Want to make a difference to Queensland flora and fauna while enjoying a holiday in a World Heritage Area at the same time?
Conservation Volunteers are hosting a short spell of 'voluntourism' on Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island, this February. The five-day experience will see guests directly contributing to important research and conservation activities on the island.
Activities may include marine debris clean-up and cataloguing, environmental rehabilitation and dingo population research involving 'collection of biological specimens'. (That's scats, or poo, to the uninitiated.)
Each morning will start with volunteers joining specialist Conservation Volunteers or Queensland Parks and Wildlife Natural Resource Management staff to undertake priority tasks.
Then come the long, languid afternoons, which can be spent exploring this iconic island - with some of the highlights including the Maheno ship wreck, Pinnacles, Eli Creek, Lake Birrabeen and Lake Garawongera.
Sounds tempting? It's time to get your skates on, for the first expedition runs from February 10 to 14. That said, other Fraser Island dates are scheduled to run throughout 2014, with activities changing depending on the season.
The $840 fee includes all food and accommodation costs for the week, as well as transport to and from Fraser Island from the Sunshine Coast, access to a team leader and all required personal protective equipment (such as sunscreen, insect repellent, high-visibility vest, gloves and eye protection).
Cautions? Once on the island, you'll be travelling by sideward facing 4WD and, given the terrain, you can expect a bouncy ride. And don't come expecting ultra-luxe accommodation: you'll sleep up to four to a dorm, and will need to bring your own sleeping bag and bath towel.
Fraser Island is a natural wonder, stretching 123 kilometres long and covering an area of 166,038 hectares.
Conservation Volunteers also run daily and weekend projects in Brisbane. Further afield in Australia and overseas, a broad range of projects focussed upon flora and fauna conservation, landcare, heritage preservation and disaster recovery are also on offer.
Getting hands-on in the sand. Conservation Volunteers image.