When joining this programme, which combines volunteering and travel, you make a Plcontribution to protecting the endangered Westland Petrel and, at the same time, discover some of the most beautiful natural sites in New Zealand.
Your base is in Punakaiki, in close proximity to the breeding location of the Westland Petrel, one of New Zealand’s unique bird species. Each day, you and your international team are involved in different nature and wildlife conservation measures and, in this way, assist in preserving this wonderful bird species.
Visiting exceptional natural areas and wildlife habitats – such as the Pancake Rocks, Arthur’s Pass or the Tauranga Bay seal colony – enables you furthermore to experience New Zealand’s natural beauty in an incomparable way.
Be part of a fascinating programme and combine traveling New Zealand’s South Island with your voluntary commitment to protecting endangered wildlife species.
As a participant in this project you must be at least 18 years old and have good English skills. It is also important to be physically fit as you’ll be involved in physical work as a conservation volunteer. This is why we ask you to hand in a doctor’s certificate confirming that you are healthy and fit. Apart from being physically fit it is important to have the necessary motivation and commitment to be part of serious conservation projects. You should be able to work independently as well as in a team, be open-minded, flexible and passionate about nature.
First of all, you fly to Christchurch. Make sure to arrive in the city one day prior to the official start of the trip. You will spend the following night in a guest accommodation in town before setting off for the meeting location the next morning – the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch. Here you will meet your team and together you will start the journey.
The programme is characterized by a mix between exploring fascinating natural sites in New Zealand and helping to conserve endangered wildlife as a volunteer.
During the first half of the day, you and your team are usually involved in various conservation measures to protect New Zealand’s endangered Westland Petrel. In general, your tasks involve tree planting, weed control, seed collection, track maintenance and helping propagate plants.
The second half of your day is for exploring New Zealand’s incomparable landscapes. Magnificent Arthur’s Pass National Park, the world-famous Pancake Rocks and the fascinating fur seal colony in Tauranga Bay – you will visit some spectacular nature sites of New Zealand’s South Island before traveling back to Christchurch on the last day of the programme.
Together with other programme participants you’ll be accommodated in cosy cabins, close to New Zealand’s world-renowned Pancake Rocks. You’ll sleep in bunk bed, use communal bathroom amenities and a shared kitchen area. You’ll be provided with three meals per day. Meal-preparation is a shared responsibility – participants take turns helping to manage the meal preparation and clean-up.
Everybody interested in volunteering abroad should be able to adjust to entirely unfamiliar standards of living in their future host country. Therefore, we would like to point out the importance of being flexible and adaptable regarding the accommodation and sanitary facilities provided by the project. Those are very basic and – depending on the project – cannot be compared to European standards. The equipment and furnishings are limited to a minimum; air conditioning is not available. Depending on your host country occasional power blackouts or water outages are quite common. Please contact us if you have further questions about your accommodation. We are pleased to provide you with comprehensive information since we would like you to feel entirely prepared for your time abroad.
During the day you usually help protect New Zealand’s nature and the endangered Westland Petrel and explore special nature sites and destinations on New Zealand’s Northern South Island. The evening hours can be used for own activities: Spend time with your fellow team mates and review what you’ve experience during the day, play games or discover the area of your volunteer accommodation – star-gazing and enjoying beautiful sunsets are particularly popular leisure time activities. If you decide to stay in the programme for more than five days, you can also use the weekend(s) for your own activities.
Since 2008 volunteers dedicate themselves to the restoration of the region just south of Punakaiki village, bordering the Westland Petrel colonies. Predominantly used for farming and mining, the land has special ecological significance – on the one hand because of its proximity to Paparoa National Park, on the other hand because it is the only area of breeding colonies of the Westland Petrel. In 2010, the site was officially declared a nature reserve. It is with the help of dedicated national and international volunteers – being involved in tree planting, weed control, seed collection and the propagation of native plant species – that the survival of this important wildlife habitat and the conservation of New Zealand’s Westland Petrel can be assured.