Beyond the rugby world cup – luxury voluntourism in New Zealand

Hands Up voluntourism

Hands Up luxury voluntourism

OK, I admit it, I am biased.

As a New Zealander, I am passionate about my country, and very excited that the Rugby World Cup will do what the Lord of the Rings did earlier this decade and help people see what New Zealand has to offer.

There is so much to see and do here; some of my favorite places are:
– Waiheke Island 30 minutes from Auckland
– Old whaling town Russell in the Bay of Islands
– Hawke’s Bay and its superb wine
– Hiking or biking in Queen Charlotte Sound
– Overnight cruise and kayak in Doubtful Sound
– The rugged Catlins coastline and waterfalls

This is just scratching the surface – you can pick and choose to suit you, and all of these can be combined with fabulous luxury lodges, and a meaningful volunteer project to round-out your experience.

How to make your luxury New Zealand trip meaningful

Wildlife conservation in Hawkes Bay
The Cape Kidnappers and Ocean Beach Wildlife Preserve is a significant ecological mainland restoration project, situated on privately owned land on the iconic peninsula of Cape Kidnappers, Hawke’s Bay.
The vision is to restore many of the plant and animal communities that existed on the peninsula prior to human colonization.
You can play your part in a ground-breaking environmental conservation project to help save native birds, including kiwi.
The project is being undertaken on a large scale and across a mosaic of different habitat types. It is large enough to accommodate viable populations of most forest birds (including kiwi), and the movement of species which range widely over a variety of different habitats).

The large size of the preserve enables it to potentially support at least 400+ kiwi pairs and makes it the largest kiwi area protected from predators in Hawke’s Bay.

When to help?

The best time for you to assist at the sanctuary would be early December until early January, and early March to early April.

During these dates there are seabird chicks of two species (Cook’s petrel and Grey faced petrel) on site. The chicks have come from offshore islands where colonies still exist naturally, in the absence of predators. The chicks are hand fed on alternate days until they fledge after about three weeks and head out to sea. Feeding involves teams of 5 or 6 volunteers each time. It is a fantastic experience, ideal for families or honeymooners.

You get to help carry the chicks from their burrows to the “Petrel Station” where they are weighed, measured and fed a “sardine smoothie”, mimicking what they would be fed in the wild by their parents.

If you come any other time of year you can assist with the day to day running of the sanctuary, which would involve pest control work (servicing bait stations, checking traps, running tracking tunnels).

A Sample Itinerary (as seen in the NY Times)
Whilst we can tailor-make your itinerary just for you, to give you a flavor of what you can experience in New Zealand, click to view our sample 18 day luxury voluntourism itinerary.

This itinerary was recently featured in the New York Times, and is priced at US$29,990 (£18,800, A$28,000, €21,300) per adult, excluding international flights.

Luxury lodges for you
Naturally the lodges you stay at depend on where you choose to visit, but here are a small selection of my favorites:
– The Farm at Cape Kidnappers – your base for your wildlife conservation experience!
– Delamore Lodge on Waiheke Island
– Eagles Nest in Russell, Bay of islands
– Azur Lodge in Queenstown
– Matakauri Lodge near Queenstown
– Silver Pine Lodge near Lake Wanaka
– Pen y Bryn in historic Oamaru
– Bay of Many Coves in Queen Charlotte Sound

You can book your luxury voluntourism adventure to New Zealand by:
– call us from the US/Canada on 201 984 5372
– call us from the UK on 0207 193 1062
– call us from anywhere else on +44 207 193 1062
– email us at

Voluntourism New Zealand

Voluntourism New Zealand

In the meantime, enjoy the rugby world cup!


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