Australia Wildlife Sanctuary - Kangaroo Island
2-3 weeks from $1,700
- Help protect one of Australia’s wildlife hotspots
- Safeguard Kangaroo Island’s flora by conserving its trees and plants
- Make a direct contribution to the island’s economy
- Stay in fantastic, pristine bushland
- Work with wallabies, kangaroos, possums, echidnas and koalas
- Learn about the endangered animals of Australia
Get involved with vital conservation work at a stunning wildlife sanctuary in Australia. Located on beautiful Kangaroo Island, this wildlife sanctuary is home to dozens of iconic Aussie species, including wallabies, kangaroos, pigmy possums, echidnas, koalas and possums. You’ll help out around the sanctuary, monitoring wildlife, maintaining the public areas, and welcoming visitors. You’ll also learn important conservation concepts and skills, and put them into practice during this incredible wildlife experience! Plus, in your free time, you can explore the island and soak up the Aussie sunshine. Perfect!
Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!
What to expect at the project
Once you have arrived at the sanctuary, you will be given a detailed orientation and tour by the programme coordinator. This is a great opportunity to ask questions. Topics covered will include;
- An introduction to the sanctuary
- Health and safety briefing
- Workplace ethics
- Meals and accommodation
- An introduction to the area
- What you can do in your free time
Throughout your stay, you will have the support and guidance of the sanctuary staff and coordinator. They will provide you with assistance and help you with any questions or advice you need during your stay. In addition, you are also able to contact our staff 24 hours a day should you need to.
All volunteers are picked up in the morning from the main town of Kingscote or KI airport by the project staff and transferred to the Wildlife Sanctuary.
As a volunteer, you will work various hours, weather and temperature permitting, five days a week, doing all sort of different duties depending on the priority at the time, so it's essential you go with a flexible attitude.
Day in the life
As a volunteer, you will get involved with a range of vital duties around the wildlife sanctuary. These duties will vary across the year depending on the needs of the project but will likely include some of the following:
You’ll help plant native trees, which provide food and habitats for the resident koalas and other wildlife. You'll also be getting involved in Koala surveys, which take place once a week. This involves walking along Koala Avenue and counting how many Koalas you can see and if possible if they have a tag on their ear. You can then record the data onto a computer and this helps to track the number of Koalas, sex and sterilization.
Re-vegetation of the sanctuary and other ground maintenance, including clearing and hazard reduction on the paths, is always ongoing at the sanctuary. This is vitally important to help maintain the habitat and attract tourism to the area. During these activities volunteers are encouraged to interact with the many international and local visitors to the sanctuary, have a chat and show them around.
Volunteers are also encouraged to help marshal the popular nocturnal tours that run in the evenings. The tours are a great way to discover a world that comes to life while you are usually asleep! You'll learn about the nocturnal animals of Kangaroo Island in their natural habitat and environment.
Other activities might include:
- Planting trees and shrubs
- Sedge planting
- Conservation work
- Maintaining paths
- Assisting with cleaning and laundry
- Fence maintenance
- Monitoring Koalas, observing and taking note of their behaviour
- Assisting with tourists/visitors
- Participating in Guided tours
- Weed control
- Assist in survey and monitoring of animals
- Honey is made at the sanctuary so at times you can be involved in scraping and packaging honey
Please note: Itineraries and activities are subject to change.
Purpose and aim of the programme and how do you benefit the programme
The Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at the Western end of Kangaroo Island, South Australia. The Sanctuary was first established in 1997, covers an area of 2,000 hectares, with 2.5km of spectacular coastline and is the largest privately owned conservation property on KI. Within the sanctuary, you will find many different species including wallabies, kangaroos, pigmy possums, echidnas, koalas and possums. The area is also a bird watcher's paradise, with many species calling the sanctuary home.
The sanctuary’s conservation work is funded by beachfront accommodation; guided nocturnal tours and self-guided koala tours. This is truly an exceptional place with its abundant wildlife and pristine coastline. The animals live free in their natural habitat and environment, which the sanctuary offers them. Nocturnal tours are conducted each evening to give visitors to the Island the ultimate wildlife experience.
This project is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who is interested in wildlife conservation. Not only will you get up close to some incredible Australian animals, but you’ll also learn vital conservation skills through your work at the project. You’ll gain an insight into how tourism can support conservation, and you’ll learn from the professional staff who maintain the sanctuary.
Alongside these practical and theoretical skills, you’ll also enjoy the sense of achievement that comes from making a difference. Volunteering is a hugely rewarding way to travel the world, offering you a unique insight into Australian life, and giving you the satisfaction of giving something back to this incredible country.
- Transfer from Kingscote to the sanctuary
- Volunteer project
- Food for you to prepare your own meals
- Certificate of Achievement
- Volunteer t-shirt
- 24/7 emergency support
- All flights
- Return transport from Adelaide to Kingscote
- Travel insurance. Please ensure it covers volunteering including manual labour.
- Attraction fees
Volunteers are housed in the Farmhouse in shared accommodation which includes a large kitchen, lounge, dining area and games room. Volunteers will stay in single-sex shared bedrooms and there are two bathrooms in the house. There are plenty of DVDs, books and magazines to entertain you (dvd player has a USB option should you want to bring your own). There is also a wood fire for cooler evenings. Full linen is supplied during your stay. There is WiFi at the nearby Visitor Centre, which you can use when it's available.
Food provisions will be provided weekly and there is a fully-equipped kitchen in your quarters for preparing breakfast. Lunch and dinner are usually prepared by the cook in the sanctuary café. You and your fellow volunteers will work as a team (sharing any preparation, cooking and clean-up responsibilities).
Your flight to Australia should arrive at Adelaide Airport at least the day before your programme start date, and your return flight should be arranged for the day after your programme end date. This is to give you time to get a ferry or flight from Adelaide to Kingscote. The transfer to and from Kingscote to the project is only available on your start and end date between strict times of 10:30am and 2:30pm. More details on how to book flights and travel which coincides with these times will be provided once you have booked.
To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.
Please note: If you are flying to Australia via the USA you will need to obtain Travel Authorisation by registering online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) no later than 72 hours before departure. This is compulsory and will cost USD$14 to register. To register, please visit: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
The minimum age for this programme is 20 years (some exceptions allowed, please contact us for details), maximum decided on potential participants' health.
Visitors to Australia for tourism purposes will need to obtain a tourist or visitor visa before travel.
What Visa Do I Need?
If you are just visiting Australia as a tourist you will need to apply for the 3 month e-visitor visa. If you are planning to work whilst you are out there after your programme you will need to apply for the 12 month Working Holiday Visa.
I Have Certain Dietary Requirements, Will This Be A Problem?
Not at all! Special dietary requirements can be catered for. Just let us know in advance so that we can let our in-country coordinator know, as the nearest supermarket is 100km away! Please note that snacks are not included on the weekly food shop, so you will need to have sufficient funds if you require luxuries like chocolate!
Will I Have My Own Room?
You will stay in a shared room with up to four people of the same gender
Is There Internet Access At The Project?
There is limited Internet which you may use to check your emails.
How Much Hands-on Work Can I Get Involved With The Animals?
The sanctuary is not a zoo. The animals are wild therefore you should not expect to handle them. The focus of this project is on conservation work to help protect them and their habitat.
Do I Need To Take A Sleeping Bag?
No, all bedding will be provided for you.
Do I Need To Take A Mosquito Net?
No, a mosquito net is not necessary for this project.
Will There Be A Safe/safety Deposit Box Available?
There is a safe in the office where you can leave anything valuable.
Is There Anything That You Recommend Taking That Would Be Useful?
It would be great if you could bring a torch and some warm clothes with you as you will be on an island and it experiences all weathers and it can be quite cool at night. Hiking boots are an obvious choice.