11 November 2022
This Get Outdoors Week, the Department of Conservation (DOC) is encouraging people to share their favourite DOC huts, campsites and lodges through an online photo competition. DOC is joining Recreation Aotearoa and others to encourage everyone to get out and enjoy nature safely. Time spent outdoors helps us connect with nature, celebrate the environment and look after our physical and mental health.
Get Outdoors Week photo competition is a great way to showcase your all-time favorite place to stay on the Public Conservation Land. Get your pics in the draw to win a six-month Adult Backcountry Hut Pass and one six-month Youth Backcountry Hut Pass. Entries are accepted throughout Get Outdoors Week.
DOC manages roughly 14,000 km tracks, 950 huts, and over 280 campsites across New Zealand, as well as more than 30 private lodges, cabins and cottages. These provide unparalleled access to some of the country’s most incredible natural landscapes and heritage sites.
Whatever your age or ability, there is a trip out there that’s right for you. Here are some top tips for finding your next adventure:
- Be realistic about your skills and experience. There’s nothing wrong with being a beginner or wanting to take things easy. Picking a track that’s not too long or difficult for you will help make sure you have a fun and safe experience.
- Think about different ways to spend time in nature. If long walks aren’t your thing, then you can still enjoy time in nature in other ways. Picnics, a relaxing afternoon on the beach, bird watching, biking – find ideas at Things to do: Parks and recreation (doc.govt.nz).
- Have a goal but work your way up to it. Got your eye on a particular track? If it’s more challenging than anything you’ve done before, plan some training walks.
- Use the filter functions on the DOC website. The DOC search function lets you filter by walk length and difficulty.
- Chat to your friendly local DOC Visitor Centre. The staff there know heaps about walks in the area and will be able to help you pick one.
- And of course, pack well, whatever the adventure, learn more on what to pack at Walking and tramping gear lists (doc.govt.nz).
A range of DOC huts and campsites are bookable, so you can guarantee your place for the night. If you’re heading out, follow the Safety Code to keep yourself and your group safe and make the most of your trip. Check with the local DOC Visitor Centre and DOC website for alerts and updates before heading out as the weather is very changeable. Be aware that there could be storm or flood damage from earlier this year to tracks and facilities. Please be patient and take extra care while the maintenance work is being carried out.
- Department of Conservation place to stay Places to stay: Parks and recreation (doc.govt.nz)
- Get Outdoors Week photo competition Daily Prizes | Get Outdoors Week
10 November 2022
Aotearoa’s tramping culture is unique, from chatting to strangers in a hut, exchanging notes on track conditions, sharing experiences online or through storytelling. The outdoors is so much more than just a place to explore, it’s part of the fabric and culture of Aotearoa.
This sharing culture sits at the heart of Plan My Walk, created by the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC), and is one of the drivers for creating a community through its specific features.
4 November 2022
28 October 2022
To celebrate Get Outdoors Week, we’re proud to share the following stories of inspiring participants and Award Leaders who are making the most of the Award journey and some of the funders who are supporting them to do so.
25 October 2022
"My favourite outdoor activity is handcycling. I use a handcycle that attaches to my regular wheelchair. It’s a power assist cycle that is good for cycleways and some easier trails."
21 October 2022
“After getting to know each other from chats under the mango tree, in the neighbourhood I am living, local resident Andrea suggested to me that she would like to start up a neighbourhood walk and talk group for women and girls.
21 October 2022
“I was introduced to the San Isidro Care Centre (for the deaf and disabled) by VSA Programme Manager Shupayi Mpunga-Direen. I met the deaf and disabled graduate students who are doing a three-month sign language course to support the deaf and disabled in their communities, and invited to facilitate a half-day recreation and games planning workshop.
28 September 2022
I found a research paper that proves the worth of just one hour in the bush. This time in the natural world helps the brain to relax. After the participants in the experiment were subjected to a high stress environment the researchers showed that the level of activity in that stress part of the brain decreased after a walk in the natural environment.
22 June 2022
The rising of Matariki (a cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades) marks the beginning of the Māori New Year. It is a time to reflect, to connect with whānau (family), with our taiao (environment), and to celebrate what has passed and what is to come.
28 February 2022
“There’s a paradigm shift in the way we think about parks: not just as a place to recreate, but literally as a prescription, a place to improve your health.” – Dr. Robert Zarr
Are parks and green spaces medicinal? You might think that sounds ridiculous, but many physicians see green spaces that way. Some have even started writing their patients nature prescriptions!