Jobs at DOC: Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre Ranger, Lyn Trewella

Department of Conservation —  13/04/2012

Every Friday Jobs at DOC will take you behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation.

Today we profile Lyn Trewella Ranger (Visitor Information) Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre.

At work…

What kind of things do you do in your role?

I give advice about the Great Walks and local backcountry tracks; sell tickets and Great Walk passes; deal with the Centre’s retail displays and sales; help to open and close the centre; answer or field all manner of interesting questions from visitors from, “Where are the crocodiles?” to, “We just arrived. We want to walk”.

Green Lake, Southern Fiordland

What is the best part about your job?

Seeing the smile on the face of a customer when they return from the tramp you recommended to them.

What is the hardest part about your job?

Sitting inside when the sun is shining on the mountains outside.

What led you to your role in DOC?

In my DOC uniform

I came to New Zealand on a working holiday in October 2010 and after five weeks travelling, I ended up working at a backpackers outside Te Anau. The plan was to stay until the end of January and then head back to my job as an outdoor instructor in the UK… as you can see, I’m still here!

During my first season here I fell in love with Fiordland and decided to apply to extend my working holiday. As a keen tramper herself, my boss at the backpackers gave me time off to go exploring and by the winter I had walked most of the popular tracks in the Park. That experience led me into my current role here at DOC. If I can get another visa I’ll be here again next season.

What was your highlight from the month just gone?

Taking a jet boat trip down the Wairaurahiri River to the ocean.   

The rule of three…

Three loves

  1. A good book that lets you escape from reality
  2. New Zealand’s amazing backcountry huts—long may they remain in existence!
  3. A clear day in the mountains

Lake Manapouri - one of the Fiordland views I fell in love with

Three pet peeves

  1. People who leave litter. Especially in National Parks and DOC campsites GRRRRR!
  2. DOC bashing notes written in hut books. Do these people not realise how lucky they are to have such fantastic resources available to them!
  3. Bad drivers.

Three foods

  1. Whittakers chocolate
  2. Jacket potatoes
  3. Anything off a barbeque

Benching (levelling) the Kepler

Three favourite places in New Zealand

  1. The tracks around the Mount Arthur area near Nelson/Motueka
  2. Green Lake near Lake Monowai
  3. Gertrude Saddle

Favourite movie, album, book

  1. Movie: The Boat That Rocked—brilliant British film about pirate radio
  2. Album: Hmmm maybe Mumford and Sons, Sigh No More
  3. Book: Anything by Terry Pratchett

Deep and meaningful…

What piece of advice would you tell your 18 year old self?

Get on with it! Don’t be scared to take chances. Get out there, travel, and live life.

Who or what inspires you and why?

I admire people who love their lives and have worked hard to get to that place they love. The people here at DOC Te Anau are a pretty inspirational lot. Their dedication to conservation and New Zealand is incredible and you couldn’t ask for a better group of people about you if you need help or support.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I’ve never had a definite plan… at school there was an archaeology phase, an outdoor instructor phase, and a photography/art/design phase. 

And now, if you weren’t working at DOC, what would you want to be?

Camping on the Livingstone Range

I would’ve liked to guide on the tracks over here. I have to head home to the UK at some point and I’m investigating working as a countryside or national park ranger in the future.

What sustainability tip would you like to pass on?

Every little bit helps. Whether you recycle or compost or use solar power for your house—if everyone does something it’s got to help the bigger picture.

Which green behaviour would you like to adopt this year—at home? At work?

I haven’t been able to compost this summer so I’d like to be able to do that again.

If you could be any New Zealand native species for a day, what would you be and why?

I’d be a fantail or a South Island robin because they have such character.

What piece of advice or message would you want to give to New Zealanders when it comes to conservation?

Don’t take your amazing country for granted. New Zealanders are gifted with beautiful unspoilt wilderness areas, amazing backcountry tracks, and a fantastic hut network. In the future the unspoilt areas of this country are going to be even more of a selling point for tourism than they are now. New Zealanders should be vigilant to make sure that wilderness areas are not over developed and tracks and huts are not neglected or lost.

One response to Jobs at DOC: Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre Ranger, Lyn Trewella


    Nicely said Lyn 🙂