October to April each year: Become a camp host at Acheron Cottage, an idyllic, remote campground at Molesworth Station.


Volunteer positions are available from October to April each year. See the application form for preferred dates.


Camp host positions are for a minimum of two weeks. Each week runs from Tuesday to Tuesday (Cob cottage) and Tuesday to Tuesday (Acheron Cottage) to allow for a hand over between incoming and outgoing camp hosts or orientation with a DOC staff member on hand.


The Acheron Cottage at Molesworth Station is an idyllic, remote camp ground located at the south end of Molesworth Station, 40 min from Hanmer, the roads are steep, windy and gravel. There is no mobile reception or shops nearby. You will need your own reliable transport. 

Cats and dogs are not permitted on Molesworth Station.

Duties and responsibilities

Your duties and responsibilities will include:

  • helping visitors enjoy their stay
  • collecting camp fees
  • providing general information to campers
  • passing on maintenance requirements to DOC staff
  • radio communication with the DOC office
  • raising awareness of regulations for visitors (eg no dogs, no fires)
  • cleaning toilet blocks.

What to expect

The position is particularly suitable for two adults. If you are a single person or a family, contact us to discuss how we can accommodate you.


Training and induction will be provided.

Skills and experience needed
  • Able to relate to a range of people in a friendly manner.
  • Mature, sensible and have a good attitude.
  • Familiar with the backcountry.
  • Have some knowledge of the area (although this is not essential).
  • Fluent in English and have a practical outlook.
  • Able to attend an induction/health and safety programme before becoming a camp host.
  • A current first aid certificate is handy.

You may stay in the DOC ranger hut for accommodation or in your campervan.


There is a comfortable one-room ranger's hut for accommodation. The cottage contains:

  • solar lighting
  • gas cook top with griller
  • family sized fridge/freezer
  • gas hot water
  • shower in separate bathroom
  • two single beds
  • cooking and eating utensils
  • log burner

At the induction, a DOC ranger will ensure you know your role, inform you of the necessary equipment and make sure you have read, understood and signed any health and safety information.

Insurance: DOC cannot pay for any medical costs or loss of personal equipment incurred during your stay. If you're an international volunteer we strongly recommend travel insurance.

What to bring

You need to bring:

  • bedding/linen, food, warm clothes
  • a head torch with batteries (a spare torch is handy)
  • your own vehicle to drive to the campground and around the station if you want to explore.
What will be provided

We will provide:

  • induction training and support
  • DOC camp host identification
  • VHF radio and training
  • basic first aid kit
  • map and relevant guides/brochures
  • support while you are in the field – regular scheduled radio calls for weather updates/intentions.
Campervans and towing

Caravans, buses or vehicles over 7 metres long are not permitted. 

Vehicles towing trailers require an activity permit.

How to apply

  1. Complete the online application form
  2. Provide a letter/email of reference from a friend/employer/previous camp host supervisor outlining your suitability for this position. Email it to

Safety checks

Everyone who applies for this position is subject to a DOC safety check and Ministry of Justice criminal record check. Information about these checks will be provided after you apply.

What happens after you apply

  1. We’ll shortlist applicants and email the safety check form 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 a Ministry of Justice criminal record check – this takes around three days.
  5. DOC staff will assess all the material provided and decide on suitability.
  6. Once approved we will work with you to find dates that suit you and complete your induction.
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