Volunteer Abroad FAQ Volunteering Australia

Protecting and preserving Australia's natural reserves

Prior to departure to Australia

Do I need specific requirements or abilities to apply for this project?

You need to be 18 years or older and have sufficient English skills to apply for this project. Since this project requires you to be physically active, we need a doctor’s certificate confirming your state of health and physical fitness. Furthermore, you might need a Visa for your volunteering work. Depending on the duration of your stay and your destination the requirements might vary. You might check out the foreign department’s website for the Visa standards or ask the NATUCATE team directly.

What services are included?

Prior to your departure we will help you organize and plan your whole stay and save you a place in the project. We will help you arrange flights and Visa application. You will be provided with food and accommodations. Transfers between bureaus and projects will be organized by the local team. Furthermore, you will receive working clothes and work equipment. The team in New Zealand and NATUCATE in Germany will support you during the whole project. Flights are not included.

Do I need certain medical precautions or requirements?

You will need a travel insurance to start your volunteering work with NATUCATE. We can provide you with all the necessary information. In general you need to talk to your doctor and make sure you are vaccinated against Diphtheria, Morbilli, Mumps and Rubella (MMR). In case of injuries it is also advised to be vaccinated against Tetanus. For current information and warnings regarding your destination you should check out the homepage of the foreign department. In general Australia is a safe country without any severe sicknesses. Still you should inform yourself beforehand on the foreign department’s website about possible risks and how to prevent them.

What kind of equipment should I take with me?

The project will provide you with working equipment and safety clothes. You don’t need special clothing for the work, but you should pack outdoor clothing that is appropriate regarding the weather conditions. Remember that you will be spending a lot of time outdoors. We advise you to pack hiking boots, resistant pants, long sleeved shirts, water bottle, working gloves, rain clothes, sunscreen, hat and mosquito repellent. You also need warmer clothes for the nights. Your baggage should weigh no more than 15 kilograms due to space shortage. You will be able to store some of your clothes at city meeting points, if you want to pack more.

Arrival in Australia

How do I arrive at my destination, do I have to organize it myself?

We will support you during your organization and planning process. You will have to book your flight to Australia on your own. You should arrive at the project’s bureau on a Friday before 11 a.m. Once you arrived at the airport you can take a bus or shuttle to get into the city. You will receive all the information you need to arrive at the bureau in advance. If you want to change location during your stay you will have to pay for the transfer on your own, but we will help you organize it.

What happens after my arrival?

After your arrival there will be an introductory meeting at 11 a.m. at the bureau. There you will get all the information that you need about the project. You will even get to know the other participants and enjoy dinner together. The first weekend is off and you start working on Monday morning. The team on site will arrange your transfer to the projects location. Transfers during the project will also be arranged for you.

During the project in Australia

What is the project’s procedure?

Depending on your project you will be assigned to a bureau which will be responsible for you during the project. Your project starts on a Friday at 11 a.m. and ends on a Friday at 16:00 p.m. Before you start your work a preparation course will introduce you to the project.

What is my main function? Can I choose my tasks and will I be working independently?

During the project you will be part of a team that works on different nature conservation projects. You will be actively involved in protecting and reforesting the environment. You will plant crops and trees, collect seeds, maintain hiking trails, construct fences and protect animals. The tasks depend on the season, weather conditions and current needs.

Is it possible to change project sites?

Yes, it is possible and we also advise you to change your location during your stay. This way you will get to know Australia and see different regions. You can switch between projects on a two week basis, in some cases you can change after one week already. For example you could start working in Melbourne for four weeks and then go off to Adelaide for another two weeks. Between these projects you’d have one week off to relax and see the countryside.

Life on site

What is the accommodation like?

Your accommodation depends on the project and its location. The volunteers will usually sleep in shared dormitories with bunk bed, comfortable cabins, caravans or tents. Accommodations will be organized by the Australian team. You should pack a sleeping bag. Most of the time you will share your sleeping space with one further volunteer. You can check out all our locations on our website (http://www.natucate.com/freiwilligenarbeit/australien/).

Is it possible to get placed with a partner or friend?

Depending on the project it is possible to be placed with your partner or friend. You can also apply as a group if you want to. Depending on the open space you will have the chance to work on the same project.

How is the food provided?

During the project you will receive enough food over the day. You will have cereal, bread, toast, coffee and tea for breakfast. You can prepare yourself sandwiches and grab some fruits for lunch and enjoy a whole meal for dinner which is prepared by the whole team.

Is it possible to receive vegetarian meals?

It is possible to follow a vegetarian diet. Please inform us about your diet beforehand.

How are work time and free time divided?

During the week you will be working from 8 to 16 and have the weekends off. Sometime a project will take up to 10 days and the free days will follow the working days.

Do I have a contact person on site?

On site you will be working with a team of volunteers and project leaders. The project leaders will be your supervisors and may help you with your concerns.

What expenses do I have to expect during the project? Can I withdraw cash on site and do I have to pay in local currency?

In general you will not have any other kind of spending during the project since accommodation and food is provided. But you might need money for free time activities, trips, wash saloon or additional snacks you want to purchase. You can withdraw cash at the airport or any city.

How can I contact family and friends at home?

As long as you stay in the cities you will have telephone reception and can easily find an internet café or WiFi. If you are somewhere outdoors you must expect to be without internet or telephone reception for a couple of days.

What’s the weather like?

The weather depends on your project’s location. Australia has different climatic zones. You should inform yourself prior to your departure. Keep in mind that summer and winter times are oppositional to European seasons. You can also always ask the NATUCATE team for specific weather conditions in the area of your project.

Is there a prohibition regarding alcohol?

Yes, alcohol is strictly prohibited during the whole project. You may not drink at the project site, in the bureaus or vehicles. You may drink alcohol during your free time and go to a pub. Smoking is also prohibited.

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