Nelson Tasman 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.

 High wasp numbers in the whole Nelson Marlborough region

Be aware of the potential of wasp nests along the tracks and around amenity areas and campsites. Always carry antihistamine and especially an epipen if you are allergic to wasp stings. Carry a reliable means of communication such as a mobile or locator beacon in case you have a severe allergic reaction.

On this page:

Abel Tasman Coast Track

  • The road to Totaranui is open.
  • Gibbs Hill Track is open for mountain biking 1 May to 30 September 2015.
  • Torrent Bay - water taxi and charter vessel use: 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 am and noon. 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. 
  • Awaroa and Venture Creek - visitors reaching Venture Creek on the Awaroa Estuary from the south may find the beach route round to Awaroa Hut impassable at times when there is a very high tide. If this happens then visitors should wait at Venture Creek until the tide recedes to reveal the beach route.  
  • Goat Bay - There is a section of the access to the beach that is cut at large tides. Wait until the tide recedes before continuing.
  • There is continuing track work between Awaroa and Onetahuti, due to be completed by the end of October. Follow all instructions issued by DOC track crew for your own safety.

For more information contact the Nelson Visitor Centre.

Heaphy Track 

Pest control operation

DOC carried out an aerial 1080 operation in Kahurangi National Park in October/ November 2014 to control rats, possums and other predators as part of the Battle for our Birds programme.

Although the tracks have been checked, carcasses of poisoned rats, mice and possums many still be found on the track. Do not touch the baits or carcasses.

Read more on Kahurangi National Park or contact the DOC Takaka Office +64 3 525 8026.

Other alerts for Heaphy Track:

  • Track construction and realignment is being carried out along the section at Scott's Beach from 2 February to 2 April 2015. Machinery will be on site, and visitors are asked to adhere to all instructions from staff and only proceed through the construction site when approval has been given.
  • 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 up to two hours until the tide retreats. When planning your trip, ensure you check tide charts and allow adequate time in case of delays.
  • The mountain biking season has now closed.  There is no mountain biking allowed until the winter season reopens on 1 May 2015.
  • Bookings phone: +64 3 546 8210.

For more information contact the Nelson Visitor Centre.

Nelson Lakes

Pest control in the Nelson Lakes National Park

Nelson Lakes pest control operations took place on 3 December 2014. Follow precautions indicated by signage until further notice. This is part of our Battle for our Birds predator control programme, protecting our native wildlife from a rodent and stoat invasion.

Other alerts for the Nelson Lakes National Park

  • Hunters in the Matakitaki and Glenroy Valleys - From Friday 27 February until Wednesday 4 March 2015 hunters will be based at six campsites as well as the Burn Creek Hut and Nardoo Hut. They will be hunting the Nardoo Creek, Junction Creek, Branch Creek, East Branch Glenroy River, Station Creek, Wheeler Creek, as well as the alpine areas in between including Baldy.
  • Wasp numbers are currently very high. Visitors are advised to be aware of the potential of wasp nests along tracks and around amenity areas and camps.
    Always carry antihistamine and especially an epipen  if you are allergic to wasp stings. Ensure you also carry a reliable means of communication  such as a cell phone, or locator beacon in-case you have a severe allergic reaction.
  • Construction of new Buller Bridge - a new road bridge is being built over the Buller River on Mt Robert Road. The old bridge will remain operational until the opening of the new bridge. Work commences 11 February 2015 and likely to finish mid-May.
    The Mt Robert road will be open during construction but there could be occasional delays to traffic. Be aware of large trucks on the road.
  • Rotoroa Route. Severe damage from Rotoroa Village to Sabine Hut. This route is impassable in places and should not be attempted.
  • The windfall between D'Urville and Morgan Huts has now been cleared.
  • Rotoroa Nature Walk - closed. Footbridge destroyed by fallen tree, creek now impassable.
  • 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 27 November 2014 to 30 April 2015. For information about how to make a booking, see fees and bookings.
  • Mt Robert Carpark is an isolated site and may be prone to vehicle break-ins. It is advisable not to leave any valuables in your vehicle. A bag storage facility is available at the Rotoiti/Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre.

    For more information contact the Rotoiti / Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre.

Kahurangi National Park

Pest control operations

DOC is carrying out aerial 1080 pest control operations in Kahurangi National Park as part of our Battle for our Birds programme in these areas:

  • Cobb Valley from the Cobb Power House, the Mt Arthur Tablelands north of Salisbury Lodge and west to the Marshall Ranges and central Tasman mountains: operation completed 7–8 November 2014.
  • Area west of Tapawera between the Karamea River, Lookout Range and Matiri Range and includes the Wangapeka River, Mount Owen/Marino Mountains and Fyfe River: operation completed 14 October 2014.
  • Takaka Valley between the Waingaro River and the Aorere River and inland to include Boulder Lake and the Anatoki, Devil, Haupiri and Douglas Ranges: operation completed 12 October 2014.
  • Mt Arthur area: operation completed 26 August 2014.

Get details about these operations.

Other alerts in Kahurangi National Park:

  • Wangapeka Track Recent heavy rains have dislodged more storm damaged trees on the Western section of the Wangapeka Track. This track is a route and traverses storm damaged terrain which currently has some windfallen trees and slips on a sector west of the Belltown Mananui Hut. Users should be fit and experienced to deal these conditions. Care is required when traversing slip areas.
  • Wangapeka River Road A build up of debris upstream of the Dart Ford has caused the river to flow over the concrete vehicle access during normal flows. The Dart Ford may be impassable to all vehicles after rainfall. The pedestrian swing bridge at the Dart Ford has been washed away. Visitors to this area will not be able to get in or out unless the river levels are low. This may affect access to the Wangapeka Track, Mount Owen, Siberia campsite and Courthouse Flat campsite.
  • 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 m high natural dam and a new lake approximately 1 km long and up to a depth of 20 m. 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 20 m above the Wangapeka river bed level if they see the water suddenly become discoloured.
  • 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.
  • Killdevil Track: The road access at the start of the track has been CLOSED to vehicle access from Saturday 14 February 2015 due to the fire danger.  Visitors wishing to access the track will need to walk or bike an extra 500m to reach the start of the track.

For more information contact the Nelson Visitor Centre

Other tracks and useful information

Mt Richmond Forest Park

  • Pelorus Track windfalls are present on the track and all are passable with care. Slip on section between Pelorus Road end and Captains Creek Hut is passable and caution advised. Track is recommended for experienced parties.
  • Hacket Hut - From noon Monday 2 March until 2:00 pm Friday 6 March 2015 Hacket Hut will be closed to the public due to painting. This trip is likely to be postponed if the weather is not favourable. This may affect people intending to use the Pelorus Track which is also part of the Te Araroa Trail.
  • 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: Check for access information to the Wakamarina Track.
  • 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 due to flooding.  The track remains open but caution is required when crossing the stream.
  • 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.
  • Dun Mountain Track, (access from Nelson City to Rocks Hut): Due to the construction of a predator proof fence for the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary, the Dun Mountain Track between Four Corners and Third House will be closed weekdays 7am-5pm until early March. This means the Maitai Valley or Hacket tracks will be the only options for access from the Nelson area to Rocks Hut on weekdays. The Pelorus Track is not affected by the closure.

Wairau Hanmer Hydro Road (Rainbow Road)

  • The gate on the Rainbow Road between Hanmer Springs and St Arnaud is open. The open season is from 26 December to Easter Monday.
  • Outside the open period contact the Rainbow Station Manager on +64 3 521 1838 after 6.30pm to arrange access through the station to 4WD, tramp, hunt, fish or mountain bike.
    Access forms and further information can be found on the Lone Star Farms website. Please note toll charges apply all year round.

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


Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 546 9339
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Full office details
Rotoiti / Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 521 1806
Address:   View Road
St Arnaud
Full office details
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