Staying safe in Auckland’s regional parks

Publish Date : 23 Dec 2021
Staying safe in Auckland’s regional parks 1

Summer is the best time to explore Tāmaki Makaurau, but in order to make the most of the region and still return to your whānau at the end of the day, there are some important things to remember.

Having an enjoyable and safe time in regional parks before you leave home.

  • Plan your trip. Work out which track you want to do in which park. Find out how long it is estimated to take. Many of Auckland Council’s Regional Parks have maps available online, or if you can’t find what you need, pop into the Arataki visitor’s centre to seek advice in person.
  • Check the weather forecast. Auckland weather can be quite changeable so check what the weather is doing and pack a day pack accordingly.
  • Select a track suitable for your ability.
  • Always tell someone of your plans – where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Make sure you have suitable clothes and shoes. It is really important to have good footwear whatever the track so make sure you have something appropriate and comfortable. If you have new shoes, wear them around the house to get used to them before heading out to a regional park.
  • Take a jumper or a rain jacket. This is not just about planning for all conditions with changeable weather, but some regional parks have quite exposed areas where having a jumper is needed to keep warm.
  • Always take water and food. Even if it is a short walk in a regional park, pack some snacks.
  • Always carry any medication you are on and may need. This is so important for asthmatics and anyone with allergies and particularly anyone allergic to bees or wasps.
  • Having a basic first aid kit in your pack is always handy, as is a paper map and a compass if you are heading into more remote places.

There are some things that are useful to note when heading out to visit a regional park.

  • Mobile phone coverage is patchy or non-existent in some of our regional parks, particularly in the more remote parts.
  • Tracks can be muddy or slippery any time of the year. Summer is not a guarantee of dry conditions, so make sure your footwear has good grip.
  • Please follow all advice around kauri dieback. We want you, your children, and future generations to enjoy the majestic kauri in our region and we have put protections in place to ensure they continue to be around. Always stop and clean your shoes at any hygiene station you come across and please stick to the paths.

Other places to go for tips and advice

If you are wanting some more advice on what to pack in a day pack, check out the handy short walks packlist on the Department of Conservation website. For more detailed tips on how to prepare, as well as a checklist for when you are out exploring, read the online day walk booklet that Mountain Safety Council have created.

Plan My Walk takes the guesswork out of the planning phase by bringing together the important information needed for planning a safe and successful walk or tramp in New Zealand. 

The easy-to-use app, believed to be a world-first, was developed by the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC). It includes more than 1000 Department of Conservation tracks, MetService weather forecasts and severe weather warnings, track specific alerts, interactive gear lists and other useful planning advice. Some Auckland Council managed tracks have been added as well.

One of the unique features of the app enables users to create a trip plan where they can add group members, assign an emergency contact, and then share the plan with others.

Auckland Council Parks Services staff at Arataki are always willing to help.

Auckland Council Parks Services staff at Arataki are always willing to help.

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