Find out what areas are open, what areas are closed, and areas you should stay away from this summer.

Date:  23 December 2016

Most conservation areas, campsites, tracks and huts in the Marlborough and Kaikoura areas are open for visitors to enjoy this summer. There are some areas where there are still hazards created by the earthquakes and we advise you to stay away from them.

For your safety we urge you not to go into closed sites or conservation areas we advise you to stay away from, as listed below, until further notice.

We want you to enjoy time in the outdoors this summer but to keep yourself safe.


In places, there are landslides on tracks and a risk of rockfalls and further landslides. Some huts have been destroyed and others damaged.

In many places, debris has fallen into rivers and streams forming dams that could cause flooding. Information about landslide dams on rivers and flood risk should be checked on the Environment Canterbury and Marlborough District Council websites.

More information about earthquake landscape changes and hazards can be found on GeoNet website.


Closed areas and areas to stay away from

Isolated Hill Scenic Reserve

People should stay away from Isolated Hill Scenic Reserve. Sawcut Gorge is closed.

Earthquake activity has caused multiple dams to form in waterways. These dams are very unstable and can fail at any time leading to flooding in the Waima River channel. People are warned to stay away from the Reserve and the whole river channel.

Okiwi Bay / Half Moon Bay area

Okiwi Bay - Half Moon Bay Track, Okiwi Bay Lookout Walk, Pacific Lookout Track, Patutu Route and Okiwi Bay campsite are all closed.

The Ohau Stream Track leading to the waterfall is closed due to damage and safety risk.

Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park

Stay out of Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park including the Clarence Reserve and Kowhai-Hapuku Circuit. The Fyffe-Palmer Track is closed due to damage.

Barratts Hut and and Barratts Bivvy have been swept away in a large slip. Other huts have damage.

Hut closures

All huts in the Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park are closed.

Dam in the Hapuku River

The earthquake has caused a 150-metre high dam to form in the Hapuku River riverbed which is unstable and could fail at any time leading to flooding downstream. People are warned to stay away from the whole river channel.

A landslide has partially blocked the Clarence River. Private boaters are advised to stay off the river until the area has been assessed. Some commercial operators have assessed the river for safety and have resumed operations – contact the tour operator directly.

Ferny Gair Conservation Area

People are advised to stay away from Ferny Gair Conservation Area until it has been fully assessed. Check the DOC website for updates or consider alternative areas such as the Leatham Conservation Area.

Other backcountry areas

Caution and care is required in other Kaikoura and South Marlborough backcountry areas.

We have not yet been able to assess all backcountry huts, tracks and other facilities in these areas – in some places it has not been safe to do so.

Earthquake damage could make tramping routes more difficult and journeys longer than expected.

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