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Dart River Slip Poses Hazard to Trampers, Campers and Boatie

The Dart River has been blocked by a landslide at Sandy Bluff, about 10km above Chinaman’s Bluff. The slip occurred about midday yesterday and is posing hazards for trampers, campers and boaties.

The Department of Conservation and the Queenstown Lakes District Council are warning people to stay well away from the area. Experts from GNS Science are due to arrive later this afternoon to assess the slip and the extent of the hazard.

DOC’s Senior Ranger Conservation Services at Glenorchy, Richard Kennett, says there is extensive flooding at Dredge Flat, upstream of the slip. Trampers are having to detour 2km through forest to get around flooded parts of the track.

DOC is strongly advising people to defer planned tramps on the Rees Dart circuit until the hazard has been fully assessed and more information is available.

Harbourmaster Marty Black says boaties, kayakers and other recreational users should stay out of the Dart River until further notice.

While the Dart River’s flow has dropped to minimal levels because of the damming effect upstream, there is a constant risk that pressure behind the slip will force a surge of water through. This would be a danger for anyone in the river bed below the slip.

ENDS

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