There are some closures in Nelson-Tasman conservation areas due to damage caused by heavy rain in the region. For up to date information contact the DOC Nelson Regional Visitor Centre, tel: +64 3 546 9339.
The Abel Tasman Coast Track north of Anchorage has been temporarily closed until at least tomorrow (Friday 16 December) due to damage caused by heavy rainfall in the Nelson-Tasman region and there is currently no road access to the Heaphy Track at its Golden Bay end.
The Marahau-Anchorage section of the Abel Tasman Coast Track is still open. The remainder of the track between Anchorage and Wainui is closed due to slips and other rain-related damage. DOC staff are working as quickly as possible to clear slips and reopen the track. The situation will be reassessed tomorrow (16 December) and a decision made as to whether affected sections of the track can reopen.
DOC has arranged for an Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle boat to evacuate people wishing to leave today from coastal areas of Abel Tasman National Park from as far north as Totaranui.
There is currently no road access to Totaranui campground with slips on Abel Tasman Drive and the Totaranui Road. It is not known when these will be cleared.
The access road to the start of the Heaphy Track in Golden Bay is currently impassable due to flooding but water levels are reported to be falling. SH60 between Takaka and Collingwood is also blocked by a slip preventing access to and from the Heaphy Track. It has been advised it may take some days for the highway slip to be cleared.
The Department of Conservation is recommending people check with 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.
It has not been possible as yet to fully assess what damage has occurred in Kahurangi National Park, Abel Tasman National Park and Mt Richmond Forest Park. People should consider putting off trips into backcountry areas in the region while it is still raining and there is a risk of flooded rivers and streams and should wait for water levels to drop.
There are hut wardens on the Heaphy and Abel Tasman Coast tracks and staff at Totaranui campground to advise and assist people in those areas. Eleven occupants of Whariwharangi Hut on the northern part of the Abel Tasman Coast Track were evacuated to a staff hut last night due to floodwaters around the public hut.
Nelson Lakes National Park has been less affected by rain but anyone considering going into the park should first check at the DOC Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre for up to date information.