Jobs at DOC: Sally Jackson, Hut Ranger

Department of Conservation —  24/04/2015

Come behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Today we profile Tongariro Northern Circuit Hut Ranger, Sally Jackson…

Sally Jackson on a field trip to Rotokawa Geothermal Reserve.

Sally at Rotokawa Geothermal Reserve, about 14 km northeast of Taupo

At work

Some things I do in my job include…

I work five days off and nine days on, based at one of the three huts on the Tongariro Northern Circuit.

I answer visitors’ questions, assist them if they have issues (such as health, gear failure, or transport logistics), give an evening hut talk and keep the hut and surrounds in good order.

Sally, with backpack, in the snow on her way to Ruapehu’s Crater Lake.

Hiking to Ruapehu’s Crater Lake to collect rock for university scientists

Out on the track (which is over 50% of my time) it’s a combination of digging out and building drains and swales, track marking and trimming vegetation.

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by…

Enhancing peoples’ experience on the Tongariro Northern Circuit.

Sally up to her neck in water at Lake Rotowhero.

Enjoying Lake Rotowhero – one of the larger hot pools in my neck of the woods

The best bit about my job is…

Meeting interesting people from all over the world.

The awesome-est DOC moment I’ve had so far is…

Being flown to Ruapehu’s Crater Lake last year to assist Harry Keys with some monitoring.

Sally, in a hard hat and face mask, standing in front of a steaming crater lake on White Island.

I recently visited Whakaari / White Island, an active volcano in the Bay of Plenty

The DOC (or previous DOC) employee that inspires or enthuses me most is…

Dr Harry Keys.

Sally sitting under a small waterfall in Kirkham Hot Springs.

Kirkham Hot Springs

On a personal note

Most people don’t know that I…

Write books about hot springs.

My best ever holiday was…

Cycle-touring alone through Turkey.

The thing I’m most looking forward to in the next six months is…

Going to Japan and the USA to hike and visit hot springs.

In my spare time I…

Like getting into hot water (the geothermal kind).

Before working at DOC I…

Was an economic statistician!

Sally in her walking gear standing on a track in Glacier National Park, Montana.

Glacier National Park in Montana, 2014

Deep and meaningful…

My favourite quote is…

“Every cloud has a silver lining”.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…

From my Mum, and it was not what she said so much as leading by example.

In work and life I am motivated by…

A curiosity and appreciation of the world around me.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is…

Think global and act local.

Question of the week…

What’s your signature recipe and why is it good?

My signature recipe is kumara out of geothermal steam ovens – takes 20 minutes. Easy, super healthy and tastes better than roasted ones.

Wash kumara, place in a white cotton cloth bag (herb salt optional) and cover/seal steam oven well.

5 responses to Jobs at DOC: Sally Jackson, Hut Ranger


    Could you please remove me from your blogs list. My grandson has recently finished his stint on Raoul and is now on the mainland so I have stopped looking for any items about the Kermadec Islands. Have found all the info on your blogs very interesting, though and wish you every success in your work, whatever it may be. You are a long, long way from Wales!


      Hi Judy. You can easily remove yourself from our list by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the emails you receive. I’m sure your grandson enjoyed his stint on Raoul.

    Karen Ardin 24/04/2015 at 9:51 am

    I always thought it was 9 days on and 5 days off? Is that what I’ve been doing wrong. Otherwise a great post!!
    Cheers Ardy

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Tales from the Tongariro Crossing « Conservation blog - May 4, 2015

    […] also had Rangers Sally Jackson and Toby O’Hara from the Tongariro team with us, so we got to hear about the issues they face […]