After a night of large swells at Clifton Beach those sleeping at the local motor camp woke up to find nearly half the access road to the site had been washed away by the tide.

Clifton Motor Camp manager Bob Pollock estimated Tuesday night's high seas swallowed up to one metre of land that made up the road to the motor camp.

A nor'easterly wind had been responsible for bringing the high seas straight to the shores of Clifton Beach, he said.

"Today has been more of a clean-up than anything. It's all back to normal now. Most of the work we do is just keeping the campground normal and safe."


Pollock said he locked the camp gate overnight and reopened it at 5am yesterday to let those staying at the camp head off to work before rolling his sleeves up for cleaning.

Chunks of concrete, which regularly land on the shores after high seas, were removed while a road sweeper cleaned debris off the land and the 8km/h speed sign was reposted, he said.

"You've just got to manage it when it happens. We haven't had a lot of damage."

A short section of seawall was built across Clifton Beach in 2013 to provide temporary protection to the access road and toilet block, however the consent for this structure was to expire in 2017 after which the wall would have to be removed.

On June 7 this year the Hastings District Council resolved to fund construction of the revetment wall from July 1, 2017, subject to obtaining resource consent required by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

It was noted the council would proceed with lodging the relevant resource consent applications as part of a response erosion risks and the community's desire to preserve and provide enhanced public access to the Clifton coast, camping and safe boating.

For now, Pollock said it still felt like a "waiting game" for the entire Clifton community in regards to the damage the seas posed the shoreline every day.

"Sometimes it worries me a bit. When it happens in the dark you stew away because you can't see what's going on but once the light of day comes it never seems so bad."

Pollock said while he wanted to see the seawall replaced, he wasn't overly worried about the situation at hand.

"They've been talking about erosion for 20 years and I've just managed it."

Clifton station landowner Angus Gordon yesterday said work was already under way to move the fence that lies between his property and the motor camp driveway further from the shore to free up more land for the driveway.

"The road is now very, very narrow and it's too dangerous to use," he said.

Gordon said he wanted to ensure the motor camp stayed open.

"I'm doing this to keep the camp going. I don't want to see it go because it's been there a long time and it's a lovely little area."