Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC is looking at options for reinstating access to the Fox Glacier Valley after heavy rain in early November triggered a massive landslide that blocked the river and caused extensive damage to the access causeway.

Date:  23 November 2018

The landslide is active and will continue to cause access issues until it settles down.

Wayne Costello, South Westland Operations Manager says, “Fox Glacier can be accessed by air, and there are lots of alternative walks in the area that allow for views of the glacier which visitors are reporting they are very much enjoying.

“A number of options are being considered for potentially re-instating access to the glacier valley. These include basic vehicle or walking and cycling options through to a shifting and full reinstatement of the causeway.

“Each option has pros and cons. Due to the risks and scale of the landslide along with the uncertainty of West Coast weather events, we are concerned that work we do will be destroyed in the next storm. No matter what level of investment we make  there is no way to prevent further damage.”

Recent storm events have also caused damage to the walking track in the valley and caused some new rockfall zones to become active.

Wayne Costello says, “Safety of people working and visiting in the valley is our primary concern, and managing the hazards so people have safe and enjoyable experiences is where the buck stops.

“Long-term, until the landslide settles down, access into the Fox Valley is likely to remain a huge challenge. We will all have to be patient while this settling down process takes place at Mother Nature’s pace.”

A decision on how to reinstate glacier access is expected next week.


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