Onamalutu Campsite
Image: DOC


October to April each year: DOC needs volunteers to host the campsite at Onamalutu Scenic Reserve. 2 weeks minimum time commitment.

Situated 30 minutes west of Blenheim, this area contains one of the few remnants of kahikatea forest that remain on the Wairau Plains and is a popular family camping area.


Positions are available between October and April each year.


Camp host positions are for a minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 4 weeks. Each fortnight runs from Tuesday to Tuesday to allow for a hand over between incoming and outgoing hosts on Tuesday mornings, with a DOC staff member on hand. (First and last rosters may vary).

We cannot guarantee your requested period, so we recommend you list a few preferences on the application form.


Onamalutu Scenic Reserve is a 30 minute drive from Blenheim. Take SH6 out of Blenheim, through Renwick and over the Wairau River. 400 m on turn left onto Northbank Road. After 4.5 km take the right fork which is Onamalutu Valley Road. The campsite is signposted 7.3 km from the fork, over a bridge on your right.

The reserve is home to an impressive stand of ancient forest giants including kahikatea. There is abundant birdlife and plenty of walking opportunities in the adjacent Richmond Range.

Cats and dogs are not permitted at Onamalutu


Your duties and responsibilities will include:

  • helping visitors enjoy their stay
  • encouraging people to pay their camp fees
  • providing general information to campers
  • passing on maintenance requirements to DOC staff
  • radio communication with the DOC office
  • cleaning toilet blocks
  • keeping the camp free of rubbish.

What to expect

The position is suitable for single people, couples or families.

Training: Full training and induction will be provided, however applicants need to have the following attributes:

  • able to relate to a range of people in a friendly manner
  • mature, sensible and have a good attitude
  • fluent in English and have a practical outlook.

Facilities: Camp hosts will need to be self sufficient. The only infrastructure at Onamalutu is an ablution block. You will require a motorhome or caravan, there is electricity on site.

Induction: At the induction, a DOC ranger will ensure you know your role, issue you with the necessary equipment and 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

If you are selected you will be given more information about what to bring closer to the time.

What will be provided for you:

  • full training and support
  • DOC camp host identification
  • a VHF radio, for contact with the duty ranger.

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

We reserve the right to conduct a police check as part of this process. 

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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