A stunning computer-generated flyover created in the wake of the Cape Kidnappers slip shows the currently-closed Hawke's Bay wonder as you've never seen it before.
The footage was captured using a drone by the Surveying Company Hawke's Bay to help with the Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) being undertaken by Hastings District Council following multiple slips.
Clifton Beach remains closed after one of the slips seriously injured two Korean tourists walking along the beach in January.
The flyover captures 9.5km of Cape Kidnappers coastline, showing in intricate detail the up-to-140m cliffs that frame the beach, to help experts predict where future slips could potentially occur.
To capture it a drone had to take over 12,500 photos and flew 155km.
Surveyor Will Heesterman said the drone had survey grade GPS on it.
"The whole idea of the project was to map those cliffs with reasonably high accuracy.
"We've done that once already and then we are going to go back in a few weeks and do it again so we can compare changes over time."
The footage will then be able to show new rockfalls.
"Obviously in the 3D model the geologists can see stress fractures in the rocks and joint plains and all that stuff," Heesterman said.
"It just helps them make an assessment of whether to reopen the beach or keep in closed."
Heesterman manually designed flight lines for the drone, which scanned the cliff faces as well as looking down from above the cliff.
"The drone just takes photos at regular intervals and then when we get back to the office we throw them all into the computer.
"I split it up into 1km blocks, put all those photos in the computer.
"The computer stitches them together, we add our survey accuracy to co-ordinate it.
"Then it goes through and generates a 3D model."
Heesterman has experience doing drone footage in Australia, and in Hawke's Bay does large scale mapping of new subdivisions, but this is one of the largest projects he has worked on.
"It's a bit bigger than what I am used to doing in Australia, but the principle is the same, and you just have to work through the job methodically."
The company is CAA-certified and received permission from both Hastings District Council and DOC to take the images.
Hastings District Council's group manager for asset management Craig Thew said the drone footage helps understand the characteristics of the landslides.
"This will then help us assess the risk to beach users in terms of where and how often the landslides are happening, when they occur and the impact they have on the beach, and what would happen if someone was hit by a landslide.
"The cost of this surveying was approximately $20,000 that amount shared between the partners (DOC and HDC) as part of the comprehensive QRA."
The drone assessment is just one part of the QRA.
He said HDC will be reassessing when to re-open the beach this week.
"The message to potential users is that there are risks and access is not currently recommended."