Good morning all
This is to confirm that Auckland Council will be closing 13 'kauri protection zones' in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park to protect kauri from kauri dieback, from 1 July. 27km of track in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park will be closed. These tracks, or parts of tracks, are home to some of the ranges most significant old giants of the forest – kauri trees.
You can of course still walk and geo-cache in the Waitakere Ranges, but please stay away from the following tracks:
• Robinsons Ridge Track – Cascade Kauri
• Chateau Mosquito – Anawhata
• RGB Track – Anawhata
• Walker Kauri Track – Waiatarua
• Dreamlands Track – Waiatarua
• Taumata Track – Waiatarua
• Lucy Cranwell Track – Piha
• La Trobe Track – Karekare
• Nuggets Track – Huia
• Crusher Pipeline Track – Parau
• Nihotupu Ridge Track – Parau
• Summit Track (between Nihotupu Ridge and Hamiltons Farley Track) – Parau
• Farley Track – Parau
• Bob Gordon Track – Mt Donald McLean
• Manchester Unity Block (between Victory Road and Big Muddy Creek) – Parau
A press release with more information can be found here http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/en/ourauckland/news/pages/aitakererangestrackclosures.aspx
I will be attempting to contact all the cache owners that are located on or near these tracks and will be advising them to either relocate their cache or to archive it. No date has been set for re-opening of the tracks, it may be years in the future if at all.
I further implore the geocaching community to follow best practise when in the Waitakeres, or any Kauri neighbourhood by using the preventative measures of cleaning boots and equipment with the sprays and brushes provided at entry points. Any off track use in the Waitakeres is actively discouraged due to the impact on the park environment especially in relation to Kauri dieback, so please show due concern when locating new caches in the ranges. Please also be aware that we will be working with the moderators to ensure any new caches are located in appropriate locations in reference to the Kauri protection zones.
Reading that back, it sounds very bureaucratic which I apologise for! We are in no way discouraging geocaching in the Waitakeres, if the caches are in great locations, it is a perfect way to get people to the ranges that would have otherwise not visited. What we would love to do is partner with the geocaching community to get the Kauri die back message out into new networks, so I encourage anyone with Waitakere or Hunua ranges caches to include Kauri die back information on their cache page.
Signage will be going up on the tracks from the 1st of July. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact me either via this message board, or by my contact details below.
Happy caching Craig Bleakley
| Team Leader - Recreation Services
Regional & Specialist Parks
Parks, Sport and Recreation
DDI 09 365 3185 | Extn (49) 6185 | Mob 021 366 email@example.com
Auckland Council, Level 8, 8 Hereford St
*[Edit. Fixed linky] GEH