Rainforest Bat Rehabilitation in Australia

Cairns, Australia Wildlife & Environmental Conservation



Volunteer to help rescue and rehabilitate bats at The Centre, a five-acre garden in a quiet forest valley near Cairns. The program provides a lifetime sanctuary for bats that are injured and orphaned, and informs the public about the importance of bats and habitats through schools and the onsite Visitor Centre. Four species of Australian flying foxes, as well as tube-nosed bats and microbats, are permanently cared for at the shelter and are the “stars” at the visitor’s center, opened in 2009 to provide educational programs.


Thousands of Australia’s bats are injured, orphaned, or become ill because of human interaction, and their habitats are often destroyed. The wildlife facility works for the conservation of bats and their habitat, and to improve public opinion about these special animals.

As an advocate for bats, you can help them achieve the goal of rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing hundreds of bats every year. When a bat is too severely injured to return to the wild or has been retired from zoos, the center provides a lifetime sanctuary. You also will leave an impact by educating the public about bats through school visits and the onsite Visitor Centre. Your work will help with the habitat restoration of two bat colonies, and it also facilitates research into flying foxes by various universities and government institutions.

Field conditions

As a volunteer, your typical day will find you bottle feeding baby bats every four hours, then tending to their toilet. You’ll also exercise young animals, clean enclosures, help to build and repair cages, forage for grass and gum leaves to use as food, pick apples, assist in rescue calls and medical treatments, and keep the grounds and volunteer accommodations clean and tidy.

Work is performed over a 10-15 hour day, six days a week, with some flexibility. Part of your job is to source food for the animals, and this involves walking in the forest, so you must be prepared to work in the heat. Because you’ll be assisting wildlife carers as they provide medical treatment for injured animals, you must accept the fact that some animals do not survive their injuries.

Excellent English comprehension is required to follow instructions, and you need to be willing to work in all weather conditions, including the high season from October to February. You need to be 21 or older to volunteer, and an International Driver’s License is a plus.

Arrival and orientation

Fly to Cairns, Australia. From there you take a shuttle bus into the city, then a bus to Atherton. O2E will arrange your pickup from there. Volunteers are oriented to the project upon arrival in the standard of care the wildlife shelter requires for its animals.

Your stay


  • HousingVolunteer house

  • Provided mealsBreakfast, dinner

Accommodation description

You’ll share a comfortable self-contained apartment with other volunteers, or in large tents with more private accommodation. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided, but volunteers are requested to help with preparation, cooking, and cleaning.


Volunteers can stay in an apartment or tent.


from $624 USDper week

from $624 USDper week


What’s included

  • Return transfers from the local town to the project

  • Project orientation, information pack, and safety briefing

  • Accommodation as specified above

  • Food and meals as specified above

  • 24/7 local support network

  • Project placement, onsite supervision, training

  • Dedicated pre-departure support

  • Certificate of participation (on request)

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance

  • In-country trips and excursions

  • Return transfers from the airport to the local town

  • Airfare

  • Visas

  • Personal spending money

  • Travel insurance

Start dates

This project accepts volunteers all year. Start dates are Mondays, continuing through Sunday. Additional projects can be combined during your trip, subject to availability and individual visa conditions.

Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers sends volunteers on adventure trips that focus on animals, wildlife, and conservation. Founded in Melbourne, Australia by Tracy Leske and Cassie Smith, animal lovers and committed volunteers, O2E facilitates quality travel experiences that are meaningful, safe, and low-cost. O2E promotes the ethical treatment of all animals and living ecology by connecting volunteers wanting a hands-on experience with partner NGOs that offer sustainable projects in Australia, Asia, South America, and Africa. O2E raises funds for animal welfare and habitat protection by providing purposeful experiences for its volunteers.

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