October 2019 – April 2020: Help protect the wildlife at Sandfly Bay by teaching visitors about it.

In this section

Become a Sandfly Bay Wildlife Guardian. Teach visitors about the special wildlife that visit the beach and how we should share the space with them . You will also be able to help with wildlife management projects such as pest control and wildlife monitoring. 


Mid-October to mid-April.


Sandfly Bay lies 15 km east of central Dunedin on the Otago Peninsula. It was named after the sand which, given the windy nature of this coast, flies from the dunes surrounding the bay. The Bay boasts amazing recreational opportunities such as sand-boarding and exploring the walking tracks as well a prime spot for wildlife viewing. Sandfly bay is not only a popular spot for tourists, but is frequented by Hooker's sea lions/whakahaoNew Zealand fur seals/kekeno and yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho.

Sandfly Bay Wildlife Guardians play a key role in the protection of the precious wildlife that visit the area. One of the biggest threats to the wildlife at this site is human interactions. This can be very distressing for the wildlife and we want to make sure that both the wildlife and those who come to visit have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Tasks can include:

  • Educating Sandfly Bay visitors about the wildlife that use the beach and how to share the beach with them
  • Ensuring that visitors keep a safe distance from the wildlife
  • Monitoring and reporting on wildlife activity to DOC staff
  • Assisting with wildlife management projects such as yellow-eyed penguin nest checks and trapline maintenance

What to expect

Weather: Volunteers will at times experience cold windy weather conditions.

Fitness/skills required: There is a significant amount of walking involved. Suitable for people with a moderate level of fitness and good mobility. Access to the bay is via a steep sand dune.

Time commitment: Volunteers must be able to commit to one month during the season. Volunteers generally go out at least once a fortnight and can pick how long they go out for. Site visits are normally between late afternoon and early evening.

Getting there:

You will need to provide your own transport or we can help organise a car pool. There is a car park at the site.

What's provided 

  • An introductory pre-season training session covering wildlife behaviour and key advocacy messaging
  • Species information and updates ( during the season)
  • Safety and wildlife viewing equipment
  • An end of season debrief 
  • Petrol voucher to assist with driving costs
  • Pest management experience (if requested)
  • Experience in wildlife management and conservation advocacy

How to apply

Register to volunteer by completing the online application form.

Not quite for you?


If you have questions about this activity email

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