Section of Pouakai Crossing remains closed, alternative access in place
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionThe Pouakai crossing between Razorback and Kokowai tracks in New Plymouth will remain closed until a hazardous slip is stabilised.
Date: 16 October 2018
The track closure will affect trampers hiking the Pouakai Crossing and Pouakai Circuit. There is alternative access to these tracks, via the Kokowai Track. This detour bypasses the slip and reconnects trampers to the Holly Hut Track.
The closed area experienced a large landslide which is still active and unsafe to cross. DOC is monitoring the area to determine whether the slip is stabilising, and/or remedial work can commence to secure the rocks and open access to the public.
The Pouakai Crossing is a popular track in the Egmont National Park, made famous for its towering cliffs, mighty waterfalls, a sphagnum moss wetland and stunning views of Mt. Taranaki.
The Crossing has seen two major previous track closures due to landslides and slips since January this year posing dangers to hikers and trampers.
DOC will undertake further geological assessment of the current and possible track alignments. This will be used to identify an alignment that considers visitor safety, visitor experience, cultural and biodiversity impacts as well as track resilience for ongoing management in the long-term.
Risk assessment and planning needs to be completed before any long term decisions of the track can be made. No information DOC currently has suggests the route should be abandoned altogether.
The New Plymouth District Council has temporarily closed the upper Mangorei Road for construction work. Closures are from 7 am to 7 pm Monday to Friday with alternative shuttles in place until further notice.
A free shuttle bus will be available to take people to and from the track entrance and will be based at the Westown Golf Course lower down Mangorei road, people will be required to park here and take the shuttle. For more information on the shuttle service contact the New Plymouth District Council.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will a decision by DOC be made on what route the track will take to avoid the slips?
The project is currently focused on gathering data to ensure any proposed solution is well informed. We about to start a LIDAR survey and Geotech assessment of the current and possible track alignments. This will be used to identify an alignment that considers visitor safety, visitor experience, cultural and biodiversity impacts as well as track resilience for ongoing management in the long-term.
Flights for the LIDAR survey need a good weather window which will likely only happen as we get into the summer season. We have a planning phase of the project to complete over the next 12 months which will confirm alignment.
Will ongoing erosion on Mt Taranaki force the Pouakai Crossing route to be abandoned?
The above risk assessment and planning needs to be completed before any long term decisions can be made. No information we currently have is suggesting we should abandon the route.
What is the detail and timings of the shuttle service
Contact the New Plymouth District Council for these details to get the best information from them.
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