Health & Safety
The island is a fantastic place to visit but, as with all outdoor trips, please make sure you are prepared for the weather conditions, are aware of the potential hazards on the island, and observe the hazard controls identified below. A two page printable version for school briefings can be downloaded here.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Tracks can be slippery when wet.
Ruins and Historic Structures
One of the unique features of Matakohe-Limestone Island is the old cement works ruins and associated structures. They can be viewed easily from the cleared tracks but off the tracks these sites contain old concrete blocks and rusty metal and other hazardous items that could potentially cause cuts, falls and crush injuries. For this reason all visitors must remain on the tracks.
Traps and Poison
There are numerous wooden box traps set around the island, many along walking tracks. These contain 'DOC 200' stoat traps and 'Victor rodent snap traps' are set to catch any invading stoats or rats. They are capable of breaking fingers.
The entire island has a grid of bait stations at 25m by 25m intervals (ie. several hundred), containing a poison (active toxin - bromodiolone) to control rats and mice. This toxin is harmful to humans if ingested. There are two types of baitstation on the island, one is a short length of 100mm drainage coil pinned to the ground with a piece of wire while the other is a purpose-built plastic box.
Some plants on the island are very poisonous e.g. ngaio and oleander.
Society boat - Petrel Tua Toru
If you are traveling (usually a group or school class) in the Society's boat you must take the following precautions:
Swimming and Wading
Strong currents exist around parts of the island with tidal movement, particularly at the island pontoon.
Oysters encrust rocks at most beaches and can cut unwary swimmers.
There are a number of dams on the island, some of which have slippery and steep sides.
At certain times of the year, the grass on the island produces a lot of pollen.
Please note there is no cell phone coverage on the eastern/south-eastern sides of the island (coverage is approximately line of site with the cell tower at the top of Parahaki).