Muriwai - Maukatia (Maori Bay)

Please refrain from accessing, using, taking off, or landing in the area in red below, Council is commisioning Geotechnical reports on the stability of these areas.
- The area behind the toilet block is not to be used.
- The NW Face remains closed until futher notice.

The green area, the normal take off is okay for use.

Site Information

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.

Site takes South thru to WNW wind

Note there are three separate flying sites in this area: the North West Face (closed), 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 at all times and care should be taken to not to disturb the gannets, particularly during the months of August, September, and October.

Before flying here for the first time a site briefing is recommended by either the site monitor or a senior pilot.

​Site Type  Coastal 


1, Take-off is on the grassy slope in front of the car park.  Maori Bay take-off height is 80 - 100ft, if the wind is strong do not launch close to the path/rock wall, move further down the slope, dropping your wing on the rock wall/vehicles is not acceptable.

2, There is a second launch at the southern end of the carpark (grassy area behind the surfboard seat) use only if the wind is WNW.

Do not launch anywhere other than these two spots.


1, Land on the beach below launch (or the north beach March to November only) 

2, Slope land on take off

Do not land anywhere else.

Do not land 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.


1, Beware of the increased compression in higher winds when endeavouring to top land on launch, many pilots have been sucked down the road. 

2, Take note that NW and SE 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.

3, In strong wind do not launch in front of the rock wall, move further down the slope, it is not acceptable to drop your wing on the rock wall/cars.

4, When attempting to fly south and get above the cliffs beware of the possibility of turbulence off the southern point (see the 3 diagrams below) and always make sure you have enough glide to get back to safe landing on the beach.

5, If the wind is light use common sense and avoid launchng if the bowl is congested with gliders trying to stay up, watch for gliders flying to the left (south) to try and get height on the higher cliffs ...they may not be able to climb up and will have to fly back to the bowl, rotate pilots if only a small number can stay up at a time.

6, If the wind is SW or W it is very common for it to go South as the day progresses, keep an eye on the windsock.

7, If the wind is SW or W and the ridge to the south is flyable, fly there, do not stay flying in and around the launch area all day, give other pilots room to launch and top land.

Thanks to Joe Ward for producing the images above

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. Do not fly over or behind these houses.

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.

Mandatory Notices

Site Radio Channel

Channel 20 - 476.900MHz


Hang Gliding

HG Intermediate


PG 2 + 20 hours.


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).

Access Conditions

Site Monitor

Joe Ward 0274 718 418 
Council liaison: Tony Seaman 0274 933 023


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.

Site Achievements

Several paraglider pilots have had unscheduled landings in the back of the carpark and beyond as a result of increased wind strength and compression.

Photo info....