THE Worimi Conservation Lands including Stockton Beach will remain closed to the public due to safety concerns caused by last Monday's extreme weather.
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Acting Hunter coast area manager Laurence Penman said the storms that lashed the region last week had caused severe erosion to Stockton Beach, including deep flooding behind the fore dune.
“Surveys today revealed that despite the calmer weather experienced this week, beach access is flooded at Williamtown (Lavis Lane) and Anna Bay (Gan Gan Road) making entry into the Worimi Conservation Lands hazardous,” Mr Penman said.
“The dunes have not yet recovered forcing the closure of the entire 25km long Stockton Beach.
“There are a number of washouts and steep drop-offs on the beach front, the fore dunes have been eroded leaving very steep ledges, and there are expanding areas of very soft sand.
“The fore dune erosion means that at high tide there is insufficient beach remaining to allow for safe traverse by 4WD vehicles.
“Deep pools of water behind the fore dune remain a concern, causing large areas of quick sand, making access to the area extremely dangerous.”
Mr Penman said a number of archaeological sites and protective fencing had also been damaged.
"Assessing and protecting these sites is also a priority for NPWS.”
Mr Penman said licenced commercial tour companies have been permitted restricted access to the park, allowing them to continue very limited operations.
“Sand boarding, 4WD and quad bike riding tours continue to operate on a very limited basis following assessment of their areas of operation by NPWS staff," he said.
“Unfortunately, due to safety concerns, the park remains closed for all public access.
"However, NPWS will continue to closely monitor conditions daily, and will re-open the park as soon as conditions improve."
For further information visit the NPWS website or phone 4984 8200.