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Volunteer abroad projects in New Zealand focus mainly on the preservation and conservation of the natural environment. Surrounded by the natural and beautiful environment of New Zealand it is difficult for a volunteer not to be passionate about protecting our planet. New Zealand, home to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, has some of the world's most unique delights, from natural springs to boiling mud baths. Volunteers there will have opportunities to swim with dolphins, ski majestic mountain ranges and dance the haka with traditional Maori warriors. This magical country will give volunteers an experience they will never forget, in an environment they will want to preserve and save from the harm of our industrial world.
Once you volunteer there, New Zealand is undoubtedly going to become one of your favorite places in the entire world, especially if you establish yourself in a place where you can truly engrain yourself in the local culture. The country, from its snow-capped peaks to its bubbling hot springs, is filled with stunning landscapes, but even more impressive is the easy-going nature of the locals. Kiwis, as New Zealanders refer to themselves, are truly welcoming, life-loving people. There is so much to experience in New Zealand that I suggest you start planning your trip as soon as possible.
Environmental: The beautiful New Zealand landscape turned from pristine wilderness to land beset with environmental issues very quickly with the arrival of humans. Help bring the country closer to its natural state. Projects include invasive species removal; protection and rehabilitation of landscape; providing food and shelter for endangered species; and educating community members in sustainability and natural conservation.
Social Work: With clashes between Maori people and Europeans still abounding today, social issues can take a serious toll on the people of New Zealand. Volunteering for organizations working with the intellectually handicapped, elderly people, disabled children and adults is rewarding in and of itself and offers an opportunity to learn about New Zealand history and culture from those who lived it. Duties include laundry, kitchen work, care giving, and companionship.
Work Exchanges: Exchange several hours of work per day for free accommodation and food at farm stays, ranch stays, lodges, Bed and Breakfasts, backpacker hostels, and sailboats. This is a great way to travel on a budget while giving back to a country that can give a traveller so much.
New Zealand is a safe and an easy place to volunteer. Crime rates are low and decreasing. There are no predatory animals and very few poisonous insects. In fact, New Zealand natives and visitors create their own dangers by participating in adventurous activities such as bungee jumping, hiking (tramping), sky diving, Zorbing and many more. When participating in such extreme sports always inform someone of your whereabouts and itinerary, bring a buddy, and check all safety equipment before use.
No vaccines are needed to travel to New Zealand. US citizens do not require a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. The climate is temperate, though wide ranging between the north and the south.
Reasons to visit New Zealand are endless. Among the friendly people, the easy-going, fun culture, the active adventures and the natural wonders there is no reason not to volunteer in New Zealand. If you are passionate about travelling and about the environment, New Zealand is the place for you. With strong initiatives in environmental protection and easy access to so many outdoor activities New Zealand is the perfect place to employ your efforts in protecting the environment and having fun.
Leah is a world-traveler and regular contributor to FlipKey.com, which offers a range of short-term rentals in New Zealand and around the world. When she's not writing about traveling and volunteering, Leah works as a teacher in Colorado. Learn more about international rentals on The FlipKey Blog.
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