Volunteer in New Zealand
At a glance…
- Available year-round
- 3 meaningful project options
- Projects based throughout the wider area of New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland
- Accommodation in a dormitory style hostel
- Between 10 and 30 volunteers start in New Zealand each month
- Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, breakfasts and lunches during volunteer the program period and 24/7 in-country volunteer support
- Program fees from $885 for 2 weeks
- Endless weekend activities and opportunities to travel
- Most affordable fees - as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, we’re able to keep our fees low by partnering with a local organization in New Zealand to support meaningful community projects and local employment.
- Superior support - your experienced IVHQ Program Manager, teamed with our local team in New Zealand will ensure you feel supported every step of the way - from planning to volunteering.
- Responsible projects - we’re dedicated to ensuring that our projects are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts that are supporting local needs.
- Online training - as soon as you register on an IVHQ program, you will gain access to our interactive volunteer training to ensure you’re well prepared for your program.
- Safety-first - volunteer safety is a top priority for IVHQ and we have clear standards for risk management on each program. You can feel confident that you are placed with trustworthy institutions, organizations and families that have been screened by our local teams.
- New friendships - as an IVHQer, you’ll always be in the company of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travelers who will quickly become your life-long friends.
- Epic weekend adventures - you’ll have your weekends free to explore New Zealand with your new-found friends.
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.
Coast and Waterway Conservation
Volunteers on the Coast and Waterway Conservation project take part in various activities amongst Auckland’s stunning beaches, landscapes, and islands, giving them an exciting opportunity to meet a variety of people and contribute in numerous ways. All activities undertaken on this project are working towards the local charity partner’s vision of beautiful beaches, healthy waters, and inspired people. Due to the hands-on, outdoors nature of the work on this project, volunteers must be physically fit, able-bodied and not worried about getting a bit muddy!
A primary focus of the project is on the restoration of an important part of traditional Māori land. Work is seasonal and your tasks will therefore vary depending on the time of year, however general volunteer activities include working in the native plant nursery, removing invasive species, planting native trees, collecting seeds, composting and mulching. Volunteers work side by side 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.
The second primary set of activities aims to address the challenge of litter and its impact on our marine environment. Volunteers will be able to spend time on both the West and East Coasts of Auckland’s picturesque coastline, collecting harmful litter from harbors, inlets, and estuaries. Approximately once per week, there is also the opportunity to assist with large-scale coastal clean-ups or tree planting events with either local schools or community groups.
Volunteers may also have the opportunity to help out with restoring whitebait habitat, preparing land for planning, assisting with restoration work on one of the many islands in the Hauraki Gulf, track maintenance in educational outdoor camps, and pest control management for New Zealand’s endangered native species. It is important to note that this project is no ‘walk in the park’ (although sometimes it literally is) and at the end of each week, you can expect all of your hard work to accumulate to a perfect harmony of exhausted yet extremely rewarded!
If you want to spend each day giving back to both the environment and the community, while at the same time exploring some of Auckland’s most pristine, and sometimes untouched coastlines, this is the adventure for you.
Volunteers are encouraged to make use of the local team’s educational resources, which are all freely available to spread the word once they return home or continue their travels.
The Environmental Education project in New Zealand aims to inspire and educate children from local schools, kindergartens and community groups about protecting our coastlines and waterways. Your main role on this project will be visiting schools in the Auckland area and delivering educational presentations on one of two topics: marine litter and individual action on coastal protection; and freshwater ecosystems and riparian restoration in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
As a volunteer on this project, you will be working with children across a wide range of age groups - from new entrants up to high school students. You don’t have to be an experienced teacher to participate and as long as you are comfortable speaking in front of groups of students and have good organizational skills, you will be a great addition to the team.
This project is an awesome opportunity to take the lead on executing an environmental education campaign from start to finish; from liaising with teachers and booking in presentations, to reporting results and debriefing team members. Training and support will be provided by the local team and you will have the opportunity to be involved in other environmental volunteering activities, such as coastal clean-ups and tree plantings.
Along with delivering presentations, volunteers have the option of taking their efforts one step further by designing and running workshops for schools at the local team’s unique education venue in Downtown Auckland (see photo gallery). Volunteers are encouraged to be creative and come up with new ways of engaging students’ learning abilities. Workshops are usually held during the school day and include activities such as presentations, litter sorting, making reusable bags with old t-shirts, quizzes and competitions, upcycling ocean plastics into art murals for the classroom walls, and reusing plastic bottles into colorful herb gardens.
Please note that this project requires a minimum duration commitment of 3 weeks.
While volunteering on this project, you will have the opportunity to gain experience working with an NGO abroad while assisting Auckland-based NGOs with a range of administrative tasks and activities. NGOs in New Zealand generally have very limited resources and they rely heavily on volunteer support to run their various initiatives. Volunteers may help with organizing community events, such as beach clean-ups and tree plantings, education campaigns, networking and communication, organizational development and research.
This project is well suited to highly motivated individuals who are flexible and willing to assist with any tasks required by the NGOs.
Your tasks will vary based on your unique skills and experience, in addition to the needs of the various placements at the time. For this reason, it is important to be open-minded, flexible and self-driven. Your tasks can include working at an education center greeting guests and answering their questions, conducting and compiling research, mapping projects, monitoring and evaluating events, maintaining small-scale vegetable gardens, meal preparation, data entry and basic administration tasks.
This project is open to all volunteers and prior NGO or administrative experience is not required to participate. It is important that you note any relevant skills and experience in your application, so that our team can assign you to the most appropriate NGO based on these factors.
Please note that this project requires a minimum duration commitment of 4 weeks.
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 provided with vouchers to use at a local grocer for preparing their own meals. 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)
|Length of program||Program Fee $USD|
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$299 on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your program start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- To convert these prices to your local currency click here.
- * Terms and Conditions do apply
- Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs, in-country trips or tours, transport to and from your placement if required
- Transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program
- Dinners while in-country
- Spending money - Volunteers in New Zealand generally find US$120 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses, including dinners.
What it covers
- Most affordable program fees
- Dedicated support from a volunteer expert
- Complete MyIVHQ account access
- Online volunteer training
- Comprehensive program guide
- Deals on flights and travel insurance
- IVHQ alumni membership
What it covers
- 24/7 in-country support
- Airport pick-up
- Program orientation
- Volunteer placement
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!
|Currency||New Zealand Dollar (NZD)|
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 must be over 18 years of age at the beginning of the program unless volunteering with a guardian who is 18 or older. 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.