Whatamango Bay Campsite
Image: Miranda van der Linde | DOC


October to April each year: Become a camp host at Whatamango Bay Campsite, just 10 km out of Picton. 2 weeks minimum time commitment.

Whatamango Bay is a sheltered campsite in the Queen Charlotte Sound. The calm bay is ideal for swimming, fishing and kayaking. Road access to Picton is only 10 km away, making this a popular site for people travelling through the region.


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 camping. Applicants that don’t have adequate gear will not be allowed to host. You will need to bring:

  • tent/caravan/campervan
  • sleeping mat (if camping in a tent), 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 the camp
  • torch (head torch and hand torch would be wise)
  • personal medication/toiletries – including anti-histamines (there can be high wasp numbers)
  • water purifying tablets.

Optional gear:

  • solar shower – there are no showers at the campsite
  • camera, day bag and drink bottle for exploring the region
  • mountain bike, kayak, swimsuit, plenty of books and games.

What to expect

If your application is successful, a DOC staff member will meet you before you head to the campsite.

Meeting point: Picton DOC office, 14 Auckland Street. This will usually be early (around 8:15 am, although this will be confirmed a few weeks before you start), so you may need to arrive to Picton the day before you start.

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

Your meeting time in Picton will be confirmed with you two weeks prior to your start date.


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 that you think you will need, plus the first week’s worth of fresh food (and anything else that keeps). If you are hosting for an extended period of time, you may consider driving into Picton to top up your fresh groceries during your stay.

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

For volunteers with a 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 a NZ bank account, we will provide you with Fresh Choice grocery vouchers.

Bring to your induction your NZ bank account number if you have one, and grocery receipts for the food you’ve brought.

Getting there

From Picton, head east past Waikawa on Port Underwood Rd for 10 km to Whatamango Bay.

Sealed, narrow, winding road to camp entrance.

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
Email: picton@doc.govt.nz

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