Fiordland alerts

Updated: 22 October 2014

For your safety, every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct. However you should contact the local DOC visitor centre for the latest updates.

On this page:

Fiordland National Park notes

  • Expect tree falls and winter storm damage on all tracks

Great Walks 

  • Winter walking season - There is no booking system in place, facilities are reduced (no gas for cooking, water supply/firewood might be limited, no DOC rangers or access to emergency radio facilities) and there are additional safety hazards to consider.
  • Avalanche hazard may exist on all tracks (see notes below). See Be avalanche alert in Fiordland.
  • Check current snow and track conditions at Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre before you go.

Milford Track 

  • Pest control operations took place on 21 October 2014 in the Clinton Valley (between Glade Wharf and Mackinnon Pass). Follow precautions indicated by signage until further notice. This is part of Battle for our Birds predator control programme, protecting our native wildlife from a rodent and stoat invasion. Get information about this operation.
  • Snow and ice may be present in the alpine section.
  • Avalanche prone bridges are removed - potential for flooding exists, some streams may become impassable.
  • Use the Emergency Track when descending the Arthur Valley side of MacKinnon Pass.

Avalanche advisory Monday 20 - Wednesday 22 October 2014

  • Clinton Valley: Moderate Avalanche danger (Glade Wharf to Mintaro Hut)
    The avalanche zones' catchments have received a mixture of heavy rain and snow in the past week. Please observe the sign posted “no stopping” zones, especially around the Pompolona and the Nicholas areas of the upper Clinton valley.  People are advised to move quickly through forest openings/avalanche run out paths, particularly if it is raining hard or the day is heating up quickly.
  • Mackinnon Pass: Low Avalanche danger: (from Mintaro Hut to Quintin Lodge)
    The Pass is clear of snow at present. Do not linger in areas with snowy slopes (or gullies) above you. Everybody must descend the pass on the Emergency Track.
  • Arthur Valley: Low Avalanche danger: (from Quintin Lodge to Sandfly point)
    People are advised to move quickly through forest openings/avalanche run out paths between Dumpling Hut and Boat Shed at Steep Hill, especially under the Coby and Bossy avalanche paths.
  • Sutherland Falls Track: Low Avalanche danger
    People are advised to move quickly through forest openings in the valley floor (avalanche paths).
  • Information: Please check the latest weather forecast.

Kepler Track 

  • Snow and ice may be present in the alpine section
  • Volunteer hut rangers are at Luxmore Hut all winter
  • Pest control operations in Iris Burn Valley took place on 25 August 2014. Follow precautions indicated by signage until further notice. This is part of Battle for our Birds predator control programme. Get information about this operation.

Avalanche advisory Monday 20 - Wednesday 22 October 2014

  • Bushline to Luxmore Hut: No Avalanche danger
  • Luxmore Hut to bushline Iris Burn: Low Avalanche danger
    Only a few small isolated pockets of snow remain on the or around the track. The track is well defined; people are advised to keep up to date with the latest weather conditions.
  • Information: Very little to no avalanche hazard exists at present on the Alpine section of the Kepler Track. Fresh snow may be on the track between Luxmore Hut and the Hanging Valley Shelter. Keep up to date with the latest weather forecast

Routeburn Track

  • Snow and ice may be present in the alpine section
  • Avalanche prone bridges are removed - potential for flooding exists, some streams may become impassable.
  • Pest control operations were carried out on 31 August 2014 between Routeburn Shelter and Routeburn Falls Hut. Follow precautions indicated by signage until further notice. 
    This is part of our Battle for our Birds predator control programme, protecting our native wildlife from a rodent and stoat invasion. Contact the Queenstown Visitor Centre for more information.

Avalanche advisory Monday 20 - Wednesday 22 October 2014

  • Divide to Howden Hut: No avalanche danger.
  • Key Summit: No avalanche danger.
  • Howden Hut to Mackenzie Hut: Low Avalanche Danger.
    People are advised not to linger under the two known avalanche paths (Earland Falls and Sunny Creek) during or following any new snow forecast. 
  • Mackenzie Hut to Routeburn Falls: Low Avalanche danger.
    Most of the track is clear of snow at present, apart from lingering pockets of snow in the Harris bluffs, a few of these isolated pockets could slide from the ground onto the track. People are advised to exercise caution through the Harris Bluff section of the track, and not stop in places where snow lingers from above
  • Routeburn Road end to Routeburn Falls Hut: No Avalanche danger.
  • Information: The track is clear of snow at present apart from a few isolated pockets of snow around the Harris Bluff. Snow is likely to have fallen on slopes above the Harris Saddle today, accompanied by strong winds and poor visibility. 

Major tracks

Hump Ridge Track

Track will be open 25-27 October 2014 (Labour Weekend), bookings required

Official summer season track opening 6 November

  • Winter walking season
  • Prior booking for Okaka Lodge required and can be made on the Hump Ridge Track website
  • Percy Viaduct closed, use new bypass track

Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Office
Phone: + 64 3 226 6739
Email: info@humpridgetrack.co.nz 

Manapouri Tracks

  • Expect tree falls on the Circle track and Lake Rakatu track

Hollyford Track

  • Aerial pest control operation from the Pyke/Hollyford Junction to the Coast (lower Hollyford) is on standby and weather dependent. Expect track closure on the day of operation. This is part of Battle for our Birds predator control programme. Get information about this operation
  • Expect many tree falls and longer walking times

Dusky Track

  • Expect tree falls
  • Snow conditions, avalanche hazard possible on high passes

Pyke Big Bay Route

  • Martins Bay end of route can be affected by high tide. Walkers need to walk along the coast to Long Reef to meet the track to Martins Bay. Safe walking times are 2 hours either side of high tide

 George Sound Route

  • Expect windfalls and storm damage
  • Snow conditions, avalanche hazard possible on high passes

Teal Bay to Lake Poteriteri Hut Route

  • Closed. Due to bridge maintenance the Teal Bay to Lake Poteriteri Hut Route for a period of about two weeks 9 - 23 October.

Lake Monowai/ Borland

  • Some tree falls on the track

Day walks & other facilities

Milford/ Hollyford Road Area

  • Cascade Creek Campsite will be closed 20 - 22 October 2014 for pest control operations
  • Deer Flat Campsite open with reduced area and facilities
  • East Homer Nature Walk - Closed indefinitely due to existing rock fall and continued instability
  • Gertrude Saddle Route - Snow and ice conditions and avalanche hazard exists. Alpine equipment and high skill level are essential

Milford Road - conditions can change daily. Check the road status before leaving at the NZ Transport Agency website www.milfordroad.co.nz

Mavora Lakes

  • 4WD track between Careys and Boundary huts is very difficult and not recommended
  • Water at huts and campsite is turned off - use lake water

Borland Road

  • Closed

Waitutu Forest

Fire restriction

Open Fire season in Fiordland / Southland

Thank you for helping to protect our environment.

Didymo controls for Fiordland rivers

Biosecurity measures have been put in place for Fiordland National Park rivers to limit the spread of didymo, an introduced and invasive freshwater alga. Approved cleaning stations and control measures are operating. View didymo controls for Fiordland National Park which includes a map showing the control areas.

For further information about didymo and the control measures contact:

Report any hazards you see in the backcountry to the DOC conservation emergency hotline, phone 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).


Related links

 

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Check, Clean, Dry between waterways and stop the spread of didymo.

Walking track categories

Safety

Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Contacts

The Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre hours are 8:30am to 4:30pm daily.

Te Rua-o-te-moko / Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 249 7924
Address:   Fiordland National Park
Visitor Centre
Lakefront Drive
Te Anau 9600
Email:   fiordlandvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

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