A rainy day on the Rangiwahia Hut Track

Department of Conservation —  29/10/2015

By Raj Palanisamy, DOC Volunteer

I have volunteered for DOC for over a year now. For the most part I assist with data entry— transferring hut log book and biodiversity data into a digital spreadsheet. While I enjoy the job, I was eager to get into the field and understand the hard work behind the data.

Raj Palanisamy in Ruahine Forest Park. Photo: DOC.

A rainy day in Ruahine Forest Park

I had the opportunity to head into the Ruahine Forest with DOC rangers Nathan Lightbourne, Tim Paki and Richard Taiaroa on a mission to check the Rangawahia Hut and undertake some clearing of the track.

It was raining cats and dogs! Nathan came to pick me up, and after assessing my clothes, he provided gear a little more suitable.

Raj on the arched-wooden bridge on the Rangiwahia Hut Track. Photo: DOC.

Arched-wooden bridge on the Rangiwahia Hut Track

While Nathan and Richard started clearing fallen branches and slippery stones on the track, Tim and I headed towards the hut for the monthly check up.

The check up involved tidying up, making sure the facilities were up to scratch, and checking on firewood. We were happy to see the hut in good condition after being used by 45 people in the last month!

Rangiwahia Hut on a sunnier day. Photo: DOC.

Rangiwahia Hut on a sunnier day

I know trampers appreciate a well maintained track—nothing beats it! On my day out I learnt that a clear and maintained track comes as a result of efforts by hard working DOC staff.

By the end of our day out, the fallen branches and slippery stones on the walkway had all been removed. The track was clear and I didn’t need to watch where I was putting my feet. A great job by Nathan and Richard.

Trampers on the maintained Rangiwahia Hut Track. Photo: DOC.

The maintained Rangiwahia Hut Track

I have witnessed people working on tea plantations in pouring rain to pluck tea leaves, and this track work reminded me of that. Work for which one needs dedication and commitment to finish the task.

I don’t think money motivates people to be dedicated and committed but instead it’s an individual’s persona. Doing a good service for the people comes with a good heart and I was proud of working with Nathan, Tim and Richard on this occasion.

Thanks to the Palmerston North DOC Office for a fantastic day!

Help DOC by volunteering for conservation, there are lots of ways you can get involved! Find more information about volunteering on the DOC website.

One response to A rainy day on the Rangiwahia Hut Track


    Very rewarding I’m sure to get out on the trails and make sense of your data and I couldn’t agree more – money generally isn’t the motivator, love of nature, dedication and commitment just comes naturally to those who enjoy working in their chosen field.