Some beachgoers were forced to wait before hitting the surf today as king tides overwhelmed some shores.

The large tides, which have been hitting beaches since yesterday, brought the tide in so high some lifeguards had no room to put their flags up.

Whangamata Beach closed for an hour this morning, lifeguard Nathan Smith said.

"The tides were too high to put out a patrol.''


Waihi Beach was also temporarily off limits.

A surf lifesaving spokesman said they had to delay opening the beach for about 15 minutes "because there was nowhere to put the flags up''.

But since then the water had receded and surfers had been able to enjoy swells of about 2m, he said.

Piha Beach was packed with beachgoers today.

A spokeswoman said it was ``perfect weather'' and there had been no problems with the king tides.

There was a strong northbound current, ``but the surf was big enough to keep everyone in closer rather than further out''.

``The surfers were having an absolute ball.''

Mt Maunganui Beach head lifeguard Sam Shergold said they had a quiet day today despite the sunny conditions.


A northern coastguard communications spokeswoman said there had been several incidents on the water, but most were mechanical, and none related to the king tides.

There were reports of several logs floating in the water, which were dealt with by the Harbour Master.

``There were high volumes on the water, lots of people out there enjoying what's been a beautiful day in Auckland.''

In Auckland, parts of Tamaki Drive and the northwestern cycleway were inundated at high tide, just after 10am.

Police said the flooding didn't cause any traffic problems, as it had been well publicised in advance.

The king - or perigean tides - were due to last until Tuesday.

The tides occur when the moon is either new or full and closest to Earth, but other factors, such as the weather, also influence the height of the tide.