However, pedestrian-only access will be in place, meaning the Papua access road will be closed to all traffic, except pedestrians.
The reason pedestrian-only access is now permitted is because the high voltage cables relocation works are complete, making it possible for pedestrians to safely visit the waterfall and access the cross-island walk.
Earthworks and construction activities will be starting at the Papua intake site as part of the Stage 2 intake upgrade works for the Te Mato Vai Project and public safety is of paramount importance at this live construction site.
Clear signage has been provided to identify that only pedestrian access will be allowed.
The Te Mato Vai Project Management Unit (PMU) has circulated notices informing both the public and Tourism Cook Islands about the pedestrian-only access.
During this earthworks and construction period, members of the public cannot drive motor vehicles, including cars and motorbikes/scooters, on the access road to the waterfall and worksite.
The PMU encourages visitors to the area to park their vehicle along the main road before entering the access road on foot.
It is important to note that there will be public entry or exit at the Papua end of the popular cross-island walk.
The Avatiu intake site is another area used by walkers and hikers to enter or exit the walk.
Public access from this end of the walk will have some restrictions in place when high voltage cable relocation works are completed before the end of the year.
The PMU asks the public and tourism operators to respect the restricted access rules, to enable construction to proceed safely.
The PMU will put public notice posts on the Te Mato Vai and Rarotonga Community and Beyond Facebook pages. Check these pages for up-to-date information on the timing and type of restricted access at Papua and Avatiu.
Public notices are also being placed in the Cook Islands News to let everyone know about any significant changes to access restrictions at both Papua and Avatiu intake sites.
For more information, contact the PMU on 28851, or go visit their office off Takuvaine Road, Avarua.
- TMV News