ISV - Volunteer Conservation Projects in Australia

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Program Update:

ISV will only be conducting programs for this coming summer, 2018 in the Dominican Republic.

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 at www.isvolunteers.org 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

99%
based on 122 reviews
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 8.7
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 106 - 120 of 122
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LizS
10/10

Best Decision I ever made

Volunteering in Australia with ISV was the most amazing experience of my life to date. The scenery was spectacular, getting to work outside in it every day was so amazing. Everyone we met was so welcoming and warm. The ISV staff were so helpful and taught me a lot about myself and the world we live in. I felt so wonderful to be making a difference in the world. It was really special to meet and get to know people from all over the world and get to experience a new world down under together. It was definitely a trip that left me with memories and friendships that will last me a lifetime. Making the choice to go on this trip was the best decision I ever made.

Yes, I recommend
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mault89
10/10

Best money I have ever spent

If you want to travel abroad and have an amazing time, all while learning "heaps", ISV is easily your volunteer abroad organization. While on my trip to Australia, We accomplished so much-including planting 5000 trees in just 3 days-and made a huge difference. The people in Australia were nothing but hospitable!

ISV does a great job at culturing you to the way of your host country, and makes sure you get the opportunity to "Do as the Romans do." While on my trip, we took a cruise through Sydney harbor at sunset, rappelling in the Blue Mountains in Sydney; Ocean rafting and surfing in Byron Bay; Whitewater rafting, Bungee Jumping, and Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns; AND SO MUCH MORE!

From the time I signed up in ISV, to the time I arrived home from my trip, I knew there was a great, supportive team working in the ISV offices always ensuring I was in nothing but the best hands!

I would absolutely recommend going on a trip with ISV to anyone, as it is by far...the BEST use of my money in my entire life.

Yes, I recommend
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Raven
10/10

Just do it !

If you're thinking about travelling with ISV to Australia, I only have one thing to say to you: just do it! You're probably worried about being so far away from home, and I don't blame you. Before my trip I was so anxious I couldn't sleep at night. That all disappeared once I landed in Australia. The staff was friendly right from the moment I met them at the airport. These strangers that you're assigned with for your volunteer program become some of the best friends in your life with memories you will never forget. Our group is getting together for New Years this year !
For your volunteer trip, you get to work with local Australian programs. I worked with Conservation Volunteers of Australia where we did conservation work around Townsville, QSLD, Australia. It was a great learning experience.
For your adventure tour, you get to do so many amazing things you never even imagined being able to do in a lifetime, let alone in two weeks. I went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, Night bungy jumping, rafting and so much more.
I give ISV a 10/10. I had such an amazing time.

Yes, I recommend
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gabriunese
9/10

ISV Australia

The ISV volunteer staff was very helpful. They demonstrated all of the work that we would be doing, such as realligning fence posts. I found that I bonded with my fellow volunteers through the work that we performed.

Yes, I recommend
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Schondy
10/10

Honestly, Trip of a Lifetime!

I had had some fun family vacations before travelling with ISV, but I never knew what a 'trip of a lifetime' was like. I found out in Australia with this group. Everything about the trip is perfect, from the format and planning of volunteering for two weeks and adventuring for two more. Tony the bus driver was the man and our tour leader Joe reminded me of my brother. I did my voulunteer aspect of the trip in a small town of 70 people. A group of 8 of us were there for two weeks so imagine how much we were able to help these people who just didn't have the time to do it themselves. The town was 6 hours north of Melbourne so not many people venture that way, we visited the school kids (all 12 of them) and played games and talked a couple times while we were there.
So after helping the community out for two weeks we headed back to Melbourne for our flight to Sydney where we met up with the rest of the groups to become a huge group of around 50! Now we were ready to take Australia by storm! We started in Sydney and made our way up the East Coast, all the way to the tropics and the Great Barrier Reef. We had stops along the way at the world's largest sand island (Fraiser Island) and Byron Bay (my favorite), just to name a few. So the adventure aspect was great, we all had so much fun, but the part I like best about the trip was the planning and ISV's reputation. Everything was planned out perfectly, Joe was on top of his game. We sat on the bus while Tony got us to our destination safely. We got off the bus, went to the front of the line, did what we were there to do, and got discounts all over the place. We were checked into the hostels before we even got there, dinner was waiting for us multiple nights. I don't know how much more I can say, you're gonna have to believe me and find out for yourself!

Yes, I recommend
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haleighsilz
10/10

ISV Changed My Life

International Student Volunteers is a wonderful overseas volunteer program. I went to Australia and volunteered in a small town called Lithgow, just west of Sydney. We had a wonderful host, Colleen, who helped us and taught us things about Australia every day. Our host program, Secret Creek, was also amazing and we took Dingoes on walks, played with emus, and saw some wallabies on their sanctuary site. We planted trees for most of our volunteer work and ended up planting 4,180 in our 2 week stay. I met some amazing people on this trip, whom I will remain in contact with and hopefully reunite with some day. The adventure tour portion of the trip was also a blast. There was sky diving, bungee jumping, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, surfing, ocean kayaking, white water rafting, and even ocean rafting. It was incredibly organized and I felt like I did more in my 5 weeks overseas than I would have done in a lifetime. I also spent a week relaxing on the beach of Bounty Island Resort in Fiji with the people I met through ISV. It is an amazing experience that I will never forget and I recommend it to everyone I know!

Yes, I recommend
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trailtigger
10/10

Australia experience with ISV

It was amazing! Every day was a new adventure. I learnt so much from this. I made a bunch a lifetime friends. I will never forget this. I would do this again. The program leaders at ISV made sure you had the best time and did what you wanted to do. It was very organized.

Yes, I recommend
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Paula
10/10

ISV Australia 2011

The ISV program is amazing. My volunteer project was Walkabout Wildlife park, an hour from Sydney. Our project leader picked us up at the airport and he drove us there, where we stayed for 2 weeks. The staff of the park was really really nice and they made everything really simple. We worked a lot but doing different things every day and it was amazing. Plus we were surrounded by animals all the time, which was great. We got to spend a lot of time with kangaroos (so cute) and koalas and we saw a lot of australian species! During the day we worked from 8 till 4 and then during the evening you have free time (we went to Harry Potter's premiere!) and we also had the weekend off, that time can be used to do whatever you feel like (visiting other places and cities).
When the two volunteer weeks finished we were off to Cairns (north of Queensland) and our adventure tour started. First in Cairns we went snorkeling and scuba diving in The Great Barrier Reef and we went white water rafting in Tully river! You get the opportunity to go skydiving or bungee jumping during your free day (you have to pay extra for that but it's totally worth it!) After 5 days we left and our next stop was Airlie Beach, where we could see the Whitsunday islands, which are heaven! They've got the whitest sand in the world and they are really beautiful. We also went ocean rafting here. After that we went to Fraser island (the biggest sand island in the world). This is a great place to see dingoes and whales. The most fun part is jumping from the sand dunes! Then we went to Byron Bay, where we had a 2h surfing lesson. This was awesome! The rest of the time you spent in Byron Bay is free so you can find other activities, relax at the beach, visit the lighthouse or go surfing after your lesson! Finally our last stop was Sydney. Here we had a free day and on the evening we went on a sunset cruise around Sydney Harbour. It was great to see the opera house and the harbour bridge at sunset, amazing views! The next day we went to the Blue Mountains and we tried rappelling.
The program is totally worth it. Some of the activities you do on the adventure tour (like surfing and the sunset cruise) are optional so you have to pay more if you wanna do it. Everybody should try them because they are amazing (everyone in my group signed up for them!)

Yes, I recommend
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Jerome
10/10

The only limits in life are the ones you set yourself.

In 2008 I visited Australia for a brief visit and as sson as I was in the Airport going home I was planning for when I would get back. Unfortunatly none of my friends wanted to travel so the idea of going on my own was daunting....thats where ISV came in....

As soon as i applied for the programe, Isv staff were in contact from the off. They helped enormously in the getting ready for the trip from flights to visas (the things that cause major headaches) the leaders who we were to meet when arriving e-mailed me straight away with a photo of themselves and a small bio...

Now to the trip itself...the only negative that i had was that the time went so quick...for the volunteering we were creating habitats fro re-introducing injured animals back into the wild. This involved clearing along riverbanks, overgrowth around bases of trees and planting new trees and such for increasing the safety of these animals. There is no denying that the work is tough at times but visiting local animal sancturies and getting visited by local community groups, the sense of how important the work you do is and how appreciative the people are in overwhelming to say the least...

The format for ISV is 2 weeks volunteering followed by 2 weeks adventure travel... At the end of the programe all the groups met in Cairns and the social scene hit the roof....a group of around 40-50 people of a similar age with similar interests from all over the world coming together...

we prtied, learned about the different habitats in the GBR great barrier reef and then got to see all first hand on a snorkling/diving trip....met native tribes...on an off day they helped myself and a few friends organise a horseback riding trip to the rainforest while others went sky-diving.... Kirsty out tour guide and tony the bus driver were nothing short of amazing,, they were just part of the group while maintaining a sense of professionalism that was second to none.... spending time on Fraser island...learning to surf in Byron Bay + getting up at 4.30am by choice to hike to the lighthouse at Australia's most eastery point to watch the first rays of sun hit the Australian coast.....sun-set cruise around Sydney's darling harbour and Opera house....absailing in the blue mountains... All of this just a snap shot of what actually took place.. and all already booked and payed for before I even left Ireland so the trip was stress free from start to finish, meaning all I had to do was ly back and enjoy it

I had spent years looking at what I would do when I went down under again, but the places that a trip with ISV takes you,i never would have thought of or come across when planning from home. and now i am glad i went with ISV as I wouldnt have changed any element of the trip for any money.

Now thanks to ISV i have made so many life long friends from all over the world...I have since travelled to London to have a small renunion with some of the volunteers from the UK, and am currently planning a trip to the US to meet up with some of the people from there while still looking into my next trip with ISV... I think i might go to New Zealand or South Africa next :) :)

Yes, I recommend
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LostKoala
10/10

My Australian Adventure

This time last year, if anyone had told me that I would be spending my summer in volunteering in the Australian outback, I would never have believed it. I had always wanted to travel; I’d considered taking a gap year before starting university but had decided against it due to a lack of funds. The prospect of travelling to the other side of the world seemed both impractical and unaffordable. But during my first term at university I found out about International Student Volunteers, an organisation that offers programmes for four weeks or more in such countries as Australia, New Zealand, Ecuador, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Thailand and Eastern Europe. I was immediately attracted to the Australia programme, particularly the adventure tour, which included a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, a place I’d always dreamed of visiting.

When I started university, the best advice I received was to make the most of every opportunity, and I knew that this was one I could not ignore. The ISV programme sounded ideal- combining two weeks of volunteering on meaningful projects in conservation or education, with a two-week adventure tour that allows participants to experience the best of their host country. Furthermore, ISV organised all flights and accommodation, and provided a fundraising pack with some great ideas for how to raise money for the trip. Money had been my first concern, but through the support of my friends and family (as well as a travel grant I received from the university) I succeeded in raising the money to pay both for the programme and for the Optional Activity Package, allowing me to take part in even more activities on the Adventure Tour.

When the day of departure arrived, I was undeniably nervous- I had never travelled alone before, and I was embarking on a 23-hour flight to the other side of the world with a group of strangers! However, we might have been strangers, but we were all going there for the same reason: to meet new people and to make a difference to the country. My project was with Wild Mountains Trust, an environmental education centre deep in the Australian bush. It was great to meet all the other people on my project, and to know that we had all come from different corners of the globe to help to protect Australia’s threatened wildlife and habitats. The centre promoted sustainable living, and the change of lifestyle proved a bit of a shock for some people! We stayed in camping cabins with no heating, and the meals were exclusively vegetarian. As the centre operates on its own water and power supplies, this raised our awareness of the use of those resources. The isolated setting proved to be liberating- with no technology, and barely a connection to civilisation, it was both a lesson in sustainable living and a lesson in life. We were encouraged to keep a journal in order to reflect on our experiences; looking back, I can see how much I learnt- how to better appreciate those around me, as well as our planet. Volunteer tasks included trail building, weeding, tree planting, completing paving for an amphitheatre, building a path, and collecting firewood- contributing towards both the maintenance of the education centre and the protection of the ecosystems of the surrounding rainforest. I was truly grateful to be able to make a difference to the world heritage listed forests, and had some wonderful experiences that I will treasure for life: hiking through the rainforest; watching the sun rise over the mountains; sitting around a campfire beneath the stars; and observing the amazing wildlife, including koalas and wallabies. I feel that I really got to see Australia, and not just from a tourist’s perspective. I think the people at Wild Mountains are truly inspiring, and their belief that education is the best way to build a more environmentally sustainable world is definitely one that world leaders would do well to adopt!

Following this, we had our two-week action-packed adventure tour, travelling down the east coast of Australia in order to see the best of the country- whilst practising responsible tourism. We began our adventure in Cairns, where we visited the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns, learning about Australia’s indigenous people and their history and beliefs- and even learning to throw a boomerang! We then spent a day on the Great Barrier Reef, snorkelling and scuba diving- there was something so surreal about seeing the corals appearing from the gloom, like watching a 3D video, only with the weightless sensation of being underwater. We even found Nemo! Another memorable experience was white water rafting on the Tully River- racing through rapids, tumbling down waterfalls, and (on one occasion) our raft being completely submerged! Whilst travelling down Australia’s east coast we also visited Whitehaven Beach, a tropical paradise amongst the Whitsunday Islands, whilst ocean rafting and snorkelling on the reef. We spent a few days on the beautiful Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island, hiking amongst rainforests and sand dune; and another action-packed two days in Byron Bay, learning to surf, and even jumping out of planes in the most thrilling experience of all- skydiving! This was without a doubt the highlight of the trip- I discovered a new love for freefalling, and I would do it again without hesitation!

We finished our tour in Sydney, abseiling in the Blue Mountains and encountering Australia’s unique wildlife at Featherdale Wildlife Park. We even got to feed kangaroos! Within two weeks I had learnt so much about Australian culture, and pushed my boundaries beyond anything I had expected. From visiting World Heritage listed areas to participating in thrilling activities, the adventure tour exceeded my expectations. Without ISV it would have been impossible to fit so many activities in, and would been far more expensive as they worked hard to get us the best deals. The only complaint anyone had was that it was over too quickly, and the worst part was saying goodbye! If I were to repeat the experience I would change nothing- I feel I made the most of every second of my trip, and I will never forget it.

I would encourage anyone who wants to travel, learn and volunteer to consider taking part in one of ISV’s programmes. They are committed to helping participants expand their horizons and worldview whilst simultaneously raising our awareness of the impact of our actions on the planet; and the money invested in the programmes goes directly towards the organisations that make a difference to the people and the environment of the country. ISV well deserves its reputation as a leading volunteer organisation. I am now an ISV Student Rep, so feel free to contact me with any questions about ISV (my email address is [email protected]), or you can visit their website at www.isvolunteers.org, where you can download an application form (if you decide to apply, could you please write “Emma Adams, Lancaster University” under the question, “Where did you hear about ISV?”).

Have fun adventuring!

Yes, I recommend
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Matt
10/10

Lithgow 2011!

I had an amazing time volunteering in Lithgow Australia. We spent two weeks in two separate working areas. One was a wildlife sanctuary which mainly consisted of marsupials and Dingos. We had the chance to look after such animals and even walk a Dingo! The other was a six star resort which required the plantation of many trees. We planted over 1500 in less than two weeks, which gives you an immense feeling of satisfaction! We also managed to create our own bush track on a bush walk which was a great experience. One piece of advice i would give would be to bring plenty of warm clothes as at times the weather was around/below 0 degrees. We stayed above a pub. The accommodation was nice but very basic. Youre busy a lot of the time so its not noticed as much.

On our free days we did some travelling. On the free weekend some of us stayed over in Sydney as its less than 3 hours away on train at an affordable price.

The most enjoyable part of the two weeks was definitely the people! My group consisted of 10 women and 2 men with a mixture of British, American and one Austrian. We all got along well and loved being part of a team. Such friendships were made that will probably last for life! :)

Yes, I recommend
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Mojo35300
10/10

Experience of a Lifetime

Travelling with ISV was the best decision I ever made. I went to Australia on the 4 wk standard program. I did work with wild Mountains Trust in Rathdowney. We planted trees, did building work and looked after the rainforest. We stayed in A-Frames at night. The people up there were inspirational.
After that we travelled from Cairns down to Sydney by bus. At night we went out and explored the night life and during the day we went ocean rafting, rappelling in the Blue Mountains and scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. WE saw dolphins, whales and sea turtles.
I had the best time travelling with ISV, made a tonne of new friends and would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to volunteer and have a great experience at the same time.

Yes, I recommend
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JamiCreel7
10/10

Carpe Diem

Traveling with International Student Volunteers changed my life. I had the chance to meet new people from around the world while giving back by volunteering. I liked learning a lot about myself as well as learning about the environment. Seeing the influence my actions helped in the rain forest gave me satisfaction.I also tried new things that I would not of considered like repelling off the Blue Mountains in Australia. I love that I had the opportunity to travel with ISV during my college years to really learn who I am.

Yes, I recommend
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Hannah
10/10

ISV in Australia Was An Experience I Will Never Forget!

On ISV's volunteer abroad program in Australia, I had the time of my life. I left feeling that I made a profound impact on the world around me. The food in Aussie was basically multi-cultural including asian food, barbecues (barbies they call them), and anything you can basically think of! I would go again on one of these trips again in a heart beat. The friends I made and the people I met will be in my life in the long run. While we were abroad, we began to feel and act like family. The ISV staff was great at making you feel safe, making sure you got an amazing experience, and explaining the culture around us. I enjoyed volunteering abroad because it allowed me to make an impact on another culture and it allowed me to travel as well! I would recommend this to everyone interested in traveling abroad!!! It changed me because I learned the importance of preserving our world and the ability each person on this earth has to make an impact. I recommend EVERYONE to do ISV if they have the time. The cost of the trip is amazing for what it all covers. GO GO GO!!!

Yes, I recommend
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Seb
10/10

Best Trip Ever!

ISV is a great organisation and I had the time of my life! This was no ordinary volunteer trip. Not only did we get a sense that we were accomplishing something worthwhile, but the experiences lived on the adventure tour were amazing!

Yes, I recommend

About ISV (International Student Volunteers)

ISV’s mission is to support sustainable development programs around the world through life changing student volunteer programs designed to positively impact our world and to educate, inspire and result in more active global citizens.

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