Be a volunteer for this amazing Conservation Program in New Zealand with Volunteering Solutions, and learn through your experiences. You'll be working at Punakaiki, which is the gateway to the dramatic limestone country of the Paparoa National Park and the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes, in the rugged and wild West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Being a volunteer, you'll contribute to the Punakaiki Coastal Restoration Project which aims to restore native forest habitat for the vulnerable seabird, the Westland Petrel.
The Westland Petrel is one of New Zealand’s unique bird species with its only breeding location confined to a 5 km area in the foothills of the Paparoa Range. Westland Petrels return to their colonies to breed from April to October and can be viewed at dusk and dawn from the project site.
This volunteer and travel program enables you to explore some of the most incredible scenery on offer in New Zealand, taking you along the Arthur’s Pass alpine highway and the Coastal Road of the West Coast. A perfect choice for travelers, backpackers, gap year students and those who are keen to experience a short term volunteering - this is the best way to serve Mother Nature.
Day 1 - Welcome & Get Started
It's time to get started! Meet your host in Christchurch outside the Canterbury Museum. We’ll begin our 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, we’ll drive the stunning coastal road to Punakaiki.
This afternoon we’ll help you settle into your accommodation, provide your project induction and take you to explore the amazing limestone formations of the Pancake Rocks.
This evening we’ll view the Westland Petrels returning to their breeding colony from the Tasman Sea (April to October only).
Meals: Lunch, dinner
Days 2 & Day 3 - Volunteer At the Project Site
On the 2nd Day, we’ll begin helping to restore native forest habitat for the Westland Petrel in Te Ara T?iko Nature Reserve. Our 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 our cabin accommodation, enjoy the fantastic location close to the ocean and surrounded by rainforest and stunning views of Paparoa National Park.
You'll surely get to make some friends and share some good times! Sunsets, star-gazing and relaxing with your fellow volunteers are typical of our evenings after a busy day of volunteering outdoors.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Day 4 - Volunteer Work & Travel Time
In the morning, conservation activities continue at Te Ara T?iko Nature Reserve. After lunch, we’ll explore the stunning wilderness of Paparoa National Park including the Truman Track, featuring temperate rainforest, amazing rock formations, and impressive coastal views. Our last activity today will involve short trip north to Westport and Tauranga Bay to visit the local fur seal colony – an awesome wildlife experience not to be forgotten.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Day 5 - Time To Say 'Bye Bye'
Conservation activities will continue during the morning at the Te Ara Taiko Nature Reserve. After lunch we’ll 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 PM.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
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This is an active program, and you should be reasonably fit. If at any time you have a concern about your fitness for any activities, please speak to your Team Leader.
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