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Ecovolunteer in a nature reserve in New Zealand

  • Protecting biodiversity
  • New Zealand
  • From age 18
  • Intermediate English
  • 2 to 12 weeks - November to March
  • À partir de 1690 €

Get involved in protecting New Zealand's fabulous forests! Experience a wonderful adventure and reconnect with nature, far from the city. All missions in Oceania here

Endemic species and thousand-year-old trees

New Zealand is one of the world's most isolated territories, known for its lush forests and endemic species. If its biodiversity is not given constant attention, invasive plants and urbanization could wipe out this treasure forever.
On this ecovolunteering mission, you will be working in a nature reserve in the north of New Zealand. This reserve overlooks the ocean and is essentially a forest environment. It's a unique place, far from any major city, with the first settlements just 2 kilometers away.

150 hectares of regenerating forest

The nature reserve comprises 150 hectares of regenerating tropical forest. A classified indigenous forest, where no logging is permitted. The many endemic species that live here, including the famous kiwi, require active protection against introduced parasites. Cows, possums, rabbits and feral goats indiscriminately graze on young plants, preventing forest renewal. Opossums, rats, ferrets and feral cats eat bird eggs and chicks.

Protecting native species

The aim of the program is to reduce the number of pests in order to give young plants and native birds a chance to mature. The reserve management works with the Ministry of the Environment, and volunteers work hand-in-hand with forest rangers and learn the latest nature protection techniques. 

The role of the ecovolunteer in New Zealand's nature reserve

As a volunteer, you'll learn about New Zealand's rainforest ecosystem and the animals that live there. You'll understand the conservation challenges faced by local authorities, thanks to the training you'll receive. You'll be helping to protect the biodiversity of four different forests, including one that is over a thousand years old.

You will receive in-depth training to achieve a high level in conservation. 

Ecovolunteers carry out a variety of tasks: 

  • Work in and around the sanctuary, such as gardening, vegetable garden maintenance, painting, building shelters...
  • Identification, marking and mapping of forest trails.
  • Study of plants, species such as New Zealand kiwis and other endangered species
  • Upkeep of the grounds and participation in various maintenance tasks.

You will learn

  • Find your way through a lush forest using a map, compass and landmarks.
  • To use a radio for communication or in case of emergency.
  • Plan, prepare and execute a number of conservation activities.
  • Identify and map forest trails.
  • À Identify New Zealand plants and trees.
  • Facing up to environmental challenges.
  • Kiwi protection techniques in New Zealand.
Departure every Monday between November and March.
DurationPrice to be paid on registration
2 weeks1690 €
3 weeks2090 €
4 weeks2490 €
5 weeks2890 €
6 weeks3290 €
7 weeks3690 €
8 weeks4190 €
10 weeks4990 €
12 weeks5790 €

Included in the price
Transport between Dargaville and the sanctuary
Supervision and guidance
Meals
Accommodation
Donation for the reserve

Not included in the price
Air tickets
Visa
Travel and repatriation insurance
Transport to and from Dargaville
  • 18 for girls and at least 20 for boys
  • Intermediate level of English
  • You will be interviewed if you wish to stay longer than three weeks.
  • All-risk travel insurance.
  • Be non-smoking and non-vegan.

Accommodation and meals

Accommodation is spartan but functional. You'll sleep in dormitories and have access to hot showers. You can also sleep in a tent in the trees. Hanging tents are comfortable and bring you closer to nature.
Everyone is invited to help prepare meals.

How to get to the project

From Auckland you'll need to take two buses to get to Dargaville (the first bus goes from Auckland to Whangarei, the second from Whangarei to Dargaville). Someone will be waiting for you in Dargaville by 5.30pm to take you to the project. Participants with their own vehicles should drive to the Whangarei Hub at the same time and follow the group to the sanctuary.
For the return journey, you will be dropped off in Dargaville on Monday at 7:30 a.m. (for the bus to Whangarei).
Because of the sanctuary's remoteness, it's best to pack everything you need and make any final purchases before leaving Whangarei.

You can book a welcome pack (250€) which includes:

  • Transfer from the international airport to the hostel in the city center.
  • 3 nights' hostel accommodation (maximum 6 beds per room) with 3 continental breakfasts.

You'll be staying in a sanctuary on the edge of the forest, far from the city. This is a unique opportunity to reconnect with nature and yourself. You'll walk alongside Tane Mahuta, a 2,000-year-old tree!
Away from the distractions of modern life, you'll learn to observe and listen to the forest. You'll hear birdsong, appreciate the gradual movement of the stars in the night sky.
Discover the magnificent Kai Iwi lakes and climb Tokotoka Peak.

freepackers

The partner association

Le partenaire is a 1901 association registered in France, whose mission is to encourage participation in ethical and sustainable development projects. It connects NGOs, social action associations and government structures with volunteers. It promotes solidarity and participative travel. The partner is a certified WYSE Travel Confederation Member. WYSE is a global non-profit organization representing youth and student travel stakeholders worldwide. It is also a member of the AFNOR commission for the development of the international standard on responsible tourism, a member of the International Mobility Committee, certified as an Australian specialist, accredited by the international group ICEF, a member of EAIE (European Center of Expertise, Networking and Resources for the Internationalization of Higher Education) and a member of the travel4impact Network.

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