Acheron Accommodation House Campsite
Image: Bev Bacon | DOC


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


Volunteer positions are available from 1 October to Easter Monday or the second Sunday in April – whichever is later. These dates align with the Acheron Road opening and closing dates.

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 in Molesworth Recreation Reserve is an idyllic, remote campground located at the south end of Molesworth, 40 minutes from Hanmer.
  • You will need your own reliable transport.
  • The road is unsealed, steep, and windy, suitable for 2-wheel drive cars. Note: Once leaving Hanmer there are no petrol stations nor shops along the way or on Molesworth Station, so fill up before leaving and ensure you have the supplies you need.
  • Mobile coverage is available in this area.
  • Cats and dogs are not permitted at Molesworth Recreation Reserve.

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 power – 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
  • will familiarise you of campground and amenities
  • make sure you have read, understood, and signed any health and safety information.


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
  • a solar phone charger to charge your mobile phone. Thers is insufficient solar battery power for power outlet charging.

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

Training location

Training and induction will be provided by a DOC Ranger via one of the options below – this will be confirmed once application has been accepted and processed:

  • onsite at the Wairau/Renwick DOC Office, 22 Gee Street - Renwick,
  • onsite at Molesworth Acheron Accommodation House Campsite,
  • via a Microsoft Teams meeting conducted online.

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.


For further information about the application process or camp hosting, email us.


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