Motor vehicle access guidelines

Motor vehicles are permitted within most of our regional park areas and we welcome you to explore, subject to a few rules.

All vehicle access is subject to normal road rules and vehicle regulations that can be enforced by police under the Transport Act. This includes vehicle licensing and registration requirements.

Braided river bird nesting season is from mid-August to mid-January, so steer clear of open shingle areas during this time to avoid harming endangered wildlife. Read more in our Tread Carefully (PDF File, 887.57KB) brochure. 

Offences for damage to river flood protection infrastructure can be subject to penalties under the Canterbury Regional Council Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaw 2013 and Section 242 of the Local Government Act 2002.

Damage can include driving on the sides of stopbanks and groynes, other than on a formed ramp or road.

Antisocial or damaging behaviour against park assets and facilities, or endangering other park users, could lead to fines or prosecution, or even exclusion from park areas under the Trespass Act.

Please read the following rules carefully and check our notices and events page for up to date notices and closures.

Ranger ute out in the river 

At no time should motor vehicles:

  • Create a hazard to other park users through excessive speed or dangerous driving,
  • Be operated on flood protection infrastructure such as the sides of stop banks and groynes except where formed access ramps & roads are provided.
  • Cause damage to park facilities, trees, vegetation, maintained grass areas or roads,
  • Cause annoyance to other park guests and wildlife by way of noise, dust or speed.
  • Operate in closed areas as indicated by fences, gates and signs except on business.
  • Ignore requests or instructions from Environment Canterbury staff or their agents.

We expect vehicle operators to assume liability for their own actions within the general guidelines and laws governing vehicle use.

Vehicles must obey signage, including codes of conduct and remain courteous to other park visitors and stay on the indicated routes.