About the Program
This varied and important conservation program works in parks and sanctuaries across the Wellington region to help protect precious natural places and their inhabitants. Volunteers on this program could work on a number of projects in different locations, dependent on need at the time. From a project aiming to plant 100,000 native trees in inner-city Wellington parks to restoring wetlands and working in wildlife sanctuaries on predator control, all these projects play an essential role in protecting and enhancing the Wellington region’s unique natural heritage. Sanctuaries play an absolutely vital role in protecting and conserving New Zealand’s unique biodiversity and animal species. By creating a pest-free environment, and re-introducing species into protected spaces, sanctuaries strive to re-create a landscape that pre-dates the arrival of pests. Volunteers on this program can work within sanctuaries on projects to protect native species and regenerate native forest and wetland. New Zealand has many native species of birds that are in grave danger of extinction, along with giant snails, frogs, lizards and fish. Volunteers will also work on replanting projects to restore native bush areas which pests have destroyed. From working with the most threatened species, to assisting in environmental restoration, volunteers make a huge difference on this program.
Goals of this Project:
- Help to protect animals in danger of extinction
- Preserve native forest areas and national parks
- Create welcoming green spaces within inner-city parks
- Enable inter-cultural exchange between all parties and teach international visitors more about environmental practices and New Zealand
How You Can Help
Volunteers on this crucial program will learn a huge amount about conservation practices and play an important role in conserving the Wellington region’s natural environment. Days are likely to be varied, working on any number of essential projects in reserves and sanctuaries, from track construction and maintenance, interpretive signage, fencing, weed control, revegetation activities and other practical actions in line with park management plans.
Volunteers may also work on wildlife surveys and support specialized species programs such as captive breeding programs, radio tracking and species release activities as well as predator control initiatives. Volunteers makes practical contributions to a sustainable future for threatened species, working with recovery experts, following scientifically-validated plans and in so doing make a meaningful contribution to biodiversity preservation of this region.
Working in a team of up to 10 other volunteers, under the experienced guidance of a Team Leader, volunteers work alongside local communities, environmental groups, universities and conservation experts on well-planned and managed, safe, valid and essential projects. Full training is given by project team leaders.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and on any number of environmental or wildlife projects. Tasks vary by project site but may include:
- Tree planting
- Walking trail construction
- Pest eradication
- Wildlife rescue and surveys
- Seed collection
- Weed control
- Conservation fencing
- Heritage restoration
- Beach and river clean ups
Love Volunteers welcomes all those aged 18 -75 years who wish to give their time and energy to help protect the natural environment of New Zealand. A reasonable level of fitness is required as this is a 'hands-on', active project. Volunteers should be comfortable in the outdoors, doing manual labour.
The project does not require participants to have specific education, qualifications or experience, as you will be shown everything you need to know by your local Team Leader. Importantly though, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Any pre-existing injuries, allergies or medical conditions that may affect participation must be declared at the time of booking. We reserve the right not to accept volunteers that we consider may endanger themselves or others while on a Conservation Experience.
A packing list is provided in the Additional info. section.
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Vaccination Certificate
This project takes place in New Zealand's capital city, Wellington. Situated at the base of the North Island Wellington is renowned for its culture, hip cafes and restaurants and heritage attractions.
In and around the city nature abounds with regional and national parks, an eco-sanctuary, impressive coastlines and beaches, native bush, farmland and flora and fauna in all it's glory.
Volunteers in Wellington are based in the heart of the city and travel daily to project sites.
Famous for its stunning landscapes, endemic flora and fauna, impressive topography and crystal clear Pacific Ocean waters, New Zealand offers a vast array of activities for locals and international visitors alike and is an environmental jewel well worth our efforts to preserve.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every FRIDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 6 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Volunteers fly into Wellington International Airport and take a short 10 min taxi ride to the Volunteer House.
The local team provide a comprehensive orientation to prepare volunteers for the Conservation Experience ahead. After orientation and over the weekend there is ample opportunity to meet the other volunteers, rest and relax and perhaps enjoy some independent local sightseeing.
- Arrival Day: FRIDAY, prior to 11am
- Departure Day: FRIDAY
- Arrival Airport: Wellington International Airport, Wellington, New Zealand (WLG)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers are accommodated in a heritage listed house in Wellington's Melrose district. Situated atop a hill and within beautiful gardens the site affords expansive beach and mountains views. Located within walking distance of surf beaches and local shops and a short bus ride into the central city, it offers is an excellent base from which to explore Wellington and surrounds.
Accommodation is shared and volunteers should bring their own sleeping bag. The program fee covers accommodation from the Friday of arrival until the Thursday preceding the final day volunteering. Volunteers should fly out Friday evening or arrange their own accommodation that night.
All the usual amenities are provided including western-style bathrooms, hot showers, laundry facilities, kitchen facilities and communal areas for relaxing. Wi-Fi may not always be available in remote locations.
Three meals per day are included in the program fee. Breakfast will typically be self-serve cereals, bread or toast and condiments. Lunch is prepared by volunteers with ingredients provided and is likely to be sandwiches and fruit. Volunteers are also involved in preparing dinner which may include pasta, roasts and vegetarian dishes. Fresh, local cuisine after a hard day’s work – nothing tastes better!
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
Volunteers are advised to travel as lightly as possible. However, the following items are essential for all projects:
Gardening gloves to protect your hands
Long trousers for sun and skin protection
Strong boots - wear strong work or walking (hiking) boots that will protect your feet and ankles. Make sure they are comfortable!
Wet weather clothing - A rain jacket is recommended for all volunteers as it can rain anytime. Also consider bringing wet weather trousers for winter propgrammes
Long sleeved shirts with a collar for sun and skin protection
Wide brimmed sun hat to protect you from the sun
Warm hat to keep you warm on colder days
Personal drink bottle - volunteering is thirsty work
Sunscreen and sunglasses - Choose sunscreen with the highest sun protection factor. Please note that the New Zealand causes sunburn much quicker than in other parts of the world.
Safety vests are supplied.