Australia is nicknamed ‘The Lucky Country’, but there are plenty of people who need a hand, and many terrific not-for-profit organisations who require volunteers to help them out. Here are nine great opportunities to make a difference across Australia.
Orange Sky Laundry
More than 100,000 Australians are homeless, and Orange Sky gives them both a regular laundry and shower service, as well as a positive and supportive environment to connect with other people — something that’s invaluable to a group of people too often ignored and rejected by the rest of the community. The service operates in 22 locations across Australia and is always looking for volunteers to commit to a weekly or fortnightly shift full of clean clothes and warm conversation.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
This Port Macquarie institution is the world’s first hospital devoted solely to the rehabilitation of koalas, and you can help these furry little fellas by joining the hundreds of volunteers — the Koala Hospital runs volunteering programs for both locals and international guests. And if you’re interested in protecting even more of Australia’s abundant great outdoors, Conservation Volunteers Australia has linked hundreds of thousands of volunteers with important projects since 1982.
Friends with Dignity
Domestic violence in Australia is at epidemic levels, with at least one in six women experiencing violence at the hands of a partner at some point of her life, and a rising (although still dramatically under-reported) number of incidents being called in to police. Friends with Dignity is an organisation that assists victims with rebuilding their lives, and there are a number of hands-on volunteer roles available at the Queensland-based organisation.
Originally known as the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience before it expanded overseas, AIME provides mentors to help students bridge the gap between high school and university. More than 15,000 Indigenous high schoolers and 5,000 uni students have been through the program, and you can add your name to the list by volunteering as a mentor.
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
The UN has slammed the Australian government’s illegal offshore detention of refugees as “inhuman”, and this Melbourne-based organisation is doing everything it can to support people seeking asylum in the country. Attend an ASRC Information Evening to learn about how you can help volunteer, campaign, advocate and fund-raise for the organisation, and keep an eye on their website to apply for positions as they become available.
The Women’s Library
Since 1992, Newtown Library in Sydney’s inner-west has housed a safe space and literary resource room for women, run entirely by a team of dedicated volunteers. TWL curates a collection of more than 25,000 books and pamphlets, and also provides a meeting place for a number of lesbian and feminist groups. Join TWL as a member for $5 then offer your help in your field of expertise.
National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy
Life expectancy for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is about a decade lower than Australia’s non-Indigenous population, but NASCA aims to close that gap. The 100% Indigenous-governed organisation used sport to build the confidence of young Aboriginal people, and requires volunteers to deliver its programs across Australia every year, as well as undergo extended placements in remote Northern Territory communities.
The Welcome Dinner Project
This feel-good project welcomes newly arrived Australians — refugees, immigrants, international students — to the country by introducing them to a table full of locals via a potluck dinner. The concept is the brainchild of joiningthedots — a not-for-profit that aims to build positive connections within the community — and you can help by hosting a dinner at your place, or by lending a hand as a facilitator.
One in every five Australians fights a battle with mental illness, and Mind Australia is one of the country’s leading providers of community-managed specialist mental health services. You don’t need any professional mental health experience to lend them a hand — Mind just looks for compassionate volunteers in every state and territory to help individuals and families living with mental ill-health.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.