Volunteer in New Zealand with Volunteering Solutions and live amidst nature, being a part of the Conservation Program. No matter whether you are a high school/ college student or a gap year traveler looking for a meaningful work experience abroad, this program would be perfect for all who are keen on doing something for the environment and eager to learn more about the flora and fauna of the country.
A beautiful island country with vast stretches of jagged mountains, rolling pasture land, steep fiords, pristine trout-filled lakes, raging rivers, scenic beaches, and active volcanic zones - New Zealand is nothing short of a paradise on Earth! Consisting of two main islands - named as the North Island and South Island and many smaller ones in the South Pacific Ocean, this archipelago lies 1,600km (1,000 mi) south-east of Australia. Often called as 'The Land of Kiwis' - derived from the kiwi, a native flightless bird, which is a national symbol of New Zealand.
The Conservation Volunteering Program in New Zealand is perfectly designed for those who are looking for an ethical, fun-filled and thrilling experience while working for the ecosystem and helping to create a better environment. Needless to say, there will be ample scope to travel across the islands, visiting some of the gorgeous landscapes on Earth.
The concept of volunteering differs from a normal ‘holiday’ in many ways. Volunteering is time willingly given in order to make a difference, without aiming for a financial gain. It’s all about doing something for the benefit of someone, or something, else – in this case, the environment! Although volunteering means giving time and effort to a cause, there are of course benefits for the individual volunteer as well. Some of the skills that volunteers can expect to gain while taking part in our programs include:
Teamwork: our projects all take place in teams, led by one of our friendly Team Leaders. Sometimes, you peers are local people, sometimes they are from other countries or a mixture of the two. There may be a lot of others (maximum of 10 volunteers per team) or just a couple of them.
Communication and People Skills: being part of a team of volunteers in a different country is a great way to build communication and people skills! It’s a really enjoyable aspect of our program, and even the shyest volunteer can build their confidence as part of a friendly group volunteering for a common aim.
Adaptability / Self-Management: volunteers set themselves a challenge just by deciding to volunteer in the first place. Following through and completing their commitment is a great outcome and something to be proud of. Adaptability is demonstrated by living in another country as an independent adult volunteer.
There's only 1 project - the Conservation Volunteering Program, and the minimum duration to be a part of any project is 1 week to a maximum of 8 weeks. Although there's no fixed time to apply for the projects, we would suggest you apply as soon as you decide to volunteer. You must apply at least 45 days before traveling abroad to join your project. The procedure to apply is very simple. You simply have to create an account, and then Login to your 'My Account' to update the details as required and pay your Program Fee.
The program is available throughout the year (except the Christmas Season from December 21st to January 7th) and one can choose the duration from 1 week to 8 weeks, depending on their convenience. The Conservation Program is meant for those who love to spend time amidst nature and want to connect with nature in the most meaningful manner.
Volunteers must book flights to their respective volunteering destinations. All major New Zealand airports are well connected to the rest of the world. The recommended airlines are: QANTAS Airways, British Airways, Thai Airways, Emirates, Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Air Asia.
Volunteers traveling to New Zealand would need to have a passport valid for at least 6 months as well as a visa (except the exempted countries). Get in touch with the Program Advisors to know more about the Visa.
Considering the fact that New Zealand is located in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are at opposite times to those in the northern hemisphere. The months of December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter, and September to November is spring. However, you can visit the country at any time of the year. The coastal areas are usually pleasant throughout the year.
New Zealand is a tourist-friendly destination and hundreds of people from several parts of the world have landed up in the country in last few years. However, you have to use your prudence to stay safe. For example, stay in a group or with the fellow volunteers, especially when you want to hit the bar or go to grab a drink. Inform your coordinator if you have plans to explore the city alone, keep your emergency contact details always with you. Your pre-departure guidebook will be a good source of information for you and you must read that diligently.
Before you travel to New Zealand, you must consult your physician and take the vaccinations as instructed. We generally suggest our volunteers to take the Yellow Fever Vaccine (Required if traveling from a YFV infected country), Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Tetanus vaccines. You must also carry your regular medicines along with you, in case you need them.
You need to get a Travel and Medical Insurance before setting out for a volunteering trip. VolSol also provides the insurance facilities, at an additional cost.
Projects normally run for 5 days per week, with one or two days free per week for relaxing or sightseeing. Project hours are from 8 am – 4 pm daily, although this can vary on some projects when required by seasonal conditions or project activities.
Volunteers travel to a different project location every week or two. This means that in a 6-week Conservation Experience, volunteers will generally visit at least 3 different project locations, and will usually undertake 2 or 3 different types of project activities, depending on conservation needs and project availability at the time. We incorporate as much variety into our program as possible, while focussing on essential conservation as the main outcome.
The evenings would be relaxing, and volunteers can head out to explore the local markets, or stay at the accommodation and get to know their peers better.
During the weekends, you can head out to spend some time on the beaches, learn to surf or soak in the sun. Other than that, you can also choose to explore some of the popular nature zones including Fiordland National Park, Tongariro National Park, Waitomo Caves, Abel Tasman National Park, Lake Wanaka etc.
During the Conservation Program in New Zealand, volunteers are usually placed in teams of between 6 and 10 people, sometimes more. A Conservation Project Team Leader manages each team. The Team Leader provides all training required on-site, explains the conservation aims of the project to the volunteers, and is responsible for the safe conduct and management of each project.
All accommodation and meals are included during the program, on weekends (free time) as well as during the project days.
This starts from the Friday when the volunteer arrives to begin their program. The first meal is dinner on Friday evening, and accommodation is also included from Friday night onwards.
Accommodation: This varies according to project and location. Typical accommodation can include volunteer houses, caravans, hostels, bunkhouses, and camping (we supply tents). Volunteers should bring a sleeping bag, and be prepared to share bedrooms and bathrooms.
Meals: Our meals reflect the local diet within Australia and New Zealand.
For breakfast, we supply cereals, bread or toast, tea, and coffee. Lunch is normally a self-made sandwich and fruit; in the evening we enjoy a meal prepared by the group, typically something like pasta, roast or a vegetarian option.
Volunteers help with the preparation of meals and cleaning up of dishes, plus some domestic duties as required. We rely on every volunteer to participate fully in the program, and the evening meal is a popular part of the day.
No reimbursement is made for volunteers who miss meals or choose not to use accommodation on weekends.
Our program is suitable for adult volunteers aged 18 – 70.
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.
You need to declare any pre-existing medical conditions, allergies or injuries when you make your booking. The information you provide is kept in confidence, but it will help us to manage your condition safely. It’s always best to tell us so that we can look after you properly.
In some cases, we may ask you to obtain some further information from your doctor before we can accept your booking.
If we feel that we are not able to accept your booking because we do not think it will be safe for you to take part, we reserve the right to refuse the booking. In this case, we will, of course, give a full refund of any money paid so that you can find an alternative program to join.
No, you will need to make your own way to the meeting point/office which is your starting point. All the meeting points/offices are in reasonably central locations, and we will provide directions to help you get there. You need to plan to arrive at the office by 11 am on Friday morning, and be ready to start your program.
If you are a citizen of the UK or any country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand, you can stay in the country for 3 months without a Visa. However, getting a Visa isn't much of a difficult task. You can simply fill the Online Application form and opt for the Visa. For more information regarding the Visa, you can check here or get in touch with our Program Advisor.
We provide wholesome food based on a typical local diet for the volunteers in New Zealand. Meals are a group activity with all volunteers helping with cooking and cleaning. Meal examples include cereals, toast, tea and coffee for breakfast; sandwiches and fruit for lunch; and meals like pasta, BBQ, curries or stir-fries for dinner.
Every volunteer is different and therefore spending money requirements vary. Some volunteers spend more on going out on weekends, doing touristic activities and buying souvenirs etc., so consider your own spending habits and budgeting abilities when it comes to deciding how much money to bring. The amount of spending money you bring is entirely up to you – it varies from volunteer to volunteer. While you are in the program, you only need enough spending money for social activities and sightseeing on weekends.
All food, accommodation, and travel costs are included while you are volunteering and on weekends in between volunteer projects. You will need to budget some money for laundry costs (laundromats are commonly available with coin-operated washers and dryers).
Yes, all accommodation and bathrooms on this program are shared.
Depending on the project location and style of accommodation, rooms may be shared or there may be separate rooms for male and female volunteers.
You will usually be able to find an internet café or library with internet access on weekends. Internet access is not provided at volunteer accommodation – even if you have your own laptop, wireless broadband is not often readily available outside major cities.
It's always better to travel light. As space is limited, we ask that volunteers keep their luggage to a maximum of 15kgs in a backpack or soft-sided bag. We suggest that volunteers bring a small daypack to carry lunch, sunscreen, water bottle etc.
This is absolutely a personal choice. You should be aware that we cannot provide insurance or guarantee safe storage for items like laptops – you will need to take full responsibility for looking after it.
Mobile coverage can be limited outside major cities.
As we have limited spots available in our programs and we serve on first come first basis, it is strongly recommended to apply for the program and reserve your spot in the program well in advance. You can book your spot in the program by filling an online form and pay the application fee.
Once you complete your application, your individual 'My Account' will be active in which you will receive your placement confirmation after which you can pay the program fees. You can pay the program fees later as well in installments, but 45 days before the program starts.
After you complete your application, your personalized ‘My Account’ will be active. You will need to upload your CV/Resume along with your photo in the same. Our backend team and the placement site takes around 10-12 days to review your application. After we review your CV and documents, your booking is confirmed and booking confirmation is updated in your ‘My Account’. Some projects need a mandatory criminal background check and the same is mentioned in the project info of your program. Approval of your application depends on your qualification and eligibility criteria for each project.
As long as you wish! We would say, the more the better! Most of the volunteers join our program for at least four weeks, but many stay much longer. Remember that you can book a number of starting locations and arrange your own travel to fit volunteering in with your travel plans around New Zealand. Our programs run in weekly blocks, starting on Fridays at 11 am and finishing on Fridays after 4 pm.
Note: If you are staying more than one week, weekend meals and accommodation are of course included.
Yes, of course, many volunteers choose to make bookings from two or more starting locations. If you choose this option, you’ll need to arrange and pay for your own travel between starting locations. You should either leave a week in between your bookings or arrange to re-join at your new starting location on Monday morning as we cannot accommodate volunteers arriving on weekends.
We accept bookings from individuals – you can apply by yourself, or with one friend. For groups larger than two, we recommend you consider booking onto different teams, or choose a group booking if you all wish to be together on the same project. If you’re volunteering by yourself, don’t worry –most people join as individuals and you’ll make friends very quickly!
No – just be prepared to join in the best of your ability! There will always be a Team Leader with you, who is there to explain the project to you (including the conservation reasons), show exactly you what to do and how to do it safely. You’ll learn plenty of new skills on this program.
Yes. The Orientation Session takes place on Friday when you start your program. We’ll explain everything you need to know, including essential safety information, and introduce you to our staff and fellow volunteers. After that, you’ll have some free time to relax and get to know the other volunteers, before starting your first project on Monday.
As most of our programs are dependent on seasonal conditions as well as a conservation priority, we usually assign resources and volunteers around 2 weeks before each project starts. We’ll let you know what activities you’ll be doing at your induction on arrival.
No. Our program varies, depending on the time of year, weather and conservation priorities. We’ll put together a program of conservation activities for you.
It will depend on circumstances and the need, of course. On some weeks, you make complete a major project, such as being part of a team planting a thousand trees or building a walking track. On other weeks, you may do a variety of activities every day. Each week or two, your projects will change to a new location. We include as much variety in the program as possible while maintaining the focus on conservation priorities because this is what you have volunteered to help with.
Our programs usually run from Monday to Friday, with weekends free. This may change from time to time on remote projects, where volunteers spend 10 days in a remote location, followed by a longer break, or when travel to a project site is required on weekends. Project hours are normally from 8 am – 4 pm.
Unless you’re on a remote project, weekends are your free time to relax and enjoy some local sightseeing. Food and accommodation are provided. Ask our staff for suggestions if you need some sightseeing ideas!
Our programs finish on Fridays. Activities are normally completed by 4 pm, however, you may then need to travel back with the rest of your team to our office or catch a train back to the city (we’ll organize travel for you). Our Team Leaders will usually offer to drop you off near the town center, station or bus stop if it’s convenient, or you can call a taxi to pick you up from the office.
Incase you are a returning volunteer, you’ll get a $50 discount on the application fee. Also, in case you are coming in a group of 5 or more, you ask for a discount and we’ll surely look into it.
Yes, Volunteering Solutions will provide you a Certificate of Completion, once you finish your work.