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How To Volunteer And Travel New Zealand Like A Pro

Volunteer and travel in New Zealand with IVHQ

So you want to volunteer abroad in New Zealand, but don't know where on earth to start? No worries (as the Kiwis say), IVHQ is here to help! With over 8 years experience in supporting thousands of travelers to volunteer abroad, IVHQ makes it easy and affordable to see the world and contribute to meaningful community projects at the same time.

As a volunteer in New Zealand, you will be working as a team with the award-winning conservation charity, Sustainable Coastlines. Picking from one of these three projects based in Auckland, NZ’s biggest and busiest city. So where to from here? Just follow the simple steps below to volunteer in New Zealand like a pro.

  • Choose a project to participate on
  • Choose a date and duration (minimum of 2 weeks or 6 weeks for NGO Support)
  • Submit an application
  • Prepare to take off as an IVHQer...
  1. Get acquainted with your dedicated IVHQ Program Manager - we're here to support you every step of the way and answer all your burning questions
  2. Organize travel insurance – so important and a requirement when volunteering abroad with IVHQ
  3. Book flights – with the help of our travel partner STA Travel, or by using your sweet detective skills online
  4. Research the visa that is required – consult with your IVHQ Program Manager or Information Booklet after your have registered for the finer details
  5. Read! It is so important to read your IVHQ Information Booklet and to complete the online training. It won’t hurt to do your own research on the culture and customs of New Zealand too.
  6. GET EXCITED!! You are heading down under, the first country to see the sun, so get pumped! You are going to have an epic time.

Volunteer in New Zealand with IVHQ

Kiwis talk differently (and fast!) so to help you keep up with the lingo, we have compiled a list of the most common slang used in New Zealand chat.

  • Kiwi - New Zealander (also a New Zealand native bird)
  • Sweet As - Awesome or cool
  • Bro - Good friend
  • All good – That’s ok
  • Jandals – Flip flop shoes
  • Cuzzie/Cuz – Good friend (like Bro) or cousin
  • Dairy – Convenience store
  • Wops or Wop Wops – Rural area, middle of nowhere
  • Churr – Thanks e.g. “Churr Bro” is “Thanks good friend”
  • Mate – Buddy, friend – similar to “Bro” or “Cuzzie”
  • Hard out – Totally agree
  • Eh? – Pardon (pronounced “aye”)
  • Eh – Can be used at the end of a sentence when you want confirmation e.g. “That’s sweet as, eh.”

IVHQ Volunteer in New Zealand

So you’ve spun the globe, thrown the dart and landed on New Zealand. Awesome, bro! You’re in luck, applications to volunteer in New Zealand have just opened and we would be filled with Aroha (love) if you came and joined one of the meaningful projects available.

Coastline Conservation and Education:
The long-term goal of this project is to keep New Zealand’s coastlines clean and beautiful. Volunteers focus on providing assistance with educational presentations to businesses and schools, participating in coastal clean-ups and supporting scientific analysis of the debris and litter collected. There are also opportunities to show off your creative prowess and get amongst the “Trash-to-Art” recycling projects. Ka Pai!

Freshwater Restoration and Education:
On the Freshwater Restoration and Education project, volunteers work for the most part on maraes (traditional Māori community places) where they participate on a variety of activities in the effort to restore the health of the surrounding land and waterways. Tasks may include planting native plant seeds, removing invasive species, weeding, organic farming, composting and mulching. All this while gaining knowledge of traditional techniques and an insight into the Māori culture.

NGO Support:
Volunteers who are highly motivated can gain experience while working with NGOs in Auckland, assisting with a range of tasks from administration to organizing community activities. These NGOs rely heavily on volunteers to run various initiatives dependent on their skill-set and experience. With a minimum duration of 6 weeks, this project is for a volunteer who is ready and willing to be open minded and to take on the role in full force.

What about the weekends!? Don't worry, mate! NZ has you covered.

As a volunteer in New Zealand, you will be based in the heart of the city of Auckland - home to a quarter of NZ's population. Here you will never be short of cafes, restaurants, nightlife and activities to fill your time with. Auckland is the perfect launching location for traveling to other areas of New Zealand's North or South Islands. Either by plane or bus, you can pretty much get anywhere from Auckland.

Volunteer in New Zealand - Auckland City

Head to Queenstown in the South Island for a long weekend to get your thrill-seeking adrenaline fix. Just to name a few ~crazy~ adventure activities you can partake in... bungy jumping, snowboarding, jet boating, skydiving! The list goes on!

Volunteer in New Zealand - Queenstown Weekends

For a leisurely weekend break, catch a ferry from Queens Wharf in downtown Auckland. Waiheke Island is an island paradise just 40 minutes away by ferry. You can try paddle boarding, kayaking or join a fishing charter. For those that prefer land activities, Waiheke won’t disappoint - hire a bike or put on your hiking boots to discover the rolling hills, native bush and pristine coasts. Oh and there are award winning wineries, restaurants and gelato... we’ll see you there!

Volunteer in New Zealand - Waiheke Island Weekends

Closer to Auckland in the center of the North Island is Taupo, home to the largest lake in New Zealand, Lake Taupo. With breathtaking mountain range vistas, Taupo is the home to an extensive choice of walks and hikes. Take on the Tongariro Crossing, a moderate level tramp across the stark and spectacular volcanic terrain.

Volunteer in New Zealand - Tongariro Crossing Weekend Activity

For heaps more options on epic weekend activities, check out the New Zealand Travel and Tours page.

Keen to know more about volunteering in New Zealand and getting amongst the Kiwi lifestyle? Check out our New Zealand program page.

Apply Now to Volunteer in New Zealand

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