A driver was taken to hospital after his car plummeted off a 15m-high bluff at Paihia.

The accident occurred about 9am on Friday at The Bluff on Marsden Rd when it is thought the driver was heading towards town.

The man's car veered off the road, missed a lamp post and a barrier by centimetres, then dropped off the edge of a steep bank on to the beach.

Tracks in the grass show the car missed a lamp post and a crash barrier by centimetres. Peter de Graaf
Tracks in the grass show the car missed a lamp post and a crash barrier by centimetres. Peter de Graaf

The car landed on its wheels but was badly damaged. The driver managed to get out of the vehicle.

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Volunteers from the Paihia Fire Brigade carried him in a stokes basket stretcher along the beach to a waiting St John ambulance.

The 64-year-old Waitangi man was taken to Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa for a check-up and later transferred to Whangārei as a precaution.

His injuries were not thought to be serious. Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

It's not the first accident at The Bluff — in 2012 a car driven by a pair of English tourists dropped off Marsden Rd, rolled and came to rest on its wheels on the beach. They also missed the crash barrier and suffered only minor injuries, but their car was written off.