Some DOC walking tracks in the Dunedin area have been damaged by the recent storm and flooding.

Surface damage such as rutting, washouts, slippery muddy patches, fallen trees and flood debris may have occurred so we ask that you take care if venturing out on DOC tracks.

The Sandfly Bay wildlife viewing hide, Moanariri/Bull Creek, Picnic Gully and Tunnel Beach tracks have all been affected. 

The Sandfly Bay hide on Otago Peninsula is now closed as the sand hill in front of the hide has been eroded and the corner of the hide is hanging over the edge. 

The Sandfly Bay viewing hide on the edge of a sand hill.
The Sandfly Bay viewing hide on the edge of a sand hill

“We will have to consider what to do about this as this was the only public hide in Dunedin for viewing yellow-eyed penguins/hōiho and sea lions/rāpoka,” Coastal Otago Conservation Services Manager David Agnew said. 

Further along the coast, there has been a large slip near the track down to Tunnel Beach. The track is still open but walkers should be cautious on the track, around the slip and near the headland. 

The Moanariri/Bull Creek track has been closed as several foot bridges have been extensively damaged. One bridge was broken into three sections by flooding of the stream. 

A damaged foot bridge on the Moanariri/Bull Creek track.
A damaged foot bridge on the Moanariri/Bull Creek track

Although not affected by the recent flooding, DOC has also closed Mt Stuart tunnel in the Manuka Gorge between Milton and Lawrence for safety reasons. The historic tunnel, which was built in 1875 as part of the Tokomiriro to Lawrence railway, goes through a weathered schist outcrop and water is damaging the masonry and brickwork around the entrances. 

“We’re concerned falling masonry or rock could hurt someone and we want people visiting this historic site to have a safe experience.  We’re now reviewing management of the site and will reopen the tunnel if we can find ways to eliminate or minimise risks to keep visitors safe,” David said.

A large slip near the Tunnel Beach track.
A large slip near the Tunnel Beach track

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