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DOC has announced the work it will undertake to determine viable, safe and resilient long-term solutions for visitor access and experience at Coromandel’s Cathedral Cove. FILE PHOTO

Storm damage: tracks, campsites still closed

Several tracks are closed and campsites in the northern Coromandel remain unavailable as Department of Conservation staff continue assessing damage after January’s intense weather event.

Coromandel was significantly affected by the heavy rain event across the upper North Island in late January.

DOC’s Coromandel Operations Manager Nick Kelly said a number of DOC sites and facilities in the northern part of the peninsula will remain closed following inspections by staff.

The campsites – including those at Port Jackson, Fletcher Bay and Waikawau Bay – are unavailable to the public until at least February 16.

“The campsites are difficult to access, and to support the multi-agency response to the current situation they are off-limits,” Mr Kelly said.

“We will reassess this late next week once we’ve had a chance to send staff to the campsites to carry out inspections.”

Elsewhere, the Coromandel Walkway between Stony Bay and Fletcher Bay has been closed due to erosion which makes one section impassable. It will be unavailable until further notice.

At Whangapoua, the Opera Point Walk is compromised by erosion and will be closed until further notice. Mr Kelly said engineering advice will be needed as part of the assessment, so the walk will be closed for some time.

The Whitianga Rock Walk has also been closed until further notice, with weather related damage including fallen trees and very slippery surfaces in places.

The Cathedral Cove walkway is open and available to the public, but visitors should be aware the surface of the carpark at the top of the walk has been damaged and care is advised in parking and using vehicles.

Further south in Coromandel, there are a number of other closures, said DOC’s Hauraki Operations Manager Avi Holzapfel. The Waiotahi and Waiomu tracks will be closed after cracks have appeared on them. DOC staff need to inspect the damage and explore options for rerouting these tracks.

“There is also a large slip on the Tinker’s Gully end of the Rocky’s Walk to Tinker’s Gully walking track within Coromandel Forest Park. The track will remain closed until the slip is assessed and cleared,” said Mr Holzapfel.

Mr Holzapfel said his staff have also been alerted to a landslip on the Wentworth Falls track – erosion which is likely to result in the closure of that track. Visitors should exercise caution if planning to use this track, which is expected to be blocked or damaged, and potentially impassable.

DOC staff will be carrying out inspections throughout next week and it is feasible other sites may be closed, depending on what damage is found and its extent.

See for weather-related updates.