Mueller Hut


November – April: Experience the Southern Alps and meet new people. Applications for the 2020/21 season are now open.


Between November to April for 7 nights. The 7 days are from Monday to Monday.

Our volunteer roster is full, however you can still apply to be a voluneer available at short notice. 


You are offered the opportunity to spend a week at Mueller Hut, helping others to enjoy their stay whilst gazing out over what is arguably one of the most spectacular alpine vistas in the world.

Mueller Hut is a 28-bunk serviced hut, on the Sealy Range at 1800 m altitude, with stunning views towards Aoraki/Mount Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain). The hut has a booking system during the busy summer season.

Even in the best conditions a climb to Mueller Hut demands a fair degree of fitness and experience, plus good equipment.


The primary role of a hut warden is to help visitors enjoy their stay.

Other duties include:

  • daily clean and tidy of the hut and toilets
  • evening radio schedule 
  • check the booking receipts of overnight visitors
  • provide information to visitors
  • weekly reporting (hazards, incidents and hut work)
  • other light duties may be required.

What to expect

This volunteer opportunity is for one or two people.

Accommodation and facilities: Wardens stay in separate quarters within the hut, which has two bunks and its own cooking facilities, but not separate ablutions. There is no cost to wardens at Mueller Hut and accommodation can be provided for the night before and after your stay at Mueller, in Aoraki/Mount Cook village.

Food: A small selection of non-perishable food is provided for hut wardens. A full list of the pantry stock in the staff quarters will be provided before you arrive. This food is in addition to your own food. It is not sufficient as the sole source of food.

Fitness level required: You need a high level of fitness, with the ability to walk for 5 hours over uneven terrain with a heavy pack and cope with the 1000m of ascent.

Experience required: You will be a tramper experienced in New Zealand back country tramps, fully equipped with your own tramping clothing and equipment. A high level of fitness is required.

Other skills required: You need to be able to relate to a range of people in a friendly, informative manner, be fluent in English, and have practical outdoor skills. A first aid certificate is helpful.

Winter conditions: It is not unusual to see snow around Mueller Hut in Summer. Should winter conditions prevail, experience using ice axe and crampons is essential.

Age restrictions: You must be aged 18 or over

What to bring

If your application is successful you'll receive a factsheet closer to the time. The information will include what to bring, more detail about your responsibilities, and accommodation at Mount Cook Village.

What will be provided for you

A DOC ranger will ensure you know your role at an induction session before you leave for your roster on the Monday morning. We'll make sure you have read, understood and signed the health and safety information and you will be issued with the necessary equipment:

How to apply

To apply for 2020/2021 positions, fill out our online form.

The roster will be filled as suitable applications are processed.

This is a very popular volunteer opportunity. We can't guarantee that you will be selected.

What happens next

  1. We’ll shortlist applicants and email you the children’s worker safety check for you to complete.
  2. 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.
  3. We’ll talk to your referees.
  4. We’ll request NZ police vetting – this takes around 20 days.
  5. A panel of DOC staff with technical expertise in this area will assess all the material provided.
  6. 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.


Volunteer coordinator


Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 435 1186
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   1 Larch Grove
Aoraki/Mt Cook
Postal Address:   PO Box 5
Aoraki/Mt Cook 7946
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