Wānaka Sun       

Enjoy a little more of the outdoors

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 07 May, 2020 | By Joanna Perry newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

Wānaka residents will be able to enjoy more of the great outdoors starting this week, but we still shouldn't be hiking Roy's Peak. Department for Conservation (DOC) deputy director for general operations Mike Slater has advised that restrictions are still in place, and hikes should be kept to a three hour maximum.

“We're still encouraging New Zealanders to spend time in nature, but at alert level 3 there will be limitations – any outdoor activities should remain local, be limited to shorter local tracks around three hours, and visitors need to maintain two-metre physical distancing,” said Slater.

DOC has resumed some of its fieldwork activities this week, but campsites, huts, toilets and visitor centres remain closed, so whilst visitors can enjoy local DOC tracks, overnight activities are not permitted - and all activities should only be done with people from the same bubble.

 “For places to remain open and to ensure everyone's safety, we must all must stick to the government's guidelines outdoors, keep travel to a minimum and plan activities to avoid the need to use public bins and toilets,” said Slater. “People should continue to avoid activities that expose them to danger or may require search and rescue services,” he added.

Wānaka search and rescue chairman Aaron Nicholson echoed these sentiments, advising people not to rush their return to recreation, and to remember the five point outdoor safety code: 

1. Plan your trip well.

2. Tell someone reliable where you are going and when you will be back.

3. Check the weather forecast.

4. Know your limits (no one intentionally goes into the backcountry to get lost or injured).

5. Take adequate supplies for a worst case scenario (including a reliable form of communication). 

Read edition 973 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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