Help the Nywaigi Aboriginal people restore wetlands adjacent to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse and remarkable ecosystems in the world. Covering over 344,000 square kilometres (roughly the same size as Japan or Germany), it was the first coral reef to be awarded World Heritage status. Sadly, the reef is vulnerable and facing increasing pressures from declining water quality. Land-based run-off is one of the most significant threats to its long-term health and resilience. We need your help to protect one of the world’s most spectacular natural attractions. Join this unforgettable conservation adventure to help the Nywaigi Aboriginal traditional owners restore wetlands adjacent to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef and the IUCN listed Halifax Bay Wetlands National Park. Experience rich Aboriginal culture and history while supporting local conservation efforts and exploring the wetlands, waterfalls, ancient rainforests, stunning beaches and wildlife unique to tropical to North Queensland.
- Discover the culture and history the Nywaigi Aboriginal People of North Queensland
- Guided walk and bird watching at Eubenangee Swamp
- Stunning coastlines, beaches and lookout points
- Cattana Wetlands feather palm forest, freshwater and salt water lakes and abundant plant and birdlife
- Crocodile and cassowary spotting
- Tyto Wetlands birds and Agile Wallabies
- The spectacular Wallaman Falls
- Hands-on conservation activities helping improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef
Duration: 5 days /4 nights
Departs: 8.30am Cairns, 28 May – 1 June
Price: from $860 AUD per person
Tour inclusions as noted below
Day 1 Cairns – Eubenangee and Cattana Wetlands – Mungalla
8.30am meet your Conservation Volunteers Australia host at Cairns city hostel and travel Palm Creek. On route our first stop is Eubenangee Swamp, a significant wetland and bird area. On our walk keep an eye out for local wildlife, including crocodiles and enjoy breathtaking views of Mt Bartle Frere, Queensland’s tallest mountain. Continuing our journey, we visit Hinchinbrook Island lookout for stunning panoramic vistas. From here you will be able to see the island and the complicated mangrove system that supports amazing marine wildlife. We stop for lunch at Cattana Wetlands before reaching our destination at the Aboriginal owned Mungalla Station. Meals: Dinner. Accommodation – Bunk room accommodation Mungalla Station.
Day 2 Conservation Activities
Grab your breakfast and packed lunch before our days conservation activities helping remove weeds, plant trees, collect native seed stock or monitor water quality. Our conservation efforts will make a difference to the health and resilience of the reef, by restoring catchments and improving water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef. Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Accommodation – Bunk room accommodation Mungalla Station.
Day 3 Conservation Activities – Wallaman Falls
Spend the morning participating in local conservation efforts helping remove weeds or plant trees and collect native seed stock to improve water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef. After lunch we travel to Wallaman Falls, the longest single drop waterfall in the southern hemisphere. The views are spectacular so make sure you bring your camera! Located in the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Wet Tropics this beautiful area is cassowary and Ulysses butterfly habitat – you may even get a chance to spot one or two of these shy animals in the afternoon. Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Accommodation – Bunk room accommodation Mungalla Station.
Day 4 Conservation Activities – Tyto Wetlands
Spend the morning supporting local conservation efforts helping remove weeds or plant trees and collect native seed stock to improve water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef. In the afternoon we visit Tyto Wetlands. This 110-hectare rehabilitated wetland area is home to over 240 species of birds and Agile Wallabies. With extensive walking tracks, bird hides and viewing platforms, it is a wonderful way to get up close and personal with the local wildlife and discover more about the significant ecological values of wetlands. Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Accommodation – Bunk room accommodation Mungalla Station.
Day 5 Etty Bay – Cairns
Breakfast, camp pack up and return journey to Cairns. On route we enjoy fish and chips at Etty Bay, overlooking pristine beaches – keep your eyes out for Cassowaries on the beach. Expected return time to Cairns is 3.00pm. Meals: Breakfast and lunch
The Itinerary and activities may be subject to change based on seasonal weather conditions.
Expect a moderate amount of physical activity. Conservation activities involve active-hands on projects and potentially walking on unmarked tracks and in warm climatic conditions. We take regular rest breaks and you also are encouraged to monitor yourself to determine your need for a time-out.
- Maximum 9 people per group
- Minimum age for participation is 14
- Participants under 16 are to be accompanied by an adult
- Departure is guaranteed, subject to 3 people travelling
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, home over 3,000 coral reefs, 1,600 species of fish and 600 types of soft coral. In 1981 it was recognised for its outstanding universal value and listed as a World Heritage Site. Today, the reef is facing increasing pressures from declining water quality. Land-based run-off is one of the most significant threats to the long-term health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef. One Reef is an initiative of Conservation Volunteers Australia that harnesses the strength of partners, communities and volunteers to repair and reinstate priority wetlands and catchments of the Great Barrier Reef.
During this volunteer holiday, you’ll support seasonal conservation activities including tree planting, weed removal, seed collection and water quality monitoring. Depending on the conservation needs at the time of your visit, you may be involved in one or a variety of these conservation activities during the week. Conservation efforts improve the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef. The country you will be visiting and helping to protect is home to the Nywaigi Aboriginal people, who have occupied the local lands in the region for over 45,000 years.
Location and Transportation
You will be transported in a 8-seat sideward facing 4WD
Accommodation and Meals
Our accommodation will be at the Mungulla Station in a dorm room with communal bathroom amenities. Please bring sleeping bag and bath towel.
Three meals a day and snacks are provided. Meal-preparation is a shared responsibility, with different participants taking turns helping to manage the meal preparation and clean-up. Don’t worry if you’re not a great cook, as everyone can do something to help, even if it’s just chopping vegetables!
All prices are for 5 days, per person.
Bunk Room: $860
- Experienced Conservation Volunteers team leader
- Return transfers from Cairns
- 4 nights’ bunk room accommodation and meals from dinner day 1 till lunch on day 5
- Conservation activities and equipment
- Scheduled sightseeing activities and national park fees
- Certificate of appreciation.
- Travel to Cairns city departure point
- Lunch day 1 and dinner day 5
- Laundry, medical expenses, personal travel insurance and items of a personal nature
- Visa and passport charges
- Departure, airport and airline charges
- Souvenirs, any additional tours or activities.
Departs: 8.30 am Nomads Backpacker Hostel 341 Lake Street, Cairns
Returns: Approximately 3.00pm Cairns city and airport
Email us for more departure dates!
Equipment and Clothing
Luggage is strictly limited to a maximum of 15kgs – the following items are essential:
- Long trousers
- Strong boots*
- Wide-brimmed sun hat
- Sleeping bag, bath towel and camp pillow
- Sunscreen – choose high protection
- Long sleeved shirts
- Wet weather clothing
- Work (gardening) gloves
- Personal drink bottle
- Insect repellant
*Conservation Volunteers recommends strong work or walking boots that will protect your feet and ankles – make sure they are comfortable!
Be prepared for the weather – temperatures and conditions in North Queensland vary from hot and humid in summer (the wet season April – November) to warm with mild evenings during autumn and winter (the dry season May – October). Average temperatures range from a high or 32 and low of 22 degrees Celsius in summer with higher levels of rainfall and a high of 28 and low of 17 degrees Celsius in winter. Please bring the appropriate clothing (and sleeping bag) for the climate in the area and time you have chosen to visit. Using a quality guidebook or talking with your travel agent will help.