Nelson Tasman alerts

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

Changes to weather will affect conditions in the backcountry. Always check the latest MetService weather report before you venture out and be prepared to change your plans if conditions are unfavourable.

Your safety is your responsibility. Make sure you plan, prepare and equip yourself for any trip into the backcountry. To report any safety hazards or conservation emergencies call 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468). For fire and search and rescue call 111.

Note: This notice only reports on changes that differ to what is stated in brochures and on the website. Other tracks, facilities and services in Nelson Tasman region are operating as normal.

Abel Tasman National Park

  • 21 April 2014 alert: The Rameka Track is closed until further notice due to extensive storm damage. Severe tree windfall on this track has made it dangerous and impassable.

Abel Tasman Coast Track

  • Easter 2014 warning: The Abel Tasman Inland Track has suffered extensive tree windfall damage. The section of track between Awapoto Hut and Pigeon Saddle is impassable and the track itself is difficult to locate. Trampers are advised not to attempt a trip on the track until the windfall damage has been cleared. A high level of caution is advised.
    19 April: The Abel Tasman Coast Track is open.
  • The road to Totaranui is open.
  • Gibbs Hill Track is open for mountain biking 1 May to 30 September 2014.
  • Torrent Bay - water taxi and charter vessel use: Please note that water taxis and day charter vessels are no longer able to pick up passengers or their gear from Torrent Bay. There is a limited drop off service operating in the morning between 9.00am and 12.00. The nearest pick up points to Torrent Bay are Anchorage (30 minutes - low tide or 1 hour 30min - high tide) and Bark Bay (2 hours).
  • Water taxis can still visit Torrent Bay outside of these hours to service landowners and their guests at Torrent Bay Township.
  • Onetahuti - the bridge and Boardwalk at Onetahuti is open, providing an all tide crossing. 

For more inormation contact the Nelson Regional Visitor Centre

Heaphy Track

  • 21 April 2014 update: The Heaphy Track is closed until further notice due to extensive storm damage. Severe tree windfall on large parts of the track has made the track dangerous and impassable. Trampers are strongly advised not to start a trip on the Heaphy Track, from either end, until the storm damage has been cleared and the track is safe to walk.
    Work to clear the storm damage may take up to a week. Further updates will be provided as more information on the state of the track becomes available.
    Refunds will be provided for hut booking cancellations. Contact the bookings helpdesk at the Nelson Visitor Centre.
  • Construction of the new James Mackay Hut will begin 7 April with an expected completion date of 30 September 2014, The original hut is still available to book, but trampers may prefer to stay at either Saxon or Lewis due to noise from the construction site.
  • There is no camping available at James Mackay until 30th June as the camping area forms part of the construction site and will be used for storage of material.
  • The Heaphy Track can be mountain biked in the winter season from 1 May to 30 September.
  • Between Kohaihai and Heaphy Hut: Sections of the coastal track are subject to large wave surges during high tides and rough seas and may cause the track to be temporarily impassable - there is no alternative track available. The sections affected are clearly signposted. Track users must make their own safety assessment and be prepared to wait for up to 2 hours until the tide retreats. When planning your trip, ensure you check tide charts and allow adequate time in case of delays.
  • Bookings phone: +64 3 546 8210.

For more information contact the Nelson Regional Visitor Centre.

Nelson Lakes

  • Recent storms caused extensive wind damage on the Speargrass Track from the Mt Robert Carpark. Trampers are advised not to use the track until it has been cleared. The windfall covers a large area and the track may not be evident in places.
  • A number of strong wind events have caused areas of windfall on tracks in the Nelson Lakes National Park area. Those particularly affected include the D'Urville and Matakitaki Valleys and the route along Lake Rotoroa although others may also be affected. Trampers should be aware that walking times will be longer due to fallen trees and in places the track may not be obvious.
  • Maruia Falls - The barrier above the falls is for your safety. Lives have been lost. Do not climb over the barrier.
  • Changing weather conditions in the park can cause frost, snow and freezing temperatures overnight. Be prepared: have adequate gear and check the weather before you go.
  • Sabine-D'Urville Track - a bridge (grid reference: E1571366, N5359831) has suffered flood damage. Trampers will have to cross a stream which is approximately 1 m deep at normal flow. After rain the stream may not be safe to cross.
  • Angelus Hut and Campsite - bookings are essential from 25 November 2013 to 30 April 2014. For information about how to make a booking, see fees and bookings.
  • We have experienced an increase in the number of vehicle break-ins at the track carpaks this season. Don't leave any valuables in your vehicle. A bag storage facility is available at the Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre.

For more information contact the Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre.

Kahurangi National Park

  • Wangapeka Track: closed due to extensive tree windfalls on the West Coast side Easter 2014. Trampers are advised not to attempt the track until DOC staff have had the opportunity to assess the damage. The Dart Ford on the eastern side of the track is impassable, and there is likely to be extensive damage to the access roads.
  • Graham Valley Road: closed due to heavy rain 17 April 2014. There is an active and dangerous slip scattering mud and debris. The road will be closed for Easter 2014 and until further notice.
  • Lower Wangapeka Track: Extreme caution required. Trampers need to exercise extreme caution when crossing a large slip on the lower Wangapeka Track. The slip is located approximately 1.5 hours walk from Rolling Junction road end. In October 2012 this massive slip created a 15 metre high natural dam and a new lake approximately 1 kilometre long and up to a depth of 20 metres. When crossing the slip trampers should move quickly, following the marked route and if possible use a spotter to watch for falling rocks. In heavy rainfall, trampers downstream of the dam should move to at least 20m above the Wangapeka river bed level if they see the water suddenly become discoloured.
  • Wangapeka Track - western end: Two large slips. The track has been benched and safety chain installed over the slip between Belltown Hut and Gilmour Clearing and remarked over the slip between Belltown Hut and the Wangapeka Bivvy. Care is required when traversing both slip areas especially after heavy rain.
  • Possum control: Wakamarama and Burnett Ranges. The Animal Health Board and DOC will be carrying out a 1080 aerial possum control operation in this area in June. Two walking tracks are located in the area, the Kaituna Track and Mt Stevens Track. Both will be closed after the baits have been dropped until an inspection by DOC staff is completed and any bait on the track is removed. Warning signs will be erected. Please observe all rules whenever you see warning signs about the pesticide.
  • Parapara Peak Route: There are many windfalls on the route that make it slow going in places..
  • Kahurangi mountain biking: Mountain bikers have year-round approval to ride Kill Devil Track to Waingaro Forks Hut and return, and the track from Flora Saddle (Graham Valley) to Barren Flat in Upper Takaka. See the Heaphy Track above for information on seasonal riding of that track.

For more information contact the Nelson Regional Visitor Centre

Other tracks and useful information

Mt Richmond Forest Park

  • Mt Duppa Road: This road has been reduced to 4WD and is very narrow in places.
  • Boulder Stream Hut (grid reference : Topo 50 map sheet BR25, E1611206, N5386812) has been removed from its site at Manuka Island, Mt Richmond Forest Park.
  • Wakamarina Track - access via Kiwi Road (Northbank) is closed. Access in the Northbank is via Bartletts Road.
  • Maungatapu Road is closed. For more information contact Nelson City Council, phone +64 3 546 0200. 
  • Right Branch Wairoa Hut has been removed and the tramping track in that valley is no longer maintained.
  • Mt Richmond Forest Park access roads - in Blenheim, this information is displayed on Northbank Road just off SH6. Check if the access roads to Mt Richmond Forest Park are open on this page or at the DOC Regional Visitor Centre in Nelson +64 3 546 9339.
  • Access to Saddle Hill, Zig Zag and Pukatea tracks in Mt Richmond Forest Park off Central Rd in Hira Forest are closed due to forestry operations.
  • The bridge over Hacket Stream to Whispering Falls has been destroyed and this track is now closed.
  • Mt Richmond - Motueka Gorge: Numerous windfalls along this route have made it difficult to traverse. Trampers should be prepared to spend up to 12 hours between Blue Glen Road and Hunters Hut.

Wairau Hanmer Hydro Road (Rainbow Road)

  • Easter 2014: Road closed
  • The gate on the Rainbow Road between Hanmer Springs and St Arnaud is open from 26 December to Easter Monday.
  • During the open access period, the road may be closed suddenly because of fire risk, extreme weather, road conditions or farm activities.
  • For more information on the status of the road please visit the Lone Star Farms Ltd website.

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Contacts

Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 546 9339
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Email:   nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz
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Rotoiti / Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 521 1806
Address:   View Road
St Arnaud
Email:   nelsonlakesvc@doc.govt.nz
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