Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk closed due to erosion risk
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionThe picturesque Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk has been closed due to weather-related erosion.
Date: 10 October 2022
The track, a short drive from Waitomo and managed by DOC’s Maniapoto District team, is popular with visitors as it offers a pleasant walk through an ancient limestone gorge. The natural land bridge which gives the track its name passes directly over a boardwalk visitors use.
Graham Kimber, DOC’s Maniapoto District Operations Manager, says recent visual assessments and visits by his team revealed ongoing erosion of the natural bridge, thought to have been caused by recent bursts of heavy rain and high winds.
“Debris has been falling from the trees on top of the natural bridge,” Graham Kimber says.
“We are concerned the continued erosion of the natural bridge will result in visitors being hit by rocks and other debris.
“Given the high level of risk now posed to visitors at this site, it has become necessary to close the track.”
For people’s safety, DOC staff have installed barriers across the entrance to the track. The picnic area and car park remain available but there is no access to the gorge and no alternative routes.
“The closure of the track is for the foreseeable future, while we explore potential options for lowering the risk to visitors. We appreciate this will be disappointing for the many people who enjoy Mangapohue, and don’t take this decision lightly,” says Graham Kimber.
“It is difficult for DOC to put a timeframe on repairs or modification of the track, given the investigation and planning work needed. With a changing climate we can expect increased and more extreme weather events, and we need to consider long-term and sustainable solutions for access with this in mind.”
The natural bridge over the walkway is often photographed by visitors. It also appears on a number of visitor information sites and social media channels as a local attraction. DOC is contacting those channels to alert them to the closure so information can be updated.
Visit this website for the latest track conditions and status.
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