Increasingly ferocious storms, rising sea levels and soaring temperatures are expected to knock out more tracks, campsites, huts and erase the alpine features which attract hundreds of thousands into the outdoors.
After ploughing through the South Pacific, Cyclone Fehi snaked its way towards the top of the South Island. It hit during a king tide. The normally sheltered bays of Abel Tasman National Park took the full force. The park’s network of picture-postcard campsites, perched just above the high-tide mark, didn’t stand a chance. Three metre high waves crashed onto some campsites, dumping up to half a metre of golden sand on four sites which had served happy campers for generations. The worst hit, Tonga Quarry Campsite, will be closed permanently.