Storm closes DOC huts, tracks and campsites on Great Barrier
Wednesday June 18, 2014
Storm closes DOC huts, tracks and campsites on Great Barrier Island
Most Department of Conservation (DOC) walking tracks, campsites and huts are closed on Great Barrier Island until further notice as a result of the storm that struck the Auckland region last week.
The heavy rain and strong winds that struck Auckland on Tuesday night (June 11) had a major impact on the island, washing out and removing sections of the DOC track network, with bridges damaged or gone, and major landslides blocking access.
A few tracks and facilities are open, but anyone planning travel to the island should check the DOC website for the latest information (www.doc.govt.nz).
Facilities that have been re-opened so far are Medlands Beach campground, Awana Beach campground, the Hot Springs Track (only to the hot springs, not beyond), and Windy Canyon Track and Palmers Track to the Hirakimata summit – (no tracks continue from the summit, so return is by the same route).
To protect the public DOC has closed all other tracks, campsites and both huts (Mt Heale and Kaiaraara). These facilities will remain closed until further notice.
Auckland Transport says all roads are now open, but people should travel with care and be mindful of repair gangs. The road from Fitzroy to Akapoua has limited access and at times may be one-way only as work is carried out to clear the roads.
Most Auckland Council parks, reserves, playgrounds, tracks and walkways, particularly on the southern side of the island, remain open. Council staff have checked the approximately 30km of track it maintains and have closed Okiwi Bush Reserve, Whangapoua Creek Walkway and a section of Te Ahumata Track for clean-up and repairs.