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Caring for New Zealand

Heading into the wilderness?

New Zealand has some pretty unique wildlife, habitats and ecosystems and we want to do what we can to help preserve them.


There's a few basics we should always be mindful of when heading outdoors so have a look below for a quick summary.

Key things to remember when heading outdoors:

'Leave No Trace'


Leave no trace essentially means leave everything how you found it. There are 7 key principles:


1. Plan ahead and prepare

2. Travel and camp on durable ground

3. Dispose of waste properly

4. Leave what you find

5. Minimise the effects of fire

6. Respect wildlife and farm animals

7. Be considerate of others

  • Pack everything out - including rubbish!

  • Scrub your boots and check for seeds

    • Before leaving on a trip and when you return its always best practice to thoroughly clean your footware to prevent spreading weeds and other harmful organisms.

    • If you see noxious weeds in a wilderness area, its great to pull them out if you can. Make sure you have the identification right though! Don’t pull anything out unless you are sure of what it is.

  • Don’t damage native plants or wildlife

  • Don’t use detergent and soap in streams and rivers

  • Keep to tracks as much as possible

    • In some areas, such as alpine herbfields, these plants take decades to recover if damaged.

Kauri Dieback

Kauri Dieback is a disease that kills the native New Zealand Kauri tree and there is currently no cure.

The spread of Kauri Dieback has led to the closure of a range of tracks and areas near Auckland, including most of the Waitakere Ranges, and some tracks in the Hunuas.

Use of these closed tracks is prohibited by law, and AUTC does not condone accessing these restricted areas or tracks without a council-issued permit. AUTC has negotiated limited access to some of these areas for the purposes of conducting environmental and maintenance work but these trips can only be organised by our environmental and hut officers.

Take a look at our page here on Kauri dieback - what it is, what causes it and what tracks are closed.

If you would like more information, or to get involved in our environmental work, get in touch at

Ways to give back

Want to get involved in the conservation of our country's awe inspiring nature?

Give something back and make wilderness areas even better by volunteering for a tree planting scheme, or pest control, such as in the Ark in the Park bird reserve in the Waitakere Ranges.

Get in touch with our Environmentals Officer at for ways to get involved through the club.

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