Aussie Bush Conservation

founded in 2011
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Coordinator | Tracy
Coordinator | Tracy
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Enjoy working in the Aussie bush experiencing diverse landscapes including dry savannahs, swampy wetlands and endless forests of eucalypts.
The Reserve is home to several endangered species and more than 220 bird species, therefore, ongoing habitat monitoring, conservation management and wildlife research is a key part of this project.
See a part of the world that is not experienced by many outsiders
Assist with the rehabilitation of wild animals and endangered species.
Two nights in a Cairns hostel are included before and after the trip.
Enjoy working in the Aussie bush undertaking habitat monitoring, conservation management, wildlife research and wild animal care.
This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

The Project

Volunteers work in the Aussie bush undertaking environmental conservation work. This includes research assistance, wildlife and habitat monitoring and data input, construction of new animal enclosures and the general care and maintenance of the project. 

Volunteers spend their time on a stunning wetlands reserve which serves as the centre of this science-led, conservation initiative focusing on the preservation of wilderness, the conservation of wildlife and ecological communities, cultural heritage and community wellbeing. Volunteers experience diverse landscapes including dry savannahs, swampy wetlands and endless forests of eucalypts.

The Reserve is home to several endangered species and more than 200 bird species, therefore, ongoing habitat monitoring, conservation management and wildlife research is a key focus of this project. The project seeks to formalised processes for collecting medical & rehabilitation data on Northern Australia’s species, while scientifically recording, analysing and sharing data to support the first-line defence against diseases of Northern Australia’s species. Volunteers are on the front line of helping us combat the challenge head-on!

The reserve provides medical care to rescued wildlife, particularly threatened species, therefore, when animals are in care, volunteers assist in the care and rehabilitation and release of these wild animals. Large raptor and macropod pens, bird aviaries and small mammal enclosures complement rescue and rehabilitation efforts and volunteers to engage in daily activities caring for some of Australia’s most iconic wildlife species.  Please note: unless there are animals in care, this is not a core volunteer activity.

Two nights in Cairns are included before and after the trip giving volunteers the opportunity to spend some time in the city and see what it has to offer. 

The Location

The project is based on the edge of the Cape York wilderness on a Tropical Wetlands Reserve approximately one hour’s drive west of Cairns. Proudly inhabited by the Muluridji people, the location has become synonymous for the northern Australian way of life, extraordinary wildlife and landscapes, tropical fruit such as mangos and paw paws, and fabulous local coffee grown on small plantations.

Mareeba is famous for several stunning natural locations from the incredible Barron Falls, the fabulous Granite Gorge Nature Park, Kuranda Rainforest Village, Crystal Cascades, Davies Creek National Park, Emerald Falls, and Lambs Head range with incredible hiking opportunities. To the north is Mount Molloy and its wonderful historic pub, ancient landscapes with escarpments and vast cattle stations.

Close to Mareeba are the Atherton Tablelands with ancient volcanic crater lakes, and upland rainforest offering great spots to see the incredible tree kangaroo species in the wild. The area is a mix of rainforest, wetlands and savanna and is home to numerous birds and wildlife such as tree kangaroos and wallabies. The region encompasses the Waterfalls Circuit, a 17km loop that includes Millaa Millaa Falls, ranges, spectacular national parks and coffee plantations.

Our Volunteers

Volunteers are involved in applied conservation management and research activities on the main reserve under the supervision of the ranger. The placement offers a variety of wildlife management and rehabilitation skills, as well as experience in applying field conservation.

Other activities may involve assisting in animal and bird rehabilitation from the daily work of feeding and cleaning enclosures, grounds maintenance, conducting structured behavioural observations and data collection on various species undergoing rehabilitation, wildlife surveys and other work across the savanna and wetlands. 

Conditions Onsite

The main challenge is the heat and humidity In the Wet season, and it can be difficult for people if they are not used to it. 

Bring a Telstra sim card so you have access to the internet. 

Please Note

The second instalment of your project fees is due within 1 week after you paid the deposit on Volunteer World. This is a total of $495 AUD and comes off your balance. The balance is due 90 days prior to travel. For all further information about the fees, please scroll down to the section "Program Fees“.

Typical day

After waking and making breakfast, volunteers complete their morning shift on the wetlands in a small boat completing native flora and fauna species identification and mapping. The afternoon is spent enjoying lunch and free time, then the afternoon shift begins.  

Volunteers can apply their skills and acumen to any number of roles, ranging from harvesting / collecting, studying / research and monitoring wildlife in their natural habitat, fieldwork in the wider reserve involving checking / setting camera traps, photo-point monitoring, species observations, data input, feeding and watering animals in care, the release of animals back into the wild, building pens and enclosures, cleaning of enclosures, providing enrichment, care and rehabilitation duties and vehicle and equipment maintenance.

Depending upon the number of animals on-site and the time of year, volunteers spend time at the rehabilitation facility which incorporates a large raptor aviary and macropod pen. At any one time there will be up to 40 animals in our care ranging from aquatic species to reptiles, possums, birds, gliders and mammals of various shapes and sizes. There is a focus on endangered species when they are admitted to the shelter.

A tour of the nature reserve in an open-topped vehicle is one of the highlights enabling plenty of photo opportunities.

Free-time activities

While volunteers are at the project, they can engage in a variety of free-time activities including walking, hiking, star gazing, taking out the canoe & electric boat and enjoying the exceptional wildlife watching opportunities on offer. 

Before or after your placement, there is no shortage of free activities to enjoy in this vibrant part of Australia, so why not take time out to base yourself in Cairns and see the local sights. It is the perfect place for adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers looking for an exciting and unique experience.



In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 18:00

What's Included

Services by Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers

What's included in this project?

  • Pre-departure support
  • Project Information Pack
  • Return transfers from the local town to the project
  • On the job training
  • 5 nights in tented accommodation at a nature refuge
  • 2 night's accommodation in Cairns with breakfast
  • Accommodation
  • All meals at the refuge
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • 24-hour O2E emergency phone
  • Certificate of Participation, if requested
What's not included in this project?

  • Flights
  • Return transfers from the airport to Cairns (discounted shuttle available)
  • Return transfers from Cairns to Mareeba (local bus ticket required)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Spending
  • Visas

The accommodation is very large, fully furnished safari-style canvas tents. These tents are on a high-set wooden deck, have en-suite bathrooms, lighting, fans, beds, a small fridge and table. Each has solar power and hot water ensuing maximum comfort all year round suiting all climate conditions. In some cases, we may have two volunteers of the same sex sharing a tent, however, we offer sex-segregated accommodation where possible.
Food & Beverages

Meals are provided throughout the day at the refuge. This includes breakfast, morning tea, lunch and dinner with vegetarian and vegan options.  Soft drinks and snacks are available for purchase.  Volunteers are responsible for cooking their own meals in the communal kitchen area.

At the hostel breakfast is included, however, there is an abundance of cheap eateries in Cairns for volunteers to enjoy.

Vegans, vegetarians and pescatarians are catered for.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Cairns Airport (CNS) in Cairns. We assist you to find cheap flights to Australia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Australia provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Australia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Australia.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

The 3rd Sunday of every month, all year round.

To get there, fly to Cairns, Australia. From Cairns take a bus to Mareeba where volunteers will be picked up and taken to the reserve.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 - 2 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
8 days (max. stay)
Average fees
$890 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Aussie Bush Conservation

Enjoy working in the Aussie bush undertaking habitat monitoring, conservation management, wildlife research and wild animal care.


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