Delta Covid 19: Local trips at level 3: surfing, tramping and cycling

To travel

Easy, local day walks are allowed below level 3. But don’t forget to pack your own lunch. Photo / Getty Images

With a passage to Alert Level 3, our horizons extend beyond four walls, allowing local travel for exercise, sport and recreation.

Those of us south of Auckland can look forward to new freedoms starting at midnight Tuesday. The rest of us in Northland and the residents of Tamaki Makaurau may have a few more weeks.

But how far does “locally” take us, if we want to be responsible?

It depends on where you live, how you plan to get there, and what you will be doing on the other end.

“Level 3 is a level of watch and wait,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, announcing the decision on Friday.

While it gave Kiwis and businesses some extra freedoms, it was a “crucial insurance policy” to contain Covid.

Premises only

Below level 3 we can enjoy a little more freedom. Beyond the basics of shopping or exercise – but not much further – you can travel locally “leisure”.

“What is considered local will be different depending on where you live,” the official notice read.

You can return to the beach and take a walk in the park. However, the official guidelines are clear, they mean your “nearest beach, not your favorite”.

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Surfing is again allowed under level 3. Photo / Unsplash, Alex Green

The rule of thumb is that if this isn’t a place near you that you would visit regularly for exercise or recreation, it probably isn’t local.

You can use private vehicles or public transport to get there. Masks remain mandatory in public transport, there is also the obligation to contact trace wherever you go.

Travel between regions remains prohibited for all except essential travel and exempt Level 4 essential workers.


Low risk hobbies are back on the cards. This opens up a whole range of activities to go and practice again locally. Surfing, tramping, and biking are all at level 3 – but with a few caveats.

Tramping: Campsites, cabins and DoC facilities are closed below level 3. Keep it local and at least 2 meters away from trampers who are not in your bubble. DoC advises hikers to only visit nearby trails and not to travel. If you are going for a day hike on an easy trail near you, put on your boots!

Mountain bike: The official advice says “Choose a trail near you”. Ideally the one you know, with a low risk of an accident.

Horse riding: Horses and riders can finally exercise. Stay as close to home as possible and minimize the risks during a hack.

Hunt: DoC advises that hunting on protected land is allowed, as long as you stay local and stay on foot. Hunting from vehicles or helicopters is not permitted due to the increased risk.

Surfing, kayaking and swimming: It is finally safe to get back into the water. Stay local, visible, and don’t force yourself. If you are an experienced surfer, you can go back to your local break. You are asked to stay 200 meters from the shore.

You will need to leave your boat moored up to level 2, as scuba diving, boating and sailing are still not allowed.

Again, there is a certain subjectivity vis-à-vis the requirements. Experience is essential to knowing and avoiding the risk of needing medical help or care. Simply put: if you’re not going to surf normally, don’t.

Now is not the time to start new activities. Return the paragliding exit to at least level 2.

For more details on local travel and recreation, visit:

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