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Volunteer - working days

Black fronted tern nest on bare shingle, ideally on islands. In the Eglinton Valley these islands are being steadily overgrown by invasive weeds, especially lupins. The islands need to be cleared before the start of every nesting season. We also have to clear whole suitable areas as currently this original habitat is mostly lost, thanks to the weeds. This clearing of potential nesting areas can continue throughout the season. There is also a need to have a trap line to protect current nesting sites from predators. Target pests are stoats, rats, feral cats and hedgehogs.

Main activity

The main working activity would be pulling out lupin plants. This can be quite easy as the shingle "flows" so roots of young lupins don't resist too much. Anyway old plants needs to be dug out by a grubber. The only obstacles to this job are the river and weather. The hand weeding needs to be done when the river flow is low so people can cross it easily. All potential volunteers must be aware that they will get their feet and boots wet.

Working days anytime
Because Fiordland weather is unpredictable we would like to make working opportunities as flexible as possible. Some working bee days will be advertised, but anybody keen to help can contact us anytime and according to instructions come to Knobs Flat or another meeting point and be given a job.


1. Please call 249 9122 at least one day in advance.
You will be informed about weather/river crossing conditions and meeting point.

2. Read properly River Crossing Instructions -
in some cases the water level can be above knees.

3. Bring your own lunch and suitable footwear/clothing for a river crossing and working with grubbers.
Also we recommend to bring a sunscreen as there is no shelter or shade.

You might would like to bring your glasses to protect your eyes while working with a grubber.

Bigger groups: If you have a grubber, please bring it along for the exercise.

Contact details

Phone: Knobs Flat Accommodation - 03 249 9122 | Website:
The Knobs Flat Accommodation supports the project and its knowledgeable staff introduce volunteers to the job, supply tools and supervise when needed.

Black-fronted tern

Any form of support is welcome and appreciated:
  • If bus tour operators can provide transport from Te Anau to Knobs Flat and back.
  • If you can share your working or scientific experience that can increase our efficiency, help us to build/get trap boxes, finance it, etc.