Australia Zoo - Wildlife Hospital

Queensland, Australia



The Experience

Join now and have the great opportunity to volunteer, rehabilitate and rescue Native Australian Wildlife at Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo! This is the largest and busiest wildlife rehabilitation facility of its kind in the world and part of the Irwin’s legacy!

Are you ready to get your hands dirty for a good cause? Then take advantage of this unique volunteer opportunity to help protect Australia’s threatened and endangered wildlife.  The Wildlife Hospital where you will volunteer is the largest and busiest purpose built facility of its’ kind in the world and has treated over 70,000 animals since opening in 2004.  

You will join the team of dedicated wildlife professionals to provide ‘first-class care for sick, injured and orphaned animals’ that come into the facility every week. You’ll work alongside experienced animal keepers as you assist them with the husbandry and care related duties of these animals, including Koalas - there may also be some guest related activities.  Providing an environment which is conducive to their recovery and rehabilitation is crucial, so there is minimal to no animal contact involved.  You will however be rewarded with the satisfaction of knowing that these animals will have the greatest opportunity to be released back into their natural habitat. 

If you are passionate about wildlife care, are hardworking, physically fit and motivated, then this project is perfect for you! Volunteers play an important role at the Wildlife Hospital! Although the work can be physically demanding and is by no means an ‘easy holiday option’, being a volunteer at the largest & busiest wildlife hospital in the world is undoubtedly a truly rewarding and unique experience.

This Is Why

  • Volunteer at steve Irwin’s Australia zoo’s Wildlife Hospital! the largest and busiest purpose built facility of its kind in the world and part of Steve Irwin’s legacy!!
  • Share your love and passion for wildlife by helping the dedicated team that care for Australian native wildlife.
  • Great opportunity to explore the Sunshine Coast of Australia on your days off, as well as the world famous Australia Zoo, where there are many opportunities for up close native wildlife experiences.
  • Learn about Australian Culture and Tradtions

Project Details
  • Key Start Dates
    Year round
  • Package Price
    4 week  1,495 US$
    5 weeks 1,795 US$
    6 weeks 1,995 US$

  • Volunteer duration
    4 - 6 weeks, including initial 5 day probationary/review period
  • Average Work hours
    You will be required to volunteer a minimum of 5 days a week. You will have two days off each week to relax and explore the Sunshine Coast. Shift 8.00am – 4.00pm, with one snack and one lunch break in between.
  • Number of Volunteers at one time:
  • Volunteer accommodation
  • Housing Type
    Homestay/ Hostel
  • Internet Access
  • Who Are They Looking For?
    A person who has; A love of the outdoors, passionate for animal welfare & a genuine interest in the care of native wildlife is a priority, motivated, hardworking, physically fit, Energetic, confident & enthusiastic! High demonstrated levels of responsibility and maturity is also important. High proficiency of the English Language, ability to take accountability for performance outcomes and the delivery of high work standards. Someone who is not afraid of getting their hands dirty and understand that the role is primarily about cleaning and providing a hygienic environment for the animals in care and is Non-smoker. Please note that as a volunteer you will be required and expected to comply with all relevant organizational procedures, guidelines and policies.  The role supports critical wildlife care initiatives and a professional approach and application of skills is an expectation.  This includes understanding that the project is a smoke, alcohol and drug free environment. Failure to meet required standards or demonstrate professional and/or responsible behaviours may result in a review of volunteer opportunity and placement period.

Fast Facts: Australia

Where? Australia, Australasia and Oceania 

Country Size: 1,852,642 million km2 
715,300 sq. miles

Population density? 3.1/km2 (8/sq. miles)

Country Famous for? Unique wildlife, pristine beaches, Australian cuisine (pies, tim tams, lamingtons and pavlova), bushwalking, vibrant cities, friendly people – Aussie mateship, sunshine and perfect weather.

When to visit: All year round to see a wide variety of wildlife such as; Koalas, kangaroos, wombats, possums, echidnas, platypus, dingoes, Tasmanian Devils, crocodiles, numbats and a large variety of other unique marsupials, reptiles and fish.

  • What's Included
    • Placement
      Wildlife Hospital - Australia Zoo
    • Accommodation
      Local Homestay or hostel in Beerwah
    • Meals
      Meals are not included. 
    • Airport Pick up & drop off

      Fly to Brisbane Airport where you will be transferred to your accommodation by bus shuttle.
    • Free Entry

      You'll get a Free day’s entry to Australia Zoo!
    • Ongoing service
      If there are any problems with your volunteer project we are always there to help you and mediate between yourself and the organization.
    • Tours
      Through FRONTEERING you have the possibility to book tours in Australia after you have finished your volunteer project.
    • 24/7 Emergency contact
      If there are any problems during you stay in Australia you can reach us 24/7 to assist you.

    What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Meals at Hostel

    Package Price: 
    04 Weeks: $1,495.00 US
    05 Weeks: $1,795.00 US
    06 Weeks: $1,995.00 US


    As a volunteer, you will be required to assist the Wildlife Hospital team and other volunteers at the project with various duties. See below for some of the most commonly required volunteer tasks during the first two weeks of the volunteer placement:

    • Preparing Koala paste feeds, Preparing equipment for enclosure cleans, Removing old Koala leaf out of enclosures (Leaf = Eucalyptus leaves – koala food), Observing Koala's behaviour during cleaning processes (if any unusual or irregular behaviours demonstrated, advise animal keeper so they can investigate/assess further). The ability to provide detailed observations is important in volunteers, as the volunteers spend a lot of time in the vicinity of the animals in care and may be likely to notice things which may need to be reported. Cleaning Koala enclosures (complete cleans, wet cleans, dry cleans...) and Assist with the leaf out procedure (Replacing old leaf with fresh leaf every day)
    • Counting Koalas in our plantation – Open area of native eucalypt trees where koalas are settled before being released back into the wild.
    • Gardening and general maintenance of exterior areas of the hospital (if needed)- This includes weeding, watering the garden, trimming/pruning etc. Assisting nurses/keepers with the cleaning of the sea turtle pool, Laundry, Kitchen cleans (dishes, floors etc.), Window Cleans and General hospital facility maintenance
    • Once you have completed your first two weeks at the project, you may also get the opportunity to participate in the duties as follows; Assist with Koala Paste Feeds, Assist the Bird and Reptile nurse with cleaning enclosures, Assisting the ICU nurse with cleaning enclosures,Assisting nurse with preparing feeds for turtles, reptiles and birds, Depending on operational considerations volunteers may have the opportunity to watch/observe the vets and nurses in treatment room on some afternoons.  This should not be considered a guaranteed or regular activity. And assist with the tidy/clean of the treatment and triage areas.
    • ICU koalas require some sun time each day – volunteers may have the opportunity to sit with them for that time (Occasionally reptiles and birds) – observation task
    • Collect flowers and browse and assist in creating bird enrichment
    • Cut and prepare possum browse
  • Requirements, Guidelines & Policies
    • Required to commit to a minimum of 4 weeks. No smoking, alcohol or drugs are allowed on at the project. High level of maturity and professionalism and must be 18 years and older. High proficiency/understanding of the English language and good communication skills
    • Strong work ethics are required: reliability, responsibility, honesty, a good sense of humor, dependability, and being both physically and mentally fit/prepared for all work/tasks. Also, must be confident, friendly, energetic and enthusiastic. Don’t mind getting your hands dirty for a cause – understanding role and importance of all tasks.
    • No animal allergies. A love and passion for animals and some general experience of caring for an animal is a must!
    • Punctual - Available and able to work at the agreed times and days, regardless of weather conditions (Severe weather events excluded)
    • Must read and agree to abide by all guidelines, procedures, policies and ethics.
    • Well-presented and able to interact appropriately.
    • Must be able to work independently and within a team environment!
    • Able to listen to and follow instructions
    • Please be reminded as well that all guidelines, policies and procedures will be outlined in supporting documents provided to all successful applicants before arrival. These will be overviewed during your first day induction by an experienced member of the Wildlife Hospital team. The project’s coordinator will also be able to answer any questions or queries prior to and during your placement if required.
  • Volunteer Benefits
    • Great opportunity to volunteer at a Wildlife Hospital in Australia - the largest & busiest purpose built facility of its kind in the world. Gain experience in the care of Australian native wildlife.
    • Share your love and passion of wildlife by assisting the dedicated team provide husbandry and care related duties of these animals, including Koalas
    • Great opportunity to visit the famous Australia Zoo, explore Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast – from the amazing beaches to the beautiful nature of the Sunshine Coast hinterlands.
  • Fast Facts
    • Project location
      Australia, Australasia and Oceania 
    • Area Famous For
      Unique wildlife, pristine beaches, Australian cuisine (pies, tim tams, lamingtons and pavlova), bushwalking, vibrant cities, friendly people – Aussie mateship, sunshine and perfect weather
    • When to visit
      All year round
    • Wildlife viewing
      All year round to see a wide variety of wildlife such as; Koalas, kangaroos, wombats, possums, echidnas, platypus, dingoes, Tasmanian Devils, crocodiles, numbats and a large variety of other unique marsupials, reptiles and fish.
        • Itinerary & Details

          Day 1 - Arrive in Brisbane, Australia;
          After arriving in beautiful Brisbane, you will be transferred to your accommodation.

          For 4 - 6 weeks - Work along with the team at the Wildlife Hospital! For the coming weeks, you will have a great time working directly with the staff and volunteers at the Wildlife Hospital.

          Your last day - you will fly back home or take the opportunity to travel through Australia. Our staff will gladly help you to book any tours to see more of this great country.

  • Accommodation
    You will have a private room in a Homestay or you have the second option of staying at a Hostel. Pleas be reminded that you'll need to bring a few things from home, such as; Neutral coloured shoes that are suitable and durable that you don’t mind getting dirty or wet. Waterproof boots/shoes would be beneficial where the work would include hosing, raking etc. All volunteers are provided with a cap and a volunteer shirt. You will pay a $50 deposit for the shirt and this is returned to you at the end of your volunteer duration after you return the shirt. Due to quarantine requirements, clean, washed clothing must be worn each day.  Check with the volunteer co-ordinator on arrival regarding availability of additional shirt for use during your placement. Neutral coloured shorts or pants. (Shorts must be at least knee length. No jeans, leggings, tights or athletic wear – e.g. spandex), Raincoat or waterproof/water-resistant jacket is recommended, Dark, neutral coloured jumper/jacket – if required during cooler months, sunglasses, sunblock and insect repellant is recommended. A water bottle is a must and Once your placement has been confirmed, you will be provided with further information to assist with the planning for your placement.


    Meals are not included.


    Located in Beerwah within the Australian state of Queensland, approximately 25 minutes west of the centre of the Sunshine Coast and just over an hour north of Brisbane, Queensland’s capital and largest city.

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