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Australian Wildlife Rescue, Care and Rehabilitation
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Australian Wildlife Rescue, Care and Rehabilitation

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Great Barrier Reef Turtle Rehabilitation

Throughly enjoyed a week volunteering with the Sea Turtles on Fitzroy Island. The program was run like a well-oiled machine, very impressed! I'd highly recommend it to anyone travelling on their own on a career break, gap year or as an extension to a backpacker trip.

I was welcomed on Monday by the founder of the Turtle Rehabilitation centre, Jennie who introduced us 'newbies' to the 9 turtles and ran us through the daily tasks. There was no pressure to perform and we could go at our own pace. Daily tasks included power blasting algae from filter bags (so satisfying!), cleaning the turtle tanks with nets, preparing food (learnt how to de-bone a squid!) and feeding the turtles.

Each day was supervised by a different local Cairns volunteer who managed around 5-6 volunteers. Volunteers came to the program from all around the world, which was great to share the experience and make new friends.

Everyday we caught the 45 minute ferry to the island arriving at 9am and were finished by 12 noon, allowing us the afternoon to enjoy free activities on the island until 5pm. Fitzroy Island was beautiful – spent most afternoons snorkelling. As it was 'stinger season' we had to wear protect suits while snorkelling – we looked like blue smurfs! Highly recommend a rainforest walk to 'Nudey Beach' and a snorkel around the rocks. Keep an eye out for colourful parrot fish nibbling on the coral. Other activities included kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, glass bottom boat tours and summit hikes. They can also arrange for a discount on an outer reef tour and were accommodating with swapping volunteer days to experience this. The outer reef is a must do – much better visibility in the water as due to rain the snorkelling on Fitzroy Island can be cloudy.

Prior to departure Oceans2Earth kept me updated with all the answers to my questions and helped book accommodation with 'Northern Greenhouse hostel'. This hostel was thankfully a 'non party hostel', in a good location and other volunteers stayed there so was easy to make friends. Only downside was that the wifi was bad so if you are looking for more reliable I'd recommend paying a little more for an AirB&B or buy more data to share all your photos with your friends & family.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Turtle adventures

This was my first experience working with animals and I loved every moment of it. The days flew by way to fast. Everyone was so friendly and full of knowledge. A great over all experience at a beautiful location.