DOC Eastern South Island Operations Director Nicola Toki says staff are inspecting sites as quickly as they can, but they will not be able to check everywhere before Queen’s Birthday weekend.
“We’re updating each track’s webpage with information about any damage as we go, so people are encouraged to check the DOC website before venturing out.
“There are also general alerts on the website for areas where we know there was a lot of rain and we think there is a chance of track damage but have not been able to inspect yet.
“However, even for those sites without an alert, people should expect the tracks to still be very wet and it would be best for those routes to dry out a bit before people use them.
“The rain may have also changed some features of the track and made it more difficult than people are expecting.”
Nicola Toki says if people do head out, they should take extra care and remember to follow the Land Safety Code.
Some popular sites where there has been damage include:
- The Mt Somers tracks, which are closed along with both Pinnacles and Woolshed Creek huts. The access road to the Woolshed Creek carpark has also been damaged.
- Some tracks in Peel Forest have suffered slips or washouts.
- Wooded Gully in Mt Thomas – the Kereru Loop track is closed due to washouts.
- Ryde Falls at Mt Oxford – the track is closed due to washouts.
- Tweedies Track in Gore Bay – the road to the track is damaged, so the track is not accessible.
- Manuka Bay Track in Cheviot – closed due to flood damage.
The types of damage DOC staff are seeing includes track washouts, slips, windfall and general flooding.
In some cases, there have been road washouts meaning some sites are not accessible.
The DOC website will be updated as tracks reopen. How long this will take is on a case-by-case basis, depending on the work required to repair the damage.
There is no estimate of repair costs at this stage.