Conservation Volunteers Australia — Volunteering for a Better Earth

Imagine (sorry, we don't have a pic) feasting on local cuisine, prepared in the traditional manner by Dhimmuru indigenous rangers. Camping on the remote tropical beaches of Australia’s Gulf of Carpenteria, within Arnhem Land, where only those with permission from the Aboriginal Land Council may travel. Sighting sea turtles in the surf. Sounds like some exotic eco-travel brochure spiel, but in truth you’re here to get your hands dirty (or least salty and sandy). You’re on a Conservation Volunteers Australia project. You’ve come to collect and survey marine debris, the trash that floats around in the oceans. And whilst here you’ll be extracting ‘ghost’ nets from the coast. These are long forgotten, discarded fishing nets that wash around the shoreline, still doing what they were designed to do: trap and kill. Though now it’s sea turtles that are the victims, except that you’re here to do your bit. Or you could've been building tracks in Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain (pictured), removing invasive weeds from the iconic Uluru (Ayers Rock), protecting penguin habitat in Sydney Harbour, fencing cattle out of internationally listed wetlands, surveying yellow footed rock wallabies, restoring heritage lighthouses or any number of significant environmental and cultural conservation projects. For example, last year the organisation and its volunteers planted nearly 750,000 trees. Projects (all listed online) leave from over 20 offices around the country. Some people come along for just the day, while other dedicated souls have found it so cool, they've volunteered for half a year! Packages are available for international travellers of many nationalities. Or just rock up to any office to see if there are spaces available. For overnight projects there is a nominal cost to cover your food. ::Conservation Volunteers Australia

(Disclaimer. Warren occasionally leads teams for CVA.)