Walking, camping and biking

Protect our bush and forests from pests and diseases

As Kiwis, we love to get out and explore our great outdoors. Whether it's walking, hiking, camping, running or mountain biking (MTB), we enjoy getting out into the bushand relaxing in the remoteness of it all.

From mountain tops to wetlands, our stunning landscapes are our natural playgrounds. Our ngahere (bush) is also home to our native birds, bugs and trees. But all this is at risk from pests and diseases.

Biosecurity protects our favourite tracks and trails by defending them from pests and diseases. We can all help to protect our playground, our whenua and the native birds and trees that call it home.

How we can help

Being aware of pests and diseases

Being aware of pests and diseases

Keep watch and report any potential biosecurity threats

Cleaning our footwear and other gear

Cleaning our footwear and other gear

Before we enter and as we leave the bush to prevent the spread pests and diseases

Check, clean and dry our bikes

Check, clean and dry our bikes

Especially if we're riding through fresh waterways

Staying on tracks and boardwalks

Staying on tracks and boardwalks

Keeping off kauri roots

Taking extra care when visiting pest free islands

Taking extra care when visiting pest free islands

Making sure we're not bringing any unwanted visitors with us

Auckland City Council Biosecurity Trail User learning about Myrtle rust 720 x 400
Walker learning about myrtle rust on Auckland City Council's Biosecurity Trail

Unfortunately, some pests and diseases are already threatening our taonga, our native species. But we can all help to manage them and prevent new pests and diseases from entering New Zealand. We can help make sure our unaffected bush and forests stay that way.

Diseases, such as kauri dieback and myrtle rust, could put our native trees at risk of extinction. There are some tracks currently closed to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback. Myrtle rust can affect native trees including pōhutukawa, rātā, mānuka and kānuka. Our trees are part of the mauri essence of our unique ecosystem.

 

Young Guardian of the Bay of Island volunteer with tracking tunnel 720 x 400
Young Guardian of the Bay of Island volunteer with tracking tunnel

Plant and animal pests

Animal pests can damage our native plants and prey on our native birds, lizards, bats and insects. They may also carry and spread diseases. Rats, stoats and possums are common animal pests we may see in the bush and also in our backyards.

Invasive weeds, such as wilding pines, can change our unique landscapes and ecosystems.

Freshwater pests, such as didymo and koi carp, can impact our native species, drinking water and commercial fisheries.

Getting out in nature is fun and healthy, but our activities can increase the risk of spreading these pests and diseases. Being aware and taking some steps to prevent the spread is up to all of us.

Learn more about pests and diseases

Getting to know biosecurity in your region

Every region in New Zealand has its own unique and special environment. Wherever you call home, you can protect it by being aware of the biosecurity risks around you. We all have a part to play.

Find out more about biosecurity controls, programmes and local groups you can support in your area.

Find A Pest video
Find-A-Pest app

Being on the lookout for pests and diseases

We can help protect our epic whenua by identifying and reporting pests and diseases.

Our eyes and ears can provide early warnings to help quickly stop pests before they have a chance to spread. Our monitoring can also help scientists better understand pests and diseases.  

If you think you've found something unusual, quickly take a photo (or sample if appropriate), take a note of its location, and contact the Biosecurity New Zealand pest and diseases hotline on 0800 80 99 66.

Kiwis report about 10,000 suspected pests and diseases to the Ministry for Primary Industries every year.

There are also apps like iNaturalist and Find-A-Pest to easily identify and report suspected pests. Explore resources about identifying and reporting pests and diseases below. 

PestDetective

Resource

Pest Detective

Online tool to help New Zealanders identify the presence of vertebrate pest animals

Department of Conservation logo 720 x 400

Resource

Pests and threats - DOC

Additional pests and threats information from the Department of Conservation

Keep Kauri Standing Clean your boots video
Keep Kauri Standing - Clean your boots

Cleaning your footwear, gear and camping equipment

Our bush and forests are awesome playgrounds. But to keep them that way, we need to clean our footwear and gear before and after we visit. We may transport pests and diseases on dirty shoes and equipment. All it takes is a microscopic spore to spread diseases like kauri dieback.

We can help save kauri by making sure we're not taking dirty soil with us as we move between areas. Some parks have cleaning stations to make this a breeze.  

If our footwear and gear has been in contact with water, they may also spread freshwater pests. Some can be spread with just a droplet of water. 

Learn how to Check, Clean, Dry

Keep Kauri Standing Clean your boots video

Resource

Video: Keep Kauri Standing - Clean your boots

Share this video to keep kauri standing

Keep Kauri Standing How to Guides 720 x 400

Resource

How we can help save kauri guides

Best practice guidelines for all types of activities to help save kauri

NZ Pro XC mountain biker Anton Cooper protects epic trails video
NZ Pro XC mountain biker Anton Cooper protects epic trails

Clean bikes to protect our epic trails

A dirty bike can spread both land-based and freshwater pests and diseases. When our rides cross waterways, we can spread freshwater diseases such as didymo.

Before and after every ride, we should remove all soil off our tyres, frame, forks, clothing and footwear. If our ride has crossed waterways, we can use the Check, Clean, Dry method on our bikes.

Make this effortless by keeping a cleaning kit handy. A clean bike also looks better and lasts longer. If we clean our bikes straight away, fresh mud is also easier to remove.

Kauri dieback animation video
Keep Kauri Standing - Kauri dieback animation

Staying on tracks can help save kauri

We can help protect our majestic kauri by staying off their roots. Staying on tracks and boardwalks will make sure we do that. Kauri roots are very delicate and can grow outwards three times further than its branches. 

Explore guides on how you can help protect kauri

Rangitoto Island from Motutapu Island 540 x 360
View of Rangitoto Island from pest free Motutapu Island

Taking extra care when visiting pest free islands and sanctuaries

When we're visiting pest free (and almost pest free) islands, we should make sure that we're not bringing any unwanted visitors with us. Pests, including rodents, skinks, insects and seeds could be hiding in our gear or in our food bags.

We can protect these special areas by checking and cleaning our gear before we leave the mainland. When we arrive, a ranger may recheck our gear.

We also need to leave our dogs, cats and other pets at home. No matter how well-trained they are, they could still be a risk to our most vulnerable native species.

This is also important when visiting fenced sanctuaries on the mainland, such as Zealandia, Orokonui, or Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari.

News and stories

Tame Malcolm 1200 x 720

Story

Thomas (Tame) Malcolm - Biosecurity is in his nature

From culling wild goats to decimating invasive river weed, one Kiwi is combining his passion for the land with hard graft and te ao Māori.

Kerikeri Kindergarten group photo 1200 x 720

Story

Giving tamariki the space to “fall in love” with nature

Kerikeri Kindergarten's award winning ngahere programme, based on a native bush block, is teaching children the importance of kaitiakitanga.

Rotokare Santuary and surroundings 1200 x 720

Story

Inspiring a region - the Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust

A community led award-winning success story.

More ways you can help

Biosecurity for boating and water activities

Biosecurity for boating and water activities

How we can protect our rivers, lakes and seas from pests and diseases when in or around water.

Biosecurity at home

Biosecurity at home

What we can do at home to protect our community and way of life from pests and diseases.