COVID-19 Alert Level 2 guidelines

Published 2020-05-15

Now that we’re at Alert Level 2, New Zealanders can travel further afield, and reconnect with friends and family. This also means you can ride trails outside your region and explore more of our beautiful country.

However, COVID-19 hasn’t been eliminated so we need to PLAY IT SAFE.

Please read our riding tips below, based on the government’s official guidelines. They’ll help you and others stay safe on the New Zealand Cycle Trail during Alert Level 2.

  1. PLAY IT SAFE. COVID-19 is still out there.
  2. If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t socialise, and don’t go cycling.
  3. Keep your distance (ideally 2 metres) from people you don’t know.
  4. You can now ride with friends and family outside of your bubble, but your group must be limited to 10 people. Within your group, play it safe by maintaining 1 metre physical distancing where you can, and follow good hygiene practices.
  5. On the trail, try to keep at least 2 metres away from users outside of your group. The nature of our trails means it’s sometimes hard to take a wide berth, so be sure to slow down when approaching others, and always give way to walkers.
  6. Contact tracing is important. Keep a track of whom you’ve ridden with and whom you’ve seen. Use your phone or carry a pen and paper.
  7. Many bike hire, tour and shuttle companies can now help you enjoy our awesome trails. You can expect them to follow all official operator safety guidelines, including the required 1 metre group-to-group and group-to-staff physical distancing, and contact tracing.
  8. Wherever you go, ride sensibly and within your limits. Our general tips on riding safely can be found here.
  9. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. And wash them properly. While out on the trails, take you own sanitiser, and remember to follow all the good hygiene practices we’ve learned over the past couple of months.
  10. Some of our Great Rides cross DOC land – check out their COVID-19 guidelines if you’re going to be using any of their trails or facilities, including toilets, huts, campgrounds and shelters.

Most of the 22 Great Rides are now open but there are still some restrictions, as described in the table below.

For more detail on trail status and services, see individual trail pages, and official websites/Facebook pages. Check in with operators such as cafes, accommodation, bike shops and tour companies to make sure they’re open and find out about their COVID-19 protocols.

Trail Status Comments
Motu Trails Partially closed

The Pākihi Track remains closed until it is inspected by DOC (due May 14th) and considered safe to open.

Please check here for more information and updates.

Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail Partially closed

All sections of trail open except for Mangapurua and Kaiwhakauka tracks, which are due to be inspected by safety teams on Friday 15 May.

Check here for more information and updates.

Remutaka Cycle Trail Partially closed

The South Coast section of this trail is closed until it has been inspected and approved. All other sections are open with some restrictions.

Check here for more information and updates.

Queen Charlotte Track Open with restrictions

The track and DOC campsites along the trail are now open; toilet facilities are also open but users need to bring materials/protective equipment for additional cleaning of shared facilities.

Check here for more information and updates.

Coppermine Trail Partially closed

Trail open except for 4km section of  Pipeline Track near Matai Dam, which is closed due to an active slip. Full trail expected to be open by May 16th.  

Check here for more information and updates.

Tasman’s Great Taste Trail Open with restrictions

The Mapua Ferry between Rabbit Island and Mapua Wharf is now operating to its winter timetable (weekends and bank holidays only).

The Old Ghost Road Closed

This trail and huts are closed at least until a full inspection has been carried out.

Check here for updates on trails status and hut booking procedures.

St James Cycle Trail Open with restrictions

This trail is open but challenging winter conditions are likely so it is recommended that only the shorter Homestead Run Loop be ridden. Contact the local DOC office for the latest trail conditions.

Check here for more information and updates.

Around The Mountains Open with restrictions

The remote Mavora Lakes section (Lake Wakatipu to Centre Hill) of this trail is open but should be avoided due to its remoteness and lack of facilities. The boat services from Queenstown to Walter Peak and Mt Nicolas stations are not yet operating; scheduled to restart July 4th.

Check here for updates.



Official Government COVID-19 website Alert Level 2 information.

Department of Conservation’s response to COVID-19.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa Standards for Alert Level 2 Operations for tourism activities.

Sport New Zealand info on sport and recreation under each Alert Level.

18796 TDC COVID 19 Web Graphic Mar20