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Coast and Waterway Conservation Volunteer Project in Auckland - New Zealand

Apply now. The next available start date for this project is Jul 5, 2021

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

As a volunteer on the Coast and Waterway Conservation project, you’ll spend your time outdoors, helping on a variety of activities in order to conserve and preserve the stunning local beaches, waterways and islands. Conservational activities are seasonal and vary based on the time of year you’re there, but can include helping a native plant nursery, removing invasive species, planting native trees, collecting seeds, composting and mulching.

Coast and Waterway Conservation volunteer in New Zealand with IVHQ

A primary focus of the project is on the restoration of an important part of traditional Māori land. You’ll get a unique opportunity to volunteer alongside 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.

You’ll also aim to combat the challenge of litter and its impact on the marine environment. As well as cleaning up the area you’re working in, you’ll also take part on large-scale weekly clean-ups or tree planting events with local groups and schools. You can also help to restore habitats for marine wildlife, maintain island tracks and help endangered native animals and birds.

All activities undertaken on this project are working towards the vision of beautiful beaches, healthy waters and inspired people. Due to the hands-on, outdoors nature of the volunteering, you’ll need to be physically fit and not worried about getting dirty. For volunteers who care about the environment and are willing to work up a sweat in efforts to protect it, you’ll find this a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience.

Apply now
Apply now
Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $935 for 2 weeks
  • Help with conservation tasks around waterways, beaches and on native land

  • Assist with cleaning up litter, planting trees and removing pests

  • Get unique cultural insights from the indigenous Māori people

  • Suited to hard working volunteers who aren’t afraid to get dirty

  • Volunteer for up to 5 hours per day

Destination Highlights
New Zealand at a glance
  • Based in and around New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland

  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, breakfast and lunch during the week and 24/7 in-country support

  • Accommodation in a dormitory-style volunteer lodge

  • Between 10 and 30 volunteers start in New Zealand each month

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.

The IVHQ New Zealand Program is located in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, which holds roughly one quarter of the country’s population on the North Island. Volunteer placements are located throughout the wider city area of Auckland.

The program begins on the first and third Monday of every month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks. Extensions beyond 12 weeks can be arranged through our local team directly.

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 Village, Auckland. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are traveling 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 – Introduction to New Zealand, Culture and Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities, 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.

Weekdays: 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.

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. Please note that start times and daily workload depends on the project that you are participating on.

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.

Please note this schedule will vary depending on the needs of your particular project.

Volunteers are accommodated 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 center of Downtown Auckland is a quick 20 minute bus ride away.

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, and you just need to bring your own towels and toiletries. Lockers are available but you must bring your own padlock.

Accommodation upgrades to private rooms, or smaller rooms (e.g. 3 or 4 bed rooms) can be arranged at an additional cost after registering for the program. This must be arranged at least 3 weeks prior to your program start date. There are staff who clean the accommodation throughout week, including your sheets, however volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy.

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.

On Mondays, volunteers start the week with a relaxing sit-down breakfast and hot drink at a local cafe, and pick up a take-out lunch for the day.

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 amongst the garden area where you can eat your breakfast if you wish.

Volunteers make their own packed lunch to eat during their lunch break at their 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 and we strongly recommend bringing a reusable water bottle with you.

“It was great learning about the Maori culture and history. I really liked working in nature! I will recommend my younger sister to volunteer here in the future. Everything was great, keep up the good work!” – Lingyan Hu (Native Forest and Waterway Restoration Volunteer in New Zealand)

Read more reviews from IVHQ volunteers in New Zealand here

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 $935 Equivalent to $67/day
3 weeks $1,385 Equivalent to $66/day
4 weeks $1,830 Equivalent to $66/day
5 weeks $2,270 Equivalent to $65/day
6 weeks $2,710 Equivalent to $65/day
8 weeks $3,575 Equivalent to $64/day
10 weeks $4,430 Equivalent to $64/day
12 weeks $5,275 Equivalent to $63/day
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast and lunch from 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 $299 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • 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.

Volunteers have their weekends free in New Zealand, which is universally renowned for breath-taking scenery, cultural diversity, unique wildlife, adventure sports and relaxed lifestyle. There is enough to do in New Zealand to fill a year’s worth of weekends and still have a lot left undone and Auckland is an extremely advantageous base for travel further afield within New Zealand. Known for its wealth of geographic features crammed into a small country, volunteers can use their weekends to explore glaciers, rainforests, mountains, coastlines, fjords, waterfalls and rolling hills on New Zealand’s Great Walks, or even take easier day hikes.

Beach and marine lovers have an extensive selection of coastline and beaches to enjoy and the opportunity to dive, surf, kayak, swim and snorkel in some of the most beautiful spots in the world. Adrenaline junkies can enjoy surfing, bungee jumping, gorge swinging, white water rafting, skiing and snowboarding, parasailing and mountain biking. Just a short ferry ride away from Auckland, volunteers can spend their day in wineries on Waiheke Island or tramping up an extinct volcano on Rangitoto Island.

See our New Zealand Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in New Zealand!

Capital Wellington
Population 4.5 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. The North Island’s northern region is subtropical, the west and southernmost regions tend to be windy and rainy, and the east tends to be warm and sunny. The South Island has a sunny, mild northeastern region, a windy and wet southwestern region, and a semi-arid central region. 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 being the common form of precipitation occurring at some point in the day roughly 50% of the days each year.

Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate on this program, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.

Volunteers must speak fluent English. Volunteers must present a recent criminal background check to IVHQ’s partner organization staff upon arrival in New Zealand. Volunteers must have adequate travel insurance. Volunteers on the Coast and Waterway Conservation project should be physically fit, able bodied, quick thinking and confident around the water and outdoors. Volunteers who are taking part in the NGO Support project must bring their own laptop to take part in presentations and administrative tasks as part of their project.

Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!