An easterly four metre swell kept surfers happy over the weekend, with full car parks at often-quiet surf spots.

The big waves are unusual for sheltered Hawke's Bay, but occasionally the prevailing westerly wind changes offshore for a sustained period, driving a swell in from the east between Mahia Peninsula and Cape Kidnappers.

The swell closed Napier Port for several days and knocked over a protective concrete-block wall at the Clifton Motor Camp resulting in erosion and seawater flooding the campground.

Clifton Motor Camp suffered flooding. Photo / Patrick O'Sullivan.
Clifton Motor Camp suffered flooding. Photo / Patrick O'Sullivan.

A sea wall protecting access to the eastern part of the camp, recently built by Hastings District Council, worked well but minor road repairs were needed after waves rode up the beach access ramp.

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The campground access road was closed as was beach access to Cape Kidnappers.

The gravel bank protecting Westshore Beach, built up every year by Napier City Council, remained in place but was seriously eroded in places.

Westshore Beach gravel bank. Photo / Patrick O'Sullivan.
Westshore Beach gravel bank. Photo / Patrick O'Sullivan.

At Haumoana, erosion-prone houses suffered the advancing sea as they have for decades.

But it wasn't bad news for everyone, local surfers making the most of the waves.

Te Awanga surfer Craig Rawcliffe said the waves had "cleaned up" from mid week.

"This is pretty good. It's a great wave - nice point break - and the locals are pretty happy," he said.

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