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Coast and Waterway Conservation Volunteer Project in New Zealand - Auckland

Coast and Waterway Conservation Volunteer Project in New Zealand - Auckland

Apply now. The next available start date for this project is Nov 1, 2021

Interested in being a Coast and Waterway Conservation volunteer in New Zealand? International Volunteer HQ’s Coast and Waterway Conservation project enables volunteers to spend time outdoors assisting with a wide range of activities that help to protect and preserve New Zealand’s incredible natural environment. Volunteers gain experience and knowledge of conservation methods while providing important support for local initiatives that work to keep New Zealand beautiful and clean.

  • Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from CA$1218 for 2 weeks
  • Includes accommodation, breakfast and lunch (monday to friday), airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Help restore a piece of Māori land and conserve and protect waterways

  • Enjoy New Zealand’s incredible natural environment

  • Stay in a lodge in the friendly suburb of Mt Eden, Auckland

Apply Now

Who is this program suited to?

Fit and active volunteers who are willing to work hard and don’t mind getting dirty in the name of helping the environment.
Who is this program suited to?

Key information

Protect the planet & preserve nature
Based around Auckland
Dormitory-style hostel accommodation
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day
Fully hosted experience from CA$1218 for 2 weeks
Durations from 2 - 12 weeks
Discover New Zealand's pure beauty

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

New Zealand is considered one of the purest, most environmentally friendly countries in the world. However, it takes a lot of work and conservation activities to keep waterways clean and ecosystems thriving. This is often done by local charities, who operate with limited resources and have a high need for volunteers.

As a Coast and Waterway Conservation volunteer you’ll be outdoors, helping with a variety of activities in order to conserve and preserve the stunning local beaches, waterways and islands. A primary focus of the project is on the restoration of an important piece of traditional Māori land. You’ll get the unique opportunity to volunteer with members from a local iwi (Māori community), gaining cultural insights and traditional knowledge while learning about New Zealand’s history and the importance of restoration work.

All activities undertaken on this project are working towards the vision of beautiful beaches, healthy waters and inspired people. Conservational activities are seasonal and vary based on the time of year you’re there, but can include:

  • Beach clean-ups
  • Restoring habitats for marine wildlife
  • Walking track maintenance
  • Helping at a native plant nursery
  • Removing invasive species
  • Planting native trees
  • Collecting seeds
  • Composting and mulching
  • Helping endangered native animals and birds
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #14: Life Below Water

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #14: Life Below Water

The ocean regulates and drives global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Marine biodiversity is critical to the health of people and our planet. Preserving threatened ecosystems, as well as tackling marine pollution and overfishing through conservation activities is key to saving our ocean.

Why do Coast and Waterway Conservation volunteering in Auckland with IVHQ?

When you volunteer in New Zealand you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Supporting local initiatives that protect the environment
  • Helping restore Māori land and learning of its importance
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining conservation experience
  • Immersing yourself in the New Zealand way of life
  • Exploring New Zealand’s natural environment

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
  • Please note: You are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter New Zealand. All volunteers must have both doses of their Covid-19 vaccine unless they are a citizen of New Zealand.

”I had amazing experience with IVHQ in New Zealand. They basically opened my eyes into the environmental issues affecting beaches and coastlines due to non-degradable plastic, etc and fresh water supplies. The staff do a great job helping out volunteers and make us feel at ease and motivated. This program has given me awareness of the importance to educate children, especially in school, about the importance of the refuse, reduce and recycle program!”

Read reviews from Coast and Waterway Conservation volunteers in Auckland

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Volunteer Abroad in New Zealand with IVHQ


Set in the middle of the South Pacfic ocean, New Zealand is a small island nation with a big reputation for its breathtaking scenery, cultural diversity, unique wildlife, adventure sports and relaxed lifestyle. It’s also known for being clean and environmentally conscious, but with continued development and a booming tourism industry it needs volunteers to help the country live up to its pure, green image.

The IVHQ New Zealand Program is located in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, which is home to roughly one quarter of the country’s population. Auckland is a modern, multicultural city with a wide range of attractions and activities to take part in, and is a great place from which to explore the rest of New Zealand. Volunteer placements are located throughout the wider city area of Auckland.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of every month and volunteers need to arrive in Auckland on the day before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Auckland International Airport (AKL). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Mt Eden, Auckland. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are centers in New Zealand prior to your volunteer program, you will need to arrange your own transport to the accommodation in Auckland the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our New Zealand team in Auckland. It begins the morning of your chosen start date and lasts for a full day. The orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in New Zealand – an introduction to New Zealand, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, an introduction to project and placement as well as a tour of the local area. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.

Volunteer schedule example


After the initial orientation, you will have a morning or afternoon shift at your placement and will work for approximately 4 to 6 hours per day, though this may vary depending on the needs of your particular project.

An example schedule is as follows:

7:30 AM Breakfast and a packed lunch provided by a local cafe near the accommodation.
8:30 AM Travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project.
12:00 PM Eat a packed lunch at your placement and then resume your volunteer work.
2:00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Plan for the following day’s activities or use your free time as you wish. This could include sightseeing and exploring Auckland’s beautiful surroundings.


With your weekends free in New Zealand you could find yourself relaxing on a beautiful, remote beach; swinging through a cavernous gorge; touring plopping geothermal mud pools; learning about the indigenous Māori culture; hitting the slopes or diving the depths of the country’s crystalline waters.

For the adventurous, there’s a plethora of excellent surfing spots, bungee jumping, white water rafting, parasailing, mountain biking, kayaking, swimming and snorkelling opportunities as well as a host of glaciers, rainforests, mountains, coastlines, fjords, waterfalls and rolling hills to explore.

Auckland is an extremely advantageous base for travel to other parts of New Zealand, and most places can be reached with a short flight, or car or bus trips of varying lengths. Just a quick ferry ride away from Auckland, volunteers can spend their day in wineries on Waiheke Island or tramping up an extinct volcano on Rangitoto Island.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers stay in a dormitory-style lodge in Mt Eden Village; a charming, centrally-located area of Auckland with a friendly community feel. The lodge is a comfortable, family-run boutique hostel, with a certain homeliness to it. The offices of the local team are a 20-minute bus ride plus a 10-minute walk from the hostel, and the middle of downtown Auckland is also 20 minutes away by bus.

You should expect to share a room with four to ten other people of both genders. Please note all rooms have communal, co-ed bathrooms equipped with western toilets and hot showers. Bedding is provided, but you’ll need to bring your own towels and toiletries. There are staff who clean the accommodation throughout the week, including your sheets, however volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy. Lockers are available but you must bring your own padlock.

Accommodation upgrades to private rooms, or smaller rooms (with three or four beds per room) can be arranged at an additional cost after registering for the program. This must be arranged at least three weeks prior to your program start date.

WiFi is available at all times, at no extra cost. There are also two shared computers in the dining hall, which can be used at any time. To keep connected, you can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone.


During the remaining weekdays, volunteers are provided with ingredients for continental-style breakfasts, which can be made in the communal kitchen area of the accommodation. This typically includes coffee and tea, granola, yoghurt, seasonal fruits, breads, a selection of spreads, eggs, and avocados. There are outdoor tables set in the garden area where you can eat your breakfast if you wish.

You will make your own packed lunch to eat during your lunch break at your volunteer placement. This is prepared at breakfast, or the night before if preferred. Ingredients provided for these packed lunches include bread or wraps, salami or chicken, hummus, seasonal salads, sauces, and a sweet treat for afterwards.

Volunteers are responsible for purchasing their own dinners, either taking advantage of the nearby restaurants or purchasing groceries to prepare themselves in the accommodation’s communal kitchen.

On weekends, volunteers are responsible for purchasing their own meals, either taking advantage of the nearby restaurants and cafes or purchasing groceries to prepare themselves in the accommodation’s communal kitchen.

Tap water in New Zealand is safe to drink in most areas but we strongly recommend bringing a reusable water bottle with you to cut down on plastic waste.


Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
2 weeks CA$1215 Equivalent to CA$87/day
3 weeks CA$1801 Equivalent to CA$86/day
4 weeks CA$2379 Equivalent to CA$85/day
5 weeks CA$2951 Equivalent to CA$85/day
6 weeks CA$3524 Equivalent to CA$84/day
8 weeks CA$4648 Equivalent to CA$83/day
10 weeks CA$5760 Equivalent to CA$83/day
12 weeks CA$6859 Equivalent to CA$82/day
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast and lunch (Monday to Friday)
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteering

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of CA$389 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in CAD.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, some meals, public transportation to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in New Zealand generally find US$150 per week to be sufficient for expenses, such as weekend breakfast and lunches and all dinners, as well as local tours and activities.

Check what's required to visit New Zealand

Fill out the quick form below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for New Zealand, based on your country of residence.

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Safety and support with IVHQ

Protecting against COVID-19:

Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel

Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel

Health & safety information provided during orientation

Health & safety information provided during orientation

Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation

Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation

Greater physical distance between volunteers

Greater physical distance between volunteers

Essential country information

Capital Wellington
Population 5 million
Languages English, Māori
Currency New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Time zone UTC+12:00

Weather and climate

As a whole, the climate is considered to be maritime temperate, but New Zealand’s climate is quite varied due to its diversity in geographic features and the severity of weather patterns coming off the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea. Weather in Auckland, where the IVHQ volunteer program is based, has a breezy, mild and humid temperate climate with warm summers and no dry season. Winter temperatures in Auckland (June through August) range between 8°C and 16°C (46°F and 60°F). Summer temperatures in Auckland (December through February) range between 15°C and 24°C (59°F and 75°F). Clouds and rain are relatively common in Auckland and New Zealand as a whole, with moderate to light rain occurring at some point in the day roughly 50% of each year.

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