Kaweka Forest Park backcountry still recovering from storm damage
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionTrampers and hunters who are keen to visit the Kaweka Forest Park this summer are being cautioned to take extra care when venturing into the backcountry.
Date: 03 November 2016
Kaweka Forest Park track damage
Image: Kellie Mayo | DOC
A storm event that hit Hawke’s Bay last August left major damage to tracks in the Middle Hill and Makino Hut area, including the Te Puia and Makino Hut tracks. In many places, tracks are no longer visible beneath fallen tree branches and other debris.
The Hawke’s Bay district of DOC restored the track from the Makahu Road to Te Puia Hut and the Mangatainoka Hot Springs in September. Contractors are due to begin work on the Makino Hut Track within the next two – three weeks.
DOC assessed the damage by aerial survey shortly after the storm. Malcolm Lock, Senior Ranger for Recreation and Historic Services, said that the results of the survey have informed DOC’s priorities for the park.
‘Our first priority was to restore the Te Puia track, which is by far the most popular track in our district,’ said Mr. Lock. ‘We expect that the track to Makino Hut will be cleared by December.’
Mr. Lock said ensuring public safety is ‘paramount’ to DOC’s priorities in the forest park. ‘Several of the backcountry huts and bridges were structurally damaged by the storm and post significant dangers to users. Right now, our main focus is to repair those before the high season begins.’
‘We’re aware that there are still many backcountry tracks that haven’t been cleared, and we understand the frustrations that this can cause. We encourage hunters, trampers, and other recreationists to let us know which tracks they’d like to see cleared by visiting the DOC website and completing a survey about their visit to the park.’
You can access the survey on the Kaweka Forest Park page under 'alerts' at the top of the page.
Or visit the survey here: Tell us about your recent visit.
Malcolm Lock, DOC Senior Ranger