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Volunteer in Australia: Animals, Conservation, Ranching and More

Volunteer Forever - Lara V.
By Lara V.
Guest Writer
Volunteer Forever - Volunteer in Australia

Australia is much more than a country: on top of owning the dual title of “continent,” it is a biodiverse region with everything from coastlines to enormous expanses of arid Outback. The nation’s varied landscapes are home to a wide array of flora and fauna, many of which are in need of protection from encroaching development and pollution. Volunteerism in Australia is popular because of the country’s sites and landscape. When you’re planning your trip Down Under, it’s worth considering if you want to be in a well-populated area or spend your time in the quiet respite of one of the nation’s forests or desert spaces. Wherever you choose to go, there’s a rich culture waiting for you. If you want to volunteer in Australia, here are some things to know in advance, plus a few excellent programs that will connect you with the work you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Know Before You Go

Australia is sometimes called “The Lucky Country” because of its wealth of natural resources, from mineral ores to natural gas. However, many of the industries that tap into the country’s earthly wealth are posing problems to the natural environment. In fact, Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions per capita are among the highest of any nation.

Because some of the biodiverse environments in this country are becoming depleted, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities in Australia to contribute to environmental protection and animal rescue Down Under as an international volunteer. For all the industries that fish, log, and mine, there are plenty of organizations aiming to keep Australia clean and safe for the native creatures. Volunteers can contribute to the conservation of Australia through coastal cleanups, animal rescue, and release, and supporting local ranches.

Before you depart for your volunteering in Australia, you should also keep in mind that the seasons are reversed from the Northern Hemisphere. If you volunteer over your summer break, you will be arriving during Australia’s winter. In most communities, especially in the state of Queensland, temperatures remain mild during this time. And while the country speaks English, you should also get a phrasebook or brush up on local vernacular before you go.

Highlighted Programs

Love Volunteers

Volunteer Forever - Volunteer in Australia

Love Volunteers is a fast-growing organization that recognizes the unique challenges facing rural areas in Australia, particularly in terms of preserving natural habitats. If you’re interested in volunteering in Australia, Love Volunteers has placements in several cities along the east coast, and volunteers play a pivotal role in protecting the creatures that thrive in regions such as the Great Barrier Reef.

As a volunteer, you have a choice between three projects with Love Volunteers in Australia. With the Reef Conservation Program, you will spend a lot of time in the water monitoring the Great Barrier Reef and reporting back to marine conservation experts. You will also learn about the vital aspects of ocean conservation and how to take your knowledge into the community. Love Volunteers’ Sea Turtle Program also takes place at the Great Barrier Reef, but your focus will be exclusively on improving the environment for sea turtles who live in the reef. And with the Wildlife Program in Yackandandah, Victoria, you will provide veterinary treatment and other care to rescue animals.


Volunteer Forever - Volunteer in Australia

If you want to volunteer in Australia and your passions are specifically related to the care and protection of animals, you will be impressed with the array of programs offered by Fronteering. This organization can place you in almost any type of Australian ecosystem, from the Great Barrier Reef to the rainforest. Volunteer for the Horse Rescue project in the state of Queensland, and you will work directly with majestic creatures being rehabilitated after years of neglect or mistreatment.

Also in Queensland, you can spend several weeks at the Koala Sanctuary Hostel getting hands-on experience treating more than just koalas. This nurturing facility treats animals ranging from kangaroos and emus to platypus and wombats. Other programs offered by Fronteering for volunteering in Australia include the Kangaroo Island conservation program and a Tasmanian Devil Care and Release project, where you will treat and then release these iconic creatures on their namesake island of Tasmania. These programs are enriching opportunities to benefit animal welfare.


Volunteer Forever - Volunteer in Australia

Frontier is another volunteer organization that has a lot of volunteer and adventure programs across Australia, giving you the best of both worlds. Begin your time Down Under by participating in Brisbane Ethical Conservation in coastal Queensland or the Australia Wallaby Conservation project in rural Queensland, and then sign up for a road trip or surf camp experience.

Other volunteering opportunities through Frontier include the Australia Wombat Conservation project, where you will help care for the endangered wombat population, and the Australia Outback Ranch program, where you will earn money as you conduct work such as sheep shearing and maintaining fencing.

Ready to Travel Down Under?

Spending time as a volunteer in Australia offers a myriad of experiences. From surfing to adventuring out to Uluru, you can truly have a life-changing time experiencing Australia’s culture. Giving back to this incredible continent is the best way to round out your time there and ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the same culture and nature-rich landscape.