DOC have put out the annual call for eager alpinists to patrol the scenic huts of Mount Somers – but this summer double the volunteers are needed.
To tackle mounting visitor numbers DOC will now be stationing one warden at the Pinnacles Hut at all times, along with one at Woolshed Creek.
Each warden will spend a minimum of one week at either hut, or a combination of both.
The huts are situated 6km apart along the Mount Somers track, and also provide access to other walks including the Mount Somers summit.
Geraldine Raukapuka Office Ranger Supervisor Chris Dyson said they are looking for anyone over the age of 18 who has the necessary equipment, feels “confident out on the mountains” and is able to drive themselves to the start of the track.
He said wardens will have private staff quarters to stay at the huts, and will be given an induction and safety briefing before heading off to work.
“We’ve already had a lot of interest.”
Wardens are in charge of collecting payment, cleaning and maintaining the huts, providing information to visitors and communicating with DOC staff at the Geraldine/Raukapuka Office.
DOC’s decision to station a new warden at the Pinnacles Hut also results from their new National Compliance Strategy.
Under the new strategy, DOC are working to enforce laws designed to protect public conservation land and New Zealand’s valuable wildlife – including cracking down on hut and track vandalism.
The wardening period is from the start of October through to the end of April, but opportunities are also available throughout the year.
Application forms are available on the DOC website.
– By Katie Todd