Guidance for Te Araroa trail walking during Covid-19 Alert Level 2

The majority of New Zealand’s national Te Araroa trail is once again walkable as of today.Large sections of the 3,000 km trail have been off limits for the past few weeks due to Government measures aimed at eliminating COVID-19. However, most of these have been lifted with the change to Alert Level 2 today.

The change will allow New Zealanders and international walkers who have remained in New Zealand throughout the pandemic to again enjoy overnight hiking on many sections of the trail.

Day walks, short overnight tramps and section hikes on Te Araroa are the safest option right now as New Zealand heads into the colder months. As always, it’s important that people consider their experience and take appropriate gear before setting off on a tramp.

We expect some thru-walkers who began their walk earlier this year will be eager to finish the journey. Before doing so, please take the time to carefully consider the suitability of your gear and which sections you still need to walk before deciding to resume your trip.

It’s important that anybody walking Te Araroa at Alert Level 2 registers on Te Araroa’s website as this will make contact tracing and information updates easier.

Please be aware of that some restrictions and limitations do remain in place at Alert Level 2, including the Department of Conservation’s occupancy limit of 10 people at all huts it manages on conservation land to allow for physical distancing. Walkers on overnight trips should carry their own cleaning supplies, as well as a tent, in case a hut is at capacity when you arrive.

Many commercial accommodation providers and services that support the trail will be open again from today but options may be more limited than usual in some parts of the country so take a moment to call ahead. Please also be aware that some individual tracks that make up our trail remain closed at Alert Level 2 – check the Trail Status page on our website.

Lastly, New Zealand’s borders remain closed, so the trail will not be an option for international walkers at this time. We will provide an update as soon as further information about the duration of borders restrictions becomes available.

Advice for walking on Te Araroa at Alert Level 2:

  • Register on Te Araroa’s website – whether doing a day walk or overnight tramp
  • Do not walk if you are unwell.
  • Practice physical distancing and wash hands regularly – carry hand sanitiser where possible.
  • DOC has implemented an occupancy limit of 10 people in its bookable and non-bookable huts. Make sure to carry a tent if doing an overnight walk in case a hut is at capacity when you get there.
  • Take cleaning supplies with you for any overnight walks to help keep yourself and others healthy.
  • Some supporting trail services may not yet have re-opened so make sure to call ahead to check.

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