Sea Turtle Conservation in Australia.

sea tortuga

Off the coast of northern Queensland lies the Great Barrier Reef. The reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world, attracting people wishing to see first-hand the gorgeous diversity of marine life. But unfortunately many of these magnificent marine creatures are in trouble, including the Green Sea Turtles, Flatback, Hawksbill and Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. Many sea turtles suffer from ‘Floaters Syndrome’ - a condition that causes air to be trapped under their shell. This can be the result of many different threats. Some turtles are the victims of boat strikes, their bodies and shells damaged by the propellers. Others suffer from obstructions in their guts as a result of the ocean rubbish that the turtles eat, mistaking the garbage for food. These problems have been compounded by a natural disaster that struck the area. The sea grass beds that were the Green Turtles’ primary feeding grounds were destroyed by unforeseen environmental weather events over a 3 year period, including two cyclones - Larry and Yasi. As a result, turtle strandings along the east coast of Queensland have increased by 800% in the past 3 years, and 500% in Far North Queensland. Turtles that would normally be in good condition, from juveniles to adults ready for breeding season, began to surface - weak and unable to dive. This organization was formed in 2000 by concerned local marine biologists, veterinary health workers and scientists who recognized the need to rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured sea turtles. Working closely with local veterinarians, their facilities have grown to include an on-shore rehabilitation centre, and a pre-release holding area on an island 45 minutes off the coast by boat. Here they are able to come to the aid of sea turtles year round, addressing their medical problems, nursing them to health and when they are well, returning them once again to the ocean.

Includes: Airport pick up and drop off (at closest airport) , Accommodation, On-site training, Donation to Placement Partner, AEI Travel Manual, $10 Credit in our Zazzle store (towards the purchase of recycled water bottles, reusable bags, etc), American and Canadian clients get 50% off at the online AEI IceBreaker store, Emergency support while at Placement, Carbon credits to offset 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, Premium Individual Travel Insurance (up to $500, 000 USD in emergency medical coverage), Travel discounts (through automatic membership to a volunteer only travel discount program), 24/7 Travel and emergency assistance. Are you thinking of fundraising for a portion, or all your fees? Many of our clients have been very successful with their fundraising efforts. To learn more about their successful fundraising projects and see how you can fund raise for your experience, please visit our fundraising page!

Excludes: Meals, Flights, Entry visa costs, International and domestic airport taxes, Immunizations and medications.Note: The rabies vaccine is not required for this Experience however, if volunteers are interested in becoming rabies vaccinated, the average cost is $600- $1000 in North America.

Accommodation: You will be staying at a hostel (in a 6 bed dorm), located within easy walking distance of the ocean boardwalk, shops, grocery store, conservation centre, and the ferry that will take you to the turtle centre. There is a kitchen at the hostel where you can prepare your meals and food supplies are available to purchase nearby. Laundry is onsite and there is free wi-fi! Please plan on arriving on Sunday night so you can be prepared for a Monday morning introduction and orientation. Are you nervous about travel and your safety? It's okay, travelling and volunteering can be overwhelming, that is why we exist! To help you travel safe, volunteer smartly and get back home in one piece. To read more about how we help you stay safe, please read our Guide to Safety.

Volunteer Activities: Standard volunteer duties include traveling by ferry to the island facility, cleaning and feeding the sea turtles in care, assisting with educational initiatives, and participating in releases. Advanced volunteer duties include assisting with veterinary diagnostic work and medical treatments as needed, assisting with the tagging of turtles, and participating in an on-going sea turtle research study that tracks sea turtles post-release.

This is an ongoing program with operations every day of the year. There are no specific start or end dates but placements do start on Mondays, volunteers should plan to arrive on Sunday nights as introductions and orientations are on Monday mornings. We work with you and your schedule so you can serve this community and help animals when you are available.

Participants must be 18 years of age or older.

Classification of Placement: Medical: Specialized. Standard: Entry, Advanced and Specialized.

All classifications of volunteers are needed by this Placement partner and we encourage you to apply no matter your skill or experience level. However, if you are looking for a Placement to use your specific skills, the professionals who would be most beneficial to this placement would be volunteers with experience in: photography, construction and design.

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OAVTThis is an official pre-approved OAVT Partnership. All participants are eligible for a minimum of 5 Continuing Education credits.
Trip Cost
length of stay
2 weeks $ 1492
3 weeks $ 1752
4 weeks $ 2012
8 weeks $ 3052
Groups of 5 or more: 10% off individual fees.