Volunteer Holidays & Student Studies at Roo Gully

Important Notice

Roo Gully does not employ any staff and relies heavily upon volunteer help,
and so it does cause many problems if people cancel, especially at short notice.
It is also frustrating for other applicants
because for every volunteer we accept we usually refuse at least 5 others.
It is a loss to them and us, and so we are now asking for a commitment from future volunteers.

Accommodation costs for each calendar month are $800.00.

This includes accommodation in either a single or twin bedded room,
food, laundry and Internet connection.

Volunteers and students are expected to pay for their own toiletries,
'nibblies' - such as chocolate, crisps etc - and alcohol

Students and Volunteers are expected to pay on the 1st of every month,
or on arrival and then the same date each month.

Any nights away are NOT refunded.

You MAY be requested to pay a deposit of Au$800 (1 Calendar Month's accommodation)
3 months before your stay, which will secure your placement.

Please be aware your deposit is non refundable if you cancel,
because it may have to pay for local labour.

Please DO NOT pay your deposit
unless we ask you to.

Because it takes quite a few days to teach each new volunteer the routine,
and how to care for, often very young, Australian wildlife,
we prefer a minimum stay of not less than 4 weeks.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer,
or would like to carry out a study at Roo Gully in 2011 or 2012, then please book in now.

We are also accepting applications for 2012
and strongly advise anyone wishing to join us
from September 2012 onwards
to book in soon because it is always
a popular time of the year being 'Joey Season'.

If the weeks you want are closed because we have no beds available at Roo Gully
please know that there is accommodation in Boyup Brook
to suit Backpackers and those wanting Bed & Breakfast,
and even self contained cottages.
Volunteers staying in town can then join us during the day.
Please write and ask us for contact details of outside accommodation.

The following places are available:

April 2011:

Week 1: 1st - 9th 1 Place Available
Week 2: 10th - 16th 2 Places Available
Week 3: 17th - 23rd 2 Places Available
Week 4: 24th - 30th 2 Places Available

May 2011:

Week 1: 1st - 7th 2 Places Available
Week 2: 8th - 14th 3 Places Available
Week 3: 15th - 22nd 3 Places Available
Week 4: 23rd - 31st 3 Places Available

June 2011:

Week 1: 1st - 10th 3 Places Available
Week 2: 11th - 18th 3 Places Available
Week 3: 19th - 25th 3 Places Available
Week 4: 26th - 30th 3 Places Available

July 2011:

Week 1: 1st - 9th 3 Places Available
Week 2: 10th - 16th 3 Places Available
Week 3: 17th - 23rd 3 Places Available
Week 4: 24th - 31st 3 Places Available

August 2011:

Week 1: 1st - 6th 3 Places Available
Week 2: 7th - 13th 3 Places Available
Week 3: 14th - 20th 3 Places Available
Week 4: 21st - 31st 3 Places Available

September 2011:

Week 1: 1st - 10th 3 Places Available
Week 2: 11th - 17th 3 Places Available
Week 3: 18th - 24th 3 Places Available
Week 4: 25th - 30th 3 Places Available

October 2011:

Week 1: 1st - 8th 2 Places Available
Week 2: 9th - 15th 2 Places Available
Week 3: 16th - 22nd 2 Places Available
Week 4: 23rd - 31st 2 Places Available

November 2011:

Week 1: 1st - 5th 2 Places Available
Week 2: 6th - 12th 2 Places Available
Week 3: 13th - 19th 2 Places Available
Week 4: 20th - 30th 2 Places Available

December 2011:

Week 1: 1st - 10th 2 Places Available
Week 2: 11th - 17th 2 Places Available
Week 3: 18th - 22nd 2 Places Available
Week 4: 23rd - 31st 2 Places Available

January 2012:

Week 1: 1st - 7th 2 Places Available
Week 2: 8th - 14th 2 Places Available
Week 3: 15th - 21st 2 Places Available
Week 4: 22nd - 31st 2 Places Available

February 2012:

Week 1: 1st - 11th 2 Places Available
Week 2: 12th - 18th 1 Place Available
Week 3: 19th - 25th 1 Place Available
Week 4: 26th - 29th 1 Place Available

March 2012:

Week 1: 1st - 10th 2 Places Available
Week 2: 11th - 17th 3 Places Available
Week 3: 18th - 24th 3 Places Available
Week 4: 25th - 31st 3 Places Available

April 2012:

Week 1: 1st - 7th 4 Places Available
Week 2: 8th - 14th 4 Places Available
Week 3: 15th - 21st 4 Places Available
Week 4: 22nd - 30th 4 Places Available

May 2012:

Week 1: 1st - 5th 4 Places Available
Week 2: 6th - 12th 4 Places Available
Week 3: 13th - 19th 4 Places Available
Week 4: 20th - 31st 4 Places Available

June 2012:

Week 1: 1st - 9th 4 Places Available
Week 2: 10th - 16th 4 Places Available
Week 3: 17th - 23rd 4 Places Available
Week 4: 24th - 30th 4 Places Available


We always advise you apply early,
especially if you want to carry out a student study or placement,
or want to stay several months
because we do tend to get many applicants.

Please read this page properly before applying.
It does answer a lot of your questions.

Roo Gully offers volunteer working holidays to young Australians, overseas visitors travelling around Australia
and students who are studying zoology, wildlife conservation or animal welfare and behavioural science.
We have no maximum age limit, and mature volunteers are equally welcome to join us.
Roo Gully will be your home during your stay, and you will be in single or twin rooms.
Volunteers are expected to help with the work at Roo Gully
and live in the house as part of the family, joining us for meals and in the evening to watch TV.

We hope the following information on this page will help everyone thinking about applying to become a volunteer,
and be of assistance to those students wishing to carry out a study, at Roo Gully.

This page has been constructed with the help of many volunteers
and is therefore here to help you obtain the information you need before applying,
so please take the time to read it.

If you need to know anything further then please contact us.


Although we do have our quieter periods - thank goodness - and the outside work depends on the season,
there are jobs that must be done every day at Roo Gully.
Richard has bottle
Our day starts by feeding everything.
We begin by feeding all the joeys, and other babies and injured species living inside the house.
The young joeys also need toileting.
Marty toiletted
Then we feed the birds in the aviaries, and other species outside.
Then we get fed!
There is nothing more boring than housework, but you can imagine how our kitchen looks after the Bush Gang have been in to say hello! So after everyone has been fed, including humans, and babies are settled, its all hands to the pumps.
Washing up done, bottles and teats washed, dirty pouches in washing machine, floors swept and mopped, and beds made.
Cockatoo and Ben
Volunteer rakes lawn
Now it's time to start outside. Roo troughs at all feeding stations are checked and refilled if necessary. All water buckets are washed out and filled with fresh water. The roos leave special 'presents' everywhere - roo dobbies! So next we sweep outside the kitchen and front door and under the verandas. In summer, when green feed is scarce, the roos keep our lawns trimmed, but they also leave plenty of roo dobbies on the grass. To help prevent disease we rake the lawns three or four times each week.
Feeling tired yet?
Well this is where we usually begin our real tasks for the day.
There is always outside work to do, and as you can imagine it's also busy in the office trying to keep on top of all the mail that arrives, the web site and the administration work to do with the charity. Throughout the day all babies are fed at the required hour and toileted. Later in the afternoon when the roos leave their shady sleeping places we have some roo cuddles and fun before the youngsters venturing out at night with the big kids are fed their last bottle of the day.
Then we sit on the bank and, as we enjoy the sunset, we watch the roos hop down to the bush by the creek.
By now its evening, and we have usually eaten dinner, but work has not finished. Bottles have to be made before the joeys join us to watch TV, cuddled up on the couch, experimenting with their bowls of nibbles. And of course they must have their supper too, and be toileted, before going to bed. Last job at night is to feed and check all the nocturnal wildlife in our care.
Then it's time for bed, and hopefully some sleep, but if we are caring for very young babies then we continue to feed them 2 hourly throughout the night.
Making bottles



No one at Roo Gully is expecting you to work all day and all night, but this is not a place to continue your holiday, somewhere comfortable to stay during your travels around Australia, although we hope you will feel comfortable here. Just please know you will be expected to work, and when we are very busy with animals needing 24 hour care, and those needing early and late feeds, you will be asked which hours suit you best, so you do one shift. Those doing the late shift sleep in late. Others that get to go to bed early are expected to get up early. At Roo Gully YOU will be one of the team, and your input will be vital to smooth running of our very special wildlife sanctuary.

However do not panic, it is not slave labour. There will be some hours during the day where you can relax and chill out, and of course you can take some days away. Not too many though, because you will be an essential part of Roo Gully.

And please know, everyone agrees, the more you put into your Roo Gully experience the more you get out of it.

So if you have not been put off by our honesty and wish to still continue with your wish to be a volunteer read on.
If you have a work preference, or a skill you would like to share with us, then look at the current and future projects, and let us know when you apply to be a Roo Gully volunteer.

We look forward to hearing from those who do not drop out at this point!


Karina in office
Maintenance and continual upgrading of the Roo Gully web site.
The setting up of a Bush Gang Club for children.
Administrating Roo Gully's 'Adopt a Roo' program.
Translation of our books into other languages.
Translating and narrating our films into other languages.
Translating and sub titling films.
Expansion of tourist information at Roo Gully

General maintenance and repairs.
Aviary Gardens - designing and creating new garden areas.
Building the new waterways and ponds in botanical gardens.
Planning and erection of aviaries in Aviary Gardens.
Maintenance of the boundary fence, and creek crossings.
Erecting new feral and bird proof compounds.
Building new roo shelters and feeding stations.
Ongoing maintenance of our Bush Cemetery.

Volunteer cemetery


Although we can never guarantee the climate, we hope this section will help you decide the time of year you would like to visit and will assist you in choosing the correct clothing you need to bring with you.
Please note that sturdy boots are essential all year in the Aussie bush.
September, October & November
Spring is a pleasant time of the year. Day temperatures normally vary between the low 20's (centigrade) to the mid 30's. However sweaters are needed for the cooler evenings. We also recommend a waterproof jacket because we can experience late rains, and some showers.
Bush flies are an irritating nuisance, and only abate when the dung beetles become active in late spring to early summer. Spring is
usually a very busy time of the year. Apart from working on major projects there are also many essential tasks that must be carried out.
Grass must be cut as a fire prevention for the summer, and also because long grass is a snake hazard, especially around the house and near the roo shelters.
By the end of November all our fire precautions must be completed.
Fire breaks must be finished and any debris, near the house and sheds that would fuel a bush fire, must be cleared away.
This is our busiest season for joeys, with many new arrivals.
Claudia mowing


December, January & February

Unless it is urgent we try not to work on any major building projects during the hottest weeks of our summer, but there is always some outside work to be done. Temperatures are usually in the mid 30's (centigrade) and can occasionally rise above 40C. Evenings are cooler, and we are fortunate to suffer only a few hot and uncomfortable nights each year.
The only room with air conditioning is the office, but rooms have fans.
Hats are essential this time of year, and light clothing. Sunscreen or sun block must be worn if working outside.
Because the Australian sun is harsh, due to the lack of the ozone layer, we recommend you purchase your sun block, and sun glasses in Australia.
You might also consider bringing some long sleeve shirts, because mosquitoes are more active in the evening.
During summer we must remain vigilant against all fire risks.
Because of the heat the roos drinking troughs must be filled with fresh water several times each day.
To reduce the risk of disease, all areas where the roos congregate, usually the lawns must be raked clean of all roo faeces 3 or 4 times each week.
This is the season we teach the joeys how to become kangaroos, slowly building their confidence outside, and with the older roos in the mob.

Volunteer rakes lawn


March, April & May
This is another pleasant time of the year, and we take advantage of the cooler temperatures working on any major outside projects. Day temperatures normally vary from the low 20's (centigrade) to the mid 30's, but we have experienced extremes in autumn, from very hot to quite cool. We recommend you bring sweaters for the cooler evenings. The rains begin any time from May onwards, so it would be wise to pack a light waterproof jacket.
Volunteer whipper snipper
During these months we begin preparing for winter.
Gutters are all cleaned out ready to collect as much water as possible once the rains start.
We begin wood cutting, building up our supply of logs for the winter.
All maintenance is increased on the roo shelters and huts, making sure all are waterproof before the rains begin.
Depending on the weather grass cutting begins.
Autumn is usually our quietest time for new joeys. Most of the young roos are now outside with the mob, but many still have bottles each day.


June, July & August
This is our rainy season, and it can get quite cool, although we usually get nice sunny warm days in between spells of rain. Day temperatures normally vary between the low 20's (centigrade) to about 16C. Nights can be very cold, and being inland we even have slight frosts, where the temperature drops to 1 or 2C. Cold nights, mean no cloud, and so are usually followed by sunny days. During our rains the nights are warmer because of cloud cover.
During the rain season we must keep the grass cut, and we must maintain our supply of wood for the log burners inside the house.
Depending on the amount of rain, and the ferocity of storms we must make sure the bridges across the creek do not get washed away. Bridges must be rebuilt, so the roos can cross the creek in safety, and a constant check must be kept on the perimeter fence threatened with flash floods.
Joeys that arrive during these months are usually unfurred and require intensive care, many needing 2 hourly feeds night and day.

Creek work
All year around people from Australia and overseas like to share our Roo Gully dream when visiting Boyup Brook. As we do not allow unaccompanied tours volunteers also help with day visitors.



Student filming
We encourage students, and graduates, to carry out their own studies at Roo Gully, and we always need help with our observation studies.
We are willing to share our information with students, but ask that they also allow us to use their studies, carried out at Roo Gully, to further the knowledge and understanding of Australian wildlife.
Students will get full acknowledgement of their work.



The accommodation fee is Au$800.00 per calendar month.
You may be asked to pay a deposit of one month (Au$800.00) 3 months before your stay.
This is non refundable if you cancel.

All volunteers and students are responsible for your air fare and all travelling costs to and from Roo Gully.

You will be responsible for your telephone calls, which are itemised on the telephone account, and for purchasing your own alcohol, soft drinks, snack nibblies and toiletries.

Once here you will be treated as a member of the family. All bedding and towels are provided.



We try not to have too many rules at Roo Gully,
but we would like to mention a few things that will make life easier
for everyone living at Roo Gully, including the animals.

  • Wildlife always comes first, and because the kangaroos have the freedom of the property gates must be kept closed.
  • Everyone helps with the everyday chores such as washing up, laundry and floor sweeping and mopping.
    With everyone helping these mundane tasks are accomplished quickly and we can all get on with our different projects for the day.
  • Roo Gully is not on scheme water, which means our water is collected during the rains and stored in water tanks. That water must last all year. Water cannot be wasted, and we would appreciate it if you do not take long showers.
  • Fire is a huge risk, and a danger to all. Every precaution against the risk of fire must be taken during the dry seasons. Smoking is allowed at Roo Gully, but if there are smokers and non smokers staying then smoking will be restricted to one room. Smoking is not allowed in any of the bedrooms. Please be careful extinguishing cigarettes outside and we ask that you please place your cigarette butts in a bin. This is because we do not want the roos eating the filters - they look very similar to the roo nuts the roos eat!
  • Volunteers and students must abide by all Roo Gully's health and safety rules.



We sometimes get volunteers who require special diets. Although we have not encountered any real difficulties so far, and have had vegetarians and vegans staying with us, we do recommend if you wish to eat only certain foods, especially brand name foods, you contact our local supermarket. However please give them plenty of notice of your special requirements as some supplies are only delivered once a month, and some might not even be available in Australia.
Do not attempt to bring in special foods. The penalties are high! Check Can I Bring it into Australia.
Although it has never happened so far, maybe because we do try to stock a wide range of foods, we have to state that if your dietary requirements involve the buying of special foods you will be expected to purchase these.

Because we want everyone to benefit from their stay at Roo Gully if you have a disability, or a medical problem, then please let us know. We do not turn anyone away because of a disability but you must be able to care for yourself, and your own special needs, while at Roo Gully.

Overseas volunteers needing regular medication will need a letter from their doctor to legally bring medication into Australia, and if you are staying longer than 3 months check if your medication is available in Australia.


We will do everything to ensure your safety during your stay at Roo Gully, but please know we expect you to behave in a responsible manner and be aware of your own, and other people's, safety too.
Volunteers and students are required to read our health and safety regulations on arrival, and to abide by these rules for the duration of your stay. You will not be asked or expected to do anything dangerous, but please listen carefully to all instructions given to you before using any machinery and with regards to handling wildlife, and if you do not understand then tell us. You are also expected to use all protective clothing, gloves, headwear and glasses provided.



Overseas visitors need to fly to Perth International Airport.
If you are flying from another Australian city most airlines land at Perth Domestic Airport

There is a good bus shuttle service into the city (Tel. No. for bookings (08)94794131, please give 24 hr notice)
The shuttle service costs approximately Au$14 each way
A taxi from the airport to the centre of Perth is approximately Au$40.

There is also accommodation in Perth to suit every volunteer or student budget.

The Witch's Hat (volunteer recommended)
Billabong Backpackers Resort (volunteer recommended)
Governor Robinsons (volunteer recommended - clean and quiet)
Coolibah Lodge (volunteer recommended)
Emperor's Crown (volunteer recommended - clean, good access to computers)

Perth City YHA (volunteer recommended - friendly, close to city and train station)
Jewell House ( volunteer recommended - friendly, clean, good amenities, value for money, 24 hour reception)

For those not wanting Backpacker accommodation:
The Royal Hotel - 61+893241510

There is a very good train and bus service to Boyup Brook - Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Please note that the train leaves from Platform 3 in Perth Central Railway Station, Wellington Street.
You will travel by train to Brunswick Junction, and then transfer to a coach for the rest of the journey.
Please do not worry about the short waiting time, the coach is there to meet the train and will wait if the train is late!
On arrival in Boyup Brook someone will meet your bus and you will be driven to Roo Gully by car.

Please be aware that you will need to book your seat on the train and coach, especially during school holidays.

Some volunteers have experienced difficulties trying to book their seats through the Trans WA web site.
Be patience because you will need to make TWO bookings.
First book your train journey, from Perth to Brunswick.
Then return to the web site and book your bus ticket, from Brunswick to Boyup BK Visitors.

Unfortunately we cannot book your tickets for you. Booking your journey back to Perth is much easier and can be done at the local Post Office in Boyup Brook, so you can book that when you are here.

Please note that there is definitely a bus that connects with the train, that will bring you to Boyup Brook, and at the time of updating this page the only days you cannot travel directly to Boyup Brook are Tuesdays and Thursdays.


We love our small bush town in the south west of Western Australia. It offers the kind of life style we want, it is in a beautiful area, and has friendly people with community spirit, but we like to warn all prospective volunteers it is a quiet town. There is no MacDonalds, no cinemas and no night clubs!
However Boyup Brook does have a pub, several shops, a small hospital with a casualty unit, a pharmacist, post office, swimming pool and many sporting facilities. It also has a bank with a teller machine.

Get to know Boyup Brook.


Although the majority of mobile phones receive a signal in most of the major cities in Australia, there is limited coverage for digital phones in our area, so your mobile phone might not work at Roo Gully, unless you have a NEXT G mobile phone.

Purchasing a SIM card for your mobile phone will NOT give you coverage at Roo Gully, unless your phone is NEXT G.

Volunteers often wish to make phone calls on our private phone using a Phone Card.
Please be aware that some of these cards make the actual connection to the international line from Perth, which means we get charged for all 1300 numbersl, so we ask you buy a card that gives you a 1800 connection number.


We recommend all overseas volunteers and students visit the
Australian government guide to visitors

and also please remember to take out adequate health insurance
that covers ambulance travel too.



Please be aware Roo Gully produces films, educational and commercial.
We also currently co produce our TV series, the 'Roo Gully Diaries',
and continually take film for use in this series.

We film events as they happen at Roo Gully, and often cannot film a scene again,
so there is a possibility volunteers could appear in, or be heard on, these films.

Because of the difficulties of trying to exclude a person from camera shot, or microphone range,
especially when we are filming an emergency, we feel we cannot accept volunteers
who do not agree to be involved in this important part of Roo Gully's work.

Therefore you will be asked to fill in a 'Deed of Release' form when you arrive.


Volunteer Application Form

Full Name
Postal Code
Home Telephone No.
Mobile Telephone No.
Email Address - Please fill in
Date of Birth
Do you have any dietary preferences?
Yes, vegetarian vegan other
Do you have any phyical limitations or special needs you wish the sanctuary to know of with regards to your stay here and your volunteer time?
Yes, details
Are you coming to Roo Gully to volunteer or study?
to volunteer
to study
If to volunteer:
Areas of interest (list all):
Duration of stay:
Preferred dates: to
Is there a particular type of assignment or volunteer duty you wish to do? (Please state)
If to study:
What do you plan to study? (subject and level of study)
What school or organisation is the study affiliated with?
Name of a supervisor/professor or contact:
Duration of study:
Preferred dates: to

I understand that I may be captured on film which may be used in an educational or commercial production.
I will sign the "Deed of Release" form when I arrive.

I agree to pay accomodation costs of $800 per calendar month. Please note: Accomodation costs could rise slightly before your intended stay due to an increase in food and other facilities - power, gas, Internet etc - but you will be informed beforehand and the final accommodation cost will be fixed for the duration of your stay.


Additional Comments: