PNG Turtle Conservation

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


See hatching turtles emerge from nests.
tag adult turtles on night patrols under the night sky of the pacific islands
Experience the thrill of doing turtle rodeo, catching juvenile turtles from a boats
scuba dive and snorkel in one of the most diverse and beautiful reef systems the Coral Sea
involvement in Papua New Guinea island life and communities, through education and awareness programs
This project is to monitor the sea turtle populations
at the Conflict Islands, through the development
of a long-term tagging program. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
THIS IS NOT A HOLIDAY! Expect to become nocturnal as all field work is conducted in the night as this is when the female turtles come up to nest and when the tagging is done. You will be hands on with the turtles every night that they are found, where your tasks include tagging, relocating eggs and collecting data. Educational presentations will be presented by our in house marine biologists, where you will learn about turtles, biology, and our experimental designs. 
You are expected to have a good level of fitness as you are required to do ALOT of beach walking when you are patrolling for turtles. You must be able to work with a very flexible schedule. Turtles work on their own timing and do not wait for us. Some female turtles can take up to 6 attempts to lay a nest which may take 4-5 hours. they also don't care about the weather and will nest in the pouring rain or on nights where it is very hot with no wind, working with nature in the elements is all part of the experience. 
A part of the experience is also working in the day in our turtle nursery and hatcheries. Here you will collecting hatchling's, measuring them, doing health checks, feeding, cleaning tanks and doing food prep. All of the data collected, both on night patrols and from the hatchery and nursery needs to be entered on to our computer data base, is what you as a volunteer you will also be participating in.
You will  have  free time to enjoy yourself, go diving and snorkeling or just relax on the islands. We will also spend a day in a village doing community awareness where you will have access to local tours, sightseeing activities and possibly get a ride in a traditional outrigger sailing kenu. Please ensure to bring small denominations to buy local produce, souvenirs and gifts to help supplement villages.
This program is extremely important as, if we continue along at this rate and nothing is done the hawksbill turtle will be extinct by 2030!!

Typical day

 SLEEP IN – light breakfast

 Data entry, beach clean up or nursery work

 Dive training

Lunch 11:30am

 Free time or Data Entry

 Dinner 5pm

 6pm Night Briefing, planning and scheduling

 Patrol Times are very dynamic and needs to be very flexible as we work around when the turtles can nest which is around the tides. The turtles can only nest on or around high tide as the islands are surrounded by shallow fringing reefs. 


Free-time activities

You can kayak, snorkel, scuba, stand up paddle board and see the sights on the islands

Water Sports


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 (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
Required Documents
"cv" "police clearance"
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

What's Included

Services by CICI
Airport transfer between Alotau airport and our boat Travel between Alotau to the Conflict Islands 
Travel to research sites
All food 
All accommodation on the Island 
Laundry facilities ( once a week)
Research Equipment
All activities (except diing)
In-country orientation and training
Boat travel between islands and to neighboring Islands groups Use of kayaks, SUP’s, snorkeling equipment End of trip bonfire
Certificate of completion

Return flights to Alotau
Accommodation in Port Moresby or Alotau (if you have a long layover)
Travel Insurance
Soft drinks
Scuba Diving and Courses
Additional tours
Any additional food, for dietary requirements Entry Permit/Visa
Airport Pickup at Gurney Airport

You will be met by one of our staff members at Gurney Airport in Alotau, where our bus will transfer to our boat, the Undersea Explorer. 

For most of your time you will be based aboard the Undersea Explorer, a 24m long, 8 cabin live-aboard. The boat is fully air-conditioned, has 4 shower/toilets with fresh water available. Please be aware fresh water is a precious resource one 2-3 minute shower per day only should be taken. the cabins available are all shared with 2-3 other volunteers.
There will be times where the ship will be needed to do supply runs into Alotau and will not be present at the site. On these occasions the camp will be based on one of the Island in a basic tented camp. There are pit toilets and no fresh water to shower in only bore water or washing in the sea. There will be a basic camp kitchen and a sometimes a generator for power at nights. This is NOT glamping, and is a very basic base camp. 
Bungalow Camping
Food & Beverages

Food is also basic, please be aware we try to cater for specific dietary requirements, but this is difficult given our remote location. If you do have gluten or other requirements we suggest that you bring a supply of suitable foods with you. We will provide 3 basic meals a day.  All food is provided throughout your internship, soft drinks will be available for purchase for $3aud a can. Any islands expenses can be placed onto a tab and can be paid by eftpos at the end of your trip. 

BREAKFAST   cereals, toast and a selection of fruit
LUNCH AND DINNER     Buffet Style, stews, curry and rice, pasta dishes, wraps salads, bbq, and stirfrys, on occasion local dishes.
BEVERAGES   Water, tea, instant coffee and juice are provided

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Gurney Airport (GUR) in Alotau. We assist you to find cheap flights to Papua New Guinea.
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 Papua New Guinea provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Papua New Guinea you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Papua New Guinea.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Start Dates for Turtles 2019-2020

25th October – 8th November 2019

8th November – 22nd November 2019

29th November – 13th December 2019

13th December -27th December 2019

27th December 2019 – 10th January 2020

10th January 2020 – 24th January 2020

24th January 2020 – 7th February 2020

This program is paused due to COVID-19

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 6 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
4 weeks
6 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$708 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. CICI 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 CICI 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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PNG Turtle Conservation

This project is to monitor the sea turtle populations at the Conflict Islands, through the development of a long-term tagging program.


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