Update 15 November: Significant aftershocks continue. Lewis Pass Highway is now open, as is the road from SH7 to Hanmer, the link between St Arnaud and Blenheim and SH70 over Arthurs Pass. All roads leading to Kaikoura are still closed and will be for some time.
DOC is advising backcountry users to wait for another day or two before accessing tracks, huts etc. in the top half of the South Island as they do safety checks. Check with the closest DOC office before proceeding.
There is a severe weather advisory for central New Zealand including the Tararuas, Richmond Range and West Coast of the South Island.
Update 16 November: DOC is asking backcountry users to stay away from huts, tracks etc in the South Marlborough and Kaikoura regions until Friday.
Kaikoura is still cut off but the Inland route from Culverden to Kaikoura should be open by this weekend. It will be some time before Kaikoura is back to its usual condition so i would avoid the area for a couple more weeks.
Update 17 November:
Here are the current DOC alert notifications:
Kaikoura and South Marlborough and Nelson Tasman
- The Department is advising people to stay away from all DOC-managed tracks and conservation areas in South Marlborough and Kaikoura until further notice while damage is assessed.
- People are also advised to stay off the Clarence River which a landslide has partially blocked until it has been assessed.
- The Acheron Road through Molesworth Station is currently closed until further notice as damage to the road is still to be assessed.
- Rainbow Road through the station is also closed until further notice due to a large slip.
- In Abel Tasman National Park, the earthquake and heavy rainfall caused slips on the Abel Tasman Coast Track which is open but caution is required.
- Slips have been occurring on the Totaranui Road to Totaranui campground. These are blocking the road and until they can be cleared, people planning to go to Totaranui should check the Tasman District Council website for the latest information on the road's status.
- There is a large slip on the Cobb Valley Track in Kahurangi National Park between Chaffey and Fenella huts. It is passable but recommended for experienced trampers only.
Eastern South Island
- DOC staff are working from the earthquake epicentre outwards and checking the high use easily accessed assets as first priority.
- The Waterfall Track and the Chatterton River Track near Hanmer Springs are closed.
- Weather is stopping progress for checking more remote huts and tracks. It is predicted staff will start to undertake this work on Friday when the strong winds and rain ease.
- Elsewhere in the East - Twizel, Dunedin, Aoraki, Mid Canterbury and non-low-lying coastal areas around Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are all open.
West Coast South Island
- High use sites have had an initial check and no major problems have been identified.
- The more remote tracks have not been assessed yet, nor has the Wangapeka Track.
- There's been a rockfall at Denniston – the Brakehead site is open but Banbury Mine needs remedial work and is closed.
- There are a few minor slips on the Heaphy track and caution is needed.
- At Oparara, tracks are open in the area but the Honeycomb Hill caves are closed because of roof damage.