Photo: Michael Hamilton

Support our vision


So you want to volunteer?

Get involved at ZEALANDIA by joining our volunteer workforce. We run a number of work-groups covering a wide range of tasks. Whether you donate your time once a month, or regularly each week, there’s bound to be a way for you to get stuck in!

Who can volunteer?

Volunteers come from all walks of life. You must be over 15 years of age and acceptance may be dependent upon a satisfactory police check. The rest depends on you, your availability and fitness.

Get Stuck in!

Take a look at the work-groups below and sign up for the next information evening at the bottom of the page. Some volunteer roles are available throughout the year while others are seasonal. Use the links to apply directly to the Lead Ranger. Please apply for one role only. If your first application is unsuccessful don’t give up. There may be other more suitable roles for you.

Please note: There may not always be available spots in every work-group.

Volunteer Roles

Our volunteer roles fit into the categories below:

Sanctuary Care and Preservation

If you are interested in any of the groups below please email a completed Expression of Interest form (available here), and please mention which volunteer group(s) you are interested in joining.

Track maintenanceTrack Team
Commitment: Every Tuesday morning or the second Saturday of each month.
This team helps to keep our tracks in good order for our visitors. Full training will be provided. You work on the valley track system; carrying out vegetation cutback using loppers and secateurs, removing weeds, and performing light track surface repair.

You need to be fit, and willing to work outdoors in all weathers. Boots are essential!

Perimeter Maintenance Team
Commitment: Every Thursday morning
Working alongside our rangers, this group helps to maintain the biosecurity buffer zone between the fence and vegetation. This is a physical role but essential to the integrity of the security and safety of the sanctuary.

Fence MonitorsFence monitors
Commitment: A section takes around 1-2 hours to check.
This role is perfect for people living around our fence line or in the surrounding area. You don’t need access to the sanctuary, you can do your check at a time that suits you, on the day that you are rostered. So you can go out before or after work, or even when you’re out walking the dog! Our fence monitors look for damage to the mesh, check drainage ditches and keep an eye out for soil subsidence. Any damage is then reported back to ZEALANDIA.

Wednesday Work Group
Commitment: Every Wednesday morning
This group supports our Sanctuary Care and Preservation team in maintenance work and odd-jobs. This is a perfect role for retirees or part-time workers with general ‘handyman’ skills. You need to enjoy working with a small, close-knit group of like-minded people and be willing to turn your hand to any jobs that come up. Ideally, you will have some experience working in workshops, operating power drills and saws. It’s a great way to share skills and pick up new experience.

Wednesday Gardening Group
Commitment: Every Wednesday morning
If you enjoy working outdoors with other people who are making a real difference to our native bush, this role would be perfect for you. While we don’t expect you to be here every week, we need reliable people who can help out regularly and develop a sense of ownership. Gardening experience and knowledge of native plants and exotic weeds would be useful. This is also a good opportunity to share knowledge and learn new things.


We are currently at capacity with all conservation volunteer roles except Avi-aiders. If you are interested in becoming part of the Avi-Aider team, please email a completed Expression of Interest form (available here) to

Gain work experience to supplement university studies or to improve on existing skills by working with our rangers. There are a range of seasonal opportunities – depending upon individual fitness, experience, and commitment. Some of these tasks will be off-track and unsupervised. Good boots and wet weather gear are basic requirements. Tasks include: Bird-focused conservation tasks (August- March), annual tracking tunnel audits (January – April), servicing mouse index line (year round), the annual poison bait operation (June – July), and transect maintenance duties (year-round). There is a component of database entry accompanying some of these tasks.

Commitment: Each round takes approximately 1-3 hours (starting between 7-9am) and you’ll be expected to be available in all weathers.
Avi-aiders prepare and replenish the sugar water for hihi and bellbirds at our bird feeding stations in the Lower and Upper Valley. Accurate records of food use are kept as part of the task.

Kākā feeders
Commitment: Feeding takes place between 12noon and 2pm and takes about two hours. We require at least one afternoon per month.
Kaka feeders prepare and replenish supplementary food at two kaka feeder station sites in the Lower Valley. Like Avi-aiding, it is a daily task which operates in all weathers.

For all of these tasks fitness is essential as well as boots and good wet weather gear.

Visitor Experience

Please note: the next recruitment drive will take place June 2016. Please complete an online Expression of Interest form or email if you have any questions.

Volunteer Guides
Guided group at Zealandia
Commitment: Regular weekdays and/or weekends
As a ZEALANDIA Guide, you get to learn about some of our rarest native species and share these stories with visitors from all over the world. Once you have completed your training, you go on the roster to deliver ZEALANDIA’s programme of free talks and guided walks.

If you have the right skills and interests and can commit to at least one full day or two half-days a month, then we would love to hear from you. We are particularly interested in hearing from people with previous customer service experience and those who are available to work weekend, public holidays and school holidays.

Experience with guiding, training or working with groups of people is preferred. People who are available to volunteer on the weekend are particularly sought-after. Volunteering is a great way to get more closely involved with our groundbreaking conservation project and to meet like-minded people.

Volunteer Hosts
Commitment: Regular weekends
As a ZEALANDIA Host, you help in our busy Visitor Centre and shop; welcome visitors and assist them to plan their day; promote our membership and donor programme and supervise our bag-check area. Full training is provided.

Volunteer Skippers
Commitment: Skippers are required to commit to 1-2 days per month
Skippers need a Day Skippers License or higher. Skippers attend training with the guides and hosts as well as specific health and safety training for the boat.

Communications & Marketing

If you are interested in becoming a Sanctuary Storyteller please email with a little about yourself and an example of your work.

Sanctuary Storytellers
Commitment: Make a contribution at least once a month.
Our Storytellers group brings together volunteer writers, photographers, videographers, designers, editors, artists, and speakers who help us tell ZEALANDIA’s stories to the outside world.