Junction of Acheron and Clarence Rivers in Molesworth
Image: DOC


October to April each year: Become a camp host at Cob Cottage, an idyllic, remote campground at Molesworth. 2 weeks minimum time commitment.


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


Camp host positions are for a minimum of two weeks. Each week runs from Tuesday to Tuesday (except the first and last ones) to allow for a hand over between incoming and outgoing camp hosts on Tuesday mornings, with a DOC staff member on hand.


The Cob Cottage at Molesworth is an idyllic, remote campsite located at the northern end of Molesworth, in the Awatere Valley. It is a 2.5 hour drive from Blenheim and 2 hours from Hanmer, with a significant part of the journey on a steep and windy gravel road. There is no mobile reception or shops nearby. You will need your own reliable transport. 

Cats and dogs are not permitted on Molesworth.

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 please get in touch with us to discuss this.

Training: Training and induction will be provided.

Skills and experience needed:

  • Able to relate to a range of people in a friendly manner.
  • Mature, sensible, with 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 a 2-hour induction/health and safety programme before becoming a camp host.

Accommodation: You may stay in the DOC ranger hut or your campervan (information below).

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

  • gas cook top with griller
  • family sized fridge/freezer
  • gas hot water
  • separate shower
  • double bunk bed
  • cooking and eating utensils
  • solar lighting
  • log burner
  • telephone.

Induction: 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

  • Bedding/linen, food, warm clothes.
  • Head torch with batteries.
  • You will need your own vehicle (legal and roadworthy) to drive to the campsite and around the reserve if you want to explore.

Campervans and towing

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

Vehicles towing trailers require an activity permit.

What will be provided for you:  

  • Training and support.
  • DOC camp host identification (high-vis jacket).
  • 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.

How to apply

To apply: 

  • apply online, and
  • email a letter of reference from a friend/employer/previous camp host supervisor outlining your suitability for this position to renwick@doc.govt.nz

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.
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