Australia Zoo - Wildlife Hospital

Queensland, Australia



The Experience

Would you like the amazing opportunity to volunteer and contribute to the rehabilitation efforts of native Australian wildlife?  The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital is one of the largest and busiest purpose built wildlife facilities of its kind in the world – treating over 80,000 animals since opening in 2004. If you’re 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.

During you time with the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, you’ll be assisting our dedicated wildlife professionals to provide ‘first-class care for sick, injured and orphaned animals’ admitted every week. You’ll also work alongside experienced 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 it is important to note that 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 may be 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 one of the largest & busiest wildlife hospitals in the world is undoubtedly a truly rewarding and unique experience. .

This Is Why

  • Largest and busiest purpose built facility of its kind in the world and part of The Irwin legacy!
  • Share your love and passion for wildlife by helping the dedicated team at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital care for native Australian wildlife!
  • Great opportunity to explore the Sunshine Coast of Australia on your days off. You will be able to visit the world famous Australia Zoo as many times as you’d like during your days off, where there are many opportunities for up close wildlife experiences.
  • Learn a new culture and lifestyle while giving back to the native Australia wildlife!

Project Details
  • Key Start Dates
    Year round.
  • Package Price
    4 weeks 1,895 US$
    5 weeks 2,095 US$
    6 weeks 2,295 US$
  • Volunteer duration
    4, 5 & 6 week, Initial 5 day review period included
  • 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 or visit Australia Zoo. Shift 8.00am – 4.00pm, with two break in between. Please note that your days off will not always fall on weekends i.e. Saturday and Sunday.
  • Number of Volunteers
    2 - 5
  • Housing
    Available! Housing Type being Homestay with Private room
  • Fly to 
    You should fly or travel to Sunshine coast Airport or Brisbane. 
  • Internet Access
  • Who Are They Looking For?
    person who has; A love of the outdoors, A passion for animal welfare and a genuine interest in the conservation of native wildlife. Motivated, hardworking and physically fit, Energetic, confident and enthusiastic, High demonstrated levels of responsibility and maturity, 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 and enriching environment for the animals in care and a 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: 7,692,042 km2
2,969,907 sq mi

Population density? 3.1/km2, 8/sq mi

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

  • What's Included
    • Placement
      Wildlife Hospital - Australia Zoo
    • Accommodation
      At a Local homestay family with a private room.
    • Meals
      Breakfast and dinner included!
    • Airport Pick up & drop off

      Fly to Brisbane Airport where you will take the train to either Beerwah or Landsborough. Your host will meet you at the station.
    • 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 on non-work days.

    Package Price: 
    04 Weeks: $1,895.00 US
    05 Weeks: $2,095.00 US
    06 Weeks: $2,295.00 US


    As a volunteer, you will be required to assist the Wildlife Hospital team and other volunteers during the AZWH program with various duties. Please note that there will be little to no contact with the animals. The following are some of the tasks that you are likely to be involved with during the initial two weeks of your placement at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital:

    • Preparing Koala paste feeds, Preparing equipment for enclosure cleans, Removing old Koala leaf out of enclosures (Leaf = Eucalyptus leaves – a koala’s natural diet), 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. Observing Koala's behaviour during cleaning processes is of high importance - if any unusual or irregular behaviours demonstrated, advise animal keeper so they can investigate/assess further. Cleaning Koala enclosures (complete cleans, wet cleans and dry cleans), Assist with the leaf out procedure (Replacing old leaf with fresh leaf every day).
    • Observing and referencing head counts of Koalas in our plantation habitat – Open area of native eucalypt trees where koalas are located before being released back into the wild. Gardening and general maintenance of exterior areas of the hospital, as required; this includes weeding, watering the garden, trimming/pruning etc. Assist with the cleaning of the sea turtle facilities. Laundry – there is a lot! Diet Preparation room cleans (dishes, floors, equipment etc.) Window Cleans – inside and outside.
    • 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 - drug and alcohol testing may occur. High proficiency/understanding of the English language and good communication skills
    • Strong work ethics are essential, including reliability, high degrees of responsibility & accountability, honesty and integrity, enthusiasm and self-motivation. Physical capacity for manual and tasks, as well as mental aptitude for the nature of the environment are also required. High level of maturity and professionalism required.
    • Age: 18 years and older!
    • Full disclosure of any allergies and ensuring management plan/strategy in place.
    • Understanding and some general experience associated with the care of animals is essential.
    • Punctual – Ability to consistently arrive and volunteer on scheduled days and times of day, regardless of weather conditions -(severe weather events excluded). Must understand and agree to abide by all guidelines, procedures, policies and ethics as determined by the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
    • Don’t mind getting your hands dirty for a cause – understanding the role and significance of all associated tasks which ensures optimal operation of the facility is of high importance. Pride in personal presentation and hygiene standards is crucial!
    • Must be able to work independently and within a team environment and both establish and maintain successful working relationships and communication.
    • Ability to actively listen and effectively follow all instructions and directions. (All guidelines, policies and procedures will be outlined in supporting documents provided to successful applicants before arrival. These will be overviewed during your first day induction by an experienced member of the Wildlife Hospital team and the Australia Zoo program coordinator will be available to answer any questions or queries prior to and during your placement, as required.)
  • Volunteer Benefits
    • Unique opportunity to volunteer at a Wildlife Hospital in Australia – one of the largest & busiest purpose- built facilities of its kind in the world.
    • Be part of supporting Steve Irwin’s legacy.
    • Gain an understanding of what’s involved with the care of native Australian wildlife. Share your passion and commitment for wildlife conservation, by assisting the dedicated team at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital provide husbandry and care related duties of animals in care Amazing opportunity to visit the world-famous Australia Zoo on your days off.  You’ll also be well positioned to explore the Greater South East Queensland, including Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast – from the pristine beaches to the beautiful nature of the Sunshine Coast hinterlands.
  • Fast Facts
    • Project location
      Brisbane, Australia
    • Area Famous For
      Beautiful coast and beaches, Australia Zoo, Good nightlife in Brisbane, Wildlife watching, friendly people
    • When to visit
      All year round
    • Wildlife viewing
      The areahas great opportunities to view wildlife which includes Sea turtles, Kangaroos and more!
        • Itinerary & Details

          Day 1 - Arrive in Brisbane, Australia; 
          Fly into Brisbane - either the international or domestic airport. Take the train to either Beerwah or Landsborough. Your host will meet you at the train station.

          For 4 - 6 weeks - Work along with the team at the Wildlife Hospital! For the coming weeks, you will have a great time volunteering alongside the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital team as they care for the native Australia Wildlife that is admitted to their care.

          Your last day - you will fly back home or take the opportunity to travel through Australia. Fronteering staff will gladly assist you with the booking of any tours or sight-seeing adventures in order for you to gain the most from your visit to Australia.

  • Accommodation
    Accommodation will be a private room at a local homestay. Access to Wifi and laundry facilities are available. You will also be transferred to and from the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital by your homestay to attend your shifts.


    Meals included (breakfast and dinner). At times, you will be required to prepare your own meals..


    The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital is located approximately 30-40 minutes by car from the Sunshine coast. The region is surrounded by nature and small towns and of course Australia Zoo! The beautiful beaches of Australia’s Sunshine coast are as close as a 20 minutes drive.

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