The Tongariro Alpine Crossing track repair work will be started this week.
A 2.5 km long section of the track was badly damaged and in places made hazardous during the eruption of Te Maari on August 6th. The aim is to repair the track on either side of the Ketetahi Hut to back- country adventure standard. This will provide trekkers with a defined poled route but it will be rough and muddy in places without a gravel surface over much of it. The Ketetahi Hut will remain closed due to substantial damage from the eruption. However a day shelter and toilets will be available at the site of the damaged hut. Due to substantial damage to the water supply, no drinking water will be available at the Ketetahi Shelter. Trekkers will need to carry enough drinking water for the day.
Progress to get this work completed will be very weather dependent and snow still covers part of the damaged area but every effort will be made to have the Alpine Crossing walkable by Labour Weekend. Prior to re-opening of the track to the public, Ngāti Tuwharetoa through local hapu Ngāti Hikairo ki Tongariro, will lift the Rāhui off this section with an appropriate blessing ceremony. New signage will also be installed updating track information.
GNS (Geological and Nuclear Sciences) have been carrying out extensive monitoring of the eruption site, including gas sampling, to ensure a robust risk assessment is undertaken to aid decision making. Gas levels continue to reduce and earthquake activity has been at a very low level since the August eruption.
Ngāti Hikairo will continue to provide a cultural and safety information presence at the Mangatepopo carpark, the gateway to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.