Outdoor Access Code

The New Zealand Outdoor Access Code provides helpful information about responsible behaviour in the outdoors. It is practical and informative and aims to raise public awareness of access rights and responsibilities.


'I commend the Commission and all stakeholder groups and members of the public who contributed to the development of this Code.' Hon David Carter, Minister of Agriculture


Access to New Zealand’s outdoors is part of who we are, part of our nation’s heritage and culture. Enjoyment of our beaches, rivers, and mountains is seen as a birthright.

Background to the Code

The Code provides guidance on appropriate behaviour in the outdoors and on the access rights and responsibilities of access users, landholders and land managers.

Access rights and privileges

Legal public access to the outdoors is covered by a variety of statutes. It is difficult to ascertain where there is public access and where there is private land with no access.

Being responsible

It is important that those enjoying the outdoors understand what is meant by reasonable
and responsible behaviour.


A definition of some of the technical terms we use in the Outdoor Access Code


Further information about accessing the outdoors responsibly.