About Wellington

In our survey of New Zealand cities to house our urban-based internships, Wellington stood out above the rest. As the country’s capital city, Wellington is a sea-side gem with a vibrant population energized by numerous universities and travelers. The city has a population approaching 180,824, while the region boasts 450,765. The earliest name for Wellington from Maori legend is Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui, which means the head of Maui’s fish. Caught and pulled to the surface by Polynesian navigator Maui, the fish became New Zealand’s North Island.

Bound by its magnificent harbor, with wooden Victorian buildings terraced up steep hills, New Zealand’s capital boasts spectacular views, challenging walks, a thriving cafe and entertainment scene, and serious dedication to the arts make Wellington an enormously enjoyable place in which to spend a few days.

Wellington boasts an impressive array of museums ranging from maritime exhibits to natural history to indigenous and modern art. And while the countryside may not be known for its cuisine, Wellington celebrates some of the best of Asian and middle-eastern cuisine in the Pacific.

It will not be difficult to make friends in Wellington as university students and travelers pour into the streets, pubs and discotheques after nightfall on a nightly basis.

KARORI Wildlife Sanctuary

Help restore the giants of the forest and return the native bird song to Wellington! In this internship you will assist in leaving a lasting natural treasure for generations to come. As in almost all parts of the world, Wellington’s original forest ecosystem has been dramatically altered by a number of catastrophic occurrences, including forest fires, farming, and the introduction of alien predators. This project is an ambitious conservation effort to affect positive change on the environment. To this end, volunteer restoration teams have already planted thousands of trees. In addition, the on-going construction of trails–the Kiwi, Restoration, and Wilderness Trails–provides exceptional opportunities for current and future visitors to experience an ecosystem almost lost.

Historical records show that in pre-European times, the lowland forests of this area probably contained up to fifty species of native birds. Since that time, thirty-eight of these species have either become extinct or are no longer present in the area. The challenge of the Sanctuary is to re-establish the forest chorus through native bird release programs, including that of the much-loved national icon, the kiwi. Help these committed conservationists make this Sanctuary a world-class visitor facility. With involvement in trail construction, species monitoring, pest control, weed management, and public education, you will be part of a conservation project truly pushing the boundaries of conservation science.