Large swell closes Mauao base track

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12.08pm: Large swells which pummelled Mount Maunganui have left minor damage on the Mauao base track, which was shut down by authorities this morning.

Moturiki (Leisure Island) and Mauao base track is expected to reopen at 12.30pm.

Tauranga City Council spokesman Marcel Currin said there was some minor damage to the base track surface but no major damage had been reported.

''... But please be aware that the track surface is loose in some areas,'' he said.

''Once the tracks reopen, we are asking people to stick to the tracks, especially along Moturiki. Security guards will patrol Moturiki until the end of the day to offer friendly reminders for people to stay on the track.''

Earlier: Lifeguards are calling for caution along the Bay coastline today as a king tide and large swells have created dangerous conditions.

Tauranga City Council, assisted by Mount Maunganui Surf Life Saving and Police, have closed access to the Mauao base track and to Moturiki Island (Leisure Island).

Significant swell combined with high tide are causing waves to reach the tracks, making them potentially unsafe.

Metservice this morning have recorded swell as large of 3.1m at Matakana Is, 2.8m at Tay St and 2.8m at Papamoa.

Surf Life Saving Eastern Region Lifesaving Manager Leigh Sefton said beach goers should take extra care and stay away from the water's edge.

"People shouldn't consider swimming in these conditions we're experiencing at the moment," he said.

At Mount Maunganui, lifeguards have already moved some children to safety that were close to being swept out by large waves.

The king tide has waves rolling up as high as the grass banks and the Mount base track, which the council has temporarily closed along with Leisure Island.

Lifeguards are advising people to stay out of the water and, as there is no area considered safe for swimming at present, there is no flagged patrol area running until the conditions are reassessed throughout the day.

"Lifeguards are still around the clubhouse, so don't be afraid to go and talk to them and ask for any advice. A flagged patrol area will be set up as soon as it is deemed safe to do so."

Mr Sefton said the king tides and large swells are creating dangerous conditions along much of the Bay coastline and up through to the Coromandel.

"Currently, the waves at Whiritoa are around 8-10 foot.

"If you are out along the Bay coastline today, please be vigilant and on high alert for large incoming waves and make sure children are kept within arm's reach at all times.

Visit for more information and safety tips.

The base track will be closed until about 12.30pm. Photo/Sonya Bateson
The base track will be closed until about 12.30pm. Photo/Sonya Bateson

Tauranga City Council anticipate both tracks will be reopened around 12.30pm (low tide).

Other tracks up Mauao remain open in the meantime.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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