The slip south of Diana Falls which has closed State
Highway 6 between Haast and Makarora. Photo by NZTA.
Two major South Island tourist routes which remained
closed yesterday due to slips and avalanches, will be
reassessed by the New Zealand Transport Agency today.
State Highway 94, between Knobs Flat and Milford Sound was
closed on Tuesday morning and State Highway 6, between Haast
and Makarora, was closed on Wednesday morning following a
storm earlier this week.
NZTA West Coast area manager Mark Pinner said the major slip
at Diana Falls, near Haast, was stabilised enough yesterday
for it to be safe for clearance work to be carried out.
However, the road could not be reopened.
The Diana Falls slip was estimated to be about 50m high with
at least 500 tonnes of debris along the road below.
''Most of the issues on the highway, including the Diana
Falls slip, are within a 2km area between the Gates of the
Haast Bridge and the Haast Pass Summit. There have also been
many debris flows,'' Mr Pinner said.
It was hoped the road could be reopened later today.
Efforts to get State Highway 94 to Milford Sound open again
were entirely dependent on weather, NZTA Southland area
manager Peter Robinson said.
Forecast bad weather could slow or even halt road-clearing
work today, making reopening the road ''a bit of a long
The Te Anau to Knobs Flat section of the highway reopened on
Wednesday and good progress was made on clearing the road
through to the Homer Tunnel yesterday.
The road closures left tourists stranded at two holiday
Milford Helicopters pilot Snow Mullally said a group of seven
people would be flown out of Milford Lodge this morning.
Four members of the group, from Korea, had driven a camper
van to the lodge and hoped to fly out of Queenstown Airport
this afternoon, he said.
A Wellington couple were also stuck at Gunns Camp in the