For Te Araroa trail walkers, the change to Level 3 allows people to enjoy short day walks (up to three hours total) on easy local tracks, so long as they stay within their local region, stick to their ‘bubble’ and do not have to drive a long distance to get there.
Overnight, section and thru-walks are not permitted under Level 3 restrictions and huts and campsites managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) remain off limits. DOC toilets continue to be closed and should not be used unless unavoidable.
We will continue to work with DOC to determine what restrictions will remain on use of huts and campsites when restrictions are lowered to Level 2.
Restrictions on international travel into and out of New Zealand remain in place under alert Level 3. Overseas walkers who have sheltered in place during the lockdown will be able to enjoy local day walks on the trail but should not continue their Te Araroa thru-walk until multi-day tramping is permitted.
Alert Level 3 will continue until at least 11 May, when the Government will make a decision on whether it is safe to move to Level 2.
Detailed information about the kinds of outdoor recreation permitted at Level 3 is available on the COVID-19 Outdoor Recreation Activity Checker website, managed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council.
Advice for day walks under COVID-19 Level 3 restrictions:
• Do not walk if you are feeling unwell.
• Walk only with people from your ‘bubble’.
• Practice physical distancing (two metres apart at all times) and avoid congregating at scenic spots.
• Limit walks to easy tracks within your area that can be completed in less than three hours. You may drive a short distance to reach these, so long as they are local.
• Wash hands or use sanitiser frequently.
• Avoid contact with “high touch items” like handrails, gates and benches.
• Be considerate to other walkers (step aside to let others past).