There are some closures in the area due to heavy rain. For up to date information contact the DOC Nelson Regional Visitor Centre, tel: +64 3 546 9339.
Update 17 December 2011:
- The track from Onetahuti to Awaroa in northern Abel Tasman National Park is open. This is the only section of track open in the northern part of the Park at present.
- Awaroa Hut and Awaroa Camp Ground are both open.
- The Waiharakeke Camp Ground is also open with access only possible from the sea
16 December 2011:
The Abel Tasman Coast Track north of Medlands Beach through to Wainui remains temporarily closed currently due to slips following high rainfall in the Nelson-Tasman region but it is hoped to have the track reopened as far north as Onetahuti by the end of today (Friday 16 December).
The Marahau to Medlands Beach section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track is currently still open. Most huts and campsites in the southern part of the park and Totaranui campground are still open. These can still be accessed from the sea by boat and kayak trips made along the park’s southern coast when sea conditions allow. The hut and campsite at Awaroa are currently closed as there is no water.
DOC staff are working as quickly as possible to restore damaged parts of the track and reopen sections as they are repaired. DOC expects have the southern part of the coast track open for the Christmas-New Year summer holidays, a peak time for visits to the Abel Tasman National Park coast. Some sections north of Totaranui, though, could still be closed due to the extensive track damage in this area.
There is currently no road access to Awaroa, Totaranui and other northern parts of the park due to access roads being closed by slips, including Abel Tasman Drive north of Pohara. It is not yet known when the roads will reopen. There are currently 78 campers stranded at Totaranui campground due to the road closures.
Seven people stranded at Whariwharangi on the northern part of the Abel Tasman Coast Track were taken out by boat by DOC staff today.
Abel Tasman National Park appears to have sustained the most damage from the high rainfall with Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes national parks less affected. DOC staff though have not yet been able to ascertain what damage may have occurred in all conservation areas.
The Department of Conservation is recommending people check with DOC visitor centres in Nelson and St Arnaud, DOC offices and i-SITEs in the region to get up to date information on tracks and conditions in conservation areas before making trips to these areas. People should consider putting off trips into backcountry areas in the region for the next few days and wait for water levels in rivers and streams to drop.
The Heaphy Track is open. A large slip on SH60 between Takaka and Collingwood though is currently preventing road access to and from the Heaphy Track in Golden Bay.
The damage on the Abel Tasman Coast Track north of Medlands Beach is fairly extensive with slips on the track or the track having slid away over quite long sections. New track will need to be built around some sections and DOC advises that for a time in places this will be of a lower standard than the rest of the track, with a more uneven surface and of tramping track rather than walking track standard. People should get advice from DOC to determine whether they have the capability to walk these sections.