Volunteer at Taiaroa Head!

There’s an invasion of thistles at Pukekura/Taiaroa Head and the Royals don’t like it!

These thistles attract the introduced blowfly (Lucilia sericata), which lays its maggots in nestling seabirds. We won’t go into details!  But you can imagine what this does. Even if the maggots are removed the birds are still susceptible to infection!

We want to make sure the chicks ( and their parents) have a good chance of keeping healthy, so join us to  help protect the Northern royal albatross colony and get a chance to see inside the fence at Pukekura/Taiaria Head!

Volunteering will give you:

  • An opportunity to visit a closed wildlife reserve
  • The chance to develop skills that are essential to a career in conservation
  • An opportunity to work with a DOC ranger and learn more about the management of wildlife at Taiaroa Head.

 What you’ll be doing:

You will be working with a DOC Biodiversity ranger and a small group of volunteers to target and remove five target weeds using hand control methods. You will have a chance during your time out at the reserve to have a guided tour with the ranger to learn about the reserve and the management of the Northern royal albatross colony.


These will be whole day sessions from 9am until 3pm

  • Monday 23rd  April
  • Thursday 26th April
  • Monday 30th  April
  • Wednesday 2nd  May

Ideally you would be able to commit to at least two days but please do apply even if it’s only for one day.

 What you’ll need

  • A moderate to high level of fitness . You will be working along a steep and rough section of the headland. There will be lots of up-and-down with hand-pulling thistles.
  • Sturdy footwear ( tramping boots or sneakers)
  • Clothes for rain and sunshine ( rain-jacket, sun hat)
  • Long-sleeved pants and top
  • Food and water
  • Transport, tools and protective gear will be provided

For more information and to lock in your spot email:


… and tell them you heard about this at Volunteering Otago.   Happy volunteering!