Tasmanian Wildlife & Penguin Refuge

founded in 2011
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Coordinator | Tracy
Coordinator | Tracy
Prenota con l'opzione Flex! Scegliete nuove date di partenza o passate a un altro programma di volontariato senza costi aggiuntivi.

Punti Salienti

Enjoy up close and personal time with Australian wildlife
Bottle feed baby animals
A wide variety of wildlife including pademelons, bandicoots, penguins, kangaroos and wallabies
See a unique part of the world on an island off the mainland
Stay alongside the coast surrounded by National Parks
Volunteer with Australian wildlife and marine life in Tasmania. This project provides volunteers with a unique opportunity to care for up to 80 unique animals. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

The Project

The Tasmanian Wildlife & Penguin Refuge is a haven for sick, injured, displaced and orphaned animals and marine life. Animals are rescued or brought into the sanctuary and receive medical care before being returned to the wild. Animals include a variety of animals and marine life such as wallabies, pademelons, echidnas, wombats, penguins, sugar gliders and even Tasmanian devils!

 The objective of the shelter is to release as many animals back into the wild as possible, therefore, when animals are rescued or brought into the sanctuary, they receive medical care and recover before being returned to their natural habitat.  Care encompasses bottle feeding babies, exercising animals, administering medication and providing a nurturing environment as many very young joeys respond to cuddles like all babies. The animals are dehumanised before release.

The shelter also raises baby Tasmanian devils, although these animals are under the direction of the Government’s Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP), which is the official response to the threat of extinction of the Tasmanian devil due to Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).

Fiordland Crested Penguins and Little Blue Penguins are most likely in care from December to April but this changes every year due to the climate changing. They also take into care unwanted, preloved companion and aviary birds and rehome them.

Volunteer contributions go towards animal care & husbandry, the day to day running of the shelter and the upgrading of the facilities.

Wildlife Release Program

Wildlife is released into the wild when ready in a variety of places as per the suitability of the species, Bennetts wallabys, Tasmanian Pademelons and Eastern Grey Kangaroos are released from onsite. Tasmanian Devils are vet checked and a biopsy performed to determine their genetic suitability, then mostly released at the site of capture by government project staff.

The Location

Bicheno is located 185kms North-East of Hobart, in Tasmania. With only a population of 950 people, it never has any shortage of people due to the appeal that is has to tourists. It is one of the East Coasts most popular holiday destinations due to the stunning coastal scenery and unique activities on offer, and aside from swimming, foreshore walks and beachcombing, Bicheno offers fantastic wildlife experiences. Bicheno is a fishing town, therefore there is an array of fresh seafood available as well as an abundance of great restaurants and cafes. Just a short drive away are vineyards, National Parks, beaches and nature watching including the penguin parade as they waddle up the beach to their burrows, a favourite activity for tourists. 

The Surrounding Area

Tasmania, an isolated island state off Australia’s south coast, is known for its vast, rugged wilderness areas which are largely protected within parks and reserves, and its fine foods and cuisines, especially high-quality cheeses, wines and chocolate. Tassie is also home to the breweries of some of Australia's most respected modern beer brands such as Cascade and Boags.

Hobart is the capital of Australia's island state of Tasmania and sits on the River Derwent. At its fashionable Salamanca Place, old sandstone warehouses house galleries and cafes and markets bustle on a weekend. Nearby is Battery Point, a historic district with narrow lanes and colonial-era cottages. Battery Point was settled in the earliest days of Hobart Town in the early 1800’s, and has retained the winding streets, colonial architecture and historical ambiance that make it one of the most fascinating historic precincts in all of Australia. The city's backdrop is 1,270m-high Mount Wellington, with sweeping views, plus hiking and cycling trails.

What to Bring

  • Long trousers
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Trainers with good tread on them for general work
  • Gumboots or hiking / work boots
  • Mosquito spray
  • Sunhat

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

Volunteers start at approximately 6am for the first bottle round of the day and work until approximately 8am. After a 30-minute break for breakfast, volunteers complete more bottle rounds, have a 10-minute coffee break and work until lunch which is between 12 & 12:30. After the third bottle round of the day and finalising other tasks, volunteers finish at around 3pm. The afternoon is spent relaxing.

Other activities may entail capturing injured wildlife, cleaning cages/enclosures, providing enrichments, harvesting/collecting food for the animals, environment re-establishment (especially after wombats are released), holding an animal during a medical examination (training is given), helping catch a wallaby or a wombat (training given), laundry duties and tree planting.

Volunteers compost and garden to provide food for some animals in care as well as nurture the vege garden with which the volunteers can eat from. Chooks need to be fed, watered and eggs collected and there is the unloading of bulk pellet deliveries (20 kg sacks every 6 weeks).

Contact with the animals is through the bottle feeding of the baby animals.

Carers conduct basic medical procedures like injecting under advice from the vet, wound cleaning, mange spraying, oral medication administration, rehydration via subcutaneous injections, tube feeding and crop needling of birds. Vet students may have the opportunity to observe or assist with these tasks. 

Free-time activities

Bicheno is high on the tourism trail of Tasmania. There is an abundance of activities for volunteers to engage in should they choose to stay in Tasmania for longer. Swimming, bush walking, surfing, snorkeling, hiking, wildlife watching, Penguin tours, nature touring, eating and drinking are all perfect pastimes.

There are 2 National Parks, Freycinet and Douglas Apsley nearby and there is an entry fee which covers all 19 National Parks in Tasmania. So why not hire a car and drive around the state. It will only take you about 3 days with stops along the way.

Spend some time in Hobart, or head North to Launceston, the riverside city where the vineyards of the Tamar Valley stretch northwest along the Tamar River.



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 (intermediate level)
Required Documents
Travel insurance policy and Vaccination records
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Volunteers must be fluent in English, willing to work and able to take direction from staff. Volunteers should also be in good physical condition (ie. moderately fit and healthy).
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on lunedì, martedì, mercoledì, giovedì, venerdì, sabato and domenica from 06:00 - 15:00

Servizi inclusi

Services by Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers

All project fees are payable in Australian Dollars (AUD).

A deposit of $495 Australian Dollars is payable when you complete the online application form.

Prices include 10% Australian Goods & Services Tax (GST).


What's included in this project?

  • Pre-departure support
  • Project Information Pack
  • Return transfers from the local town to the project
  • Orientation & on the job training
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 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 the local town
  • Snacks & extra drinks
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Spending
  • Visas


Accommodation description: Lockable studio flat with a double bunk bed on the bottom and a single on top. Own kitchenette and bathroom/toilet with hot water.

Food & Beverages

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. Volunteers are responsible for preparing and cooking their own meals and cleaning the kitchenette in their bungalow.

Some nights are set aside for volunteers to cook their favourite or traditional meals for everyone which forms a basis for some great conversation.

There are chooks onsite, therefore volunteers are welcome to fresh organic eggs.

Volunteers can go into town to purchase snacks and drinks.

Internet Access
Sorry, no 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 Hobart International Airport (HBA) in Hobart. 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.

Date e Prezzi


Details on arrival

The project starts every day, all year. 

Fly to Hobart and take the afternoon bus to Bicheno. Volunteers will be picked up from here.

You will return on a morning bus to Hobart city to continue your onward travel.

gen feb mar apr maggio giu lug ago set ott nov dic
2 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$620 /week

Si prega di notare che le tariffe sopra indicate sono stimate. Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers vi informerà sul prezzo finale durante il processo di candidatura.
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.

Perché prenotare con Volunteer World

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Volunteer World è la piattaforma di confronto leader mondiale per le opportunità di volontariato internazionale. Vi guidiamo attraverso un processo di candidatura facile e sicuro - inclusi tutti i pagamenti necessari. Pianificare il vostro prossimo viaggio significativo con Volunteer World vi dà accesso gratuito al nostro:
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Opzione Flex
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Vi rimborsiamo le spese se Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers annulla il vostro viaggio
Supporto & Mediazione
Ti copriamo le spalle, qualunque cosa accada
I nostri servizi sono gratuiti!
Tutti i costi del programma sono addebitati direttamente da Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers.

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Tasmanian Wildlife & Penguin Refuge

Volunteer with Australian wildlife and marine life in Tasmania. This project provides volunteers with a unique opportunity to care for up to 80 unique animals.


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