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Waikaremoana Great Walk To Re-Open In January

Te Urewera Board is pleased to announce the Waikaremoana Great Walk will re-open in the new year on 10 January, following an intensive work programme to repair severe damage sustained during Cyclone Gabrielle and previous severe weather events.

Bookings for the Waikaremoana Great Walk are open through the DOC booking system now (see link below).

“We are delighted to welcome whānau and manuhiri (guests) to Waikaremoana for part of the summer season of 2024,” Te Urewera Board spokesperson Kirsti Luke said. “Our Wairoa, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay communities have had a difficult year, and we hope Te Urewera can offer recreation and relief.”

Te Urewera Board will attend the reopening on 10 January to acknowledge the Tūhoe teams, locals and support crews who have made the re-opening possible.

Waikaremoana, including the Great Walk, was closed after the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle and excessive lake levels washed out tracks, flooded huts and dump stations, and caused significant damage to the Waiopāoa cable bridge, requiring a replacement.

Te Uru Taumatua, the Tūhoe iwi authority which manages Te Urewera on behalf of Te Urewera Board, led the repair and maintenance programme. DOC contributed $550,000 from its cyclone recovery funding, as well as technical support with the replacement bridge.

“The flooding was so extensive it wasn’t possible to even inspect the damage for a month after the cyclone,” Blair Waiwai from the Waikaremoana team said. “It has been a huge effort by our wider tribal teams within Te Uru Taumatua, with help from DOC, friends and external contractors, to get the Great Walk up to or better than DOC standards to re-open on January 10.”

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“We were also stoked that friends of Te Urewera pitched in to help,” said Chino Apiata, the Operations Group Manager for Te Uru Taumatua, “including volunteers from the New Zealand Back Country Trust who together repaired and refreshed Panekire hut, at the highest point of the Great Walk. We have all pulled together to re-open and welcome locals and manuhiri back.”

The work programme includes;

  • the repair and maintenance of the huts and staff quarters – Panekire, Waiopāoa, Maraunui/Marauiti and Waiharuru,
  • hut/campsites and facilities – exteriors and interiors, shelters, water supply and toilets
  • special purpose road repaired in Hopuruahine
  • maintenance to short walks and structures at Lake Waikaremoana to reinstate the range of visitor experiences available at Waikaremoana – Lake Waikareiti, Black Beech Walk, Tawa Walk.

Bookings for the Waikaremoana Great Walk can be made here: https://bookings.doc.govt.nz/Saturn/Facilities/SearchViewGW.aspx?placeId=432

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