Volunteer in Australia

Head to the land down under and be inspired by some of the world’s most infamous wildlife!

volunteer-in-australia

Turquoise water off the Australian coast. Photo credit: Ian Woolcock, Shuttterstock

About Australia

Australia is a country that consists of the Australian continental landmass, Tasmania, and a few smaller islands.  Although it is the world’s sixth largest country by total area, Australia’s low population density means that it has just 23 million residents.  Canberra is the capital city while Sydney is the largest.  English is the language used by Australians, and the Australian dollar is their currency.  Australia is known worldwide for the many iconic species that inhabit its vast outback, for being home to the Great Barrier Reef, and for the architectural marvel that is the Sydney Opera House.

Highlights

  • Travel to the mystical Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) in Australia’s barren interior.
  • Dive along the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest.
  • Stroll around the cosmopolitan city of Sydney.

Climate and Geography

There are a wide variety of landscapes in Australia because of its size, with tropical rainforests in the north-east, mountain ranges in the south-east, south-west and east and dry desert in the centre.  Most of the northern parts of Australia have a tropical type climate.  The south-western part of the country has a Mediterranean climate while much of the south-east has a temperate climate.  At 2,229m, Mount Kosciuszko  is the highest mountain in Australia.

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Australia, the planet’s sixth largest country by total area. Photo credit: d-maps.com.

Culture and Religion

Australia’s culture is predominately a Western one, with some influences from its indigenous peoples and more recent migrants.  The country’s sunny climate also allows for an outdoor lifestyle.  Indeed, Australians are known for their love of outdoor pursuits and social events frequently involve getting together around a barbeque.

The country’s most famous musical export is probably the low humming sound of the didgeridoo.

Australia has no official state religion, and while 63% of the population identify as Christians, there are a large number of residents who do not follow any faith.

Wildlife and Environment

On land, Australia has a unique ecosystem which is home to many iconic species, including kangaroos, platypuses and koalas.  The country’s oceans also hold the world’s largest coral reef systems and 30 of the worlds 58 sea grass species.  In fact, the waters of Australia hold some of the most diverse reef systems in the world, including the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland and Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia where whale sharks migrate through every year.

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest marine protected area (348,700 square kilometres in size) in the world and has over 2,900 reefs. It is home to some 1,500 species of fish, 400 species of corals, 4,000 species of molluscs, 500 species of seaweed, 215 species of birds, 16 species of sea snake, 6 species of sea turtle and some of the largest populations of dugong in the world.

Australian waters are also home to the giant kelp forests in the cold waters of Tasmania and the great white sharks of South Australia.

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Tropical fish swim around a coral reef.
Photo credit: Richard Whitcombe, Shutterstock

Click here to see how you can work as a marine conservation volunteer in Australia!