Australia is a vast country – bigger than most people think, containing an abundance of animals so unique that you can only see them in their natural habitat right here. This means if you want to care and assist with the extinction-prevention of many Australian indigenous animals you will have to make the trip down under.
Why Australia? Why Sydney?
Okay so I think I am being a bit biased here because I grew up in Australia but I think you already know why you want to go to Australia before I even explain why. Beautiful beaches, laid back people and a wide range of wildlife.
Sydney is one of our favourite cities in Australia and being located on the east coast means if you want to extend your trip you have Melbourne and the Gold Coast right at your finger tips. There is so much to do in Australia so make sure you check out our things to do in Australia posts to give you an idea.
The project is located 2 hours north of Sydney in Calga, a beautiful and luscious area just inland from the coast and situated inside a national park.
Volunteering with Australian Animals: What to Expect
This two week program is very hands on in both animal interaction and contribution to the sanctuary. You shadow one of the keepers by assisting in protecting the Indigenous animals through food preparation, feeding and enclosure cleaning.
Rain or shine you will be in there cleaning out last nights food and mess with very little downtime during work hours. We cannot stress enough that you are here to work, not play with the animals.
Your day begins at 9 (Aussies love their sleep ins) and ends at 4pm with a morning tea of 30 minutes and a lunch break of an hour. With most projects starting at 7am it was refreshing to take it easy and be nice and be ready to go each morning.
Just about every single animal can be interacted with. So yes you can pat a kangaroo on the back, give a koala a scratch and even play with the dingoes. A lot of these animals can do harm to you so just make sure you follow the instructions set out by the keepers before interacting with them.
Just a few of the animals you will work with:
> Kangaroo’s – and if they have – a baby joey
> Emu’s – both old and young
> Tasmanian Devils
& many more…
Culture Week: Exploring Sydney
We are strong believers that if you are flying all the way out to a foreign and new country to volunteer that a cultural week should always be implemented as a way to travel and explore the area. So many projects only show you a small lot of land in the middle of nowhere. Prior to arriving on your two week project you spend two days on an orientation trip through Sydney. This is a great way to see one of Australia’s most iconic cities.
During these two days you will get to see the world famous Harbour Bridge and Opera House as well as explore Circular Quay and Bondi Beach whilst seeing the city from a ferry.
A Project So New It Shines
We arrived at the volunteer project in August 2016 and we were blown away at how organised and efficient this new establishment was. This sanctuary has only been operating for three months with a volunteer program and yes there were a few tweaks here and there that need improving, (particularly with the food and “on-project” excursions) but beyond that we have been to projects that have run for years and are still behind this one.
I can only imagine how thriving this sanctuary will be after a year or two or operating with volunteers.
Organising Your Australian Volunteer Project
It was nice to volunteer with GoEco in our home country this time around. Even though this project was in our own country and just across the other side we still find it beneficial to go through an organisation like GoEco.
Multiple organisations such as the Wild Animal Sanctuary are putting all their resources into looking after the animals and don’t have time to employ an in house volunteer co-ordinator. This is where GoEco comes in to assist you with booking your flights, organising your transfers as well as making volunteering at these projects possible.
If you are looking at volunteering in Australia, check out the Wild Animal Sanctuary project with GoEco for more information.
Quick Info & Living Arrangements
> There is Wifi and phone coverage but to be honest the in house internet is decent enough to rely on.
> It is shared dormitory style accommodation
> There is a lock and cupboard for your belongings
> Bathroom is in the same block but outside
> Showers are outside porter-loo style.
> There is laundry facilities
You can book your animal volunteer project in Australia for $1750USD per person, per two weeks.
Have you ever volunteered in your home country? Let us know below!
Thank you to Go Eco for allowing us to experience this extremely cute volunteer project in Australia. Our opinion is, as always, our own.
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