Care advised for vehicles accessing Muriwai Beach

Publish Date : 15 Oct 2021
Care advised for vehicles accessing Muriwai Beach

Muriwai Beach is once again open for vehicle access as part of the COVID-19 alert level step change, but drivers are reminded that rules must be followed for the safety of other beach users – and that Auckland is still in Alert Level 3 (Step 1).

Auckland Council Western Principal Ranger, Stephen Bell said that the behaviour of some drivers on the first few days after access was reopened was disappointing and he would like to see a big improvement.

“Last weekend, we recorded 1749 vehicles accessing Te Oneone Rangatira / Muriwai Beach. This high number, along with the many groups of people meeting up, exceeds what we would consider safe under COVID-19 restrictions.

“The disregard for the rules by some drivers last Wednesday, the first day the beach was open, was concerning. It impacts the safety of other beach users and the environment.”

There are five key rules for those wanting to drive on Muriwai Beach:

  • You must have a permit to drive on the beach.
  • Your vehicle must be registered and have a current WOF (most trail bikes are not permitted on the beach).
  • You can drive on the beach between the mean high and mean low tide lines at no more that the posted speed limits.
  • You cannot drive in the dunes.
  • Be respectful and considerate of other beach users and kind to the environment.

Fires, hunting and camping are and have always been prohibited at Muriwai Beach.

“The dunes are a fragile environment and home to the recently discovered Muriwai gecko,” says Stephen.

“The dunes are already heavily damaged, and we ask that people please stay away from them.”

Woodhill Forest, which borders the regional park, is privately owned and entry is not permitted for vehicles, horses, mountain bikers or walkers.

“Machinery can be operating at any time, so keep out. Not only for your safety but for the respect of other people’s property.”

Access to the beach is currently through Coast Road and Wilson Road. Rimmer Road will remain closed due to damage from the storm in late August.

Fishing and safety

Stephen would also like to remind people that whilst fishing is permitted under Alert Level 3 Step 1, rock fishing should not be attempted.

“Rock fishing is a dangerous activity, it exposes you to a high level of unnecessary risk. If you were swept off the rocks you would be placing unnecessary strain on emergency, medical, and search and rescue services at a time when they are likely to be very busy.”

Fishing can be done from boats, the beach and off wharves.

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