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Fiordland National Park ALERT – advice received 18 September 2016

For your safety: Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct. However, you should contact the local DOC visitor centre for the latest updates.
Changes to weather affect conditions in the backcountry. Check the latest weather report ( and be prepared to change your plans if conditions are unfavourable.

Rivers and streams in Fiordland rise rapidly during heavy rain. Crossing un-bridged rivers and streams in these conditions are extremely hazardous. Be prepared to wait. Your safety is your responsibility, follow the Outdoor Safety Code: 1. Plan your trip 2. Tell someone 3. Be aware of the weather 4. Know your limits 5. Take sufficient supplies. Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven’t returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the Adventure Smart website: It is endorsed by New Zealand’s search and rescue agencies.

Milford, Kepler & Routeburn Tracks

Winter facilities – no gas, cooking facilities, running water or flush toilets. Expect tree falls on these tracks Snow & Ice in all alpine areas – alpine skills, ice axe, snow
shoes and crampons are essential for crossing all alpine sections.

Milford Track
ACCESS RESTRICTED between Mintaro Hut and Sandfly Point for 48 hours from Sunday 18 September to allow for the aerial application of the toxic cereal baits for the predator control Battle of the Birds operation.

ACCESS RESTRICTED in the Clinton Valley (including Neal Burn and Clinton North Branch) for 48 from Monday 19 September to allow for the aerial application of non-toxic cereal baits as pre-feed for a predator control operation.
• The main track is closed (on the descent from Mackinnon Pass) and the emergency track must be used
• The Roaring Burn Bridge is to be crossed 1 person at a time
• Bridges in avalanche prone area have been removed. Skills required crossing swift and icy rivers. During and immediately following rain, creeks and rivers can become impassable.

Kepler Track
ACCESS RESTRICTED between Brod Bay to Luxmore Hut, Rainbow Reach to Iris Burn Hut & Hidden Lakes Track for 48 hours possibly from Tuesday 20 September to allow for the aerial application of the toxic cereal baits for the predator control Battle of the Birds (this is weather dependent)
• A detour is in place immediately downstream of the Rainbow Reach bridge

Routeburn Track
Due to pest control operations expect a 24 hr CLOSURE of the track anytime from Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Falls Hut, including the Routeburn North Branch possible from 19th September 2016, followed by second 24 hr closure a week later.
• Bridges in avalanche prone area have been removed. Skills required crossing swift and icy rivers.

Expect some tree falls on all Backcountry tracks.

Hollyford Track
• Rainbow Creek Swingbridge between Hidden Falls and Alabaster hut is closed. A temporary by-pass through the creek is in place – this may become impassable after heavy rain
• Martins Bay end of this route – should only be walked beyond 2 hours either side of high tide. Walk along coast to Long Reef to meet Martins Bay hut track

Pyke Big Bay Route
• Pyke-Big Bay Route no longer follows the alignment shown on NZ Topo Map CA09

Southern Fiordland Tracks
• From Teal Bay through to Lake Poteriteri there are a lot of tree falls and damage to the route

Te Araroa Trail
• CLOSED from Princhester Road/SH94 to Mararoa Station bridge, due to river erosion. Follow the road for 2.5km

Milford/Hollyford Road Area
ACCESS RESTRICTED in the Eglington Valley Cascade Creek Campsite/Carpark and Lake Gunn Nature Walk will be closed for 48 hours from Sunday 18 until Monday 19 or Tuesday 21 (weather depending)for the aerial application of non-toxic cereal baits as pre-feed for the Battle of the Birds predator control operation
Barriers will be in place at all campsites and tracks accessible from the Milford Road during this time.
• Pops View – the structure is CLOSED due to strengthening of the structure from 26 September until 7 November
• Smithy Creek Campsite is CLOSED – due to tree falls
• GERTRUDE SADDLE snow and ice. Mountaineering skills essential

Snowden Forest
• Access to Army hut is by foot ONLY. Check the DOC website for directions. No vehicle access through Takaro Lodge

Borland Road – CLOSED

Hump Ridge Track
• No heating at Okaka Lodge. Access only to the bunkrooms and kitchen

Te Rua-o-te-moko/Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre Hours: 8:30am – 4.30pm
Phone: +64 3 249 7924 Lakefront Drive, Te Anau 9600 email

Be sure to visit the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre prior to departure to get the latest track, weather conditions and collect tickets


Posted: 19/09/16

Posted By: Margaret McMahon