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Free (or Cheap) Volunteer Work in New Zealand

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Free or Cheap Volunteer Work in New Zealand


We have more projects in the land of the long white cloud to add so please check back here again soon. Many hostels are open to work exchanges and the number of projects listed on the help exchange websites in relation to population is amongst the highest in the world.


Grassroots Volunteering in New Zealand

The organisations listed below have either got in touch with us to add their details to this or another of our websites, or we otherwise have reason to believe they are actively looking for international volunteers and charge reasonable or no fees to join in, live and work with them:

Department of Conservation

The government agency charged with conserving New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage accepts international volunteers to assist with field work in a range of projects across the country.

Where: Various projects across New Zealand.
Accommodation & Costs: There is generally no charge to participate in their volunteer activities but some projects may request a contribution to transport, food or other costs. Volunteers are usually expected to provide their own accommodation. Often a sleeping bag is required. Sometimes help with local accommodation may be provided due to the location, work and time required of volunteers.

Volunteering in New Zealand


Other Opportunities to Volunteer in New Zealand

Striving to be an example of a more sustainable, collaborative way of living within their environment, Wilderland aims to go beyond WWOOFing by inviting couples, with or without school age children, to join their way of life and take responsibility for an area where they can flourish with their creative dedication. Skills wanted include IT, beekeeping, finance, graphic design and orchard care.


Help Exchange Networks in New Zealand

Workaway -
HelpStay -{XID_HASH}
HelpX -

Farm Helpers in New Zealand (FHiNZ) sells a booklet listing about 350 farms throughout New Zealand. These farmers welcome visitors to stay for free, food and board provided, in exchange for 4-6 hours work each day. The booklet is available for NZ$25 via and can be used by a family, couple or two people travelling together.


More Volunteering in New Zealand Resources

New Zealand Trust for Conservation Volunteers - NZTCV provides information on wildlife, botanical, restoration and other conservation projects found across the length of the land of the long white cloud. Hundreds of projects are listed on their boards.


Other Ways to Travel or Stay for Free in New Zealand

Stay for free in return for caring for local residents' homes or pets. Join Trusted Housesitters to live rent free as a house sitter (Americans may prefer this link). You can also get a free $25 Airbnb credit from us here. To get around New Zealand free cars or campervans are available to travellers with a full driving license valid in New Zealand willing to take hire vehicles from where they are to where rental companies want them to be. See for more details.


Volunteer Experiences*

WWOOFing in New Zealand - Rebecca Morley recounts her experiences on three farms in New Zealand.
Cool People Met While WWOOFing: Lee the Dish Fairy - Celeste reminisces about a Korean friend she knew in New Zealand.
Work Exchange New Zealand: 30+ Bonuses I Enjoyed at my South Island HelpX Gigs - Lash spent half of her three months in New Zealand with HelpX hosts. She shares some of the wonderful extra things you might get to see, do, learn, eat and enjoy whenever you join a work exchange assignment.
Work Exchange: 50 Benefits I Enjoyed on New Zealand HelpX Gigs - Along with a bed and food Lash got some perks she not have been able to enjoy if I had not joined her work exchanges.


* not all these volunteer experiences are with grassroots NGOs or low cost organisations

Image courtesy Kathrin & Stefan Marks