Location: New Zealand
Hauraki Gulf Islands, New Zealand
March 19 - March 25AUD $949
Welcome to Hauraki!
A jewel of New Zealand’s Te Ika-a-Māui (North Island), the Hauraki Gulf is known for its stunning natural beauty, incredible biodiversity and unique cultural history.
Cruising through the gulf’s crystal-clear waters, you’re likely to see hundreds of seabirds skimming the seas, countless fish and even the occasional pod of dolphins or migrating whales!
Very few people are given permission to visit the protected areas we work on. This really is a unique chance to discover places well off the tourist trail, work alongside local conservationists and learn stacks along the way.
Is this trip right for you?
We need enthusiastic adventurers to join our highly-experienced Project Leaders in this unique restoration project. You’ll be committed to around 4 hours of conservation work per day, targeting invasive species and marine debris that devastate local ecosystems.
You’ll stay in local accommodation on Rakino Island, snorkel in crystal waters, dive for fresh scallops, ocean kayak, relax explore the astonishing beauty of the gulf.
We travel in small boats and land on rugged coastlines, so a sound level of agility is required. There is no age limits required on this trip.
A day in the field:
A typical day sees mornings dedicated to conservation work and afternoons playing, relaxing and exploring.
7.00am: Breakfast at our Bach (kiwi for holiday home) on Rakino Island. A selection of cereals, toasts, eggs, fruits, teas and coffees will get you fuelled for the day ahead.
8.00am: Daily briefing.
8.15am-11.45pm: Conservation work. A key focus for us in Hauraki is bush rehabilitation around key seabird nesting sites on the Noises and Rakino islands.
10.00am: A quick break for a morning cuppa.
12.00pm: Lunch with the team , home-cooked by your Project Leader. We can cater to a range of dietary requirements.
2.00–6.00pm: Time for snorkelling, kayaking, scallop diving, hiking or soaking up the spectacular surrounds. The Bach is within walking distance of two picture-perfect beaches.
5.00pm: Relax on the deck of the Bach with a glass of wine and listen to the surrounding tui birds.
7.00pm: Dinner with a group meeting and discussion. We always say our dinners “take you around the world in the week”. Some of our signature dishes include an Aussie BBQ, Indian Rogan Josh, Indonesian Nasi Goreng and a Mexican fiesta!
Optional extra: If the weather is good to us, there is optional overnight camp on Otata Island. And/or a hike across uninhabited Motuhoropapa Island, to search for giant Wētāpunga.
As part of the Wild Mob team, you can expect to be doing sensible, pragmatic conservation work that ultimately makes a real, measurable difference.
Our focus in Hauraki is bush rehabilitation in key seabird nesting areas. We work on both Rakino and the Noises Islands, on protected areas and private land set aside for conservation.
Without intervention, thousands of sea and shore birds simply can’t compete with invasive weed species and raise their young effectively here anymore. This has a flow on effect, with the potential to unravel the entire native ecosystem.
We are also working to document marines around the Noises Islands. This involves conducting reef surveys to track ecosystem health, species distribution and early warning signs of environmental impacts.
This data provides information for researchers and authorities to support planning and funding for new marine protected areas in the gulf.
We are a not-for-profit conservation organisation first and foremost. The costs involved in our trips cover our expenses and small overheads. Any profit we make goes right back into our conservation programs.
Return boat transfers from Okahu Bay to Rakino Island
6 nights’ accommodation on Rakino Island in our wonderfully-themed Bach (new Zealander for holiday home)
All food for the trip, home-cooked by your project leader
Transfers to and from all islands by private boat
Guided walks through the rainforests and other habitats by local islanders
All camping gear for an optional camp (please bring your own sleeping bag)
Your very own Wild Mob volunteer t-shirt
Alcohol is not included, but please feel free to bring along your own for afternoons on the deck
Accommodation at the Bach on Rakino Island is very comfortable. You’ll find snug beds, radio, as well as bathroom and kitchen facilities. Camping on Otata Island is an optional extra.
There is phone and internet reception on Rakino Island for most carriers. There is limited to no reception on The Noises or Otata Islands.
There is no Wifi on the islands. We recommend organising a local SIM with mobile data in Auckland if required.
There are no shops on the islands and limited laundry facilities at the Bach.
Derek Ball, Wild Mob Project Leader
Derek grew up a long way from the coast in the dust of outback Australia but a trip to the Great Barrier Reef when he was six fostered a love of the sea that would shape the rest of his life. Passionate with everything about the sea he pursued a Bachelor Degree followed by a PhD in marine biology and zoology. Read more…
Sue Neureuter, NZ Project Leader
Sue grew up beside one of the most polluted waterways in Auckland where she, her brother Rod and sister Zoe lived and waited for summer. Then, her family would move out to “The Noises”, a group of small and relatively unspoiled islands in the Hauraki Gulf. Her family are hugely privileged to be guardians of these Islands. Read more…
John Mackenzie, NZ Project Leader
John has worked in the government sector in New Zealand, outback Australia and on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. He has worked as a ranger and volunteer on New Zealand’s Raoul Island, working on the Department of Conservation’s weed removal program. Read more…
What to pack:
1 large backpack or suitcase
1 small backpack (for daytime activities)
1 pair of thick working pants (to protect against scratches from plants and insects. We recommend something thicker than yoga pants, like jeans)
1 or more pairs of long working shirts and trousers (to protect against scratches from plants, insect bites and the sun)
Wet weather clothing (A lightweight jacket with a hood is perfect)
Warm clothes (it can get a little chilly at night. A fleece, wind stopper or sweater is ideal)
1 pair of walking boots, trainers or sneakers (strong soles)
1 pair of closed shoes with strong soles that can get wet. (sneakers or reef shoes made out of wetsuit material are great, high ankles are best)
1 pair of sandals, thongs or flip-flops
1 pair of swimmers
1 pair of sunglasses
1 hat (wide brimmed for plenty of shade is best)
1 personal drink bottle (a total minimum 2 litres is best)
Personal medication and toiletries.
Sunscreen (highest protection factor you can get)
Plenty of casual clothing (t-shirts, tops, shorts, socks, underwear and anything else you think you may need for the week)
Sleeping bag and head torch (if you plan to camp)
Any personal medication and medical equipment
Camera and spare batteries
Binoculars to spot wildlife (optional)
Things for free time (books, cards, music etc)
Okahu Bay boat ramp, Tamaki Drive, Orakei, Okahu Bay Auckland, New Zealand.
Start date: Monday 19/03/2018 at 3.00 pm.
End date: Sunday 25/03/2018 at approximately 3:00 pm
If you are travelling to Auckland, we strongly suggest arriving the day before and leaving the day after the trip. The weather, tides or other circumstances outside our control can sometimes cause delays coming back into the bay.
If you suffer from seasickness, please pack appropriate medications and let our project leaders know in advance. The trip to the islands can be a little rough! Learn more about seasickness and easy ways to prevent it here.
Secure your spot on this trip with a $100 deposit by clicking Book Now. We’ll then be in touch with everything you need to get ready for your expedition.
Read our trip Terms and Conditions.
What our volunteers are saying
What an absolute privilege to be part of these islands history. And part of their future. Thank you Wild Mob!Sandra
It was a great privilege to meet the landowners of The Noises and have them share their knowledge of the islands. What a satisfying way to spend a week in paradise!Craig
To know we're making a real difference to The Noises is truly an incredible feelingSue
Working with Wild Mob was incredible! Being able to get real hands-on experience and learning how conservation works in the real world has been eye opening. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.Thanuri
The work we were doing is going to have a real, valuable impact.Aly