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Delayed Paparoa Track set to fully open

The newly opened middle section contains an atmospheric goblin forest. Photo: Matthew Cattin

After months of delays, the Paparoa Track will fully open on Sunday, March 1.

The occasion will be celebrated with the unveiling tomorrow of three hand carved waharoa, or entranceways, at the three entry points to the track.

The track has been partially closed since it first opened on December 1, 2019, with the middle section remaining closed due to a slip.

The reinstatement of this track section proved difficult with prolonged adverse weather leading to unstable ground conditions.

Pike 29 family members, track builders, and community members are gathering at each of the three entry points to unveil the waharoa which have been hand carved by Ngāti Waewae, mana whenua for this area.

DOC’s Greymouth operations manager Shane Hall said the middle section of the track is spectacular, with a “goblin forest” of wind shaped silver beech, stunning vistas along the sandstone escarpment, fascinating geology, and a waterfall on the descent to the Pororari River.

“It’s the heart of the track and we are pleased to see it fully open to visitors,” he said.

While the majority of work has been completed on the trail, there are still teams undertaking finishing work on sections of the trail.

Walkers and mountain bikers are asked to heed instructions from teams working on the trail and be prepared for some minor disruptions.

Huts are near capacity for the track’s first week, and booking for the 2020-21 season which starts in October opens in June.