Kangaroo Island (or KI as the locals know it) really is an unspoilt wilderness, with a quarter of the island conserved in protected parks providing a home to many different endangered animals. Thankfully, the island has been spared the damage done on the mainland by foxes and rabbits, ensuring the integrity of native bushland.
The Wildlife Sanctuary is in the western end of the Island, close to Flinders Chase National Park, Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch and Kelly Hill Caves. It’s also only a short distance away from a beautiful beach where you can swim and fish. There’s plenty of bush-walking opportunities and mountain-biking too.
LOCATION: WESTERN KANGAROO ISLAND, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at the Western end of Kangaroo Island, South Australia. The Sanctuary was first established in 1997, covers an area of 2,230 hectares, with 6km of spectacular coastline and is the largest privately owned conservation property on KI. Within the sanctuary you will find many different species including wallabies, kangaroos, pigmy possums, echidnas, koalas and possums. The area is also a bird watcher’s paradise, with many species calling the sanctuary home.
The sanctuary’s conservation work is funded by beachfront accommodation; a backpacker lodge, guided nocturnal tours and self guided koala tours. This is truly an exceptional place with its abundant wildlife and pristine coastline. The animals live free in their natural habitat and environment, which the sanctuary offers them. Nocturnal tours are conducted each evening to give visitors to the Island the ultimate wildlife experience.
Once you have arrived at the sanctuary, you will be given a detailed orientation and tour by the programme coordinator. This is a great opportunity to ask questions. Topics covered will include;
An introduction to the sanctuary
Health and safety briefing
Meals and accommodation
An introduction to the area
What you can do in your free time
Throughout your stay you will have the support and guidance of the sanctuary staff and coordinator. They will provide you with assistance and help you with any questions or advice you need during your stay. In addition, you are also able to contact our staff 24 hours a day should you need to.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
All volunteers are picked up in the morning from the main town of Kingscote or KI airport by the project staff and transferred to the Wildlife Sanctuary.
As a volunteer, you will work various hours, weather and temperature permitting, five days a week, doing all sort of different duties depending on the priority at the time, so it’s essential you go with a flexible attitude.
The feral-proof fence, which is vital to maintaining the habitats within the sanctuary, needs checking so you will walk the fence 3-4 times a week to check for minor damage at the base. Volunteers will also check on the activities along the Koala Avenue for any public hazards and rubbish as well as making sure that the bird feeders and water containers are full.
You’ll also be getting involved in Koala surveys, which take place approximately 3 times a week. This involves walking along Koala Avenue and counting how many Koalas you can see and if possible if they have a tag on their ear. You can then record the data onto a computer and this helps to track the number of Koalas, sex and sterilization.
Re-vegetation of the sanctuary and other ground maintenance, including clearing and hazard reduction on the paths, is always ongoing at the sanctuary. This is vitally important to help maintain the habitat and attract tourism to the area. During these activities volunteers are encouraged to interact with the many international and local visitors to the sanctuary, have a chat and show them around.
Volunteers are encouraged to help marshal the popular nocturnal tours that run in the evenings, however this is optional so you can choose to relax instead. The tours are a great way to discover a world that comes to life while you are usually asleep! You’ll learn about the nocturnal animals of Kangaroo Island in their natural habitat and environment.
ACTIVITIES YOU MAY BE INVOLVED IN INCLUDE:
Planting trees and shrubs
Assisting with cleaning and laundry
Monitoring Koalas, observing and taking note of their behaviour
Assisting with tourists/visitors
Participating in Guided tours
Assist in survey and monitoring of animals
Honey is made at the sanctuary so at times you can be involved in scraping and packaging honey
Please note: Itineraries and activities are subject to change
Additional Information & FAQs
Minimum age 18, maximum decided on potential participants’ health.
ACCOMMODATION & MEALS
Volunteers are housed in the Farmhouse in shared accommodation which includes a large kitchen, lounge, dining area and games room. Volunteers will stay in single-sex shared bedrooms and there are two bathrooms in the house. There are plenty of DVDs, books and magazines to entertain you (dvd player has a USB option should you want to bring your own). There is also a wood fire for cooler evenings. Full linen is supplied during your stay. There is WiFi at the nearby Visitor Centre, which you can use when it’s available.
Food provisions will be provided weekly and there is a fully-equipped kitchen in your quarters for preparing breakfast and dinners. You and your fellow volunteers will cook as a team (sharing the cooking and clean-up responsibilities). A sandwich lunch will be prepared for you at the visitor centre (this may vary).
ADVICE & SAFETY
Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay.
In addition, you will have access to a 24-hour emergency contact number.
1. What visa do I need?
If you are just visiting Australia as a tourist you will need to apply for the 3 month e-visitor visa. If you are planning to work whilst you are out there after your programme you will need to apply for the 12 month Working Holiday Visa.
2. I have certain dietary requirements, will this be a problem?
Not at all! Special dietary requirements can be catered for. Just let us know in advance so that we can let our in-country coordinator know, as the nearest supermarket is 100km away! Please note that snacks are not included on the weekly food shop, so you will need to have sufficient funds if you require luxuries like chocolate!
3. Will I have my own room?
You will stay in a shared room with up to four people of the same gender
4. Is there Internet access at the project?
There is limited Internet which you may use to check your emails.
5. How much hands-on work can I get involved with the animals?
The sanctuary is not a zoo and many of the animals are wild therefore you should not expect to handle these animals. The focus of this project is on conservation work to help protect them and their habitat.
6. Do I need to take a sleeping bag?
No, all bedding will be provided for you.
7. Do I need to take a mosquito net?
No, a mosquito net is not necessary for this project.
8. Will there be a safe/safety deposit box available?
There is a safe in the office where you can leave anything valuable.
9. Is there anything that you recommend taking that would be useful?
It would be great if you could take a torch and warm clothes with you as you will be on an island and it experiences all weathers and it can be quite cool at night.