The padlocked access gate that you need the access code for – register for free online, for the access code
Image: DOC | DOC


To access Mavora Lakes Conservation Area with a vehicle you’ll need to follow some rules and get access codes for a locked gate.

Motorised vehicle users must register with DOC before taking their vehicles into Mavora Lakes Conservation Area.

This is necessary to help protect the fragile ecosystem of the area. In the past the area has been damaged by uncontrolled and inappropriate use of vehicles off track.

Why we need to manage vehicles.

On this page:

You need a code to get through a locked gate

Location of the gate

A gate with a combination padlock is at the start of the track that runs along North Mavora Lake from the camping area through to Boundary Hut and Careys Hut.

The gate access code will be changed regularly so we recommend registering close to the time of your trip. If your plans change, simply register again using the new dates.

Access code restriction applies all year.

Who needs the code

You must register to obtain the access code if you’re using a:

  • 4WD
  • quad bike
  • motorbike, or
  • other vehicle.

This is not an exclusive booking system for access – any person wishing to take their vehicle into the Mavora Lakes Conservation Area will be provided the access code when they complete the online registration form.

Walkers, trampers, and people riding mountain bikes and horses still have unrestricted access.



Driving rules

You must only use your vehicle on formed roads. The main road through the campsite is a legal road which means road rules apply. Any vehicles, including motorbikes, must be driven by a licenced driver and have a current registration and warrant of fitness. No non-licenced, unregistered motorbikes, including those ridden by children, are to be ridden on the internal campsite roads.

The Mavora Lakes Conservation Area is a multi-use area. You must respect the right of others for quiet enjoyment and to have a great experience.

Public vehicle access is generally unrestricted year-round, but roads can be closed at any time due to:

  • safety
  • environmental risks
  • weather and seasonal conditions
  • road conditions, and
  • threats to conservation land.

Follow the 4WD care code. This helps the long-term sustainability of the activity and the environment.

If you want to use a vehicle in Mavora Lakes Conservation Area, you must also consider the suitability of the various tracks for your vehicle:

  • the track from the camping area to Careys Hut is suitable for mountain biking, motor biking and 4WD vehicles.
  • the track to Boundary Hut and the route to Forks Hut are very rough and not recommended for vehicles. Both tracks are suitable for mountain biking.
  • mountain biking, motor biking, and 4WD vehicles are not permitted beyond Boundary and Forks huts.

Failure to comply with the rules or conditions of access may result in restrictions and notification to the Police. Police conduct random inspections and will prosecute offenders.

Apply for motor vehicle access

Apply online for motor vehicle access.

You also must follow the driving rules for the area.

Once your application has been submitted you’ll receive an email giving you the access code and a reminder of the rules.

You may need to present evidence of your processed application. You could:

  • print your confirmation email, or
  • download or save the email on a device you’ll have with you. However, there is no internet coverage at the Mavora Lakes Conservation Area.

Why we need to manage vehicles

Historically this track has been ungated, and the area was prone to uncontrolled and inappropriate use of motor vehicles – both 4WD and motorbikes.

This has led to severe degradation of some the fragile roadside vegetation and some of the track itself. Most of the damage is where the track leaves the forested areas into the more fragile shrub lands and open tussock.

Despite requests from DOC for users to show responsible driving behaviours and care for the environment, the degradation of the area continued. To try and curb the damage, an access gate was installed and is now closed and locked with a combination padlock.

The Southland Murihiku Conservation Management Strategy (CMS) permits restricting access where there is a need to protect land and environment from damage.

Damage to the track alongside North Mavora Lake
Image: DOC

Your help is needed to make this work

The success of this system relies on vehicle users being responsible and following the code of conduct. Any damage caused by vehicles not following the code may result in the whole area being closed off to vehicles.

Report any vehicles you witness not:

  • following the formed vehicle tracks or roads, and
  • people not adhering to the 4WD care code.

Record the date, time, place, vehicle registration and if possible, take photographs.

Give reports to DOC Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre or the Police.


You can contact the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre during office hours to make enquiries or report issues.

Te Rua-o-te-moko/Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre
Phone +64 3 249 7924
Address Lakefront Drive
Te Anau 9600
Hours Visitor centre hours and services


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