Personal Safety

Mount Ruapehu, Central North Island
There are a wealth of recreation facilities in the New Zealand's wild places. There are hundreds of kilometres of track, over 900 back country huts and many campsites.

When venturing out to experience the splendor of our natural environment please take care to follow some safety tips:



New Zealand's weather changes rapidly. It can be very cold at any time of the year. Always be physically and mentally prepared for the worst conditions and be ready to change your trip plans if necessary.

Obtain the latest information from the Metservice website or the Backcountry Avalanche Advisory website.

You can also phone 0900 999 + the Area Code for the local area you wish to visit (charge applies).

Always check the latest information before you venture out

Check on local conditions at the nearest DOC visitor centre before your trip. They have information about changes to tracks, huts, facility closures, local conditions, hut passes and tickets and conservation information. Look at the notices board for track updates and other important notices.

Be realistic

Choose a trip that suits your skills, knowledge and experience - be realistic.

Equip yourself well

At all times of the year, have warm and waterproof clothing, food and survival gear.

Let someone know before you go

Leave details of your trip with a responsible person, and don’t forget to check in when you return.

Look after yourself

It is important to plan, prepare and equip yourself well so you can safely return from the bush and mountains.


This is a significant risk, especially during the winter months, or year round in the mountains of the North Island and all of the South Island. Mountain ranges  and/or strong winds produce a chill factor that can result in Hypothermia even in moderately cool temperatures. Early signs include the inability to perform fine movements, shivering and fumbling.
To treat Hypothermia, change out of wet clothes add dry clothes with windproof and waterproof layers, eat carbohydrates and drink water. This will help to improve the bodies internal temperature. In severe hypothermia, shivering actually stops, this is a medical emergency and requires rapid evacuation.