Volunteer Abroad in Australia

A Guide To

Volunteering Abroad in Australia


68 Volunteer Abroad Programs in Australia

Love Volunteers

Do you love the outdoors? Not afraid to get your hands dirty? This program is for you! Love Volunteers works with a Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre that specializes in bats. The center, located in a quiet forest valley in the Gold Coast Hinterland, less than an hour from Brisbane, provides outstanding medical care to all species of sick, injured, and orphaned bats, including flying foxes. T...

Australia - Australian Conservation Experience

All projects start in major cities in Australia such as Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane (there is a list that you will choose from). The volunteering work is relatively similar in all start points -- the main difference between the locations is the climate. Northern Australia, such as Darwin, Perth and Cairns offer warm temperatures while Melbourne, Sydney and Tasmania have cooler temperatures.

Kaya Responsible Travel

Learn about Australia's vast natural environment and the Australian way of life through Kaya Responsible Travel volunteer programs. Placements locations include Tasmania, Queensland, and Victoria. Participants may work on tasks such as environmental monitoring, tree planting, and disaster relief assistance. Programs include food, housing, and in-country orientation.

The Intern Group

Enjoy volunteering in Australia with The Intern Group in Melbourne. Individuals can choose from placements in Community Development, Childcare, Education, and many more areas. The Intern Group provides participants with valuable international experience that supports both personal and professional growth.


Join environmental projects in Australia with GeoVisions. Volunteers may go on one of a variety of projects, including protecting endangered species, controlling the growth and spread of weed, and constructing walking trails through environmental reserves. Participants get the opportunity to learn about the country's diverse wildlife and ecosystems.

Volunteering Worldwide with Frontier

Participate in conservation projects, hand-pick fresh strawberries, and rescue wallabies in some of Frontier's Australia-based volunteer programs. Placements are available in Rockhampton, Perth, Sydney, and multiple other cities. All participants are provided with volunteer orientation, as well as meals and accommodation throughout their stay.

Twin Work & Volunteer

Join Twin Work & Volunteer's Conservation program in Australia. Volunteer placements are located in Adelaide, Alice Springs, and Bathurst. Participating volunteers are provided with housing, food, and valuable training for the duration of the program.

Make A Global Difference with InterExchange

InterExchange is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting cross-cultural awareness through work and volunteer exchange programs. For more than 40 years, InterExchange has been connecting young people from all over the world with life-changing international cultural exchange opportunities.

Experience Australia with Travellers Worldwide

Travellers Worldwide offers volunteering programs in Australia. Volunteers can choose from a variety of options. Participants get the chance to help disadvantaged communities and acquire new skills. They often leave with a deep understanding of the local culture, and invaluable professional and personal growth.

Rustic Pathways

From the Outback to the Golden Coast, volunteer at local schools, hospitals, and even the Steve Irwin Zoo, where Rustic Pathways first began its operations over 30 years ago.

Wildlife Volunteering in Australia?

Work on rescue and rehabilitation projects for Australia's native wildlife through Fronteering. Volunteer placements are available in Sydney and Wollongong. Accommodation, meals, and training courses are arranged for all participants.

Pacific Discovery-Summer & Semester Programs Abroad

Volunteer abroad in Sydney, Australia with Pacific Discovery. Volunteers spend two to four weeks during the summer or one semester taking part in various activities such as Tree Planting, Grassroots Organization, and Wildlife Surveying. The programs are ideal for volunteers 18 to 24 years old, regardless of nationality, who are interested in experiencing a new culture.

Help Protect Australia’s Fragile Ecosystems on Land and Sea

Australian researchers need your help conserving koala, manta rays, the Great Barrier Reef, dolphins, and more! Earthwatch Institute is an environmental nonprofit focused on connecting regular people with the world’s top scientists to conduct vital field research. Earthwatch volunteers donate 1-2 weeks of their time and critical funds to study wildlife, climate change, archaeology and ocean hea...

i-to-i TEFL

If you're looking for the perfect volunteer abroad opportunity, then consider earning your TEFL certification with this in-classroom 20 hour course in Australia, and get yourself overseas quicker than you thought possible! We provide industry leading TEFL qualifications which are globally recognized. We offer a number of TEFL courses to suit your needs, with a classroom TEFL course in Austr...

Back to Programs

Volunteering Abroad in Australia

Australia is a filthy place to volunteer. Literally. With thousands of miles between city centers, and more than a million native species inhabiting those wide-open spaces, most programs focus on environmental conservation in remote locations. Expect to get a bit of red soil under your fingernails, and sweat like a colloquial shrimp on the barbie (though Aussies actually call them prawns). But you can also prepare to witness one of the world’s most unique and changing landscapes, a land of extremes and opposites: from the rainbow waters of the Great Barrier Reef, through the gentle green hills of the Barossa Valley, to the barren scrubland of the Western Pilbara.

Food & Culture

Its people and culture are just as unusual as the scenery, which makes Australia the perfect place for any volunteer who is ready to serve internationally, but not quite ready for a placement in tribal Amazon. This is not just another, hotter, British colony. The English is faster and flooded with slang; the mammals carry eggs; and you can get third-degree sunburn in December. Hospitality is a source of pride, and visitors — especially those coming to volunteer in Australia — will be welcomed with gruff handshakes and exclamations of “Good on ya, mate.”

Volunteering in Australia

People who want to volunteer abroad in Australia can get involved with programs centered on:

Conservation. Besides the abundance of opportunities available, these volunteer programs are an ideal introduction to Australia’s distinctive flora and fauna. Over the past decades, the country has implemented aggressive campaigns to protect Australia’s native species — which, experts say, make up more than 80 percent of all endangered species — from extinction. Sustainability, environmental protection, and habitat restoration are key government concerns. So, though planting trees, surveying wildlife, and collecting seeds might not be everyone’s idea of volunteer service, they are essential safeguards.

Programs tend to be short term (one day to four weeks), and many incorporate outdoor adventure activities, such as caving and hiking, into the itinerary. Programs often charge a fee, most of which goes towards the project itself. Accommodation and some meals are typically provided. Volunteers may contact the various states’ Departments of Environment and Conservation for other, free opportunities.

Indigenous Peoples. More than 500 Aboriginal peoples have inhabited Australia for so long, they are considered to be some of the oldest indigenous populations in mankind. And yet, a conversation with most Aussies will convince you otherwise. The status of these peoples is similar to that of the Native Americans of the United States and Canada: many have been relocated to closed communities on tribal land, and struggle with issues of substance abuse, lack of education, poverty, and problems with physical and mental health.

Volunteers interested in working with indigenous peoples have limited opportunities in this field. Programs tend to be longer-term (four weeks-several months).They often charge a fee, most of which goes towards projects in the native community. Programs focus on education and classroom teaching, community development, and cultural identity. Volunteers with more specialized skills are especially considered. Accommodation and some meals are typically provided.

Refugees/Immigrants. Located so close to Southeast Asia, Australia is a haven for refugees and immigrants from that part of the world. While the country has some of the toughest immigration policies in the Western world, it’s working hard to erase its history as a “whites only” asylum. In cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, volunteers can work with placement programs and agencies that provide services to new arrivals: tutoring and English teaching, health and psychological care, and cultural support. Opportunities are typically free, but require a longer-term commitment (3-6 months) and require international volunteers to live in the city, at their own expense. Most programs do not place volunteers in this field; interested candidates generally research opportunities on their own.

The Inner City. As in any country, the biggest cities in Australia have typical problems: poverty, substance abuse, domestic abuse and gang violence. While Australia is a social welfare state, it still has citizens “sleeping rough,” (homeless), starving and malnourished, and needing rehabilitation. Volunteer opportunities are typically free, but require international volunteers to live in the city, at their own expense. Depending on the size of the organization or program, volunteers may be needed for both short- and long-term periods of time.

Most international programs do not place volunteers in this field; interested candidates are expected to research opportunities on their own when they have arrived in the city.

Visa. Keep in mind that if you’re volunteering abroad in Australia, you’ll be expected to obtain a visa prior to entry. Many pre-organized international programs will take care of this for you. However, if you plan to stay in the country for a longer period of time or have not arranged for a visa through your volunteer program in Australia, contact the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship for visa information relevant to your plans.

Read More

written by: