A lack of online warnings about the dangers of the Tunnel
Beach track may put tourists at risk, a Dunedin resident
On July 5, Corstorphine resident Lynley Hood was catching a
The weather was poor with icy wind and rain.
Two young Asian women got on the bus and Dr Hood overheard
them say they wanted to go to Tunnel Beach.
''They were dressed lightly for Dunedin ... jeans, sneakers
and tops comprising a couple of layers of cotton and
synthetic,'' Dr Hood said.
She told the women she was concerned about them going to
Tunnel Beach on such a bad day.
At first they just laughed, but their faces fell when Dr Hood
warned them about the dangers of hypothermia and how steep
the track was.
Dr Hood suggested the women should stay on the bus and go to
Tunnel Beach on a day with better weather. She got off the
bus before the girls and did not see whether they followed
When Dr Hood got home, she checked the online information on
Tunnel Beach, looking at six sites, including the Department
of Conservation (Doc) site.
Of these, only one site - Insidersdunedin.co.nz - had any
warning, telling visitors to ''be careful'' around the
Wikipedia and a travel blog, Aliadventures.com, mentioned the
track was steep and could be slippery in wet weather, she
Doc senior ranger Marcus Simons said the Doc site did not
mention any hazards on the track other than the need to take
note of the weather, which was standard advice for Otago.
However, the track had been assessed under the visitor risk
assessment system and was up to national safety standards, he
said. There were handrails and barriers to keep users safe.
Mr Simons was not aware of any accidents on the track.