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.

On this page:

Abel Tasman National Park

Project Janszoon and DOC completed an aerial application of 1080 pesticide in the Abel Tasman National Park on 22 August 2014 to control rats and possums. The Abel Tasman Coast Track was excluded from the drop zone as were the huts, campsites and beaches. The tramping track to Falls River, Abel Tasman Inland Track and Wainui Track were sown over and baits have been cleared from these tracks. Be aware that baits can get caught up in trees and can be dislodged through wind action many days after the operation. Please do not touch these baits.

Dogs are particularly susceptible to this poison. Dogs are only allowed in the park by permit, but people with dogs in areas adjoining the park including Awaroa and Torrent Bay need to keep their dogs under control to avoid contact with carcasses.

For more information contact the Motueka DOC Office, phone +64 3 528 1810.

Abel Tasman Coast Track

  • 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. 
  • 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.  
  • Sections of the southern Abel Tasman Coast Track between Marahau and Onetahuti, and the northern section beween Whariwharangi and Wainui, will be undergoing a winter upgrade over the next few months.  Warning signs will be displayed.  Please follow any instructions from track maintenance crew.

For more information contact the Nelson Visitor Centre.

Heaphy Track 

  • See Kahurangi pest control operation below.
  • Construction of the new James Mackay Hut is progressing well with an expected completion date of 30 October 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 present.
  • 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 winter season of mountain biking has opened and runs until 30 September 2014.
  • Bookings phone: +64 3 546 8210.

For more information contact the Nelson Visitor Centre.

Nelson Lakes

April 2014 storms have caused extensive wind damage on the following tracks:

  • Mt Cedric Route – Limited access, off track navigation required. Damage from 1000 m to tree line.
  • Rotoroa Route. Severe damage from Rotoroa Village to Sabine Hut.
  • D'Urville Hut / Morgan Hut track. Severe damage.
  • Big Bush Loop mountain bike trail – closed. Severe damage at western end of trail.
  • Rotoroa Nature Walk - closed. Footbridge destroyed by fallen tree, creek now impassable.

Other tracks and routes may also be difficult to navigate or impassable due to windfall damage. Please contact the Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre for further updates.

  • 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.
  • There has been an increase in the number of vehicle break-ins at the track carparks 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 Rotoiti / Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre.

Kahurangi National Park

Pest control operation DOC will carry out an aerial 1080 operation in approximately 270,000 ha of Kahurangi National Park to control rats, possums and other predators as part of its Battle for our Birds programme.

Non toxic pre feed baits will be applied first followed, approximately 5 days later (weather permitting), by the toxic baits. The area is divided into 5 separate operational blocks and each may be treated at different times.

Most tracks within the operational block to be treated will be temporarily closed until baits have been removed from the track. Major tracks include the eastern portion of the Heaphy Track and Wangapeka Track. The Cobb Road and Wangapeka River Road will be closed until baits have been removed during the Cobb and Wangapeka block operations respectively. The Oparara Basin Access Road will be closed during the Oparara block operations.

This operation is scheduled to start at the first weather opportunity after 1 September 2014. Get

View more information or contact the Motueka Office tel +64 3 528 18), Takaka Office tel +64 3 525 8026), or Westport Office tel +64 3 788 8008).

Arthur/Baton, Leslie/Karamea pest operation

DOC and TbFree NZ have completed an aerial application of 1080 pesticide in Kahurangi National Park on 26 August 2014 to control rats and possums.

The tramping tracks from Venus Hut via the Leslie Valley to Flora Hut; Leslie Valley to Flanagan Hut to the Baton Road; Ellis Basin Hut track, both Mt Arthur tracks from Flora hut, both Lodestone tracks, Lower Junction Track and Clouston Mine track were sown over. Baits have now been cleared from these tracks. Be aware that baits can get caught up in trees and can be dislodged through wind action many days after the operation. Do not touch these baits.

Dogs are particularly susceptible to this poison. Dogs are only allowed in the park by permit, but people with dogs in areas adjoining the park need to keep their dogs under control to avoid contact with carcasses.

For further information contact the DOC Motueka Office, phone +64 3 528 1810.

Other alerts in Kahurangi National Park:

  • Shakespeare Flat Track, for access to the Aorere River from the Heaphy Track, is closed due to severe storm damage.
  • Graham Valley Road: the road is open to 4WD vehicles only. The road is rough and slippery and extreme caution is required. Contractors may still be working onsite.
  • Wangapeka Track from the Little Wanganuui Saddle out to the West Coast is now open, but caution is required as there may still be debris falling onto the track.  
  • 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 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.
  • Boulder Lake Track Tree Windfalls: There are many windfalls on the Boulder Lake track. DOC staff  have cleared the first 2.5 hours of track from the road end but more remain beyond this point. Experienced trampers have been negotiating these windfall so the track remains open.

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.
  • Cable Bay Walkway CLOSED from 1 August to 17 October 2014 due to the lambing season.
  • 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)

  • The gate on the Rainbow Road between Hanmer Springs and St Arnaud is closed. 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.

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