Fire luckily misses Diamond Lake track

Diamond Lake, a popular attraction and walking track near Wanaka, escaped the destructive Glendhu...
Diamond Lake, a popular attraction and walking track near Wanaka, escaped the destructive Glendhu Bluffs fire last week. PHOTO: MARJORIE COOK
It is still too early to know the full extent of damage to public conservation land from the devastating Glendhu Bluffs fire last week, the Department of Conservation says.

Fortunately, the popular Diamond Lake’s walking and rock climbing areas have not been affected and are safe.

Doc Central Otago operations manager Nikki Holmes said the exact amount of conservation land affected by the fire is still being investigated.

"Miraculously, Diamond Lake and the Rocky Summit Track were untouched. It is a really special track, literally hand-built, initially by Stuart Landsborough of Puzzling World fame, and later by Doc. It has immense importance to local people and visitors," Mrs Holmes said.

Most of the damage to Doc land appeared to be at Hospital Flat and Glendhu Bluffs, former farming areas retired by the Macrae family, whose neighbouring Glendhu Station also suffered loss due to the fire.

Mrs Holmes said the greatest effect of the fire was the loss of rare examples of mature lowland forest in a region dominated by beech forest or drylands/grasslands.

Staff had not yet been able to survey the vegetation or determine the ongoing ecological impact of the fire.

"Many of the plants present were mature, so regaining the same condition would take many years," Mrs Holmes said.

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