MEDIA RELEASE: An extra special day for Kiwis to get outdoors
New Zealanders have been given a day to celebrate the life of Queen Elizabeth II, creating an additional long weekend that provides a new opportunity to connect and reflect in the outdoors. Whether people are heading out on a day walk or slotting in an overnight tramp, the NZ Mountain Safety Council has some key advice, so walkers and trampers are prepped for the spring conditions and make it home safe.
Released September 22
Historically, long weekends see an increased number of people hitting the country’s tracks, and subsequently an increase in people getting into trouble. Those taking this unexpected long weekend to get a dose of spring exploring should apply the same planning and care as any other long weekend adventure.
Aotearoa’s spring weather can be notoriously fickle, and we regularly see all four seasons in one day. Morning sunshine can rapidly turn to sleet or wind later in the day, therefore solid planning makes for a more successful adventure.
MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley says that while the one-off public holiday is a good chance to get outdoors, it’s important to be prepared and pack and dress for the spring conditions.
“Whether it’s a short walk, a day trip or an overnight tramp, the bare essentials regardless of the forecast should be: warm clothing layers – insulation layers and thermal base layers, a rain jacket, head torch, warm hat and gloves and an appropriate emergency communications device.”
The clock will ‘spring forward’ this Sunday meaning starting on the track earlier gives more time to enjoy daylight in the afternoons and evenings. MSC is big supporters of an early start for outdoor trips, giving you more time to accomplish your route and reduce the chance of rushing and possibly making mistakes.
MetService meteorologist Luis Fernandes says the recent mixed bag of weather this week will continue into the weekend.
“New Zealand will be on the edge of a high-pressure system this weekend, keeping us mostly settled but this isn’t quite enough to keep the rain entirely away as we still expect bouts of showery weather for most areas, especially for the north and east.”
- Download the Plan My Walk app to help find a track and plan your trip this weekend. Consider exploring local tracks in your region if you don’t have time to plan a backcountry excursion.
- These three short yet important NZ Mountain Safety Council videos, called ‘Ready Set Go’, will help you to prepare for the long weekend adventures:
- Read: Understanding weather