20 Apr 2019

Outdoor adventurers urged to plan for weather and stay prepared

9:05 pm on 20 April 2019

Police are urging people heading off on outdoor adventures to be prepared and stay safe through the Easter break.

New Zealand tourist hike in Tongariro Alpine Crossing National Park.

Tongariro Crossing in the North Island is expected to be the most popular walk this Easter weekend. Photo: 123rf

No matter the length of the trip or the level of experience, being prepared and properly equipped is vital, police said.

Over the Easter period, Search and Rescue missions were double the number in a typical week, Mountain Safety Council chief executive Mike Daisley said.

He said the "unique combination" of Easter holidays and Anzac Day was going to be a great opportunity for family and friends to get out into New Zealand's national and regional parks.

"The weather is particularly changeable this year over Easter, and because it's a bit later, the daylight hours are a bit shorter," Mr Daisley said.

"It's about taking a little bit of extra time to be better prepared so you can have a great time and if something does go wrong, you're better prepared to deal with it."

He expected tracks across the country to be busy, but suspected the most popular walk would be the Tongariro Crossing.

"A lot of people get caught out by very, very changeable weather so the key is to check the weather the morning you head out and take a rain jacket."

Mr Daisley said people should plan trips around the weather forecast and daylight hours, pack a hand-held or head torch and advise friends or family where they were going.

He recommended people refer to the Mountain Safety Council's journey planning tool, which had up-to-date advice on packing lists, weather conditions and track information, before leaving for a trip.

Heavy rain forecast for parts of North Island and Canterbury

MetService is warning that heavy rain is expected to fall in Canterbury and parts of the North Island from Waitomo to Wellington in the next two days.

Waitomo, Taumarunui and Taihape are likely to have heavy rain from tomorrow afternoon to Monday morning.

Other areas set to be affected include Taranaki, Wellington, Kāpiti and Horowhenua.

Inland Canterbury will also get a drenching, from tomorrow morning to Monday morning.

But the heavy rain watch has been lifted for Westland.