Native Forest Conservation Helper

opgericht in 2008
Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary
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Coördinator | Octavian
Coördinator | Octavian
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Experience living in a rain forest
Learn how to protect endangered species
Connect with like-minded people
Live off grid in a sustainable way
Join us to help protect this beautiful jungle-like forest and to create a safe environment for the kiwi! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Leeftijd 18+

You are thinking of coming to New Zealand attracted by the amazing landscapes, never-ending beaches, blue skies, soaring mountains, and green forests. You like nature and seek respite from the crowded city. You sometimes wonder what simple life is like, living off-the-grid, maybe? You want to do something meaningful with your hands and see the result of your work.

You should come and join us!

What you can expect

The Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary welcomes you to this place of learning: about the forest and its creatures, about conservation, about what is important in life, and about yourself. You will be challenged on many fronts: living off-the-grid, working in a dense rainforest forest, questioning the need for many of the things that we take for granted. You will meet people from various countries and different backgrounds and together with them you will experience something that is rare these days: the expanse of an uncharted forest which you and your fellow volunteers will help preserve.

While at the sanctuary you will have the opportunity to learn about different aspects of life (living in tune with nature, discovering what is really important to you, what other cultures value most), to get some practical skills (planning, setting priorities, using creativity to find solutions within the available means), to learn about New Zealand native species and the different ways to protect it, to understand what it takes to live in a sustainable way, and to explore the attractions in the surrounding region. Body and mind will both be exercised and enriched.

The program

This program has three components: the conservation work that we do in the forest, the manual work that we do around the sanctuary, and the sightseeing that we do around the region.

The conservation tasks that we perform in our sanctuary and on the behalf of the Department of Conservation are performed at a professional level, and you will receive the training necessary to reach the required high standard. 

Throughout your stay you will learn and practice the basic navigational skills and tools required to operate in the dense rainforest. While working with us, you will realize the vast amount of work that happens behind the scenes to ensure that the New Zealand forest stays healthy. You will also learn the meaning of sustainability through observation and practice. The opportunities to learn are endless and we are keen to teach those that show interest.

Volunteer work

Some of the tasks that you will complete are:

  • cutting and marking tracks
  • installing, refilling, and monitoring bait stations
  • installing and monitoring traps
  • kiwi, kokako, and rodent monitoring
  • seed collection
  • weed control and planting of native plants
  • data entry

The manual work part of the program refers mostly to the activities that we have to perform to maintain and enhance the living area. It is most likely that most of the tasks that you will have to perform will be new to you. We will train you and you will use your creativity and previous skills to find ways of completing the tasks.

Tasks include:

  • weeding and maintaining the herb garden
  • building maintenance tasks (i.e. painting walls, setting up walls)
  • landscaping
  • chopping wood
  • general help around the place

Previous volunteers helped us paint the accommodation buildings, start a herb garden, paved a patio area, built sheds, erected fences, and built an outdoor bath.

Every month, week, and day has its own target tasks to complete be it monitoring, track cutting, or some facility improvement. In general, we aim to find a balance between the conservation and maintenance tasks.

The third component of the program consists of the relaxation activities that are so important to recharge one's batteries. We believe that it is important for each volunteer to see the extent of their contribution in the wider context of the Kauri Coast region. We are also proud of the beauty of this land and it will be our pleasure to share it with you. 

At night we might go on a safari looking for kiwi, these three hour night walks are an amazing opportunity to hear the sounds of the forest and let the stars guide us. Sometimes we also go deep in our forest to visit the glowworms that live near one of the waterfalls. There is nothing as magic as sitting in the dark by the creek and watch the tiny blue lights of these amazing creatures. One day a week we head to the lakes for some swimming or SUP practice, or we head for a long beach walk (or mountain climb), or we visit the amazing two thousand year old Tane Mahuta - the oldest and biggest tree in New Zealand.

Dagelijkse activiteiten

Typical Day at Work 

  • 8am - 9am breakfast
  • 9am - 10am cleanup
  • 10am - 12pm morning working activity
  • 12pm - 1pm lunch/picnic
  • 1pm - 4pm afternoon working activity
  • 4pm - 6pm leisure activities (free time)
  • 6pm - 8pm dinner
  • 8pm - 10pm leisure activities (sunset watching, dusk bird chorus, and/or searching for kiwis on a night safari) 
Each working morning, depending on the weather, we clarify which tasks will be performed for the day. As a rule of thumb: if it is windy, we go in the forest (where there is protection and warmth), if it is calm, we stay in the living area. We always work in a group for safety and for the pleasure of each other's company.

Please note that Monday is a day off. Depending on the weather, we will pick a day during the week during which we will go sightseeing around the region. 


Due to our remote location, there are no opportunities to go to town or to the cinema during the free time. However, we have a cinema on site!

During the free time, the volunteers are encouraged to explore our forest. 

We always eat together and sometimes we invite the DOC rangers or the neighbours for dinner. At night we can organize a movie night in our recreational room. 

Monday is always a free day and the volunteers might have the opportunity to access free Wifi at the Dargaville library.

One day a week, we will head out on an adventure either to to swim or SUP at the nearby Kai Iwi lakes, go for a walk on the beach, or visit the two thousand year old kauri tree that lives close to the sanctuary.



Om deel te nemen aan het programma dien je tenminste 18 jaar oud te zijn op de startdatum van het programma. Er kunnen uitzonderingen gemaakt worden indien je een bewijs van toestemming kan aantonen van uw wettelijke voogd(en) of samen met je ouders deelneemt.
Je dient over volgende taalkennis te beschikken Engels (gemiddeld niveau)
Vereiste documenten
Letter of Motivation en CV
Geen beperkingen. Helpende handen van over de hele wereld zijn welkom.
Andere vaardigheden
Building skills or outdoor guiding skills will be an asset
Uw helpende hand wordt verwacht op dinsdag, woensdag, donderdag, vrijdag en zondag van 09:00 - 16:00

Diensten ingesloten

Diensten door Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary

The fees include accommodation, meals, training, night safaris, sightseeing trips around the region (to the lake, beach, etc...), and transfers to/from the closest town.

Volunteers will be responsible for their flight costs, airport transfers, transportation to Dargavile, and accommodation before the start of the program.


Our facilities are basic but functional. One of the principles behind our sanctuary is to be as kind to the environment as possible. We are off-the-grid and we try to use as little resources as possible. The main facilities (kitchen, showers, dinning room) are housed in recycled shipping containers. We reuse as much second hand material or furniture as we can find. 

The accommodation is in a small cabin and consists of bunk beds. For a small additional fee, you may upgrade your accommodation to one of our fantastic tree tents.

Small items can be washed in the sinks and we do a load of washing once a week.The cleaning of the facilities is part of the daily tasks that each participant has to complete.

Please note that we are off the grid and do not have electricity or running water. We have a small solar panel that can be used for the charging of mobile phones on the sunny days

Eten & Drank

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided. Most of the meat that we eat is organic beef, and we also have organic milk, butter, and cheese. We also have honey that was produced from the trees in our forest.

We accommodate vegetarians and gluten free diets. Please note that we are not able to cater to vegans due to the high level of energy required by the participation in our program.

The drinking water is from filtered rain water. Volunteers are encouraged to plan on bringing their own snacks or any non-alchoolic drinks that they will require.

Please note that alcohol is not permitted in the sanctuary.

We are not able to accommodate smokers due to the risk of fire to the forest.

Internet toegang
Beperkte toegang op de project site
Wat is er NIET inbegrepen?
Visum, vluchten, reisverzekering en vaccinaties zijn NIET inbegrepen in de programmakosten. Afhaling van de luchthaven is ook niet inbegrepen in de programmakosten.
Vlucht tickets
De dichtste luchthaven is Auckland Airport (AKL) in Auckland. We assisteren u met het vinden van goedkope vluchten naar Nieuw-Zeeland.
Naar het buitenland reizen is een avontuur en het is best om goed voorbereid te zijn. Plots ziek worden of gewond raken, annulaties of diefstal - een reisverzekering voor Nieuw-Zeeland biedt zekerheid en is een meerwaarde.
Als je de intentie hebt om als vrijwilliger aan de slag te gaan in Nieuw-Zeeland dien je eerst medisch advies in te winnen alvorens je eropuit trekt. Kijk de benodigde vaccinaties na voor Nieuw-Zeeland.

Data & Kosten


Gegevens over jouw aankomst

The nature sanctuary is open the first Monday in November and the first Monday in April. Due to our remote location, you can join (or leave) the program on Mondays only.

Volunteers staying less than four weeks can apply to join on any other Monday

The pick-up time is on Mondays at 17:30 and the drop-off time is on Mondays at 7:00, both in Dargaville, the closest town with public transport


jan. feb. mrt. apr. mei jun. jul. aug. sep. okt. nov. dec.
2 - 26 weken


Kosten: Prijs in USD
2 weken (min. verblijf)
3 weken
4 weken
26 weken (max. verblijf)
Gemiddelde kosten
$392 /week

De organisatie rekent haar tarieven in EUR. De prijstabel in USD is onderhevig aan valutaschommelingen. Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary zal je op de hoogte houden over de finale kostprijs gedurende uw aanmeldprocedure.
Waarborg (15%)
De waarborg dient om je plek als vrijwilliger te verzekeren. Betalingen worden door PayPal behandeld, onze betrouwbare betalingsprovider. Indien je niet over een PayPal account beschikt, kan je ook met een credit kaart betalen.
Finale betaling (85%)
Uw finale betaling zal worden goedgekeurd door Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary gedurende de aanmeld procedure. Veel voorkomende oplossingen zijn een banktransfer of contante betaling op de projectsite.

Waarom Volunteer World

Bijkomende zekerheid geboden door Volunteer World
Volunteer World is 's werelds leidende vergelijkingsplatform voor internationale vrijwilligerswerk projecten. Wij begeleiden jou door een betrouwbare aanmeldingsprocedure - inclusief de nodige betalingen. Plan jouw zinvolle reis met Volunteer World en krijg gratis toegang tot:
Hoge ethische standaarden & transparantie in de sociale impact
Wijzig jouw reservatie zonder extra meerkost
Garantie op terugbetaling
We betalen je kosten terug als Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary jouw reis annuleert
Ondersteuning & tussenkomst
Wij steunen je, wat er ook gebeurt, je kan altijd contact opnemen met ons
Onze diensten zijn gratis!
Alle programmakosten worden rechtstreeks gefactureerd door Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary

Wat vertellen de mensen over Volunteer World?

Native Forest Conservation Helper

Join us to help protect this beautiful jungle-like forest and to create a safe environment for the kiwi!


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