With international travel thwarted by COVID-19 and related border restrictions, DOC expects many New Zealanders will be venturing into Public Conservation Land during the summer holiday season.
Dave Rogers, DOC’s New Plymouth-based Senior Ranger Recreation/Historic, has spent more than four decades working on and around Egmont National Park and Taranaki Mounga, and is urging people to plan carefully ahead of any visits.
“Taranaki Mounga is a fabulous environment for recreation and we’re looking forward to hosting visitors – but we need people to be properly prepared, equipped with the right gear, and be realistic about what they can achieve during their visit.”
Dave Rogers says visitors need to ensure they choose the right trip, walk or tramp for their fitness and experience.
“Most search and rescue operations on the mounga are a result of people being either poorly equipped, poorly informed, or poorly prepared.
“A search and rescue operation puts more people at risk.”
Dave Rogers’ says other key pieces of advice for people visiting Egmont National Park and Taranaki Mounga are:
- Choose the right trip for you. Learn about the route and make sure you have the skills for it.
- Understand the weather. It can change fast. Check the forecast and change your plans if needed.
- Pack warm clothes and extra food. Prepare for bad weather and an unexpected night out.
- Share your plans and take ways to get help. Telling a trusted person your trip details and taking a distress beacon can save your life.
- Take care of yourself and each other. Eat, drink and rest, stick with your group and make decisions together.
“Check the DOC website and pop into one of our visitor centres for up to date weather and track conditions before you set off. Be prepared to turn back if conditions change or you are unsure,” he says.
“We want all visitors to the mounga to get home safe so they can share the stories of their adventures with others.”
People planning to stay in Egmont National Park should also ensure they have checked the availability of huts and bookable accommodation, he adds.
Visitors to all DOC sites and visitor centres are also urged to use COVID Tracer App QR codes when they are displayed.