Work to bring back the native forest of Motutapu Island, New Zealand: Volunteer + Adventure

Impact our world by working to keep the natural and cultural heritage of Motutapu and its native forests healthy and beautiful.

International Student Volunteers (a non-profit organization) invites you to help out in the overall maintenance and repairing of the Motutapu Island native forests. After giving back, you will then reward yourself by participating in an incredible two week adventure tour, which includes black water rafting in underground caves, Kiwi Encounter experience, an exploration of the thermal wonders of Rotorua and so much more!

The organization you will be working with was formed in November 1993 by locals interested in the conservation and restoration of the natural and cultural landscapes of Motutapu through the participation of the community. Motutapu was once covered in native forest which was destroyed when the island was covered by ash from the eruption of the neighboring island of Rangitoto about 600 years ago. A new forest grew in the rich, friable soils but over time this was destroyed by Maori and early settler habitants. The organization is now creating a wildlife sanctuary for New Zealand’s native flora and fauna by recreating a native forest similar to the one that existed on the island before human intervention, and the protection and restoration of examples of the cultural history of the island reflecting the presence of Maori, early settler, farming and military on the island.

All work done by the organization on the island is by volunteers; each year, more than a thousand volunteers work on the island either collecting seed, raising seedlings in the nursery, planting saplings to convert pasture into forest or controlling weeds. Volunteers are essential and without them the restoration of Motutapu would not happen.

Pre-Apply Now

What to Expect?

Volunteer Project:
As a volunteer, you will be working on a variety of fieldwork activities, ranging from planting site set up, planting, weeding, nursery work, seed collection and infrastructure maintenance. Fences are required to ensure that cattle and sheep do not intrude into the planted areas. Some other things that volunteers will be doing are a beach cleanup as well as tidying up of military sites. The majority of work takes place out in the field; it can be physically challenging and some work is done on slopes. Sturdy footwear is essential. Moderate fitness is required.

Adventure Tour:
On the Adventure Tour, you will explore the rich, diverse landscapes and cityscapes of New Zealand! You will travel along the Southern Alps, climb your way up glaciers, discover primary forests, run wild rivers, explore limestone caves, bathe in geothermal areas, tour national parks and get lost in nightlife of the nation’s capital city, Wellington. ISV includes a minimum of five activities in the program price to make your experience unforgettable. Activities are subject to change but may include black water rafting in underground caves, grade five white water rafting, Kiwi encounter experience, a guided tour through Te Papa National Museum and an exploration of the thermal wonders of Rotorua via Hell’s Gate Thermal Reserve.

There is also an opportunity for an additional, one-week excursion in Fiji.


About our organization:

International Student Volunteers is committed to impacting our world by providing life-changing volunteer experiences abroad. ISV has been operating student programs since 1983, but has focused on Volunteer and Adventure Travel since 2002. Since then, more than 20,000 participants have contributed to ISV’s global volunteer efforts, making a significant impact across six continents. ISV programs offer unparalleled opportunities to get involved in the front lines of sustainable community development and conservation initiatives internationally, in addition to exploration, adventure and cultural exchange, while traveling through one or more countries. This program is open to everyone, not just students. We are not a sending agent –we run our own programs with our own trained staff to ensure you have the most amazing experience possible. ISV sets the industry standards for best practices, safety, opportunities to learn, and of course fun!

International Student Volunteers, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation in the U.S. organized under the Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation Law for charitable and educational purposes.

  • Program ID: # 1931
  • duration:
    2 Weeks to 1 Month
  • location:
    Newmarket , AUK
    New Zealand
    36° 47' 26.1276" S, 174° 52' 44.3928" E
    Auckland NZ
  • Fitness level:
    Moderately Fit
  • Closest Airport:
    Please contact program
  • Costs From:
    Over $3000
  • Program Type:
    Environmental & Wildlife Programs
  • Click Here for More Info

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