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Summer ranger reports for duty

For anyone planning to stretch their legs along one of Wairarapa’s many walks this summer or pitch a tent at a campsite, you may run into Alessa Radulescu.

Radulescu is the Department of Conservation [DoC] summer ranger who looks after DoC sites in Wairarapa during the busy outdoor season.

Spending the first 10 years of her life in Frankfurt, Germany, Radulescu then moved to New Zealand with her family, where they first landed in Blenheim.

“So that was a bit of a shock, coming from a big city to such a small town.”

After about five years, they moved up to Auckland, which is where Radulescu calls home now.

“We lived in quite a nice area with a bit of bush around, so I was always out doing things,” Radulescu said.

“Even as a kid in Germany, I’d be out building tree huts rather than playing inside with Barbies!”

Wanting something different than an office job, she was inspired to look into bee-keeping where she found work in Masterton.

“So I packed my things into a little car and moved down here to do bees, but unfortunately, it’s not a good time for beekeepers at the moment.”

Finding herself in Wairarapa and looking for work, Radulescu said the position of a DoC summer ranger came up at the perfect time.

“I thought that would be really cool because it’s still outdoor work.”

Starting the role in October, Radulescu said it took a month or two to learn the ropes and learn all the different parts of being a summer ranger.

“We have to make sure all the campgrounds are up to standard, so things like weed spraying or scrubbing, and removing fire circles – because you’re actually not allowed unpermitted fires at the campgrounds, particularly during fire season – and just generally making sure it’s good to go for the campers.”

She said it’s been a great way to explore the region.

“It’s great seeing all the beautiful places around here. My Saturdays are great because I go from the Pinnacles to Ocean Beach.

“I love the sea, so having that in my day is amazing.”

Even though she’s still fairly new to the region, Radulescu said she had seen how quickly the weather here can change and advised anyone getting outdoors to be ready for rain or shine.

“Campers should be prepared for the unexpected, especially in Wairarapa,” Radulescu said.

“Even if it may look nice, it pays off to bring a rain jacket. It’s still nice to do outdoor stuff in the rain too!”

She’ll work until April monitoring the region’s popular DoC sites and making sure everything is going smoothly.

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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