A trip to New Zealand is nothing short of a dream coming true! Known to be one of the most underrated destinations, this country has a lot in store for travelers. From the breathtaking views of the Southern Alps to the richness of the Maori culture – New Zealand was hidden from the world for a long time until the surreal beauty of ‘The Middle Earth’ was brought to us by the Hobbits of Shire!
Well, if you’ve seen the Lord of the Rings series and have been planning to travel to New Zealand forever, we don’t blame you! As it is rightly said, a trip to New Zealand is an adventure that has to be lived to be believed – and when you decide to volunteer in New Zealand, there are chances that you’ll weave memories that will surely last for a lifetime!
If you’re considering traveling to New Zealand to volunteer, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you plan your trip.
What’s the best way to travel to New Zealand?
The most convenient means of traveling to New Zealand is by air. Many major airlines provide direct flights to New Zealand, and you can easily reach the country with non-stop flights from destinations including America, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.
Can I know more about how to get a Visa for New Zealand?
If you hold citizenship in the UK or are a citizen of a country with a visa waiver agreement in place with New Zealand, you are allowed to stay in the country for up to 3 months without the need for a visa.
However, obtaining a visa for New Zealand is a relatively straightforward process. You can easily complete the online application form and choose the appropriate visa type that suits your purpose.
For detailed information about the visa requirements and application process, you can refer to the official New Zealand immigration website or contact our Program Advisor for further guidance.
Volunteering Solutions, in association with local NZ organizations, has curated Conservation Volunteer Programs across various locations like Auckland, Christchurch, Punakaiki & Wellington, and these are perfect for those who love to spend time amidst nature and want to contribute effectively towards the ecosystem. Whether you are a high school/ college student or a gap year traveler looking for a meaningful work experience abroad, your volunteering experience in New Zealand will help you learn a lot about the environment as well as the flora and fauna of the country.
Why should I volunteer in New Zealand?
New Zealand is a stunning country situated in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, characterized by two main islands known for their volcanoes and glaciers. However, in recent decades, significant changes in weather and a general increase in temperature have had a profound impact on the country’s natural beauty.
As a volunteer, you’ll get a unique opportunity to experience New Zealand’s pristine wilderness. By contributing to activities such as track cutting, pest control, and animal monitoring, you’ll leave a lasting impact on the conservation of these areas and the creatures that call them home for years to come. Some of the most popular sites for these activities include Long Gully Bush Reserve and Pigeon Bush Reserve.
Whether you’re engaged in tree planting during the winter, tree releasing in the spring and summer, or preparing the ground for planting in the autumn, you’ll have plenty of fun and always discover something new during your volunteering journey in New Zealand.
What are the requirements to join the Conservation Program in New Zealand?
To join the volunteer programs in NZ, you must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project. You need to have an open mind and a flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. Since most of the work is based in the outdoors, you must be physically fit and prepared to get your hands dirty. You’ll be working under professional conservationists, hence, no prior work experience is required. You’ll be guided all throughout, to ensure that you get to contribute in the best possible manner.
What are the main highlights of the Conservation Program in New Zealand?
To put it simply, as a volunteer, your main task would be to reduce the impact of changes in weather and an overall rise in the temperature in the island country. It’ll be an incredible opportunity for you to gain practical conservation skills that have a huge impact on important wetlands, coastal sand dunes, woodlands, and more.
As a participant in the Conservation Volunteering Program, your primary responsibilities will include:
- Planting trees in locations like Tawharanui Regional Park as part of the ongoing restoration of this incredible landscape. This effort has led to the successful reintroduction of many endangered birds, including the rare and iconic New Zealand flightless Kiwi.
- Enhancing the habitat for rare birds and fish, such as bittern, pateke, and mudfish, through planting and weeding activities at Lake Serpentine.
- Contributing to the enhancement of native biodiversity and the creation of additional habitat for native birds by removing invasive weeds that pose a threat to native plantings.
Volunteering Project in North Island, New Zealand
The North Island is abundant with rivers, volcanic areas, pristine yet breathtaking beaches, dense rainforests, and rural landscapes. If you decide to participate in the North Island project, your journey will commence from Auckland or Wellington.
Volunteering Project in South Island, New Zealand
In the South Island, conservation programs are primarily based in and around Punakaiki, which can be accessed either directly or via Christchurch. This region is less densely populated than the North Island and renowned for its stunning coastline and exceptional national parks.
As a volunteer, your primary responsibility will be the restoration of coastal land adjacent to Paparoa National Park. This involves tasks such as tree planting, seed collection, and weed removal. Punakaiki, famous for the world-renowned Pancake Rocks, offers a fantastic opportunity to explore this distinctive coastal landscape.
What is the ideal duration to volunteer in New Zealand and how much will it cost?
You can spend as low as 1 week to a maximum of 8 weeks, volunteering in NZ. However, we’d suggest that you spend at least 2 weeks in New Zealand, learning and making an impact on the project.
Projects start at 520 USD for 1 week, which includes your accommodation and meals, in-country transport, and 24*7 program support.
How much time will I spend on conservation projects? How much free time will I have to explore the country?
Our programs typically operate from Monday to Friday, allowing volunteers to enjoy their weekends free. However, please note that this schedule may vary on remote projects, where volunteers are stationed in a remote location for 10 days followed by an extended break, or when weekend travel is necessary to reach a project site. The standard project hours are usually from 8 AM to 4 PM.
During the weekends, volunteers often use this time to venture out and explore nearby destinations. Our country coordinator will be available to assist you in planning your weekend getaways and making the most of your free time.
Here are a few simple steps to apply for volunteering in New Zealand:
1) Click here to apply by logging in.
2) Choose the project (and location, duration, etc).
3) Fill in your personal details.
4) Pay the application fee and YOU’RE ALL SET TO FLY OFF TO VOLUNTEER!
If you have any questions or need to know more about traveling to New Zealand to volunteer, you can write to us at [email protected] and our Program Advisors will get back to you.