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Pouakai Crossing detour in place for Easter

The massive slip has closed Holly Hut Track, requiring a detour for those wishing to visit the hut or walk the Pouakai Crossing. Photo: Ian McAlpine

A section of Mt Taranaki’s Holly Hut Track is expected to stay closed for some time, following a massive slip as a result of Cyclone Gita which hit the area in February. In the meantime, DOC is directing visitors to use the longer Kokowai Track to reach Holly Hut and to walk the Pouakai Crossing and Pouakai Circuit.

DOC senior ranger, Dave Roger, said the damaged section of track presents a host of problems and considerable risk, particularly in two places.

“Geotech engineers have visited the site and this section of the track will definitely not be open to the public before Easter,” he said. “The slip would benefit from a wet winter to sluice away all the loose debris, giving the chance for it to settle. Freeze and thaw will help ease off big, loose blocks of lava still perched high up on the cliff face above the track. An engineer’s report is due soon.”

The new slip has taken out sections of the track near the older Boomerang Slip, on the steep and unstable mid-slopes of Mt Taranaki. In the story on the Pouakai Crossing published in the April Issue (The contender) these slip sites were identified as hazardous and a potential issue for management.

Kokowai Track is accessed via Ram and Kaiauai tracks, which start from Kaiauai car park, about 40 minutes walk down Egmont Road from the North Egmont Visitor Centre.