Waihau Beach Road reopens - in time for summer camping

Tuesday 12 December, 2023

Waihau Beach Road is open again to the public after a significant landslide took out five metres of the road in June.

An engineer’s report received last week has given the rebuilt section of the road a seal of approval and the road reconnects the small rural community of Waihau Bay.

The reopening of the road also means summer camping at Waihau Beach/Loisels Campground will open from Friday 22 December.

“This road forms the only connection to Waihau Bay. Residents have been able to use this road for a couple of weeks, however, we’re really happy to let everyone know that this road is open again for the public.

“It also means access to one of the region’s favourite camping spots is open from Friday next week for summer camping,” says Gisborne District Council Community Lifelines Director Tim Barry.

“This is great news being able to restore access for this community. All we need now is some dry weather to enjoy our summer.”

Mr Barry says a retaining wall has been built to support the new portion of the road, with new vegetation on the slope above already coming through.

“The road has also been re-shaped and leveled to move the low drainage point away from the dropout, with drainage through this section of the road also improved.”

The main risks for any further landslide at this location are heavy rainfall or an earthquake.

This 5m dropout on Waihau Beach Road happened around 24 June this year and was the direct result of heavy rainfall.

The Pouawa Rural Fire Rain Gauge recorded up to 366.6mm of rainfall during the fortnight before the landslide occurred.

Council will continue to monitor the site for movement.

Mr Barry says campers using the site have to be aware that if further land movement is detected on the road, the camping site would need to be closed at very short notice.
Geotech Consulting company LDE completed an initial stability assessment shortly after 24 June. Downers undertook the repair works and WSP produced an engineering stability report summarising the site conditions.

Signage will go up around this section of the road to advise drivers not to stop their vehicles within the repaired section of the road at all times.

More detail on the road to recovery is available on our website and updated regularly.