Wakatipu Search and Rescue
Wakatipu Search and Rescue
Wakatipu Search and Rescue

Wakatipu SAR requires a variety of volunteers to remain fully operational.

The field teams (Alpine Cliff Rescue and Sub Alpine) induct recruits together once a year, normally in October. The remainder of the group accepts recruits at any time of the year.

If you are interested in any of the volunteer roles please complete an application form here.

Once we receive your application, you should receive an email from us acknowledging your application has entered our process.


All applicants must possess the following:

  • Minimum age – 18 years or older on attending trial period.
  • Plan to be in Wakatipu area for a minimum of 5 years.
  • Possess a resident or permanent resident visa or be a NZ or Australian citizen.
  • Willingness to submit to Police Vetting.

All Field Team applicants must possess the following:

  • Have been in Wakatipu area for a minimum of 1 year.
  • Experienced and confident in the outdoors.
  • Robust and able to endure hardship.
  • Ability to achieve the minimum fitness standard prior to becoming operational (sub alpine team): maintain an average of 3 km/h over 9 km route, which includes a climb of 200m over a lineal distance of 1km (this 1 km to be completed within 1 hour) carrying a 24 hour SAR pack, which weighs greater than 10kg.

Alpine Cliff Rescue applicants must possess the additional following attributes:

  • Completed a minimum of three seasons’ active mountaineering in both winter and summer, of which at least 1 season must be in New Zealand
  • Completed a minimum of two seasons winter backcountry skiing or ski mountaineering
  • Minimum of 30 quality days of mountaineering and ski touring, which demonstrate competency in the use of crampons, rope, ice axe, and avalanche safety equipment, with at least 10 days in glaciated terrain
  • General logged resumé of:
    • Minimum of; 2 x Grade 3 mountain ascents (and ideally 1 x Grade 4)
    • Ascents of major NZ peaks over 3000m
    • Multipitch rockclimbing, minimum crux grade 16/17 Ewbank
    • Ice Climbing Routes of Grade WI 3/4
    • Any Overseas Expeditions or Climbing
    • Other relevant Alpine climbing/training


The application process is as follows:

  • We recommend reviewing our roles and their requirements before completing the application form.
  • Please complete an application form here.
  • We will confirm you meet our minimum standards for the role for which you have applied.
  • You will be requested to attend an interview. For field team applicants this will likely be in September.
  • The Police will vet your application, as we work on their behalf.
  • Successful field team applicants (Alpine Cliff Rescue and Sub Alpine teams) will be requested to attend an assessment weekend which is normally held mid October.
  • You will then be asked to attend a trial period. The trial period will last for 3 months.
  • At the conclusion of the trial period, the recruitment committee will review your application.
  • Successful applicants will be asked to become a probationary team member.
  • Probationary team members will be provided with a training pathway to become an operational team member.

Please be aware we are interested in members who are able to demonstrate a commitment to the group, and to the local area. Training and equipping team members requires a lot of resources and the dedication of our training team.

If you become a field team member, you will be expected to attend 75% of all training nights in the first year. From the 1st year onwards, you should attend 50% training nights. Every year you should attend at least one SAREX (SAR exercises) and at least one course/refresher.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.