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Slips and washouts damage walking tracks

 
This page contains a news story about damage to walking tracks in Whangarei District following the major July 2020 storm and flooding.
Updated: 3/08/2020 1:55 p.m.
Picture of flood damage to a walking track.

​Whangārei's walking tracks have been hard hit by the extreme weather event that swept through our District on the night of 17-18 July.

The intense rainfall caused slips and washouts and many tracks remain closed while repairs are being made.

Whangarei District Council Parks Manager Sue Hodge says the weather event caused considerable damage to tracks in the Parihaka Scenic Reserve, the AH Reed Kauri Park and the Coronation Reserve in Western Hills.

"Unfortunately, it is going to take some time to repair the damage and make the tracks safe for walkers to use them again."

Mrs Hodge says damage to the popular walking tracks is a combination of metal washed off the surface, larger land slips that have covered the tracks or tracks that have slipped down the hill side.

"The intensity of the rain was unprecedented. The track's drainage channels just couldn't cope."

She says both the Drummond Track and Ross Track to the Parihaka summit remain closed and some of the repair work is expected to take about two months to complete. The Dobbie Track to the summit from Mair Park is now open.

"The Parihaka summit car park is closed as a major slip has compromised car access and a further slip has blocked pedestrian access to the summit. The Parihaka mountain bike tracks have been hit badly and the Whangarei Mountain Bike Club are working with a local contractor to get these open as soon as they can."

Picture of flood damage to a walking track.

The Hātea Walkway, which links the Town Basin, Mair Park, AH Reed Kauri Park and Otuihau Whangarei Falls, is also closed for at least the next month due to track damage. The Mackesy Bush Track and Mair Park Homestead Track are closed for at least another fortnight.

In the Coronation Reserve there are serious slips on the Frank Holman and Selwyn Ave link tracks that will take about four months to repair. There are minor slips in the Quarry Garden link track and this is expected to be open in around one month.

At the AH Reed Kauri Park, a bridge was washed out on the Alexander Track, and this track is expected to be closed for about four months. The McKinnon Track is expected to be closed for four weeks.

The Sands Rd Loop between Sands Rd and Claphams Rd is likely to be closed for a further two months.

The weather event also caused slips on the Whananaki Coastal Walkway and this will be closed until further notice.

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