40 people found this article useful

The DoC, Department of Conservation in New Zealand


What’s up, DoC?

New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, more commonly known as DoC, deals with the national parks and recreation, and historical and wildlife conservation. It is a government sector (public sector organisation) that is probably the most prominent on backpacking travels around New Zealand due to the excessive walking, site seeing and wildlife viewing that backpackers and working holidaymakers like to do.

What does DoC do?

DoC oversees the following:

  • Walking tracks and NZ’s Great Walks.
  • The conservation of wildlife.
  • Protecting New Zealand’s historic buildings.
HiFX - Money Transfer


Walking Tracks

It doesn’t take long in New Zealand to spot a DoC walking track sign. Every walking/tramping track is well sign-posted, with indication of the time it will take to get to the next checkpoint. The DoC also oversees the maintenance of tracks.

To pass through New Zealand’s most stunning scenic areas, try doing the Great Walks. There are 9 Great Walks, where the accommodation huts can be booked through the DoC’s website.


conservation of wildlife

Aiming to preserve the natural heritage of New Zealand means DoC works to keep threats and impacts on native wildlife to a minimum. They set up pest control methods, where some New Zealand’s pests include Kawau Island wallabies, Kaimanawa horses and deer. The 2 latter threaten native plant life, while wallabies affect the Kanuka forest’s health, which in turn impacts the birds there such as kiwis. The DoC’s methods consist of fencing off animals from certain areas and, for example, ban pets from specific areas.

The DoC’s marine reserves are great to protect marine life from being wiped out through fishing and other disturbances, so we are able to see rare wildlife living in its natural habitat. Visit Akaroa Marine Reserve to see Hector’s dolphins, seals and small whale species


Protecting historic buildings

As well as native plants and animals, DoC also protects New Zealand’s historic buildings. 1 site includes Cape Reigna at the very tip of the North Island, which has old Maori settlements and Cape Reinga lighthouse. Another is Denniston, which was once the largest producing coalmine with a population of 1500. Nowadays, it’s a ghost town that has been restored for visitors’ exploring pleasure.

You can help too! Check out how you can Volunteer for DoC.

Working Holiday Insurance
Was this article useful? Useful Useless
Stray New Zealand
South Island Hostels

6 Best Backpacker Hostels in Westport

Budget Accommodation in Westport, Charleston, Karamea and Hector. Well, this is awkward. [...]


12 Super Scenic Cycle Trails in Otago

Which bike trails to try in Otago. Snow-capped mountains, lakes, river gorges, [...]

South Island

6 Essential Pitstops for Your South Canterbury Road Trip

Quirky South Canterbury towns worth stopping by! Away from the hustle and [...]

Natural Attractions

11 Mind Blowing Lakes in New Zealand

What’s that sound? It’s the sound of your mind blowing as you [...]

Popular searches: Budget, Free, Jobs, Travel Tips, Rotorua
Working Holiday Insurance
Hot on Backpacker Guide
North Island Regions

Auckland Region – Guide for Backpackers

It’s much more than a city! Welcome to the Auckland Region, a […]


25 Awesome Hikes Around Palmerston North

Walks in and around Palmerston North. If you like using your own […]

Itinerary Samples
Tourism NZ

How to Travel New Zealand in 10 Days

How to see most of New Zealand in under two weeks! You […]

FB Group
Join the group!
Join the group!

Ask questions to our writers, post notices, share with travellers, show pictures, meet other backpackers, ...

Join our Facebook group