Media release from Department of Conservation
Two recent storm events in the Waikato region have caused significant damage to the Hakarimata Summit Track at Ngaruawahia, resulting in its closure until repairs can be completed.
Department of Conservation Waikato Operations manager Ray Scrimgeour says the track damage was assessed yesterday (19 April 2017) by consulting engineers and their report will give DOC a better understanding of what is required to remedy the damage and how long it might take.
"It is evident even from our own visual assessments that the track has fallen away in at least three places and there has been significant movement of one stairway section away from the hillside towards the adjacent stream."
"We know from past experience there is no ‘quick fix’ for this sort of damage. Again, the engineering report will identify these issues but we are no doubt looking at the need for retaining walls to protect track formation and possibly building consent processes before we can start work on reconstruction."
Ray Scrimgeour says DOC is well aware of the important part the Hakarimata stairs play in the lives of many local residents who have turned it into ‘some sort of giant outdoor gymnasium’, with annual usage possibly in excess of 200,000 people.
"We thank the people for exercising patience while the track is under repairs and remind them of the popular Kauri Loop Track just a few kilometres down the road at the Huntly end of the Hakarimata range."
The first section of track is situated on land administered by Waikato District Council, while the upper section traverses Hakarimata Scenic reserve. DOC will be posting progress with repair work on its website.
For media enquiries contact:
Des Williams, DOC Communications Advisor
Phone: + 64 7 858 1005
Mobile: +64 27 483 3465
Other nearby walking tracks to try:
Pukemokemoke Bush Loop Track is only 5 minutes from Gordonton (take the Whitikahu Road turnoff) and look out for the sign on the left hand side. The summit track offers panoramic views of the Waikato basin from Te Aroha to Pirongia. Pull on your activewear, strap on your shoes, and take a friend for this 1 hr 30 walk. When you’re done, make sure you refuel with some delicious nosh at nearby Profs at Woodlands or Willow Glen Café.
Or for a more challenging walk head out to Raglan and try the Karioi Track or Wairake Track both of which climb steadily up to Mt Karioi Summit. You’ll need a bit more time to complete these walks as they vary between 2-3.5 hours to reach the summit, but the breathtaking views make it SO worth it. Breathe in the fresh sea air and melt away your daily stresses - and as always, make sure you stop in and refuel at Raglan’s many cafés and restaurants as you return home.