Image: James Mortimer | DOC


Autumn is a fantastic time to get into nature. As we enjoy the Easter holidays and quieter recreation opportunities, let’s treasure our wildlife and special places, and keep ourselves safe.


On this page:

Places with spaces

In autumn opportunities start to open up across DOC’s huts, campsites and Great Walks (COVID-19 Alert Levels permitting). It’s important to book them online if you can. Here are some DOC recommendations for where there is plenty of room to book your place this autumn. 

Great Walks and tramping

While we’ve seen a big year for our Great Walks, the Heaphy and Tongariro Northern Circuit tracks are great autumn experiences and have plenty of hut and campsite space over the coming months.

Other fantastic multi-day walks with space for bookings this autumn include:

Huts and campsites

Here are some fantastic options for the Easter holidays across Aotearoa.

Northern North Island


Central North Island

Lower North Island

Northern South Island

Eastern South Island

Western South Island

Southern South Island

Staying home

For those of us unable to get outdoors, here are some activities you can do at home to let nature in and strengthen your wellbeing: Let nature in

Autumn nature watch

While you get into nature this autumn, protect our precious wildlife and places. Enjoy abundant pīwakawaka/fantails and brilliant, low-lying sunlight. 

Watch out for moulting penguins. The moult season (February to April) is a crucial and dangerous time for our cherished penguins as birds come ashore for 3-4 weeks to shed and regrow their feathers. It’s vital to keep dogs on leads and out of penguin habitat - and give birds plenty of space. How you can help penguins through the moult season

Otago for autumn colour. While Aotearoa has few deciduous trees, there are some heritage sites where settlers planted foreign trees which put on an autumn show. The historic Arrowtown and Bannockburn areas in Otago, are great places to enjoy autumn colour.

Share the outdoors this deer roar. The deer breeding, season known as the 'roar', starts late March and goes through April. It's a popular time for hunting throughout New Zealand and we’re expecting the backcountry/remoter areas to be busier than ever this autumn.

With so many of us out enjoying nature, whether trampers, hunters or other users, it’s essential we all share our forests and mountains and are respectful to and mindful of others at this time. Rangers will be out talking to people, checking hunting permits and keeping the place tidy.

Before you go

In autumn it gets colder in the hills and mountains and daylight starts reducing. Visit the following pages to ensure you make the most of your time in nature and keep yourself safe.

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