The Department of Conservation is concerned that the lack of cooperation and vandalism on the Cathedral Cove track, Coromandel Peninsula, will put visitors at risk and is urging the public to heed the warnings.
Members of the public are continuing to ignore track closure signs at the entrance to iconic Cathedral Cove and are entering sites where the track is being repaired. This has already resulted in an incident last week that almost cost a woman her life.
DOC’s Hauraki Area Manager, Melissa King-Howell said, “By ignoring track closure signs individuals are not only put themselves at risk, but are also risking the safety of contractors and staff who are trying to repair the track.”
The recent incident occurred when a member of the public ignored the signs, entered a work site, and was narrowly missed by a digger machine that was operating on the track.
Rock fall warning signs at the archway have also been vandalised, which is a real concern at a site which is visited by 200,000 people each year. This follows a spate of vandalism with warning signs being defaced, damaged or completely removed from the site.
“We continually have to replace signage at great expense to the taxpayer,” said King-Howell. “There is a known rock-fall risk at the cove and visitors need to be aware of it.”
The Department closed access to Cathedral Cove due to public risk following the major damage caused by Cyclone Wilma in late January. The repair work will continue and walking access to the Cove is expected to be reopened this coming weekend.
Until then DOC is appealing to the public to adhere to the warning signs and observe track closures for their own safety.
For further information, please contact Reuben Williams, Senior Communications Advisor +64 4 471 31939 / mob 0272572216 email email@example.com