Although most of Australia is semi-arid or desert, it boasts a wide diverse range of habitats from alpine heaths to tropical rainforests, and is recognised as megadiverse. Many of Australia's ecoregions, and the species within those regions, are threatened by human activities. Numerous protected areas have been created to preserve these unique ecosystems.
About the project
All projects start in major cities in Australia such as Syney, Melbourne, and Brisbane (there is a list that you will choose from). The volunteering work is relatively similar in all start points-- the main difference between the locations is the climate. Northern Australia, such as Darwin, Perth and Cairns offer warm temperatures while Melbourne, Sydney and Tasmania have cooler temperatures. .
The following are examples of typical projects volunteers experience during their placements:
A two-week placement in Victoria, starting from Melbourne, could see you spending a week in countrysides of Victoria, helping with land restoration, before heading to the Great Ocean Road for a week of boardwalk construction with fabulous views!
A four-week placement in the Northern Territory could see you helping on conservation projects in National Parks, along the coast, or in the rainforest, while six weeks in the Alice might see you travelling out to Uluru (Ayers Rock) to help control invasive weeds around this Australian icon, or helping with bird surveys on a remote cattle station.
A six-week placement in Queenslandhere could see you visiting the world's largest sand island, World Heritage-listed Fraser Island for a couple of weeks doing boardwalk construction, followed by some time in and around Brisbane helping with urban conservation projects such as tree planting and weed control, before finishing with a fortnight of rainforest re-afforestation.
Volunteer work and contribution
The projects offer volunteers the opportunity to contribute in a practical way to conservation of the Australian environment. The projects involves:
Erosion and salinity control
Construction and maintenance of walking tracks
Endangered flora and fauna surveys
Working hours and days:
Volunteers generally spend one or two weeks at each project site. Project hours are generally from 8am to 4pm. Projects take place in both urban and rural areas. Be prepared for the weather - different parts of Australia can be very hot or cold, so you'll need appropriate clothing (and sleeping bag) for the climate in the area you've chosen to visit.
Accommodation & food
Accommodation varies each week, but includes caravans, hostels, sharers' quarters, bunkhouses, and camping (tents are supplied). Bring a sleeping mat as well as your sleeping bag, and be prepared to share.
Food is supplied and everyone helps with cooking, cleaning and washing up. Dietary requirements such as vegetarian or vegan can be catered for - just remember to let the project organizers know when you arrive.
Australia has lots of activities to offer depending on where your project takes you. Kick back on a beach in Western Australia, lose yourself in Melbourne, visit hundred year old giant trees in the forests of Tasmania or simply visit the Sydney Opera House.
Min age 18 - Max age 70
Good physical fitness
Love of the outdoors and interest in the environment
Full travel & medical insurance
Visa to Australia
Immunizations (please consult your doctor)
Items to bring: sleeping bag and mat, boots, long sleeved shirts, long trousers, hat to protect you from the sun and gardening gloves. We also recommend you bring sunscreen and sunglasses, and some insect repellent
To apply for this program, see Australian Conservation Experience