||Available from beginning October to the end May.
Projects start every Thursday, from beginning of October
to the end of May – you can choose your start and finish
dates within this period.
a minimum of 6 weeks to a maximum of 12 weeks, subject to visa requirements
||No qualifications needed, just lots of enthusiasm
and initiative. You should have reasonable English and
enjoy talking to people. Minimum age 18.
Full Price List
►Arranging your Program
►Full pre-departure support and assistance
►Payment Protection Insurance
►Meeting you at the nearest airport
►Transfer to your accommodation
Weekend in Perth, including accommodation
►Local in-country team support and backup
►24-hr emergency support.
►Certificate of Completion
What's not included
Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required),
Food, Transport to and from
your project, Return
transfer to airport.
Who can do
is open to all nationalities and all ages over 18.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out,
grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in
marine conservation, caring for marine animals and ocean
habitats, and working with marine wildlife overseas.
This is a good placement if you want to learn about
marine conservation strategies and habitats plus dolphin
behaviour while doing voluntary work, projects abroad or
Also available as a summer placement in Australia.
FREE WEEKEND IN PERTH DURING YOUR PLACEMENT:
Explore this delightful city! You'll stay in a Backpackers in
the heart of Perth, on the doorstep of vibrant North Bridge, famous for
its bars, clubs and restaurants.
You'll be met at the coach station and taken to the Backpackers, then
you're free to explore the city. You'll return to Bunbury by coach on Sunday
afternoon, ready for work on Monday.
WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:
An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into
Australia and you'll learn about the Aborigine culture that makes
this country so fascinating!
The enormous satisfaction of helping animals and
knowing that you made a difference to them.
New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding
of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional
An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head
and shoulders above most others in the job market.
And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
Your project is based at a non-profit Center committed to dolphin
research, education, conservation and tourism based in the South West
Coast of Australia. The Center enables people to interact with
Bottlenose dolphins in a variety of ways. There are up to 100 dolphins
living in the Bay and groups of them regularly visit the shallow waters
in front of the Center. The Center was opened in 1994, and is the first
Center in Australia dedicated entirely to dolphin research.
Being a volunteer at the Center
can be a wonderful experience, you meet people from all around the world, not to
mention the dolphins! However, your time as a
volunteer will involve a lot more than being in the water with the dolphins.
Talking and answering questions is a very important part of your role.
Eighty percent of your day will involve talking to people who come down to the
beach to see the dolphins, thus educating them about their characteristics and
making them aware of how crucial it is to conserve these wonderful animals.
Here are some of the tasks you may be involved with:
Talking to visitors
on the beach - explaining what the Dolphin Center does.
coordinate the Interaction Zone when dolphins visit.
Managing the front
entrance and Dolphin Room area.
’’Coastcare” activities and assist with current research projects.
Assisting with the
research program, recording observations in the bay and monitoring
dolphin visits to the zone.
research data into databases for analysis
through the Interpretive Center for the general public, tour groups
and school students.
work that you'll be involved in depends on what is available at the time of
You'll learn a great deal through the training course which covers a wide range
of issues and skills and includes presentations from a selection of
guest speakers relevant to the operation of the Center. Regular
volunteer meetings are held to ensure you are kept up-to-date with the
latest issues regarding marine mammal management and the operations of
After having completed a minimum of 20 hours training,
you'll receive an official Volunteer T-Shirt
which will identify you to the public as a trained representative of the
The Center relies on
the assistance of volunteers to advise visitors on the operations and
ethos of the Center, help manage the dolphin interaction program,
actively participate in their research program and act as a guide. Staff
members attend monthly meetings, as well as regular video and BBQ
nights, which you'll be invited to attend. By volunteering, you will
achieve a great sense of satisfaction knowing that you are assisting in
a worthwhile project to increase public awareness about dolphins and
other marine life.
This project is a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks. You’ll
work between 20-40 hours a week, with weekends off.
This placement is
definitely for animal loving enthusiasts who are willing to work hard
and aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty - the rewards are well
worth it! Whilst volunteering is rewarding in itself, time spent at a
project such as this is an excellent springboard for traveling around
Australia. Meeting other volunteers from around the world, and listening
to their stories and recommendations can give you the confidence to
travel and experience more.
"I just wanted to say a huge thank you for helping me arrange my project
in Perth. I had such an amazing time and left with an unforgettable
experience. I'll definitely advise 'Travellers' to anybody hoping for a
similar opportunity and experience! I'm already planning my return to
Australia after I finish University! Thank you again!"
be a hands-on
person who loves
should be in good health and reasonably fit and able to work in a team.
be prepared for some hard physical work,
especially during the summer time when it can get extremely hot.
You should be
willing to get stuck in and get your
Also flexible and be prepared
to move around the City and go wherever
You should also be fluent in English and enjoy talking to people.
Very Important - you
will need to use your initiative and be very proactive, be patient and
Like most conservation
work, there are spiders and snakes in some locations, so you should
reconsider this project if you have a fear of these.
Lastly, self-reliance and independence
will help you make the most of
this wonderful opportunity!
You'll live in a backpackers conveniently located in the heart of the city.
We team up with two different hostels that are very similar in the
facilities they provide and in their excellent location that is close to
everything! You'll have the beach, the City Center and lots of other
attractions all within two minutes walk and you’ll be able to explore the
nearby forests, national parks, beautiful waterways, historic towns, many
vineyards and the incredibly beautiful coast-line on your days off.
In the town there is a colourful street of sidewalk cafes called the
"Cappuccino Strip" that buzzes all day. There are lots of sidewalk cafes and
a variety of waterside dining options offer numerous opportunities to taste
the wonders of the local produce. These cafes and the award-winning
restaurants, as well as atmospheric historic pubs, ensure the town hums. The
city also offers plenty of Entertainment Centres, Art Galleries and cinemas.
You'll stay in a dorm room with access to many facilities in the
Backpackers. There is a kitchen where you can cook and an excellent BBQ and
outdoor area that is very popular. Other facilities that you'll have free
use of include a pool table, table tennis, board games, sporting equipment
and off-street parking. you'll also be given a unique City Visitor's Guide
and you'll have free access to tea and coffee.
There are fast-speed internet facilities at the Backpackers which you can
use for a nominal charge, so you'll be able to keep up with emails with
friends and family back home.
is not included in this project so you should budget for meals. We feel that
a good guide would be a weekly budget
of around AUD$70
Got any questions? Please email us:
TRAVEL AND ARRIVAL ARRANGEMENTS
You will fly into Perth airport (Perth is the capital city of Western Australia)
where you will be welcomed by our Australian Volunteer Liaison Officer or
another one of our staff. They will then transport you to a city backpackers
where you will stay for one night to give you time to catch your breath and
relax after your flight.
be met by us again the following day and given an orientation. After the orientation you will be taken to the
Esplanade bus station, located in the Central Business District, where you will be transferred onto a
South West coach. The drive down to your project location takes 2-3 hours, mostly along
the coastal road and you'll be driving through some beautiful land- and
seascapes. When you arrive, a staff member from
the Backpackers will meet you at the bus station
and take you back to the hostel.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT:
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll
contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on
details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have
access to all the documentation and information which we've put
together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your
Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you
throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on
your placement and on your return home.
The documents you'll have access to also include a Country
Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on
your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment
Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we
can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.
As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is
different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the
most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in
Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in
all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this
On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our
will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn
about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how
to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.
ABOUT THE DOLPHIN CENTRE:
The Center is a unique place. It is the only site in Australia
which can offer shore-based and boat-based swim tour interaction with
wild dolphins as well as dolphin watching tours and a fascinating and
educational Interpretive Center.
During the mid 1960’s, a local resident began feeding the dolphins from
a small jetty near her home on the Inlet (directly south of the Center).
Unfortunately, she passed away in the early 70's ceasing any regular
feeding of the dolphins she befriended. Some dolphins continued to be
fed by the public from areas nearby. However, it wasn't until 1989 that
a dolphin specialist was hired by a newly established Dolphin Trust to
continue this tradition and began feeding and studying the local
dolphins. From this work came the establishment of the Interaction Zone
in 1990 and the Center itself in 1994 to allow tourists and members of
the community to interact, understand and enjoy the group of five to six
dolphins that regularly visit this Zone.
It is not clear why the dolphins continue to visit the Zone today.
However research does suggest that the small amount of food they receive
as a reward for their visit is not the only attraction. There are many
dolphins that visit the Zone regularly that do not receive any fish and
many of them stay for extended periods of time for interaction with the
human visitors. Sick and injured dolphins also treat the beach as a
haven, with some repeatedly visiting during periods of illness or
DOLPHINS OF KOOMBANA BAY
Dolphins and whales belong to the order Cetacea. The order Cetacea is
broken down into two different groups or sub orders - baleen whales (Mysticeti)
and toothed whales (Odontoceti). Dolphins are small toothed whales (Odontocetes)
and belong to the family Delphinidae. There are approximately 30 species
within this family.
The Koombana Bay dolphins are Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
They have beaks that are short, usually only 7-8 cm long, wide and
rounded, with a lower jaw which protrudes conspicuously beyond the
upper. The line of the mouth is soft and curves upwards at the back to
give this species its familiar, faintly amused facial expression.
Bottlenose dolphins can stay underwater for 8-10 minutes, however the
average “down time” is 2 or 3 minutes. When a dolphin dives the blowhole
shuts completely, otherwise their lungs would fill with water and they
DID YOU KNOW?
Bottlenose dolphins, like all whales and
dolphins, are warm blooded mammals. They breathe air and the females
give birth to live young.
The Gestation period for a female is 12 months and she will nurse
her calf for 2-3 years. The mother will always wean her calf before
giving birth to another. Therefore she is able to calve every 3-4
Calves weigh approximately 30 kgs at
birth (0.5 to 0.9 metres in length) and can grow to seven times
their body weight in the first year. This is possible due to the
very fatty milk fed by their mother.
The weight of Bottlenose dolphins will
vary from 110 kilos to 400 kilos. Their length can range from 1.5 to
It is estimated that wild Bottlenose
dolphins can live for 35-45 years. This is longer than the
previously thought 25-35 years. However life expectancy of dolphins
is hard to measure as they live so much of their lives out of human
Dolphins are sexually active all year
round, although mating season in Koombana Bay takes place in the
spring and summer months.
A female dolphin will mate with many
different males. Males will compete aggressively for access to
females that are sexually receptive (in oestrus).
The best way to determine whether a dolphin is male or female is to
look on the underside of the dolphin. The female has two mammary
slits either side of her genital slit.
"My major role was to pass on information to
the visitors about the dolphins and their environment and to ensure
every level of dolphin – human interaction was managed in a safe and
appropriate way. This was particularly important during the dolphin swim
tours where I was assigned the position of swim tour guide and was
responsible for the safety of all visitors while snorkelling with
dolphins out in the ocean.
In addition to these regular volunteer duties, I also participated as a
research volunteer. Working alongside researchers from Murdoch
University, part of my role was to collect survey and photographic data
along with various other geographical and weather related details. This
information provides a solid baseline source of information on the
dolphin’s general group densities, movements and site preferences and
how they vary over time.
It was a tremendous experience for me to work with the
Center, I will take the skills I've learned into my next endeavours and
the joyful memories will stay with me always!"
While on your placements, you can also book some
Optional Add-Ons to make the most of your Travel Experience.
project can also be combined with any of our other projects in Australia, or
you could even do a second project in a different region of the country - or
perhaps New Zealand - thus
doubling your adventure and enjoyment!
Photo right: The Pinnacles
LOCATION, EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:
The Lonely Planet guide named Western Australia's
South West region as one of the TOP TEN most desirable vacation
destinations in the world for 2010 saying, "it offers variety in
spades!” And it does ... the sheer size, amazing
natural wealth, awesome scenery and huge variety of plant and animal
life make Australia an essential destination for anyone with a passion
for nature and wildlife.
LOCATION - SOUTH WEST COAST
This program is located in the stunning south west coast in
Bunbury, the third
largest city in Western Australia. The city is small but a major
commercial center in Western Australia and acts as a hub to the local
area about 2½ hrs drive south of Perth. Described as the real Australia.
It lies on a spectacular peninsular surrounded by blue waters of
the Indian Ocean, a bay and an inlet. A vibrant port city with a strong
maritime history, the area is renowned for its quality lifestyle and
unique blend of nature, and top quality facilities.
The area's other features include
mangroves, rare basaltic rock and nearby Tuart Forest. A colourful
"cappuccino strip" of sidewalk cafes and a variety of waterside dining
options offer numerous opportunities to taste the wonders of the local
produce. The award-winning restaurants and historic pubs
ensure the atmosphere hums! The city is surrounded by forests, national
parks, waterways, historic towns and hundreds of vineyards,
not to mention the incredible coast-line.
The area has a Mediterranean climate with warm to hot summers and cool
winters. Rainfall is during winter
but the weather is rather pleasant for the rest of the year. In summer
(December to February), the average maximum temperature is 28°C with an
average minimum temperature of 14°C. In winter (June to August),
it's 19°C with an average minimum
A little about Perth: Perth was built on the
banks of the magnificent Swan River over 150 years ago and is now a city
rich in culture and filled with theatres, art galleries and museums.
The city is modern and vibrant - a fun, friendly and 'laid back' place. Western Australia is locally known as the
'state of excitement!'
Some of its' attractions include
Kings Park, Scarborough Beach, Fremantle and the Swan River.
Fremantle (or as the local’s call it, ‘Freo’) is the city’s port. At weekends
entertainment and plenty of alfresco style cafes to laze in.
restaurants to suit all tastes - the most popular cuisine is of course the
great Australian BBQ. Barbeque facilities are abundant in local parks - take
your own food and cook up a feast, Australian style! For meals in local
restaurants, a trip to Perth's inner city center is well worth the effort -
it bustles with activity and offers a range of choices of restaurants.
THE BEST OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Courtesy of Western Australia Tourism -
Fremantle - Spend a few days in Fremantle is an absolute must. Just
a 30 minute drive from Perth's city center. Freo, as it's known by
locals is a vibrant port city you can't miss.
Rottnest Island - Just offshore from Perth, Rottnest Island is where
the locals go to swim at white-sand beaches, snorkel in turquoise water
over shipwrecks, or kick back and go fishing. Rotto, as it's called
locally, is a car-free zone, which adds to its relaxed feel.
Margaret River - No trip to Western Australia is complete
without a pit stop at Margaret River. Originally a chilled out
surfie town, Margaret River is now the ultimate
smorgasbord of good food, fine wine and spectacular scenery - just a
three-and-a-half hour drive south of Perth.
Albany - Prepare to be blown away by Albany's dramatic convict
history, set against a backdrop of rugged granite coastline, green seas
and a wild beauty that tugs at the heartstrings. Step back in time and
explore convict jails, old taverns, whaling ships and settlers' cottages
and grand National Trust homes in beautifully landscaped grounds.
Denmark - You'll fall in love with Denmark - where towering tall
trees meet the ocean. The town has a relaxed village atmosphere,
romantic timber milling history and incredible coastal scenery.
Ningaloo Reef - Take a dive with hundreds of tropical fish,
amazing coral formations and the world's biggest fish, the whale shark,
at unspoilt Ningaloo Reef.
Monkey Mia - Monkey Mia is one of Western Australia's most famous
dolphin watching destinations.
- The Shark Bay World Heritage Area was Western Australia's first World
Heritage Listed site and one of only 16 Australia wide that fit all four
selection criteria. Shark Bay's wilderness and natural wonders make for
a unique vacation.
The Pinnacles - The extraordinary ancient rock formations that
make up the Pinnacles are located about a three-hour drive north of
Perth near the coastal town of Cervantes.
Kalgoorlie - Get ready for a heady trip to Kalgoorlie, Western
Australia's largest goldfields town famed for its fascinating gold rush
history, fabulous old buildings and old gold miners' ghost towns.
Esperance - For squeaky-white beaches, getting off the beaten
track and bunking down under the stars, head south to Esperance. This
place is so relaxed even the kangaroos sun bake on the beach.
To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you
arrive in your new country, please
Support & Backup:
To read about the excellent
& Backup we provide before you leave and during
please click here.
The Perth Ferry