The Department of Conservation (DOC) has closed the Whanganui Journey Great Walk due to four confirmed cases of COVID-19 among a group of paddlers.
Whanganui Operations Manager, Connie Norgate says four canoeists who came off the awa at Pipiriki on 28 February tested positive for COVID-19.
“And due to the remote nature of the journey, and our vulnerable rural communities, we need to take these steps to keep everyone as safe as possible.”
She said a DOC and iwi monitoring team will use the closure as an opportunity to undertake training through monitoring access at Whakahoro, Ngahuinga and Ohinepane and Pipiriki.
“They will be advising people that the Whanganui Journey is closed until further notice. Signage will also be placed at these places as soon as possible,” Ms Norgate said.
Visitors who have recently come off the river between 24 – 28 February 2022 are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 if they experience symptoms of the disease.
Intending visitors who are now unable to undertake the journey are entitled to a full refund and should check their tickets for refund details, DOC advised.
“We will look to reopen the journey after a deep clean of facilities has taken place and it is safe to do so,” Ms Norgate says.
“The Mangapurua/Kaiwhakauka and Bridge to Nowhere Tracks and facilities remain open.”
For more information contact the Whanganui DOC Office and check the DOC website for updates.