As we make the most of precious daylight hours, let’s treasure our wildlife and special places, and keep ourselves safe.
On this page:
While you get into nature this winter, protect our precious wildlife and places.
From July to September each year, an influx of adolescent seals appear on our shores and further inland. This is because young seals begin to wean as their mothers prepare for new pups.
Seals can appear vulnerable or in unusual places. This is a normal and, for the most part, they need rest not rescuing. What to do if you find a seal.
Do your bit for science and our birds by taking part in the annual garden bird survey.
As the days get colder, many of us will notice pests, such as rats or mice, are starting to venture indoors. Find out how to suppress predators in your back garden.
Get up close to the elements or remove yourself to warmer climes, with these recommended places to stay and visit. With winter temperatures averaging 15˚C, head for 'winterless’ Northland, or, for a backdrop of snowy mountains and calmer winter weather, get over to the South Island’s stunning West Coast. There are also many sole occupancy lodges and cottages for groups and families to book.
For those of us unable to get outdoors, here are some activities you can do at home to let nature in and strengthen your wellbeing: Let nature in.
In winter it gets colder in the hills and mountains and daylight hours hours are limited. Watch for snow and ice underfoot, and be extra vigilant in avalanche-prone areas or for trips involving river crossings.
The five essential steps for staying safe:
Visit the following pages to make the most of your time in nature and keep yourself safe. It’s also a good idea to contact or visit one of our visitor centres before you head out.
Contact your nearest DOC visitor centre for the latest information and our best tips for your visit to New Zealand's conservation areas.
Find out when and where you can light fires at huts, campsites and in the backcountry on public conservation land.