For more conservation volunteer opportunities in Otago:
- volunteer for a DOC project
- visit Nature Space website to find out about other conservation groups you can join.
Coastal Otago volunteer activities
Coastal Otago Community Group report: groups who have an agreement with DOC should use this form to log volunteer hours for their agreed activity.
Aramoana Otago Conservation Charitable Trust
Aim: Helping to preserve the unique wildlife and flora of the Aramoana area. Workdays first Saturday of each month involve clearing, planting and maintaining public areas around Aramoana including arboretum. Meet at Aramoana Hall at 10 am.
Contact: Bradley Curnow firstname.lastname@example.org or +64 3 477 2244.
Forest & Bird – Dunedin Branch
Protecting and restoring New Zealand's natural environment. Various volunteering opportunities around Dunedin including:
- St Clair cliffs seabird project – contact Graeme Loh email@example.com or +64 21 132 2436
- Wildling Pine Control – contact Graeme Loh firstname.lastname@example.org or +64 21 132 2436
- Working bees for local reserves and in the Catlins at Tautuku – contact email@example.com or Forest & Bird Dunedin.
Forest & Bird – Waitaki Branch
Aim: Protecting and restoring New Zealand's natural environment. Various volunteering opportunities from enhancing yellow-eyed penguin habitat, restoring riparian vegetation, bird surveys, rare plant protection and plantings.
Orokonui Estuary Care Team
Aim: To restore Orokonui Estuary into a thriving, healthy wetland which links Orokonui Ecosanctuary to Blueskin Bay. Through planting and weeding we aim to improve the health and water quality of the Estuary and Blueskin Bay and provide habitat for estuarine flora and fauna and birds spreading out from the Ecosanctuary.
Green Hut Track Group
Aim: Track clearing and maintenance in the Silver Peaks/Silver Stream area. Working bee every Wednesday.
Contact: Graeme Elliot firstname.lastname@example.org or +64 3 454 3350.
Aim: Restoration of public reserve area on the banks of Tokomairiro River (near Manuka Gorge/Milton). Regular workdays, all welcome.
Contact: Alan Williams +64 3 417 8170.
Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust
Aim: To see our communities thrive with landscapes and corridors rich in habitat of our local plants and animals.
The trust operates Clyde Railhead Community Eco Nursery, which specialises in eco sourcing and growing of native dryland plant species. We support other community groups to undertake their own planting projects.
Volunteers are welcome – there are opportunities to be involved in the nursery and at planting days. We also work collaboratively with scientists and go on informative field trips.
Herbert Heritage Group
Aim: Enhancing the lower Waianakarua River through habitat restoration and revegetation of native plants. Working bees to plant and release native species.
Contact: Bronwyn +64 3 465 1900 or Margaret +64 3 439 5197.
Healthy Harbour Watchers
Aim: Monitoring the health of the waters of Otago Harbour.
Contact Andrew Innes +64 3 479 5842 or Healthy Harbour Watchers website.
Hawksbury Lagoon Inc
Aim: Planting, clearing and maintaining areas around the lagoon at Waikouaiti (East Otago).
New Zealand Sea Lion Trust
Aim: To provide protection to sea lions and educate people about the marine mammal species. The trust runs education programmes, supports scientific research, identifies and monitors local breeding population on the Otago and Southland coasts.
Our Seas Our Future
Aim: Protecting New Zealand’s coastal and marine ecosystems through advocacy, education and environmental stewardship. Volunteer opportunities include Adopt-a-CoastTM, and coastal clean-up events.
Aim: Protection of plants and animals from predators within a 307 ha fenced sanctuary. Volunteers are needed for weeding and planting, pest and fence monitoring, track building and maintenance and regular care of habitat areas.
River-Estuary Care: Waikouaiti-Karitane
Aim: Maintaining a healthy river and estuary ecosystem through community participation – monitoring, revegetation, advocacy, bird-watching. All welcome on workdays and other activities.
Contact: Andy Barratt +64 21 890 048.
Shetland Street Community Gardens
Aim: Regular vegetable gardening, nursery and other volunteer work at the Shetland Street Community Gardens. All welcome Tuesday and Thursday from 10 am to 3 pm.
Contact: Hendrik Koch +64 3 478 0311 or +64 21 116 832.
Aim: Restoration and enhancement of a large wetland south of Dunedin. Volunteers and community groups always welcome.
Quarantine Island/Kamau Taurua Community
Aim: Environmental and historic restoration, sustainability and spirituality are at the heart of this island community. Open weekends on the last weekend of each month, volunteers welcome for a day or multiple weeks. Activities include: native tree planting and follow-up, walking trail maintenance, weed and pest control and heritage restoration.
Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group
Aim: In partnership with Predator Free Dunedin, OPBG’s current focus is to eradicate possums from the Otago Peninsula by 2023. We have a variety of interesting activities across the peninsula which anyone can get involved in, whether it be biodiversity monitoring, track clearing, possum trapping or community engagement – we’d love to hear from anyone keen to join us in working toward a predator free peninsula.
Contact: email@example.com follow us on Facebook and check out the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity group website: Predator Free peninsula.
STOP (Save The Otago Peninsula Inc Society)
Aim: Protecting and enhancing the natural environment of the Otago Peninsula. Current working bees at Smiths Creek planting every Tuesday and Sunday. Volunteer tasks for all levels of abilities and skills.
Taieri Mouth Amenities Society
Aim: Clearing, planting and maintaining public areas around Taieri Mouth. Monthly workdays.
Contact: Marilyn Egerton +64 3 481 7171.
Tomahawk-Smaills Beachcare Trust
Aim: Coastal ecology, restoration and community education. Weekly volunteer days at Smaills Beach Nursery: Monday and Tuesday mornings 9 am -12 pm. For Winter planting dates and maintenance in dunes, see our Facebook page.
Warrington Reserve Group
Aim: Planting and plant maintenance on public reserve area.
Contact: Karen Hobday +64 3 482 2762.
Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust
Aim: Saving yellow-eyed penguin by restoring coastal forest and controlling predators. Frequent workdays involving clearing, planting and maintaining areas of coastal penguin habitat.
Wanaka/Hawea conservation volunteers
Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust
Aim: Supports the work of their community-based native plant nursery, which specialises in propagating plants of local origin for the restoration of habitats in the Upper Clutha Basin. You can volunteer in the nursery and get involved with planting days.
Watch a video
Each year thousands of people from the community – be they businesses, iwi, motivated individuals, trusts, landowners, schools – help in conservation efforts around New Zealand.
As part of Conservation Week 2012, Otago decided to recognise many of those individuals by recording their stories on film. This 8.5 minute video highlights the work of groups as diverse as the Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust, Orokonui Ecosanctuary, Air New Zealand, Ngai Tahu, Mitre 10 Mega, and many more.
We hope that many more people become involved, so that DOC can achieve its vision of doubling conservation efforts in our beautiful country in the next 20 years.