Wildlife Shelter Carer

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 up close and personal time with Australian wildlife
Stay in rural Australia with real Aussies
Bottle feed baby wallabies and wombats
Make memories you can't get anywhere else in the world
Choose your location!
We have a variety of wildlife shelters in country Australia. These shelters rely on volunteer support to help care for the 100s of injured and sick animals. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

The Project
Every year, hundreds of thousands of native animals are injured, orphaned or become sick, often because of interaction with people or pets.

Our wildlife shelters in Australia are unsupported, privately owned wildlife shelters in Australia and for many years, have rescued and rehabilitated sick, injured and orphaned native Australian wildlife and loved them back to health to be returned to the natural environment.

Since we receive no recurrent funding from governments, the shelters rely on the contribution of volunteers and donations from the public to keep it running.

The Location
Plan your Australian adventure and choose your volunteer program location (tell us which shelter you prefer in your application)

Shelter 1:  This shelter is located in a beautiful coastal town on the spectacular east coast of Tasmania. Cradled between Douglas-Apsley National Park and Freycinet National Park , the property is a short walk or bike ride to the seaside. There are plenty of local attractions including the Bicheno blowhole. The shelter takes in all types of animals and marine life such as wallabies, pademelons, echidnas, wombats, penguins, sugar gliders and even Tasmanian devils! Volunteer activities include bottle feeding babies, exercising animals, administering medication and providing a nurturing environment as many very young joeys respond to cuddles like all babies. 

Hands-on with animals? Every day. Comforts of home level: medium. Program starts: any day of the week.

Shelter 2: Located in a small bush community bordering Victoria and New South Wales, Yackandandah is one of Australia's prettiest villages and classified by the national trust. The shelter is nestled in the foothills of Stanley State Forest and is home to the largest rescuer of Australian wildlife in the area. Very rustic and remote, this endeavor suits the volunteer who enjoys long hours and hard work 7 days a week with limited downtime. The shelter has a diverse range of animals. Volunteers live in a mixed caravan, and work hands on with other international volunteers and the project host on a daily basis. 

Hands-on with animals? Every day. Comforts of home level: low - medium. Program starts: Wednesday (minimum 2 weeks)..

Shelter 3: Located in a small rural community in the east part of the Riverina on a working farm. The Riverina is an agricultural region of south-western New South Wales, Australia, just near the Victorian border. The Riverina is distinguished from other Australian regions by the combination of flat plains, warm to hot climate and an ample supply of water for irrigation. This combination has allowed the Riverina to develop into one of the most productive and agriculturally diverse areas of Australia. Bordered on the south by the state of Victoria and on the east by the Great Dividing Range, the Riverina covers those areas of New South Wales in the Murray and Murrumbidgee drainage zones to their confluence in the west. This is a farm-style homestay, living and working hands on with the project hosts on a daily basis. 

Hands-on with animals? Every day. Comforts of home level: medium. Program starts: any day of the week .

Shelter 4: Located on a beautiful mountain top near the coastal city of Gladstone, Queensland.  Gladstone is itself is a hillside city, overlooking Port Curtis, Queensland’s largest multi-commodity shipping port. Marine activities are the lifeblood of the city sitting at the central part of the Great Barrier Reef. Mount Larcom offers lots of bush walking and spectacular views of the surrounding region. Also well known for its good old Aussie pie! This project has separate fully equipped volunteer quarters set in the natural landscape. Apart from animals in care, there are often wild kangaroos, birds and other animals seen on the property. 

Hands-on with animals? depends on animal needs. Comforts of home level: medium. Program starts: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday (minimum 2 weeks).

Our Volunteers

Volunteers play a key role in wildlife rescue and care. Not only will you be learning new skills and helping animals in need, you will make new friends from around the world and will create an enriching experience for yourself.

While the number of native animals needing help is increasing, volunteer numbers are not keeping up. Your contribution is enormous as the shelters need your help to feed and care for them, provide enrichments, build and maintain enclosures. 

Conditions Onsite

Shelter 1 is cold in the Winter months with mild to sunny weather in Summer. 

Shelter 2 is cold in the Winter months with mild to sunny weather in Summer. 

Shelter 3 is cooler in the Winter months with mild to sunny weather in Summer. 

Shelter 4 is situated North and it is very hot during the day so you must be prepared to work in the heat. 

In winter it can be quite cold overnight at any of the shelters.

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

Your daily activities may consist of

  • preparing animal food
  • feeding animals
  • bottle feeding all young animals
  • toileting young animals after feeds
  • exercising young animals
  • assisting in rescue calls
  • assisting in emergency medical treatment
  • cleaning animal enclosures
  • building / repairing animal enclosures
  • browsing for grass and gum leaves in the forest
  • collecting native food
  • keeping the grounds clean and tidy
  • keeping the volunteer accommodation clean and tidy
*Be prepared that all animals do not survive their injuries.

Free-time activities

Shelter 1: Your work day will include lots of breaks including lunch. You can cook and relax in your private bungalow or take a trip to the beach or have dinner at a local restaurant. On your days off, sightseeing is a must and there are lots of great lookouts and spots for those perfect holiday photos. In December/January you might be lucky enough to see the penguins come up the beach! If you would like to see more of Tasmania, hire a car and you can spend time checking out all the amazing places in the island state of Tasmania.

Shelter 2: There will be some time for activity such as taking a bike to hit some mountain biking tracks, or bush walking. However, predominantly, this project is busy and free time is few and far between. 

Shelter 3: Arrange your free time with the project host. There will be some trips into the local town, Holbrook, Albury or Wagga Wagga where there is a selection of supermarkets, small shops and pharmacies which are all well stocked. As you are staying on a farm, there's plenty of farm animals to talk to! You are only a few hours from Melbourne and Sydney so take in the sights of a big city or hit the coast for some rest and relaxation after your stay at the shelter.

Shelter 4: Your work shifts are usually split into morning and evening, with time off in the middle of the day. You can relax around your quarters or take a bike ride in the area. Arrange any additional free time with the project host. You might like to bush walk or go to the beach. After your placement you might travel to the tropical north of Queensland to Cape Tribulation, or dive the Great Barrier Reef.



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)
Required Documents
Proof of travel Insurance docs and Proof of vaccinations
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Excellent English comprehension skills and the ability to understand precise instructions for the safety of the animals. You must be fit and have the ability and willingness to work in the heat of Summer (more so Shelter 4) or the cold of Winter.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 07:00 - 20:00

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
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Return airport transfers (Shelter 3 and 4 only) 
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • 24-hour O2E emergency phone
  • Certificate of Participation, if requested
What's not included in this project?

  • Flights
  • Return airport transfers (Shelter 1 & 2 won't do airport pickups)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Spending
  • Visas

Airport Pickup at Albury Airport

Shelter One: not included. Pick up from Bicheno bus stop.

Shelter Two: not included. Pick up from Yackandandah township

Shelter Three: Pick up from Albury airport/train station or hotel

Shelter Four: Pick up from Gladstone airport, Gladstone Hotel or Mount Larcom Train Station/accommodation


Shelter One: Shared, Mixed Cabin for 4 people.

Shelter Two: Mixed caravan.

Shelter Three: Single or double room in a homestay.

Shelter Four: Bungalow style, own or shared bedroom, shared facilities.

Bedroom (Single) Bungalow Dorm Room Guest Family
Food & Beverages

Shelter One: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided but all volunteers pitch in to help with preparation, cooking and cleaning.

Shelter Two: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided but all volunteers pitch in to help with preparation, cooking and cleaning.

Shelter Three: Breakfast, lunch and dinner supplies are provided but all volunteers prepare and cook their own meals and do their own cleaning.

Shelter Four: Breakfast, lunch and dinner supplies are provided but all volunteers prepare and cook their own meals and do their own cleaning. Some dinners are prepared and shared with the shelter hosts.

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 Albury Airport (ABX) in Albury. 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

Shelter 1 (Tasmania): start any day of the week

To get there, fly to Hobart, Australia. Take a bus to Bicheno. We will organise your pick up from the bus stop.

Shelter 2 (Yackandandah): start on a Wednesday (minimum 2 weeks).

To get there:

Option 1 - fly to Sydney, Australia. Take a bus, train or plane to Albury, then a bus to Yackandandah. We will organise your pick up from there.

Option 2 - fly to Melbourne, Australia.  Book a VLine trip to Yackandandah which is train to Beechworth and a bus to Yackandandah. 

Shelter 3 (Holbrook): start any day of the week

To get there, fly to Melbourne or Sydney, Australia. Take a bus, train or plane to Albury. We will organise your pick up from Albury.

Shelter 4 (Gladstone): start Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday (minimum 2 weeks).

To get there, fly to Brisbane, Australia. Take a bus, train or plane to Gladstone. We will organise your pick up from Gladstone.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$584 /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

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
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?

Wildlife Shelter Carer

We have a variety of wildlife shelters in country Australia. These shelters rely on volunteer support to help care for the 100s of injured and sick animals.


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