Volunteer Abroad Opportunities for Australians in Asia in 2023

calendar_today February 7, 2019
schedule min read


Before going into the details of the volunteering opportunities for Australians in Asia, let’s take a quick look at the fact that has led us here! Well, to keep it short, if you take a look at the list of countries from where people travel the most (locally and internationally), you’ll find that the Aussies have a place among the top 10. Nothing surprising on that note, right?

It’s true that Australians are known for their wanderlust and never-ending desire to explore near and far. It’s not just about luxury holidays or beachside retreats, but they are also known to be responsible travelers and keen on experimenting different things while on a vacay. It is one of the main reasons as to why the preference for an Australian traveler has now shifted to a more responsible approach; they choose volunteer travel as a part of their expedition.

Over the last decade, Volunteering Solutions has hosted thousands of Aussies and we’ve closely observed that they are more interested to explore & volunteer in the Asian nations.

There are several reasons for them to choose Asia, of which some are mentioned below:

  • Asia is located in closer proximity to Australia, and countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, etc can be reached in just a few hours.
  • The flight costs are extremely affordable and most of the SouthEast Asian nations have direct flights from the major Australian cities.
  • Aussies are keen to know deeply about Asian culture and heritage as well as intrigued by the diversity that persists in this part of the world.
  • Needless to say, Aussies love to party! And what can be better than experiencing the crazy nightlife in islands like Bali, Koh Phi Phi, etc.
  • Lastly, the volunteering opportunities available in Asia are meaningful, and the underprivileged societies are highly benefited by the contribution. Thus, Australians are eager to lend a helping hand to their neighbors!

Keeping these factors into consideration, here are some of the best volunteering opportunities for Australians in Asia in 2023:

Marine & Coral Reef Conservation Program in Bali, Indonesia

marine conservation in Bali

Bali is one of the most preferred destinations in Southeast Asia, and Aussies love to spend time in this picturesque Indonesian island. Being a part of this Conservation Program, you’ll get the opportunity to dive deep and get closer to the world underwater. It’ll be a meaningful opportunity for those who are keen on protecting marine life and contribute to the sustainability of the coral reefs. Volunteering Solutions, in association with The Indonesian Nature Foundation, is trying to build artificial reef structures such as fish domes, etc. and you can play a major role in this, by helping with constructing artificial reef structures, marine conservation education and helping to organize beach and reef cleaning sessions.

  • Distance between Australia and Bali – 2730 km
  • Travel time – Approx 6 hours from Eastern Australia (Brisbane, Sydney, etc) and 4 hours from Western Australia (Perth, etc)
  • Flights – Direct flights are available from most of the major Australian cities
  • Duration for volunteering – Min 2 weeks to max 12 weeks
  • Benefits – International work exposure, Certificate after program completion


Family Volunteer Adventure in Borneo, Malaysia

family volunteering malaysia

If you are from Australia and planning for a family vacation in Asia, then what can be better than volunteering in Borneo? The third-largest island in the world and the largest in Asia, Borneo has rich biodiversity and houses some of the unique species of plants & animals. Being a part of this adventurous journey, you and your family will get to explore the picturesque destination of Sabah in Borneo, walk through the rainforests, savor the tastes of delicious Malaysian cuisine, and work for the conservation of the natural habitat of animals like gibbons, orangutans, proboscis monkeys, sun bears, hornbills and the pygmy elephants. It’ll also be a learning experience for your children, who will definitely learn how to value nature and grow up to be responsible travelers.

  • Distance between Australia and Borneo – 3,574 km
  • Travel time – Approx 10-12 hours from Eastern Australia (Brisbane, Sydney, etc) and 6 hours from Western Australia (Perth, etc)
  • Flights – Direct flights are available from most of the major Australian cities to Kuala Lumpur
  • Duration for volunteering – 7 days (1 week)
  • Benefits – Contribute towards protecting the rainforests and the natural habitats of certain endangered species, Certificate after program completion


Childcare Volunteering Program in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

volunteering in vietnam

If you are one of those who just love to be around kids, then you must definitely choose to be a part of the Childcare Program in Vietnam. The placement is provided at orphanage centers for disabled children and other childcare centers in Ho Chi Minh City. Each of these centers gave around 75-100 children and there’s ample scope for each volunteer to help out. All you have to do is, shower these little ones with your love and care, play with them, teach them some basic English & Maths lessons, and help them dream of a better future.

Volunteering in Vietnam can be a tranquil experience as the generic lifestyle in this country is pretty laid back and subtle. You’ll also get enough time during the weekends to head out and explore the breathtaking Ha Long Bay, which is also marked as a UNESCO Heritage Site.

  • Distance between Australia and Ho Chi Minh City – 4,973 km
  • Travel time – Approx 8 hours 45 mins from Eastern Australia (Brisbane, Sydney, etc) and 6 hours from Western Australia (Perth, etc)
  • Flights – Direct flights (Scoot, Air Asia, Virgin Australia, Qantas, and Vietnam Airlines) are available from most of the major Australian cities
  • Duration for volunteering – Min 2 weeks to max 24 Weeks
  • Benefits – Opportunity to work with underprivileged kids and know more about the societal conditions of Vietnam’s capital, Certificate after program completion


Public Health Nutrition Volunteer in Tacloban, The Philippines


The Philippines, as we mentioned earlier, is one of the most favored destinations amongst the Aussies! And if you are eager to contribute meaningfully towards the development of the health and living conditions of the underprivileged ones, then you can be a part of this program which aims to rectify and improve the malnourished condition of infants, especially, those born in lower-income communities in and around the city of Tacloban.

This project is more on the lines of public awareness and includes a feeding program for malnourished children as well. Volunteers have to organize seminars and workshops for the local and rural communities and enlighten them about the benefits of a balanced diet and maintaining nutritional plans. During your free time, you can head out to explore Tacloban City and other places in Leyte.

  • Distance between Australia and Tacloban – 4,170 km
  • Flights – There are very few direct flights to Tacloban from Australian cities, which have extended layovers. It would be better to take a direct flight to Cebu or Manila and then travel ahead to Tacloban
  • Duration for volunteering – Min 2 weeks to max 24 Weeks
  • Benefits – Opportunity to work with underprivileged communities and spread awareness about good living and well being, Certificate after program completion


Elephants 2 Beaches Voluntour in Thailand

Thailand elephant volunteer project

The name only might have got you excited! Ah, well, this is one of the most popular programs and we call it a ‘voluntour’ because it comprises the best experiences of volunteering & traveling! If you are craving for a beachside holiday in Thailand, yet feel like spending a couple of days with the Gentle Giants, volunteering for their well being, then this, definitely, is the program for you!

In just 2 weeks, travel to the picturesque town of Chiang Mai, located in Northern Thailand and volunteer with the elephants, taking care of them. Spend time with the mahout community folks and know-how they have devoted their lives for the wellbeing of the elephants. Later, travel to relax and rejuvenate by the beaches in Koh Samui before heading off to Koh Phangan island! Well, the party will continue thereafter!

  • Distance between Australia and Chiang Mai – 6,167 km
  • Flights – There are very few direct flights to Chiang Mai from Australian cities, which have extended layovers. It would be better to take a direct flight to Bangkok and travel by coach/ train
  • Duration for volunteering – 2 weeks
  • Benefits – Opportunity to work with the loving elephants and enjoy the beach vibes of Thailand, Certificate after program completion

These are just a few of the popular programs that we thought of suggesting to you, but there are more than 30 amazing volunteering programs available across different countries in Asia for you to choose from! In case you are confused about choosing the perfect destination, then you can take this Quiz and know where you must go!

We hope that you’ll have a truly incredible volunteering experience in Asia with Volunteering Solutions!

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