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Kiwi, possum, small mammal monitoring and conservation management

Project name:

Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary

Project purpose:

The purpose of this project is to protect and extend the New Zealand native rain forest habitat where kiwi and other native birds live. We aim to reduce the number of introduced species that have changed the balance required for survival of the native forest and birds.

Project activities:

  • data collection/analysis

  • habitat restoration/management

  • teaching


New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand

average rating is 5 out of 5, based on 1 votes, Ratings


Weekly cost (approx USD):



Direct benefits you gain:

  • field research skills

  • remote scenic location

Noteworthy conservation points:

Wild Sun Rescue Center


dormitory cabins

When does the project run?

Starts on the first Monday in November until the first Monday in April


cooking facilities, weekly washing, hot showers, good mobile signal, food included - help in preparation

How long can I stay?

minimum two weeks, preferably four weeks


  • interest in conservation, fit, non-smoking

  • good level of English

Details of the day-to-day life on the project:

There are three main parts of the program:


  • the conservation work that we do in the forest,

  • the manual work that we do around the sanctuary

  • 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 extensive training necessary to reach the required high standard. 

Throughout your stay you will learn and practice the basic navigational skills required to operate in the dense rainforest (using the map, compass, and markers). You will also learn to use a radio for communication or emergencies. You will learn to plan, prepare, and execute a number of conservation activities. 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.

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 our operational base. It is very likely that most of the tasks will be new to you but you will receive training or instructions.

Tasks include:

  • weeding and maintaining the herb garden

  • building maintenance tasks (i.e. painting walls, setting up fences)

  • 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 has its own target tasks to complete be it monitoring, track cutting, or some facility improvement.

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.

Once a week we go on a night safari looking for wild kiwi, these three hour night walks are an amazing opportunity to hear the sounds of the forest and to 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 watching 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.

Weekly Schedule

Our schedule is influenced more by the weather (New Zealand is an island with changing climate) than by the conventional days of the week.

In general, one day a week we go on a sightseeing excursion, one day a week we work around the camp, one day is free (mostly Mondays), and for the rest we head to one of the four forests that we work in. In addition, once night a week we head for a three hour walk to look for kiwi and other creatures.


If a storm passes by, we sit by the fire reading a book and catching up on our diaries.

Daily Schedule

Each working morning, depending on the weather, we clarify which tasks will be performed for the day. Depending on the task's difficulty, volunteers' knowledge, ability, or interests, we then organize the teams for the day. Teams are always rotated giving you the chance to interract and get to know all the other volunteers.

A typical day's schedule looks similar to the one below:

8am - 9am breakfast
9am - 9:30am communal area clean-up
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, soccer, dusk bird chorus)

Reviews & ratings



19 Dec 2021

An amazing project with amazing staff

average rating is 5 out of 5

I work as a travel agent, bringing volunteers to DAKTARI and other projects around the world. After helping a lot of volunteers fulfill their dreams of coming to South Africa, I managed to arrange 2 weeks to spend at the project. What a wonderful time I had starting with the staff who are so friendly and polite, the animals being taken care of as if they were family and the amazing food that was prepared catering to each of the volunteers individual needs. I can only say that if you are looking for an unique and quality experience involving a well thought out educational program and the preservation of native animal species, this is the one for you.


Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage



19 Dec 2021

great experience

average rating is 4 out of 5

i had an enjoyable stay here in DAKTARI. be surrounded by wild animals is a chance and i also loved the teaching part of my stay


Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

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