The Conservation Program
This inspiring project was created with the goal of helping to preserve the ecologically significant environment in and around Auckland. The conservation program allows volunteers to take part in vital conservation work to preserve the natural environment and wildlife in some of the most beautiful and threatened parks and reserves across this breathtaking region. From maintaining wetlands and replanting inner-city parks to helping after natural disasters and even whale strandings, volunteers will work across any number of projects and situations with the same objective – to preserve the region’s natural heritage. From volcanic peaks and rugged black sand West Coast beaches to native forests and beautiful East Coast white sandy bays, Auckland has an awe-inspiring natural environment that needs protection. This program plays a vital role in protecting New Zealand’s wildlife and environment in urban, regional and remote locations. From working with the most threatened species, to assisting in environmental restoration, volunteers make a huge difference.
Goals of this Project:
- Protect New Zealand’s beautiful parks, reserves and natural heritage
- Protect many species of wildlife from extinction
- Restore and open more parks and reserves to the public for them to appreciate and learn more about their significance
- Enable inter-cultural exchange between all parties and teach international visitors more about environmental practices and New Zealand
How You Can Help
Volunteers work to conserve, restore, rehabilitate and manage land using conservation tools and people power to improve conservation land and to provide access for people to enjoy and appreciate nature. Like many conservation programs, a willing volunteer labor force is essential to the success of the program. Volunteers will assist program staff with tasks that are essential to conservation projects such as planting, weeding and mulching around native trees, removing invasive pest plants, fence removal and repairs, seed collection, plant propagation and creating walking tracks.
Other projects may include wildlife rescue and surveys or regenerating an inner-city park – all projects play their part in conserving Auckland’s natural environment and animal life. Working with 4-10 other volunteers, under the direction of a Team Leader, teams work alongside local communities, environmental groups, universities and conservation experts on well-planned and managed, safe, valid and essential projects.
This is a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to learn about conservation issues and gain practical conservation skills and earn references and conservation certificates.
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
- 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 largest and most populous city, Auckland. Situated in the North Island and known locally as the ‘City of Sails’ for its harbours and inlets, Auckland is also home to some 50 dormant volcanos which characterise its skyline from almost every viewpoint. Just a short drive from the city are stunning beaches, vast national parks, bushland, farmland and nature in all its abundance.
Volunteers in Auckland are based at Ātiu Creek regional park, 90mins drive from the city centre.
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 Auckland International Airport and take a 30 min taxi ride to the offices of our local partner.
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.
Volunteers may move to a Regional Office after orientation, travelling by train or by bus (organised by the local team) or may remain in the central Auckland accommodation. In either case the Team Leader will provide pick-up from the accommodation at around 8:30am Monday morning.
Detailed inductions take place on the project site, conducted by the Team Leader.
- Arrival Day: FRIDAY, prior to 11am
- Departure Day: FRIDAY
- Arrival Airport: Auckland International Airport, Auckland, New Zealand (AKL)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers are primarily hosted in Volunteer Houses. 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 available the Volunteer House, including western-style bathrooms, laundry facilities, kitchen, communal areas for relaxing and hot showers. Wi-Fi may not always be available in remote locations.
Three meals per day are included in the program fee. Breakfasts 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.