The Auckland region is at Alert Level 3, and the rest of New Zealand at Alert Level 2.

Date:  13 August 2020

Auckland region at Alert Level 3

DOC huts, campsites and tracks

  • All DOC huts, campsites and lodges are closed.
  • You must not visit tracks unless they are right by your home.
  • You must not self-isolate at a hut, lodge or campsite.
  • DOC offices and visitor centres are closed.

If you notice inappropriate behaviour, report it through

NZ Government COVID-19 website has latest all of government updates. 

Fishing and whitebaiting

Recreational fishing is allowed from public conservation land as long as it is within the fisher’s local area.

Water-based activities involving sailing boat, motorised craft and equipment are not allowed.

Whitebaiting is permitted during the season, provided whitebaiters fish only locally, keep 2 metres from other river users and don’t use motorised vehicles to get to their fishing spot.

Whitebaiters must also comply with all the current whitebait regulations, including fishing from the banks of rivers or water’s edge and do not enter the water or use a boat to fish.

NZ Government COVID 19 website has more information about what other recreational activities are allowed.

Our work

Level 3 allows for limited conservation field work but only where we can be assured of meeting MOH guidelines as well as our own health and safety requirements.

Most Auckland based DOC staff are working from home. Permission is being given in some cases to carry out essential work to protect threatened species or manage public assets. However the threshold is high and public safety must come first.

We have arrangements in place for essential care services for threatened native species held in captivity.

Rest of New Zealand at Alert Level 2 

DOC facilities outside of Auckland are open - including visitor centres, huts, campgrounds and toilets - with special guidelines for use.

Bookings for huts and campsites remain open for the time being but we are reducing capacity for the larger bookable huts to enable physical distancing.

Concessionaires and community groups can operate on public conservation land provided they do so safely and follow Ministry of Health guidelines. Tourism concessionaires need an up to date WorkSafe plan to respond to COVID-19.

The Government is expecting visitors to take responsibility for their health and the health of others, including when they are recreating in the outdoors and staying in DOC accommodation.

Remember to be prepared and take the correct equipment prepared when travelling outdoors in winter/early spring. Some facilities may be closed or remain closed for non-COVID-19 reasons (such as Routeburn Track due to storm damage) so check before you go.

DOC huts, campsites and tracks

We’re asking visitors to take responsibility for their health and hygiene and consider others when using facilities.

  • Make sure you have cleaning and hygiene products with you and minimise contact with people you don’t know.
  • Be prepared to undertake additional cleaning when using huts, toilets, and campsites
  • Visitors will need to carry their own cleaning and protective equipment to safely use shared facilities (including toilets).
  • Leave facilities clean and fit for use by others
  • This is even more important over winter when DOC’s standard cleaning and maintenance work is carried out less frequently than at peak times of the year.
  • DOC will undertake standard cleaning and maintenance work for the winter season.

At all huts appropriate physical distancing is required – bring a tent to sleep outside, or consider cancelling your trip, if you believe you cannot achieve physical distancing within the hut.

Consider wearing a mask when using indoor facilities.

You must use the intentions book at huts to enable contact tracing.

Bookings for huts and campsites remain open for the time being, but this will be reviewed if Alert Level 3is extended beyond 14 August. If a hut booking is cancelled in August or while we are at Alert Level 2 a full refund will be given. 

While many of you will be eager to get out there, it’s vital you play it safe and look after yourself and others when outdoors.

If you are planning on using DOC accommodation:

  • stay home if you are unwell
  • enable contact tracing - tell someone before you go, and use the hut books
  • practice physical distancing - 2 metres for people you do not know

DOC’s huts and campsites cannot be used by people who are required to self-isolate.

During the winter season it’s even more important to plan and prepare. Check the weather and track conditions before you go and make sure you take the necessary food, water, clothing and equipment.

Check this website for more information including hunting permits, track updates, closures and safety advice.

COVID-19 golden rules

  1. If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
  2. If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline and make sure you get tested.
  3. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
  4. Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
  5. If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
  6. If you’re concerned about your wellbeing, or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.
  7. Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing if needed. Use the NZ COVID Tracer app.
  8. Businesses should help people keep track of their movements by displaying the Ministry of Health QR Code for contact tracing.
  9. Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.
  10. People will have had different experiences over the last fewmonths. Whatever you’re feeling – it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.

More information

COVID-19 and hunting - how to get a hunting permit and hunting on public conservation land. 

NZ COVID Tracer app

NZ Government COVID-19 website

Back to top