Volunteers have the opportunity to live and work on Kapiti Island for a month at a time during summer. You'll assist DOC rangers with conservation and recreation tasks, and interact with the public on behalf of DOC.


You must be available for two blocks of 8–10 days in a 1 month period. You'll get a 4-day break in between these two blocks. The break allows you to leave the island and restock supplies.

This opportunity is very popular and gets many applicants for the limited space the island can accommodate.

2019 dates

All 2019 dates are now filled. 

Available 2020 dates

  • 6 January – 29 January
  • 13 January – 5 February
  • 3 February – 26 February
  • 10 February – 4 March
  • 2 March – 25 March
  • 9 March – 1 April
  • 30 March – 22 April
  • 6 April – 29 April

What to expect

Kapiti Island Nature Reserve is a spectacular location and is home to unique wildlife. You'll be supporting the Kapiti Island rangers and the Hihi Ranger. You'll usually work with other volunteers on general tasks and projects to help with the upkeep of the island.

You'll be working 6–8 hour days and must be able to commit to the full block of days.

Jobs you may be required to do include:

  • toilet cleaning
  • checking trap boxes
  • track maintenance
  • beach clean-ups
  • visitor surveys
  • bird feeding, which involves carrying heavy loads uphill
  • maintenance of bird feeders and cleaning of equipment
  • bird counts
  • domestic chores including basic DIY, painting, cleaning and weeding
  • assisting with other research and conservation projects.

You must be over the age of 18.

Fitness required: The work is physical, repetitive and will require you to climb steep tracks, carrying up to 20 kg backpacks.

Skills required: Volunteers must be confident in interacting with members of the public and have the ability to work independently or within a group. Your skills will be matched to the tasks available where possible and additional training will be provided.

Transport and biosecurity: You'll need to arrange and pay for transport to the Paraparaumu Beach departure point. Boat transport to and from the island will be arranged and paid for in advance by the rangers. Kapiti Island is a pest and predator-free Nature Reserve so there are strict biosecurity protocols in place. Details will be provided to all successful volunteer applicants at the planning stage of their trip. 

Training: Any necessary training will be provided if you have specific skills please list them in your application.

Accommodation: Volunteers will stay in a bunkroom with others. The accommodation has shared facilities including:

  • a well-equipped kitchen
  • lounge/living area
  • shared bathroom
  • washing machine
  • electricity from renewable sources.

What to bring

Food: Volunteers are to provide their own food. No food supplies are available on the island. Pack all food in rodent and insect-proof sealed containers.

Gear: Find out what to bring. A full gear list will be provided when your volunteering opportunity is confirmed. Any safety gear and all tools will be supplied.

Note: Due to biosecurity rules you must check and clean all gear vigilantly before packing. Do not bring any gaiters or tents with you. Pack all your gear in sealed containers or a backpack. No loose items or open food bags are permitted to land on Kapiti Island.

How to apply

To register your interest in any of these activities fill in the online application form.

What happens next?

We will contact you within three weeks of your application if there is a position available for you.

If we do not contact you within three weeks this means your application has been unsuccessful. 


Kapiti Wellington Office
Phone:   +64 4 470 8412
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   13b Wall Place
Porirua 5022
Postal Address:   PO Box 5086
Wellington 6140
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