Terms and conditions for bookable backcountry huts, conservation campgrounds, lodges, cabins, sole occupancy accommodation, permits and guided walks.

Updated June 2023

Bookings not meeting the following terms and conditions are treated as not valid and will be cancelled by the Department of Conservation (DOC).

By accepting these terms and conditions you are also accepting local site rules. These can be found on the place to stay web page


  1. A user account must be created to make a booking. Information required to create an account is: first and family names, residential address and country, a valid email address and phone number at the time of booking.
  2. Account holders remain the owner of the booking and all correspondence regarding the booking must be received from or will be sent to the email address listed on their account.
  3. Account holders can change details of their account online.
  4. Bookings are not valid until payment is received and confirmation email is received by the account holder and/or the booking is viewable in the user’s account.
  5. A booking is required for each adult, youth, child and infant intending to use the facility/service.
  6. Bookings are only valid for the date, facility/service and person named on the booking.
  7. Bookings are not transferable from one user account holder to another.
  8. Speculative bookings are not permitted. Bookings must be made for real people intending to travel at time of booking. Failure to provide true and accurate information will result in an invalid booking which may be cancelled.
  9. Those persons named on the booking may be required to produce proof of identity when checking in or accessing the facilities/services booked. Accepted forms of ID are a passport, driver's licence or student ID.
  10. No waitlists are held for future availability.

Commercial groups and school groups

  1. No speculative bookings are permitted (unless authorised through a concession or other agreement). Any booking identified as speculative is a breach of these terms and conditions and will invalidate the entire booking.
  2. Commercial and/or guided groups are not permitted to use DOC facilities/services unless authorised by DOC via a concession or other agreement.
  3. Commercial agents wishing to make multiple bookings for services on behalf of customers must hold an agent agreement with or obtain permission from DOC.
  4. School groups must be staying as part of a school curriculum and consist of at least two adults and six child/youth. Final numbers and cancellations must be notified before departure.

Age categories

  1. The age categories below apply at time accommodation or service is used.
  2. Persons aged 14 years and under must be accompanied by an adult.
    0-4 years
    Child/youth: 5-17 years
    Adult: 18 years and over
  3. Facilities/services provided by other organisations, eg transport operators, may use other age ranges. Check the facilities/services you require.

General site rules and expected behaviour

  1. All huts, rooms and campground bookings operate on a first come, first served basis and cannot be reserved unless the property allows you to book a specific room/bunk or campsite at time of booking.
  2. If multi-day bookings are not utilised and no contact is made with site office within 24 hours of first booked date, the remainder of the booking will be cancelled, and no refund given.
  3. Use of booking implies acceptance of accommodation, facility or service rules as listed against the accommodation, facility or service on the DOC web page.
  4. All accommodation/sites and surrounds must be left in a clean and tidy state.
  5. All rubbish must be taken with you on departure.
  6. Users of accommodation sites must keep noise to a minimum between 10 pm and 7 am.
  7. No pets are permitted unless authorised by DOC.
  8. No use of drones unless permitted by DOC.
  9. Check out by 10 am. Earliest check in time is 2 pm, latest 8.30 pm.
  10. Users must be considerate of and respect the rights of other accommodation users.
  11. Campsite bookings do not guarantee use of hut facilities.
  12. Smoking and vaping is not permitted in huts or toilet blocks.
  13. Hut accommodation does not guarantee exclusive use of hut. All huts are available as emergency accommodation in adverse conditions.


  1. All prices are in New Zealand dollars and include GST (Goods and Services Tax).
  2. Full payment is required at the time of booking.
  3. Accepted credit cards are Mastercard and Visa.
  4. Bookings made online will automatically be charged to your credit card via the ANZ sGate secure payment network prior to confirmation being issued. Card and/or bank related security questions may need to be completed.
  5. Any fees for modifications made to a booking will be charged at the time the modification is made.
  6. DOC reserves the right to change prices without notice. Check this website for current information.


  1. Discounts are only available to members of pre-approved organisations that have uploaded their proof of entitlement to their booking account prior to booking.
  2. Discounts will not be retrospectively applied.

Penalty rates

Penalty rates apply for invalid and unbooked use of accommodation or services.

  1. Where there is no valid booking, there is no guaranteed access to that service, or other facilities.
  2. Failure to have a valid booking for a facility for the date of use will result in penalty fees being charged.
  3. The penalty rate for all persons is the normal age fee plus the full adult fee for that service.

Modification and cancellation policies


  1. Booking refunds will only be made to the account holders credit card or agent who made the original booking.
  2. Refunds for closures of facilities must be applied for no later than seven days after the booked service date.
  3. For terms of booking a season is consider as 1 July to 30 June.
  4. Bookings cannot be transferred from one booking season to the next booking season.
  5. Bookings cannot be transferred to different huts, campsites or sole occupancy sites.
  6. DOC is not responsible for errors in modifications made through third parties (non-DOC offices or online).
  7. Refunds cannot be transferred to other bookings or customers.
  8. All refunds will be processed at the time alteration or cancellation is made. Credits cannot be held or applied to another booking.
  9. Service and modification fees are non-refundable.
  10. Cancellation and modification fees are non-negotiable.
  11. Cancellation fees are based on the first date service/s will be used (date of arrival).
  12. For cancellation purposes all dates and times are in NZST/NZDT and dates begin at 12:OOam NZST

Service fees, modifications and/or transfer of booking dates

  1. Changes to party members details, date transfers and cancellations can only be made online by the account holder or DOC visitor centre/campground staff.
  2. Bookings may be transferred only within the current booking season. Bookings outside the open booking period must be cancelled.
  3. Service fees of $10 will apply to bookings made at or modifications made by DOC visitor centre, hut rangers or campground staff.
  4. Modifications resulting in a reduction of the value of the booking will result in a $5 fee.
  5. Any additional fees will be charged at the time the modification is made.
  6. Any modification/cancellation resulting in a refund will be credited back to the credit card used to pay for the booking.
  7. Refunds will be processed at time changes are made and may take up to two weeks to appear on card statement.
  8. No shows will be cancelled with no refund given if no communication has been received within 24 hours of due arrival date.
  9. Modification and service fees are non refundable.

Cancellations due to weather or similar events

  1. Where DOC advises of bad weather, or similar, that affects, but does not close or limit access to the facility:
    • you may wish to proceed with your booking, or
    • dates can be transferred free of charge to a later date in the same booking season but no refund will be given, or
    • booking can be cancelled, and standard cancellation fees would apply.
  2. Where DOC closes a facility or cancels a service due to reasons including (but not exclusive to) storms, flooding, geological activity, fire or a pandemic:
    • a full refund of the fee for the unused facilities will be given or a date transfer offered
    • those visitors who have already started their trip/booking may be required to leave before their trip/booking is completed. In this case a full refund for the number of unused night’s accommodation will be given
    • visitors will only be rescheduled if there are vacancies available once the facility reopens
    • if DOC has to reduce accommodation space at its huts, lodges or campsites, for reasons including (but not exclusive to) storms, flooding, geological activity, fire or a pandemic, then DOC will cancel and fully refund the most recently made bookings for any affected dates (last in, first out)
    • refunds or rescheduling bookings due to facility/services closures must be applied for within 30 days. No refunds will be given after this time and trips will not be rescheduled.

Cancellation fees

  1. No shows will be cancelled with no refund given.
  2. Refunds for bookings made by third parties (non-DOC offices or online) can only be obtained through the third party.
  3. Cancellations can be made online and the cancellation fees in the table below apply.
  4. Refunds will be made to back to the credit card used to pay for the booking. Customers issued with a new card/expiry date since making their booking will need to contact a DOC visitor centre and supply their new card details for a manual refund.
  5. Where a customer does not advise they have a new card or expiry date since booking and the booking is then cancelled, delays of up to three months in receiving the refund may incur. This is to allow funds to be returned from the card holders ban for DOC to reprocess or card holders bank to transfer funds to the new card.
  6. In normal circumstances refunds may take up to seven working days to appear on card statements.
  7. Refunds for bookings made by cash or eftpos card can only be obtained from a DOC visitor centre.
  8. Medical cancellations will apply only to the person named on the medical certificate and one support person.
  9. Requests for medical refund must be emailed to the email address on the booking confirmation and must be accompanied by a copy of the medical certificate dated no more than seven days prior to the date the refund is requested and no later than seven days after the first booked night.

The table below shows the percentage that will be charged if the whole of the booking is cancelled. Dates and times are based on NZ Standard Time.

Types of cancellation and fees
  Within 48 hours of booking unless booking is made on date of first night's stay 48 hours after booking and 15 or more days before arrival/first night’s stay


Between 14 days and 4 days before arrival/ first night’s stay
Between 3 days and 1 day before arrival/ first night’s stay On or after day of arrival/first night’s stay


Sole occupancy huts

0% 10% 100% 100% 100%

Huts and associated backcountry campsites

Day use lodges

0% 10% 20% 30% 100%
Campgrounds 0% 10% 20% 50% 100%
Guided Walks 0% 10% 20% 50% 100%
Permits 0% 0% 0% 0% 100%
Medical circumstances
must be accompanied by a medical certificate and requested within two weeks of the certificate being issued and no later than one month after the date of the first booked night. A medical refund will cover the person named on the medical certificate and one support person.
0% 0% 0% 0% 0%

Travel insurance 

  1. DOC recommends that you arrange travel insurance to guard against the loss of costs associated with cancellation or delay of your trip.

Liability disclaimer

  1. DOC will not be liable for injury, damage, delays or any costs incurred by visitors.
  2. In event of modifications, or cancellations, DOC is not liable for any differences in exchange rates or bank fees that are incurred by the customer.
  3. Delays due to, but not exclusive to, weather events can occur at any time. DOC is unable to rearrange non-DOC booked transport, accommodation and flight bookings if delays should occur.


  1. DOC holds the following information about you to assist managing your bookings: name, address, email and phone number.
  2. Personal details can be changed online by logging into your account, going to the your account tab then your profile.
  3. No credit card details are held by DOC.
  4. To request your account to be deactivated, contact
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