Lake Angelus Hut
Image: Crystal Brindle | ©


Applications are closed for the 2023/24 season. 2024/25 volunteer dates will be announced in September.


Volunteer for one or two weeks between December and April.


Angelus Hut is a 28-bunk backcountry hut set in a grand alpine landscape, adjacent to Rotomaninitua/Lake Angelus in Nelson Lakes National Park. It can be reached via several different routes and is the most popular overnight tramp in Nelson Lakes.

The hut and the nearby camping area have a booking system during the busy summer season and on two long weekends (Labour weekend and King’s Birthday weekend).


The primary role of a hut warden is to help visitors enjoy their stay. You will be expected to:

  • make radio contact with DOC staff at the Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre twice daily at specified times
  • keep the hut, the toilets and surrounds clean and tidy
  • check the booking receipts of all trampers
  • provide information to trampers, including the weather forecast
  • be available to assist search and rescue staff if required
  • undertake minor hut maintenance
  • check, clean and tidy Bushline Hut and Relax Shelter when returning to St Arnaud if required.

What to expect

If selected you will need to have police vetting. This also applies to anyone accompanying you to be included on volunteer rosters. Learn more.

Accommodation and facilities: Wardens stay in the staff quarters of Angelus hut, which has two bunks and its own cooking facilities, but no separate ablutions. Free shared accommodation is provided in St Arnaud for the nights before and after the volunteer duty.

Food: Eight days’ worth of food is to be carried by you – only emergency non-perishable food is provided. It is not sufficient as the sole source of food.

Fitness level required: You need a high level of fitness, with the ability to walk for 6 hours over uneven terrain with a heavy pack, and to cope with the 1000 m of ascent.

Experience required: You'll be a tramper experienced in New Zealand backcountry tramps, and fully equipped with your own tramping clothing and equipment.

Other skills required: You need to be able to relate to a range of people in a friendly, informative manner, be fluent in English, and have practical outdoor skills. Preference is given to those with a working knowledge of Nelson Lakes National Park. A first aid certificate is helpful.

Wasps: Can be a real problem later in the summer. People with allergies must bring their own medications (epipens, anakits, or other medication).

Age restrictions: You must be aged 20 or over

What to bring

Angelus Hut is in an alpine basin well above the bushline so wardens must have suitable gear to stay warm. Snow around Angelus Hut and Robert Ridge in the middle of summer is not unusual.

If your application is successful you'll receive a factsheet closer to the time. The information will include what to bring, more detail about your responsibilities, accommodation in St Arnaud and food reimbursement requirements.

What will be provided

A DOC ranger will ensure you know your role at an induction session before you leave for your roster on the Thursday morning. We'll make sure you have read, understood and signed the health and safety information and you'll be issued with the necessary equipment.

How to apply

Applications for the 2024/25 season will open in September 2024.

This is a very popular volunteer opportunity. We cannot guarantee that you will be selected.


Once you have been confirmed for a position, we'll be relying on you. Apply only if you can make the commitment. Last minute cancellations and no-shows put us in a difficult situations and can jeopardise running our campsite.

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.


Volunteer coordinator


Rotoiti/Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre
Phone +64 3 521 1806
Address View Road
St Arnaud 7072
Hours See visitor centre hours
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