Environmental Sustainability in New Zealand

The focus of this environment project in New Zealand is on preserving and restoring the country’s unique wilderness and natural landscape. People who love nature and the environment will love this program!

Program Overview

The focus of this environment project is on preserving and restoring New Zealand’s unique wilderness and natural landscape. Project activities may include: endangered species protection and disaster relief, environmental monitoring, tree planting, heritage restoration and much more. People who love nature and the environment will love this program!

Project Details:

  • Project Activities: Varies on location and time of year. Tree planting, trail construction, wildlife surveys, seed collection, weed control, conservation fencing, heritage restoration and disaster relief
  • Project Availability: Projects start every Friday. The project is closed between 21 Dec and 4 Jan each year
  • Project Duration: 2+ weeks
  • Working Hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm
  • Location: Volunteers can choose from two locations – Auckland (North Island) and Christchurch (South Island)
  • Excursions: There are a variety of activities and places of interest volunteers can choose to visit on their own (at own expense) outside of project hours. On-site staff can assist in providing advice.
  • Support: 24-hour on-site support from Project Leaders and Site Director
  • Minimum Age: 18+
  • Language: English


The people in New Zealand highly value their environment and volunteers play a significant role in helping respond to environmental challenges. Young and energetic volunteers bring new ideas and enthusiasm to each project – and you will make a real difference to NZ’s environment and people. This challenging project with an environmental focus is incredibly rewarding.

Volunteers also have the opportunity to build communication and negotiation skills, as you will be introduced to other like-minded volunteers and work in small groups (5-10 people). This opens up the opportunity to develop life-long friendships and networks. These networks are often invaluable as you build your career.

Sample Itinerary

The program itinerary and project activities will vary based on location and time of year. Working hours are typically Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm. Please contact CISaustralia for more details.

The Volunteer's Role

New Zealand is located to the southeast of Australia and weather conditions can be harsh at times. Deforestation is a significant factor and a growing concern. Scientists are concerned about the changes occurring to the local environment and climate.

There is a growing need for the world’s population to become aware of issues and be responsible global citizens. All over the world, the impact of environmental issues such as climate change and pollution are being felt. NZ has an ever changing landscape, from subtropical forest, volcanic plateaus and vast plains to glaciers, sandy beaches and rugged mountains. The terrain can prove difficult to manage with climatic instability and human impact. The country’s fragile environment is unfortunately suffering a decline in endangered species and environmental degradation.

There is usually a 1-2 week rotation on this project, which means you may get to experience a range of different settings and challenges in your project location, depending on the length of time you decide to contribute. The more time you spend, the more positive an influence you will have and experience you will gain.

The projects are seasonal and thus the work you will do is assigned to you on arrival. The priority of each project is often impacted by weather conditions and other natural forces. Some project examples include:

In Auckland

  • Help plant trees, remove weeds, create walking tracks, collect seeds or repair fences at Atiu Creek, a beautiful native forest.
  • Help restore an old farm back to native bush in Waitākere Ranges, sounded thriving native wildlife and rugged black sand surf beaches.

In Christchurch

  • Help plant a green corridor along the Avon River which spirals through the cleared earthquake zone. This is a unique opportunity to create something magical out of the Earthquake’s disasters and bring native birds back to the city.
  • Support the recovery of the world’s smallest penguin, the little blue penguin, where we are working on some of the special islands to install nesting boxes, remove pest predators, create safe habitats and monitor numbers.

Other projects may include river restoration, catchment care, restoration of land in the mountains or close to the coast. This may include tree planting, weed removal and/or seed collection. Further to the south (the Alps), you could get involved in projects relating to the removal of wild pines to help with the growth of native plants. The Alps are rugged with magnificent rock formations and at times experience harsh weather conditions.

Required Skills
We are looking for committed individuals who are fit and healthy, passionate about the environment and want to make a difference. No formal qualifications are required; however, if practical skills or academic knowledge exists, they will be drawn on and clearly add value to the project. Volunteers must be prepared to work together in small teams.


There are a variety of cultural activities and places of interest volunteers can choose to visit on their own (at own expense) outside of project hours. There will be plenty of time to hike, travel, enjoy the city on the weekends and see this amazing country. NZ is the home of snowboarding, adventure travel, extreme sports, hiking and hot springs. Our on-site can give recommendations for excursions in and near Auckland and Christchurch or elsewhere in the country.


Home of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, New Zealand is an amazing place of natural beauty and the epicentre of adventure travel. NZ is made up of two large Islands – North and South, plus numerous smaller islands, and has over 15,000 km of beautiful and varied coastline. The country is located 1,500 km east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and approx. 1,000 km south of Fiji.

Maori were the first to arrive in New Zealand, journeying in canoes from Hawaii about 1,000 years ago. A Dutchman named Abel Tasman was the first European to sight the country, but it was the British who made NZ part of their empire.

Over thousands of years, much of the NZ landscape has become submerged. The Marlborough Sounds and Fiordland are examples of high mountain ranges that have ‘sunk’ into the sea creating spectacular sounds and fiords. NZ has some spectacular geothermal areas and relaxing hot springs – Rotorua is the hub, with mud pools, geysers and hot springs in active thermal areas.


All accommodation and meals are included during your New Zealand conservation experience. The first meal is dinner on your first Friday evening, and accommodation is included from your first Friday night onwards.

There are two volunteer houses in New Zealand: one in Auckland and another in Christchurch. Volunteers will most likely stay in one of these, however you might also stay in other forms of accommodation such as caravans, hostels, bunkhouses and camping (the project supplies tents). Volunteers should bring a sleeping bag and be prepared to share bedrooms and bathrooms.

These items will be provided for you:

  • Mattress
  • Fitted sheet
  • Top sheet
  • Mattress protector
  • Pillow
  • Pillow case

Meals: For breakfast we supply cereals, bread or toast, tea and coffee. Lunch is normally a self-made sandwich and fruit. In the evening, volunteers enjoy a meal prepared by the group, typically something like pasta, roast or a vegetarian option. Volunteers help with the preparation of meals and cleaning up of dishes, plus some domestic duties as required. We rely on every volunteer to participate fully in the program, and the evening meal is a popular part of the day.

Program Fee & Dates

2+ weeks - Year Round
Application deadline is 60 days prior to commencement. Projects start every Friday. The program is closed between 21 December and 4 January each year.
Program Fee A$ 2,099
OS-HELP A$ 6,791


Program fees include the following:
  • Volunteer project placement
  • CISaustralia support before, during and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial advice
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure guide and session
  • Orientation upon arrival and training
  • Accommodation – shared rooms in the volunteer house, or in caravans, hostels, bunkhouses, shearer’s quarters or camping (tents are provided)
  • Meals – 3 meals per day (including weekends) – volunteers help with meal preparation
  • All project-related travel
  • Wildlife guidebook and map of location
  • Volunteer ID Card with special offers and discounts
  • 24/7 on-site support – Project Leaders and Site Director
  • CISaustralia Certificate of Completion

What is not included:

  • Flights
  • Health insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off (these can be arranged at an additional cost)
  • First night’s accommodation (on Thursday night). CISaustraia will provide advice on a local hotel, hostel or guest house

Note: Participants must arrive on the project site no later 11am on Friday morning for orientation. CISaustralia recommends arriving the night before to ensure you are present for the orientation. Full details are sent on acceptance.

CISaustralia reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partners.

Dates are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

Adventure Awaits

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