may include:
  • 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
In order to facilitate the best and most varied experience, we encourage volunteers to commit to at least three weeks of volunteering.

Working hours and days:
Volunteers generally spend one or two weeks at the project site. Project hours are generally from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Be prepared for the weather - different parts of the country 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.
 
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in shared cabins at a beach camp with bunk beds, communal bathrooms and a shared kitchen area. The cabins are just 700 meters away from the famous Pancake Rocks. Volunteers need to bring their own sleeping bag and bath towel.
Food:  Three meals a day and snacks are provided except on day 1 (breakfast) and 5 (dinner). Meal preparation is a shared responsibility, with different participants taking turns helping to manage the meal preparation and clean-up.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Min age 18 - Max age 70
  • Basic English
  • Good physical fitness
  • Love of the outdoors and interest in the environment
  • Flexible attitude
Travel around New Zealand before or after your project and enjoy the impressive views and see the unique wildlife. The large cities in New Zealand offer various cuisines, nightlife, and cultural experiences.
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