Yesterday I went out to Lane Cove National Park with the Conservation Volunteers. They have several projects in Australia's national parks - planting trees, maintaining trails or cleaning up protected areas. I spent my day with CVA pulling out invasive species (read: weeds) at the car park (read: parking lot) at Lane Cove.
The weather was perfect - not too hot, not too cold & a little overcast so we didn't burn up while we were working. Our supervisor kept a keen eye out for any yummy caterpillars or crunchy beetles we might unearth.
Since we were volunteering, the trip out to the park was free. There were some interesting people in our group, & we spent the afternoon trading travel stories as we yanked out the weeds.
Conservation Volunteers does longer trips as well - overnight or several days in a park. You have to pay a minimal charge for accommodation and food on the overnight trips, but it's what you would pay if you went to the same spot on your own anyway.
It felt good to get out & do something physical, & at the same time do something good for the national parks. Even though I'm just a visitor here, I was happy to contribute to the preservation of Australia's natural spaces.