26 Jan 2021

QR codes at DOC visitor sites being expanded

8:54 pm on 26 January 2021

Trampers can expect to see more QR codes in the great outdoors as the Department of Conservation expands the number of display sites.

Lake Mackenzie hut and surrounding buildings

The Lake Mackenzie hut and surrounding buildings. DOC sites will be rolling out more QR codes. Photo: Supplied

Until now, the codes were only displayed at all visitor centres and at serviced campsites.

The department and Ministry of Health have since reviewed the guidance on the use of QR codes at visitor facilities, and decided to ramp up where they are displayed.

The department will soon be rolling out additional QR codes at Great Walks huts and serviced huts as well as displaying codes at toilets and shelters at high-use road ends.

DOC's Heritage and Visitors director Steve Taylor said the department remained confident in their online hut booking system to ensure an effective contact tracing system was in place.

"However, we acknowledge that having QR codes clearly visible encourages people to follow the right behaviours and the practice of scanning regularly."

Rangers will begin installing the additional codes during their next visit. The QR codes will be prominently installed inside buildings near the door to ensure they are visible and protected from the weather.

"It's incredibly important we don't become complacent around the use of QR codes and Covid-19. More people than ever are enjoying the outdoors this summer and we strongly encourage people to use QR codes at DOC facilities when they see them," Taylor said.

If a QR code is not on place, DOC said people should keep their own record of where they have visited by filling in a hut book, adding a manual entry into the Covid Tracer app, taking photos, or making a diary entry.

This year it was more important than ever to be well-prepared for your trip, practice good hygiene and stay safe, DOC said.

The Departments's advice for visitors:

  • This year it's more important than ever to be well-prepared for your trip, practice good hygiene and stay safe
  • Stay healthy - Keep a record of where you've been in case contact tracing is needed, use QR codes where they are available, or add a manual entry. Remember to practice good hygiene to reduce the spread of illness and stay home if you are unwell
  • Know your limits and choose the right activity for you and your group
  • Check DOC's website, pop into the local visitor centre, and know the weather and track conditions before you set out
  • On the day, tell someone your plans and make sure you take all you need including appropriate clothes and footwear, plenty of food and water, extra clothing and a distress beacon, whether you are heading out on land or water