Ōtaki Gorge Road
Cracks in the Ōtaki Gorge Road at Blue Bluff (12km inland from SH1) have required the road to be closed at this site.
Slips are likely which means the road is unsafe for both vehicles and people to cross.
The closure impacts access to one house and recreational facilities within the Tararua Forest Park.
Geotechnical experts have assessed the road and will continue to monitor and investigate further. Their advice is that the section of the road is unsafe for use. There is currently no timeframe for its reopening.
It is not possible to accurately predict when the road will slip again, but ongoing monitoring will track movement of the ground.
We are looking at a considerable amount of material that is unstable. The specialists also advise that undertaking any remedial or construction work around the slip poses a significant safety risk and should not be undertaken.
Why has this happened?
This section of the Ōtaki Gorge Road is an active slip area and slips are a regular occurrence.
The road is on a steep embankment above the Otaki River which is naturally degrading the river bed and embankments. The Ōtaki Forks area receives intensive rainfall further adding to the challenges of this road.
Accessing Ōtaki Forks
Access to the Ōtaki Forks and the Tararua Forest Park via the road is closed to motorists and walkers. Walkers are strongly urged to not cross at Blue Bluff for their own safety.
The Department of Conservation is working to find alternative public access to the huts and walks in the Tararua Forest Park.
- Visit the Department of Conservation website for more information on this.