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Repeated damage, theft and irresponsible driving has prompted the installation of a locked steel gate on the track to the north Mavora camping area.
Four-wheel-drive access to Careys and Boundary Huts above north Mavora Lake will now be managed.
Doc, with the support of recreational user groups, installed a gate on the track, which will be locked from June 30. People wishing to drive through the area now need to register online for free to obtain an access code.
Doc heritage and visitor principal ranger Te Anau Grant Tremain said it was a shame the damaging acts of a few individuals had led to this action.
“Damage to public conservation land, tracks and structures is never acceptable. Repairs and remediation work takes extra time, resources and funds that would be better spent elsewhere.’’
The decision to control access was a last resort, he said.
Walkers, trampers and people riding mountain bikes or horses still have unrestricted access.
The Southland Murihiku conservation management strategy allows for access to be restricted where there is a need to protect the environment from damage.
4WD users of the track are required to provide some personal and vehicle details and agree to the driving code of conduct before submitting the completed registration form.
Anyone with information relating to prohibited 4WD or motorbike activity, or the recent thefts should email email@example.com or phone (03) 249-0200.