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Heaphy Track Reopening But Queen Charlotte Track Temporarily Closed

The Heaphy Track is reopening tomorrow (Friday 30 June) after work to clear fallen trees and repair other storm damage, but the Queen Charlotte Track remains temporarily closed.

The two tracks are among a number of tracks and access roads to conservation areas in the top of the South Island damaged by the severe weather over the weekend of 17-18 July. Some are temporarily closed while Department of Conservation (DOC) staff assess damage and carry out repair work.

DOC is advising people to check its website www.doc.govt.nz for the latest information on the status of tracks, campsites and access to conservation areas before heading into the outdoors.

DOC Buller Operations Manager Suvi van Smit says the storm damage to the Heaphy Track was mostly on the coastal section, between Kohaihai and the Heaphy Hut.

“DOC staff have repaired damage to the track as much as possible and cleared fallen trees. Extra care is needed on the coastal section of track. To safely cross damaged track areas, mountain bikers should dismount and walk.

“The bridge over Pitt Creek by the Heaphy Hut was washed out and a temporary ford is in place to enable it to be safely crossed.”

The Queen Charlotte Track has multiple slips, fallen trees and cracks in the track and is impassable in some places. A bridge at Davies Bay was washed out. The entire track has been temporarily closed while DOC staff fully assess the damage and carry out some initial repairs. Some sections with extensive damage could be closed for some weeks. DOC is continuing to review the condition of the track and when parts might be able to be reopened.

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