Fancy a trip of a lifetime to sun-soaked Queensland, Australia to work with cuddly wallabies and wombats all day? These Aussie superstars need your help – guest blogger Claire Herbaux, of NGO Frontier, tells us how you could be enjoying a wild life in the sunshine state…
Kangeroos and wallabies, an iconic site for visitors to Australia, are often a nuisance – a pest even – to locals. The law may protect them but many marsupials get injured or killed as it’s easy to obtain a permit to shoot those that damage land.
Between bad shots and road accidents, many wallabies end up in rescue centres including young joeys left in their mother’s pouch after she dies. Frontier runs the Australia Wallaby Rescue project at an animal sanctuary in Gladstone, Queensland, that takes care of injured animals. The sanctuary helps hand-rear joeys that have lost their mothers, as well as running wombat breeding programme. Koalas and other wildlife are also cared for.
Life as a volunteer on the project
On the project, everything depends on the season and every day is different. You may be working with rescued joeys, helping the wombat breeding programme, getting animals ready to be released back into the wild, or preparing the sanctuary for school visits. General activities include maintaining the animals’ living quarters, food prep and feeding, and building new facilities.
In the hot Queensland weather, the day starts early to avoid the heat and lunch time is spent relaxing and taking in outback life.
The rescue centre has volunteer accommodation on site which includes laundry and cooking facilities. It is a home environment and rooms are usually shared with another volunteer. The next city is a little way away but food is provided. Volunteers prepare their own breakfast and lunch, with everyone eating together in the evening with a meal prepared by the host.
Recommended for… Anyone wanting to experience life in the Australian outback and get up close to native animals.
Be aware that… The sanctuary is not in the vicinity of any towns – you won’t be going out to the pub, but will spend relaxing time with the host family and other volunteers.
Prices start at £799 for two weeks (excluding flights) with extra weeks available. For more information, including a full programme, departure dates and bookings, visit www.frontier.ac.uk
About the author: Claire Herbaux is an Online Journalism Intern at Frontier, an international non-profit volunteering NGO. Check out Frontier’s blog Into the Wild for more gap year ideas to help make your time out meaningful. For more information about travel and volunteering opportunities available please visit www.frontier.ac.uk.