Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Conservation Volunteers?

Originally founded in 1982 in Australia, Conservation Volunteers was launched in New Zealand in 2006. Our non-profit organisation has grown to become the largest practical conservation organisation in Australasia with offices in the North and South Islands of New Zealand as well as all states and territories of Australia. Conservation Volunteers completes more than 2000 conservation projects across Australia and New Zealand each year.

Who can volunteer?

Conservation Volunteers welcomes people with a love of the outdoors and interest in the environment to take part as a volunteer.

Our volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds, and you don’t need any prior skills or experience. To volunteer on an overnight project you need to be aged between 17 and 70 (or over 18 if you are an international visitor to New Zealand).
We have volunteer opportunities to suit your availability and interest. You can:

  • Volunteer regularly and help the environment in your local area.
  • Volunteer on the weekend and enjoy the outdoors.
  • Volunteer for a unique holiday and visit some fantastic locations.
  • Volunteer with your colleagues as part of our Employee Volunteering program.

To find a volunteer opportunity to match your interests, browse our projects.

Is it difficult?

You should be in good health and be reasonably fit, and prepared to take part to the best of your ability. We ask all prospective volunteers to declare any medical conditions, allergies, disabilities or existing injuries that may affect participation. Our staff will discuss these with you in a confidential manner.

You should be aware that Conservation Volunteers projects are usually labour-intensive, and take place in both urban and rural areas. Be prepared to participate in all weather conditions. You’ll need to bring appropriate clothing for the weather.

All volunteers are provided with training on the project and safety instructions.

What sort of projects can I volunteer on?

Search for a range of available projects requiring volunteers.

Can I volunteer for just a day or a weekend?

Yes! Just search for single day and weekend projects.

Do I need any special skills?

You will be shown how to use all tools and equipment safely before you start the project and there will always be a Conservation Volunteers Team Leader with first aid training. Any essential safety equipment will be provided, and you will be shown how to use it.

Who are the other volunteers?

As a Conservation Volunteers volunteer you are part of a team of 6 to 10 volunteers, helping to conserve a part of New Zealand’s unique habitat. As well as making a real difference to the environment, volunteering is a great way to make friends. The other volunteers on your team might be travellers, students, or locals who have lived in the area for years.

Who are Conservation Volunteers Team Leaders?

All Conservation Volunteers projects are lead by an experienced Conservation Volunteers Team Leader. Our Team Leaders are a great source of knowledge and interest in the environment. They are enthusiastic and an expert in the practical conservation projects we operate. Above all, they want you to enjoy your experience as you help the environment.

How do I get to the project?

For each project there is a central meeting point. We will pick you up and travel together to the project site to minimise vehicle usage, returning to the same drop-off point at the end of the day/project.

What about food?

For projects which do not include an overnight stay, simply bring your lunch and water bottle with you.

For projects which do include an overnight stay, all meals are provided at a cost of $40 (including GST) per night for short stays of 1 – 3 nights, and for longer projects starting from $208 for a week-long Mini-Break.

Everyone helps with the cooking, cleaning and washing up. Don’t worry if you’re not a great cook as everyone can do something to help, even if it’s just chopping vegetables! Fresh produce, meat and vegetables are used as often as possible although this cannot be guaranteed every day, particularly on remote projects far from shops, so please make allowances.

Special diets, such as vegetarian, vegan or food allergies, can be catered for – please remember to let us know when you book.

On an overnight project what sort of accommodation can I expect?

Accommodation will vary due to the wide variation in the nature of projects and locations.
Typical accommodation can include caravans, hostels, shearer’s quarters, bunkhouses or camping (CV supplies tents).

You should bring a sleeping mat as well as your sleeping bag.

What do I need to wear?

You need to make sure you are wearing a comfortable long sleeved shirt and trousers, a wide brimmed sun hat and boots to protect your feet and ankles – Conservation Volunteers strongly recommends safety work boots with protective toe caps. Also bring wet weather clothing, a pair of strong gardening gloves, sunscreen (high protection factor), and a water bottle.

What else do I need to bring?

For day projects just your lunch and water bottle.

On overnight projects you will also need to bring a sleeping bag, sleeping mat, towel and toiletries. You may also consider bringing a mosquito net for some projects.

How much does it cost?

Projects which do not include an overnight stay are free – simply bring your lunch and water bottle.

Conservation projects which include an overnight stay cost $40 (including GST) per night for short stays of 1 – 3 nights, including all meals, accommodation and project-related travel. Concessions are available for students, job seekers and pensioners – please ask our friendly staff!

Longer projects start from $208 for a week-long Mini-Break. This includes all meals, accommodation and project-related travel.

Volunteer Now

It’s easy to get involved. Simply: