New $2m Blue Pools car park will increase safety

Moving the car park to the other side of State Highway 6 will mean that people visiting the Blue...
Moving the car park to the other side of State Highway 6 will mean that people visiting the Blue Pools will not have to cross the busy highway. PHOTO: SEAN NUGENT
A new $2 million car park is planned for the increasingly popular Blue Pools walk near Makarora, the focus being on safety.

For years, visitors have had to cross State Highway 6 from the existing car park to get to the pools, the danger having increased as visiting the pools became more popular.

To mitigate that, the new car park will be located about 500m further along the highway on the same side as the pools, opposite the Cameron Flat camping area.

That means visitors will have easier and safer access to the pools via a new track.

The NZ Transport Agency initially planned in 2017 to widen the highway and extend the existing car park, but was forced to reassess that plan after the pools attracted hundreds of visitors during the hot 2017-18 summer.

NZTA senior project manager Simon Underwood said that the new car park would have 61 parks for cars, 21 for camper vans and six for buses.

Toilets would also be installed.

The car park and associated tracks would cost $2 million.

It is a joint initiative between the NZTA and Department of Conservation.

The existing parking on the eastern side of SH6 would be removed and returned to native bush, he said.

"The aim is to have the works under way from mid-June in the quieter part of the tourism season and the new parking area available for use by Labour Weekend,'' Mr Underwood said.

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