ISV - Volunteer Conservation Projects in Australia

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from ISV (International Student Volunteers).

Video and Photos

Rappelling off the Blue Mountains
Lunch break with a view
Bellbunya world record broken to get 8 people in a canoe safely across the lake and back!
White water rafting on the Tully river through the Daintree Rainforest. 10/10.

About

Despite its spectacular rugged beauty, Australia has lost many of its iconic species over the past 200 years and has one of the highest mammal extinction rates in the world. Conservation initiatives are becoming increasingly important for this island nation, and through volunteering with International Student Volunteers (ISV) you can help to make a real difference to Australia’s unique and diverse environment while exploring a new culture.

Projects with ISV vary from working at a wildlife sanctuary, to assisting with scientific research or participating in outdoor education programs. Volunteer tasks involve planting native species, removing invasive weeds, tackling erosion, monitoring species and habitat enhancement. ISV's conservation volunteer projects in Australia are a must for anyone who wants to make a positive environmental difference. Visit their website to sign up for the experience of a lifetime in Australia today.

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

The project and adventure tour costed a little under $5000. However, you do have to purchase the international flight separately which was under $2000. It was pretty pricey but if it was all totally worth it. ISV gives really good tips about fundraising. My main suggestion is to start saving and fundraising very early!

Reviews

9.88 Rating
based on 122 reviews
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 8.7
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 8 of 122
Default avatar
Adrianna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Summer Ever! Australia 2016

Traveling with ISV to Australia was one of the best decision that I have ever made. Growing up I had always wanted to visit Australia and travel the world, but I thought it would be impossible to go so young. After hearing about ISV I knew that I had to take the opportunity that was given to me. Going to Australia was the first time I had got on a plane and the first time I had ever left the State of Texas. It was scary and nerve-wracking at the beginning of the trip after all I went by myself half way across the world and with a bunch of strangers. This was the scariest thing I had ever done, but after the third plane and after meeting my group members, I knew it was all going to be okay. Volunteering at Phillip Island Nature Park for two weeks was interesting and a lot of fun. Learning about the environment, the animals, and making an impact in the world was an adventure itself, by building penguin houses, watching penguin parades and chasing wallabies out of plantations, it was so much fun. The girls I spent my time with went from strangers to family in just a couple of days. But that was just the beginning, and the action packed adventure tour was next and it was really an adventure, wing two weeks of laughter, being a risk-taker, and having adrenaline rushes. From swimming in the Great Barrier, to jumping off bridges and planes, the adventure was everywhere. The last week of the trip was a tour around the tropical islands of Fiji and it was paradise. This trip was not just a vacation, it was a life-changing experience. Learning about the culture of Australian natives and Fiji natives was a great experience and it made me realize how lucky I was to have everything. This trip is a bit pricey but every cent spent was all worth it for the trip of a life time and I definitely recommend everyone to join the experience.

What would you improve about this program?
This program could be improved by giving out project overviews or travel manuals more advanced rather than right before the trip. Maybe just samples of what the previous groups have done. Overall the program had everything organized.
Default avatar
Riley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Bellbunya Sustainable Community (AKA Paradise)

I have always wanted to visit Australia. However, it seemed so far away; out of reach for me. When I heard about ISV, such a trip didn't seem so impossible, and I signed up shortly after. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
My 4 weeks with ISV Australia were life changing. It is easy to throw around words like that on paper, but truly experiencing it is something different all together. From day one at Bellbunya Sustainable Community in the Queensland Sunshine Coast, I felt at home. I couldn't believe how lucky I was to be surrounded by such inspiring people, working amidst the most beautiful flora and fauna under the winter sunshine. Not once did I miss home, for I had found a new one, with 11 people who became like family to me. The bush regeneration work we did was hard but rewarding, and it was really wonderful to see the lingering achievements of past ISV groups in the area. I hope to return one day to see the trees we planted and visit the extraordinary people I met on project.
The reward for all that hard work was the adventure tour of a lifetime. When they say 2 weeks of action-packed, adrenaline-fueled activities, they mean it! Not only did we get the opportunity to jump out of planes and off bridges, but we got to experience things so uniquely Australian, from the Great Barrier Reef and local Aboriginal culture, to World Heritage sites and Vegemite! We covered the beautiful eastern coastline of the country with a fearless leader named Brodie, who truly is a fountain of knowledge on local history, activities, and hotspots.
Leaving my new ISV family at the end of the tour was really tough, but those are friends I know I will hold on to in the future. Not only did I leave with heaps of pictures and memories and great new friends, but with a greater understanding of life in another country, and how the ideals that we sought to understand there can be applied to my life back home. It can seem scary to sign up, to pack and say goodbye to home, but I promise you, it is worth it every step of the way.

What would you improve about this program?
I am sure everyone wants the trip to be cheaper, since it is pretty pricy, but I could really see where that money went. To me, it was worth every penny, but I think it could be emphasized how much additional money you will have to spend on the adventure tour. You will likely return home having spent more than anticipated, but to me, the things we did were truly priceless.
Also, the overnight bus rides on tour are quite difficult. I certainly don't know a way around that, since there is a lot of distance you cover on the trip, but it made for some uncomfortable nights and subsequent mornings. I think two weeks for an adventure tour like that is just the right length.
Overall, I think ISV does a fantastic job of providing safe, educational, rewarding, and exciting programs for people who want to take a step (or two!) out of their comfort zone to learn more about the world and our role in it.
Default avatar
Jacqueline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Overall best experience of my life but with a cost

Definitely the best experience of my life. This is my second time with ISV so obviously loved it so much I did it again. Adventure tour was incredible and safe. Really loved and miss my project. The staff was very friendly and well organized. Only issue I had with ISV is I found them really expensive but I thought it was worth it. Like I looked up the flight prices individually and they are a lot cheaper if you book them on your own than with the group flight. The volunteer portion is over priced but the adventure tour is reasonable. Highly recommend the four week program. You will regret it!

What would you improve about this program?
Make the program cheaper and a discount for those who have went before.
Default avatar
Hairuo
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-changing Experience

This trip to Australia is life-changing to me! I have learnt so much about how to protect the Earth by putting into individual effort, and how to better work in a team as well as enjoying the fun of learning about different culture.

Through two weeks' of tiring but exhilarating voluntary work, I understood how important it is to protect the Earth. Small steps can make big differences. I learnt how to do basic recycle, such as compost, desperate waste collection; I learnt that the consumption of bottled water, which could be less clean than tap water, has created tons of plastic waste; I learnt about how seriously the cutting of trees and construction of buildings along the Asian east coast has negatively threatened migrating birds' foraging habitat.

In addition, since I, as a Chinese, was immersed in both Australian and American culture, allowing me to enjoy stunning Australian sceneries in the farm and conservation park as well as lots of American jokes and food. It's amazing to cooked together, lived together, and talked about different life with students just like me all around the States!!!

What would you improve about this program?
Increase group member communication.
Default avatar
Kristina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

ISV Australia 2016

Going to Australia was on of the nest decisions I have ever made. Growing up in a small town I have always wanted an adventure, and I always wanted to do something bigger. This trip gave me the opportunity to do both. Being able to look back at the two weeks of volunteering, and seeing what my friends and I had accomplished was overwhelming. It is an incredible feeling. Then after two weeks of hard work, you get two weeks on adventure. We did things I would have never imagined doing. I made new friends and new everlasting memories.

Malarie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

ISV- Australia Stole My Heart

ISV has changed my life, I got a taste of a different way of living. Life was simple yet so exciting while traveling with my ISV Group. I worked in the Wild Mountains, a beautiful rain forest located near Rathdowney Queensland, with 13 other Volunteers who soon became a little family ill never forget and will always love. The Wild Mountain taught us how to live in this wonderful world off the resources earth provides us. We learned about sustainable living, while planting trees, doing track work, eating a vegetarian diet, and so much more. Traveling alone takes you out of your comfort zone and taught me so much more than I had expected to take from this trip. While volunteering I also learned about myself and what we I am capable of doing. ISV showed me what is important in life. Making an impact felt great and I will continue to do so in my own community now that I have the education.
The last 2 weeks of my trip was the Adventure Tour, it was an exciting 2 weeks of nonstop laughter and doing crazy things such as sky diving and white water rafting. One of my favorite activities was when we went scuba diving/snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. Floating above it and just realizing how beautiful this world we live in is and how lucky I was to have the opportunity to travel to this amazing country with this awesome group.
ISV brought me life long friends and memories I'll always share and never forget. I highly recommend traveling with International Student Volunteers. I have traveled with my family, I have also studied abroad but I have never walked away from a trip feeling this satisfied.

Default avatar
Michaela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

ISV 2016

My experience with ISV has changed my life. Although it sounds cheesy and cliche, I truly mean it. I learned so much about the importance of living sustainably, and how to properly apply that to my lifestyle. I had never actually been educated on conservation until I went to Australia. Not only was the learning experience amazing, the people I met have all become lifelong friends, that I will always share this experience with. I learned to push myself in multiple ways, like having to come out of my comfort zone to meet and live with 50 total strangers, and convincing myself to jump out of a plane 14,000 feet in the air. My life will forever be changed because of ISV.

What would you improve about this program?
N/A
Default avatar
Patricia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

ISV Australia May 2016

I had been nervous to be living with all strangers for two weeks, I felt homesick as I was boarding my flight. But as soon as I hung out with everybody I felt really comfortable because everyone else was likeminded and cared about the cause. Not only did I form a bond with all these girls but I also became inspired. Sometimes I felt really alone about my efforts at making a change but ISV introduced me to people that are just as passionate as me. I also thought Australia was one of the most beautiful places I've been to. Not only that but the lack of a language barrier really helped with culture immersion

What would you improve about this program?
I think the cost is a little steep but I understand that that money funds all the excursions and volunteer efforts.