We are a Forest Trust in Northland, New Zealand. Since we formed in 1999, we have planted 1.5 million native species to restore farmland back to flourishing kauri forest. Our work is to promote, protect and restore the vulnerable kauri forest ecosystem, which is home to endangered animals such as kiwi.
The Waipoua Forest, famous for its ancient kauri, is threatened by invasive plant and pest species and the spread of kauri dieback disease. Since colonisation, kauri have faced massive deforestation and now face a slow decline into extinction unless we can preserve and protect the ecosystems in which they form the backbone.
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
Help with Computers/ Internet
You will learn about the magnificent kauri forest ecosystem and its native plants and animals. You will also learn about the unique challenges facing kauri and the forest ecosystem, and see some of the impacts of colonisation. You will gain knowledge in pest and weed control and conservation practices in the Forest. Trust staff and volunteers also do work as kaitiaki (guardians) of dotterels which are endangered beach-nesting birds. You will get to know the local area well if you stay for a couple of weeks or more, as the Trust works at and visits sites at several locations in and around the Forest and on the coast.
Our Trust is located in a culturally significant space in New Zealand with the ancient Waipoua Forest and giant kauri Tāne Mahuta just on our doorstep. We work with the local Iwi (Māori tribe) and other conservation groups to ensure our practices are sustainable, and there are opportunities to attend huis (meetings) locally.
There is a lot to learn if you are interested in ecology, botany, conservation, reforestation, local politics and governance, fundraising and more. This volunteering experience would make a great internship or work experience placement for someone interested in pursuing a career in one of these areas. For this we would recommend you stay for longer than a month.
Activities include species monitoring, seed collection, planting, weeding, walking trap lines, GPS'ing, house maintenance, kiwi listening and computer and admin work.
The work varies depending on the weather and what needs doing, so you won't get bored! We use quad-bikes and a 4 wheel drive to get around, so it helps if you have diving experience.
We use herbicides for weed control so you need to be comfortable working with chemicals (we provide training, protective clothing and equipment).
Pest control involves monitoring and setting kill traps and working with poison bait. Please consider whether you would be comfortable with this before getting in touch.
You will be staying in the Trust headquarters which sits on the edge of the Waipoua Forest, a 45 minute drive North from Dargaville. The area is very rural - there's no mobile phone signal at the house but there is WiFi. Dargaville is the nearest place to get all your groceries and other supplies so it is best if you have your own transport.
Your accommodation is in the upper level of the house, above the Trust's workshed and garages. This space houses the office, bedrooms, bathroom and large open plan kitchen/dining room/living room which is used by staff for lunch and tea breaks. The house is a bit run down but light and spacious.
Your bedroom has a comfy double bed, ensuite bathroom with hot shower, plenty of wardrobe space and incredible views over the forest. There are other bedroom options which can be made up to have single beds.
As we are a Trust and the accommodation does not have a permanent resident, we can't provide your groceries. We would recommend you arrive with enough food to keep you going until you next go into town.
The magnificent Waipoua Kauri Forest is on our doorstep, with Tāne Mahuta a 20 minute drive away and other forest walks closer. There are plenty of safe swimming spots nearby in rivers and waterholes, and of course the wild West Coast for surfing. The beautiful Kai Iwi lakes are a 25 minute drive away. The stunning Hokianga Harbour is under an hour's drive, with incredible views and the chance to take a boat over to surf the sand dunes.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 3 days a week
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