Zoo & Wildlife Hospital Animal Caretaker

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founded in 2010
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Coordinator | Patrick
Coordinator | Patrick
Volunteer at the Irwin's Australia Zoo Wildlife hospital and care, rehabilitate and release native Australian Wildlife! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Join now and have the great opportunity to volunteer, rehabilitate and rescue Native Australian Wildlife at Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo! This is the largest and busiest wildlife rehabilitation facility of its kind in the world and part of Irwin’s legacy!

Are you ready to get your hands dirty for a good cause? Then take advantage of this unique volunteer opportunity to help protect Australia’s threatened and endangered wildlife.  The Wildlife Hospital where you will volunteer is the largest and busiest purpose built facility of its’ kind in the world and has treated over 70,000 animals since opening in 2004.  

You will join the team of dedicated wildlife professionals to provide ‘first-class care for sick, injured and orphaned animals’ that come into the facility every week. You’ll work alongside experienced animal keepers as you assist them with the husbandry and care related duties of these animals, including Koalas - there may also be some guest related activities. Providing an environment which is conducive to their recovery and rehabilitation is crucial, so there is minimal to no animal contact involved. You will however be rewarded with the satisfaction of knowing that these animals will have the greatest opportunity to be released back into their natural habitat. 

If you are passionate about wildlife care, are hardworking, physically fit and motivated, then this project is perfect for you! Volunteers play an important role at the Wildlife Hospital! Although the work can be physically demanding and is by no means an ‘easy holiday option’, being a volunteer at the largest & busiest wildlife hospital in the world is undoubtedly a truly rewarding and unique experience. 

Typical day

As a volunteer, you will be required to assist the Wildlife Hospital team and other volunteers at the project with various duties. See below for some of the most commonly required volunteer tasks during the first two weeks of the volunteer placement:

  • Preparing Koala paste feeds, Preparing equipment for enclosure cleans, Removing old Koala leaf out of enclosures (Leaf = Eucalyptus leaves – koala food), Observing Koala's behaviour during cleaning processes (if any unusual or irregular behaviours demonstrated, advise animal keeper so they can investigate/assess further). The ability to provide detailed observations is important in volunteers, as the volunteers spend a lot of time in the vicinity of the animals in care and may be likely to notice things which may need to be reported. Cleaning Koala enclosures (complete cleans, wet cleans, dry cleans...) and Assist with the leaf out procedure (Replacing old leaf with fresh leaf every day)
  • Counting Koalas in our plantation – Open area of native eucalypt trees where koalas are settled before being released back into the wild.
  • Gardening and general maintenance of exterior areas of the hospital (if needed)- This includes weeding, watering the garden, trimming/pruning etc. Assisting nurses/keepers with the cleaning of the sea turtle pool, Laundry, Kitchen cleans (dishes, floors etc.), Window Cleans and General hospital facility maintenance
  • Once you have completed your first two weeks at the project, you may also get the opportunity to participate in the duties as follows; Assist with Koala Paste Feeds, Assist the Bird and Reptile nurse with cleaning enclosures, Assisting the ICU nurse with cleaning enclosures,Assisting nurse with preparing feeds for turtles, reptiles and birds, Depending on operational considerations volunteers may have the opportunity to watch/observe the vets and nurses in treatment room on some afternoons.  This should not be considered a guaranteed or regular activity. And assist with the tidy/clean of the treatment and triage areas.
  • ICU koalas require some sun time each day – volunteers may have the opportunity to sit with them for that time (Occasionally reptiles and birds) 
  • Collect flowers and browse and assist in creating bird enrichment
  • Cut and prepare possum browse

Free-time activities

The project is located about 1 hour by car from the Sunshine coast city. It is surrounded by nature and small towns and of course the Australia Zoo! The beautiful beaches of Australia’s Sunshine coast. The nearest beach is about 20 minutes drive away.



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)
Required Documents
Resume, application forms, liability waiver, Pictures, Policies & Procedures and Letter of motivation
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Be flexible, open minded and a team player.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 08:00 - 16:00

What's Included

Services by Fronteering Travel

The fees include

  • Shared bedroom at a B&B hostel a walking distance away from the program
  • A free days entry to Australia zoo
  • Airport pick and transfer to your accommodation near the program
  • Taxes
  • ongoing service and on location emergency support

Airport Pickup at Brisbane Airport

Fly to beautiful Brisbane and from the airport (either the international or domestic airport) you will take the Airtrain to either Beerwah or Landsborough. Your host will be meeting you at the train station


Volunteers live in a private room at a local homestay. Access to Wifi and laundry facilities are available. You will also be transferred to and from the project from your homestay to attend your shifts.

Guest Family
Food & Beverages

Meals included (breakfast and dinner). At times, you will need to prepare your own meals.  

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.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Brisbane Airport (BNE) in Brisbane. 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

There are no specific arrival dates or requirements.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
4 - 6 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
$ 2,295
5 weeks
$ 2,395
6 weeks (max. stay)
$ 2,695
Average fees
$ 511 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Fronteering Travel 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 Fronteering Travel 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
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Fronteering Travel cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Fronteering Travel.

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  Oceania Australia and New Zealand Australia  Beerwah, 1638 Steve Irwin Way

Zoo & Wildlife Hospital Animal Caretaker

Volunteer at the Irwin's Australia Zoo Wildlife hospital and care, rehabilitate and release native Australian Wildlife!


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