Several hundred Department of Conservation walks, facilities and sites are still closed by storm damage from Cyclone Gabrielle and flooding earlier this year.
The sites include some of New Zealand’s most iconic visitor attractions, including Cathedral Cove, Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk and Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Maui Route.
DOC cannot say when all the sites will reopen, nor the potential costs, with safety assessments still underway.
Deputy director – general organisation support Mike Tully said the most accessible and high-use sites will be prioritised for assessment.
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“Overall, there are several hundred tracks, huts, campsites or other sites in affected regions that remain closed. This is changing daily as they are progressively assessed and reopened.”
In Auckland, 80% of sites have reopened and 50% have reopened in Northland.
The spots still closed include Auckland’s Te Henga Walkway in Bethells Beach, Kawau Island walking tracks and Motuihe Island wharf, plus Northland’s slip-impacted Mangawhai Cliffs Walkway.
The most popular campsite in New Zealand, Uretiti, remains partly closed by flood damage and the Marsden Cross memorial is unstable.
The majority of tracks and facilities in the worst-hit regions of Coromandel, Tairāwhiti/East Coast and Hawke’s Bay have yet to be assessed, Tully said.
At least 125 remain closed including Coromandel’s Cathedral Cove, the Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway and Karangahake Windows Walk in the Bay of Plenty and Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk in East Coast/Tairāwhiti.
A full list of all the closures and alerts is available on DOC’s website.
Tully said there have been reports of people entering closed spots, and he urged people to be patient and stay out of closed conservation areas.
“Entering these areas may lead to serious injuries due to debris, compromised infrastructure or other damage caused by the cyclone.”