A driver has been taken to hospital after his car plummeted off a 15m-high bluff at Paihia this morning.

The accident occurred about 9am at The Bluff on Marsden Rd as the driver was heading towards town.

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

The car landed on its wheels but was extensively 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.

He was taken to Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa for a check-up and later transferred to Whangarei as a precuation. His injuries were not thought to be serious.

Police are investigating the cause of the crash.