Nydia Lodge
Image: Peter Brady | DOC


October to April each year: This is a popular lodge situated on the Nydia walking track. 2 weeks minimum time commitment.

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

Lodge description

Nydia Lodge has bunks for up to 50 people in 9 bunkrooms. Wardens will stay at the lodge for 3 or 4 weeks with weekly grocery drop offs.

Nydia lodge consists of a large communal room and kitchen, a separate toilet/shower block, five bunkrooms and a separate wardens bedroom.

Facilities include a store room, fridge and freezer, gas hobs and oven, BBQ, pots and pans and cutlery and utensils.

The wardens quarters is approximately 100m from the main lodge and consists of two small rooms – one with two single beds and a table and the other can be used for storage.

There is a covered deck which has a sink and cold running water. Wardens share the lodge kitchen and bathrooms. There is limited electricity (none in the wardens quarters), provided by a generator that runs in the evenings.


Your duties will usually only take 1 to 2 hours a day. The amount of time spent will vary depending on how busy the lodge is. They may include:

  • Cleaning the facilities each day
  • Minor grounds maintenance
  • Meeting guests
  • Sharing information about Nydia Lodge and the wider area with visitors
  • Contact with the DOC office in Picton to check bookings for the day
  • Giving out information including weather forecasts
  • Collecting fees if necessary
  • Contact for search and rescue

You will definitely have time to explore the area, go walking, mountain biking, kayaking or just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet!

What to expect

Accommodation: You will have the use of sleeping quarters set apart from the main lodge buildings.

Facilities include:

  • Electricity (powered by generator approx 5-10 pm)
  • A fully equipped kitchen with a gas oven and hobs, pots, pans, cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery
  • A large hall/dining room
  • BBQ
  • Jetty
  • Hot showers
  • Flush toilets

You will share bathroom and kitchen facilities with the guests. There is running water however no electricity at the wardens quarters.

Food: DOC will reimburse food expenses up to $100/week. For volunteers with a New Zealand bank account, we deposit the money in directly but there is usually a 2–3 week processing delay. For those that don’t have a New Zealand bank account we will provide FreshChoice grocery vouchers.

Fitness required: Low level of fitness required, but due to the isloation you must be in good health.

Essential skills and characteristics:

  • Healthy (you will be at least an hour from medical assistance)
  • Honest and reliable
  • Able to carry out duties on your own
  • Good with the public
  • Culturally sensitive
  • First aid certificate preferable
  • Conversant in English
  • Compliance with DOC Health and Safety Policy

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.

Induction process

Pickup/meeting details: Volunteers who are accepted will meet the volunteer coordinator at the Havelock Office 13 Mahakipawa Road.

This will usually be early (around 8:30 am, although this will be confirmed a few weeks before you start). You will then be given a Health and Safety briefing, before heading off to Nydia Bay.

Induction: You will be taken to Nydia Lodge by the DOC boat from Havelock. One of the rangers will give you an on-site induction. There is a five minute walk from the jetty to the lodge.

Transport: Wardens need to find their own way to and from either the Picton or Havelock Field Base. DOC staff will transport volunteers to and from Nydia Lodge. Vehicles can be stored in the DOC yard. On your last day you can expect to be back in Havelock by 4:30pm, please do not book subsequent travel earlier than this

Safety procedures: Approved volunteers must comply with the DOC Health and Safety Policy, and arrive prepared with appropriate amounts of food and warm/water proof clothing.

Living conditions

Nydia Bay is very isolated and during the shoulder season you may not have any guests sometimes for up to a week at a time. You need to be mentally prepared to have little contact with people while living on their own in the bush.

On the other hand, you need to be prepared to share the kitchen, bathroom and lounge with guests. There are often school groups or large functions staying at the lodge.

Make sure you bring plenty to do – fishing equipment, books, games, music etc. You are welcome to bring mountain bikes. Kayaks may be available for you to use.

There is limited mobile coverage 2 hours walk from the lodge.

What to bring

Gear you must have:

  • Sleeping bag or duvet
  • Pillowcase and bottom sheet
  • Wet weather gear
  • Boots or sturdy shoes, shoes for around camp
  • Torch
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Plenty of books, music and things to amuse yourself
  • Your clothes remembering that at this time of year we can experience cold and hot days/nights
  • Towel
  • Person medication/toiletries
  • Anti-histamines (there can be high wasp numbers); epipen if you have a known allergy
  • Water purification tablets strongly recommended (or you can boil the water)

Optional gear:

  • Day bag/drink bottle for day walks
  • Camera
  • Swimsuit
  • Fishing rod
  • Lamp (battery) for wardens room (prefer that gas/kerosene driven ones aren't used please)
  • Seasickness tabs if you need them. The trip is about 45 minutes and should be pretty calm.

How to apply

Complete the online application form.

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

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.


Email: picton@doc.govt.nz
Phone +64 3 520 3002

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