Volunteer Abroad Volunteer journey New Zealand

Discover New Zealand and become active as a volunteer

Prior to your arrival in New Zealand

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

To be able to sign up for this programme, you need to be at least 18 years old and have sufficient English skills. Since you will be outdoors a lot and sometimes working under high temperatures, this project requires a moderate level of physical fitness. Therefore, we ask you to hand in a doctor’s certificate confirming your state of health and physical fitness. You should be motivated to be part of serious and dedicated nature conservation projects. You should be fine with living and working in a team but should also be able to work independently. Depending on your nationality you might need a visa for your time in New Zealand. 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 to New Zealand we will help you organize and plan your whole stay, assist you in arranging flights and support you with your visa application. During your time in the programme you will be accommodated in hostels with dorm rooms, shared bathrooms and a communal kitchen. Food will be provided so that you can prepare your own meals (except for breakfast on your first and dinner on your last day as well as meals on the weekend). You will also receive the equipment you need for carrying out your volunteer work. The staff of the project and the Natucate team can be contacted 24/7 if you need support. Included are also visits of the following highlights of the southern part of New Zealand: Paparoa National Park incl. Pancake Rocks and Putai Blowhole, visit of the seal colony at Tauranga Bay/Westport, visit of Arthur’s Pass National park incl. Truman Tracks and a hike to the Devil’s Punchbowl waterfalls. Flights, insurance, visa fees, airport transfer and personal expenses are not included.

Do I need certain medical precautions or requirements?

Before your departure you will need to get travel health insurance. It is also important that you are physically fit as you will carry out physical work. We recommend you check with your doctor if you are vaccinated against Diphtheria, Morbilli, Mumps and Rubella (MMR), Whooping cough, Influenza, Hepatitis A/B, Polio, Pneumococcus and Tetanus. You should bring a small first-aid kit, including band-aids, painkillers, medication in case of diarrhea, electrolytes, antihistamines and, if you need, special medication (please bring enough). Regarding your medical precautions and your vaccination, you should consult your doctor and inform yourself on the foreign department’s website about possible risks and how to prevent them.

How long can I participate?

You can participate for five days or up to four weeks.

What kind of equipment should I take with me?

Long and sturdy pants, long-sleeved shirts as well as sturdy and waterproof boots. Don’t forget to bring warm and waterproof clothing should not be missing in your backpack. You should also bring warm and waterproof clothing. Especially during the summer month clothes which you can wear in layers are very useful. As you will spend most of your time outdoors, your clothes should be durable. A sleeping bag, a towel and perhaps a pillow should also be on part of your equipment as well as a backpack, a hat for sun protection, sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellant and a refillable water bottle are very useful. Moreover, you should not forget your passport, an alarm clock, your phone and other items which you may use in your leisure time. Please do not forget that your luggage is limited to a maximum of 15 kg in this project.

Arrival in New Zealand

How do I arrive at my destination? Do I need to organize it myself?

We will support you in booking a good flight connection. You need to book your flights to the airport in Christchurch (CHC). After your arrival in Christchurch, one day before the actual programme starts, you will make your own way to your accommodation in the city which is not included in the programme fee. On the next morning you will meet the other participants at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch.

During the programme in New Zealand

What are my main tasks?

The programme combines conservation volunteering and travelling. Generally, the first half of your day will be filled with volunteer work in different nature conservation projects: Planting trees or seedlings, removal of invasive plant species, the implementation of small research studies as well as renaturation and cleaning activities. During the rest of the day your team will travel and explore the South Island of New Zealand and visit the highlights of this beautiful place on earth.

How many people can participate?

There are up to nine participants in the programme.

Life on site in New Zealand

What does the accommodation look like?

You will be accommodated in small huts near the Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki, together with the other participants. There are only dorm rooms and you will share the bathroom facilities as well as the kitchen with the others.

Are meals organized or do I need to prepare them by myself?

As a participant you will receive three meals per day as well as small snacks in between. You will be provided with groceries which you can use to prepare your own meals. The communal kitchen can be used to cook for yourself or with the others.

How is work and leisure time divided?

During the morning hours you will spend your time volunteering in small species conservation projects (starting a around 08:00 am). The rest of the afternoon will be spent travelling with the group – until approx. 05:00 / 06:00 pm. In the evening you have time for your own activities.

Is there a contact person on site?

Yes, you and the team have a team leader by your side for the entire duration of your programme stay. You can also contact the Natucate team anytime.

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

You should plan in some extra money for the time you will be spending in New Zealand before the project starts as well as for personal excursions or expenses.

The official currency in New Zealand is New Zealand dollar. A couple of weeks before your departure you can order a certain amount of New Zealand dollars at your bank. You also have the possibility to exchange money at the airport or withdraw money with a credit card at the airport or in the city.

How can I contact friends and family at home?

When you arrive at the accommodation in the late afternoon, you will have the opportunity to send a message to your friends and family or call them. Sometimes there is Wifi at the accommodation, but the mobile network can be limited. When you arrive at Christchurch you can buy a local SIM Card. This enables you to use the internet and call your family. Please do not expect the network to operate as smoothly in your home country!

What’s the weather/climate like?

The climate in Punakaiki and on New Zealand’s west coast is generally mild. But the weather can suddenly change, and it may start raining – so don’t forget to bring waterproof clothing! Another advice: It can happen that you will experience all four seasons in one day.

What happens in case of an emergency?

All team leaders carry mobile phones and are in contact with the area manager on a daily basis. All of them are furthermore trained in first aid – in a real emergency, participants will be taken to a doctor / to hospital.

What rules and regulations do I need to follow?

Always listen to your team leader’s instructions and security advice. Moderate consumption of alcohol is allowed but only in the evening when you are finished working. If you are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs during working hours you will be immediately suspended from the programme – without a refund.

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