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 environmental 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: Fixed program dates each year – see the Program Fee and Dates tab (below) or contact CISaustralia for upcoming availability
  • 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
  • A valid Police Check or Working With Children Check is required
  • 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.

COVID Safe Travel

The health and safety of our students is our highest priority. We take our duty of care for our students, their families and our Australian University partners seriously. For all of our program locations, we have developed a site-specific COVID-19 risk matrix and risk management and emergency response plans so that health and safety response protocols are monitored, managed and communicated.

In preparation for your overseas program, it’s important that you carefully read and understand information related to COVID-19 Travel Safety and Insurance Requirements.

CISaustralia monitors Smartraveller and reliable news feeds to keep up to date with the latest COVID information and any associated travel restrictions and entry requirements for all destinations where we have programs. Due to the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation, Government travel advice can change quickly. For the most up to date information on New Zealand, visit the Smartraveller website.

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 staff 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, and bunkhouses.

As linen is not provided (only a pillow is provided) volunteers should bring a sleeping bag or sheets/blanket and be prepared to share bedrooms and bathrooms.

Volunteer houses:

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.

Why Volunteer with CISaustralia

CISaustralia believes strongly in supporting volunteer initiatives across the world that promote sustainable and long-term societal, environmental and economic change to benefit and empower local communities.

While the term volunteering is widely known and accepted, we prefer to use the term Experiential Service Learning. This better relates to our philosophy surrounding close community engagement as well as a focus on projects that have a long-term approach and a range of positive impacts for both communities and our students. Over 98% of CISaustralia participants receive academic credit for their program abroad, which fosters a more culturally immersive and deeper reflective experience.

CISaustralia volunteering programs contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which aim to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. While not every program will achieve all seventeen of the UN goals, your role as a volunteer will have a positive impact by doing work that really matters. We partner with organisations that have in-depth, first-hand knowledge and close relationships with local communities. Prior to your departure, our team in Australia will prepare you with extensive resources so you feel supported every step of the way. You will also be supported throughout your entire overseas program by our fantastic and experienced in-country staff. 

Volunteering abroad is a life-changing experience, enabling you to learn and grow on many personal and professional levels, to broaden your perspective on the world and to become a global citizen. CISaustralia prides itself in having the strongest global partners who are socially responsible and equally committed to their local communities and ethical practices. We love what we do at CISaustralia and are here to provide you with the support you need to successfully volunteer abroad – so that you can contribute to positively changing the lives of others, and yourself, along the way. Get ready for an exciting once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

Read more: Why Volunteer Abroad with CISaustralia?

Program Fee & Dates

2-4 weeks (SET DATES ONLY)
This program is available on fixed program dates (only). Programs start on a Friday and end on a Friday. Application deadline is 90 days prior to commencement. Please see specific start dates below or enquire for upcoming availability.
Application FeeA$ 95
Program Fee A$ 2,999 - 4,599
OS-HELP A$ 7,921
January 2025 (2 Weeks)
Limited Places Available - contact CISaustralia to reserve your spot
Application Deadline11 October 2024
Arrival Date10 January 2025
Departure Date24 January 2025
Application FeeA$ 95
Program Fee A$ 2,999
OS-HELP A$ 7,921


Program fees include the following:
  • Volunteer placement and supervision
  • CISaustralia support services 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
  • Program risk matrix and COVID-19 risk assessment
  • Risk Management and Emergency Response Plan
  • 24/7 on-site support – Project Leaders and Site Director
  • CISaustralia Certificate of Participation (available on request)

What is not included:

  • Program application fee
  • International Student Identity Card
  • Flights (CISaustralia will however provide travel guidance and support via our formal travel partner)
  • Medical insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Police or Working With Children Check
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off (these can be arranged at an additional cost)
  • Extra travel/excursions (other than those mentioned above)

Note: Participants must arrive on the project site no later than 11am on Friday morning for orientation. CISaustralia recommends arriving the night before to ensure you are present for the orientation. If you choose to arrive the night before, you are responsible for arranging your own accommodation. CISaustralia can provide advice on local accommodation options. Arrival requirements are provided on acceptance.

Please do not book flights until you have received the dates in your acceptance paperwork and you are confirmed on the program.

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

Adventure Awaits

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