Canterbury alerts

For your safety, every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct. However you should contact the local DOC visitor centre for the latest updates.

On this page:

Arthur's Pass and Craigieburn/Torlesse ranges
North Canterbury
Christchurch and Banks Peninsula
Mid and South Canterbury
Mackenzie Country and Waitaki
Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

Fires: Total fire ban on all DOC lands in the Eastern South Island. This applies to all public conservation land within these districts and includes camp fires, braziers and anything burning solid fuel. Gas cooking only permitted.

Rivers: Check the latest forecast and make good assessments regarding safe crossing before entering the water.

Avalanche risk: For latest avalanche and snow information visit the Avalanche NZ website.

Arthur's Pass National Park and Craigieburn range

Updated: 25 February 2015

December 2014: Aerial 1080 application in the Hawdon and Andrews valleys

  • Tracks in the consented area include Hawdon Valley through to Walker Pass, Woolshed Hill Track and the Andrews Valley Track to Casey Hut.

17 February 2015: Aerial 1080 application in the Poulter Valley

  • Tracks in the consented area include: Poulter Track as far as Linwood Stream above Lake Minchin and Andrews Stream Track from the shelter to Casey Hut.

Signs are posted at the start of all relevant tracks. Following the aerial application staff have checked and cleared tracks of all 1080 pellets. There is also a 100m exclusion zone around all relevant huts.

This is to control rats to protect the critically endangered orange-fronted parakeet / kākāriki found only in three Canterbury beech-forests valleys.

For more information refer to the Eastern South Island pesticide summary

Reports of damage or changes have been received on the following:

  • Water tanks in huts: With the recent lack of rain many huts no longer have water in their tanks. We have also had reports of possible contamination in some water tanks due to this year's extraordinary number of rodents. Do not rely on finding safe drinking water in hut tanks.
  • Complete fire ban. Light no fires!
  • Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre: Expect ongoing disruption to displays, facilities and services as earthquake strengthening work is carried out.
  • Avalanche Peak: Road works affecting access to Scotts Track. Do not walk along the road between Scotts Track and the village. Instead follow signage to a temporary track to Devils Punchbowl car park.
  • Harman Pass: Reports of very unstable and dangerous large rocks throughout the Taipoiti gorge. Extreme caution required.
  • Harper Pass and Taramakau valley: There are major slips around the headwaters of the Taramakau River resulting in longer track times. Fallen trees & slips on Otira flood-track. The radio in Locke Stream hut has been permanently removed.The emergency shelter at Taramakau junction has been washed away.
  • Kellys Creek to Hunts Saddle: Track over bluffs (40 mins upstream from SH73) impassable from washouts. River travel extremely difficult due to huge logs and boulders piled up in the gorge.
  • Otehake Valley: The Otehake footbridge has been removed and will not be replaced. Major landslides in the lower valley area (1.7 km downstream of Whaiti Stream) require care to cross. This route is not maintained (overgrown, multiple trees fallen) and should only be attempted by experienced parties.
  • Poulter Valley: Motorised vehicle access to the Arthur's Pass National Park boundary extremely difficult due to access track wash-outs and is possible only via the Poulter riverbed in places. Access for vehicles recommended only in low river flows.
  • Taipo River: The Taipo River below Seven Mile has cut into the bank and there is a new bench track above the river. Users should take note of track markers. We have also had reports of a slip/10m drop-off on this new track. Extreme care required. Note: No 4WD access; foot access only.
  • Three Passes: Earthquake damage. Extreme Caution required. Reports of extremely unstable sections and slips involving large (up to 20 ton) rocks near the Cronin River and Browning Pass. Reports of unstable and dangerous large rocks throughout the Taipoiti Gorge.
    The Styx Valley Track is now very rough with numerous slips to be negotiated. Approx 20 min from the Styx car park the river has cut into a vertical cliff. To continue up the valley be prepared to cross the river below and above this cutting. If the river is high, or if parties are not confident with river crossings, use the Arahura Valley track instead.

For more information contact the Arthur's Park National Park Visitor Centre.

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North Canterbury

Updated: 24 February 2015

Manuka Bay Track (Port Robinson Walkway)

  • Closed due to high fire risk.

Korowai Torlesse Tussocklands Park & Lake Coleridge Area

  • Thirteen Mile Bush: Significant windfall from the road end car park to Benmore Hut. Expect some hindrance getting around these. Note: Dogs are not permitted on the easement across Ben More Station. Respect this!
  • Lake Ida Tramping Track: this track from Lake Selfe (on the Harper Road, near Lake Coleridge) to Lake Ida is not officially open and is not signposted. However, the track can be used and takes about 1 hour from Lake to Lake. As the track is an easement across farm land, strictly no dogs on the track.

Sylvia Flat hot springs

  • The hot springs are closed due to an active landslide directly above the pool. 

St James Conservation Area

  • Edwards Valley Track is closed to all motorised vehicles due to the high fire risk. Walking, mountain-biking and horse-riding access is still open in the Edwards Valley. 

Christchurch and Banks Peninsula

Updated: 20 January 2015

Mid and South Canterbury

Updated: 15 September 2014

  • The Whitehorse Link Track is closed until further notice due to logging on adjoining private land. This track links from Studholme Scenic Reserve to the Whitehorse Hill monument.
  • Forest Creek access, Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park: Access up Forest Creek is by walking in the creek bed only. This access is not marked or sign-posted. The public land in Forest Creek is administered by the Commissioner of Crown Lands. DOC is currently working with the Commissioner of Crown Lands to develop this access.
  • Staveley lime kilns: There are two kilns at the Staveley site and the top kiln is closed due to the 2010 Canterbury earthquake but the bottom/southern kiln is open.
  • Veil Bivvy has been removed due to the threat of the eroding river bank. 
  • Sharplin Falls Track is closed due to rock fall from Friday 27 February 2015 until further notice.

Mackenzie Country and Waitaki

Updated: 26 June 2014

Caution required for all tracks: Spring weather last year may have caused damage to many tramping routes/tracks. Expect windfall and/or slips on all tracks.

  • Braemar Conservation Area: the Braemar Dome access/easement (Maryburn Stream and Landslip Creek) will be closed over the period 5 Sept to 16 Sept 2014 for a live field firing exercise in accodance with an agreement with NZDF.
  • Stony Stream Bivvy removed: This small bivvy located within Stony Stream, Dobson valley, in Ruataniwha Conservation Park was removed in 2012. It was damaged beyond repair by rockfall.
  • Oteake Conservation Park 4WD tracks: East and West Manuherikia Tracks from Broken Hut Road are closed to vehicles. The tracks will re-open to vehicles at Labour Weekend (if conditions permit).
  • Motuariki Island: Due to unsafe trees from a recent fire on Motuariki Island extreme care is required.

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

  • De La Beche Hut: This hut has been demolished. There is no longer a hut at this site
  • Gardiner Hut: There has been a large rock avalanche from the Hillary Ridge (previously South Ridge) of Aoraki/Mount Cook on 15 July 2014. Gardiner Hut is still on its site but buried in debris and no longer usable.
  • Hooker Hut: because of a crack developing behind the hut it is recommended as an emergency shelter only.
  • Ball Pass: Due to a significant rockfall on the Tasman side of the pass caution is advised when traversing a 40m section of this section especially travelling west to east.

Related links

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Find out more


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies


Ōtautahi / Christchurch Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 379 4082
Address:   Botanic Gardens Information Centre
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Armagh Street Carpark
Christchurch 8013
Full office details
Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 318 9211
Address:   State Highway 73
Arthur's Pass
Full office details
Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 435 1186
Address:   1 Larch Grove
Aoraki/Mt Cook
Full office details
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