Volunteer programs in New Zealand offer students an opportunity to serve a community and have a postcard worthy international experience, all at the same time. Whether your interests lie in providing services to indigenous peoples, or conservation efforts, these programs could make a lasting impact.  Not only is this a chance to get your hands dirty and actively work to improve the world, but this could also be a great time for some fun! Due to its small size, New Zealand offers many day-trip adventures for the curious traveler. During your stay, you could bounce from Auckland, to Queenstown, to even Middle Earth!

New Zealand volunteer programs are a new way to look at studying abroad. A way that not only broadens your horizons, but also helps the global community.  

Volunteering in New Zealand

Volunteering in New Zealand could present students with unique service opportunities thanks to its indigenous culture, varied wildlife, and expansive infrastructure. New Zealand volunteer programs might be an especially great choice for students interested in conservation. NZ is home to unique ecosystems that have been recently affected by things like climate change. Programs could have students visiting national parks and marine reserves to assist with conservation efforts. Or you could participate in education programs to inform others about the importance of keeping New Zealand's beautiful coastline clean. Not only might this be a great time to explore parts of New Zealand that are off the beaten trail, but you may also catch a glimpse of some native flora and fauna. Depending on your degree, you could even bring back your new conservation knowledge to support your studies!

Students interested in anthropology and cultural studies might also enjoy volunteering with the native Maori people. The indigenous community of New Zealand has a deep history, having lived in the country for centuries. Not only could volunteering benefit these peoples, but you might learn about their rich mythology and distinctive performing arts. Their dances are something you’re not likely to forget! This firsthand look into the Maori way of life might be a great way for you to apply your anthropological knowledge. Or, to just experience their unique culture! Projects could include childcare, construction and more. Contact your preferred programs for details.

These are just a few examples of what you might do while volunteering in New Zealand. And while these projects may be the focus of your trip, you could also gain useful professional skills and knowledge along the way. Your program could have you performing tasks like managing small groups, public speaking, teaching, or doing construction work. That’s not even counting the projects that apply to your home academics! This work experience could be great to list on your professional resume. For example, imagine listing that you’ve worked on current conservation efforts when you apply to a related internship! Having put in the hard work during volunteer programs in New Zealand, you might be able to cite valuable experience to help you jumpstart your future.

But, that’s not all! In addition to volunteering and learning new skills and knowledge, you could also have the chance to explore NZ! Whether you’re the adventurous type or in need of a break, there’s plenty to see and do. And, thanks to the size of New Zealand, it might only be a short drive away!

Exploring When You Volunteer in NZ

While the volunteering experience may take up a good portion of your schedule, there could still be time to explore what NZ has to offer. The smaller island is perfect for day trips throughout the country. Why not start your adventure in Queenstown? The energetic city is nestled in between the Remarkables mountain range and Kae Wakatipu lake. This is this a great place to experience NZ night life. It’s also home to tons of adrenaline junkies. Bungee jumping, rock climbing, and skiing are available throughout the city and surrounding mountainside. Why not give it a shot?

If you’re in the mood for a relaxing day, you could take the Auckland ferry to Waiheke Island. This ocean side paradise is covered with vineyards and olive groves. You know what the means. Good wine and great food! Thanks to erosion, the region’s grapes are grown in Jurassic soil. This makes for a unique tasting wine! Grab a glass of their dry chardonnay or their delicate sauvignon blanc. Pair that with their stunning views of sunset and beautiful beaches for a perfect day!

For those in search of adventure, why not visit the Milford Sound? Specifically, you could visit the Fiordland National Park. Rudyard Kipling called this place the “8th wonder of the world.” The Sound is a river valley surrounded by dynamic cliffs and sparkling waterfalls. While hiking might be common, don’t hesitate to rent a kayak and explore the clear blue waters. This could provide you with stunning views of the area’s distinctive black coral.

Of course, New Zealand is also known for their other fantastical locations. Literally! NZ was the filming site for the epic Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. While you might not run into Frodo or Gandalf, you could check out some of the remaining sets! Places like Hobbiton, Queenstown, and Dimrill Dale are accessible to tourists via scheduled tours. And, you could take in some of New Zealand’s rolling scenery as you go about your Middle Earth adventure.

These are only a few things you could do while volunteering in New Zealand! Be sure to check with potential programs to see if they have additional trips planned into your study abroad experience!

Find Volunteer Programs in New Zealand

Volunteer programs in New Zealand combine altruistic work with a healthy dose of adventure. What are you waiting for? Browse the list on this page to find a perfect NZ volunteer abroad program. For more information, click the link to read a brief description about the program. For more details, click the “request info” button. This could provide you with helpful information about itineraries, program lengths, and possible planned excursions. Good luck!

Featured Program Information


  • CISabroad

  • Pacific Discovery

  • International Volunteer HQ

  • Blue Voluntours

  • Love Volunteers

  • Taupo Language

  • Lattitude Global Volunteering

  • WorkingAbroad Projects

  • Travellers Worldwide

  • Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary

View Programs