Muriwai - Maukatia (Maori) Bay
Due to the effects of cyclone Gabrielle, access to Muriwai was closed. This has now been lifted.
Flying from Maukatia is again possible.
Particular care however is needed anywhere near cliffs. The area behind the toilet block is not to be used. Geotech assessments are being conducted.
There is still instability in the area.
Please refrain from accessing, using, taking off, or landing in the area in red below. The green area, the normal take off is okay for use.
The NW Face remains closed until futher notice, due to instable ground conditions. Council is commisioning Geotechnical reports on the stability of the site. Please do not enter that area.
Maukatia (Maori) Bay is located just to the south of Muriwai beach, on the southern side of Otakamiro Point. Access to the car park and take-off via Waitea Road.
Take-off is on the grassy slope in front of the car park. Maori Bay take-off height is 80 - 100ft.
Note there are three separate flying sites in this area: the North West Face, Maori Bay, and a private take-off to the south. This information is for Maori Bay / Maukatia.
Over-flying of the gannet colony on the tip of Otakamiro Point is prohibited and care should be taken to not to disturb the gannets, particularly during the months of August, September, and October.
Please also take note of the comments regarding Petrels under Cautions and Access below before flying this site. The club currently has a good relationship with the rangers and this is an important flying site for us.
Take-off and landing on the right hand shoulder of the bowl on the southern side of Otakamiro Point i.e to the right of the Maori Bay car park is prohibited as this is a tapu area.
Landing on take off, or on the beach below
Avoid landing on the road or car park, it is likely to incur the Ranger's displeasure, apart from the possibility of danger to pilot and public.
Landing on the beach to the North is prohibited in peak season, December through to February.
Maukatia Bay take off location
Weather and Wind Direction
South, South West, West
The club operates a weather station at Muriwai providing real-time data on wind speed and direction. This weather station, along with a windsock, is positioned on the tip of the headland at the southern end of Maukatia Bay and provides an accurate reading of the true wind direction and strength at the level of the cliffs.
Overflying of the gannet colony on the tip of Otakamiro Point is prohibited and care should be taken to not to disturb the gannets, particularly during the months of August, September and October.
Take-off and landing on the right-hand shoulder of the bowl on the southern side of Otakamiro Point, i.e to the right of the Maori Bay car park is prohibited (as this is tapu area).
Landing on Muriwai Beach to the north is prohibited in peak season, December through to February.
Beware of the increased compression in higher winds when endeavouring to top land close to the car park. Take note that NW and S winds both tend to funnel up the face of Maukatia Bay when in fact they are often too cross to safely fly. It is recommended that pilots check the current wind direction and strength on the Muriwai weather station before launching to confirm the true wind direction above the cliffs.
When attempting to fly south and get above the cliffs beware of the possibility of turbulence off the southern point (see diagrams below)
Thanks to Joe Ward for producing the images above
Paraglider and hang glider pilots are not the only users of these Muriwai sites and you need to remain alert for the possibility of radio-controlled model aircraft - their operators' perceptions of your height and speed are not always that accurate.
A resident of the area has expressed concern about pilots overflying their property (indicated on the aerial photos below). Treat the area in front of this property purely as a transit area, gaining height before it and not dwelling in front of it.
Please do not remain above this property
Site Radio Channel
Channel 20 - 476.900MHz
PG 2 + 20 hours.
In early January 2020 the Regional Park Rangers erected signage at the either end of the track leading from Maukatia Bay down to the main car park, advising of the presence of nesting petrels and urging the public to stay strictly on the track only.
When these new signs were queried with the rangers it transpired that the petrels have nested in the forested area of Otakamiro Point for many years, but in an effort to protect their welfare, their presence had been kept from becoming public knowledge. However, recent problems with members of the public increasingly intruding into the area, along with issues with dogs, has forced the rangers to erect signage and urge that nobody leaves the track.
The Club has made approaches to the rangers to ensure that Club members leaving the track and moving through the forested area to access the launch are not unwittingly creating a problem. The rangers are comfortable with our presence in the area provided we keep to the areas marked in green on the attached map.
The petrels nest in deep burrows dug mainly at the base of the roots of the larger trees. The birds stay at sea all day and only return to their nest burrows at night. They are present from April when they start selecting burrows, all the way through to late December, when the chicks fledge and fly. Whilst we do pass quite close to some of the nests burrows, in the main our activities don’t present an issue.
However, the one exception is on the short steep southern (often muddy in winter) slope as we climb up out of the forested area, there are a couple of burrows which we walk very close to or actually over. Please take care in this area where you place your feet and not to disturb any earth.
Refer to the map below for access (marked in green) and approximate location of some of nest burrows (yellow crosses).
Petrel nesting sites
All of the Muriwai cliff flying sites are located within VFR Transit Lan T158 Te Henga, with a ceiling of 2000ft ASL, and no access to airspace behind the cliffs (Class D controlled airspace, and MBZ).
Being part of the Regional Park, care needs to be taken of vegetation etc. and, when landing on the beach consideration of other beach users is required. The Regional Park rules under which we are permitted to use the site ban commercial operation (tandems, schools, teaching etc ) unless a specific concession has been granted.
This site is well used by pilots and public and often there is need to be considerate and rotate the number of people in the air at any one time.
In the absence of Joe Ward until January, acting Site Monitor is Tony Seaman, 0274 933 023
Joe Ward 0274 718 418
Several paraglider pilots have had unscheduled landings in the back of the carpark and beyond as a result of increased wind strength and compression.