Volunteer Abroad FAQ Volunteering New Zealand

Voluntary Service in Environmental Conservation

Prior to departure to New Zealand

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

In order to apply for this project you need to be over 18 and have sufficient English skills to follow the course contents. 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 find a good flight and arrange your Visa application. There will be introductory meetings before each project starts. You will be provided with food and accommodations. Transfer between bureaus and projects will be organized by the local team. 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 Morbilli, Mumps and Rubella. 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 New Zealand 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?

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 night. Your baggage should weigh more than 15 kilograms due to space shortage. You will be able to store some of your clothes at city meeting points.

Arrival in New Zealand

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 Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch on your own. When you arrive at the airport you can take a bus or shuttle to get to the city. You will receive all the information you need to arrive at the bureau. If you want to change location during your stay you will have to pay for the transfer on your own.

What happens after my arrival?

After your arrival at the city there will be an introductory meeting at 11 a.m. at the bureau. There you will get all the information about the project you need. You have the first weekend off and 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 New Zealand

What is the project’s procedure?

You will start the project on Monday morning and work 5 days a week from 8 a.m. to 16 p.m. Every project has a duration of two weeks. Some projects in far off places might go on for 10 days with some free days following.

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

Your work depends on what kind of project location you pick. You will be actively involved in different types of environment and nature conservation. You will help protect the environment by planting trees, constructing hiking trails and fences. Furthermore you will be part of a project that monitors the environment and wildlife. You will also help cleaning up beaches and traditional sites. Volunteers will be distributed to the project sites depending on the current significance.

How big is the group?

To keep an overview and increase the learning effect the group size will consists of 6 to 10 volunteers.

Life on site in New Zealand

What is the accommodation like?

Your accommodation depends on the project and its location. The volunteers will usually sleep in shared dormitories with bunk beds, comfortable cabins, caravans or tents.

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?

You will be provided with three meals daily. The meals will be prepared by the whole team. For breakfast you will get cereals, bread or toast, some coffee or tea. For lunch you can prepare yourself a sandwich and have some fresh fruits. In the evening the whole team will eat a proper dinner.

Is it possible to receive vegetarian meals?

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

How are working hours and free time divided?

You will be working from Monday to Friday starting at 8 in the morning and ending at 4 in the afternoon. The working hours may vary depending on the day and conditions. Every project lasts about one or two weeks. Weekends are free. Some projects last longer and your days off are directly following the work days.

How can I spend my free time?

In New Zealand you can find all kinds of activities. You can spend your free time outside in the beautiful nature and try out some outdoor activities like kayaking or surfing. You can also try Bungee jumping and parachuting if you like. If you want you can also just go for a nice hike or take a boat tour through the fjords.

Do I have a contact person on site?

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

What costs 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, external transfers, 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 the telephone signals are present and you can easily find an internet café or Wi-Fi. If you are somewhere outdoors you must expect to be without internet or telephone signal for a couple of days.

What’s the weather like?

The weather conditions totally depend on the project’s location. The North has a tropical summer and the South has cold winters with temperatures below zero. Due to coastal influences the whole country has a rather mild climate. The further you go south the colder it gets. January and February are the warmest months and July is the coldest month.

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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