Image: Benhi Dixon | Creative Commons


Summer will see many of us out and about in nature, relaxing after an uncertain year. Let’s treasure our wildlife and landscapes, and keep ourselves and others safe.


Stay safe

Stay safe in the outdoors with these five essential steps:

  1. Choose the right trip for you
  2. Understand the weather
  3. Pack warm clothes and extra food
  4. Share your plans and take ways to get help
  5. Take care of yourself and each other

Be prepared: Care for Aotearoa

Fires can be devastating to our native plants and wildlife as well as people. Before lighting a fire check it's permitted and safe, and get advice on reducing fire risks.

Visit Check it's alright for fire safety advice. 

Stay healthy

Carry proof of vaccination (if eligible) with you when staying in DOC accommodation, practice good hygiene to reduce the spread of illness, wear masks and keep 1 m from those outside your group where possible. Stay home if you are sick. Keep a record of where you’ve been in case contact tracing is needed and use QR codes where they are available.

COVID-19 vaccination policy for DOC visitor facilities

Most of all enjoy your time in nature to relax, unwind and refresh.

Get into nature

This summer, take a moment to spot native mistletoes in flower and enjoy the spectacular red blooms of rātā and pōhutakawa – our Kiwi Christmas trees.

Summer is also a vital time for our wildlife. With more of us outdoors it’s important to give wildlife space – particularly in coastal areas and out on the water. To keep our vulnerable birds, marine mammals and their young safe over summer, know the rules and check your dog is allowed before heading outdoors.

Walks, huts and campsites to enjoy

Demand for Great Walks and other DOC huts and campsites is high this summer, so book them online if you can. There are still lots of options available over the school holidays and beyond if you are flexible with where or when you go.

We’ve picked some of the best summer experiences across Aotearoa including walks and bike rides, places to enjoy nature and heritage, and places to stay.

North Island



Short walks

 Day hikes

Heritage sites

Multi-day tracks

Mountain biking

South Island



Cultural heritage sites

Multi day tracks and/or mountain-biking

Short walks

Day hikes

Enjoying nature from home

For those of us staying close to home this summer, here are some activities you can do to let nature in and strengthen your wellbeing: Let nature in.


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