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Source: Auckland Council

The weather’s looking perfect for the long weekend, perfect enough to draw many thousands of Aucklanders and visitors into the great outdoors.

This means many will be looking to spend time walking, running and hiking the more than 4000 parks and reserves across the region.

Protecting kauri should be top of mind when choosing where to walk or run. But if you chose to enjoy tracks in the Waitākere or Hunua Ranges or your local park where kauri is present, please respect the closures; they’re off-limits for a reason; help us to keep kauri standing for our future generations. And remember to use the hygiene stations and scrub, spray and stay on the open tracks only.

“People acknowledge there was a need to close tracks in the regional and local parks to preserve the kauri that’s here, but we understand they’re also keen to get back into the forest. We’ve worked really hard to get tracks up to scratch so they can do so safely.” says Stephen Bell, Auckland Council’s Western Principal Ranger.

But remember, there are loads of alternatives out there to enjoy, whether it’s our rugged black-sand surf beaches, forested areas, rolling green pastures or urban city centres, there are walks for every Auckland landscape.

Take in the stunning, panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf by walking the Coastal Track at Long Bay Regional Park, go bush through beautiful nīkau palm and tree fern groves at the Auckland Botanic Gardens or wind your way up our highest volcano, Maungawhau/Mount Eden.

Discover hundreds of other walking and cycle paths across the region at aklpaths.co.nz

As with any other weekend, compliance officers will be out and about, so expect to be warned or trespassed if you’ve chosen to ignore the signs. Breaches face maximum penalties of up to $20,000 under the Local Government Act and $1000 under the Trespass Act.

“We land heavily on people who aren’t following the rules. The level of compliance with the closures is incredibly high, so for that we’d have to say people are doing well, begrudgingly in some cases, but doing a really good job of staying out.

“A big up to everybody for doing what we’ve asked them to do and what they obviously agree with, so it’s fantastic. That said we have a compliance team who is actively looking to make sure the ones who aren’t following the rules rediscover the need to follow the rules,” adds Stephen

Auckland Council is undertaking a programme of work to prevent or manage the spread of kauri dieback across the region.

For information on track closures go to aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/protectkauri

MIL OSI New Zealand News