Volunteer trips around the world
with wildlife and conservation
What do you want to do for your planet?

work with wildlife down under

April 5-17th, 2026 6 spots left!

Australia is home to some of the world's most endangered animals, and is losing mammal species faster than anywhere else on the planet. Come be a critical part of a project intent on saving their native species. Set in a beautiful, natural bushland and teeming with native wildlife, this sanctuary provides a lifelong home for rescued animals, breeds endangered species to release and restore wild populations, and promotes conservation through education.

This project is located one hour's drive from Sydney, and is surrounded by true Aussie nature. The sanctuary is home to over 60 species of animals including koalas, kangaroos, echidnas, dingoes, wombats, bilbies, bats, birds, and reptiles. There are also over 200 species of wildlife living freely on the property. Friendly, free-ranging kangaroos, wallabies and emus will greet you as you walk the grounds.

Half of the time volunteers will be involved in animal care tasks, and the other half will be spent on maintaining the sanctuary itself. You will help the rangers as they work to protect native wildlife, implement conservation education programs, preserve wild habitat and safeguard Aboriginal heritage sites. The sanctuary is open to the public every day. However, unlike visiting a zoo, visitors to the sanctuary are immersed into the wild, natural world of the animals.

Situated on 170 acres, this is the only predator-free natural bush wildlife and cultural sanctuary on Australia’s eastern seaboard that is open to the public every day so that visitors can experience their unique conservation work and cultural education programs. Natural enclosures on five acres are dedicated to lifelong refuge for over 60 species of rescued and recovered or recovering injured, displaced and orphaned animals that cannot go back into the wild, as well as animals confiscated from illegal traders, and endangered species in breed-for-release rewilding programs. Those animals able to live independently are released to roam free-range, along with over 200 naturally occurring wild species of birds, frogs, mammals and reptiles, through 80 acres of native bush which is protected by a three-kilometer, state-of-the-art fence that keeps out foxes and feral dogs, cats and rabbits.

Getting There

We will land at Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport (SYD) and take a direct train ride from inside the Sydney Airport to Gosford Station, where we will be picked up by the project. We will spend one week volunteering, and then be transported to Sydney where we will spend the remainder of our trip on a private 3-day tour of Sydney, the Blue Mountains, and Hunter Valley.

What will I be doing?

Your typical tasks may include bush regeneration and habitat restoration, maintaining fire breaks, preparing food for the animals, cleaning food preparation area and equipment, raking to remove debris from animals’ enclosures, harvesting fresh vegetation for the animals, washing animals’ bedding, animal enrichment activities, repairing or building new enclosures and fences, maintaining nature trails, tracks and paths, repairing or erecting education displays, and maintaining the fox-proof fence, which protects the animals.  

You will have weekends free to spend how you like. You're welcome to rest and relax at the sanctuary, or head out to explore the local area, or Sydney. You can jump on the freshuttle to Gosford Station on Friday morning with departing participants if you want to spend the day or the weekend exploring. Alternatively, you can arrange a taxi at a different time (taxis are at your own cost). There will be a free pickup from Gosford Station at 6pmor volunteers returning from a day trip.

Accommodation & Food

Volunteers will stay in shared, dorm-style bunk-bed accommodations on-site. Generally participants are placed into single gender dorms.

There is an option for canvas tents located outside on the property. These are first-come first-serve and house two people per tent.

Ingredients are provided, but volunteers prepare their own meals. Basic groceries for all meals are supplied, including vegetarian and gluten-free.

What is provided in this package?

- Transportation from the airport to the project, project to Sydney, and Sydney to the airport
- Lodging and meals at the project for a week
- Volunteer fees (these help keep the project going, and help locals learn about and practice conservation methods)
- Lodging in Sydney after the project
- 3-day private tour of Sydney, the Blue Mountains, and Hunter Valley (lodging, transportation, and most meals included)
-Experienced JOJ leader for the duration of the trip

What do I need to Bring?

- Passport (with at least six months validity)
- Insurance (covering the duration of your stay; please bring proof)
- Inoculations (please speak to your doctor about necessary immunizations)
- Visa (more info to follow)
- Copies of the above (to be left at home)
- Spending money (you can withdraw or transfer cash at the airport)
- Backpack, water bottle & headlamp (with batteries)
- Toiletries (please bring biodegradable products if possible)
- Medical Kit (hand sanitizer/wet wipes, immodium, band-aids, personal medicine & earplugs)
- Sunglasses, sun hat, bandana, lip balm& sunscreen (high UV/SPF protection)
- Closed-toed shoes, sandals, and work boots or waterproof hiking boots
- Thick hiking socks at least calf length (not the thin ankle kind)
- Long pants made of canvas or thick material
- T-shirts or long sleeves that are full coverage and don't expose your belly or back when lifting your arms
- Light weight jacket that's easy to work in (fleece recommended)
- Rain jacket or poncho (must come down to knees)
- Hat or cap
- Water bottle at least 1 L
- DEET insect repellant 40% or higher (lower doesn't work on Australian insects)
- Mobile phone and charger (local SIM cards are available at the airport)
- Alarm clock or watch
- Flashlight and (for campers) interior tent lights
- Camera (with batteries)
- Power adapter for Australia

Volunteers must be interested in wildlife conservation and indigenous culture, not afraid of animals and insects, have a moderate level of physical fitness, be willing to work outside in all weather, bring their own suitable work clothing, boots and rain gear. If over age 65, medical clearance is required. Staff and volunteers must follow project site workplace protocols to ensure that the workplace is safe for animals and people. There is no smoking at the project site.

Covid Protocols

All participants, along with all sanctuary staff, are required to show proof of double vaccination and, if 2nd vaccination was over 6 months before program start date, then a 3rd “booster” vaccination is highly recommended. The 3rd dose isn’t a mandatory requirement. All participants, along with all sanctuary staff, follow a practical Covid safety plan to keep each other and susceptible animals safe, including social distancing, hand sanitization and masks in higher-risk circumstances. Covid safety requirements may change with changing advice from Australian Health Orders and/or from sanctuary's medical advisers.

What else do I need to know?

The accommodation offers coin-operated washing machines, a refrigerator, TV and kitchen. The hot water showers and the toilet block are a one minute walk outdoors. Participants clean up after themselves and with daily chores to keep the accommodation tidy.

‍Laundry facilities are available just a short walk from your accommodation. Alarge wash load costs AU$4 and a large drying load costs AU$4. Handwashing andline drying are an option (and free).

Free wifi is available in the accommodation.

trip leader: Sara (click here to read bio)

Price: $3450 (plus airfare)

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