Saturday, April 13, 2024

Rockfall risk closes Cathedral Cove

Iconic Coromandel visitor spot, Cathedral Cove, has been temporarily closed to the public due to an ongoing landslip and rockfall risk.

Department of Conservation (DOC) Coromandel Operations Manager, Nick Kelly says a large landslip occurred at the popular cove in the last 24 hours, and with visitor safety the priority, the path to the idyllic beach has been blocked to prevent access.

“Cathedral Cove is prone to rockfall and erosion during and after weather events like the ones we’ve seen over the last month,” said Mr Kelly.

“We consistently monitor the geology at the site, and we are concerned the large landslip that has occurred in the last 24 hours signals a greater chance of more erosion there.

“The slip is active with more material falling to the beach.”

Mr Kelly said DOC was arranging for geotechnical engineers to visit and assess the site – but that work will take time to arrange and undertake.

With Cyclone Gabrielle predicted to hit the North Island next week, Cathedral Cove is expected to be closed for at least a week.

“This is not a decision we’ve taken lightly,” Ms Kelly says.

“We appreciate how popular Cathedral Cove is with visitors and our community, but the risk of landslide, combined with more wild weather, leaves us with no choice.”

Commercial operators who take visitors to Cathedral Cove have been asked not to land on the beach until further notice. Boaties can still enjoy the Te Whanganui a Hei Marine Reserve around the cove and are urged to exercise caution and be up to date with weather forecasts and expected high sea swells.

“Our message here is simple: stay away from Cathedral Cove for your own safety,” Mr Kelly said.

Cathedral Cove receives up to 200,000 visitors a year.

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