We are seeking volunteers that may be local and are ideally available for multiple shifts and weekends. Volunteers are required to commit to 3 weeks or more, (e.g. three one week shifts).
Contact Chris Dyson (details below) for further information or apply online.
The Mt Somers volunteer hut warden season runs from October through to the end of April, but opportunities are also available outside of the main season (be aware though there is no heating in both warden's quarters).
Volunteers are required to commit to at least 3 weeks. You'll have an opportunity to spend a week or longer at Woolshed Creek Hut or Pinnacles Hut on the Mt Somers Track.
Each warden will spend a minimum of one week at either Woolshed Creek Hut or Pinnacles Hut, or a combination of both.
One week is also ideally the maximum stay for a hut warden on the track before days off are taken. Wardens often work multiple shifts, spending a week on the track, taking 2-3 days off and then returning again for another shift.
Hut wardens work a split shift, carrying out cleaning and hut duties in the morning, the role is then very visitor focused in the afternoon/evening, welcoming trampers to the hut.
Compliance is also carried out in the evening, ensuring that trampers have hut tickets and/or taking payment when necessary.
The primary role of a hut warden is to add value to the visitor experience and make our visitors feel welcome.
You will be expected to:
- check hut tickets and take payment when needed (via a mobile EFTPOS machine)
- clean and maintain hut, toilets and surroundings
- provide information to visitors including the weather forecast
- gather visitor information (a nightly visitor log will be completed and a visitor survey is currently being carried out at Pinnacles Hut)
- maintain contact with DOC staff at the Raukapuka/Geraldine office, a daily radio schedule will be carried out
- notify Geraldine staff of any maintenance required at the huts.
What to expect
Warden's quarters at Pinnacles Hut
Accommodation and facilities: Wardens stay in private staff quarters. At Woolshed Creek Hut the warden's quarters is at the end of the trampers' hut. The Pinnacles Hut wardens quarters is separate to the trampers hut and around 100 m from the trampers' hut next to the track. Both warden's quarters have two bunks and cooking facilities with all pots, pans, plates, bowls, mugs, cutlery, etc.
Food: Wardens need to supply their own food. There is currently a supply of non-perishable food at both huts, but this is not to be relied on as the sole source of food supply. It is to complement your supplied food and to top up your own food if needed (if your supply is getting low). The lead hut warden can update you on the status of the current food supply for both huts.
Experience and fitness level required: Volunteers must have sufficient tramping experience. Overnight, multiple day backcountry experience is essential. Applicants must be familiar with the New Zealand backcountry and must be capable of walking four hours a day with a heavy pack. You will need to be fully equipped. Any previous hut wardening experience will be an advantage.
Other skills required: You need to be fluent in English and be able to relate to a range of people in a friendly and informative manner.
Age restrictions: You must be at least 18 years old.
Training: Training will be provided and will include a full Health & Safety briefing and induction. This will be held at either hut, Mt Somers, Staveley or DOC Geraldine office. The induction is carried out on the first day of duty, this takes around one hour then the volunteer has the rest of the day to walk into the hut. Ongoing support for volunteers is carried out by the lead hut warden (during peak season December – March).
Transport: Volunteers will need their own transport to reach the start point of the Mt Somers track. Mt Somers township is 50 km from Geraldine or 40 km from Ashburton.
What to bring
You will need to bring your own:
good quality tramping pack
strong tramping boots
down sleeping bag
torch, camera, book, etc
What will be provided for you
DOC will supply volunteers with:
- safety equipment – first aid kit, personal locator beacon, Garmin Inreach tracker, high viz vest, epipen
- DOC uniform (windbreaker jacket) – wardens wear this when checking hut tickets
- DOC volunteer badge
- USB charging facilities in both wardens quarters
- tea and coffee
- basic supply of non-perishable food to compliment and top up your supplied food
- cooking facilities (gas cooker)
- pots, pans, plates, bowls, mugs, cutlery, can opener, etc
- chilly bin (cooler box) at Woolshed creek hut for food storage (no ice)
- cloths and tea towels
- dishwashing liquid
- hand soap and hand sanitiser
- matches and lighter
- toilet paper
- private sleeping quarters (sleeps two)
- insect repellent
- aquatabs for water purification
- day pack for day walks
- small collection of books.
How to apply
Complete the online application form.
What happens next
- We’ll shortlist applicants and email you the children’s worker safety check for you to complete.
- We’ll contact you about an interview time – the interview will be with a DOC staff member and it’s also an opportunity for you to ask questions about the role.
- We’ll talk to your referees.
- We’ll request NZ police vetting – this takes around 20 days.
- A panel of DOC staff with technical expertise in this area will assess all the material provided.
- We get the approval for you to volunteer and then work with you to find dates that suit you and complete your induction.
Children's worker safety check
The reason for the children’s worker safety check is because this volunteer position works with children. Everyone working with children needs to do the children’s worker safety check. It helps keep everyone safe and makes sure we’re meeting our requirements under the Children’s Act 2014.
For further information contact:
Chris Dyson, Supervisor Recreation/Historic
Phone: +64 27 542 8989