With continued hot dry weather, and after seeking advice from Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Tasman District Council has closed access to forestry plantation areas and a number of reserves.

Kingsland Forest, Moturoa/Rabbit Island, Rough Island and Tunnicliff Forest are closed. These closures affect the forestry plantations in the reserves only at this stage. Access to the beach, picnic areas and equestrian park at Moturoa Rabbit Island and Rough Island remain open for now.

Tasman’s Great Taste Trail coastal access route at Moturoa Rabbit Island remains open, providing access to and from Mapua.

Tasman great taste trail through lower edge of Tunicliffe forest and up to spooners tunnel is currently open but expected to close next week.

Aniseed Valley Reserves are closed. This includes Busch Reserve, Twin Bridges and White Gate Reserve.

Lee Valley Reserves- Firestones Reserve and Meads Bridge Reserve are closed. The Doc Reserve will stay open for the weekend but is expected to close on Monday.

Faulkners Bush Scenic Reserve from the scout den to the lookout point is now closed.

The playground within Easby Park remains open for now, but Dellside and upper Easby Park are closed.

For all other reserves we remind people to visit early in the morning or in the evening, when the fire risk is lower.

The decision to close access is made to protect public safety as the BUI (Build Up Index)* is now above 80. A key factor in deciding to close these areas is the risk of anyone in the reserves being overrun by fire before they can escape, if a fire started. Fire travels exponentially faster on uphill slopes than it does on flat ground and forest areas burn more intensely.

Signage will be in place at all the closed areas so please take note and stay out for you own safety.

Tasman District Council will assess the situation weekly and further closures may be needed if weather conditions stay the same. Any decisions will be made in consultation with Fire and Emergency and with protecting public safety as our top priority.  

* The BUI is used by Fire and Emergency and other agencies to measure fire risk – it’s “an indicator of the difficulty in supressing a fire that has started”.