Keneperu Head vista
Image: DOC


October to April each year: A perfectly situated campsite for boating in the Sounds and enjoying the nearby Queen Charlotte Track. 2 weeks minimum time commitment.

Kenepuru Head is a large open grassy camping ground at the head of Kenepuru Sound. Kenepuru Sound provides opportunities for boating, fishing, walking and mountain biking on the nearby Queen Charlotte Track. The bay is tidal.

The camp ground has a toilet block, cold showers and a cooking shelter. Its popularity with campers is increasing. Kenepuru Head is approximately 1.5 hours from Picton or Havelock. Dogs are allowed at this campground; you will need to obtain a dog permit prior to camp hosting.


Your duties will usually take 2-3 hours a day.

These include:

  • Encouraging visitors to pay their fees
  • Cleaning the facilities each day
  • Minor campsite maintenance
  • Sharing information about the area with visitors

The rest of the day is yours to enjoy.

What to bring

You need to be fully self-contained for spending your allocated time camping. Applicants that don't have adequate gear will not be allowed to host. You will need to bring the following:

  • Tent/caravan/campervan
  • Sleeping mat (if tenting), sleeping bag, pillow.
  • Cooking equipment: cooker, gas bottles, plates, utensils, pots etc
  • Wet weather gear
  • Warm clothing
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun protection
  • Walking shoes/boots, shoes for around camp
  • Torch (head torch and hand torch would be wise)
  • Personal medication/toiletries including anti-histamines (there can be high wasp numbers)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Volunteers must have their own vehicle

Optional gear:

  • Day bag and drink bottle for day walks
  • Solar shower – there are cold water showers available
  • Camera
  • Car sickness tabs if you need them – the road is very windy!
  • Mountain bike, kayak, swimsuit, plenty of books and games

What to expect

If your application is successful, the volunteer coordinator will meet you before you head to the camp ground.

Meeting point: You will meet them either at the Havelock Office 13 Mahakipawa Road, or Picton Office 14 Auckland St. This will usually be early (around 8:15 am, although this will be confirmed a few weeks before you start). Let the coordinator know two weeks prior if you will be going via Picton or Havelock.

Induction: You will then be given a Health and Safety briefing, before heading off to the camp ground. One of the rangers will give you an on-site induction.

The induction time and place will be confirmed with you one week prior to you starting.


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.

Food reimbursement

We recommend you buy all the dry goods you think you'll need, plus the first week's worth of fresh food. Rangers should be able to bring out additional fresh food you need each week.

DOC will reimburse volunteer’s food expenses up to $100 per week. No receipts will mean no payment.

For volunteers with an NZ bank account, we deposit the money directly into your account. There is usually a 2 to 3 week processing delay. For those that don’t have an NZ bank account, we'll provide you with FreshChoice grocery vouchers.

Bring to your induction your NZ bank account number if you have one, and grocery receipts for the food you've bought. Keep your grocery receipts a week or two before you start.

Getting there

Turn off Queen Charlotte Drive at Linkwater and follow Kenepuru Rd for 40 km to Kenepuru Head. Sealed, narrow and winding road.

How to apply

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. All applications will be shortlisted by matching to role availability.
  2. We’ll send the shortlisted applicants the safety check form for you to complete.
  3. 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.
  4. We’ll talk to your referees.
  5. We’ll request a Ministry of Justice criminal record check – this takes around three days.
  6. DOC staff will assess all the material provided and decide on suitability.
  7. Once approved we will work with you to find dates that suit you and complete your induction.


Phone: + 64 3 520 3002

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