COVID-19 and outdoor recreation

Recreation is important

Exercise and recreation is an important part of maintaining our health and wellbeing. However, there is still a risk of transmission of COVID-19 under all Alert Levels so we need to take particular care when in the outdoors.

If you are sick, or experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, please stay at home.

COVID-19 symptoms

If you are at particular risk of COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions or age, you may wish to take extra precautions when considering outdoor recreation.

Guidance for at-risk people


What activities are available at Alert Level 2

At Alert Level 2, a wider range of recreational activities are possible.

Detailed guidance about active recreation, sport and play at Alert Level 2

The Mountain Safety Council have created the COVID-19 Outdoors website which provides advice on what activities you can do, and how to keep safe while doing them. The Walking Access Commission is one of a number of organisations who have endorsed this resource.

COVID-19 Outdoors website 


Department of Conservation huts and campsites

All DOC facilities, including huts and campsites will be open for public use at Alert Level 2, with some small differences to normal.

To maintain the government's guidelines for gatherings, bookable accommodation is capped to 10 people and there should be no more than 10 people at any of the larger non-bookable huts. If you are planning to use a non-bookable hut, you should also take a tent in case there is not enough room.

Visitors will need to carry their own cleaning equipment in and out of the area they visit.

Visitors are also responsible for being able to trace their own contacts during their visit. This includes letting a trusted contact know your intentions and putting your details in hut intentions books.

COVID-19 updates from DOC


Hunting is allowed on private land, and on public conservation land with an appropriate permit.

The game bird shooting season opened on Saturday 23 May.

Fish & Game advice on duck shooting

Tramping including Te Araroa Trail

At Alert Level 2, multi-day tramps are possible again. Note that as we get closer to winter, the weather will be less suitable in much of the country, and tramping in snow is only recommended for people with appropriate equipment and experience. 

Advice from Te Araroa

Other advice

Recreation Aotearoa have a hub for information about operating in a COVID-19 environment including news and advice, and webinars.

COVID-19 Response website 

What NZWAC is doing

Please note all Walking Access Commission staff are working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak and will be strictly adhering to the Government guidance. To talk with any of our staff during this time, please use email, phone or contact us to arrange a video meeting.

Two of our staff are currently working in the National Crisis Management Centre, helping with the Government's response to COVID-19.

Read about the work they're doing 

More information

The Government's COVID-19 website is the source for up-to-date and accurate information on what we all need to do to stand strong together against this disease.

Unite Against COVID-19

We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well during this difficult time. Kia tūpato!

Page last updated: May 26, 2020, 3:12 PM