Introduction

New Zealand is at Alert Level 1. DOC facilities are open - including visitor centres, huts, campgrounds and toilets.

Date:  12 October 2020

DOC is working to support the New Zealand Government’s COVID-19 response, keep everyone safe and stop the spread.

Take responsibility for your health and the health of others, when staying in huts, campsites and lodges and using toilets:

  • stay home if you're unwell
  • wash your hands regularly
  • take and use your own cleaning and protective equipment. Leave facilities clean and fit for use by others
  • keep a record of where you’ve been – tell someone before you go and use the hut intentions books
  • huts, campsites and lodges cannot be used to self-isolate.

Hunting and whitebaiting is permitted. 

Preparing for changes in alert levels

It is important to be ready for changes to alert levels, as we navigate through the challenges that COVID-19 presents.

DOC has guidelines for each alert level and the expected impacts it may have on your existing bookings. It is important to be aware of these guidelines and understand the different alert levels, and how quickly things can change.

When the New Zealand Government changes the alert level to either Alert Level 3 or Alert Level 4, all DOC facilities will be closed.

Below is the alert level guidance, in advance of any alert level changes.

Alert Level 1

At Alert Level 1, everyone can enjoy the great outdoors, provided it is done safely. DOC facilities are fully open without restrictions, including visitor centres, huts, campsites and toilets. Bookings for accommodation can continue to be made.

However, we ask that you remain vigilant and ready in case COVID-19 appears in our community. Follow the golden rules:

  • if you’re sick or unwell, stay at home.
  • if you have cold or flu symptoms, call your doctor or the Healthline. Follow their testing advice.
  • wash your hands
  • if you are advised by health authorities to self-isolate, you must do so immediately
  • keep track of where you have been with the COVID-19 Tracer app. There are NZ COVID Tracer QR Codes displayed at campsites with rangers and all visitor centres
  • be kind to others and to yourself
  • with border controls and quarantine requirements still in place, we remind new arrivals to New Zealand that quarantine practice is never permitted in any DOC hut or campsite.

Alert Level 2

Alert level 2 means there are some COVID-19 cases in the community, but the situation is largely under control.

DOC facilities are fully open without restrictions, including visitor centres, huts, campsites and toilets. Bookings for accommodation can continue to be made.

DOC advises strongly that the golden rules be followed.

Additional safety measures need to be taken at alert level 2. These include:

  • keep 2 metres of separation within DOC huts and campsites
  • bring a tent to ensure the ability to social distance if the hut is fully booked
  • wear face masks indoors
  • contact tracing will be primarily conducted through the bookings process, but at bookable campsites QR codes will be posted at camp manager offices and camp entrances
  • if you would like to cancel your booking, contact your local DOC Visitor Centre for details.

Alert Level 3

Alert Level 3 means there is a high risk of COVID-19 within the community and the disease is not contained.

All DOC Great Walks, backcountry huts, lodges, sole occupancy sites and campsites are closed.

  • All existing bookings in the date range the NZ Government announces for level 4 restrictions, will be fully refunded. You will be advised at the time of how to receive your refund.

Alert Level 4

Alert Level 4 means people are instructed to stay at home and only use their cars for essential trips.

All DOC Great Walks, backcountry huts, lodges, sole occupancy sites and campsites are closed.

  • All existing bookings in the date range the NZ Government announces for Alert Level 4 restrictions, will be fully refunded. You will be advised at the time of how to receive your refund.

Cancelling or modifying your booking

  • As the account holder of your booking, you can go online to make modifications to your existing booking.
  • If you are wanting to cancel your booking during alert level 2, please contact your local DOC Visitor Centre. They will cancel your booking for you and process your full refund.
  • During alert levels 3 and 4, you will be contact by email about how to receive your full refund. Wait for these instructions to avoid cancellation fees.
  • For any questions or concerns, you can contact your local DOC Visitor Centre.

More information

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

NZ COVID Tracer app

NZ Government COVID-19 website

Back to top