Introduction

DOC is expected to reopen Cathedral Cove next week.

Date:  31 July 2018

The Department of Conservation is expected to reopen Cathedral Cove next week after senior geotechnical engineers from Tonkin + Taylor advised of a strategy to make the iconic site safe for the public to visit.

Inspection of the popular Cathedral Cove’s iconic archway today revealed loose debris will need to be removed by a team of abseilers before the area can be reopened.

Sections of rock have fallen from the arch following recent heavy rainfall – the site has been closed because of the risk the rockfall poses to the public.

Karl Fisher, a DOC recreation ranger, says that “we want to ensure that the reopening of the cove is done safely, carefully and in a timely manner. Rocks falling from the cove pose a serious risk and we request that the public to stay clear of the cordoned area until the site has been re-opened”.

The walking track leading to the beach remains open to the public, but people will be unable to access the Cove’s structure.

Barriers, fencing and signage is up and around the structure to restrict public access.

In 2011 a section as big as 250 kg had fallen from the archway, with damage done to surrounding tracks and staircases from a cyclone.

The track which hugs the coast, provides dramatic views of spectacular coastal scenery along its length, finishing at the beach beneath the impressive rock archway.

The popular visitor track gets an estimated 500,000 visitors each year on the walking track and leads to the beach and archway.

Get updates on the closure of the Cathedral Cove

Background information

The nearest towns are Hahei (2 km), Whitianga (35 km) and Coromandel (54 km). 

The track begins at a drop-off area at the end of Grange Road or from the northern end of Hahei Beach (an extra 20 minutes each way).

Hazards:

  • Rapidly changing weather conditions.
  • Potential for rockfall in and around the arch due to ongoing natural weathering and erosion – take care.
  • Danger of falling rocks at the north-western end of the beach at Stingray Bay – this area is closed.

Contact

For media enquiries contact:

Phone: +64 4 496 1911
Email: media@doc.govt.nz

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